Dodge D series

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Dodge D/W series
Dodge D100.jpg
ManufacturerChrysler Corporation
AssemblyWarren Truck Assembly, Warren, Michigan, United States
São Caetano do Sul, Brazil
Windsor Assembly, Canada
Bogotá, Colombia (1969-1976)
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size pickup truck
Body style2-door truck
4-door truck
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive
Front engine, four-wheel drive
PlatformChrysler AD platform
PredecessorDodge C series
SuccessorDodge Ram (newer platforms have "D" prefixed in its identity)

The D/W series was a line of pickup trucks that was sold by Dodge from 1961 to 1993. The same basic design was retained until the 1994 introduction of a completely redesigned Ram. The D/W series shared its AD platform with the Dodge Ramcharger/Plymouth Trail Duster twins. 4x2 models were designated D, while 4x4 models were designated W.

First generation (1961–65)[edit]

First generation
1961-64 Dodge 200.jpg
First generation Dodge 100
Body and chassis
Body style2-door pickup truck
4-door pickup truck
Engine318 cu in (5.211 l) Chrysler A engine

170 cu in (2.786 l) Chrysler Slant-6

225 cu in (3.605 l) Chrysler Slant-6
Transmission3-speed manual

4 speed manual
3-speed push button automatic

4-speed automatic
Wheelbase114 in (2,896 mm) (regular cab 6.5 ft (2.0 m) bed)
122 in (3,099 mm) (regular cab 8 ft (2.4 m) bed)[1]
133 in (3,378 mm) (regular cab 9 ft (2.7 m) Utiline bed)
146 in (3,708 mm) (crew cab 6.5 ft (2.0 m) bed)

The Chrysler A engine of 318 cu in (5.211 l) was the smallest V8 option; and all of Chrysler's larger engines, with the notable exception of the Chrysler Hemi engine, were available as factory options. The original design was built until the spring of 1965, when the facelifted, single-headlamp version arrived.

Rear view of a 1964 D-200

Besides straight-sided beds (called Sweptline), the D series also offered step-sided narrow beds (called Utiline) in 6.5 ft (2.0 m) (D-100 only), 8 ft (2.4 m) (D-100 and 200), and 9 ft (2.7 m) (D-300 only) lengths.

The first generation of the D series was manufactured in Warren, Michigan. They were given the Dodge and Fargo brands. The trucks were produced by the Dodge Division of the Chrysler Corporation.

Custom Sports Special and high-performance package[edit]

1964 saw the introduction of the sporty Custom Sports Special. The Custom Sports Special included bucket seats, console, carpeting and racing stripes. The optional high-performance package could be ordered with a CSS truck or by itself on a base model truck complete with Chrysler's big 426 cu in (6.981 l) wedge-head V8. This engine produced 365 hp (272 kW) and 470 lb·ft (637 N·m)—in line with the muscle-car revolution that was then sweeping Detroit. The high-performance package also included the LoadFlite automatic transmission, a 6000 rpm-rated Sun tachometer with heavy-duty gauges, power steering, dual exhaust and rear axle torque rods (traction bars) sourced from 1961 Imperials. Custom Sports Special trucks were produced from 1964 to 1967.[2] The High Performance Package was only offered from 1964 to early 1966.

Second generation (1965–71)[edit]

Second generation
1971 Dodge D-100.jpg
1971 Dodge D-100
Body and chassis
Body style2-door pickup truck
4-door pickup truck
Engine225 cu in Chrysler Slant-6
368 cu in B B
383 cu in B B
421 cu in RB V8
461 cu in RB V8
440 cu in RB V8
361 cu in B V8
Wheelbase114 in (2,896 mm) (regular cab 6.5 ft (2.0 m) bed)
128 in (3,251 mm) (regular cab 8 ft (2.4 m) bed)
133 in (3,378 mm) (regular cab 9 ft (2.7 m) Utiline bed)
146 in (3,708 mm) (crew cab 6.5 ft (2.0 m) bed)


1966 Fargo, sold only in Canada as a Dodge D-series clone

The D series was mildly redesigned in spring of 1965, hence there are both two-headlight and four-headlight models titled as 1965s. Updates for mid-'65 included a wider tailgate and the replacement of the A-series engines with the updated LA series, as well as a six-inch wheelbase stretch on 8 ft (2.4 m) bed models. In 1967, the D-series trucks received big-block 383 2-barrel engines as a standard option.

From 1965 until the early 80s, D-series trucks were assembled in Warren, Michigan by the Chrysler Corporation. Foreign models were manufactured by the Automotive Equipment Group (מכשירי תנועה בע"מ) in Israel at a new factory located at Nazareth-I'llit: Automotive Industries (תעשיות רכב נצרת-עלית), using straight-four and -six gasoline engines with manual transmission. This factory also produced the Jeep Wagoneer SUV for the Israeli army, and UK Ford Escort and Ford Transit vehicles for the civilian market. The D series were made both for the civilian market and for the Israeli army. The models were D100 & D200 light trucks, D500 truck, and the D600 truck with the straight-six engine and having on-demand four-wheel drive. There was also a bus version made (mainly for army use). This bus was a 20-seat bus built on the chassis of the D500 truck using the straight-four engine with front and rear hydraulic doors, as well as the complete D500 front end and dashboard.[citation needed]


1968–1970 Dodge D series

The 1968 models received a new front grille—two rows of four holes each. A new Adventurer trim package replaced the old Custom Sports Special; basically, it included a padded front seat with vinyl trim (either full bench or buckets with console) and carpeting, plus other hallmarks such as extra chrome trim and courtesy lighting. This generation continued to be built in South Africa as well. Sold as the D300 or the D500, the lighter model received the 225 Slant-Six, while the heavier-duty D500 has the 318 ci V8. Power outputs are 127 and 177 hp (95 and 132 kW) (net), respectively; SAE claims are 140 and 212 hp.[3]

By 1970, the Adventurer would be expanded into three separate packages: the base Adventurer, the Adventurer Sport and the top-line Adventurer SE. The Adventurer SE included such things as a chrome grille, wood trim on the dashboard, the padded vinyl front seat with color-keyed seatbelts, full courtesy lighting, extra insulation, dual horns, full carpeting, luxury door panel trim, a vinyl-embossed trim strip ran along the sides of the truck, full wheel discs and a woodgrain-insert panel on the tailgate. The 1970 models also featured a new four-section grille (two rows of two holes each).

1970 Dodge "The Dude" pickup

"The Dude"[edit]

In August 1969, the "Dude Sport Trim Package" was released. This was essentially the D100 already in production, with an added black or white body-side "C" stripe decal; a Dodge Dude decal on the box at the rear marker lamps; tail lamp bezel trim; and dog dish hub caps with trim rings. The Dude's tailgate was unique, featuring a Dodge decal on a flat tailgate surface, without the typical tailgate's embossed logo. The Dudes were only offered in the 1970 and 1971 model years and only 1,500 to 2,000 Dudes were produced.[4][5]

Third generation (1972–80)[edit]

Third generation
Dodge Custom 100.jpg
Body and chassis
Body style2-door pickup truck
2-door extended cabpickup truck
4-door pickup truck
  • 170 cu in (2.8 L) Slant-6 I6
  • 225 cu in (3.7 L) Slant-6 I6
  • 318 cu in (5.2 L) LA V8
  • 360 cu in (5.9 L) LA V8, 180 hp (134 kW) net
  • 400 cu in (6.6 L) B V8, 200 hp (149 kW) net
  • 440 cu in (7.2 L) RB V8, 255 hp (175 kW) net
  • 243 cu in (3,988 cc) 6DR5 I6 Diesel
Wheelbase115 in (2,921 mm) (regular cab 6.5 ft (2.0 m) bed)
131 in (3,327 mm) (regular cab 8 ft (2.4 m) bed)
133 in (3,378 mm) (Club Cab 6.5 ft (2.0 m) bed)
135 in (3,429 mm) (regular cab 9 ft (2.7 m) Utiline bed, 1972 only)
149 in (3,785 mm) (crew cab 6.5 ft (2.0 m) bed and Club Cab 8 ft (2.4 m) bed)
165 in (4,191 mm) (crew cab 9 ft (2.7 m) bed)

A redesign of the D series for 1972 introduced a more rounded look. This redesign, which lasted until 1980 with minor changes, included new features such as an independent front suspension and pocketed taillights (the distinctive reverse-on-top lights were recessed to .25 in (6.4 mm) to avoid damage in loading docks and confined spaces). Styling cues, such as the scalloped hood and rounded fenderwells, were similar to the rounded, smooth look of the 1971 Plymouth Satellite. These trucks were built with a considerable amount of galvanized steel to resist rust and corrosion, making them very durable.

Dodge pioneered the extended-cab pickup with the introduction of the Club Cab with the 1973 models. Available with either a 6.5 ft (2.0 m) or 8 ft (2.4 m) Sweptline bed, the Club Cab was a two-door cab with small rear windows which had more space behind the seats than the standard cab, but was not as long as the four-door crew cab. Inward-facing jump seats were available, providing room for five passengers. 1974 saw the introduction of the 440 cu in engine as an option for the light trucks, as well as a "Dyna-Trac" dual-rear-wheel option on D300 pickups with a 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) GVWR.

The 1972 D series was made famous in the television show Emergency!, where a D300 chassis cab was the featured paramedic rescue squad vehicle for all seven seasons.

1978 Li'l Red Express truck

Notable models produced during this era were the 1978–1979 Li'l Red Express, the Warlock, the Macho Power Wagon, the Macho Power Wagon Top Hand, Macho Power Wagon Palomino, and the Adventurer. The colors of the Dodge Macho Power Wagon Palomino were the same as a Palomino horse (all Li'l Red Express trucks were Adventurers, though the reverse was not true). The Li'l Red Express was not available for sale in California, Florida, Maryland, Oregon and Washington and did not meet special noise standards in certain locations. Because of this The Midnight Express was born. The Midnight Express was not a factory option like the Li'l Red Express, it was a dealer installed package. Dealers that could not sell the Li'l Red Express used high optioned Warlock's, repainted them metallic black and ordered all of the Li'l Red Express parts through there parts department. The Midnight Express was available for the 1978 model year only. This truck was equipped much like the Li'l Red Express with exhaust stacks, wheels, and gold pinstriping. The Midnite Express was painted black instead of red and featured a "Midnite Express Truck" decal on the door. Most Midnite Express trucks were powered by the 440 engine, instead of the 360 like the Li'l Red Express. All of these trucks were considered "lifestyle" pickups and were marketed to an audience that wanted specialty, personal-use trucks.

The 1978 models also saw the introduction of the first diesel powered Dodge pickup truck. Available as an economy choice in light-duty trucks and B-series vans was Mitsubishi's 6DR5 4.0 L inline six-cylinder naturally-aspirated diesel, rated at 105 hp (78 kW) at 3500 rpm, and ~230 N·m (~169 lb·ft) at 2200 rpm. The diesel used standard Dodge manual and automatic transmissions via specially made adapter plate which had the LA V8 bolt pattern. This rare factory option, VIN code H, was the result of fuel crisis and the collaboration of Chrysler and Mitsubishi.[6] The engine, while being trustworthy and having far better economy than any other engine in the Dodge lineup at the time, suffered from low power output and was considered to be underpowered by American standards, even though it was previously used in the Japanese 3.5-ton cab-over Mitsubishi T44 Jupiter Truck and in industrial applications. Because of the low sales, it was phased out quickly, and as a result, it became practically a single-year specialty.

D200-based M880 CUCV

Thousands of D-series trucks entered military service as the M880 series CUCV.

Dodge Ram (1981–93)[edit]

1983 Dodge Ram D150 shortbed

This final generation received a facelift in 1981 when the D series was rebadged as the Dodge Ram pickup around when Lee Iacocca took charge of the ailing Chrysler Corporation. Such things including an embossed "DODGE RAM" name on the tailgate along with other obvious changes like the grille and hood, the taillights, and the entire interior. More subtle was the addition of a "shoulder" line reminiscent of the GM competition. Beginning in 1982, even more corrosion-resistant steel was used in the construction of the trucks. This body style continued until 1993 and many of these vehicles are still on the road. Many body panels are interchangeable for all models from 1972–1993, so it is not uncommon to see a "hybrid" with, as an example, a 1978 grille mounted with a 1974 hood and a 1991 cab. Sometimes the bed is swapped with a moving truck style box for models like these. In most jurisdictions, the year is dictated by the year of the truck's chassis regardless of the body which has been bolted to it. Also kept was the narrow Utiline bed that dated back to the 1940s; this was dropped in 1985. Throttle-body injection was introduced in 1988.

A narrower range of engines was offered: the base power plant was the 225 cu in (3.7 L) slant-6, now with top-fed hydraulic tappets, and the 318 cu in (5.2 L) and 360 cu in (5.9 L) LA-series V8s. The slant-6 was supplanted by the 3.9 L (237 cu in) V6 for 1988; in 1992 it and the V8s became Magnum engines. The 6BT 5.9 L (360 cu in) 12-Valve Cummins B-series diesel engine became an option in 1989.

Sales were good during the Sweptline era and into the late 1970s. A combination of stagnant styling that was nearly two decades old plus brand loyalty primarily to Chevrolet and Ford during the 1980s and 1990s reduced sales volume for the first-generation Dodge Ram. A wholly new Dodge Ram was released for the 1994 model year.


  • 1967–1993 318 cu in (5.2 L) LA V8
  • 1961–1970 361 cu in Chrysler B engine V8
  • 1971–1993 360 cu in (5.9 L) LA V8, 175 hp and 285 lb·ft of torque (ratings for 2-Bbl carb version)[7]
  • 1963–1971 383 cu in (6.3 L) B V8, 245 hp (187 kW) net
  • 1972–1979 400 cu in B V8, 245 hp (187 kW) net
  • 1961–1979 413 cu in RB V8, 255 hp (194 kW) net (typ. ratings for 2-Bbl carb version)
  • 1963–1966 426 cu in RB V8, 260 hp (149 kW) net (275 hp 76–77)
  • 1966–1977 440 cu in (7.2 L) RB V8, 255 hp (228 kW) net
  • 1978–1979 243 cu in (4.0 L) Mitsubishi 6DR50A naturally-aspirated I6, 105 hp @ 3500 rpm and 169 lb·ft (230 N·m) of torque
  • 1960–1987 225 cu in (3.7 L) RG Slant 6, 105 hp and 180 lb·ft of torque [7]
  • 1960–1967 170 cu in (2.8L) RG Slant 6, 105 hp and 180 lb·ft of torque [7]
  • 1988–1993 239 cu in (3.9 L) LA V6, 180 hp (134 kW) and 195 lb·ft (264 N·m)
  • 1989–1993 358 cu in (5.9 L) Cummins B-series engine I6, 160 hp (119 kW) and 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) of torque

In Brazil, the only available engine was the 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory Index: ChryslerTrucksVans/1963_Trucks_and_Vans/1963_Dodge_Truck_Brochure". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  2. ^ "1964 CSS sales brochure". Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  3. ^ Dodge D300 and D500 (brochure), Pretoria, South Africa: Chrysler South Africa, 1971, pp. 3–4
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Niedermeyer, Paul (2012-11-26). "The Case Of The Very Rare 1978 Dodge Diesel Pickup And The Missing Diesel Van". Automotive History. Curbside Classics. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  7. ^ a b c AHinsey

External links[edit]