Anybody in to early Dakota's

Mopar General Discussions

  1. 68383GTS

    68383GTS Well-Known Member

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    I have a 88 Dakota Mopar Express V6 5 speed 4x4. Can I get rid of the transfer case and front axle and shafts and bolt on 2 wheel drive A arms and brake spindles? I want to convert it to a 318 LA rear wheel drive only. Or do I need to find a 2 wheel drive frame? My frame is solid.
     
  2. Syleng1

    Syleng1 Karma is real and Life is short... FABO Gold Member

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    Get the correct frame.

    find a good 2wd truck and save a lot of time and sell your 4wd. Those frames were known for rust. I’ve Replaced my dads 96 4wd frame twice now. Rotted bad just under the back of the cab. Getting hard to find good frames. Only 80k on his truck too. Old man truck. He loves it. Never even sees winter. Sad design.
     
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    • moparmat2000

      moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Come on down to Abilene Texas. We have a huge junkyard named FM600 wrecking. Lots of trucks , all are rust free. People junk them with lots of miles because they are worn out and have no rot.
       
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      • Syleng1

        Syleng1 Karma is real and Life is short... FABO Gold Member

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        That’s funny- up here in the North East- we have what’s left of rotted vehicles with not a lot of mileage.
         
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        • 68383GTS

          68383GTS Well-Known Member

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          I was thinking if frame rot bad and mine is solid just convert it.,if possible.Short bed frames are harder to find.
           
        • moparmat2000

          moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Not uncommon to see 400K on the odometers, perfect body and shot drivetrain.
           
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          • 68383GTS

            68383GTS Well-Known Member

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            Are the 4x4 5 speed tranny's and transfer case electronic at all? I thought of bolting in my 318 LA to the 5 speed and transfer case.I am sure a 88 Dakota has some kind of computer so I am not sure what to do there. Other than eliminating the computer. I could always use a painless harness to replace the wiring
             
          • RustyRatRod

            RustyRatRod Bla de blizhibliz de blatde blizi bla bla FABO Gold Member

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            I'd be into them if I had one. I love the early square body Dakotas. They are miniature versions of the 82 to 93 Ram trucks.
             
          • 68383GTS

            68383GTS Well-Known Member

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            They are starting to get a little hard to find...the short beds anyway
             
          • RustyRatRod

            RustyRatRod Bla de blizhibliz de blatde blizi bla bla FABO Gold Member

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            I just searched Macon Craiglist and there are ZERO first gen Dakotas.
             
          • moparmat2000

            moparmat2000 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            All over the junkyards out here in west Texas. Rust free too
             
          • dodgedifferent2

            dodgedifferent2 Well-Known Member

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            I was planning a big block 96 reg cab sb dakota.

            Then I realized that I should just pull the sb stroker from dart and put into dakota. Then build a monster 512 bb for the dart.

            Covid hit and everything has slowed to a drip. Not even a trickle.
             
          • RammerJammer75

            RammerJammer75 Well-Known Member

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            I know people think they're ugly, but I really like the '97+ design. I do like the older trucks as well, but I've owned several (still have one) 2nd generation Dakotas. How many people remember the D50/Mighty Max?
             
          • Bill Crowell

            Bill Crowell FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            As the former owner of an '87 Dakota V6, you've gotta keep a really good and properly-adjusted choke thermostat and choke pull-off diaphragm on those engines in order to have them start and run properly when cold.
             
          • rustycowll69

            rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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            I've got an 89 Shelby Dakota, 230k miles, runs like a top. 0 to 50mph it's really quick. Shelby must have been paid for every time his name was used on it. Must be a couple hundred "Shelby" all over it.
            He practically disowned it afterwards. Can't get any of the Shelby specific parts from them.
             
          • toolmanmike

            toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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            Here's my 2. The white 2 wheeler had a bad spot on the frame. I found a solid chunk at a local yard and had the local welding shop weld it in.

            20150404_163221.jpg
             
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            • RustyRatRod

              RustyRatRod Bla de blizhibliz de blatde blizi bla bla FABO Gold Member

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              Hell yeah! That's dedication! Down here, we'da just chunked that bad boy and got another whole truck. LOL Well, "I" wouldn't have, but 90% of folks would. lol
               
            • sireland67

              sireland67 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I have a couple dakotas, good trucks.
              This is a pic of a friend of mine (Rip) big block dakota, his dad still takes it to shows. Its a nice truck.

              1000474r.jpg
               
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              • RammerJammer75

                RammerJammer75 Well-Known Member

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                Is that a glass hood? It's a good looking truck for sure.
                 
              • sireland67

                sireland67 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                I pretty sure it is.
                 
              • 93ragtop

                93ragtop Well-Known Member

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                Hey, I have a 87 V6 4wd 5spd. I am converting to a 5.9 magnum.....
                Here is a list of things that I know are different, 4wd vs 2wd.
                1. Rack and pinion used on 2wd vs ball on 4wd.
                2. Coil springs on 2wd vs torsion bars on 4wd.
                3. Motor mounts are totally different. 4wd is bolted to the front diff.
                4. Body mounts are different, at least polys are only listed for rwd......
                5. The axle is mounted below the springs on 4wd and above on 2wd.

                All that aside, on another forum I frequent, there is a 96 2wd that was converted to 4wd, but he used a SAS on the front.

                Good luck and I look forward to hearing more!!
                 
              • Krooser

                Krooser Reform School Graduate

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                I was in South Dakota last week...
                 
              • Syleng1

                Syleng1 Karma is real and Life is short... FABO Gold Member

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                I know she’s a 2000 model... but can I still hang with the cool kids? V8, 4wd, auto she’s a fun little truck. Sometimes I just get tired of driving my full sized diesel Dodges and she is just the ticket! image.jpg
                 
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                • barbee6043

                  barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                  They told me back 50 years ago, buy mechanical parts up North and bodies down South!!!!!! Or back when I was in good ole Missouri, buy it all right there, because parts and bodies are cheap!!!!!!! Ks also!!!!!
                  Just don't buy any that spent winters in KC or St Louis!!!!!!!
                   
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