Many people try to install the Dodge Ram grille on Dakota due to its long lifespan and high performance. However, they are not interchangeable due to dimensional differences and design variability.
Will Dodge Ram Grille Fit on a Dakota? You cannot fit a Dodge Ram grille on a Dakota due to different dimensions, non-identical manufacturing material, distinct mounting spots, headlights interference, variable bottom, different number of screws, and design fluctuation. In addition, the Dodge grille is non-adjustable because it is nearly 68x19x13 inches, and Dakota has a grille of 45x17x16 inches.
A grille fits on the hood, regulates the airflow, and protects the truck from debris and dust.
- 1 Why does the Dodge RAM Grille not fit on a Dakota?
- 2 What happens if you fit a Dodge RAM Grille on a Dakota?
Why does the Dodge RAM Grille not fit on a Dakota?
The dodge grille does not fit on any model of the Dakota due to non-identical dimensions. In addition, different mounting holes and variable designs restrict these installations.
From 1994 to 2001, Dodge 1500 have a wide-black grille of around 54x6x14 inches. All 2002 to 2005 Dodge RAM 1500 have a grille size of 68x19x13 inches.
However, from 2006 to 2008, Dodge 2500, 3500, and 1500 have a specific grille of 51.1×18.5×5.1 inches.
For the variants of Dakota, its size varies from 40x7x15 inches to 45x17x16 inches. Due to dimensional differences, you cannot add a wide Dodge grille on the front side of your Dakota.
All the 1997 to 2004 Dakota have the short grille with an average length of 40 to 45 inches.
The grille opening of the Dakota is short and cannot accommodate the broader options.
It is impossible to expand the frame of Dakota with remodeling and modifications. In addition, due to the expanded layout, you cannot adjust it to the mounting brackets of Dakota.
Non-identical manufacturing material
A 45x17x16 inches Dakota grille comprises high-quality plastic material with a four-block design. Aluminum makes the net between the blocks for maximum ventilation.
They also comprise metal alloys and ABS plastic. However, the Dodge 1500 has chrome grilles in black and silver colors. They consist of high-quality stainless steel to resist rust and debris.
With a longer shelf life, they repel the high level of precipitation and fight against humidity. In some options, air-craft grade, lightweight, and high-quality aluminum are part of them.
They are less durable than stainless-stain equipment. In addition, the Dodge Ram grille is non-mountable due to variable manufacturing material.
It cannot support the ventilation of the radiator and alters the front of Dakota. Chrome grilles are expensive, durable, consume more installation time, and require excessive support.
Different mounting spots
Dakota grille has eleven mounting bolts with identical holes under the hood. Also, it has a mounting bracket that attaches to the hood.
The Dodge grille has six nuts on the top and six mounting screws on the bottom side.
With 12 mounting holes, it fits and adjusts inside the hood frame. Due to a different number of mounting holes and variable screws, you cannot install a Dodge RAM grille on a Dakota. One hole and screw are missing on the Dakota with a different alignment.
Interference of headlights
The visible and hidden headlamps are on the front side of all variants of 1997 to 2004 Dakota. They enlighten the front side of the road and protect the truck from accidents.
With a distinct grille, the headlights hides, cannot produce light and reduces the shielding mechanism. Even temporarily, the Dodge grille cannot adjust on the Dakota front.
The headlamps interfere in the adjustment, consume more than five hours for installation, and deform the hood.
2007 to 2008 Dodge 1500 has a stainless steel black grille with curved edges and a flat bottom. However, the Dakota grille is slightly oval-shaped with bent sides.
It has a curved bottom with a variable pattern of bolts. The Dodge grille has middle stainless bars in a synchronized pattern. Other options have a middle rod with four distinct sections.
The looks of both parts confuse people about the installation techniques. But, you cannot install it with a flat base on a curved mounting spot.
Variable number of screws
On a Dakota, four screws are on the bottom side that attaches to the lowers section of the hood. With a particular space, they are slightly away from each other.
The top right side of the grille has three screws with their adjustment points. The left block has two pairs of screws that hold the entire part.
However, on a Dodge grille, two pairs of six screws are on the bottom and top.
What happens if you fit a Dodge RAM Grille on a Dakota?
Due to incompatible sizes, I have never adjusted a Dodge grille on my 2008 Dakota. However, my friend installed it on his new Dakota and faced the following problems.
It cannot cover the front of the Dakota due to the longer frame and flat bottom. So instead, a few bolts mount in the built-holes of Dakota with compulsive tightening.
The one additional screw of Dodge remains unadjusted and makes the grille flexible. Inappropriate coverage leads to the penetration of debris and dust inside the cover.
The irregularly fitted part loses due to insufficient tightening of bolts. In addition, the built-in mounts of Dakota cannot hold the heavy Dodge grille. As a result, it hangs towards the road and falls at high speeds.
They protect against corrosion, rainwater, dust particles, and other invading objects. It cannot safeguard the Dakota, hood, and engine with inappropriate adjustment.
Irregular air flow to the radiator
It supports the radiator by supplying clean and fresh air. The ventilated air cools the hood, engine, and other heated parts.
The radiator is the heat regulator of the engine, monitors the temperature, and reduces overheating. So, it cannot provide enough cool air to the Dakota radiator.
Internal temperature rises, which results in heat dissipation and causes engine failure.
The ABS concealed Dakota grille provides maximum protection to the truck and repels the front dents. Installation of Dodge grille on a Dakota reduces the security pattern.
Due to Improper adjustment, it cannot resist sudden collision in the front vehicles.
The flexible, sliding design changes the front design of the Dakota variants. However, due to the deformed layout, they cannot withstand similar models.
With such installation, dents become visible on the front side of the hood.