dakota transmission

joe_mnDecember 23, 2006

I am looking at a 99 dakota sport w/318,ext-cab 4wd pickup. it has fairly low miles, 72k but it has lost 2nd gear. the seller is including a used tranny and wants 5k. i am pretty cheap and have been looking for trucks that need work to get the price down. i have just started looking at dodge websites and it seems the dakota is not real reliable. lots of issues. we have a 2001 dakota at work that is the same color but it has the 4.7 motor. the price is not great. I know the book is around 6-7k. whats a fair price?

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**i have just started looking at dodge websites and it seems the dakota is not real reliable.**

Like what? We have a '98 durango with a 318 automatic that we purchased new. In nearly 100k miles the only things that actually broke were the rear speed sensor, the backup light switch, and the thermostat. All cheap and easy do-it-yourself things to repair. Versions of the 318 have been around for 40-50 years. I'd call that a pretty good test. Some claim there's a problem with sludge. Mine shows no evidence of that. IMO, change the oil every 3 months or 3k miles and it won't be a problem. I consider the issue BS myself. In '99 I believe they had a bad batch of ball joints. That might be something to look out for in the dakota of the same year if they haven't been replaced yet. As to pricing, about the best you can do is shop and compare in your area. Something with a known bad tranny would have to be priced well below the market for me to take a chance on it. As described I'd pass. If he first repairs or replaces the tranny, then you can talk about price. Buying it broke, you could end up spending as much or more than if you paid more up front for one without any problems and save yourself the trouble. jmo

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 8:13PM
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the guy bought it new and says it has been a good truck. he said he is too busy to fix it. I have done trannys before. both RWD and FWD. a 4x4 is a pain since the transfer case has to be dealt with. I have a heated garage but no lift. it would probably be a good idea to change the torque converter to be safe. 5k is certainly no deal.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 11:05PM
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And what is to say that the used transmission is any better ?
Remember, the present owner is an asker; if he asks $4.0K rather than the $5K,he could become a seller - depending on the market, which can be volatile..
On the plus side is the low mileage and the original owner..

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 8:29PM
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Not sure about unreliable. I've got an '87 that I've spent about $1400 total on repairs since I've had it. Radiator started leaking and I ended up blowing the head gaskets. I don't think thats too bad on a 20 year old truck.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 8:57PM
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87 vs 99? same motor? 2wd or 4wd? a/c in the 87 or not? manual trans or auto? apples to oranges here. the seller went down to 4.5k. starting to sound better.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 9:11PM
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**the seller went down to 4.5k. starting to sound better.**

Sounds ok...least in my area, if you want to take the chance. I myself lost the desire to goof around trying to make ice cream out of horse crap in order to save a buck over the last 30 years. I have to wonder if he has the transmission, is so sure it works, and simply doesn't want to do the work himself, why he doesn't just pay a shop to R&R it. I'd think 1/2 day labor ought to get-r-done at any shop in town. Then he'd have a more sellable truck that he could get more money for. He's to busy to drop it off at a shop while he goes about his business? Smells fishy when a guy won't spend a few hundred bucks to save a few thousand. The older I get the more skeptical I get.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 10:46PM
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the truck was for my son. he is real picky but kinda tight like me. I work with a guy who has a side job at a repair shop and he was going to put in the trans for $200. nice guy. we looked at the truck and it has slight hail damage on the hood. the sellers dad owns a body shop and the seller said his dad might be willing to fix it for a discount. yay, right. turns out dad was not to willing to help. final verdict. no sale. my son sold his car last week and is driving my car now. my wife and i both work less than 3 miles from home so we are sharing a car now. my son is still looking.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 1:12PM
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