Been searching for 5 months for a 94-96 5.2/manual. No luck. When I do find one it's way over priced. I have a ready 350 and I just found a NV3500 with a new clutch for $150
The dakota I bought was $200. Transmission was junk. Frame is perfect. Gonna cut everything away except floor and firewall and fit the 56 cab to it. Been searching for SBC motor mounts for the dakota. No luck. Guess ill have to make them. Upside is the SBC will be old school and already has some nice upgrades
Originally Posted by Gene
This was a concern I had. The steering shaft is close to the exhaust manifold on the 3.9 . I'm hoping to use a set of center dump SBC headers I have. Thinking I'll have to go smaller points distributor with petronix also. Motor is set up with a edelbrock AIR intake and 1405 carb
Originally Posted by Crusty2r
Last edited by binderbart; 01-17-2017 at 01:37 AM.
We did some measuring this past weekend. Now I'm not to sure I want to use the dakota frame. Noticed the motor is kicked off to one side. If I try to go sbc I'm thinking the steering shaft will be in the way. Width was my reason. Did some research and if you use the s10 frame and put a s10 4x4 rear axle in and 2 inch wheel spacers up front you'd have about the same track as the dakota.
As I remember, a SB Mopar and a SB Chevy are almost the same size, outside measurements. There is no reason your Chevy motor can't be offset like the Dodge was.
2" wheel spacers will put a huge load on the front wheel bearings, but your the guy that will be replacing them, so that's your choice.
If everything was easy, everyone could do it. I believe you need to start thinking about "what if I try this" a little more. Lots of people have put a lot bigger motor then your SBC in a Dakota and kept the Dakota fenders in place.
Your building a rat. Your putting a cab on a frame and you are building cab mounts. I don't see any reason you can't move the cab back, or notch the firewall to clear a HEI dist. If you let the little things bother you, your truck will never get built. Build the truck, and move things to where they need to be. Gene
Thanks Gene. The kick in the ass I needed. Gonna get the dakota back in the shop again and set the SBC w/transmission in and see how things look and go from there
Originally Posted by Gene
the engines in mopars are offset for a number of reasons. extra driver room, extra room for steering shafts and it helps offset the drivers weight some. the ax15 from a 3.9 application is just fine and will hold up behind a 5.2L or 5.9L. carb intakes for the magnum 5.2/5.9 are available from edelbrock and it's easy to convert from efi. you can use LA type brackets and pulleys if you change to the LA timing cover and water pump. the 1996 and older dakotas are preferred for a swap due to the ease of converting from 6 lug back to 5 lug. i wouldn't recommend using a 97 or newer if the bolt pattern is a concern. the choice of 6 lug wheels is slim.
I am using a 98 Dakota- Wished I could of found a 96 but I looked for about 6 months. Needed to be a 5 speed for us. I am using an LA 318 that I had and new its history and mated it to the Dakota's AX15 5 speed. Converted the LA TBI set -up to craigslist Eddy Manifold/ carb 600CFM. HEI ready to run, and wired the altenator for external regulator. Made our own motor mounts. I found that 2 passenger side stock 1998 Dakota mounts worked perfectly. I bought a new Passenger side mount from Rockauto Added about 1 7/8 to the drivers side and flipped it. Perfect drivers side mount. I needed to notch and reinforce the crossmember for the oil pan.
Originally Posted by wedged
used stock Dodge manifold for now. Tight fit, but it clears the drivers side and steering shaft
Now, the swap to the Studebaker cab will take place.
Wheel choices are limited though. I am thinking of using the Studebaker hubcaps on the stock black Dakota rims. Will see.