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Discussion Starter #1
It has a 4.7 and 4wd. I've made a lot of progress, and quite a few snags as expected. It's nearly ready to test run again.
Getting time to work on it, even retired is a problem with all the other obligations and honey doo's.
I bought it locally off Craigs List with the intention to just get it running and resell it. But then I got the idea to build it on a modern frame with the intention to use it daily as a truck and tow my car trailer with modern safety and handling while giving my old car love a nod.
If you want to see show quality work, you will have to look a little further. This is getting a Rustoleum safety blue paintjob and is going to be the closest thing to a 2000 IH Dakota as possible.
I found the Dakota on CL as well. I was looking for a Durango or extended cab as my wheelbase of 115" was a little longer than a regular cab and I was willing to do the work of shortening everything. The Dakota was listed at $700. I was looking for a driving, running truck though I'm going to go through the brakes and suspension for safety's sake no matter what I got. I called and they said they couldn't find the title (Using the IH title anyway) but they would sign a bill of sale or lost title paperwork. I asked if they would take $500. They said they would. I get there and the key isn't to the truck. They insisted it ran & drove decently. CL people wouldn't lie. I offered $400 and they took it.
The frame looked decent but the cab mounts were rusty. I managed to just use vise grips to turn the ignition cylinder the next day and start it up. It really did run pretty decent but with the 4.7 lifter noise that pretty well went away when it warmed up. I drove it off the ramps without ramps which was probably silly, but I figured it wouldn't hurt anything. It had a bad front brake line but that was no big deal, I'm replacing them all anyway. It also has a big power steering leak up front that happened loading it with the wheels slightly turned and locked (No key) and pushing it sideways jacked up on a board that managed to slip off the jack and take out a line.
Well enough about the before stuff. Here are too many photos that show the changes from week to week.
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Discussion Starter #2
I used 3" spacers under the cab for clearance I might not have needed, and to gat as much usable depth inside the bed with the Dakotas big kickup over the rear axle. I shortened and fishplated the frame then the driveshaft and exhaust to fit the 115" IH wheelbase.
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'll have to say the worlds largest cowl vent had me scratching my head about getting it flush with the Dakota firewall. I slit it at the top, bent it flush and then welded it up adding that fill in piece that the factory thoughtfully provided. It had to be flat to mount the Dakota AC/Heater box. I'm left with no options besides long cables and mounting the battery in the bed, and more practical mounting the battery slightly to the passenger side above the engine on the firewall like my '48 Willys. I'll mount it on the firewall.
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Awesome stuff man.
This is the fun shit that I like. I swapped the firewall and converted a toyota celica one time from left hand drive to right hand drive.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you're doing here and I think it's pretty cool.

One thing on the engine, while you have it available and easy to get to, I'm willing to bet the timing chains haven't been done. between 150k and 200k these motors are notorious for jumping time and smashing the valves because the timing tensioners or guides let go. It's a pretty painful job in the truck but you can manage it. While the whole front is off I'd change the chains and the lifters all at once and I'd give the exhaust manifold gaskets a change because once the exhaust manifold bolts rust up, you can't really get them out. If the engine is out, change the bolts and the gaskets while you can get an impact on them. After that I'm sure it'll be good to go for as long as you'll have this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My plans are to get it running and driving, use it locally until next winter, and if it isn't burning oil, dropping oil pressure and has even compression, then do the chains, guides, oil pump etc. I haven't driven except off the trailer to the place I parted it. I had busted a hose on the PS having it slip off the jack loading it on the trailer. It also had a broken brake line. I didn't run it around that way long.
They hadn't ran it in quite awhile. It was their sons truck and he lives out of state. He owed them money for putting in a transmission and they managed to lose the keys. That's why I got it very cheap. That's also why it was a terrible job loading it. The wheels weren't straight. I put the transfer case in neutral. That was all I could do and jack up the rear end and keep dragging it over loading it rear first as it was in a driveway between two trees.
Naturally a much newer Durango wrecked in the back with a Hemi showed up on CL with low miles for $1000 a couple of days later. Murphys law.
 

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Undoubtedly murphys law. But Sounds like you have a solid plan. Keep us updated as it progresses. They don't get much more unique than this one.
 

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I had a couple of setbacks lately, the worst of which was not even this project related. I was cleaning the shop up getting rid of some stuff. I was about to head to my favorite U-pull-it salvage yard and meet a couple of guys in the parking lot first to sell them a ford AOD transmission and torque converter,
(That almost ended abruptly when leaving a stoplight a little too fast and the unsecured trans slid back on the slick bedliner, knocked the tailgate open and when I looked in the mirror saw it was sitting on the tailgate!!!!!. Also covered with that slick plastic!!!. I babied it to a stop and left gingerly from then on.)
I do make bad decisions from time to time, but the worst was running a little short of time to meet those guys and lifting the trans into the bed in the first place. I figured it was maybe 80lbs but I hadn't messes with it in years. I was about half right. I have a history of back problems and have been told multiple times by my Dr. not to lift heavy stuff.
I felt it stiffening the rest of the day. Had to go to the Dr. the next day. Had 3 problems and finally getting back normal weeks later.
I've also made a couple booboos with the wiring, and still running down loose grounds as I install the components before test running it. The starter would only click in the truck or turn very slowly. I eliminated everything but the starter. Took it out and it ran fine on the bench. Put it back in and it still cranks fine. I didn't actually change anything but I did clean up the solenoid connectors.
The fuel pump solenoid is buzzing like a buzzer and the current to the pump is doing the same. I believe it is probably a ground that need to be attached and I'll see if it straightens out when everything is mounted. If not I'll have to trace it down. The instrument cluster has never budged. If it is still unresponsive when it's all connected I might buy a used one and test it out to see. When I modified the one in it, I just cut the lens down, never took it apart, but I did have it resting on the reset button while I was messing with it and now it's hard to push in and out. I learn by trial and error.
I'm going electric fan. I don't think the water pump is still under warranty now. The battery is in it's new firewall mounted box, and did get a set of black Friday sale 235 75 15 Goodyear Wrangler A/T tires. Stock Dakota size I believe. I can't believe Wal Mart took $20 a tire off, then shipped them for free fed ex to my house. They must get them for nothing. They are 8/19 build date too.
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I only run the electric fan in my 04. so long as you have all the sensors available, the electric fan will kick right on. Mechanical fan just sucks up HP.

Good luck on healing up. be careful out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
First run. And almost a tour of all the crap piled in and on the truck not knowing or thinking about publishing this at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Real world is interfering with my time, but I did get the bed mounted. I was always going to cut the floor out, level it with the cab, and add a wood floor to it.
I was looking for some reasonably priced square tubing or channel which I don't really have a source for, and went to menards to see what I could find. I needed 5ft. lengths because the narrow bed is 34.5" wide inside. I found 10 ft. lengths of heavy channel in the electrical department for whatever they are for at $25 each. Perfect thickness, lets the wood floor clear the obstructions including the frame kickup in the rear. I told tha cashier I didn't know what they were, but I know what they are going to be.
I'm doing the wierd modification of welding the crossmembers on TOP of the old bed floor. That will let me mount it lower on the frame, and clear the shock mounts and gas tank fuel pump. The channels have continuous slots on top for me to mount the wood floor.
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Discussion Starter #11
Test fit earlier. Have to match the running boards to the bed. I had to cut an inch off the back of the frame to clear the back of the bed below the tailgate, that's not a bad match really.
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Good ole "uni-strut" ! Use that stuff to mount electrical panels up off the ground at human height. I like this rough and tumble method to your madness. Almost like a little bit of resto-mod. Like it a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm going a different way with the wheels. Using the steel wheels that are rarely on the trucks ordered with them but commonly used on spares and putting on trim rings and aftermarket babymoons. (8-23/32") I didn't look too hard for a rear bumper. I used some small exhaust tubing and a thick metal strap to repair the rotted off bottom of the tailgate.
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`I had the chance to sell my factory outside sun visor for a great amount of money, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that was going to be part of its uniqueness, so I declined. I'm going to go more '50's than I originally was thinking.
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Glad you decided to keep the visor. Really makes the cab pop. Really enjoying the updates. Keep up the great work.
 
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