Durangos and Dakotas of the '97-'03 era are great 4x4 platforms to start an off-road build with. They're easily affordable, and Dodge offered a V-8 powerplant in the midsize truck platform long before anyone else did. The frames are as wide as their fullsize counterparts (making it easier to swap on fullsize parts), and they're big enough for large adults to sit in. However, like most vehicles we like to build, there are some weaknesses. Firstly, they have '90s Dodge truck transmissions, which are loved by no one. And there was some ball joint recall on '00-later Dakotas/Durangos back in the day, but who's leaving the front suspension alone if you're building one? There were two Magnum V-8s offered (technically, they are three if you count the later generation 4.7L that replaced the 5.2L in 2000), and if you got the longer stroked 5.9L (gas), you suffered from head gasket issues more often than 5.2L owners did. Lastly, we've never heard anyone brag about their Magnum V-8's fuel economy. Even in a midsize truck, the Magnum V-8s were thirsty little dino juice drinkers, but anyone who's driven one will tell you that they are fun trucks with a lot of power to spare. And again, they're cheap—like less-than-$2,000-for-a-running-one cheap.