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88 3.9 swap

  #1  
Old 12-27-2018, 04:56 PM
javve
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Default 88 3.9 swap

I have an 88 Dakota 4x4 that I was just going to drop another 88 in. I got offered a complete 95 Dakota 4x4 that has been t boned. How tough would it be to put the 318 with harness and transmission into the 88?

Would it it be easier to empty the cab on the 95 and replace the cab, hood, and broken suspension pieces?
 
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:37 PM
RalphP
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I'd think it'd be easier to swap cab and broken suspension pieces, and locate a 91+ hood, if the frame hasn't been damaged.

If the frame has been damaged ... a mite more difficult.

Do remember the hood is different, as is the front core support, the grill, the bumper, and everything that bolts to the core support basically, to extend the front enough to easily fit the V8 in.

RwP
 
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Old 12-28-2018, 04:05 AM
javve
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Sounds like it would be a bit of work to do the swap. I have read that it has been done on the 90's version but was not sure on the 88.
 
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:55 AM
RalphP
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Originally Posted by javve View Post
Sounds like it would be a bit of work to do the swap. I have read that it has been done on the 90's version but was not sure on the 88.
One thing to keep in mind is that Carroll Shelby's crew found it necessary to set the 5.2 back a bit in the 89 and 90 Dakotas to fit it in, even with the fan in FRONT of the radiator.

That's one reason why the 1991 and up have the "bubble nose" front, to give enough depth to clear the extra two cylinders.

Good news, the cab tub is interchangeable (well, you may have to drill a few mounting holes!) between a 1987 and a 1996 regular cab. Fenders ditto. Doors, ditto. Hood, not so much, due to the leading edge contour.

Even the BATTERY TRAY changed. !I! think for the better overall (the battery turned 90* with the bubble nose), but that's a personal opinion on that. (NOT worth my changing my 1988 to a bubble nose, though!)

(Aside: That's one reason why some folks like to do the LS swap into a Dakota; the LS3 for instance isn't much longer than a 3.9. Also why I'd like to do the Red Ram if I ever win the lottery; again, it's actually shorter than the 5.2 is, so it'll clear a bit easier. And the early Red Rams are Hemis ... )

There HAVE been others here who have done the V8-into-early-Dakota swaps.

RwP
 
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Old 12-28-2018, 02:04 PM
javve
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Thanks for the info. I can see where it would be a lot easier and less labor intensive to change the cab over on that truck, and leave the 88 to the smaller motor.
 
  #6  
Old 12-28-2018, 02:05 PM
javve
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Woops, realized I was saying 3.9 this whole time, had it on my mind since I was looking at other posts. It's a 2.8, at least my signature keeps track
 
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Old 12-28-2018, 02:07 PM
javve
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Is 2.8L the best option, swap or maybe rebuild?
 
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Old 12-28-2018, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by javve View Post
Woops, realized I was saying 3.9 this whole time, had it on my mind since I was looking at other posts. It's a 2.8, at least my signature keeps track
2.8? Nope, it's not.

It's a 2.2 I4 or a 3.9 V6.

They didn't offer a 2.8 ever in the Dakota production.

And if it IS a 2.8 - well, enjoy. Ain't nobody going to be able to help much except whoever did the motor swap!

RwP
 
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:20 PM
93 ragtop
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I believe it would have to be the 3.9 V6...... That was the only engine offered with 4wd, (I think)
IMO the easiest way to swap is to use an edelbrock 7577 manifold, small 4bbl carb, and a electronic ignition dist. The motor with the serpentine belt system will just clear the radiator, but not a fan. The option I would use is to sandwich 2 11in electric fans between the radiator and the condenser. That is what Shelby did in 89 with the Shelby Dakota package.
Do a search for 89ragged on this site and robertmc. Both have alot of good information on the swap.
 
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:58 PM
javve
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I don’t know where my brain was when I did my signature forever ago. It is possible I typoed lol.

I very much like the idea of going carbed, less to go wrong. I will check those users out if it is something I do end up doing. I may just swap with another 3.9 and sell. Would really like to get into an SUV. If I do keep it, thinking of off road use.

Thanks for all the info.
 

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