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Hi everyone,I recently moved up north and still have a storage unit I have to retrieve my stuff from. When I go back to get my stuff Im going to buy either a Dakota or a 1/2 ton Ram since it would be retarded to get a u-haul.

It has to be a 4X4 and id perfer the 5 speed because I recently was working on a '99 Dakota 3.9 that was manual and it was real fun to drive. Downshifting from 5th to 3rd at 40 mph allowed me to blow away a new Tacoma, and was that guy pissed.

My question is should I get a 1st or 2nd gen dakota? I like how the 1st gen is super light and have seen ones with 360's, 408's and even one that was a 440 with the torqueflite. I realize that the 2nd gen has alot more aftermarket parts and looks better in general but will cost a little more.

Also, about how much power can the transfer case take? Even if the truck i get is a 3.9 I want to drop at least a 360 into it and turn it into a plow truck if possible. I've seen a 3.8 wrangler with a plow on it, im sure the dakota would be more than sufficant.

Thanks ahead of time for your help guys
 

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There is a lot more aftermarket support for the second generation.. But my preference falls to the early 90's trucks.. especially If you want V8.. You could just get a 4WD that came with a V8 and 5spd..
 

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If you go with a 1st gen, go with a 92-96 to get the Magnum engine (some call this gen 1.5). They are a bit easier to work on them than the 2nd generation ones and these 1st gen ones seem to have more robust ball joints and suspension bushings than the 2nd gen.
But overall, I like the 2nd gen much better. I've had four first gens (87, 88 and 2-89s), two gen 1.5s (93 and 94) and four 2nd gens (3-99s and 00). I'm a sucker for the 2nd gen styling.
 
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I agree about the magnum engine, ive driven a non-magnum 318 truck before and it seems a little lame compared to the 3.9 magnum.

But i'm still curious about how much power I could put on the transfer case before needing a beefier one? And is there a stronger one availible?
 
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