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Dodge Dakota Radiator and Cooling Problems



  • hawaiipuphawaiipup Posts: 28
    thanks srs 49 well ive found out the things ive havent seen are the seals under the springs does anyone know what the tool is called that allows one to remove the springs with out using air compression
  • hawaiipuphawaiipup Posts: 28
    hey guys just finished doing head gaskets and cleaning all the gunk from my motor didnt get it sparkle clean but did do the best i could put her back together she s not leaking and sounds smooth but at the connecting point of the exaust manifold and the exaust pipe we are getting smoke theres something burning and i refuse to get her on the road we are talking the drivers side was thinking maybe some of the gunk had dropped into the pipe that was exposed believe me we were flicking gunk every where had covered the timing chain opening but didnt think of covering the pipes only smokes on drivers side i was thinking that maybe the exaust pipe wasnt up all the way before she did occasionally smoke out the tail pipe so maybe we need to get under and re set the pipe again any suggestions :confuse: :cry:
  • dakota321dakota321 Posts: 1
    can ac be added to a 88 dakota?
  • Of course my 2000, 4.7 is overheating. It's building up pressure and forcing coolant out the reserve overflow. I did a combustion, CO2 test, and it comes out negative and there appears to be no water in the oil. Does this mean it's not a blown head gasket. If not - what else could it be? Thanks.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I did a combustion, CO2 test,

    Did you mean a compression test? That should detect a cracked head gasket. Bubbles in the coolant sure sounds like a leak between the cylinder and the coolant passages.
  • Thanks for replying, srs 49. I used a combustion gas tester, checks if there's CO2 inside the coolant, it was negative. Have yet to do a compression test. Will probably do that next, but the truck runs great (when not overheating).
  • One day while running errands in town, I noticed that it was overheating. By the time I got home it was pegged. So I called around and took it to a repair shop that I knew. After a couple of test they told me that water was not flowing thru the radiator and the overheating blew the head casket. It had exhaust fumes in the radiator water. So it was going to cost $2800 to rebuild the top half of the engine and replace the radiator. They thought that the new style synetic antifreeze was mixed with my old style glycol based antifreeze. Which turns to gelly and gloggs all of the channels in the radiator.
    So a year goes by and it starts overheating again. This time I got it to the shop before the engine over heated and it only cost $800 to replace the radiator the second time. This time they were able to meassure the radiator temperatures with a gun base thermomiter. Cold in the center and hot around the edges, should be the other way around, if the water was flowing properly. These have fine diameter channels that are easily plugged. Electroysis is another theroy.
  • Radiators on these are aluminum and a have a tendency to corrode if
    the antifreeze turns acidic. That is why the rad and engine block and the
    heater core should be reverse flushed before adding any new antifreeze.
    If the rad corrodes and the channels get blocked, the engine will overheat
    and other failures can occur, like the water pump seals or even the thermostat.
    2 rads does sound unusual for a 2000. (Mine is a 98 with the
    original rad and no problems with overheating).
  • mkfarnammkfarnam Posts: 6
    edited November 2011
    I'm with you Carverman,
    I have a "93" Dodge Dakota LE,4x4, 3.9 eng, 5 spd trans. (Calif, Compliant).
    Iv'e had it appox, 5 yr's now. When purchased it had appox, 920,000 miles on the odometer.
    I've driven from California to Oklahoma pulling a trailer loaded to capacity. Through desert sand storms, mountains, snow/ice storms and red clay.
    I've never had any problems with the cooling system, or for that matter, the only problems I've had at all(knock on wood) were minor and pretty much normal wear.

    My Pastor has an 1988 Dakota that's having a major overheating problem(s).
    My point is that I am very happy to have found this site. Some of the post have already answered some questions and some have given me an idea on what my next step should be.
    I will be posting more questions according.
    Thanks y'all
  • Yup... blown head gasket. $2,500 at the dealer to fix (gasket kit alone costs almost $400). 70,000 miles on a 2000 Dakota 4.7 4x4: heating core went south, freeze plugs needed replacing, transfer case linkage just fell off, and now the head gasket... think I'm going to buy another Chrysler product?
  • I recently bought a pre-owned (1 owner) '04 Dakota SLT Quad Cab 4X4 with 133K mi. It has been a great truck & I thought, living in the mountains in E Tennessee, would be an ideal vehicle for me, being an EMT (& an avid hunter), so I could still get out & make it to work during our occasional bouts of unpredictable inclement weather during the winter & quite honestly just to "play around" a little. However, I am now hesitant to even drive it a mere 35 miles to Chattanooga, as I have had some overheating issues since the weather has turned a bit chilly. The 1st incident was about a month ago during a weekend hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains. After an evening hike, on the way thru the winding roads in the National Park, the engine overheated & the heat would not work properly. I immediately pulled to the side of the road. After searching under the hood & finding nothing apparently wrong, I waited a good 45 mins to allow it to cool down. When i started out again, it began running properly & I had no more problems the rest of the way home. That week, I changed the Tstat & flushed the radiator & had no more issues until this morning (this is the 1st day since my hiking trip that it's been cold enough to use the heater). Now, it is overheating again. It runs at normal temp & everything is ok as long as the revs stay above 1500, but once it drops below, especially during idle (as you would expect, since there is less air moving across the radiator), the temp will rise & it will begin to overheat. Also, after starting & allowing it to run idle for about 15 mins this morning in the driveway, the air coming from the vents was still ice cold. Conventional wisdom would tell you the Tstat is bad, but as I said, I changed it about 3 weeks ago. Mechanics I have asked just sctatch their heads & have no idea what the problem could be. I hope someone out there has some answers, as I really don't want this to turn into bigger & more costly issues like a cracked head gasket & engine rebuild. Thanks for any suggestions you may have!
  • Run this by me again?

    You say that the engine is overheating, yet you are feeling cold air out of the vents?
    How is this possible, unless the vent vacumn operated heater door is not functioning or the heater core is not getting hot coolant from the engine coolant pump.
    Something is definitely not right because engine overheating and heater core still blowing cold air means that a blockage is possible somewhere.

    What kind of thermostat did you install ..a 195 degree or a 160?
    Is the thermostat installed correctly? The thermostat can be considered a one way valve when it finally opens when the temperature is reached. Install the thermostat incorrectly and it acts as a restriction to coolant flow and that could bring on those symptoms you are observing.

    Usally thermostats have a stamped "top" on it indicating the installation orientation, to avoid improper installation.

    If you are sure that the thermo is installed correctly, then there could be a restriction of coolant circulating throught the aluminum rad cross tubes.
    If corrosion build up in these, you may not see this corrosison and everything appears normal looking down the rad fill tube, but the rad could actually be partially blocked and that would cause engine overheating, unless the fan is moving enough air through the rad fins.

    so to summarize, possiblilties and things to check..

    1. thermostat (possibly) installed upside down
    2. thermostat not of correct temp range
    3. possible rad corrosion/ this case, the rad needs to be replaced
    4. Heater core blockage
    5. Heater/A/C vent vacumn operated doors or vacumn servo that operates them is not functioning correctly

    A fast way to check is to place a cardboard in front of the A/C condensor (the one in front of the rad) and cut a 8x8 hole in the middle to allow some air flow while engine is idling, or even running on the road.
    With heater running...if you are still getting cold have some kind of blockage to the heater core, or the vacumn operated door heater vent are not working.

    If you start to feel some warm air coming out of the heat vents, then it's either the rad or the thermostat.
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