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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. A buddy of mine has a 3rd gen Dakota that would easily be worth $6k if it didn't have a timing chain problem. It's a really good looking truck inside and except for the dent in the tailgate, the body is clean a d straight. It sounds like maybe the tensioner is bad because it acts like it slipped time, so I can get it for $2k. So, I'm here to see if that truck is actually a good deal for an eventual daily driver and camping rig. My brothers each had a 1st gen and second gen. I liked the 1st gen because it was reliable, and the second gen because it was handsome. Neither seemed especially durable to me, so I never really considered owning one. The 3rd gens, IMHO, are the least attractive bodies of the 3, but I've learned that their frame is rock solid, so my hope is that it means it's also durable. This truck seems to be such a good deal that I'd be a fool to dismiss it because of cosmetics. Besides, with a little mud and proper bumpers, it'll look just fine! Lol
So, I'm here to learn a bit about whether this 4x4 V8 truck is a bargain or a money pit!

Thanks
Keith
 

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I'd agree that the 3rd gen are the least attractive, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And you're the one that needs to be happy.

I'm not a fan of the 4.7 so for me to take one, it would have to be a low mileage engine with no signs that it's ever been over-heated. Hopefully the tensioner needs to be replaced and not one of the timing chains. Worn chains indicate a high mileage engine and that could mean, you might want to consider a rebuild or an engine replacement.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm coming into this pretty blind. Never worked on a 4.7, never owned one. I know to avoid the old 3.9 like a resentful ex wife, but these 4.7s are "just an engine" to me. What are their special drawbacks, or better yet, where can I read about them so you don't have to type out a book! Lol
 

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This might give some of the info that you're looking for.


And I know they're not loved, but they can look good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This might give some of the info that you're looking for.


And I know they're not loved, but they can look good.
That's good information. Thank you. That is a nice looking truck. Mine is the brighter red. I'm gonna try to find a method to darken it up more like what your picture shows. Maybe a tint on a clear coat would do it.

Oh. And I did end up striking a deal for it. $1750, so, for better or worse, I now own a Dakota, and my first 4x4!
 

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Good job sir! Welcome to the club! They are the best mid sized truck ever made! U will never want to get rid of it once u put some time n moola into it
2641
 

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Honestly I haven't a 2003 it has a lot of problems i could fix it or get rid of it but I love the style of it I don't want to get rid of it so just letting you know it may be worth it
 

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Just picked mine up a few days ago. Love it! And it's a lot more modern than the older Ford Rangers I was looking at in the same price range. Plus, it's got a V8.
 

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[QUOTE="TheKingdomOfBadDecisions, I know to avoid the old 3.9 like a resentful ex wife."
[/QUOTE]

I never got that memo! And what's wrong with the 3.9? She maybe a little down on power by todays standards, but is always as reliable as your favorite Hound dog. Hell, it just a 318 minus 2 and they've only been haulling folks around since the beginning of time. What's to avoid?
Welcome BTW.

Dynamo
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2011 Ram Dakota Laramie (QC, 4.7L V8)
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I like my 2011. I also think the later 3d Generation (08-11) looked a lot better. They fixed the front end and made it look better. It's the best mid-size truck for working (tow and haul) in that price range. Newer trucks can match or slightly outpace it, but they cost a lot more. I have the 4.7 and haven't had any problems with it. I got it at 24K miles and I try to keep the fluid changes on schedule. I take her in for an annual maintenance check-up and once-over and the mechanic, who is a Mopar guy, said it seems to be in really good shape. My only major repair so far has been to replace one front wheel bearing (went with Timken).

Clearance is a little low. So, if you want an off-road toy truck, go with a Tacoma or a newer Colorado/Canyon. But, if your off-roading is limited to farm roads and established logging roads, you'll be fine even without a lift or leveling kit.
 

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Never buy a Toyota! Worst advice ever!!! Y give Japan your $? Support USA and buy American!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
[QUOTE="TheKingdomOfBadDecisions, I know to avoid the old 3.9 like a resentful ex wife."
I never got that memo! And what's wrong with the 3.9? She maybe a little down on power by todays standards, but is always as reliable as your favorite Hound dog. Hell, it just a 318 minus 2 and they've only been haulling folks around since the beginning of time. What's to avoid?
Welcome BTW.

Dynamo
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[/QUOTE]
Sorry for the lag. In my experience, the 3.9 is a sludge magnet. It's as if it seeks out ways to produce more. Even with militant attention to pm, sludge is a major issue, which messes up everything else.
 
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