yea i read that the 5.2 is not bad at all, it would fit without any major changes?
Well that depends on what you consider major changes. You are changing out your drivetrain so.... neither the 5.9 or 5.2 are bad engines. I just like the 5.2 for my purposes more. Read the faq for info on the swap.
Actually that's not entirely true, to pass emissions it varies from state to state. In my area, I was told I need to maintain all of the same emissions controls which are listed for my vehicle and pass emissions. Also, if you are OBDI, they don't even test those vehicles in the Chicago area anymore. My brother out in Vegas does have to still pass emissions with his 1993 Dakota, so it all just depends.
A swap from a 3.9 to a 5.2 is easy as far as the hardware goes if it is a LA to Magnum swap. Same motor mounts, flex plate and torque converter. Now if you go to a 5.9 it is a different ballgame.What I did was replace the entire drive train from a donor wreck. The output of the trans is the same for all Automatics. If you are going to put theV8 into a 1st gen Dakota then you will have to remove the fan and put electric fans in front of the radiator as the v8 is 4.4" longer than the V6. Not hard but be aware.