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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 07-11-2019, 03:19 AM
JC'963.9SLT JC'963.9SLT is offline
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Default 3.9 upgrades

hey guys just pickedup a 96 4x4 auto single cab long bed with a 3.9 for $200 and I'm looking to add some hp before I lift it and also wondering what I can do to beef up the trans any input appreciated
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:10 AM
RalphP RalphP is online now
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Pick up a 5.2 or 5.9 Magnum (ideally 1996 to 1999 or until they swapped from the JTEC to the NGC ECU) with the wiring, transmission, and transfer case.

Bonus points if it's all out of a 1996 same wheel base so you can just swap entire.

RwP
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:15 AM
JC'963.9SLT JC'963.9SLT is offline
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not looking to do a swap it's a $200 truck I just want power as much as I can get from bolt ons and such I have a fully built f350 6.0 turbo diesel for big hp I'm just looking to squeeze as much out of this 3.9 as possible
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:37 PM
RalphP RalphP is online now
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Anything you do will cost you money; if you have the mentality "But it's only a $200 truck!" you might as well just do tuneups, keep the filters clear, and let it go.

Lifting it and putting bigger tires on it, you SHOULD stiffen the gears in the diff.

Most anything to "hot rod" it will tend to shift the torque peaks up, so that you get even worse performance from a standing start for the first little bit. With a lift and bigger tires, that's ... even worse.

RwP
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:40 AM
JC'963.9SLT JC'963.9SLT is offline
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so headers, intake, exhaust, switching to a carb, or any other bolt one isn't worth it? no way to get 50+ or so more hp isn't possible ?? and I'm just trying to slap 31's on it an give it 4" Max of lift it's just no worth it for me to do a full on swap to this truck I bought it cause I couldn't not buy it for $200 and make it my commuter I have two kids so being a regular cab dropping serious $ into is worth it since I can't even fit the entire family in it I just want to be able to drive it and enjoy it and be able to take it through the woods when I get fire wood or go camping and fishing with just my son we take our suburban to go out on and major trails I lifted that and slapped 35"s on it with ease figured this being a Dodge truck it would just as easy
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:51 AM
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50+ HP?

Cheapest and easiest is to upgrade to a V8.

Carbs won't INCREASE power; nobody hardly makes a carb intake for the V6. (There IS one ... for a 2 barrel, on a 3.9 that made about 50 LESS HP than your Magnum does.)

You can slap 35"s on it if you want to engineer the lifts. Oh, and consider how tippy it'll make the truck ... shorter wheelbase, narrower track, etc.

Do consider that there's a whole BUNCH more Suburbans out there than there are Dakotas ...

And did that Suburban have a 4.3 or smaller V6 or straight 6, or a V8?

RwP
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:35 PM
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my suburban has the 5.3 vortech ls in it. as far as the Dakota I'm not swapping engines. I'll just slap headers and an intake on it and straight pipe it and keep it at that till it either dies or I sell it if a swap is the only way to get more hp it's not worth it for me I don't like it enough to out that much $ and time in to it as I'd be doing it all myself if it was an extended or crew cab I would but being a 3 seater bench it can't hold me my wife and both kids so it's not worth the swap imo I'll just use it to haul materials and junk for my jobs and I'll keep a for sale sign in the window $1500 obo and anything over $800 I'll take if I was to swap it I'd do a full 6.0 Chevy w a 4l80 swap but like a said being a single cab it's just not worth it
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:33 PM
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I don’t know why the first answer these guys always give is “swap to a V8”. Here is what I did to my 2003 dak 3.9. A superchips programmer, V8 Throttle body, Hughes plenum fix, high flow muffler, cold air intake. This woke my little truck up. For most guys they would be happy with it. But, I tend to get a little carried away. Right now my heads and intake are off and I’m sitting in the garage. Polished the heads, and am dropping in some 1:7 roller rockers. Next few months will be some headers, high flow cat. If that doesn’t get me where I want to be, I’ll be going with 3.92 rear as right now it has 3:55. In the near future I’ll be changing the timing chain and gears, so I may be putting in a cam then. But, as of now, I think I’ll be happy with it after this. Building up the little V6 motors are fun.
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:23 PM
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thank you that's exactly what I figured I knew there was other bolt one I could do beside a swap I'm just looking to wake it up a bit not spend a few grand on a swap
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:21 PM
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The single biggest gain so agar has been a swap to a port and polished V8 throttle body. Just that alone is an impressive power bump. Don’t do the Kegger mod. Just clean up the begging part of the runners. Allow a smooth transition for the air to enter the runner. What we are looking for is velocity over air availability. Velocity is more important for our application. And do the Hughes plenum repair. Order the plenum bolts from Hughes as well. So smooth out the entrance of the runners while you are fixing the plenum. Slap on a V8 throttle body, and the Super chips programmer. Either the gas saver or the 91 octane programs are great. Change out all sensors on the throttle body. Don’t just clean me up. Actually change them. Then you will know you are good to go. For a cold air intake, I just got a tube and specter filter from advanced auto. Move the AIT sensor to the tube, there is already a port for it on the advanced auto tube. Get a new PCV valve as well and change it often. I do it with every oil change. It is a cheap part and makes a huge difference in performance. All that stuff absolutely works and wakes it up. I think you’ll be happy with that. You can always go further after if you want.
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