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I would say that's a lot of work to go in the wrong direction.. The Dodge 2.5L has always seemed like a much better motor TO ME.. Rebuilding the motor you have would be MUCH less expensive that downgrading to the AMC 2.5L.. IF you want more power.. there are a lot of things you can do to the factory motor.. Including Turbo or Supercharger. A lot of parts for the FWD turbo cars will fit the Dakota.. Look close, it's even got the FWD motor mount under the hood.
Or, it's less work to even switch to a V6.. That can be done as a bolt in swap in a few days, with decent facilities.. and still less money than the newer 4 cyl.
 
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