1997 Dodge Dakota 97 Dodge Dakota Transmission question

Tiny
ESTRUCKMANN
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 143,000 MILES
I have a 1997 Dodge Dakota with 143,000 miles on it. It has a 3.9 V6 & the transmission needs to be replaced/rebuilt. I have received 2 estimates & both are around $1,400.00. The engine seems to me to run great & the vehicle has no leaks. Last summer I spent about $1,000.00 putting new tires on, had new exhaust installed (from the converter back) & had a tie rod end replaced. As far as I’m concerned the truck is in great shape. In your opinion, is this truck worth a $1,400 repair? The transmission will come with a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty.

Thanks.
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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 AT 10:38 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Honestly, I would say yes. Here is how I look at things. First, what kind of vehicle can you get for 1400.00? Most likely it will be junk needing thousands in repairs in the near future. I'm not saying you can't get lucky, but the odds are against you. Next, if you have maintained the 3.9 V6, I've seen them go over 300K.

Please understand, I don't know the vehicle. I have owned Dakotas since 1990 and have always had good luck. However, I always get them with a manual transmission because they do have a reputation of having auto trans problems.

Presently, I'm driving one. I use it every day, it's 5 years older than yours, and has 220K on the same engine, 3.9. I use it to plow, haul, and drive to work and my kids around every day. I wouldn't be afraid to drive it anywhere.

That is my opinion. If you feel the truck is in good shape other than the trans, I would fix it. You won't find anything better for the money.

Joe
PS: What is the trans doing?
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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 AT 10:07 PM
Tiny
ESTRUCKMANN
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The transmission has "slipped" a few times in the past couple months. For example, when I take off from a stop sign/light, I'll give it gas & it won't go anywhere. The engine will rev up & then when I let off of the gas, it would go into gear. Just last week, on my way to work, it would not shift into high gear on the interstate. I was going about 60 mph & running about 3000 rpm the whole time. On my way home that evening, it would randomly down shift while I was driving & often would not shift out of second gear. Needless to say, I took back roads all the way home since I couldn't get the truck above 35 mph. When I dropped it off at the garage, they could not get it to move in reverse. The fluid is burnt up & there are metal shavings in it. I took it from a standard mechanic to a guy who specializes in transmissions & he is going to rebuild everything he can. He listed everything for me, but I can't recall exactly what he said. I'm pretty sure I recall him saying that the torque converter needs to be replaced/rebuilt.

Thanks for the reply.
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 7:46 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The torque converter is one of the items that goes bad. It does sound like you need an overhaul. However, like I said, if the truck is in good shape, I would keep it. Just keep the oil changed in the engine and it will last a long time unless you are really hard on it. The truck frame, body. Hold up well other than the bottom of the doors. But I don't know where you live. I'm in PA and they use so much salt during the winter that it eats the cars away. I feel you made a good decision, and wish you luck with it. REMEMBER, what kind of vehicle could you get with 1400.00 dollars? In today's world, not too much.

Thanks for using 2carpros. Com, and let us or me know if you have questions in the future.

Joe
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 7:58 AM
Tiny
ESTRUCKMANN
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Thanks for the help & your advice!
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 12:39 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You're welcome, and let us know if you have any questions in the future.

Thanks for using 2carpros. Com.

Joe
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 3:58 PM

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