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rusty but trusty truck. 1995 dodge dakota

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New User

Sep 8, 2016, 7:43 PM

Post #1 of 5 (665 views)
post icon rusty but trusty truck. 1995 dodge dakota Sign In

Needing some help I want to fix up my truck a bit. It's A 1995 dodge Dakota extended cab. And the box is a bit rusty but the engine is still pretty good. But do to the rust on the box area I don't know if it would be better to replace the box or fix the rust. But the rust had rusted through in a few places.

If anyone could please help me out with instructions on how to fix the rust areas that would be great thank you.

I will post photos tomorrow.

God bless.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 9, 2016, 1:16 AM

Post #2 of 5 (661 views)
Re: rusty but trusty truck. 1995 dodge dakota Sign In

Has "rust thru" now. OK - This would require an in person inspection by a welder or auto body shop that would take that on for a fix or replace the entire bed all highly dependent on how bad and where. Also factor costs vs the vehicle as a whole.

Engine may seem excellent but rust is the final killer of lots of vehicles. If rusted thru on bed where else is it rusted that may make this truck unsafe for use or is it isolated to bed somehow? Need to know and make that decision for how long you expect or wish it to last and be dependable for use.

Any vehicle but trucks especially, look for condition of brake and fuel lines as if any rust showing now those items are probably in trouble now or might already be done but need to know,


New User

Sep 9, 2016, 7:39 AM

Post #3 of 5 (652 views)
Re: rusty but trusty truck. 1995 dodge dakota Sign In

The truck is my first vechile. And I just recently bought it this month for 400.00 my uncle drove it and he told me it needs new brakes and a new alternator and that's mostly it. I don't know if there the front and brakes or one or the other. I have not really talked to him about it much yet.

He will be the one to fix the truck for me. He works on race cars for or local track in tomah,wi he has 3 cars currently that he has and there where a few others he had worked on also.

So the work for the brakes and the alternator will be done by him.

The worst rust areas are buy the back wheels.

My uncle took a look online and found out the truck in poor condition was worth around 1,000. or a little more. So hes not really worried about the look of the truck just how it runs.

Since its my first vechile I want to make shore it runs good and looks good. That's why I'm worried about the rust areas.

I figure on buying the alternator this month and brakes next month and then ether having the box/bed fixed or replaced.

I just didn't know if it would be cheaper and easier to replace the box/bed or fix it.

Rite now its 9:26 a.m. in tomah and its raining like hell. I will take photos of the truck in a little while once the rain slows up or stops.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 9, 2016, 8:04 AM

Post #4 of 5 (650 views)
Re: rusty but trusty truck. 1995 dodge dakota Sign In

OK - Glad you have help to check this more carefully in general.

FYI - rusted out for looks is ugly only for the most part but if suddenly no brakes because lines blow out from being rusted or fuel leaking both can be disasters.

@ 9 years old (not my truck but one I knew of) was unseen that frame rust was so bad it wasn't noticed till a front wheel fell over still connected to a section of frame!

You are probably right that you haven't lost money on this as parts and just metal has value of close to what you paid.

I strongly suggest you really have this looked at harder even by your Uncle but this time up over head and check this out for serious rust that may be way too costly for what it's worth even before fixing other things.

Wisconsin is a rust state and I'm in MA which is just as bad if not some areas worse. You can fix anything just know it's not a total safety issue first then if cosmetic and bugging you can discuss cheap fixes or whole sections welded in.

I have a sense this wouldn't call for whole new parts if available or a whole unrusted truck bed shipped probably from far away or by luck one nearby that was junked that is clean as can be rust wise and go from there.

Rust is either obnoxious to look at up to totally impractical to repair or replace at some point. Need to know where it stands on that first - pics would help - from under side looking at important structural rust.

Vehicles do NOT all rust the same way and could be fine and totally worth investing in so it's not over yet at all,


Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Sep 9, 2016, 8:56 AM

Post #5 of 5 (644 views)
Re: rusty but trusty truck. 1995 dodge dakota Sign In

not far from you in Eau Claire so I have an idea what this truck looks like. All the people selling used boxes from the south and such want $600 to $800 and for trucks the age of yours, if they even have one, it won't be mint. You'll have peeling paint, dents, etc. But finding something rust free in WI is a pain.

If your uncle has access to a race car shop he certainly has a MIG welder there. You can buy patch panels pretty reasonably online for the sections you need. Measure twice, cut once and don't try to weld it all in one pass or you will warp the panel. You should be able to find the lower edges and wheelwells easily enough, and if you have holes in the bed floor where it is rippled either buy a replacement section or hit up a junkyard. You can probably get a chunk of it out of a rotten box for cheap if you cut it out yourself, as they wouldn't be able to sell the box anyhow. Also keep a good eye on craigslist. You might be able to find one being sold as a parts truck that has a few good box sections. Take what you need and haul the rest to the crusher to make your money back on it. Plenty of farmers with trucks like that sitting in the back pasture in your area.

Rain just quit up here, sun finally coming out.

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