1988 Dodge Dakota LE 3.9 V6 TBI from North America


Great reliable old school truck


Since I've owned the truck I have replaced:

Water pump.

Front and rear shocks.

Rebuilt steel brake lines.

Replaced transmission output seal.

Replaced rear main seal.

Replaced rocker cover gaskets.

General Comments:

Purchased years ago. Had the usual rust but was a one owner truck. Now it's fully restored and the interior is mint. Drives and runs with zero issues. Been a great truck, and the 3.9 TBI is a very reliable and tough engine.

It will not win any races, but I get plenty of looks and complements.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2019

1988 Dodge Dakota Sport 3.9 Liter V6 from North America


A solid, reliable, tough looking truck for work and play


The transmission replaced 3 times.

Rebuilt engine at 153,000.

Replaced fuel pump at 158,000.

Drive shaft dropped at 160,000.

Four wheel drive failed at 200,000.

Headliner worn off completely.

Seats have rips, not unusual for age.

General Comments:

This truck has been a solid little workhorse that's been abused and still just keeps on running.

The 3.9L engine is not a very powerful motor, but what it lacks in power it makes up for in reliability.

I am now starting to hear rocker arm clacking inside the engine, probably a sign of wear.

This truck suffers from usual old-age problems like creak sounds from the chassis, sensor failures, frequent tune-ups. The oxygen sensors on these trucks are hard to locate and fix.

The oil pan drain bolt is located right over some type of metal bar, it looks like a stabilizer bar, so when you drain your oil, you better excpect a lot of oil splashing and cat litter on hand.

The body on this truck I've been very impressed with. This truck has never been garaged in it's life and the original paint job is just now starting to show oxidation.

There is only one little spot of rust on a body panel. That's pretty good for suffering seventeen Utah winters!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th December, 2005

5th Dec 2005, 01:15

You'd have better luck with a standard tranny. Chrysler makes horrible auto trannys up until this day, and probably for many days to come.

5th Dec 2005, 08:27

Wow, no rust!

2nd Jul 2008, 12:29

My 88 3.9 long bed in white is good work truck, so my bed is all banged up, and what rust comes through isn't much.

13th Sep 2009, 08:37

I have an 88 Dakota with absolutely no rust besides replacing the motor @ 200 thousand. Wouldn't get rid of it for nothing.

29th Oct 2019, 05:05

What engine did you replace it with? The same engine or different?

1988 Dodge Dakota 4x4 Long bed 3.9 V6 from North America


The best mid-small size truck around, Period


Had to replace the whole front end basically, ball joints, bearings, shocks, etc. U-Joints and some other general things.

General Comments:

I love this truck. For an 18 year old paying for insurance and gas, I wish it got better mpg. I believe it's around 15. Compared to a Toyota Tacoma, Nissan truck or S10, the cab in large. I love when its below zero and it starts right up when the preppy kids cars won't start. I've got 31x10.5 BFG All Terrains on it and have gone up a couple mountains, mud trails and anything else. This truck will basically climb up a tree in 4-Lo. I've had it flexed out next to a Toyota and their tires were off the ground when mine had another foot to go before leaving. I with it had better acceleration. the Nissans and Toyotas with 4 bangers can leave me in the dust. I have duel exhaust on it and it sounds wicked decent for a V6. Awesome truck. If I were to buy another Dakota I would love a 2000-newer extended cab 4x4 V8.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2005

18th Aug 2009, 10:54

I just replaced my '88 Dakota (3.9, 5-speed 8'bed) with an '02 with a V8. Was sad to see it go...it's been an incredible truck, basically all I've done to it is maintenance. Unfortunately, northern New England=rust, and the frame is getting pretty punky.

I hope this "new" one is just as good.