Junkyard Find: 1995 Dodge Dakota, With K-Car Engine

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1995 dodge dakota with k car engine

The plenitude of vehicles based on the Chrysler K Platform helped the company bounce back from its humiliating 1979 near-bankruptcy and government bailout, and the modern overhead-cam four-cylinder engine Chrysler developed for the K was a big part of that success. We think of that 2.2/2.5 as a transverse-front-wheel-drive-only engine, but Chrysler made a longitudinal version for the rear-wheel-drive Dakota pickup.

Here’s a very rare 2.5/5-speed example I saw in a Denver-area yard recently.

1995 was the last model year for the good old K-Car 2.5 engine in the Dakota. After that, FAW made these engines for Chinese-market vehicles, while Chrysler switched to the 2.5-liter AMC four-cylinder for the Dakota.

This transmission and bellhousing should enable crazed engine swappers to use the Spirit R/T‘s engine in, say, a Miata. We recommend this application.

The last owner of any Dakota must smoke Marlboros. It’s the law.

Just over 126k miles on the clock. Nobody loves non-huge pickups these days, it seems.

The 1980s had been over for a while at this point, but 1980s-style tape stripes and graphics lived on in Detroit.

Dodge pickups were #1 in sales growth in 1995!

Those who bought the first-gen Dakota Club Cab could fit four lumberjacks inside. Cue Monty Python song.

[Image: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]

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  • Andrew Andrew on Sep 29, 2016

    When I worked for an Audi-Porsche dealer, their buildings were spread out and one warehouse that housed the detailing section also stored large parts such as bumpers, doors and the like. To haul them around between buildings, they used a 92 or 93 Dakota just like this one except it was a long bed and as of a year or so ago, they still had it....with 349,000 miles on the odometer!!

  • Mhn65688625 Mhn65688625 on Aug 27, 2022

    I still daily drive one. Probably oddest optioned one around 4cyl 5 speed sport with off Rd package and factory chrome light bar lol

  • SCE to AUX Yeah, I'm going to spend 5 or 6 figures on a used/abused car from a punk.
  • MrIcky I'm not buying any of Musk's BS until he steps into the ring with Zuckerberg. Musk dropped the challenge, Mark picked it up, Musk pussed out. 2 men enter, 1 man leaves- you know the law.
  • SCE to AUX Best practice is to keep an EV at 1/3 - 1/2 full if sitting undriven for long periods.Dealers could easily get by with only one DC charger, or even none. A Level 2 home charger would be sufficient to top off test-drive cars, for instance.The only time you might want a DC charger is at the moment of sale, so you can send the customer home with a 'full tank of gas'. This could be done in 30 minutes while signing papers. But how often will that really be necessary?Alternately, they could simply give the buyer a voucher card for a nearby DC charger, just as they might for a gas-powered car.Ford's demand for DC chargers is absurd.
  • Dave M. Stellanis has a problem on their hands. Jeeps and Rams are costly with mediocre reliability; Chrysler and Dodge are on life support and certainly won't see the turn of the decade. They need a new game plan stat.
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh These ''dealerships'' can go eff themselves. "Wahhh, were overcharging by 30% on new EVs and 4x as much on used cars since the pandemic but we can't afford this .. wahhhhh " .. die in fire dealerships ... die ...