The road salt used in the Northeastern United States during the winter can have a severely negative effect on the metal rear bumpers on a Dodge Dakota. The salt makes the bumper rust until it falls apart over time. An inexpensive way to fix the bumper is to buy a replacement bumper at a salvage yard and you put it on the truck by yourself. If you are Dodge Dakota pickup truck owner who wants to replace the bumper by yourself, here is how you can do it.
Remove License Plate and Tire
The first thing you should do is remove the license plate so it doesn't get damaged or accidentally tossed when you discard the bumper. You also need to remove the spare tire from underneath the back end of the pickup truck to give you room to work.
Remove Wires to Bumper
Slide under the back end of the truck and look to your left. You will see wires wrapped together in a plastic sheath going to the bumper. There is a harness connecting the two ends of the wires together. Pry the tabs on the wire harness open and pull on the harness. If you have the tow package, there will also be a set of wires for a trailer to be connected to the back of the truck. Disconnect these wires as well.
Set Up Jack Stands
You'll need to put something under the bumper to hold it up while you remove the mounting bolts. Place a jack stand underneath both ends of the bumper to keep it from falling while you take out the bolts.
Remove Mounting Bolts
There are three mounting bolts on each side of the bumper. The mounting bolts attach the bumper to the frame under the truck. This bolt will most likely be covered in rust and will be hard to remove. You should take some penetrating oil and saturate the bolts with it. The penetrating oil will dissolve much of the rust and make removing the bolts much easier.
You can take off the bumper once the mounting bolts have been removed.
Install New Bumper
Set the new bumper on top of the jack stands and position it so the mounting bolts holes on the bumper will line up with the holes in the frame. Bolt the bumper back onto the pickup truck. Reattach the wires and put the license plate back on. You are now ready to take the truck back out onto the road with the new bumper on it.