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So, I picked up a 1987 dodge dakota 4x4 automatic for 300$ body is ok, but I am having issues with rough running, sever lack of power and hard starts. Gave it a light tune-up to start with new spark plugs, air filter, oil and filter, new battery "old one was a deep cycle marine battery", pcv valve and used a carb cleaner, "carb medic" spray. It is running a touch better. On starting if it doesn't start right off the bat, it takes several minutes of turning over before it sounds like ignition is happening at all, then you'll turn the key and suddenly it will starts up just fine. I'm a little lost as to what I should change out or repair first, used to working on fuel injected cars. Have a new rotor and cap on order. Any pointers would be great. From a lot of these threads it appears people have issues with the carbs themselves, wondering if this is where I should be focusing rather then changing out all the little things. As you can see by the pictures, 300 bucks only gets you so much... but its a start
 

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could be a lot of things. while you are changing the rotor and cap might as well replace all the plug wires too. if you know of a good shop, have them check the carb to see if it needs a tune as well

good luck and welcome to the Z!!
 

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Wow, before changing the rotor and cap I thought perhaps replace the fuel filter. After wiping off the fuel filter I blew through it, I barely could... Swapped in the new one, and now it starts on the first pull! Still going to change out the cap and rotor as it takes minutes and its all ready purchased. Crazy how such a little thing can have so much impact
 

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Well, changing the cap and rotor didn't change the running condition, but considering it now starts its all good. Now I can turn to other repairs, muffler, body... great
 

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starting is a good thing!
 

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Ya know, for $300, seems like you got a decent start, for a project. My $300 '92 Dakota was in such a state, engine wise, I didn't even try to start it because is was so rigged with makeshift things. AND mine was a 2.5 Four.

Looking forward to seeing what you are planning for this one too. ;)
 
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I just did the same thing,only I paid $400 bucks,drove it home and the smoking and clanking started. Notice my name. I'm also lost
 
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