2002 "Ventilated" Dodge Dakota Project

Just joined this fabulous world and I already have numerous possibilities. Since I was watching Waynes videos and I have ordered the book, I thought why mess with success! This truck is a 4X4, 5 speed manual with a 4.7 liter V8. (blown, block destroyed aka “ventilated”).

I thought since I have to build a new motor for it I might try and build 30% more power into the motor from stock. The idea would be to get back some of the loss of power associated with Woodgas. I could try and design the motor to better make use of the gas through a different cam, maybe a change to the compression ratio, etc.

This truck will get used a LOT. It will be a service truck for the tow company and I will run it all over the State of Oregon. It has to be durable and reliable so no expense will be spared. It’s not unheard of one of my trucks averaging as many as 400 miles a day performing service calls. IMAGINE the financial edge I will have over the competition if I am NOT BUYING GAS!

I can’t wait!


Well, you are right to focus on Wayne’s proven designs William. All the people that I am aware of that have managed to do significant work or long distance driving are using that system. I wish I was in a position to build an engine from pretty much short block up to try and optimize the fuel. Keep you progress posted. Many of us will be very interested.


Welcome, a potential DOW wet west side enthusiast. After the build one of the more challenging projects is to keep DRY WOOD CHUNKS to feed it. 6 months of winter coastal weather will be a challenge.


Find a way to swap in a 5.2L (318) Magnum V8 with MPFI, or the “360” version. They were in mid-late 1990’s Dakotas, Ram 1500’s, Jeep Grand Cherokees, Dodge Durango’s, Or even vans.
Get the ECM computer plus wiring harness that goes with it.
In woodgas, displacement is king.
Save a lot of grief. :sunglasses: :cowboy_hat_face:
Welcome to the forum!! :grin:


Hello William .

Please keep in mind driving on wood is a cheap ride but far from being a free ride . A huge wood supply will be needed and drying time along with a lot of maintenance .

I have been driving and farming with wood for 18 years and have learned it can be done with little money but a lot of sweat.


agreed Wayne, looking forward to warmer weather for drying and stockpiling lots and lots of wood! The work commute wood demand is one thing, but once your up and running you will want to take lots of joyrides past the gas stations and have a good laugh and that uses up a lot more wood as well


What Wayne and Marcus said.
Also, unless you pass your woodpile several times a day, remember 400 miles means hauling 400 pounds of wood as well.
I’ve reached close to 6 years of 98% DOW by now. The best I can tell is - if there are no major issues with your system and with an efficient fuel prep, you may be able to spend as many hours behind the wheel as you do maintence and wood handling. Building process not included.


Have you noticed in Wayne’s videos he might put half a hopper load of wood in because he is not going very far. This makes sense to me for short drives. Keep it in the bag in the bed of the truck. It makes sense hauling extra weight around even if it is not needed. I always haul a couple of extra bags of wood more than I need for the trip I am making. Heck it is just wood and I might want to SWEM a little longer in my travels.


The State of Oregon is awash in trees. Lol. The truck really won’t be hauling much so there’s room for wood. Also, I can literally stop just about anywhere and grab loose wood if I carry a way to chip it on the truck. Remember, trees are classified as weeds.

Who knows, maybe I can start a small firewood company on top of it all.

It’s gonna be fun no matter how you look at it.


Some people have done this and it might be possible in the dry forest areas where I live at the dry season summer time. But not on the west side of the Cascades range of the mountains it is way to wet. And that means wet wood that needs to be dried before using in the gasifer.


A mobile chunker unit in the truck would be a cool build. I just built mine on a trailer and I haven’t moved it more then 20 feet since I built it :joy:


If I drive over the mountains and run out of wood I know where to get some free chunk up wood. Mike G. or You. SMEM