So what do you do with a solid Dodge Dakota when the 318 / 5.2L Magnum has 4 Dead Cylinders and 4 with compression between 50 and 72psi (by the way, it still ran and drove!) Ok it needs new paint, but it has a solid body and solid frame.
This conversion "Supposedly" required a Body Lift, Solid Axle Swap and a Suspension Lift to work... That's a load of crap, you don't need any of that to fit a Merc 5-Banger in a Dakota (though some people insist you do)
Yank the engine out and give it to your dad, who needs a crankshaft for his 5.2L Magnum Ram 1500. Well, that takes care of one problem, what to do with the mostly dead engine. What do I do about getting the truck moving again? What's that? A Turbo Diesel Engine, with Transmission and Accessories for less than the cost of a junkyard 318?
Sold my A518 Overdrive Automatic Transmission (rebuilt shortly before I bought the truck, came with receipts) for $500, which was what I paid for the whole truck in 2010 I'm already ahead of the game here, in terms of finances either the Diesel was free or the truck was free at this point.
Yes, this is a 2nd Gen D50 Instrument Cluster (from my '87 D50), Yes they have factory Diesel Indicator Lights in them! That I tore out to install in my Dakota Instrument Cluster