I have been looking far and wide for a v8 dodge Dakota, but have had no luck. I did find a long bed 1996 5.0 V8 2wd F150 XL that seams to be pretty similar to the Dakota. It has high miles, 310k, but seams to be a in good working condition. The seller wants around $2k for it. I think this seams like a reasonable price for my first wood gas conversion project, since the truck needs little to no repair and could also help with the farm work I do before it’s fully converted. I’d like to use this truck as a farm truck that helps move compost, plants and hay for my nursery business. So I was wondering if anyone has converted this model truck and if they think it would be compatible for my uses? Seams like a versatile truck that can be on the road and also move some loads around. I welcome any feedback or experience that my help me make the decision to make the purchase or discourage me from doing so. Thank you!
Hello KeremS. Welcome to the DOW.
I’ve owned and operated a 1994 Ford F150 2door, long bed 2wd since 1997.
As said these are actually great commuter and distance travel vehicles. I can cheats mine up to a consistent 18-20 mpg.
Loads carrying is marginal and should be limited to 1000 pounds. They only have a single row of narrow roller bearings in each end of the rear axle. And that axle only retains by a C-clip in a groove clear inside the center differential. Cornering under a heavy side load and the axle can shear break there. Lighter duty usage.
A true loads carrying truck will have bigger two opposing tapered roller bearings in each rear axle end. The actual wheel hub being retained onto the axle tube by a big outer nut and washer. The actual axle shaft just transfers the twisting power. It “floats”.
The rear differential gear ratio will be loads starting lower effect.
The brakes will be heat shedding bigger. Much of the suspension and springs heavier for better, loaded durability.
Yeah. Yeah. I have used and even pictured my F150 loaded out with one full cord of firewood, sacks of concrete, cinder blocks, concrete steps, to 2000-2200 pounds. Just to slower trundle move.
And that has cost me now two sets of front radius arm bushing sets. Worn and loose again affecting the from alignment. Hit a bump, corner, and it will now change from a left pulling to a right pulling. Premature brakes wearing out. No bonus on the transmission either. 146,000 actual true second owner miles. That tranny says Ouch! Slow delayed shifting. Or sometimes too hard slammed shifting. 200,000 miles equivelant wear.
So’s . . . at 310K yours looked at will already be on its second tranny. You loads work it and you will soon be needing to change out to a third tranny soon.
Price these for a quality guaranteed remanufactured. Can you do a heavy tranny R&R yourself? Cost you 10’s hours of shop labor if not.
Loads carrying you want a true rear axle hubs sticks out, H.D. F250 or F350. What I used for serious fire wood selling.
Stronger longer lasting tranny, and all else drivetrain too.
Figure a total loads weight for best wears and safe vehicle on the roads as 1500 pounds.
That means YOU, passengers, fuels, tools and whatnots.
Loads weight distribution becomes key.
My F150 overloaded out never had the ass-end squat with the front end up making for scary handling.
I will four foot sideboards mount rows stack just behind the cab, in front of the rear axle to force the front wheels to loads carry too. Taper height the rows going back to even with no wood into the last of the bed. Ha! Ha! Many times been asked why I do that.
look at the best done gasifier system installs here on the DOW.
That 500 pound main gasifer system is put bed forwards right behind the cab. Practical for many reasons. One being will leave some bed loads space at the rear easy available.
O.K. put more than 500-800 pound back there and watch the ass end squat and the front end come up.
The guys with the big across the front of beds toolboxes same-same problems. (Why I will not have one)
Any 150 or 1500 weight class truck is already meant for light duty.
1000 pounds is still a lot of weight to move around and I’m sure it will be helpful on the farm or around town.
Expect that V8 to feel like a V6 on woodgas. In the case of woodgas the old saying is very true, “There’s no replacement for displacement”.
I’m not a Ford guy so I’m not sure, but I bet you can always swap out the rear axle for something stouter. The Wayne Keith gasifier is flexible for different engine sizes too, so if you find a bigger V8 to drop in there you can tweak the gasifier to suit it.
Yes 1000 to max 1500 pounds pounds with gasifier; and good average wood gasifier with the HD drums and inturnals- heat exchangers and burn tubes-grates-hopper coolers set ups that seem too be best overall wood useage units at leiste between 500 and 700 pounds counting all the cooling railes -drain tanks and all the rest- IF ANY ONE Has a better weight estomate - i am all ears–But i think thats a good overall weight for full wood gasifier truck system–AND WELCOM TO DRIVE ON WOOD- I had a hard time finding any 93 too 96 dakotas- but i managed to snag a 99 dakota. its not as light as the older dakotas but it has port fuel injection- that seems too be good for hibrid driveing adding in a little petro.I might have too drop a 360 motor in place of the 318- if i like more power or i can like you say add in a little petro- on hills or freeway enter sceearios- keep us posted on your progress- i think a 351 motor wood be better allso. It would leave you with a better trailer pulling set up too- either way its about a pound a mile too probbly closer too 1.5 pounds of dry chunked wood a mile with the bigger motor.
That price seems a bit high for a 18 year old truck that has over 300 thousand miles on it. Did you see evidence that the engine has been rebuilt, and all the other maintenance has been kept up on it. What condition is the body and interior in . I know sometimes I tend to overlook these things when I am looking into buying a used vehicle but after the purchase they usually seem to have more importance when it comes to looking at them and driving on a daily basis.
I also believe Wayne is right about the use of such a vehicle. If all you were going to do is drive it and never put much of a load it might be alright, but to use it to do work I believe you would be better served by a truck with a larger engine. Remember you are going to be losing somewhere between 25 to 40 percent of the power of the engine with wood gas.
That’s one thing Ford did very Right in the design of their trucks. That 460 makes a great woodgas engine in my opinion. It has the displacement needed. The 440 Dodge engine are great too. But Dodge screwed up and quit making them. One of the biggest mistakes Dodge has made.