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Am I/ is this crazy?

Old 04-14-2019, 01:24 AM
volaredon is offline
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Default Am I/ is this crazy?

I have 2 Dakotas, a 92 and a 96. both 318 club cab trucks, 92 2wd, 96 is 4wd. both are over 200k. I usually drive the 92 to work, wife drives the 96.
I drive 70 miles a day, she drives 22. drive either all over, leave any time for any place. I bought the 96 with the trans and T case in the bed, the 92 was a solid good truck 60K miles ago when I got it. I rebuilt the 96s trans, (no I didn't "HAVE" it done either.) rebuilt front and rear diffs, added a brand new Trak loc right when I brought it home, along with complete tuneup, new belt and hoses, etc. that one had 170K on it when I got it. last year I swapped rust free doors and fenders onto it that I had accumulated over the years of owning 5 of these same trucks. Want to paint it. It's White, original paint on hood and roof about gone/ delaminated. only other rust spot is pass side of bed needs a wheel well patch panel.

the 92 had 165K on it, wound up a bad computer (bad injector driver for one of the even cylinders) put the one in it from my former 93 which was badly wrecked. did full tuneup, belts, hoses on it right away, rebuilt the trans on that one at 203K, now has 225K and climbing. Runs too good to get rid of, dead solid dependable. left me on the side of the road only once in 3 years, and a fuel pump fixed that. about 15 miles from home. body better than many trucks 20 years newer around here.
last fall I had to replace heater cores on both. Both have had water pumps and double roller timing chains, since I have had them. Neither has needed an alternator or starter, though I have spares.
last summer, I completely overhauled the 96s front end\... ball joints, upper control arm bushings, all 4 tie rods, everything but lower arm bushings. All MOOG. had aligned, but hasn't been right since, no time to take off of work to get redone.
the 92 is getting rattley, needs at least an inner tie rod and upper arm bushings./ have EVERYTHING needed on hand to do a full suspension rebuild. all Moog "old stock" from back before Moog became flakey, only pars that I have that aren't Moog are the lower BJs (Ebay ad said they were supposed to be, emailed seller says he thinks they are old TRW stock. came in different boxes from original, with PN written on box in black Sharpie). other non Moog parts are rack bushings, I went with Energy Suspension urethane. I just ordered 4 new tires for it, Farm and Fleet is clearancing out the Cooper AT3s in my size, since Cooper has come out with a "new and improved" AT3. They have them at another store in the chain, the "new and improved" are $30/ea more in my size. not worth another $120 to get the "new" version.
just waiting for my son to finish work on his 89 Ramcharger as it is clogging my garage and lift, has a fresh and as yet unfired, built up 360 in it now. Did away with the crappy TBI, worst fuel system ever on a Dodge truck. going 4 barrel carb and mechanical fuel pump. It's down to some wiring, before we can test fire. went with 87 harness, and at that eliminating the computer that those years had --- from modding the wiring harness/ running a vac advance distributor and standard Mopar electronic ignition. we swapped out the fuel pump equipped tank, for a tank from a couple of year older Ramcharger. lots simpler, less to cause us headaches. His daily is a 90 3/4 ton with a flat bed that he has had 6-7 years now. both older than he is. but that's his choice not mine. He makes more $$ at his work than I do, and he's just now 1/2 my age// I'll be 52 in a couple of months.
that truck has never seen salt, I drove it home (to Chicago land) from Vegas about 10 years ago.

Plans are to AS SOON AS he gets that truck outta my way, to do a front end overhaul on the 92. and then send it for alignment, then put the new tires onto it once they arrive.
I know many people would have dumped/ sold such an old hi mileage truck, let alone drive it at least 350 miles a week..... am I crazy for keeping such an old truck and doing what I am doing to it to keep it going? Frame is still solid (more than I can say for a buddy's 99 on which I had to replace the steel brake lines on last week, his frame is shot by the rear leaf spring hangers.)
It drives me NUTS having to "HAVE" anyone do anything to my trucks but me.... especially alignment/ suspension, because I made my living from beneath an alignment rack for so many years.... I saw the printout on the 96, and didn't like where they set it to.... has never been right since. can't seem to trust anyone, since I used to have that very job. everyone I trusted besides myself is either dead, or retired.
I/ we have put 35K on the 96 and counting, and 60K and counting on the 92. Both have pulled my popup camper 2 states away more than once. never had a problem with either on the road. I have no plans to get rid of either until the frame breaks or as in with my 93, they get wrecked (that one was way beyond repair, even if it would have been a brand new truck and therefore worth more than it was at the time)

My co worker keeps telling me I need a "mileage" car for work.... he drives a whole 3 miles a day and complains about mileage.... both of my trucks get better mileage than either V6 Dakota I had before them. but not as good as my 93 did, on which I converted to a 5 speed..... it was also a 2wd V8 club cab. the original A518 from that truck, is the one that I rebuilt and put into the 92. my co worker tries to tell everyone they need a Toyota. but he owns all Chevy trucks/SUVs. except the one he bought his twin girls to share..... I will own a Toyota, or Hon-duh, OVER MY DEAD BODY.

I haven't really had to do much on either Dakota, besides expected maintenance.... so am I crazy?

If not another square body Dakota, I want my next truck to be another 93-older square body full size Dodge.... I had very good luck from those trucks, before I started driving Dakotas.....I have never owned anything but a Dodge, (or a Jeep/ but they are made by Dodge, since 87 anyways) in 35 years of being a licensed driver. I don't like the new trucks, cannot find anything that has a conventional cab, I don't need or want a 4 door anything. but that's all I can find. and uselessly short beds on them. If I go camping (sometimes still use a tent) and get rained out, I couldn't sleep in the bed of many of todays trucks, even full size. I'm 5'11/ 225 lb. and look at the lumberyards on weekends, all these guys hauling 8' or 10' long lumber on a 5-1/2' to 6-1/2 foot bed. I have seen their loads teeter totter on the tailgate and fall out a few times.... ridiculous.
I work for the State as a fleet mechanic, all the cars except for a Clown Vic that I see daily, are wrong wheel drive.... and most trucks I see are 06 and newer Fords, with an occasional Chevy or 2001-older Dodge full size. (mostly the Dodges are from the state parks and well past their prime, rusty enough that they shouldn't be on the roads.... ) what I see daily makes me NOT want a newer truck, most 2006-2009s are rustier than either of my Dakotas. Even the crown vics are diminishing now a days, but if I had to buy a "car" that wasn't a Dodge, that would probably be it. I've had a couple of ex squad Diplomats. those were great cars, if a bit under powered. the only current Dodge "car" I think I would consider would be a Challenger.
in a couple of weeks my car will be out of my Mom's garage for the season. that is a 78 Sport Fury. Another 318. talking snow and ice tomorrow, I want to be sure we wont see any more before I get that one out.

Last edited by volaredon; 04-14-2019 at 01:34 AM.
Old 04-14-2019, 02:21 AM
96360 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 49

That's all youve done to it and your thinking you're crazy? Lol. There's not much on my truck I haven't touched on it. Either you think you are and shouldn't and don't care about the money spent and love the truck. These trucks are more then just an a-b commuter to me. And my truck won't ever go anywhere unless its unfixable or gets totaled. Even then ill buy it back savage everything off of it and get another 96 just like it. If it ever does get wrecked hopefully it'll be from the cab forward because of take the back half and make a trailer out of it.
Old 04-25-2019, 02:01 PM
glenlloyd is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: central Iowa
Posts: 227

Better to spend on something you know, you won't regret it. I wouldn't spend much on the new stuff, the complaints I'm hearing from new gen garbage out there is discouraging. Auto makers are producing a lot of stuff destined for the JY early. In fact if you take a wander through the local JY you see a lot of stuff barely a decade old, and that's something either too complex to maintain or something that has junk for components. GM LS V8's with VVT are junk, the 3.6 flex fuel with VVT is junk, Jeep LIberty 3.7L junk, even Dodge with 3.7/4.7L engines are junk, same with Durango. VW post 2005 with the 2.0L FSI/TSI engines are junk. It's a shame to say it but that's what the environment looks like. I wouldn't buy a GM product post 3800, and we all know that Cadillac Northstar has been nothing but rebuilds for secondary owners.

What good is a fuel efficient engine when it costs you thousands to repair? Doesn't that $2k rebuild cost actually make the fuel efficiency moot? It sure does. Just ask all those GM Suburban / Yukon owners with LS flex fuel engines facing $7000 rebuilds (engine cost only) how they feel about that after they spent big bucks on it to begin with.

You're fine if you pony up the $$ to own during the first 50k miles and you get to enjoy the full factory warranty, but for those of us who do our own thing and take responsibility for maintenance and fixes you're better off sticking with the stuff you know, and often the parts to fix it are cheaper in the end anyway.

I've seen better Dakotas in the JY than the one I spent countless hours on making reliable, it doesn't mean that I regret all the time and effort that I spent on it, and you shouldn't either.

Old 05-30-2019, 11:52 PM
volaredon is offline
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OK… 4 new ball joints... done. 4 new tie rod ends done. rack bushings control arm bushings done. alignment done. 4 brand new tires done.

trans done. yup out of the blue, no warning, trans died today. once I let it sit and cool while I waited for my son with his 3/4 ton and trailer, it started to pull again like nothing happened. Took tomorrow off work to decide where to go now. gonna p/u my 78 Fury from my mom's garage, we aint getting no more snow for a while/ wish the rain would stop. debating on giving up, has been a great truck for the last 62k miles/ til today. looking at a few options.... fix trans, my son expressed interest in getting from me and fixing trans (he's borrowed before, gets way better mileage than his 3/4 ton)
looking at picking up newer full size (don't like that idea, Im allergic to payments but way cheaper than compatible truck off used car lot)
if I get another, my neighbor who has a Ranger and very old dry rotted tires the same size as mine, said he'd buy the new tires from me....so I wont lose out there....
if I go that route the 318 may come out and with an intake swap, may find its way into my Durango.... this engine runs like a million bux, uses about 1/2-3/4 qt per oil change interval (4000 mi) intake swap would be because Durango has no EGR..... the Durango has been my garage ornament because the engine is so tired at 260K miles. the Durango is a factory 360 truck, but this 318 would get it mobile again and buy me some time to freshen the 360.... it don't take me long to get the engine out of one of these.

what to do..... what to do.... I would like another full size but I want a 93-older, not a 201X model.... but banks wont finance 30-ish year old pickup trucks so if I go truck shopping I may not have a choice but to go that new.
Old 05-31-2019, 07:48 AM
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ZEN357 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 325

No, you are not crazy! When I got married to my second wife she was driving a 2003 Dodge Caravan. I soon after we got married, bought her a two year old Dodge Ram Big Horn. Instead of trading the Caravan and only getting about $500 on a trade in, we kept it and I used it for work. I ended up putting 270,000 miles on it and it was a Dodge 4 Cylinder. I did routine maintenance on it like plugs, wires, hoses, brakes, timing chain and water pump, as well as fixing some rust on it because it was never under coated. I drove that Caravan for 4 1/2 years for work. Was one of the best vehicles I ever owned. So to answer your question..... NO, your are not crazy!!!! Have a great weekend!
Old 06-13-2019, 01:23 PM
volaredon is offline
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Default Well that was a mistake

I should have kept the 92 and put a trans into it. I stripped it, sent it across the scale and bought a 99. Went from a v8 to a 6, from 227k miles to 105k, had the 99 a whole 10 days and hit a damn deer with it. Fixing the deer damage will cost me more than it would have to fix the trans.
The trans was a hard part failure, very sudden, bi warning like you get when it is worn out, and starts to slip.
Old 06-13-2019, 02:00 PM
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You know that deer was just waiting for you to buy a different truck, before stepping out in front of you.......

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