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97 Dakota v6 to v8 swap


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1:25 AM
Dec 24, 2020
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Not a b body question but can anyone tell me what would be involved in swapping a 97 v6 dakota sport to a 5.2 or 5.9 magnum v8? It's a v6 auto but i would want to swap to a v8 manual. I'd also like to get rid of the fuel injection system and go to carbureted. What issues would i run into as far as the computer, electrical, etc? Thanks for any insight.
I swapped my 93 from a 3.9l to a 5.2l and later swapped the transmission.
I had everything from another 93 (engine, trans, computer and harness) so it was pretty easy.
Just had to cut down the radiator shroud as the V8 extends further forward.

Unless you are doing some substantial power modifications to a magnum 5.2 or 5.9L, I personally wouldn't change to a carb.
Just my opinion they run very well with injection and don't wear quickly either.
I would recommend the Hughes style intake as the stock "kegger" gets heat soaked in warmer weather.

If you do plan on a carb changeover you'll need a classic style electronic ignition setup or something similar.
Fuel pressure would need to be lowered (somehow) and you'll likely lose your tachometer and get a check engine light all day long.
In essence it's a one off retro type thing you've created.

What if any are your state inspection requirements?
I see your located on planet Earth.

I can't comment on the auto - manual trans changeover.

Luckily i live in an rural area where we don't have inspections (yet). It's just a dream right now. Not that i need another project but the price is right on the dakota sport so the idea crossed my mind of making a dakora r/t type truck.
I rebuilt and installed a 360 in my Son's 99 Dakota. The engine, trans, transfer case and computer were all from a 2001 Ram 1500 originally. It all dropped right in and runs great so far for over a year now. The headers were the best fitting I have ever seen. Not one ding required.




I am in the process of stuffing a w5 headed 340 stroker motor and an a833 into a 96 dakota.
Luckily I found swap mounts and long tube headers.
Ditching computer and planning holley sniper
I’m stewing on mine, it is a well used 3.9. I’ve got over 500k on the clock but like it enough to swap it. I was thinking new 5.7 but not sure what trans to use. So I’ll probably go with a good 5.2 or 5.9. I really like my 92 club cab stick. It was really a very good truck and I snagged a nice lil red step side bed for it and have most to repair what it needs.
97 would be a second gen right?
5 speed trucks, at least for 97 and 98(maybe 99?) have the infamous "shift light" in the dash cluster in the middle of the speedo, which is controlled by the ECU.
This leads me to believe the ECU is transmission specific. I can't comment on how nice one or the other would play with a swap. 5.2 5 speeds in the second gen are rare. However, you could maybe buy a rebuilt one from an auto parts store or Amazon if need be.
Or not, second gen Dakotas you either find 100 options that cost $5 or parts are unobtainium. Do a lot of research before you pull the trigger!
I have been told second gen started when they changed to a rounded front for v8
Gen 3 is the 97 to 04
Gen 4 is 05 to finish

But it depends how you think.