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Discussion Starter #1
Im using my truck more like a truck than i thought i would when i bought it, ive been pulling trailers and hauling junk more than i ever thought i would, im just wondering if there are any mild towing cams or a better cam than factory but has a little bit of a lopey idle? thanks this will be the next project(after i get the reverse lights to come on)
 

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ol' grouch
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245 Posts
Whenever I put an engine together for towing, I use a camshaft with an RV grind on it. This will give you good low end grunt without completely toasting your mileage. Check with your speed shop for a good profile. The big chain stores don't usually have the expertise for this. They can sell it to you but advising you is a different matter.
 

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Purple Kota
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man the haters on the 3.9 seem to grow and grow on here..
 

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Chevy Powered
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Who is hating? Sorry if I think it's pointless to spend several hundred on a cam swap to only end up making mediocre numbers? It's his money, he can do as he wishes. I just think it's silly.

Oh, and my truck was a 3.9/5 speed truck prior to the swap, it was a turd, a cam swap wouldn't have changed that.
 

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He can get a 5.9 motor for $300 at a local junkyard.. Just sayin
 

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Purple Kota
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but dont you take a risk with a junkyard engine? cracks, blown pieces? I would do an engine swap but i live on campus at college and i have no where to work on an engine swap nor do i have the time. Granted my 3.9 isnt a racing motor or a show motor, but i think it would be a bit helpful to work with ya got right? just shootin my two cents :p
 

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but dont you take a risk with a junkyard engine? cracks, blown pieces? I would do an engine swap but i live on campus at college and i have no where to work on an engine swap nor do i have the time. Granted my 3.9 isnt a racing motor or a show motor, but i think it would be a bit helpful to work with ya got right? just shootin my two cents :p
You have a risk by getting a used motor anywhere.. They have a 30 day guarantee and no questions asked.. If he has a place to pull his cam and go get it grind he has a place to swap a motor...

My 3.9 was still a turd after I tuned it, air intake, TB, Intake manifold, injectors, and exhaust... Got me 20 MPG tho lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Everyone is intitled to there own opinion and yes i have drove the v8s but i like my little 6 banger and i know it would be east to just yank out the six and swap for a 318 or maby a 345, i was just wondering if i could get a cam cheap. i can swap a cam in a saturday and drive it on sunday. thanks for the input
 

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ol' grouch
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245 Posts
I've had several Dakotas, all with the 3.9 except for one 4 banger. The 4 cylinder was the only one that didn't have plenty of pep. My first one was a '93 with the 3.9 automatic. I ran it for 110K and it was really handy. I can't count the number of trucks with the 3.9 and 5.2 (318) through the years. (Literally, I started counting once and quit around 150) The 318 is a good motor and the 3.9 is just one with two cylinders lopped off. What you lose with the loss of two cylinders, you gain with the lighter reciprocating mass and weight penalty.

The lighter weight helps with performance and it get's better fuel economy than any V-8.
 

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2000 Fake R/T & 2001 R/T
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I kinda miss my 3.9.....To be honest, with all the headache I had swapping my V6 out in my 2000 (5.9 with a 5 speed) I would have rather stayed with a hopped up 3.9.... Still working the bugs out on the damn thing.... But the alternative of swapping it out would be so much simpler with an auto...... and the older trucks pre-2000 to keep or add the 5 speed....
 

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I kinda miss my 3.9.....To be honest, with all the headache I had swapping my V6 out in my 2000 (5.9 with a 5 speed) I would have rather stayed with a hopped up 3.9.... Still working the bugs out on the damn thing.... But the alternative of swapping it out would be so much simpler with an auto...... and the older trucks pre-2000 to keep or add the 5 speed....
I have an '02, and to be honest, I have thought about swapping in a 318/360 as well.

Why? I don't know...my 3.9 is more than adequate for everything I need...but the power of a 318/360 still intrigues me.

Its interesting to hear your feedback about your swap - it pretty much echos all my concerns about swapping a 318/360 into my Dakota.

What PCM did you use for your '01 conversion? Did you find a junkyard one, or did you get it flashed for the 360?
 

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I Heart Boost...and M/T's
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I have a 2.4l Makes more power than most of the truck on here. Also weighs alot less.

Beyond that, 3.9 is a 3.9. Its low on power because it is missing 2 cylinders. 5.9 swap is simple, and would trust an in experienced person so swap engines rather than cams, which can easily be screwed up.
 

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I have the 3.9 in mine and working on doing a swap to a 5.2 as soon as my dad swaps his 5.2 to a 5.9. I'm doing it for the power mainly, since I pull trailers especially in the winter I just want to be able to climb a hill with three snowmobiles on a trailer behind me and not have to worry as much. I personally think the 3.9 is kind of gutless in my opinion
 

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My plan is to just drop some gears and a locker ibto mine. I personally have no intrest in a swap other then yeah itd be fun. Id rather just keep it how it is. I would upgrade cams and exhaust. Why not id sound good.
 

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Very true!!

I have a Magnum 3.9L Mopar V6 in my Dodge Dakota as well, but I agree with the TROLLER"s every where man!!. I am thinking of the same thing with my dakota, just a milder next step up cam for my pick up as well. I had no choice in this pick up it was free to me with a new motor, trans, complete a/c system, rack and pinion power steering pump and ball joints. I am putting in a new radiator and poss a double roller timing chain kit and then coming soon a throttle body spacer and E3 plugs. I need to change out the heater core as well but I am not looking forward to the labor of pulling the entire dashboard and steering column out but it needs to be done.
 
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