So I’m purchasing a 1992 Dakota LE Club Cab 318 V8 with 160k Miles. I plan on doing a lot of custom body work and making this a good 4x4 for hunting/camping/fishing trips. The truck needs to haul well and do decent off-road. I won’t be taking any extremes into mud pits or rock crawling, but I don’t want to have to worry a ton what I drive through or on.
I don’t really want to spend time/energy customizing the whole truck with a looming threat of a catastrophic engine failure without some sort of backup plan to economically replace the engine. So here are my ideas:
I have a 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 with a 360 V8 that was totaled in a rollover in 2010. The cab sustained some damage but the vehicle drove home fine, and was never repaired for street legality. The fuel pump went out but it’s orherwise been a very low use farm truck. There is a question of a potentially cracked head, but otherwise no concerns. I was going to part the truck out and sell parts or scrap the remainder of the truck to make a little money to purchase a utility trailer. Should I keep the engine or other components, rebuild them, and keep them on hand should the 318 fail? Or would it be just as cost effective to buy a refurbished 360 when needed?
The second idea was upgrading to a new V8 engine. I used to own a 2015 Ford F-150 and I liked the 5.0 V8 they have. I understand a lot of differences exist between a 2015 5.0 L Ford V8 compared to a 1992 Dodge 5.2 Liter V8, but exactly how much frankensteining would I have to do for that engine to function? New tranny, Driveshaft, Cooling Fan, driveshaft, motor mounts etc? Would it even be capable of fitting in the engine space of a 92’ Dakota?
What I want out of this truck is pretty simple: Decent Highway operation/Fuel mileage (it won’t be a daily driver but would be frequently driven and might be used as a temp daily if my daily needs work). It needs to do decent in reasonable conditions off-road either fishing/hunting/camping. And I would like to be able to haul up to 6,000 pounds or so should the need arise. The reason is I’ll be purchasing a m1101a Military Trailer as a utility trailer (and they are 2,800 lbs empty and can handle from 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of material in the Trailer), I have a 15’ John boat, and I’m also in the process of searching for the right frame to build a custom Camper from a Pop Up Camper frame.
Last edited by Foxtrot92000; 01-16-2019 at 05:18 AM.