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GenII Dakota
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am seriously going to have an air suspension system installed on my 92 dakota and I am going with a 4-link system to replace the leaf springs.. In magazines I've seen that people cut the rear fender wells out and the space between them to show-off the 4 link system or is that just for clearance? I really would like to know before I go and get the system and then have to cut my bed up... I have no problem cutting it for clearance but I am going to have something installed in the space between there and I want to know how to plan it out.. Am I making any sense? lol

Please help,
-Jason
 

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Hey Jason,

Let me see if I can help you out. I too am in the process of baggin my dakota(87 same body style as 92) and I'm in the same boat as yourself. To begin with if you will not need a 4 link, if you aren't trying to get all the way to the ground. You can install baggs on leafsprings with no problem. If you are like me and you want to get as close to the ground as possible you will definitely need a 4link. That being said have a 4link doesn't mandate you to cut up your bed. This is done because most people who are bagged want to drag the rockers or at least have them touch the ground (as is the case with me). I have to cut my wheel wells for two reasons, first I'm running a 20'x8' wheel combo and there isn't enough room there once I'm bagged, send I will have a bridge notch in order to tuck these wheels so I need to cut the bed as you see in the magazines. When you cut your bed you can run a custom wheel tub, and have sheet metal welded over your bridge notch if you so desire, so you can make your bed like and perform as it once did. Typically once bagged people place the suspension componets in the bed as well. I'm going to run my two compressors and 12 gallon tank in my bed, along with my 10 ib N2O bottle in my bed, so I won't have any room for cargo, but again this is a choice that you have to make for yourself. If you have any other question or problems with baggin your Dak, get at me, and I'll try my best to help you out. :rck:

Jay
 

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GenII Dakota
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome.. I am going to be running 17x8 (I believe.. not too sure on the width) but would it be a good idea to go agead and put do custom wheel tubs in case I decide to upgrade? And I DO want to get as low to the ground as possible.. otherwise I'd just get lowering kit... And you said with the 4-link I will NOT have to cut the space between the tubs, right? Thats why I need that space, to mount the spare tire and suspension components..

And one more question.. what about the Wheel wells in the front? They would have to be cut as well, right?

Thank you,
-Jason
 

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Stroked & TKO'd
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111 Posts
Hey Jason,

Let me try to answer these question in order, first off if you do the custom wheel tubs (cheap mod from summit), you will be making room for as large a wheel as you want, depending on how the tub is welded to the bed side. Secondly when you run a 4link, depending on if it is parallel or triangulated, will depend on rather or not you can mount the spare tire under the bed. Also the only time you have to cut the space in-between the bed is if you run a bridge notch(which I am running). You can run a C-notched frame setup with a 4 link and have no problems at all. I would honestly recommend abandoning the spare tire under the bed though, as it will impede fully sitting frame on the ground. As for the front wheel wells, that too depends on the wheel combination you are running. I removed mine, as I said, I'm tuckin 20's and considering upping to 22's. I knew right away I was going to go big, and I also knew that my truck wouldn't be a daily driver, just have daily driving capabilities. I recommend removing the front wheel wells though as it allows for different wheel combinations. Also if you intend to do this. Look into getting a set of custom tubular upper control arms. They look a lot nicer than the factory ones, if you are showing off your suspension. You can have them powder coated for cheap or chromed and have a really sharp look. This is all dependant upon what you are shooting for as well. If I can help in any other way, give me a holler.

Jay
 

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GenII Dakota
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the help.. The spare tire has to be relocated anyways due to hidden hitch and roll pan... My truck is going to be a daily driver so I am not going all out like you are.. But would still like to lay frame for fun, haha... I have not yet started to build my suspension system yet so I don't know if I'm going to have a bridge or whatever.. not even sure what that is to be honest, haha.. I have other mods I am doing first to the bed and I don't want to have to do it all over again if I don't give the right about of clearance.. I am thinking about just cutting out the fender wells and giving a little clearance for a bridge if I decide to use one.. How much clearance should I give it? Sorry if I don't make much sense, basicly I am not ready to put the air suspension on but want to have the bed ready for it after I finish the mods to it..

Thank you,
-Jason
 

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No Problem here Jason,

I'm just glad to see that I'm not the only person taken a GenI Dak to the next level. We are few and far inbetween. A bridge notch is very similar to a C-notch, in that they both perform the same function. With a C-notch, you cut a section of the frame above the rear axels, where the bump stops are and to allow for axel clearance, on a heavily modified (lowered) truck. This allows the suspension to do what it is supposed to do, which is absorb road bumps and such. It also helps keep the correct pinnion angle on lowered vehicles. After the frame is cut, it is reinforced with steal plates in the shape of a C, hence the name C-notch. A bridge notch does the exact same thing, except, the entire frame is cut, and new taller notches are welded in. This is usually done on vehicles that are trying to tuck large wheels and lay frame (eg. what I want to do). Both notches work extremely well and do the job which they were designed for well. Both will run somewhere in the ball park of $65-$105, depending on who makes it, and if they are massed produced. If you are good at welding and or working with metal, you can fab up your own for much less. I intend on doing my entire air suspsension myself once I get back to the states. I would like to suguest that you learn how to weld, it will save you a lot of money in the long run, especially when you get into modifying your truck. Plus it's cool to build your own ride in the long run, you learn sooooooooo much more. Sorry I got on a tangent, as for clearance for the bridge, again it's really up to you, I've seen 8' bridges and 12' bridges. all depends on wheel and tire combination, and desired ground altitude I guess. You can drag with both though so don't think that bigger is better in this case. Hope I've helped you out in some way with this one.


Jay
 
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