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Old 11-23-2015, 10:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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"New" truck, any pointers?

Sounds like it wouldn't be until Spring sometime, but my grandpa recently passed and I'll be getting his 98 Dakota. It has the 3.9 V6 with a 5 speed trans. I had tried to search for any Dakota specific threads but came up empty. If anyone could point me to any Dakota specific threads (if they exist) or some general truck threads it would be greatly appreciated.

I don't plan on using it for a DD, more just something different to drive occasionally. Feel free to ask any questions about it if I left out any important info.

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Old 11-23-2015, 10:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not aware of specific Dakota mods, but all the basics apply. Reduce aero drag and rolling resistance.

Here's a thread about an aerocap on a Dodge Ram.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I finally did find a couple Dakota threads but they were for 1st gens with different engines. I'll do more poking around after work tonight. I'll have to find a good Dodge forum and ask about any under the hood economy mods people may have found for them.

I still haven't decided what direction I want to go if I do start putting money in the truck, if I want a balance of FE and power or go all out for power. Either way it has a small laundry list of maintenance and TLC issues before it'll be ready for the road again.
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Old 11-24-2015, 07:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is it 2WD or 4WD? BTW how is the aftermarket support for this engine?
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The 3.9 has been pretty standard forever. It is basically a 318 minus 2 cylinders, except because of the lost 2 cylinders it wasn't near as smooth. This is exaggerated even more with the manual and at low rpms. The manual I think is a NV-3500, pretty standard truck transmission with a low first gear. It should get better mileage then the 318 but most people didn't see much better. The 4.7 of a few years later was much better for economy but it's not the most reliable thing around.
here is the most info you can find about anything from Chrysler, at Allpar.com
Dodge Dakota, 1997-2004 baby Ram pickup trucks
and for the motor
http://www.allpar.com/mopar/39.html
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you don't need to drive it, sell it. That's my humble advice.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Considering that the majority of the few Dakotas with this engine that I still see in my hometown are converted to CNG, it sounds like a good excuse to give alternative fuels a try.
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Old 11-25-2015, 09:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry to say it, but I would sell that for something more economical if economy is your goal.

If you have warm fuzzy memories of the vehicle, that's another thing. Then you give it a good wash and wax, a thorough tuneup, tire balance and alignment, and drive it for the rest of its or your natural life.

I had a car from my grandmother whom I loved dearly. But I didn't have much memory of the car, so when it turned out the thing had been perforated to death by 20 years of Minnesota winters (even the driveshaft was cracked by corrosion), I didn't regret getting rid of it. You may be in the same place.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It's 2WD, really the only reason I wanted it is sentimental value, we had made a couple roadtrips in it and he had it as long as I can remember. I remember when I was little I'd get to sit in the middle and he'd let me shift for him. Mechanically, it seems to be in excellent shape other than it needs rear brake lines. We jump started it and I drove it around his acreage a bit. It ran perfectly, clutch felt excellent. I don't remember what exact numbers grandpa said it got for mileage, but I remember it did really well on the highway but that may have been more how it was driven then anything else.

I'm not too worried about economy since my DD will still be my Saturn, this would be driven occasionally on weekends and on the off chance I need a truck for something.

I've done a little checking around and it looks like it still has some aftermarket.

I'd been considering making it into a kind of memorial show truck themed with the different things he liked.

Thanks for the links Hersbird, I skimmed through them but I'll read them in depth tonight.

Last edited by ninetynineSC2; 11-25-2015 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would keep it if you can afford the insurance and plates. Dont expect more than about 18-20 on the highway but they are fairly reliable.

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