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Good afternoon all,

I was looking around to see some options on a V8 swap in my Dakota, and I can't exactly find the answers I'm looking for, so I want some opinions!! If this is the wrong place to post this or there is another thread like this, I'm sorry in advance and I'll check there.

I'll start by saying I have a 2001 3.9 V6 Dakota Quad Cab, that my family has owned since new. The family has passed, and it's the last thing I have of them. I'm a car fanatic, so I want to do something with some Muscle (and a cam), but I don't care anything about taking it to a track or making 8000 horsepower like a lot of fast cars these days. I just want something that would be a good weekend cruiser with some power to have fun on the street with. I want the best bang for buck power that I can find with a V8, whether that be a 5.7 Hemi, 5.9 Magnum, 6.1 Hemi, or maybe something non-Mopar?? I'm not sure because I know all of them will make about 425-450 HP (this is the neighborhood that I'm wanting), and even though the magnum route would be cheapest, it would need the most work to get to that HP number. Any suggestions would be fantastic.

I also live around Bowling Green, KY, so I'm wondering where the best Mopar Shop is within about 6-8 hours of driving (EX: Atlanta, ST. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, etc.). I don't want to get ripped off, but I don't mind to spend the money when I do this, because I want someone that is going to be credible and back up their work, and not something/someone I will be having problems with. For the entire build, I was expecting to spend anywhere between $6k-$10k dollars, so I think I can get something fun with that!! Any recommendations would be amazing.

Thanks again for any help
 

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Sorry, this is above my pay-grade, but someone just asked a similar question & got a response. (The member who answered his question has a 5.9 Dak, and I believe he has built it way over 400 HP, so you might consider a 5.9 swap and see if you can pick his brain for ideas.)


Here is another Durango/Dakota site, & I frequently see Dakota engine swap questions posted on this site also.

 

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. . . and here is some more reading material that might help you out with ideas and also point out some of the pitfalls others have encountered with their projects . . . this guy did the best job I have ever read of documentation with the best pictures. It involves a replacing a 4.7 with a 5.7.


There are a plethora of other threads about people doing or considering the hemi swap:

 

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Good afternoon all,

I was looking around to see some options on a V8 swap in my Dakota, and I can't exactly find the answers I'm looking for, so I want some opinions!! If this is the wrong place to post this or there is another thread like this, I'm sorry in advance and I'll check there.

I'll start by saying I have a 2001 3.9 V6 Dakota Quad Cab, that my family has owned since new. The family has passed, and it's the last thing I have of them. I'm a car fanatic, so I want to do something with some Muscle (and a cam), but I don't care anything about taking it to a track or making 8000 horsepower like a lot of fast cars these days. I just want something that would be a good weekend cruiser with some power to have fun on the street with. I want the best bang for buck power that I can find with a V8, whether that be a 5.7 Hemi, 5.9 Magnum, 6.1 Hemi, or maybe something non-Mopar?? I'm not sure because I know all of them will make about 425-450 HP (this is the neighborhood that I'm wanting), and even though the magnum route would be cheapest, it would need the most work to get to that HP number. Any suggestions would be fantastic.

I also live around Bowling Green, KY, so I'm wondering where the best Mopar Shop is within about 6-8 hours of driving (EX: Atlanta, ST. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, etc.). I don't want to get ripped off, but I don't mind to spend the money when I do this, because I want someone that is going to be credible and back up their work, and not something/someone I will be having problems with. For the entire build, I was expecting to spend anywhere between $6k-$10k dollars, so I think I can get something fun with that!! Any recommendations would be amazing.

Thanks again for any help
Ha! I was just in Kentucky (Paris/Bourbon area) 3 wks ago.
One of the cheapest routes is to put a 440 in. With aluminum heads, intake and water pump, it will weigh in about the same as an all iron 360. You can build up this engine to produce about 585 hp with a stroker kit getting the 440 to 512 cu. in. for around 6K. That would be your biggest bang for the buck.
Non Mopar wold be putting in an LS engine. These heads breathe a little less than the hemi heads do and can make the same hp.
It is easy to get the 345 hp 5.7 hemi to 425 hp. From there you can go crazy and put on a super charger.
Holley now makes a swap kit for the hemi that includes all the parts you'll need.
A swap of this kind entails a bunch of engine non related parts such as front end work, tranny cross member, rear end change and tires and wheels.
You could go one step up and find a Dakota with a 5.2 w tranny and just drop that in with the electrical coming from that swap.
Some shorty headers, a cam and 3.92 gear ratio and you could have a mighty fun truck.

A couple good Mopar shops near you are Kennedy Performance in Lexington and DBR in Spring Hill Ten.
 
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