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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a chance to get an '03 3.9 SXT Regular cab 4wd with 115k on it. Seller says no leaks, shifts and runs fine. He commutes a few times per month on it (100 mi round trip). No vibrations etc and all systems work and the interior is in very good shape. He is only selling as his friend is allegedly selling him a Ranger and his friend is the only owner and its mint. He bought this as a utility hauler and recreational vehicle to haul kayaks etc.

The issue is it's a New England truck = SALT. The rust on the frame doesn't appear bad based on photos and I'd likely do chassis saver in the near future. He says a cab mount up front is "crusty" and there is a small hole in one rocker panel. The bed has a lame patch job on the wheel wells too (both sides). Paint is oxidized on the roof and possibly hood/fenders (hard to see in pics). He also says a wheel bearing will likely need replacement soon.

I'm looking to get back into a Dakota after a 8 year hiatus. I want to get this as a project truck for me, which means just getting back to original performance/looks, initially. I'll replace what I have to as needed and gradually make it better as time and $$ allow. The bed isn't an issue as I can likely find a junk yard bed somewhere and make a small vacation out of the trip. I want to use this as a daily driver, and to haul/tow wood. I know I will have to replace things like gaskets, seals, bushings, bearings, etc. But I enjoy light mechanical stuff. Eventually, I may look at an exhaust that is quieter and better than stock to give a boost and I will give this a tune up to get it closer to stock performance.

So, what is the consensus, good deal or no? BTW, in the last week, it's gone from $2900 down to $2000. Or should I wait for an '04 with the 3.7?
 
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