Trying to find a Machanic in Albuquerque for my Dakota

I have a 2000 dodge dakoda that needs a new motor. Any chance anybody here lives in or near Albuquerque NM and can recommend a trustworthy Machanic that knows dodges?
I have a Machanic I trust but he told me they won’t work on that motor because of how many times it has caused them problems.
This work is really expensive and I am really broke so I can’t afford to go to someone that may not do a good job.


I assume this thread is a joke, but if you’re serious, I don’t see any professional mechanic agreeing to do this project on a vehicle this old. And certainly not for a price that someone “really broke” could afford to pay. A professional shop is not going to want to use a junkyard engine in a vehicle this old, and a remanufactured engine together with the installation and additional parts needed to ensure reliable operation is likely to cost over $6k.

You will need to either DIY, get a friend to help you, or sell the truck “as-is” and buy something else. Sorry.


No need for a specialist. Swapping motors is pretty generic. The challenge will be finding a usable motor.


Sorry I’m mot as rich as you.
This truck is in otherwise mint condition. New paint, immaculate interior, everything works including a/c. People in my world don’t role their eyes something just because it’s not this years model. Must be nice to be able to throw away anything that’s a few years old and spend $40k to impress your neighbors.
This is by far the nicest truck I’ve ever owned and seemed, to me, worth looking into fixing.
I don’t know about you but my mother told me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.


Then don’t do it . Wait until you can afford it .


You may not like it, but @bcohen2010 gave you good advice. It is neither naughty nor nice and not deserving of anger.

Any regular forum member here knows he fixes and drives old (really old… not classic, old) cars, not new ones.


More shock than anger,
The mechanic I go to did not say they wouldn’t work on it because it was too old, he said those specific motors are a problem that he decided are not worth dealing with. He actually encouraged me to try and find some who knows dodges well so they would be aware of this particular motors chronic problem. (Hence my question)

My wife’s daily driver, that is also our “adventure car”, is a 1997 that we’ve put close to 10k miles on in the last year, including two trips to Mexico with no issues.
My daily driver is a 1992 that has only been to the shop once since I’ve owned it and the mechanic didn’t bat an eye when I brought it in, he simply fixed it.

My point is; The truck may not be worth saving, but the year it was produced should not be the deciding factor without taking anything else into consideration, which is exactly what he said.

Read his response again and tell me it’s not snotty.
I think his flippant arrogant response was rude. I post here because people have always been very nice and almost always helpful.

The truck is most likely not worth the price to have it fixed professionally, I’ll live. but not looking into it, in my opinion, would be stupid.


no hard feelings here. It just caught me off guard that someone on this message board would turn their nose up like that. That has not been my experience until now. I’ve asked dumber questions and never got anything but friendly advice.
We all love cars right? Isn’t that the point? Not just shiny new things.


It needs a motor. It has original trans? Might be rust free in your area. Yes it could last a long time. If you keep replacing stuff. I know there are folks who keep cars for 300-400k miles. But I get bored after 5 yrs. a 18yr old might like a truck. Get married with kids and see what wife thinks.

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It is not snotty . If you can’t habdle the answer to a question then don’t ask the question. You say you are broke so this idea makes no sense at all .

Also a few phone calls should find you a shop in your area along with the online reviews but they may want partial payment before they even start on this project .


I take it that you have the 4.7L motor, because all the other available motors were tried and true by 2000, and were pretty much bulletproof. The early 4.7 did have some problems but it sounds like your mechanic doesn’t want to deal with replacing it with a used motor only to it too have similar problems as your original one. What are those problems, by the way?

If it’s been in NM its whole life, it’s probably worth saving. Rust is a non-issue, and the worst thing that ever happened to my cars when I lived there was getting the paint sandblasted off in dust storms. And that was rare.

You might consider seeing if a tech school would take it on. An engine swap would make a great learning experience for the kids, and it’d be cheaper than going through a full-fledged mechanic. They might expect you to provide the new engine, however.

That option aside, @bcohen2010 is right. Engine swaps are expensive unless you DIY with a donor motor you get cheap. The cheapest one I ever did was very cheap, but that’s because I already owned the donor car, so I didn’t have to buy much.


Sorry sir, I am not trying to be rude–just honest. And I don’t think a 2000 truck is “too old” to drive, and I certainly don’t tell people to spend money for the purpose of “impressing” their neighbors. I happily drive old cars, and try to DIY as much of the maintenance and repairs as possible in order to keep costs down, and ensure quality work.

The bottom line is that you have a 21-year old truck which needs an engine replacement (or perhaps major engine repairs). If you are not able to DIY, then unfortunately the truck will cost way more to fix than it’s worth–and way more than it would cost to simply buy a different used truck which runs.

To a DIYer, this truck still has value, and you should not junk it. You could post it on Craigslist as a “mechanic’s special” for $1800 to $2k and someone will buy it to repair or replace the motor. You see, while a shop is not going to agree to install a junkyard engine in a vehicle this old, a skilled DIYer can go to a “you pull it” junkyard, buy a used motor, have the heads checked and reconditioned, replace the head gaskets, timing chains, etc, and install it all for less than $1500 in parts and machine shop labor.


Exactly. 4.7.
Apparently that motor has really small oils ports. Works great when new but as they age, they clog, reducing oil flow. This motor has two timing belts, the tensioner broke on one causing three cylinders to not fire. My mechanics assumption is that it was not getting enough oil to that side. Even if I fix the belt the problem will most likely happen again.

That’s a respectful answer.
Thank you.
I love working on cars but I am a self taught “novice” at best. I can get through most projects on old vehicles without too much trouble (pretty much all my projects are early 70’s) but once there are wires and sensors everywhere I can get lost.
I may very well attempt this project on my own but do to the otherwise “like new” condition of the truck I would much rather someone more qualified then myself do it. That most likely won’t happen but it seems silly not to ask.

No rust at all. It’s beautiful. You’re right that paint does not last here but it was professionally repainted just a few years ago and looks awesome.

Don’t even know what a 2k dakota is worth now.

@RandomTroll is in the same area if I’m not mistaken and hasn’t weighed in yet but possibly could point you in a direction of a mechanic more familiar with these. The truck sounds like it’s worth saving but hopefully you can find someone to at least give you a hand with this.

I live in Albuquerque, drive an '87 Toyota pickup, which runs as well as new. I’ve done all the repairs on it myself so don’t know any mechanics to recommend. You can ask on NextDoor, which has an active local community, though they tend to run to the better-heeled. If I were younger I’d buy the shop manual and watch a bunch of YouTube videos, do it myself, weep bitter tears when I bungled it. I bet a competent patient person could do all the work him/herself. I’m old enough to appreciate the lessons I’ve learned from bungling, as much as they hurt at the time.

Unless you get more information I don’t think you’re going to get any better advice here than you already have. I’d ask everyone I knew. Failing that you can call around. In the good old days the Yellow pages would have listings for Dodge mechanics. I just searched ‘dodge mechanics in albuquerque’ on, got a few likely URIs.

Doesn’t this website have a list of recommended mechanics?


While it is not the norm, there are a few salvage yards that sometimes will install one of their engines or trans for a nominal fee and is much than a regular shop.
And that kind of covers you in the event of a problem.

Whether there are any yards like that in your area I do not know. Maybe a few phone calls might turn up something.

This motor doesn’t have a timing belt, it has a timing chain, two of them. If the tensioner broke, it wouldn’t keep the cylinders from firing. That would be a function of the spark plugs/coils/ignition system. It’s also an interference issue. If the timing chain were to fail or jump timing, there’s a good chance that the valves would get chewed up. If that has happened, and from the sound of things, it might have, it’s not going to be a cheap fix at all. At the minimum at least one head will need to be replaced/rebuilt, if you’re unlucky the pistons will need to be replaced as well, and you’re at the point where you’re going to be putting more money into this truck than it worth. At best it’s going to be a couple grand ($2k-ish) , about double that if you go the junkyard engine route, which is a gamble, and $5k+ for a remanufactured engine. You could save some on labor if you can do the install yourself, but (and don’t take this the wrong way). if you didn’t know your engine had a timing chain vs. a timing belt, you may not have the necessary expertise to pull this off.