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Dodge Dakota 4x4 Problems



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The maximum manufacturer's recommended tire size for '97 -'04 Dakota is:

    15 inch = P235/75R15 XL

    16 inch = P265/70R16 (8" wide wheel only)

    17 inch = P255/55R17 (with R/T package only)

  • 440jeep440jeep Posts: 12
    am looking for a good 4x4 trans for a 318 to go mud slinging with any suggestions? needs to be good with daily driver HWY gear.
  • I have the same problem that someone else has posted.
    My 01 dodge dakota began shifting into 4 wheel drive when I go around sharp corners and especially city driving. I took it to the dealer and they replaced the transfer case shift motor and charged me $747 dollars. A week later it was doing it again but by the time I got it back to the dealer it stoped doing it and they said it was fine. I know this problem is going to come back. Years ago I did have the recall done for the transfer switch programming. Any help would be appreciated.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Just a suspicion, but this could be a Transfer Case Control Module (TCCM) issue.

    If the wiring is good and you've got a solid electrical ground to the transfer case and the transmission, the TCCM is about the only thing left.

    Good luck,
  • I have a 2000 Dakota, V8, 4wd, manual, with only 48,000 miles on it. I was out in some mud tonight, and needed 4 low to creep down a hill. It went in, but when I shifted out of 1st, it kicked into neutral. Once I stopped, I tried again, and everytime I tried goiing through a couple gears, it pops into neutral. 4hi is fine, but when I push it into 4lo it doesn't seem like it goes in all the way. And then it pops out easily. Anyone have any ideas on what's goin on? Or what it may be? I'm gonna look at the transfer case fluid in the morning, but I have no idea what else to look for. Winter is coming, and I'l like to get this fixed ASAP!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    After all these years - you are the very 1st person that seems to have the same package on their Dak that I orderd from the factory. (2000, 4.7L Semi-Hemi, Manual xmission) I orderd mine in September of 1999 and it arrived at the dealership about 3 weeks later. The window-sticker says "This truck was built for Bruce A. Peebles" -- cool!

    I would suggest that you look at the ADJUSTMENT of the 4x4 linkage. It sure sounds as if the xfer-case is not fully going into 4Lo. This is often caused by the linkage between the lever and the xfer-case needing to be adjusted.

    I am curious... you say that "Winter is coming, and I'l like to get this fixed ASAP!".... do you *really* use 4lo that often? The "lo" setting on the Dak xfer case is EXTREMELY low. I find that when in "lo", 5th gear on the xmission is about the same a 2nd when in "hi". Cocenquently, I use 4lo about 1 time a winter. (and the winters here in Vermont are serious.)
  • Pretty much, that's the most bad [non-permissible content removed] Dakota model ever made.

    I live in Eastern Oregon, so winters get pretty bad, and I am out in the mountains a lot. So I do use it fairly often. Although with my canopy on, I'm very pleased with it's performance in snow. I'll take a look at that linkage, and give an update as to how it goes. Thanks.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Oregon -- wow, you may have me beat in the way of snow. 8-)

    When I orderd my Dak, I poured thru every option and specifically chose options which would give me the very best snow-traction. In addition to what I mentioned above in the way of powertrain..... I also opted for the "trac-loc" rear end and "tire-n-handling package". (31x10.5R15 tires -- that is 31inch tires!!)

    I am impressed that chryslers "trac-loc" limited slip differential with its cone-shaped clutches can easilly make both rear-wheels spin on dry pavement. I have to be careful when the gas-tank is low on fuel because the rear end can easilly slide out from under me in first gear with too much throttle.

    With this setup, I have TRUE 3 wheel drive when in 4hi/lo. (Both rear and one front must slip for me to lose traction)

    Without "trac-loc" rear-end, I would have 2-wheel drive when locked in 4Hi/lo. (One front and one rear can spin to lose traction)

    I would expect that you have the "trac-loc" too.... as I recall it was MANDITORY to get "trac"loc" when the 4.7L was coupled to the 5speed manual. (The ordering-computer automaticly added the "trac-lock" when that combo was selected.)
  • I bought my dakota used about 12 months ago, and it only had 30,000 miles on it. I don't know who owned it before the dealer got it, but they kept it in great condition, and they must have wanted the same package as you did. Because it sounds like about everything is the same. Have you had any problems with your brakes or front drive axle?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The front brakes are cr@p. I have replaced them several times including calipers and rotors. Currently running BENDIX rotors and NAPA CERAMIX pads. These have lasted longer than anything else I have tried.

    My rear brakes are still factory with 80K miles on the odometer. (I do take them apart occasionally to clean/adjust)

    Check out this photo of the last brakes/rotors which I took off my Dak.

    While we are at it... here is photo of my running boards.

    My Homemade intake and modified AC system (gets real cold now!)

    As for front axle... mine has been troublefree. In fact, in all my years of following Dakotas, I have never EVER heard about any issues with front axle in the 2000+ Dak. (Independant Front Suspension design)

    I am curious--- why are you asking about the front axle?

    I run RedLine lubes in all gearcases. (front/rear diff., xfer, xmission and powerSteering)
  • Concerning the brakes I guess this is a real crap shoot. I have a 2K Dak, CC with the 5 speed and a 4.7, 4x4, which has 78K miles. I have the original brakes front and rear and have never had any brake problems. From the looks of them I'd say I have another 30K miles left on them. I have had the A/C condenser replaced and the door lock switch on the passenger side replaced. Also like bpeebles I have replaced the front and rear differential fluid, the transfer case and manual transmission fluid with Redline products and I'm glad I did.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Just to be clear about why many of us chose to run RedLine lubes in all the gearcases.....

    I realized an immedeate 2-4 MPG increase on the highway. (went from ~18 to ~21MPG) The reason for this increas is 2-fold.
    1) Group5 synthetic lube is thinner that dyno-oil so there is less wasted power due to "gear churn".
    2)More slippery lube wastes less power due to lowered friction.

    The protection that group5 synthetic lubes offer is the very best available. When the pinion-seal on my rear diff blew out and lost most of the fluid, I was in the middle of a 4-hour trip with a sofa in the back running at 65MPH. There was NO DAMAGE AT ALL to the differential gears.... All I had to do was replace the seal and re-fill with RedLine again.
  • I have a 04 dakota 4.7v8 that doesn't seem to stay fully engaged in 4x4. When I select 4h or 4L on the dash it shifts into gear fine sometimes with a clunk. But when I romp on it in 4x4 it makes a clunking sound like two gears grinding. Has anyone had this problem and could someone tell me if it could be the transfer case shift motor?


  • I had a brake line break, and they seem to grab, especially when it's wet out. And I had something go wrong with the DS drive axle around 40K miles. It was making a clunking sound when I was going over 55 and grease was goin everywhere. But I took it to Les Schwabs and they were able to fix it. The only other problem I've had was with my rear DS door lock. It stuck half way, so i just took the plastic teeth that move the lock up and down off of the electric assembly. For now it's a manual lock.
  • I have a 04 dakota 4.7v8 that doesn't seem to stay fully engaged in 4x4.
    When I select 4h or 4L on the dash it shifts into gear fine
    sometimes with a clunk.
    But when I romp on it in 4x4 it makes a clunking sound
    like two gears grinding.
    Has anyone had this problem and
    could someone tell me if it
    could be the transfer case shift motor, or the chain?

  • I bought a 98 dakota sport yesterday, it has 240000 km on it a 3 inch body lift and its 4x4. The 4x4 is not engagaing when shifted into 4 hi, it is a standard and has floor shift 4x4. The truck makes an unbelievably loud grinding sound like two gears slightly missing when you give it gas in 4x4. The light is on in the dash indicating it is engaged but the sound leads me to believe otherwise. I am wondering if it is due to the body lift or maybe linkage. This is my first dodge experience and the truck is being repaired for my better half. Any info greatly appreciated.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    This could be a mis-adjusted linkage or worse.... I beleive each of the wheels also has a vacuum-powered enguagement.

    You really need to ascertain if it is the xfer case which is not fully enguaging.... or the front wheels.
  • i lifted the truck, all 4 wheels spin when the 4x4 is engaged. The wheels spin smoothly at idle speed but when the truck is accelerated there is a loud banging and grinding sound, the wheels remain spinning. The sound definately seems to come from transfer case area, truck does the same in 4 lo as well. Thank you for replying.
  • I bought my truck used , its an 04 Dakota Club Cab 4.7 V8 and just recently when i went to use my 4wd i noticed that the indicator light for 2 wheel turned off as normal and the one for 4 wheel hi just went to a solid orange light right away instead of flashing between the orange and green and then going to a solid green as it did the first time i had used it. Any ideas of why this would happen , or how it can be resolved?? the 4 wheel still seems to work which is leaving me confused.

    Thanks All
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