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Should I buy a 1994 Dodge Dakota??

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New User

Aug 2, 2013, 9:29 AM

Post #1 of 6 (1188 views)
Should I buy a 1994 Dodge Dakota?? Sign In

I found a guy in town who's parting ways with a truck (94 Dodge Dakota Sport 3.9 V6 - 206,000miles) that was given to him a year ago. He's broke as heck and has no job. The ECM has gone out on the truck (shorted for some reason) and he'll literally take anything I give him for the vehicle. My friend (amateur mechanic) took a good look at the vehicle and said it was in pretty good shape. It spins but doesnt crank/fire. Obviously cuz the ECM doesnt work. The oil looks good, tranny fluid is pretty pink and the brakes are stiff. Tires in great shape and the body is solid. I purchased the part from O'Reily's for 150 bux as I planned to give the guy 200bux "as is" for his truck and get my buddy to install the new programmed ECM.

I'm only buying an older truck to drive it to and from the lakes and rivers in Tallahassee. 30 miles tops/2x a month. Im towing a 14ft Aluminum Jon with a lightweight Magic Tilt trailer.

My questions are:

Should I risk buying the truck without knowing what caused the ECM to short?
-Mayb whatever shorted that ECM could have also damaged other computer components

I hear Dodge Trucks aint worth a cowpie and that I should stay far away from them, especially around 94-97. Frequent problems with the fuel pump and transmission. Whats your opinion on the quality of these vehicles?

Should I go for it or just wait around and see if I can find a chevy s10 or ford ranger somewhere?

Your answers are greatly, greatly appreciated.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 2, 2013, 9:48 AM

Post #2 of 6 (1182 views)
Re: Should I buy a 1994 Dodge Dakota?? Sign In

I guess you're assuming that there isn't another issue in the wiring that cause the ECM to fail and could do it again.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

New User

Aug 2, 2013, 9:57 AM

Post #3 of 6 (1175 views)
Re: Should I buy a 1994 Dodge Dakota?? Sign In

correct. I have no idea what could have caused the short/failure. But is it even worth the time and effort to towing it to a shop and having them troubleshoot all the cpu components and wiring?? are they reliable trucks to begin with?

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Aug 3, 2013, 8:21 AM

Post #4 of 6 (1154 views)
Re: Should I buy a 1994 Dodge Dakota?? Sign In

How much money are you willing to spend to get it running again? You really don't know what your getting yourself into because you haven't been able to hear the engine run and you can't tell how the transmission performs until you drive it. Kind of a gamble.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 3, 2013, 11:42 AM

Post #5 of 6 (1148 views)
Re: Should I buy a 1994 Dodge Dakota?? Sign In

Agree, it's a gamble.
Quote "I hear Dodge Trucks aint worth a cowpie''

Dunno what to say about that but it made it 206,000 miles so it had something going for it.

My 2 cents if you go for it is to know the junk value of it for parts or salvage and if you go for it keep the investment low so you don't lose your shirt.

How are you so sure what immediate problem is now? Of course even if you get it to run no telling what else it could need till then as said. I'd pass just because it isn't running and the miles - just my opinion,


Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Aug 5, 2013, 12:12 AM

Post #6 of 6 (1132 views)
Re: Should I buy a 1994 Dodge Dakota?? Sign In

Pass on it. For what you want to tow a 1500 dollar minivan can pull it.

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