Before truck mania hit America back in the 1980s trucks were big and hard to handle, especially for consumers who wanted to drive them everyday. New truckies wanted a small nimble truck that could handle big jobs, but had the comfort of a car so auto manufacturers put their thinking caps on and came up with several solutions. We still get calls for New Crate Dodge Dakota Engines for Sale that Cost Less.
The Japanese auto makers were already thinking small, but the engine power was not much better than a lawnmower motor in some of those early truck imports. Ford knew what it had to do so it spit out the Ranger model, and Chevy carved an S10 pickup out of an Isuzu truck. Chrysler jumped into this new truck pool with the Dodge Dakota, which was a truck that could handle big jobs and feel like a compact pickup.
The Dakota was a body-on-frame winner with a 2.2 SOHC 4-cylinder engine with 96 horsepower or a 3.9 litre OHC V6 with 125 horsepower. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard on both engines. The 2.2 litre engine was the same engine used in the K-Car so it was not the best choice for the 3,000 pound Dakota.
The V6 engine was actually the Chrysler 5.2 V8 engine with 2 cylinders removed. During these early years neither engine was considered powerful enough to overcome the sales beating that Ford and Chevy were skillfully and artfully inflicting on the Dakota. The 0 to 60 speed of the Dakota back then was only turtle worthy at best so the car magazines had a field day writing about Dakota and its power flaws.
Even with the annoying press, Dodge sold over 104,000 Dakota’s in 1987. Those sales figures put the Dakota on top of the Ram and the Ram 50. In 1988 Dodge added fuel injection to the 3.9 litre V6, but the power output was still stuck at 125 hp so sales dropped in 1988. Dodge had to improve the Dakota in 1989 or face extinction.
Dodge introduced the Shelby Dakota in 1989, which was a Dakota with a 5.2 litre fuel injected V8 engine with 175 horsepower and a new 4-speed automatic transmission. The Shelby Dakota went from 0 to 60 in 8.6 seconds. That speed put the Dakota back in the good graces of car magazines as well as truck buyers.
We sell Dodge Dakota Truck engines. Call or email Crateenginesforsale.com now for more information about new crate Dakota engines.
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