Daring to be different can be costly and dangerous. You can never be sure how the public will react when you blaze your own trail, especially when it comes to subjective things like automotive restyling. Any time you deviate from what's cool with the masses, you run the risk of being deemed an automotive heretic, a person who performs customization blasphemy upon an otherwise cool sport truck. But, the payoff for such daring can be 10 times greater than the risk. Not everyone has the brass cojones to make the leap from trendy to innovative, but the guys at MBRP sure do. Those guys routinely build image vehicles for OEM car companies, and this is another in a long line of award-winning demo vehicles. The company's Dodge Dakota doesn't look like any other midsize sport truck on the planet, on purpose, and the resulting style is just plain cool.
You might have noticed already that not only does this Dakota have dual rear wheels, but it's also really long. Of course, we've seen dualie conversions before, traditionally performed on Suburbans and 1/2-ton pickups, and the phantom dualie trend peaked and disappeared long ago. But, when was the last time you saw a brand-new Dodge Dakota with not two but four wheels spinning on the rear axle? When was the last time you saw a quad cab Dakota with a long bed? That's right, you haven't. Dodge doesn't build quad cab longbed Dakotas, and no one we know has done that swap, let alone throw a set of 19-inch dualie wheels under the bed.
To put this mod into perspective and clue you into how much work is involved in going from four to six wheels, take a look at this list of things that were cut and lengthened on MBRP's truck: The driveline, the framerails, the brake lines, and the wiring all grew to match the length of the long bed that was procured from an extended cab truck. Jay Prosch-Jenson of Ultimate Driveline swapped the stock rear axle assembly for a unit robbed from a new Chevy 1-ton dualie. Once the new bed was bolted atop the extended framerails, there was still the matter of those two extra Brentz dualie wheels sticking out past the bed sides. Terry DeLong of Profinish-Proglass was called to action to create one-off fiberglass bed sides that match the redesigned front fenders of the Dodge, perfectly. Terry also crafted mini tubs to finish the inside of the bed off and added a custom roll pan and Shaker hood to keep with the high-performance Mopar theme.
This truck was set to debut at the 2005 SEMA Show, and everything was going according to plan for MBRP. The bed mods were done, Bracebridge Collision had done an excellent job of painting the truck, and Odyssey Car Audio took great care to coordinate the audio system along with the re-assembly process. Even the killer Show Deck wooden bed floor and subwoofer enclosure came out perfect. The only hiccup turned out to be the air suspension. Days before the truck was scheduled to leave for SEMA, the guys tried to install the Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves and learned that the parts were for an older Dakota and not the brand-new '05 Dodge. To get the show back on the road, the guys chopped up the stock struts and used the pieces to adapt the Shockwaves to the Dakota. They also crafted billet lower mounting brackets to keep the installation looking so fresh and so clean. Thankfully, the rear suspension went smoothly, and the truck had no trouble making its debut on the carpet of the Hilton Convention Center.
MBRP Performance Exhaust / Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
'05 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 2WD
4.7L V-8 HO / automatic tranny / MBRP 'Cuda-style exhaust system / AIRAID cold-air intake / 3.92:1 rearend gears / '04 GMC dualie rear axle and 1-ton brakes / 295 hp, with 330 lb-ft of torque (estimated)
BY: Jay Prosch-Jenson of Ultimate Driveline
FRONT & REAR: 19x7-inch Premier Series Brentz Wheels
FRONT & REAR: 255/50ZR19 Toyo Proxes
FRONT: Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves modified to fit
REAR: Air Ride Technologies Airbar four-link system
ACCESSORIES: Clear Gear differential cover
CHASSIS: Framerails, driveline, and wiring extended to fit long bed / rear axle swapped for a Chevy 1-ton dualie axle
BY: Jay Prosch-Jenson of Ultimate Driveline
Custom fiberglass dualie fenders, wheeltubs, Dakota 'Cuda-style roll pan, and Shaker hood / truck started life as a four-door shortbed, but the frame was stretched to accommodate the long bed offered on the extended cab Dakota / LSX Series tonneau cover from ARE with optional interior lighting / polished billet grille, supplied by B-Cool Billet / Horkey Wooden Products custom wood bed kit
BY: Bracebridge Collision / Terry DeLong of Profinish-Proglass (fiberglass bed mods)
DuPont Hot Hues Neptunes Jewel paint with a custom white pearl / custom-mixed yellow and orange colors to create the graphics / if you look close enough, you can see the Dodge ram's head in the paint
BY: Bracebridge Collision / Ron Gibbs Airbrushing (graphics and pinstripe)
Complete custom leather two-tone interior / custom amp rack and speaker pods / color-matched bezels and center console
Custom wooden sub box is mounted in the bed and ported into the cab / Infinity amplifier and speakers / Alpine CD head unit
BY: Odyssey Car Audio of Barrie, Ontario, Canada
MBRP would like thank its dedicated employees for their hard work on the truck. The list includes Jason Hackenbrook and Dave Howard. These two guys really made it all possible.