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Old 09-17-2007, 01:09 AM   #1
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Default Need opinions on a truck....

Ok, I think my search for a winter car is over. My uncle has a '98 Dodge Dakota SLT 2wd Short bed/Standard cab that he might sell to me for SUPER SUPER cheap ($800). It has the 3.9 V6, and it is a automatic with a 3.55 rear end. It has 124k on it and runs BEAUTIFULLY. He bought it with 40k on it, and has never, ever had a problem with it, except for the muffler getting ripped off by accident. Overall, are they pretty reliable? I am figuring with 124k and no problems, that it is. I am looking for it to be reliable as possible, as it will be used in the winter.

Note, I do not want to hear opinions such as "Go buy a S10 or drive the Bonne in the winter". I am working with what I am being offered. So be nice!
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:23 AM   #2
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Don't beat on it or even drive it hard. You have to baby Chrysler products or they will burn your wallet. So, if your easy on it it could last for years to come.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:02 AM   #3
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another thing to think about is will you want a rwd truck in the snow?
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:07 AM   #4
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Yes. I know how to manuever a RWD in the winter. I am a careful worrywart anyways.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenBullet
another thing to think about is will you want a rwd truck in the snow?

I concur, RWD vehicles suck in the snow. My dads Ranger does alright, but only because he runs studded snow tires in the back and good tires up front, and loads the back end with wood. Even then, sometimes my car with half tread all seasons could do better.

Plan on investing for a full set of snow tires if you expect to go anywhere in that truck.

I do agree that its a great deal, but im not sure it would serve its intended purpose well.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonneville92V688
Yes. I know how to manuever a RWD in the winter. I am a careful worrywart anyways.
then youre good to go i love rwd in the winter

and sandbags are a MUST
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:28 PM   #7
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My beater is a '93 Dakota with the 3.9 v6 and the towing gears (3.55). It'* got ~190k on the clock, and the only thing wrong with it is the OD (and cruise control) failed. The engine and tranny (A-518/46RE) in the '98 is going to be essentially the same as in the '93, so let me tell you about the truck...

That engine is the old 318 with two cylinders chopped off, and TBI added. It'* bullet-proof. The tranny is the old Torqueflite 727 with electronic shifting added...but a poorly-engineered overdrive sloppily thrown on. Gears 1-3 are as reliable as can be; however, OD will eventually fail, guaranteed. If the OD on that '98 still works, I'm totally jealous and amazed

The frame, suspension, etc. on these 90'* Dakotas are top-notch, and massively over-engineered for a "three-quarter" sized truck. It'* very heavy though, so it ain't no speed demon with the v6. Mine'* a long-bed with extra cab, so yours would be lighter.

I use mine solely for towing a boat short distances and taking stuff to the dump. It has often sat for 6 months without being touched, and it starts right up first time, every time. I consider it extremely dependable. I got 16-17 mpg before the OD failed...now I get 10-13, depending what I'm loaded with.


I can't comment on it'* abilities in snow...but I've never had traction problems on slippery launch ramps or wet, oil-slicked, post-rain Southern California concrete freeways. So long as you're not expecting good mileage, and you are familiar with the peculiarities of pickups in the snow, go for it.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:37 PM   #8
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Excellent! Well, I am gonna talk with him, and hopefully it will be mine by November.

BTW, this doesn't have TBI, it has the MFI that started in late '93. Surprisingly for being a Chrysler, it doesn't have ANY oil leaks, let alone any fluid leaks. Usually any Chrysler product is leaking like crazy by then.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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My brother had a 97 Dakota and it did just fine in the snow, that'* even with the sport package.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:50 PM   #10
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I agree with what everyone else has said so far,

PLUS

When the V6 wears out, a V8 will fit right in there as a bolt in swap.
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