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Thread: Bunch of Random Truck/Dakota questions.

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    Default Bunch of Random Truck/Dakota questions.

    I have a bunch of questions I need to start thinking about for my 42 Dodge pickup project. Looking for some insight or thoughts from others or maybe where I can go to find the answers I need. For this project I will be putting this 42 body onto the frame of a 94 Dakota.

    My main concern when I do this swap is I have a title for the 42 but not the Dakota. The 42 vin # is on the frame and the Dakota is in the dash, Is this going to cause me problems later, insurance wise or if it ever gets stolen? Can I solve this by making a home made vin plate and welding it to the truck somewhere?

    I have an extra A-body 8 3/4 laying around still from when I had my A-bodies. I have read many places that this is a common swap a lot of Dakota guys do anyways and seems better to me than trying to find a 9 1/4 rear for it. Anyone know if caltracs are a viable option for keeping traction back there or what is popular thing to do, to setup a dakota? All the Dakotas I have ever had have been the 3.9 and that engine can light them up pretty decent so I am curious how the v8 guys are dealing with traction.

    Currently the Dakota has the 3.9 in it with auto trans. I plan on putting my 360 that I originally built for my Dart into this truck along with some sort of manual trans. Assuming I don't have to move where the engine sits in the frame of Dakota, as I plan on clearancing the cab if I need to make room, I assume the engine mounts they use on the 3.9 are the same as they would use for a v8? Can anyone confirm?

    From what I been told the manual trans to get is the nv3500. Seems atleast around here that is a very hard trans to find from a Dakota. My question is did they ever use the nv3500 in a Ram or is there a manual trans from a Ram that would work in the Dakota frame?

    Since Dakotas would have come with magnum v8's and I am putting in a LA engine. Is there a difference in the exhaust ports of magnum and LA heads so I can use off the shelf headers for a Dakota?

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    I have'nt done much with Dakotas but I can try and answere a couple of your question on your swap . First as far as insureing your 42 . That depends on your state laws . If you have an insurance agent , he should be able to help you with that . I live here in Mass and I've talked to my insurance agent about the 41 Willy's I'm picking up . Right now it sits on a 92 sonama ( cheby ) frame and it will have eather a 69 block 440 or a 68 block 383 in it . He told me I could register it as a 41 . So like I said I would check with yours and see if can answere your questions or at least point you in the right direction . And as for your last question about the headers . Yes the Magnum headers will fit your LA heads . Just make shure your LA heads don't have the little smog ports under the exhaust ports . If they do you'll have to plug them first or your gunna have 8 exhaust leaks .

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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    I have'nt done much with Dakotas but I can try and answere a couple of your question on your swap . First as far as insureing your 42 . That depends on your state laws . If you have an insurance agent , he should be able to help you with that . I live here in Mass and I've talked to my insurance agent about the 41 Willy's I'm picking up . Right now it sits on a 92 sonama ( cheby ) frame and it will have eather a 69 block 440 or a 68 block 383 in it . He told me I could register it as a 41 . So like I said I would check with yours and see if can answere your questions or at least point you in the right direction . And as for your last question about the headers . Yes the Magnum headers will fit your LA heads . Just make shure your LA heads don't have the little smog ports under the exhaust ports . If they do you'll have to plug them first or your gunna have 8 exhaust leaks .
    Yea I figure I will need to talk to WI DMV and my ins agent. I am kinda dreading this because I have a feeling neither will understand what I am trying to do. My heads are aluminum so I should be good to go for headers than!

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    If your that worried about it then I would just reg. it as a 42 anyway's sence you have the title for that truck and that vin number is what they would look at first . Kinnda don't ask don't tell . lol I know it probably sounds a little shady but technicality thats the truck your driveing . You can allways take the numbers off the frame . But I never said that . lol As far as traction go's it would probably look cool if you ran a ladder bar set up . It would help alot with wheel hop and look period correct for the year truck . Just a thought . I was thinking of doing that to my Willys if I end up keeping the cheby frame .

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    Yea it will prolly be one of those dammed if I tell them and damned if I don't situations. I wasn't even thinking ladder bars but now that you mention it, that would really make it look more like a hotrod!

    Something else that I have been wondering about is the cam I am running in my 360 was based on the specs of the engine along with the weight of the car, converter, gear ratio and rpm. Going to a heavier vehicle like the 42 how might that effect my setup and being heavier should I plan going up a gear size? The engine was built for 3.73 or 3.91 but thats was for A-Body in mind. Should I go up to a 4.10 to offset the weight difference or doesn't it work that way?

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    Sorry I did'nt get back to you sooner "mopardude" , but I tried to do some research on how much a short bed 42 truck waigh's and I probably got five diferent answere's . Plus thats kinnda a tricky question because everybodies got a diferent theory on what to do to a motor combo for diferent application's . For instance me . For a lighter car like a Dart I try to build more higher end power and torque because of the lighter waight and when I build a motor for a heavier truck I try to build it to have more bottem end power and torque so I can get that waight moveing as quick as possable . So without knowing were you set up your power curve ( low end or high end ) I can't answere that . Were does your motor start makeing power ? Is it off idle ( around 1000 RPM's ) or does it start kicking in higher in the RPM range like 1500 / 2000 ?

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    Well I built this engine about 8 years ago some of the stuff I still have the specs for and some of this we will have to go off my memory.

    360 block
    bored 30 over
    zero decked
    SRP flat top Forged pistons
    Eagle I Beam rods
    Crank reground, complete balanced, external balance of crank move internally
    Comp cams solid lift cam duration: .274/.280 lift: .502/.511
    Comp Cams Roller Rockers 1.5:1 ratio
    High volume oil/gas pumps
    Air Gap intake
    Aluminum Edelbrock Performer heads
    BG Mighty Demon 650CFM
    FBO Systems ignition system

    Than that fed a street/strip low gear set 903 from CRT with 2500 stall with was supposed to have either 3.73 or 3.91 gears but I never got around to changing that so i drove it many years with an open 2.76 gearing. So because of this I really don't know what rpm range is supposed to be. Apparently I did not write that down with my notes here or I just haven't found it yet. If I had to guess it seems from about 2000-3500 is where that engine pulled the hardest. Being that this was in a Dart it did pull fairly hard at take off all the way up to 4k.

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    Sound's like a nice Motor build "Mopardude" ! Are you planning on running the 903 in your truck ? Eather way if I were to run that set up , I would definitly run some gear in it just so the motor would'nt have to work as hard to get moveing . I assume this is gunna be a duel purpose ride or a sick lil street truck ? Do you plan on hitting the high way much with it or is it gunna be more local ?

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    Unfortunately I sold the 903 With the Dart Sport. To be honest the only reason I kept the 360 was of the amount of money I have invested into it. In this economy it was hard enough to sell the Dart and get a decent price for it. I think a Cummins or newer hemi would have been cool to run in the 42 for braggin rights. Pull into a cruise-in and tell everyone your running either one of those 2 engines and everyone creams themselves. My 360 was built for fun in mind so its all good. For a transmission I would like to find a NV3500 because that is one of the trannies that belongs in a Dakota and it should fit right into place than. If anything, Duel purpose - sick lil street truck/ maybe the occasional trip to the strip. My Dart when i built that I was trying to keep it reasonal for highway use. Thats why I tried to be within the 3.73 -3.91 range for gearing. In the 10 years I owned that car I can probably count all the times i got on the freeway to drive a long ways on 1 hand. Normally when I did go long distance is was no more than an hour away and I took the back roads. So I think with this truck I am not even going to worry about that at all. I think for sure I am going to go with 4.10 gears. I will probably just run the engine as is for now to see what its like. If I feel the engine seems not as peppy as it did in the Dart I still can go a lot bigger with the cam or even go to 1.6:1 ratio rockers and not have to change much to adjust for that.

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    Personaly I think you might be all right with the 4:10's and the 5 speed . I think it might be a happy medium . I know what your talking about with your Dart and the highway . I ran 4:30's and a 4 speed when I had my Charger and it realy was'nt highway freindly . lol

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