I bought this truck 10 years ago, with 91,000 miles on it for my first vehicle. Since then, I have overheated it, run it out of oil, totaled another car with it, (stupid teenager stuff, you know?) driven it an additional 85,000 miles, ended up with it sitting for 4 years, and it still starts up the first time, every time. Incredible engine, I have never had any trouble with the engine itself. I have had to replace the rack and pinion, and right side A-arm, but that's probably due to the wreck. It just keeps on going! That 318 is a beast of an engine!
The 1992 Dakota is a very good overall truck. Power is decent for the era with the V6. Running the AC while driving in hot weather tends to cause it to need to downshift often to accelerate at certain speeds. I recommend the V8 for the club cab, especially with the 4x4 option. The exterior and interior design still looks good to this day. With a new paint job, removed plastic moldings, and wheels, many non-car-savvy people mistake mine for a new truck model.
3.9 MAG ENGINE SUITABLE/TRANSMISSION RATIO SHD BE LOWER GEARED BUT ACCEPTABLE AS DAKOTA HAS PULLED 1500# IN BED + 2000# IN TRAILER W/O CHOKING.REBUILDING ENGINE AND CLUTCH AFTER 170K MILES/ALL OTHER COMPONETS WORKING WELL AND WILL UPGRADE AS NEEDED.4X4 ON LOWFLY IS NICE..NO BUTTONS/NO HUBS NO PROBLEMS/MS
I bought this truck new and still own it. It has never failed me and I've put it through some serious work. I load a large, cabover camper in the rear and take it off road here in Nevada. Even though it is not a 4- wheel drive truck it still handles almost all 4 wheeling roads as if it were. After 15 years I doubt I'll ever get rid of it. I've owned a lot of different trucks over the years and this one is heads above all of them. Mine is pretty basic, no big power options, but that just makes it easier to maintain and more reliable. If you ever are in a position to buy one of these trucks, you will not be disappointed.