At one time, this 2000 Dakota Quad Cab was just like all the other Dodge four-door wonders driving around when Toyo Tires turned it into their rolling billboard. Well, maybe that's not true-this being only the fourth Quad Cab to roll off the assembly line, there really weren't any others prowling the streets by the time Toyo Tires got their hands on it.
Steve French, Toyo Tires Sales Manager for the East Zone of the U.S., dropped the truck off at our Lakeland, Florida, office and let us play with it for a couple of weeks. We enjoyed every minute behind the wheel, and added several hundred miles to Steve's odometer before we knew it.
The truck has several improvements, the most noticeable being the exterior graphics. But before the graphics could be installed, a few body modifications were in order. Truck Creations by Verdone in Scottsdale, Arizona, installed the Xenon front spoiler, Trenz grill, Muth signal indicator mirrors, and the steel Distinctive Truck Accessories cowl induction hood. To protect the bed of the truck, a Line-X spray-on bed liner was applied, and a Cargo-Pro sliding drawer system installed to make loading and unloading parts and packages a breeze. It was then finished with an Innovative Designs tonneau cover. Once Truck Creations had everything painted and installed, the truck was off to Los Angeles, where Modern Image Graphics applied the custom decals.
Next on the agenda was to make the truck handle better. To accomplish that, Bill Andrews from TSW Alloy Wheels was charged with replacing all of the rubber factory bushings with Energy Suspension polyurethane pieces, Edelbrock Performer IAS shocks, and installing Hotchkis Performances front and rear springs and sway bars. What's interesting to note is that because this truck was among the first of a completely new design, many of the custom components found on it were prototyped for this truck, so thank Toyo when you add them to your ride!
Considering the truck is used as a rolling billboard for Toyo Tires, it's no surprise to find their 255/55/R18 VR1 Proxes S/Ts riding on the 18-inch TSW Mirage wheels.
Under the hood, things, for the most part, are stock. To pump up the 4.7 liter's power a bit, Steve added a Jet Performance chip, Airaid high-performance air cleaner assembly, and Vitek spark plug wires. To easily move the spent gases, and give the Quad Cab a great sound, CGS Motorsports came through with their catalytic convert-back exhaust system.
Inside, you'll find all the comforts of home, and then some. To upgrade the seating appointments, Classic Soft Trim recovered the seats and door panels in two-tone leather, while Custom Sound Works in Los Angeles installed an Alpine audio/CD changer/security/navigation system that not only entertains you, but prevents you from getting lost as well. To pump up the decibles, a matching leather-covered center console housing the sub-woofer was fitted between the seats, and finished off with cup holders for two. Finally, the dash and factory floor console were given a face-lift using Quality Laser Craft's slick stick-on aluminum applique kit.
Steve tells us this is only the beginning. The Quad Cab is soon going to be lowered using a new Hotchkins Performance kit, and new 18x10 TSW two-piece wheels will wear 295/45/R18 Toyo Proxes ST tires. To give the 4.7-liter engine a boost, Paxton is going to install an intercooled supercharger system, and to make sure there won't be any problem stopping this machine, Stainless Steel Brake Corporation's four-wheel disc conversion kit with 13-inch front and 12-inch rear rotors will be added. Rounding out the upgrades will be all new Toyo Tire graphics.
This truck is already a great ride, but once the new upgrades are complete, this Quad Cab is sure to be a hot handling machine. Hey, Steve, we'd be happy to borrow it for another two weeks and give you our impression!