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Winter beater/ high mileage Dakota

Discussion in 'Dodge Dakota' started by snate66, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. snate66

    snate66Active Member

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    I'm looking for advice or cautionary tales of what to look for and scrutinize on a 200K+ Dakota.

    after my nice, shiny, clean, straight 04 Dakota was totaled on the HI way... I'm feeling truck less and want to pick up something cheaper to keep me moving and hauling.
    I've looked around and find a couple 1st gen and more 2nd gen Dakotas that kinda fit my expectation.

    The rust around here will be unavoidable. I have already walked away from a couple of possibilities due to Extreme rot in the frame rails.
    Currently I have my thoughts on a well maintained 220k 2000 v8 with a decent tow pkg.
    Anything I should watch out for that I might not be thinking about?
     
  2. 65 sporty

    65 sportyWell-Known Member

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    Which V8?
     
  3. snate66

    snate66Active Member

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    I believe it is the 4.7 Mag..
     
  4. 65 sporty

    65 sportyWell-Known Member

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    It's a decent engine, some of them have had problems. Being well maintained is key though.
     
  5. K-Note72

    K-Note72Well-Known Member

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    My first thought would be finding something with the 5.2, it won't be as peppy as the 4.7 but it has better low-end torque and I've seen the lengths of hell the 5.2 can endure. My 91 Dak has 350k on the clock and been put through hell, and the only thing stopping it is a bad ABS module.

    Can't really speak for the 4.7, our 02 Durango has that block but we've only had it for a little over a month now. 4.7 runs good, no bad noises or OBD codes, then again before it hit the salvage yard it was a govt. agency rig and they keep their rigs well maintained. Before that, I checked out a few Dakotas that had that block, all ran fine and none threw any codes, too bad I got outbid on those (I know copart frowns upon OBD tools in their yard, but screw em I still sneak in my BlueDriver). If you're not used to OHC engines, you may get nervous by the faint 'clickety-clickety' when it starts up, it goes away after about 30 seconds or so once the oil gets flowin.

    What research I did on the 4.7, the first gen (up to '02) had some minor cooling and oiling issues, but as a chrysler tech said on one of those forums, these issues really only showed up on poorly maintained rigs (the "my oil says it's good for 100,000 miles so I don't need to change it" people). Like @65 sporty said, being well maintained is key. Do you have any plans in mind for the tow pkg? Because the Dak isn't really built for towing too much weight, around 2 tons or more you're stressin it.
     
  6. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    1. I know where there is a Gem I Dakota Sport 5.2 with less than 200K. But KC is a ways away.
     
  7. snate66

    snate66Active Member

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    I'm not planning on a lot of towing but I want to be able to drag a trailer if I need to. Short trips mostly. No long grades around here!
     
  8. snate66

    snate66Active Member

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    Settled on an 03 4wd with3.9. Bald tires and a bad ball joint.
    Cheap enough with the standard MN rust. Not too bad for the 150k + miles. 2 inch receiver and tonneau cover. New BFG /AT tires, ball joint and align and it’s feeling like it’ll do me for a while.

    ACD5189D-9614-4B52-B3F2-3B4C7A2920E0.jpeg

    88FBB6A2-9F5D-467A-9885-43F7E5496419.jpeg

    CA738C09-B43E-47E8-AE22-F048B58A36BB.jpeg
     
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    • 7mopar

      7moparWell-Known Member

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      Not bad
       
    • kork340

      kork340Active Member

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      Nice!!
       
    • K-Note72

      K-Note72Well-Known Member

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      That shouldn't be too bad, just mind that it's a V6 when planning on towing.

      As far as the ball joint, I recall the Dakotas and Durangos of that generation sharing parts like that, if so then swapping the ball joint yourself shouldn't be too bad. I did mine on our Durango, you can get em pre-pressed pretty cheap. Just note that if they're still the factory ones, you'll have to grind em off cause they're riveted in


      P.S. If you follow this guy's example but don't get the Moog joints, don't bottom out the zerk when screwing it in. I got ACDelco's, they're already tapped and only meant to twist in partway.
       
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