3.9 upgrades - 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 07-11-2019, 02:19 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 07-11-2019, 11:10 PM
RalphP RalphP is online now
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Vehicle: 1988 Dodge Dakota SE
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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, 04:15 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, 08:37 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, 03:40 AM
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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, 03:51 AM
RalphP RalphP is online now
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Vehicle: 1988 Dodge Dakota SE
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Engine: 1987-1991 - 3.9 L (238 cu in) LA V6, 125 hp (93 kW)
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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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