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Hello all, I having been looking for a used truck to mess around with for some time. I happen to a nice little '96 Dakota with 110k miles. It is very stripped down (i.e. manual doors, locks, transmission etc.)

I was wondering first of all are these good little truck? What are some common issues owners deal with? Anything I should "check" for if I happen to purchase the truck? Also do these have timing belts or chains?

Thanks for everyone thoughts ahead of time!
 

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Those AMC engines are bullet proof. Don't worry about them at all.

Suspension is where I would go to first; check shocks, ball joints, steering.

Just make sure you do all necessary maintenance; oil change, transmission oil, differential(s) oil, coolant (with flush additive), brakes/clutch, filter, cap/rotor, wires, plugs, filters.
 

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Agreed. The less electronics the cheaper the vehicle in the long run.
 

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I bought my 96 Dakota with 154K miles, and ran it until 250K. So you might have another 100K in that truck! In most cases, it's easy to work on. One devil is the heater core. They are prone to get clogged/corroded, and when it's time to replace it, you have to remove the whole dash. Search my name, and find out about my experience. Not a hard job, but for me, a three-day job, working alone. I used it to pull 3,000 lb trailers over 1200 miles each way. If you buy it, this site will be a valuable reference for you! Good luck!
 
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