Fix or Cut Losses

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My '97 Dakota just started getting some rod clatter and the oil pressure goes to near 0 at idle. Approx. 202,500 miles on it. 3.9 V-6, auto trans. Some rust on box. Fix or replace? Jasper wants almost $2400
for a reman.
I'll also mention that we now have 4 drivers sharing 2 cars. Daughter's car's engine seized in July and I've yet to fix or replace it.
Life is still damn good, the logistics are getting tricky.
Ken
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On Thu, 4 Oct 2007 18:33:18 -0400, "NapalmHeart"

How about droping the pan and replacing the rod bearings if it runs well otherwise. Also you could try using 15w40 (not 10w40) as that will boost oil pressure and film thickness. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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wrote:

Thanks for the reply. I think I'll at least get the pan off and see what I find.
Ken
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Does this ole truck have any sentimental value????
Assuming 2wd, this truck is about $2,000 in fair condition after you put the motor in. Excellent condition is about $3,000. You'd have to drive this truck for several years with no other major problems to get your money out of it. Maybe it's time to put the ole beast to rest.....
Or maybe find a boneyard motor for $5-700?? It's a gamble on getting a good one but it's another option to look at..
Denny
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Thanks for the reply. I'm actually thinking of kinda going with Snoman's idea, except I'm thinking of going with a crank kit and an oil pump and leave the rest alone. It was running pretty good until this problem. Have to see what I see when I drop the pan. Maybe some fresh rod bearings will get me by. Our son is in college and our daughter will be going next year. We're far from starving, but money is going to get nothing but tighter for the next few years.
Ken
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Does it ever end?
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wrote:

Not really, not till the grave anyway. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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I was there recently with my 98 Dakota (98k miles) with serious body damage (entire right side). In excellent condition it is worth about $6,000 (loaded Sport V8). The body damage is $4,000. I gave it to my son for graduation so he has sentimental value in it. He didn't want another vehicle either and was going to drive it as is but I felt bad about it. It was on the border of selling it as is or fix it. I decided to fix it. Rear end was recently rebuilt ($1,300 for that little deal). All ball joints and upper control arm bushings replaced, new rubber, paint is not good but not bad either. All in all, the truck probably has another 100k left to it if he can only keep it without wrecking it again. All these years and no body damage at all. I am a two parking spot user and take great pride in the way my vehicles look and drive. It's not a door stop for the irresponsible.
Bottom line: Is it worth it to you? With that many miles I would toss it and find another one like it. You can get a nice 2000 or newer with less than 100k for less than $5,000. I did once, drove it for 2 years, wrecked it once, repaired it, then sold it for more than I paid for it. It can be done.

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After draining the oil and removing the oil filter I saw that the filter didn't have any oil in it. What would cause this? I use Wix filters.
Ken
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It's either drainback, doubtful, or oil pump is out, likely.
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seem that drainback would be near impossible.
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Is there a check valve before the oil gets into the filter?
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Don't even bother! The fact you've got noise in the lower end would lead any reasonable mechanic to pull the oil pan and change out the oil pump.
Unless of course you'd rather blow the sumbitch up first.
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Truck is out of service.
I wish it was as simple as pulling the oil pan and changing the pump. As was noted earlier in the thread, the pan won't come of this truck with the engine still in the truck, even with the engine lifted. Investigating the possibilities available. This truck may turn into a donor for a different truck. I hope not.
Ken
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My '97 Dakota just started getting some rod clatter and the oil pressure

OK, I followed the instructions in the manual that I've got. Even with the engine lifted as high as I can get it and the transmission mount unbolted I can't get enough room to get the oil pan out. Any ideas on how I can get the pan off w/o pulling the engine?
Thanks,
Ken
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 20:03:30 -0400, NapalmHeart wrote:

is this a 2wd dakota? if so i have NEVER been able to remove the pan fully without removing the engine. i dont care what the dodge service manual says it cant be done, no-one in any of the dodge shops i ever worked in was able to do it.
that being said, you can drop the pan far enough to reach in, whipe the gunk/sludge out of the bottom of the pan and be able to replace the oil pump. its not fun but doable.
--
Chris
05 CTD
  Click to see the full signature.
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My '97 Dakota just

It is a 2WD. I was thinking about separating the transmission and engine, then lifting the engine just enough more to get the pan off. I want to get a better look at what's in there than I would be able to with the pan still on it.
Thanks for the reply.
Ken
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everything you need to. I have tried doing the bearings from below and it is a real PIA. Once I pulled the motor and could see everything I found that my crankshaft needed turning so I went to a machine shop and they had the right crank already done at 10over (just swapped the old crank) and I got the bearings there too and that did the job right with no guesswork. While everything was out I put in an oil pump and put the motor back in. The whole thing was a one day job taking my time. This was after spending almost a full day trying to take the shortcut......:-). IIRC, the total cost was well under $500.00 for everything including seals and gaskets.
Ed

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Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to get by with just replacing the oil pump. One thing leads to another!
Ken
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