When building a fast truck, it's necessary to stop fast, too. By increasing the straightaway and cornering speeds of this '00 Dodge Dakota with a 6.1L Hemi powerplant and five-speed manual transmission behind it, and ex-race car driver Kirk Miller behind the wheel, we will need some serious braking power.

The factory Dodge Dakota braking performance will be enhanced with the installation of a new pair of replacement A1 Cardone Dodge single-piston disc brake calipers. The brake calipers were disassembled and reassembled at Top Line Performance in Huntington Beach, California. The A1 Cardone calipers needed some color, so we went to Specialized Coatings in Huntington Beach, California, where they would receive DuPont Red Baron powdercoating. Having your calipers powdercoated makes for a glistening appearance and easy cleaning.

The OEM Dodge front disc brake pads were improved with Posi Quiet disc brake pads along with power slot rotors that were dropped into the new A1 Cardone single-piston calipers.

The Dakota's spinnin' spools were ordered from The Tire Rack and came premounted, balanced, and ready to be installed. The Tire Rack sent us a set of new American Racing Dale Earnhardt Jr. Octane 22x8-1/2-inch wheels with black centers and polished stainless steel lips. The wheels have a 5-1/2-inch backspacing to achieve an important dimensional appearance. These Octane wheels will give the Dakota the serious racing image we were looking for. The 275/45R20 Avon Tech S/T tires fit the wheels perfectly and will give us the look and performance needed for our Dakota race project.

Check out how we upgraded the Dakota that we lowered last month. If your ride is in need of new wheels and brakes, contact the companies in the story and get rollin'

From The Driver Seat
The combination of the Power Slot cryo rotors, A1 Cardone single-piston calipers, and Posi Quiet scorched disc bake pads contributed to a solid braking performance package. The 275/45R20 Avon Tech S/T tires and American Racing Dale Earnhardt Jr. Octane wheels deliver a performance look that we were going for. The wider Avon tread contact patch allows for better traction under acceleration, braking, and cornering. The Avon Tech S/T low profile creates a stiffer sidewall, which developes less sidewall flex, that helps eliminate heat buildup. The larger contact patch allowed for increased cornering speeds.

The Tire Rack purchase was easy and fast; besides, it's hard to beat having wheels and tires delivered to your door that are already mounted and balanced. Our overall impression of the upgraded front disc brakes, wheels and tires on all four corners is it will vastly improve the drivability, handling, and appearance of the Dodge Dakota. It's starting to look and feel pretty racy.

Your Questions Answered
Time Spent Working: 3 hours
Mechanical Difficulty: Beginner

Tools Used: Coats tire changer, Coats tire spin balancer, pneumatic gun, 3/4-inch socket, assorted wrenches, gravity brake bleeder, 13mm allen hex wrench, Gorilla Power 1/2-inch drive handle, and a torque wrench

Parts Used:
Power Slot cryogenic rotors PN8738CSL $377.00
Posi Quiet disc brake pads PN106.08200 $59.95
A1 Cardone single-piston brake calipers PN18-4756 $70.00
Powdercoat calipers $40.00
American Racing Dale Earnhardt Jr. Octane 20x8-1/2-inch wheels $641.00
Avon S/T Tech tires 275/45R20 $403.50
Frontend alignment $ 65.00
Total $1,656.45
Specialized Coating
Power Performance Group
9001 Oso Ave., Unit A
CA  91311
Dept. 5.0
Top Line Performance
7312 Auto Park Dr
Huntington Beach
CA  92648
The Tire Rack
A1 Cardone USA
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