1996 Dakota 4x4 v8 318 to 390 Stroker

Slow down Dakota!!!
Sorry guys this will be the next build. It’s a 96 Dakota 4x4 v8 I think it going to take to running on wood like a duck in water(sure was in a hurry to climb wood mountain). Needs a little work but nothing I can’t handle.With a little time she will be arrow straight in no time. More pics. and video coming soon.


LOL! Looks like she’s a good runner. Massive tires on that thing. And I bet you’re looking for a convenient spot to pitch that topper…

Hi Chris,
Yes massive tires indeed!! Still pretty quick off the line though. The topper is FOR SALE though I don’t think it will be very helpful. Round here we don’t like Dakotas with topper’ s on. LOL
Now I have to get this Dakota retrained to run on wood rather than just drive over it…

Hey Sean ,

Just remember the shiny side stays up .

Thanks Guys,
I learned that things will break just a matter of time. It’s my hardheadedness that would rather them break now rather than later. Get it done in one shot now and feel comfort when driving out of state. I have AAA never used it though. The next few days will be kind of like Dakota Olympics. Should be fun. Sean

I’m gonna put my camper out front. Maybe somebody will steal it. They are so bad! That’s why your truck was acting up if you ask me!

Hard to see from the photo, but it looks like you’re missing the Magnum decal on the air cleaner. Just the wrong filter top? Or non-Magnum?

Yeah my other Dakota is like that too no decal on the air cleaner. All the research says they are both Magnum v8’s. I go by the 3d decal on the front of both passenger and driver quarter panel.
Try too zoom in on this one. Had to make sure the truck went both ways (up the hill I mean).

Magnum (in red)

Close up pic of decal, Wikipedia says any model from 1992-1996 comes with the Magnum engine.
Maybe the air cleaner decal was a limited edition??? I would like to hear Wayne’s input on this he has been working with the Dakota’s longer than I have.

Interesting, maybe on those later models Magnum wasn’t a “new thing” so they weren’t promoting it as much. I didn’t doubt you Sean… just curious about the decal.

Oh and I guess it has 8 cylinders too? :stuck_out_tongue:

Morning Sean.

This magnum stuff is very confusing.

First I have a v-6 out in the pasture that say magnum on the breather.

Next the black fenders and emblems are two different trucks 92 and 93 both have magnum on the breather but not on the fender.

A red and white Dakota doesn’t have magnum written any where on it but will fly.

Very confusing pics below.


Hey Chris,
The only silly question is the one not asked. You got my gears turning as well and I starting wondering then curiosity kicked I had to ask.
There was a reason I called this truck deja vu. Motor is blown up, Pulling it next week. Going too be a sweet ride when she is done.
No Rust that is a big plus.

Good Evening Wayne,
Thanks for the pics. and the info. I do agree these engines can be a bit confusing. Keeping up can turn into a full time job quickly.
If one didn’t have a Magnum engine and needed one. I would ask what is the difference between a regular 318 and a magnum 318?
Basically what makes a Magnum a Magnum and why would it be important? SteveU I know your out there.



Time to knock the dust off the thread. Well I am officially temporary out of woodburners in Florida. Back to the drawing board and welding table. Spent a few hours on this one today. Removed the topper and bed liner. Tomorrow the engine comes out and probably the transmission too just to be on the safe side. Buying used trucks can be a little tricky you never fully know what the prior owners did or did not do to the truck. One way to be sure take it apart and continue to do so until the deep void in your stomach goes away.

Took a nice size bite out of the truck today. Went well!!! Just a speed tip much better to remove the engine and trans together on a 4x4 Dakota.
Truck is without a doubt a barrel case right now. Few weeks and I will be having some fun!!

Hey Sean,

I know you will be glad when you can wash the grease off and get a little soot on you again!!

Well said Wayne!!!
I used to think that carbon black (gasifier dust) was very dirty. Boy was I wrong this grease is for the birds :slight_smile:
On the lighter side being your own BOSS is priceless. Will feel very good knowing that the truck will be a sound machine when it’s finished.
You know the first thing I will have to do is some good old mud slinging. HWWT

Feel like a surgeon doing transplants? You should. A very noble profession, giving new DOW life to down-and-out Dakotas.

Sean, You sure are hard on those 318’s !!

Got the lower assembly balanced. The shop had to cut 120grams out of the crank. Got the crank in the block for a rough fit. Going together very nice.
Won’t be long now. BBB

Hey Sean

What are you thinking about using for the top end? Stock heads and cam or aftermarket? flat top pistons? what’s the compression ratio gonna be?

Looking good