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Need info on Dakota 3.9 V6

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 12905, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. 12905
    Joined: Jul 21, 2009
    Posts: 37


    Anyone out there that's had experience with a Dakota 3.9 litre V6? I have a 27 Essex with a really tight engine bay - 28" firewall to radiator. I wanted to keep it Hudson, but the Jet 6 cyl inline is too long. I think any relatively modern straight six is too long and will stick through the firewall way too far for comfort. As the Essex/Hudsons are now considered part of the Mopar family, I thought i'd look at the Dakota V6, but I can't find one in a local wrecking yard to check out, and I don't know if anyone has made any decent power with one.

    All comments/suggestions that are on topic gratefully received.

  2. captain scarlet
    Joined: Jun 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,417

    captain scarlet
    from Detroit

    I would look for a current 2wd Jeep Wrangler to use. Newer engine and better
  3. Ironswims
    Joined: Apr 24, 2010
    Posts: 108

    from Illinois

    Similar to a chevy 4.3 being a 350 with 2 cylinders lopped off, a 3.9 is a later 318 with 2 cylinders missing. They are a good motor many going 200k before 200k was easy ;)
  4. special-k
    Joined: Mar 24, 2009
    Posts: 45


    318 with 2 cylinders lopped off. Direct connection used to sell hi-po parts for them in the mid to late 90's. Local kid had one with aftermarket cam and headers on it in a Dakota. Sounded pretty good and he said it would run with 305 Chev p/u's and such.

  5. 3.9's are good motors.. the tbi ones are dogs but one can advance the timing for some good gains.. the magnum 3.9 is a great motor... same high flow heads as the magnum v8's they are baby versions of the 318's as mentioned before.. and if memory serves they still have the early ear type mounts as the early mopar sb's as well as the later triangle style bolt holes in the block... im not sure of aftermarket support though.. but you could work over those heads and have a cam ground for it.
  6. pretty sure I have a magnum in my dakota, is stock but my thoughts are that
    if you put it in something light enough it will be fast,dont try it on a 4200 pd vehicle
  7. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    Those Mopar Performance parts are hard to come by these days. They offered a 4 bbl intake, 4 cam choices, and a few other goodies. All the Mopar performance parts fit the 91 and older 3.9.
    About the best you can hope for is to find a Magnum V6 from a newer truck, then expect to leave it fuel injected. I think the Magnum engine probably upped the performance as much as most of the MP add-ons did because all info for a 3.9 ended in 91.

    The early trucks (86-87) were carbed,with a factory 2bbl 318 carb. A 4bbl manifold was available at one time, if you can find one. They all used a computer controled ignition, and I've not heard of a different option.
    Throttle body injection became an option in 87 and standard in 88. It remained until 91 (I think). With the introduction of the magnum 3.9 in 92, a port injection became standard with the famed "barrow" intake manifold.

    A box stock 3.9 was rated @ 195 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. and has about 30 more HP then a slant 6
    Over all dimensions:
    Length: Back of block to front of fan = 27.54" (318 compares @ 32.0")
    Width: With out oil filter = 26 3/8"
    Height: bottom of pan to top of manifold = 21 9/16
    Weight: dry weight, assembled engine = 403 lbs (aprox. 130 lbs less then a 318)

    This info is from the Mopar Performance Engine book. Gene

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