Ok, why a '92 Dakota instead of a '71 Ford?

I think I already know the answer from the bits 'n pieces I pick up, but, aside from the HP to weight ratio, give me a quick laundry list of the reasons why Wayne prefers the Dakota platform and why throttle body and carburetor applications are less than desirable.

Hi Alex
Already been posted available here driveonwood.com/premium

Will do - check’s in the mail for premium membership

Good Morning Alex,

It seems like I am trying to push dodges and one might think I have stock in the company. I have always been partial to fords and they are about the only brand I have used through the years. I have never had a 71 but the only new vehicle was a 73 f150.
There are some features of the dakotas that might make them less attractive for normal day to day gasoline operation vs. the 71 ford but for gasification it may turn out positive.

You are correct about the HP weight ratio.

I like to be able to drive at highway speeds and blend with the traffic and have reserve power for hills ect. Because there is quite some power loses from gasoline to wood the vehicle should be over powered on gasoline. If on gasoline the vehicle should do 0-100 mph in about 20-25 sec. if it is in the right HP/weight ratio range. My dakotas are in this range.
The73 ford I had with a 360 motor wouldn’t have been in the ball park

The dakotas are a poor work or farm truck. They are a midsize car with a gasifier mounting platform (bed) but good for highway use.
I like a lot of gears with wood gas because of less power, the same reason the 18 wheelers will have from 10-20 speeds.
My ford only had three, the dakota with the OD and the locking TC has 5 or 6 speeds.
A lot of unused working space under the hood and also under the bed.
The only pickup truck I know of that has 11 inch distance from bed to frame. (For low profile of the gasifier)
The fuel pump pressure can be regulated from the driver’s seat electrically.
The ignition timing can be changed to a higher range from the driver’s seat and the computer will adjust in that higher range. ( v-8 only)
The distributor is fairly easy to get to.
Both rear shock absorbers are behind the axle.
Metal intake manifold, push rod motor

Single cab or extended cab options.
Sorry to be so long winded but the main issue are profile, weight and HP.

Thanks, Wayne!

All very good points to consider. I guess my initial bias toward the older stuff stems from there being fewer things to go wrong, but apparently simplicity does not come at no cost . . . .

Anyway, once my premium membership is activated, I look forward to diving into all your good information, and hopefully start my own project.


Hey guys,
I’m old so can remember well the good 'ol days before electronic ignitions and electronic fuel injections - 1971.
All my old stuff would only really run well would need at least twice year ignition points work, and once a year spark plug change out and here in the humid rain forest plug wires and distributor cap and rotor change out. If not used at least to full warm up weekly the die cast zinc carburetor bodies would start to internally corrode. Use less than four full tanks of gasoline fuel annually then they will run like Cr#p from fuel degradation especially in the carburetor bowl varnishing up all of the tiny internal passage ways. Sophisticated V-8 carburetors would require a Good carb man to annually clean, lube and retune all of the complex linkages. All of these in cold climates required 3-8 minute cold start warn ups with a 2-3 min foot blipped throttle step down warm ups. Other wise they would cough, spit choke and die at drive off.
Average running conditions out the tail pipe would make your eyes water from all of the unburned and partially burned fuel components. Getting stuck behind a “classic” today in a six-way intersection is an eye water’er.

Now an evolved 1992 electronic ignition and fuel injection systems can sit for six months, fire right up, run smooth and burn clean and drive away in 30 seconds to one minute. Spark plug changes at 3 years 36,000 miles up reliably 70,000 miles.

I am S-L-O-W to adopt new tech Always. Usually waiting 10-15 years and at least 3 generations to let it shake out. Let other be the newest guinea pig $$$ beta developers.
A 1992 electronic FI vehicle system IS this 3rd to 5th generation development and now well know 20 years old.
Why I weekly drive a 94 Ford F150 and a 99 Chrysler minivan. Sweet. Simple. And lowest, cheapest maintenance.
Anyone able to learn to Internet communicated, post pictures and videos has the smarts if applied to learn these constant pressure, solenoid valve fuel delivery systems. Lots and lots of now basic, system specific tutorials up now on the internet about these systems with friendly helpful user groups. Any decent auto parts stores will love to sell you the basic fuel pressure testing and diagnostic hand held tools.

Yep. 'Nother 6 years and a couple of generations and I am sure I will be dragged into a “new” smart phone too. Gotta keep stretching out this current flip “dumb” phone for a few more years.

Picture is my newest electronic ignition and fuel injected small engine. Starts right up always and settles into clean exhaust running in just a single minute. No more fuel washing down and wearing of the valve stems, rings and cylinder walls. On gasoline fuel the engine oil is staying much cleaner than any of my older carbureted small gasoline engines.

Steve Unruh

Would you guys give me your input on doing a 91 Cadilac Sedan DeVille, 4.9, It must be throttle body?

I did a 95 Seville, did’nt look good but it worked.

Glad you spoke up JimW.
When I worked for the Chrysler dealership and later the Nissan dealership the older sales men Loved to take in on trade this era of Cadillac 4.9’s and personally buy then up and drive them. Earlier in an independent shop the owner would only drive these, saying these and Hondas were the only quality vehicles available to the common man. As these shops “Mikey”, I was always got assigned to work on these. I found these engines to be very easy to work on and reliable.
These ARE the last pushrod valved Cadillac engines.
The 4.9 version was the best of the 4.1, 4.5 V-8 series and IS the one that was individual port fuel injected.
It DOES have aluminum metal intake manifolds.
It DOES still have a twistable ignition distributor.
Herb and Jim, Google up this engine and you will see these have become very valuable now as light chasiss swap in hot rod V-8’s. Something not here in the US in a V8 since the since the early 60’s Buick-Olds 215 V-8’s.
Aluminum block with cast in sleeves these are a couple of hundred pounds lighter than a Ford 5.0L and couple of three hundred pounds lighter than the common Chevy 350 or Dodge 318.

The Caddy chassis though will force you into an ugly tail heavy in the trunk install, or dragging around the extra weight and length of a gasifier system trailer. And on a trailer system I do not see how you will be able to use many of the Keith system heat recycling features.

Steve Unruh

Thanks Steve, glad to hear it’s a good one! I can see why guys like them for hotrodin’. I have made a WK unit kind of thinking I would put it on a nice old car. The cooling rack fits around the front and sides and kind of holds it tight, For now I’m planing on behind the bumper probably move it in the truck latter, it’s would fit, I made it shorter then Waynes and it’s lighter too.