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1987 Dodge Dakota ??? Never mind, truck was sold...

Post in 'The Gear' started by Intheswamp, Feb 19, 2011.

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  1. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    Loc:
    South Central Alabama
    Never mind this thread....truck was sold.

    I'm "looking" at a 1987 Dodge Dakota 4x4 for a beater in the woods to haul wood and other odd jobs. I say looking "tongue in cheek" because the truck is 75 miles from me and I haven't looked at it in person yet. I'm currently using an older Jeep 4x4 Cherokee and a 5x10 trailer but there are times when a truck would be much more handy maneuvering and for the quick get in and go. I haven't completely rationalized to myself the need for the truck, though, and then I have the logistical/$$ problem of getting the truck down here.

    $800
    Base model, 8' bed, LWB.
    3.9L V6 engine.
    109k miles

    It's carrying capacity *should* haul a half cord of oak. From what I've read the '87 Dakota was built with a beefed up metal in the bed to keep it from getting dinged up as bad. This truck supposedly has a good bed liner in it (which makes me wonder what is underneath). As best I can tell it has cv joints in the front in rather than a straight axle. It has gotten good reviews from folks along with the occasional "it's the worst truck I've ever had" review.

    Here's the big negative issue.... The guy says everything is in good working order *but* the brakes and that it needs brake lines and new equalization valve...he appears to think it's not a big issue. What I'm curious about is with these lines needing replacing and the rust seen on the front left fender and driver's door should I be worried about hidden rust? Being as it came from Maine I'm not sure how the salt issue plays in. He says the rest of the truck looks good in regards to rust. Here's a couple of emails from him and some pics of the truck. Some of you yanks want to comment on this? Ed

    >>sorry for the delay in getting back to you...been at work all day...brake booster and master cylinder all appear to be fine, front proportion valve is fine...needs a new line to front splitter....and I will include that line with the truck....needs 2 new lines going from the proportion valve back to the equalizer valve( they are labeled)...needs new equalization valve ( hard to find, but I found a new one at the dodge place for 179.00 or a local junkyard has 3 of them for 10 - 20 bucks. needs a new line from equalization valve to rear splitter and that should do it. I do not know if the calipers and all that are good, but they appear to be. I have not had brake lines on the truck since I have had it, but I do have the records and the previous owners had it serviced for anything that came up, so i feel as though if they were also bad I would know about it. I put my hands on the pads and the rotors and all that seems fine...just rotted lines from being a northern truck (originally). Everything to repair the brakes can be bought for around 50 or so, I posted the brake booster new from autozone is 70 bucks (but not needed, just trying to ease your concerns). 25 feet of brake line is 19.99 at autozone and fittings are just a couple of dollars for a box of like 5 or so. Dont let it scare you off, its not as complicated as my explanations make it sound...let me know if you need any other info. Ill be around all weekend if you want to come check it out...but I am getting a ton of calls, its gonna go soon. thanks,

    >>so sorry for the delay....it is the 8 foot bed....frame looks good and solid...i did drive it and it rode and shifted fine...however it scared me coming back because i got a little too fast and i had to take the turn into my yard a little quicker than i wanted to...but the truck stuck it with no problem and didnt even spin a tire. like i said...it has no brakes, apparently I forgot that....any way it is fine for the truck to stay here if needed, no problems at all. now in regards to the title....there is no title on the truck yet...but please keep reading while I explain...the truck is from maine, and is registered there currently. the previous owner was transfered to fort rutker here in alabama. in maine they do not title vehicles older than 15 years old. They dont issue titles at all for them even if you request one. before I bought the truck, i called the county probate office tag line and found out that all that is needed is a letter from the state of maine stating that they dont title vehicles that old, a bill of sale, and something stating the most recent date that the truck was tagged. I DO HAVE ALL of this information. I would NOT have bought the truck if I was unable to get this information...so in short, there is no alabama title yet because i did not register the vehicle and was not going to until i got it driveable. I know that you dont know me, but I assure you that if you buy the truck, you will not have a problem getting it titled. I hope that doesnt scare you off, but i promise there are no title issues, ive done my homework on it. please let me know if you have any more questions or if you want to come up...thanks,

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  2. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,555
    Loc:
    Blue Ridge Mountains NC
    IMHO one of the great bennies of living down south is not having to shop older cars that have been exposed to the DOT road management of colder climes. There are plenty of older trucks available without that much rust. And that's just what you can see in the pix. I'd pass.
  3. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    Loc:
    South Central Alabama
    Yelp, plenty of southern vehicles with little rust. I may go look at it and see...for $800 I could put up with a little rust but...don't want the gas tank falling off! This is the cheapest 4x4 that I've found so far...I need to see a friend in the hospital up that way anyhow so I might just tie checking the truck out in with visiting.

    If I do look at the truck what specific items do I need to look far that would be affected by the rust/salt??? The truck was driven down here from Maine by a soldier stationed at Fort Rucker here in south Alabama...it's been down here roughly 4-5 years. Other than that I don't know if it spent all of it's other ~20 years in Maine or not. The bit of fender rust I can kind of deal with being as the truck is 24 years old, the rust on the door is a little unsettling, though. I'm not concerned too much about cosmetics but if the structural/functioning integrity is compromised then it's a "no go".

    Some of my thoughts on things to look for...

    Gas tank hangers.
    Oil pans.
    Gas lines.
    Transmission lines.
    Cab/bed mount points.
    Floor board.
    Bed floor.

    Electrical???

    Thanks,
    Ed
  4. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    497
    The trouble with any vehicle that has spent much time up in road salt country is seized fasteners. Working on them is a major PITA, since virtually all of the exposed nuts and bolts that haven't been removed on a regular basis tend to be frozen.

    I'd pass.
  5. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    975
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    I'd have to agree with the others. If it spent any significant amount of time in Maine, rust may have gotten a good hold of it already. As the above poster mentioned, nuts and bolts rusting is a problem and a major PITA. As for the points you mentioned above, its all stuff to be checked out. The gas tank will likely be bolted in somewhere rather than using straps because its a truck. The ATF lines will probably be protected by a coating of leaking fluid! :) Probably one of the most important things to check is the frame and any key points where accumulation of road debris may lead to its demise.

    If you're up that way, go look at it anyway. I'd be asking myself what will need in the next year and how easy will it be to fix. If his ad has been up for a long time, others may have looked at it and decided to pass. On the other hand, it might not be that bad so it could be worth a look. You may be able to get temporary tags for it to transport it home. Also, I would call the DMV and find out if you can legally purchase it without a title. The current owner may have to get all of that sorted out for you before it changes hands.
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    Loc:
    South Central Alabama
    Well, I said a prayer this morning for guidance on buying the truck. I asked the seller to take some better pictures of different areas. He just emailed me that while he was taking pictures of it his neighbor walked over and bought it. Nuff said, eh?

    Thanks for the feedback everybody and I'll beware of northern vehicles.
    Ed
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