The community thinks...
Great For Towing/Hauling by John from PA on 04/13/2009. Trim: 1991 Dodge Dakota Reg. Cab 8-ft. Bed 4WD, Owned 1 year.
Pros: 185k on the odometer, and all major components still going strong (engine, tranny, drivetrain). Suspension in rear is high and strong, so it takes a very heavy payload and still rides level. 1st and 2nd gears are geared pretty low, so it can get started on a decent grade even with a load. No rust anywhere - rocker panels in perfect shape (unlike nearly every S-10 from this era that's still around). 4WD still working well after so many miles.
Cons: Gas mileage is bad for a V6 (about 16-18mpg without a load... 14-15 with). Paint is peeling for the second time in the vehicle's life (to be expected with red paint). Water pump had to be replaced, as well as pitman arm (steering was very loose prior to replacement of pitman arm). These are also things to be expected at 185k. Rear e-brake cable jammed on driver's side (even with regular use of the e-brake), which was a pain. 4WD indicator light doesn't work (common problem for this truck - not a big deal). 3rd gear is geared significantly higher than 2nd, so there is some lag in acceleration after shifting into 3rd.
Overall review: Overall, this truck has surprised me with its towing and hauling ability. It pulls a very full bed of hardwood (oak, ash, etc) without any hesitation and very little sway. Also pulls a 2000 lb. pop-up camper with very few issues. Since I flushed the cooling system properly, it now can pull a load up very significantly difficult hills without overheating. Definitely a good truck, although I might have opted for the V8 if I was buying new rather than used. Then again, I drive it only occasionally, so gas mileage isn't as much of an issue for this vehicle.
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