Should I replace the tranny in 1996 dakota sport V-8? - DODGE DAKOTA FORUM - FORUM AND OWNERS CLUB!
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Driveline Transmissions, Differentials, Axles, Bearings, etc. This forum covers the entire driveline from the Transmission to the wheel bearings!

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  #1  
Old 05-26-2017, 10:30 PM
flyinghigh flyinghigh is offline
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Vehicle: 1996 Dodge Dakota Sport
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Default Should I replace the tranny in 1996 dakota sport V-8?

I have 172k on it. Just spent $1000 on the rear main, bearings etc. they flushed the tranny and discovered it is out. Now it wont shift from 2-3. Have new tires on it. 1 spot of rust about 3 inches wide behind from tire. Added cruise a couple years back, works great.

Engine runs well, but is smoking. Should I be concerned? Some say yes, some no. Just not sure if another $2500 for a tranny is the way to go....can't replace it for anywhere near that, but if the engine goes I imagine I will have $5k in it plus the $1k I just spent and that is too much.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2017, 01:54 PM
volaredon volaredon is offline
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Vehicle: A 92 2wd and a 96 4WD club cab
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Engine: 1991-1993 - 5.2 L (318 cu in) Magnum V8, 230 hp (170 kW)
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yikes.... definitely doesn't sound like you do anything for yourself..,... $2500 for a trans job? OUCH! I bought my 96 4X4 at the beginning of the year with the trans and T case in the bed, past owner was told $2800 to rebuild it. Did it myself for ~$300 including a fresh converter and a mild shift kit..Hell,,, the fluid itself cost me over $50...I got it from a kid that worked at the shop that the PO had taken it to for that trans job, kid I bought it from was gonna redo it but decided to go into the Service. so Dad said it had to go. That PO that had initially decided not to spend $2800 (smart move) had had the truck for 15 years, kid I got it from had never transferred title to himself.
on the rear main.... seal cost $10, pan gasket was $26.Clearly NOT $1000! been there, done that, too. so far been a really good truck. I have put tires on it, a little bit of front end work, and have bought a set of NICE fenders and doors for it from a local yard and STILL don't have $2500 into it.
If can pull it yourself you should be able to take the trans in for a "bench rebuild" for somewhere under $1000..... I'm thinking somewhere around 750 maybe less..

look on Craigslist. trans can come out of a full size truck or Dakota, 96-2000. they made some changes to that trans for '01 Your post doesn't tell whether truck is 2wd or 4X4 if 2wd, trans can come from a Dodge Van same years as I listed before. Ive seen them available for$300 or less.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2017, 03:15 PM
RXT RXT is offline
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Default

The question you might want to ask yourself is, is this truck worth it?

Heres the pros and cons as I see this.....

As for the engine. 172K is a lot of miles, but it could go further if it was well maintained. I can't say if the smoke is bad or not so bad. What color is it? If it's white in the morning and clears up after driving, it's probably just moisture drying up in the cat. If the smoke is anything from light grey to dark grey and is constant, it's probably burning oil. If this is the case, you'd also notice an increase in oil consumption. If you're having to add oil occasionally, you might want to consider an oil analysis and have the compression checked. If the analysis shows metal in the oil or the compression reads low or some cylinders are reading low, then it's getting close to rebuild time.

At 172k, the trans can use a rebuild too or at least freshening up. $2500 is a little on the high side unless you're adding some performance parts to it. I would seek a second opinion and negotiate the price down and get a good warrantee on the work.

Ok, so is this truck really worth it? You might find that as the truck ages and miles accumulate, maintenance will also increase because most of the parts are reaching their expected service life. You might decide to avoid all that by selling off the truck and buying something newer, with less mileage and will provide you with years of service. Of course that might mean payments or spending more money than what it takes to repair the Dakota.

On the "Cheaper to keep her" side, repairing the transmission, and rebuilding the engine will not cost as much as a newer truck and mechanically it will be like new and should provide you with another 172k miles, but, the rest of the truck will still be old. The rust will continue to spread if you don't address it, the interior will be worn out, and there will be plenty of little things that will go out, like wiper motor, power windows, a/c system, etc. As mentioned, the rest of the truck will continue to wear out.

Ed
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2017, 03:15 AM
volaredon volaredon is offline
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if you have to pay to "HAVE" everything done for you then no. it won't be worth it.
For what they quoted you to do that tranny I could do a WHOLE LOT of work to a truck. I just rebuilt a 5.9 completely, including machine work (that, I had no choice but to farm out) but I got the parts, I did the disassembly reassembly and install myself. that $1k that you (wasted) on the rear main seal job would have almost completely paid for a complete stock type rebuild.

with that miles I would be surprised if the intake plenum gasket and the valve guide seals weren't suspect, parts I keep on hand, for the valve cover gaskets, valve guide seals and intake gaskets you'd be out only around $100 and it could be accomplished in a weekend.
I had an older V8 that would burn a quart of oil in 700 miles. After replacing the valve guide seals it now does not use enough oil to have to add any between changes, it still runs fine and the heads have never been off of the engine since the car was new in 1978. I still have this car. Yes you can do valve guide seals with the heads in place.....
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:54 PM
flyinghigh flyinghigh is offline
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Default

Thanks guys...I appreciate the info. I put a quart of tyranny fix in it and it is at least drive able. It is burning a quart every 2000 miles.

Hopefully it will keep working "kinda" with the tranny fix...I don't think I want to drop another $3k in it and I have no idea how to do the kind of work and procedures you are all describing.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:21 PM
volaredon volaredon is offline
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Vehicle: A 92 2wd and a 96 4WD club cab
Trim Level: LE and SLT
Color: One brown and one white
Engine: 1991-1993 - 5.2 L (318 cu in) Magnum V8, 230 hp (170 kW)
Rep Power: 7
Rep:15
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A quart of oil in k miles is not bad at all..... it don't hurt a thing, to use a little like that... valve guide/upper cylinder lube. That's 1 quart in between oil changes.
wow... if I had that truck and $3k it would get so much more than just a trans overhaul and change left over..... where a bouts are you from??
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:37 AM
RalphP RalphP is offline
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I just paid a total of $1500 earlier this year - $1000 for the transmission overhaul, and because I don't have a shop to do this in, $500 to a mechanic (he also did the troubleshooting, removal, install, and picked the truck up from my house.)

If I had $3K total, I'd have gotten him to pull/replace the motor at the same time - the local motor shop claims $1300 for a overhaul if the heads aren't cracked.

RwP
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:10 PM
flyinghigh flyinghigh is offline
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Hello Guys,

I live in eastern SD. Sounds like the locals are taking advantage of me...i just want to get my truck running again. I tried a quart of tranny fix it and it did get better...not right, but I can drive it in an emergency.

Sounds like there is someone that should be able to get this tranny working for around $1000 right?
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:27 PM
volaredon volaredon is offline
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Vehicle: A 92 2wd and a 96 4WD club cab
Trim Level: LE and SLT
Color: One brown and one white
Engine: 1991-1993 - 5.2 L (318 cu in) Magnum V8, 230 hp (170 kW)
Rep Power: 7
Rep:15
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look again at my posts...yes you can do the job for ALOT LESS. You can HAVE it done for quite a bit less money than you claim.
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Last edited by volaredon; 07-10-2017 at 10:34 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2017, 10:38 PM
volaredon volaredon is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Vehicle: A 92 2wd and a 96 4WD club cab
Trim Level: LE and SLT
Color: One brown and one white
Engine: 1991-1993 - 5.2 L (318 cu in) Magnum V8, 230 hp (170 kW)
Rep Power: 7
Rep:15
volaredon is on a distinguished road
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what just happened? I went to add a bit to my last post and instead lost about 3/4 of it instead
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