You welded the exhaust directly to the heads? what were you thinking?...just replace the bolts... like 23 cents each... and you disabled the rear brakes?...again...WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?...they are just metal tubes... cost maybe 6 dollars each.. and the tube bender is another $12...if you had done the repairs correctly it wouldnt have cost much or taken much time..but now you will likely to have to replace the whole engine and brake system......don't dog on a truck just because you don't know how to fix it correctly
I am also wondering how you drove this and how well you maintained it. I have a 98 with over 150,000 miles on it and still have the factory rotors and the brakes are great on all four corners, calipers, backing plates, wheel cyls. No oil blow-by because of valve seals.
As for ball joints ya they are undersized. BUT you replace them with ones with grease fittings and your good. If you have none grease fitting ones than buy a grease gun and a needle adapter and pierce the boots and lube them that way. I do that on all my families cars and they last that way.
Ya, dude, so why don't you try undercoating the vehicle if you have a rust problem? Bare metal will rust, and the paint on it doesn't last long without any oil...
My 1998 is still in great running condition. The color (intense blue) has had more good comments than any other auto I own, including my 1996 Heritage Softail.
Not one speck of rust on the body anywhere. I think some better command knowledge on preventive maintenance would have helped you to enjoy this awesome little 4x4 truck a little more.
I just bought a 1998 Dodge Dakota Sport in excellent condition with 40000 miles. I can't wait to drive it now. The only drawback is the cassette deck instead of a CD, but since I plan to drive this to the end of my days, I can justify an upgraded stereo system. It's like Christmas every day!
I have had very good luck with the Pioneer model deh-1300mp 4x50 watt stereo with CD unit... It runs about $60-70 new at the discount stores.. I have it in two of my cars... It has too much bass for my lower end speakers in my cars... so the bass adjustment will have to be turned down to 0..-1..-2...-3.. unless you have higher end speakers that can take the bass it puts out... The treble on the unit is very good and spot on...