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Hi everyone. New member here.
I have been a long time fan and owner of toyota pickups as it is extremely difficult to find a small domestic pickup with the features i want in my area, (single cab, short box, manual transmission, and 4x4). But i have now started looking beyond my state lines in hopes of finding a 2nd gen dakota with these features as i am a bit over the little toyota pickups and want something that does not feel like a car when i sit in it, plus i think the 2nd gen dakota are bad a** looking!
Any way, I think i may have finally found "the one". It is a 99 with all the features listed above, and a 318 to boot! It was hard enough finding a single cab, short box, 4x4 with a 3.9 and a 5 speed, so you can imagine the smile on my face when i saw this one with the 5.2!
Now i know the 318 is a proven power plant, and i know about the problematic intake manifold gasket, so i am not here to ask another stupid question about how reliable the 318 is (i have been hoovering around the forum as a guest for a while and see those threads all the time). What i am here to ask is did these dakotas suffer from frame rust like most toyotas did? The one i found is in Texas, I saw it on craigslist first, and now on ebay, so i took that as sign So since i live in Minnesota, it is kinda hard for me to look at the structural integrity of the truck. It did spend a good chunk of it's like in West Virginia where they use 1/2 of the world's suply of salt on their roads in the winter (we use the other 1/2 here in MN) so any input on that would be great!
I lived in (rural north of Wheeling) WV back in the 70's, they never used salt where I lived. I think it depends on where in WV it lived it's first life. & in Texas, it's below the snow line and if it survived the ice without getting dented, it's golden.
Yeah, kinda difficult to crawl under the truck from 1200 miles away & members of my extended family can tell horror stories of buying cars on Ebay and having p i s s poor wrecks show up on the back of a car transport. All you can do is ask for some additional, not so glamorous pics of the running gear, the frame, & the suspension and hope for the best. And don't get too caught up in bidding wars--you're gonna have to find some way to get it home, too, and that is an additional expense.
All depends how well the rest of the truck was taken care of. My frame was so so but it spent all its life in pa. You can post up in the off topic section as well as other forums and see if someone is near it. I know if I was close to it I would gladly go spend a little bit of my time to go help a member out. As far as rust issues most common areas are front fenders(about the area of the v6/v8 badge) Both of mine were rusting on my 98. Rear wheel wells are another place(a lot of the time the flares hide it) rockers and door pinch welds are sorta common but dont see them really rusting unless the rest of the truck is pretty rusty. Another area is cab corners but it isnt too common. Like I said depends how well the last owner took care of his truck. My ram spent all its life here in pa but the last owner was really good to her. 98% rust free!!
Yeah after my dakota I vowed to never buy another vehicle with rust on it even if it means spending a few more $$$. I first saw my dakota and fell in love with it but should of passed on it. I did work her hard and she put up with my abuse tho.