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Discussion Starter #1
I want to swap my 3.9 for a 5.2 or 5.9 but I don't have access to the tools or equipment to perform an engine swap. I want to stop dumping money into this 3.9 because it's still too slow for me. I'm looking to swap to a 5.9 but I know I will need a new transmission. Should I take my truck to an engine swap shop? How much will it cost for them to do a complete engine swap and how long will it take? Thanks!
 

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The cost of this swap is not going to be cheap if you have a shop do it. Most are going to charge you $3500 plus if you have all the donor parts. If not, then you are looking at $5000 plus for the cost of sourcing all the parts and then it's just not doable.
Since you are not capable of this swap, it would be best that you find a V8 Dakota and use yours as trade in. You will save a lot of money and you won't be without your truck for more than week if you paid some shop to do the swap.
 

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The cost of this swap is not going to be cheap if you have a shop do it. Most are going to charge you $3500 plus if you have all the donor parts. If not, then you are looking at $5000 plus for the cost of sourcing all the parts and then it's just not doable.
Since you are not capable of this swap, it would be best that you find a V8 Dakota and use yours as trade in. You will save a lot of money and you won't be without your truck for more than week if you paid some shop to do the swap.
I agree, this is good advise. Most shops are not gonna want to have anything to do with swapping out a engine for a different one. Even if the 5.9 is very similar. They simply have no interest in dealing with the unknown. It is far easier to make money just doing typical repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok thank you for the information. Now Im debating if I want to put 4.56 gears in the truck with the v6. The only issue I have is that the truck seems so sluggish off the line and I feel like there is no power. I was quoted around 700 dollars to install 4.56 gears, would that even be worth it? I'm also getting 31's later this year.
 

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Changing your gearing can make a huge difference but it might scream a bit at highway speeds. By switching to a larger tire you will also lose some of that extra power you gain from the gear swap. You need to find some good tire size/gear calculator websites to figure out how much of a difference it will make. Also calculate how many rpms your engine will run at during highway trips.
 

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Ok thank you for the information. Now Im debating if I want to put 4.56 gears in the truck with the v6. The only issue I have is that the truck seems so sluggish off the line and I feel like there is no power. I was quoted around 700 dollars to install 4.56 gears, would that even be worth it? I'm also getting 31's later this year.
I would check into 3.73s or 4.10s . My thruck had 3.55 factory gears with 30 in tires, and i can break the tires loose with the 3.9. If you choose 4.56 gears, you really need 35+ tires.
 

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yup. I bought my latest Dakota ('99 2wd club cab) and made that mistake. my last 3 Dakotas have (had) 318s in them,
4 Dakotas ago was a 94 reg cab 2wd short bed with a 3.9..... that was before my 1st 318 Dakota.... I can get as good of MPG and more power to boot with the V8.... like my 94, this 99 seems to top out at 17 to 17-1/2 mpg....
my 96 is slightly lower but it is a 4wd with 3.91s--- but not much. my 92 and my 93 318 trucks were no worse than my 3.9 ones gas mileage wise..... and my 93 was better on gas once I put the 5 speed into it and started rowing my own gears.... damn I miss that truck but it was hopelessly wrecked. the computer from it lived on in my 92 though.... the engine from the 92 is on a stand in my garage as a spare (that it seems like I'll never need) for the 96....
I'm gonna play with the 3.9 a bit though because it has such low miles (for me) and I overpaid for it, wont get my money back from it ever..... so I gotta get my money's worth in driving the snot out of it...…
aint gonna do a lot with it, but at a minimum I may experiment with a different set of injectors, and Id like to swap in a set of 1.7 rockers..... it does run good and has proven dependable so far.... Ive put 14k on it in just over 6 months so far.

on your potential swap.... don't be too quick to condemn the existing trans, a 318 or 360 will directly bolt right up.... you can swap trans later or get existing one beefed up. a 46re will bolt directly right in place of the lighter duty version when the time comes..... get the goody out of what you have 1st. maybe find another and have it gone thru as a "ready spare" and don't neglect maintenance on the existing one in the meantime, (fluid/filter changes, band adjustments) it may surprise you.
 
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