Ron H 1994 Dodge Dakota 4X4 WK Gasifire Project

After hundreds of hours of manual labor, countless hours of research, burnt and bloody hands almost every night I have decided to post my build. Although I have followed Mr. Wayne Keith and Chris Saenz . Special THANKS too Carl Zinn, Gary Langworthy, Terry Lavictoire, Peter Coronis, and the other entire builder’s. I have gleaned many ideas from you all and I thank you. You guys are great builders with your own twist. With that said I want you all to know that I will only be posting things I did a little different and hope it may help someone in the future. I started out making my own fire tube on 02/05/2014 post Drive On Wood! - Woodgas Power. We will see how well this holds up in the near future. At the end of Feb. I found a truck, 1994 Dodge Dakota 4X4, 318 MAGNUM, new auto transmission, 2” body lift, 215,000 miles. I got it home did a compression check, 160/170 every hole, COOL! Good start. Got to looking at it good and it dose not appear to have ever been used a truck, the bed didn’t have a scratch in it. This was the hard part, cutting a hole in perfectly good truck bed. Didn’t do it tell sometime in March.
More to come soon.

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Good Morning Ron.

Looks like you are off to a good start ! Thanks for posting.

I know what you mean about cutting the first hole in the bed . Some of the trucks I have used seem to of never had anything hauled in the bed . I would mark out a cut and think about it all night before putting the plasma cutter to it the next morning .

Very nice looking truck!!

OK, I’m going to try and get up to speed on this project. So I’m going to post a few pic’s from the last 3 months, and I will continue till I get to where I am presently at on this build. First pic is of my 94’ Dakota with the bed off. Second one is of heavy-duty shocks that this truck will need on this road from hell that I live on. Third pic is the electric fan installed. Maybe it will give me a couple more horsepower. Had to put the electric fan in because I put one more inch in the body lift, for a total of 3 inch’s. At 2”of body lift, radiator hose’s were just unsatisfactory for me. This in turn will allow me to run all the 2” plumbing under the bed and on top of the frame of the truck. I will show pic’s next time I have the bed off. If anyone has Q’s please ask and I will be glad to explain/help.

Mr. Wayne Keith, Thanks for the comment.

Hello everyone, more pic’s of work done. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pic’s are of the rear cross member that holds the shocks. I cut this out and inverted it, added a gusset on each side and welded it up. The reason for this is even so I have more than enough room for the plumbing from the hay filter to the condensate tank, the pipes were sloped the wrong way, as you can see in the 4th pic it is now a straight shot forward. I just looked outside, its snowing again. Spring is holding out here. Better get to the shop and work on the truck.

Looking good Tom. Now’s a good time to install a new fuel pump if you think it’s needed. It looks like your lowest spot will be under the cab, running up to the engine. A couple of T’s and screw plugs make for a positive drain out. I get 1/2 cup in 1000 miles, or so.

Thanks for advice Carl Z. I will look into that next time I have the truck box off, latter this week.

A couple more pic’s of things done last month. 1st and 2nd, is how I secured the gasifire to the truck bed. Just making sure nothing moves around on this dirt road. 3rd and 4th are the push/pull coupler that join the gasifire and the heat exchanger. This coupler helps facilitate the tear down and rebuild. Think I had it off and on 8 times yesterday just to build the coupler to the cooling rails ( 5 and 6 pic’s). Few more things to do and it will be time to start on the hay filter, Plastic I think!?

Ron H

Nice looking build Ron. Makes you feel good when you go in the house after getting something done after thinking about it all day. Do you have any thoughts about going to Argo’s?


Good Morning Ron .

Very nice looking job.

If I am reading the pictures correctly it looks like from your heat exchange to you cooling rail the gas will be in an upward flow. If you wash your top cooling rail with water you may have water to flow down through the heat exchange housing . You could open the the bottom of the heat X to let the water flow on out whenever cleaning .

Also when driving the trucks in uneven terrain ( diagonal to a ditch or terrace) it will cause the bed and frame of the truck to twist or flex just a little. If the gasifier housing is mounted solid to strong parts of the bed or frame and the heat X is mounted solid to the cooling rails it may cause fatigue in the heat X to gasifier housing connection area .

I think I would only use one hold down location for the gasifier housing to allow movement with the cooing rack. . .

Ron, don’t neglect to install a new gasoline fuel gauge sender. They often go bad on Dakotas.

Re: fuel gauge sender - yep, mine must be broken too… well at any rate it never moves much! :slight_smile:

I got my 1995 Dakota from Tennessee last summer and discovered the broken sender after the down the road gas station fill would not move it. I already took the title… Every two hours of ten we filled up again and again coming back to Michigan.

There is a cheap fix for those senders, had to do my dodge diesel. Here is a link.

Some may elect to just replace it, but take note that dodge never improved them so they too will eventually fail.

That’s worth a try. What’s the worst that could happen? Buy what I would have bought anyway? Thanks Jim.

I’ve probably got 12,000 miles and 1 1/2 years so far with this “repair” Doug. Believe it or not, some guys just sit down and kick their tank to get it to work, but for how long? These tanks are plastic, at least mine is, freaked me out when I discovered that.

aww man I wanted to see the rest of this build!

Ok Joseph Hauler, I will try and get up to speed here now that I’m up to date on my dues on DOW and am currently a lifetime member, “THANKS EVERYONE”.

1st and 2nd pic is of the cooling rails done and painted. 3in. exhaust tubing behind the cab, and in the rear going through the bed to the condensate tank. From the 3in. tubing I used (8) 2 ¼” tubing. Almost the same thing Gary Langworthy did on his Dodge, but a little different.

3rd is my exhaust heat exchanger. This was a lot more work than I had anticipated but well worth the time and effort to use the left over heat from the muffler.

4th is a pic of my grate shaker, bottom side looking forward.

Ron H

Awesome, thanks for the followup!

The way you made the cooling rails blend into the ladder rack. Can you enlighten us on the flattened pipe off exhaust heat exchanger ?
Thanks for the pics

Looks good Ron! Thanks for the pictures.

Tom I’m not quite sure what you are looking at. I used some left over sheet meat (hot water heater stuff) to join the exhaust pipe’s to and from the heat ex. with hose clamps. Always want to be able to RandR anything I build.