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· 1988 Dakota 3.9L-TBI
778 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Get ready this thread will be long.

I have been on this site with my 1988 70k build for a few years and now I want to build something in the complete opposite direction; lifted 4x4 completely utiliterized truck unlike my RWD dropped 88' reg cab that cant even handle any payload in the bed and I baby plus it has no OD.

I found a 1996 which was great because this was the only year they came with an OBD-II system and its also an SLT the guy was asking $800 said it needed a brake line otherwise sat for 1-2 years and has 159k highway miles. These were two of the pictures I had to go by it was 1.5 hours away I decided to take a look:

When I went to look at it we could not get it to crank over, something with the alarm system but the guy seemed to have no reason to lie. It was solid besides that even factory skid plates untouched so I bought it untested for $700 picked it up with a trailer:

Don't let looks deceive you this truck is solid for the price just needs some TLC its a good core to build off of:

The skirt is held on by two large zip-ties, and the fog lights are toasted...headlights are bright all other lights are in working order. This entire clip is coming off and I am putting an 87-90 boxy nose on it so it really does not matter anyway:

The fenders and the rocker panels are all solid there is even body over spray still on the bottom of the cab, only thing rusted is the chassis itself I mean look at the wheels!

The only other rust on the body besides the roof is the tailgate and rear bumper, he mangled the bumper pulling the truck out for me which is okay because I have another one already waiting for i off another truck but...he put the first dent in the body in the process on the lower drivers tail. The tailgate appears okay but the bottom is completely rusted out oddly and the only other rust like that is completely isolated and patchable under the wheel wells. I will get a tool box for the bed so I can store tons of tools and have on-board compressor with me with AC inverters and everything needed to service myself and others!

It has every whistle and bell they came with, no burn holes in the interior I really can not complain I do need some of those deep molded floor mats though for sand and snow and such. My 88' did not have airbags, tilt steering column, cruise control...definitely an upgrade!

My 88' also did not have ceiling handles and a center console, I need to fix the rear view mirror though so I will probably install one out of a newer truck with map lights on it and auto dimming capabilities for highbeam glare:

More storage under the seats is awesome too, just need to shampoo the inside and I should be in good shape overall I am happy with my purchase. The first day I had it home I messed with the remote and it turned over and started as if it was running yesterday so I will be removing that alarm unit for sure...now I just need to fix the brakes and do a thorough tune up!

· Registered
19 Posts
I paid the same price for my 99 and it is (or was ) in a lot rougher shape than yours body and rust wise. I'd say you did pretty well for what it cost you. These Dakota's are awesome trucks. I don't get why people are letting them go for these prices but I'm not mad about it.
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