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Discussion Starter #1
So, I have a Toyota Tacoma that I bought as a project truck, so I'd have something that I could put on the road for a beater all winter while working on Cara.

After fixing the cab, getting it straightened out again from being rolled, I've priced out a windshield and driver's side window. Since you just can't find these trucks in junkyards, it's retail parts... to the tune of $500 for both pieces installed, from everyone I've contacted.

Well, this is a little much for my blood... but the truck runs great... so it's a hard decision (not really, it's not.). While junkyard hunting, which I do often at small local yards, I noted a few 1996 and older Dakotas in the yard that were in decent condition... after asking the owner about a complete one, he informed me that it needed a transmission, and was otherwise complete, and that he may consider an even trade for my Tacoma... this is good news for me. I'd rather have the extended cab Dakota anyway, so I can still have my infant Son in the back seat, instead of having to put him in the front seat in a rear-facing child safety seat.

So, here's to hoping I can make a deal on a 1994 Dakota Ext V6 Magnum w/ Auto. (It's 4x4, too, not that I like that, but he doesn't have a similar one that's 2x4, which I'd prefer. Beggars can't be choosy, I guess.)

If I can make this deal, the Dakota will become the candidate for a diesel swap, using an engine and 4 speed transmission that I'm supposed to be getting tomorrow from a 240D Mercedes.

So that's to hoping that TWO deals work out correctly... all of which will enable me to work on the third project, Cara and the 5 speed swap.

Cascade effect, anyone?
 

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Sounds like a couple of interesting projects. I'm a big fan of rebuilding vehicles to suit your needs and many of us here would like to see a 5speed swap done.

Do you plan on keeping the 2.4 for the manual trans or maybe something else. I would love to see an SRT-4 engine put in one of these vans.
 

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Hopefully you do get that Dakota, if it needs some tires invest in some chunky tires that are good in the snow, and maybe put some weight in the back of it, an old transmission might work good for this lol. Last I knew those old Dakota's were sturdy trucks.

and andyg, if you wonder how an srt-4 powered minivan would get off, look at a PT GT, IIRC about the same weight as a Caravan.
 

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(It's 4x4, too, not that I like that, but he doesn't have a similar one that's 2x4, which I'd prefer.
Any particular reason? Less to work on/less to break?
I'm a big fan of 4x4 pickups... not enough weight in the back in the snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like a couple of interesting projects. I'm a big fan of rebuilding vehicles to suit your needs and many of us here would like to see a 5speed swap done.

Do you plan on keeping the 2.4 for the manual trans or maybe something else. I would love to see an SRT-4 engine put in one of these vans.
I'm keeping the 2.4 for now, eventually, it'll get swapped for something else.

I had originally planned on a SRT-4 swap (when I got the van, at first), since it's basically bolt-in, but I'm going against that now. I'd much rather do a diesel conversion, or even a homebrew EV.

The 5 speed conversion is just the first step, because I'm tired of the auto tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Any particular reason? Less to work on/less to break?
I'm a big fan of 4x4 pickups... not enough weight in the back in the snow.
I don't particularly like 4x4 because (not in my case) it gives a false sense of ability. " I can go anywhere..." - that doesn't mean you can stop.

I look at it like this: I'm a good enough driver that if I can't get through it with 2wd, I don't need to be driving in it.

4wd has it's place, but that place isn't on the street. (IMO, of course.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I got the engine/transmission. Went off w/o a hitch, the guy dropped them off, picked up the other motor, and went on his way. Wouldn't even take a coffee. LOL

The transmission is crazy small - It's like half the size of a normal car transmission. No tail shaft, it's like bell housing, gear box, drive-shaft yoke. It came with a part of the driveshaft, but the shift linkage isn't in great shape, I'll likely have to get one/make something work. We'll see about that, though.

Now, I've cleaned my crap from the Tacoma, and got it moved to an easier access area, gotten my bikes out of the van, and I've got to talk to the junkyard guy soon, to see if he'll drop off the Dakota and pick up the Tacoma as part of the deal, if I throw in an AMC Eagle chassis with no engine/transmission in it.
 

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I don't particularly like 4x4 because (not in my case) it gives a false sense of ability. " I can go anywhere..." - that doesn't mean you can stop.

I look at it like this: I'm a good enough driver that if I can't get through it with 2wd, I don't need to be driving in it.

4wd has it's place, but that place isn't on the street. (IMO, of course.)
I can see your point.
My thinking goes like this: Having 4-wheel drive is like another tool in the toolbox. Use it with discretion, but it's there when you need it. It can get you home when you pretty much don't have a choice of whether to tackle the conditions or not. I've owned both 2x4's and 4x4's. Just my preference.

I miss having a truck... so either way I'm jealous! :thumb: sigh..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, it seems like the guy I'm trying to make the trade with is a bit flaky about it...

He says he wants to check out the Tacoma, no big deal, but I went back to talk to him about the Dakota, and the rear windshield is out, the original rear rims are replaced with steelies, and the stereo has been removed.

Seems to me like he's going to try to take me for a ride on the deal, and as of tonite, I'm listing the Tacoma as a part-out on CL. I guess if he gets to it first, and doesn't try to play games, then I'll deal with him - if not, fook him.
 

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I also prefer a 2WD over a 4WD, but given my locale and climate, that should be obvious. A 2WD truck weighs less, has less to break, gets better fuel economy, etc. I also agree with the notion that for many people, 4WD gives them a false sense of security.

But the notion that a 4WD can't stop better is also somewhat false. Typically, if you have a 4WD truck, it's going to have a completely different tire than, say, a minivan would. You can't compare the snow performance of something like a BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO to something like a Michelin Harmony tire that you might have on the van. The snow traction of many of these light truck tires is astounding. We used to have a Jeep Cherokee Chief (without ABS) and even on snow, that thing would stop ON A DIME. Those big BFGs just bit into the snow and hauled it down.

And in some cases, a 4WD will get you home where a 2WD won't. Some hills a 2WD just can't make it. You can even do good deeds with them; we used to answer the call by hospitals when we lived in Virginia to come and bring nurses and doctors to work during the 20" snows that we'd sometimes get up there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The deal probably isn't going through anyway, the guy's being a douche about it. I'm parting the Tacoma, though. If this one sale goes through, I already made my purchase price back on it.

This guy is coming up from SC on his way home to NY, he's stopping by my place, and as long as the bed is as described, he's buying it for $250.

He also may want other parts off it, which could represent another $200 or so in sales. I sell things at less than "market value"... the bed alone is worth $350, even rusty. You can't find parts for this truck. I just don't want to sit on it that long, waiting for the guy that "wants it bad enough" to pay that kind of money.

I feel that I've gotten enough good deals over the years on stuff that I can "give back" a bit.

Also, I'm actually kind of in the market for something 4wd now. I figure, since the truck will only be a "backup" vehicle, it doesn't really matter if it's 2wd or not, and the likelihood of having to use it doesn't defeat the utilitarian ability of the 4wd. If it was to be my DD, I wouldn't want it. Being that it's just a spare, 4wd actually makes more sense.
 

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I feel that I've gotten enough good deals over the years on stuff that I can "give back" a bit.
Me too. I even give stuff away a lot. The world's a more pleasant place when everyone's not trying to get every single last penny out of something.
 

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Me too. I even give stuff away a lot. The world's a more pleasant place when everyone's not trying to get every single last penny out of something.
Amen to that. It gets under my skin when everything is worth a pile of money.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I try to imagine what I'd want to give for it, add 25% to that, and that's my asking price. I'm negotiable on most things, though, and in most cases, I'd rather make a trade, even if the trade isn't worth what mine is monetarily. Actual personal value is far greater than monetary value in any form.

IOW -

Lets say I need a car. I've got a storage building, and it's worth about $5,000. (We're talking about a large shed, not a permanent fixture). I want to sell my shed so I can buy a car. Noone has the cash to give me what I've got to have for the shed... (probably $3000, even though it's worth $5000). Some guy needs a shed, and he's got a '94 Voyager with 200k on it, but the transmission was serviced recently, and it'll get me around for a year. The van is probably not worth $1500 cash, but it's worth it to me to make the trade, because I need a car.

Even if I already had a car, and I just wanted a spare, just in case - it's still worth it to me.

Now, I wouldn't do the same for a car whose monetary value was ~$500, unless said car was just not popular, but was still a good runner, and reliable.
 
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