My $1,300 hunting rig

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
I have hunted in my minivan for the last 5 years. Removing the child seats and then reinstalling them got old real fast. As a father of 6 kids adding a truck payment to everything else did not have its appeal. I enjoyed browsing the web looking for a good hunting rig. I always pay cash when it comes to cars. I wanted something 4 wheel drive for sure. I considered a few Jeep ZJ’s and some WJ’s. I also thought a Ford Ranger or S10 would be pretty awesome as well. Toyota’s have way too much resale value. After months and months of looking I finally decided to take a look at a 1999 Dodge Dakota 5.2 liter V8 with a 5 speed manual transmission listed for $1,800. After giving her a test drive I could tell the front suspension was shot because it would head bang like a bison galloping on the prairie. The 4 wheel drive on it was rock solid in both high and low range though. It barely had any oil in it when I checked it and I was pretty concerned. The seller talked himself down to $1,300. I was sold.

957A058A-D4EC-49F6-9E9D-0A06D2305F48.jpeg
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
Starting with the engine I love the 318“ 5.2liter V8 as it is a reliable low revolution engine. It desperately needed oil and a new filter. I then hopped on to rockauto.com and bought an entire front end kit for $479.79. After a day of swapping out the front suspension and sending it in for an alignment she rides like she came right off the dealers lot back in 1999. B4F52865-7C52-4CBF-8B55-78B907208D94.jpeg
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
Wooohooo!! Welcome to the dedicated, cheap hunting rig club!!
Your Doug post convinced me I need to share... I sure wish my truck had the locker in the rear that yours has on it.
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
now for the interior.... 8F8784E7-68F7-4506-B864-EC14D4DBE9AA.jpegI went to the local Jalopy Jungle to do some picking. $40 later I had some real goodies.
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
F46E26F7-47C2-4E25-828A-ADF03FD6C9AC.jpegThis glove box was wired shut because the latch broke so a $5 latch was a good pick.648BF005-AFF5-4A71-AC5A-FCB03EC7F69E.jpeg
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
This center console was cracked underneath and it literally hurt and caused pain to rest on it. It had to go.
7B3B6D96-4782-4289-BDEB-05C1DF4F63D8.jpeg993277F5-104B-4E6B-8A54-F8D8FCEDC4FA.jpegThis center console/armrest doubles as a 6th seat as well.EE287979-3F42-4AC0-BD7F-AD15FD4A7CBF.jpegits actually the seat that all my girls fight over and on the back roads they even get to shift.C6F22ED0-E0D9-49D2-8FE4-E8FBBB6D4D32.jpeg
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
I took advantage of the seats being out and did some thorough cleaning.D6A67D7C-C951-4579-B493-83F3236F5701.jpegCEA93579-42AC-4F14-A20C-AF3FCB9022A1.jpeg
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
It is only the limited slip....but better than nothing :) Btw,I think the camper shells are one of the most underrated freebies
Mine is definitely a one legger. It’s a shame to have all the torque and it just spins the tires. About the topper 😒 exactly a week from tomorrow a microburst hit and blew the topper off and shattered it to pieces... 😭
 

SFC B

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
3,091
Location
Colorado Springs
Mine is definitely a one legger. It’s a shame to have all the torque and it just spins the tires. About the topper 😒 exactly a week from tomorrow a microburst hit and blew the topper off and shattered it to pieces... 😭
Well THAT sucks.... I am going to put a Lokka on Doug's front at some point in the fairly near future. Have never had a problem yet when chained up but I am a "better to be prepared" guy. The reason I also have had a 10k Warn winch for about 7 years and never had to use it in anger :)
 

SaskHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
418
Location
Saskatchewan
Pretty decent rig you got there!

I wish I had a bigger grease monkey side. The most I will do is an oil change on my truck and swap tires...
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
After all that work it was time to take her on her first hunt. I packed her up and drove 345 miles down to Utah for a deer hunt. The wife and baby wanted to get dropped off for some hunters widow girl time so they were confident enough to ride along. Once we got down there the snow came down and I got to spend severals days creeping it around in the snow in low range and high range thoroughly testing out the four wheel drive. EFAB4935-9C6F-49DB-8A25-AF8C896065FC.jpegAfter hunting for a few days and seeing hundreds of does and fawns and one large 2pt. I remembered that I had a few reduced price pronghorn tags over in Wyoming to fill. So off I went to add a couple hundred more miles to her.
DF4407FE-82E8-4BEC-A51E-025798B1E3ED.jpegReduced price pronghorn is always a good way to get some shooting practice when the bucks in Utah don’t want to play.
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
I filled both my Wyo antelope tags but ended up not filling my Utah deer tag. After a week of being home I decided I might as well fill my Idaho general season tag. Only a few units were still open and I would need a canoe to hunt an either sex whitetail unit. So I added some modifications to the topper to handle my canoe. ED4AA5A3-2FFE-4858-A2BC-C0ADC044B577.jpeg1DA271A2-E115-4325-ABA0-A66705BF12E8.jpeg
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
I looked a couple days for a decent buck but on the 3rd day I couldn’t resist shooting a doe. 10E15D2E-9C07-44EC-B3D9-0442D1CE1300.jpegE091F9AA-FC7E-4F56-901F-FA8005583133.jpegC423F817-C3FA-4492-9173-A32FD0055A22.jpegI love the color variation in their paws. Mulie does aren’t as pretty.
 

Nambaster

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
142
Dude, you have 50 watts of amplifier power. Love the rig. mtmuley
I actually just replaced that alpine deck with a bluetooth deck on Amazon for $29. It is still only 200 watts total but it has a built in mic in the deck so I can drive my manual transmission truck and have hands free conversations and listen to podcasts on long drives. It blows my mind that you can buy a deck on Amazon and it ships in one day and makes cds obsolete.

literally only took 15 minutes to install...

JENSEN MPR210 7 Character LCD Single DIN Car Stereo Receiver, Push to Talk Assistant, Bluetooth, USB Fast Charging https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08464VRML/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tau_CjW2EbAN69GXV

Jensen is an embarrassing brand just like Dodge and Chrysler. But they work and do what they are supposed to and if they don’t, they came at the cost of a disposable camera.
 
Top