The Truth About Cars » Magnum http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Magnum http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: Fanning the Dakota’s Flames? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/piston-slap-fanning-the-dakotas-flames/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/piston-slap-fanning-the-dakotas-flames/#comments Mon, 23 Dec 2013 13:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=686522

TTAC commentator Ian Anderson writes:

Hi Sajeev, I have something here for you and my fellow B&B to ponder over,

Back in May I bought a rust-free 1999 Dodge Dakota Sport (Extended cab, 3.9L Magnum V6, 5speed AX-15 manual, 2WD, 3.21 8.25″ open axle) for $2000 from a guy in South Philly. I bought it so I could take my rusty 1992 Dakota off of the road so my dad and I could fix all of the rust on it. Well now the ’92 is on the road (and growing more rust) and the ’99 is sitting on the street with a supposed ticking time bomb in the trans tunnel. When I bought the truck I was told by the previous owner’s mechanic that the throwout bearing was going out and would need replaced soon. Lo and behold, the next day while beating around in it I had to call AAA when I could no longer shift it (and when the clutch suddenly didn’t do anything, made stopping interesting). $600 later I had a whole new clutch kit and was on my way.

Now fast forward four months, myself and the Miss (not Mrs.) are coming back from dinner in the middle of August when it suddenly stalls while shifting gears to make a turn- shifting into third from fourth specifically. I chalk it up as my error and keep going until it does it three more times five miles down the road, then being accompanied by a soft BANG and me wrestling it to the side of the road. We made it home by driving in second gear with the flashers on. Now it will behave itself most of the time, but every so often going uphill it will become hard to shift, stall or get stuck in third, which makes it interesting trying to get the little 3.9 to motivate 4000 pounds with a line of traffic behind you. My mechanic ripped it back apart to check the clutch out, everything was fine. He’s stumped and telling me to drive it local until it blows, my dad says the transmission is shot, and the forums are all over the place with it saying it’s the trans, the clutch or that I can’t drive stick (the 30K I put on my ’92, including learning manual, beg to differ).

Now the question- What do I do with the truck? I love driving it since it handles great, has good brakes and will leave most “Ricer/tuner” cars in the dust even with the aforementioned 175HP 3.9 hauling 4000 pounds. But on that subject, I do have a stronger, newer, 500mile NV-3500 transmission in the shed from the same era Dakota that I snatched up for a bargain, and I’ve been thinking the truck could use a few more ponies under the hood. Do I:

  • Get a junkyard (with a warranty) trans or a rebuilt unit and just have it throw in
  • Use the later, heavier-duty trans I have with either the stock V6…OR…
  • With a V8 swap. Low mileage 5.2L Magnum V8s are plentiful in my area. Thankfully Chrysler made it a bolt-in job since it was a factory option.
  • Slap myself for the last two options
  • Throw it on Craigslist to get what I can for it and move on

I’m sure you and some of the B&B have been in the “Okay it’s broke, do I fix it to stock or upgrade” boat before and have some insight into this, especially you with half of your stable being occupied by older Detroit iron.

Thanks again Sajeev and the B&B!

Sajeev answers:

If you are considering slapping yourself for options 2 and 3, maybe you don’t like this truck as much as you should.  Or could, as significant power train upgrades on a depreciated truck like this won’t net you much $$$ value.  You’re a fool with plenty of spare time and excess cash to even consider a V8/Tranny swap.

But obviously, the power train swap is the correct answer. Like, obviously!

You have a spare truck (’92 Dakota) to use.  You have the “good” transmission for a truck where it will supposedly drop right in. And yes, Magnum V8s are dirt cheap, unlike those fantastic LSX-FTW beasties that would be nice, but far more complicated.  This is a no brainer, son!  Get a used motor (as much as possible, like accessory brackets, emissions stuff, etc), get a heater for your garage, clean/re-gasket it and start swappin’!

It’s either that, or dump it on Craigslist with the upgraded transmission in the bed to sweeten the deal. But then you’ll be bored out of your mind, doing the swap is totally worth it. And nobody wants that!

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Junkyard Find: NO, IT’S NOT A HEMI! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-no-its-not-a-hemi/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-no-its-not-a-hemi/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2012 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=428564 The good old Chrysler 318 engine has been around since, oh, around the start of the Iron Age. From about 1,000 BC to 2002 AD, the 318 and its LA engine relatives were installed in Chrysler products, and they did a fine job. If it hadn’t been for the cockroach-grade immortality of the Chrysler Slant Six, in fact, we’d probably be talking about the 318 as the most unkillable engine Detroit ever made. In 1992, Chrysler updated the 318 (which had gone to a roller cam a few years before) with high-pressure multi-point fuel injection and more emission-friendly heads… and they called it the 5.2 Magnum, no doubt because the original Dodge Magnum hadn’t been good enough to justify such a cool name. As I discovered in a Denver wrecking yard last week, at least one Dakota owner was proud enough of his Magnum to apply a full-body vinyl wrap to his truck.
I’m hoping that this truck was owned by a shop specializing in hot-rodded Magnums for the off-road crowd, or some sort of outdoorsy engine-related business, because getting a screaming-eagles-and-virgin-forest vinyl wrap job for a Dakota seems somewhat creepy otherwise.
Here it is: Magnum.
I might be talking heresy here, but a Hemi in a Dakota sounds like a fine idea to me.

10 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 01 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 02 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 03 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 04 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 05 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 06 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 07 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 08 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden 09 - 1993 Dodge Dakota Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phillip 'Warlord of the Alameda East Side Locos' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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Junkyard Find: 1978 Dodge Magnum http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1978-dodge-magnum/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/junkyard-find-1978-dodge-magnum/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2011 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=421631 Is there any vehicle more emblematic of the Malaise Era than the first-gen Dodge Magnum? Other than the Plymouth Fire Arrow, that is… or the black-bumper MGB… or the Mustang II. Terrible as it is, however, this junked Magnum I found mouldering in a San Jose self-service junkyard still has a certain undeniable presence.
The Magnum was the last of the storied Chrysler B-Body series, which means it’s a sibling to such Chrysler superstars as the Super Bee, Road Runner, and Charger.
I’m not going to look up the horsepower figures on the California-spec 318 for 1978. You don’t want to know.
Maybe I’m getting too tolerant in my old age, but I think that the weird styling touches on this car have aged better than most Malaise Detroit weird styling touches (e.g., the quarter-window louvers on the Pontiac Grand Am Colonnade).
Polyglycoat!

Just up the 880 from this yard, I passed the Solyndra and NUMMI buildings in rapid succession. What does it mean?

DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-32 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-02 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-03 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-04 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-06 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-08 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-09 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-11 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-13 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-15 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-16 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-17 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-18 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-19 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-20 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-21 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-22 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-23 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-24 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-25 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-26 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-27 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-28 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-29 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-30 DOTJ-78DodgeMagnum-12 ]]>
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Piston Slap: The Gassy Dart, the Bosch-eating Magnum http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/piston-slap-the-gassy-dart-the-bosch-eating-magnum/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/piston-slap-the-gassy-dart-the-bosch-eating-magnum/#comments Wed, 18 May 2011 22:38:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=395000

TTAC reader sportsuburbanGT writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Have a couple of questions: I have a 72 Dodge Dart that I am performing a 318 to 340 swap.  It’s taken longer than I planned (lack of time), I backed the car in the garage 2 years ago and now I am planning on firing it up in this April.  The question is the gas: I had about a half tank when I backed it in, and I put some Stabil in the tank, but I took the cap off to try a new cap and the tank smelled really awful.  I replaced the fuel filter, but should I drain the tank and refill with fresh gas, put some fresh gas in the tank to mix up what is in there, or pull the tank have it boiled out and refill.  I was driving the car up until March 2009, and I put that last half tank in there in March 2009.  I am in Long Island, NY so we have that crap gas till April.

My second question is on my (daily driver) 2005 Dodge Magnum RT, with 87k on it.  I replaced the O2 sensors (all 4) as preventative maintenance and now I keep getting a p0152 code.  It’s the code for the upstream right side O2 sensor.  I installed new Bosch sensors, but I received the first CEL right after I started it up after the new sensors were installed.  I replaced the right upstream with a new unit (Bosch), no code on start up.  The CEL came back after 4 days and 300 miles, stayed on for a day then went off for a day and came back this Sat and is still there.  I disconnected the neg. battery before I performed this work.  I replaced the sensors as preventative maintenance; I was under the impression they last for about 100k.  I also have the Mopar Performance long tube headers with a Borla exhaust on the car, they have been there since about 15k.  Is the Magnum eating O2 sensors, or are these Bosch sensors no good?

Great write ups, I have really enjoyed reading them, thanks in advance for any help.

Sajeev answers:

I like your tastes in cars, this brand loyalty proves why some (Detroit) brands need not stray far from what made them so popular in the first place. Not that we all need Dodge Darts in lieu of a Toyota Prius, but that’s not the point…

The Dart: I really can’t decide between 100% fresh gas or diluted with fresh gas. It also depends on if you plan on a carburetor rebuild/upgrade in the future. I think it’s less work to buy a several fuel filters and replace as needed, carefully (low RPMs, please!) driving the car until the old stuff burns off.  But that’s because I absolutely loathe messing with gas tanks.  And, once again, you might need to re-jet the carb to compensate for the extra cubes, so who cares if you get junk from old fuel in there?

The Magnum: if the wiring does not look frayed/melted, get a new sensor, it should be warrantied at your parts store.  I have Kooks headers on my ’95 Mark VIII and I love my “non-factory” Bosch O2 sensors for a Ford truck. These have been very good to me for over 5 years and 40,000 miles. But others have complained on the forums, for reasons I can’t logically understand. But then again, I only have one sensor per exhaust bank.

sportsuburbanGT answers:

Thanks for the pointers.  I will replace the O2, I hope three times is a charm.  The wiring is mint, it is nit hitting or rubbing anything. I will also go for the fresh gas in the Dart a little of the summer blend 93 should do the trick.

That Mark sounds sweet.

Sajeev concludes:

Oops, I mis-read your comment.  If that’s your third O2 sensor, I’d look much, MUCH closer at the wiring harness.  It’s amazing what little contact it takes to melt those wires against a set of long tube headers, especially if you doubt the skill of the installation.  If the wiring checks and there’s no other trouble codes, consider the OEM-branded replacement sensor. I can’t imagine any other problem creeping up so quickly after installation of your first set of Bosch sensors.

And yes, its modifications like yours (ours?) make my Mark so much fun to drive, so difficult to sell in the face of more modern, far superior iron. I’m sure you know the feeling. Good luck to you.

Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Dodging The Durango Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-dodging-the-durango-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-dodging-the-durango-edition/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2010 15:55:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=344023

Carscoop dug up these drawings from a Chrysler patent filing for the Dodge-branded version of the forthcoming 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Autoblog figures Dodge will drop the Durango name in favor of resurrecting the Magnum moniker, though given that model’s distinct lack of success, that would be a questionable strategy. On the other hand, the Durango name doesn’t have a lot of tread left on it either… but then what Chrysler Group nameplate does? [UPDATE: Grand Cherokee pricing/trim levels apparently leaked here, with prices reportedly ranging from $31,480 to $45,770 ]

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