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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone, New to the forum but hopefully will be sticking around with a new project. Someone I know has a 92 Dakota (guessing on the year because it has the v6 magnum) that their step son had left sitting in their driveway and wants it gone now. They are going to look into why the truck "stopped working" it was something along the lines of not starting. They are willing to give it to me for free so I'm thinking about fixing it up for a hardware store and dump truck. Not sure if the truck was cranking during the no start issue (maybe a fuel regulator) or if the truck wouldn't turn over (bad starter or neutral safety switch). The truck has the 3.9 Magnum and is a 5 speed. Obviously the truck will need oil, coolant and fuel tank drained and replaced before attempting to start. What else should I look at before attempting to start to see what the issue is? Once I get it running then I will replace the trans and brake fluid. Any common issues I should look out for on this truck?

I will update onceI get more info on the year and mileage. Depending on the mileage could be due for a timing chain as well.

Thanks for any help you all can provide!
 

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Check all battery cables, both ends (yes, there's two ends!)

Check to make sure the fuel pump works if you bypass the fuel pump relay (easiest way to test it; there's actually units you can buy to plug into a relay socket to act like an activated relay, or you can pull it and use a pair of male 1/4" faston connectors on a loop of at least 12ga wire in the proper two ports).

Find the year, find the factory service manual for it (eBay or Bishko Books; Summit will sell the Bishko disks on special order but Bishko keeps them under $40 for the disk), and keep it handy.

Plan on all rubber under the hood to be replaced; even if it wasn't bad, it'll not be in good shape after 4+ years of sitting.

Plan on a full cooling system flush, and if you even think about the timing chain, get a water pump and a full set of hoses (including the bypass hose!) and replace them.

A common problem will also be the plenum gasket; I'd put that on the list for later after you get it running, unless it lopes and acts like a bad vacuum leak.

For the PCV valve, I'd stick with a Mopar; anecdote <> data, but swapping from a Fram to a Motorcraft on my 1991 Cougar cut oil consumption in half (!!) (And started it kicking the dipstick out just enough to vent when I'd do a WOT run ... but that's because it was old and tired and needed new rings.)

Before you crank it, pull the spark plugs and try to turn it by hand (which includes using a breaker bar); if it does, you're good. If it's hard, shoot some Marvel Mystery Oil or something similar into each cylinder, let it sit a few days, then try again. Lather, rinse, repeat. (This is of course in neutral on the transmission.)

I'd make sure I could turn it over before I worried about changing too many fluids.

IF the frame and body are in good enough shape, even if the motor is locked up, you may want to take it; there's 3.9 Magnums all over the boneyards, and you can always drop in a 5.2 or 5.9 Magnum (the stock transmission won't like 3000RPM clutch dumps from a standing start, but it'll get you down the road.)

Brakes, U-joints, plan on a full front suspension rebuild to keep it safe.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great advice thanks! Yea I've already got a project car I'm trying to work on and don't need another truck but I'd hate to see it go to scrap!
 
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