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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The dust has finally settled in my shop, and the donor Dakota is in it's spot for the winter. This is the location it will be in to be blown apart down to the chassis and suspension. I have a 1952 Studebaker pick up that will be going on this chassis. Plans are for a pro-street vibe. LS swap, 5 spd manual, Ford 9" rear with 4 link. This donor truck is in sad shape inside and out, but the bones are all I care about. All else will go to the wrecking yard.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am still doing a lot of research on drivetrain choices, and associated costs. One of my limitations is access to good auto dismantling yards where I live. Decent ones are a three hour drive away. My latest leanings are to take the 5.2L Magnum motor that is in it and do a full rebuild. Stroke it to 390 ci, performance heads, and switch the EFI over to a large 4 barrel carb with a performance intake manifold. I would end up with a brand new motor instead of a used unknown from a wrecking yard. And it would be more of an old school look under the hood of an old school truck. We will see where this project goes. There is an awful lot of work to do before any drivetrain decisions are made permanent.
 

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I just said HEMI because I’m biased, lol. I love the 6.4l. (I have a Scat Pack).
I think a stroked 5.2l with a 4 barrel would be sick.

Once the 4.7l blows in my gen2 Dak I’m going to put a 5.7l HEMI in it. It’s going to be a while though since the engine is running strong right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I saw a youtube video where a guy put an LS in his Dakota and was drag racing it. He ended up breaking the mounting flanges off the bell housing. He contributed that happening from too much chassis flex with the stock Dakota chassis. I will be taking a hard look at the chassis when I have it blasted for potential strengthening points. I will probably end up with a custom cross tube to mount the 4 link from anyway.
 

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I’ve seen a lot of 4x4 guys online welding metal plates in specific spots to strengthen the Dakota frame to keep it from flexing, so his guess of chassis flex being the issue sounds right unfortunately. They are medium/small size light duty trucks after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here is the '52 Studebaker body that will be going onto the Dakota chassis. I will be getting rid of the 4wd chassis it is sitting on now. A farmer in Idaho did this conversion, and the splice in the frame to shorten the wheel base was done, well, by a farmer in Idaho. When I saw the frame modification I knew instantly that it had to go. Some people should not be allowed to use a welder!

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