Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    with a dry bearing.
    Or might be a wheel bearing but in my experience wheel bearings make noise hot or cold.
  • livnlrnlivnlrn Posts: 76
    The truck is a 2000. So I have the single pistons. When I did replace my brakes I saw no evidence of any motion on the cast rails that the top and bottom of the pads slide on. I am thinking that this is where the problem was. The slider pins were in fine shape and still had lube on them.
    Any way to check the hose problem you talked about? The pistons retracted easily with a clamp. Any other ideas? I have not driven much on my new brakes yet and the cold weather here in Vermont doesn't let me easily work on things or feel for heat.
  • livnlrnlivnlrn Posts: 76
    Since I do not do many brake jobs, I looked into alternate lubes for the brakes to maximize my dollar. I came up with anti-sieze. But you have to use the nickle based stuff. What does everyone think? Ok to use on the rail sliders?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (livnlrn)Yup! That is the stuff. Any antiseeze goop that will not get runny when hot is good. (You do not want to get any on the pads or rotors)

    This is the very same stuff you should use on any sparkplug threads. (Car, lawnmower, chainsaw... etc)

    You are correct when you suggest that it was the cast-rails where the problem was. This area is subject to roadsalt and once it starts to rust, the pads tend to create a 'rut' in the cast-rails. Then, the pads may be stuck in that rut rather than sliding the minute amount they need to when the brakes are released.

    When I got the Raybestos quietstop (ceramic-based) pads, They came with lube and many various-thickness shims. The shims are tiny stainlesssteel thingies that snap onto the ends of the pads. This provides a stainless-steel sliding area on those cast rails you mention.

    This SS sliding area should reduce the chances of the pads getting 'stuck' on the cast-rails.
  • bowdinbowdin Posts: 11
    I have a 2002 Dak quad cab with the 4.7L, 4 speed auto, and 3.92 limited slip differential. I've had it in for repair 4 times, the last time the local Chrysler rep drove it.

    My largest complaint: singing noise from rear at 74-76 mph crusing. I think it's the differential. The dealer replaced the ring and pinion on my first visit and the noise went away. But it came back in 3 months.

    Chrysler rep says it's a normal noise. Funny, my 1999 Grand Cherokee with Tracloc didn't sing. My Nissan Maxima didn't sing. My Ford Taurus didn't sing. My Mazda 626 didn't sing.

    So the dealer pretends he can't hear it and the chrysler rep says it's normal. Short of hiring an attorney, I'm stuck unless one of you knows of a solution. A special gear oil? Replace the differential with a quality piece, one that doesn't sing or go CLUNK?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • bowdinbowdin Posts: 11
    Addendum to my last post: my Dak is 2WD, has 15K miles on it, about 10K with the new ring and pinion.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319

    The differential (3.92 LSD) on my 02 QC started singing between 30 and 50 MPH at about 29K miles. The dealer replaced everything except the axle shafts and LSD unit at about 34K. At 38K it is still holding up.

    If the noise came back after 3 months, I would suspect an incorrectly setup ring and pinion. They can be tricky to set up correctly. Also, break-in of a new ring and pinion is critical to longevity. Randy's Ring and Pinion ( has good advice on break-in procedures. Most dealer's won't give you any specifics on break-in other than don't tow anything. At least mine didn't. You mentioned a clunking noise. Is this also from the rear end? If so, it probably isn't a good sign.

    I would aggressively pursue it, since the vehicle is still under warranty. You have a few options:

    1) You could try a different dealer.
    2) Since you have some warranty left, you can let it go for a while and hopefully it will get much worse or maybe fail completely.
    3) Consult an attorney to see what legal recourse you may have.

    I'm sure there are other members of this forum who might have experience with this type of situation.
  • bowdinbowdin Posts: 11
    Addendum to my last post: my Dak is 2WD, has 15K miles on it, about 10K with the new ring and pinion.
  • mstanmstan Posts: 15
    Mopar67, Thanks for your input. Someone told me that if the universal goes, the truck will vibrate and ride hard going down the road, and it does not. Here's another symptom: I live in Northeast PA and it's been very cold here for a week - highs in the teens, lows around 0. When the truck does warm up, the noise is no where near as loud now as when it was warmer; ie, 30's and 20's. I asked a mechanic to look at it this week, and he/I could barely hear it. He thought it was nothing - again you could barely hear it. I'm going back next week when it warms up, but I'd like to have an idea as to what it might be. Again, thanks for any input.
  • bowdinbowdin Posts: 11
    Addendum to my last post: my Dak is 2WD, has 15K miles on it, about 10K with the new ring and pinion.
  • Hello, I was wondering if in anybody else is having problems with the washer fluid freezing somewhere during very cold temp. My 02 Dakota seems not to dispense the washer fluid in temps below 10 degrees and driving in NY and Ct with tons of salt put on the roads makes seeing clearly sometimes a game in its own. Last winter I thought that maybe the dealer had added water or cheap washer fluid, but the last couple of days it has not worked either. Just thought that I would get some other opinions.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, I've seen U-joints get dry and rusting that squeaked without any first. When they eventualy start chewing themselves up from lack of lubrication, then you might get a vibration.

    Then again, I've seen U-joints puke that never vibrated.

    You might be able to diagnose the difference by counting the squeak event if you can get the thing to make the noise at very low speed. Many times (not aways) a wheel bearing will squeak only once a revolution. A U-joint will probably do it 3-4 times per wheel revolution.

    This is not a foolproof diagnostic test, but it does work.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I haven't had that problem yet on my 2003. In fact i used them last night when it was -8F here in Rochester, New York, and they worked fine.

    Best regards,
  • jimqjimq Posts: 14
    I am also an owner of a 2002 Dodge Dakota. On Wednesday 01/07 my washers stopped functioning. I was able to get them working again by clearing the nozzles with a very thin paper clip. Same problem Thursday (2X), same solution. On Friday and today (Sat.) I have been unable to get them to function. The temperature here in NH has dropped to minus 12F both days. Seems the freeze up is occuring at or near the nozzles.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    It was -12 here last night and its been -8 here all day. Mine have worked fine.

    It's possible that there's enough small debris in the lines that they slow down and stop at the nozzle in very low temps. The only resolution might be to use compressed air to clean them out. Or, you've got some punky washer fluid. I have had fluid in the past that froze on extremely cold night but was fine in the AM.

    Stay warm!

  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Gee guys, I haven't had that problem at all. Today it went down to sixty something and all was fine. I do the following:

    1 Push compressed air through the tubes and outlets.
    2 Use a good quality windshield washer juice.
    3 Stay here in FL far away from Western NY, and New England.

  • jimqjimq Posts: 14
    Thanks for the advice Dusty! I'll try switching washer fluids after the current cold snap. I just added 2/3 of a gallon of the generic pre-mixed blue stuff last Sunday. I had no problems in mid December when the temperature dipped to -2F so it is probably just a punky brand of fluid. If the problem persists I will try blowing out the nozzles and lines to rid them of any debris in the spring. Jim
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    I've seen some "winterized" alternatives to the blue stuff at Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Prestone has a pee-yellow product, which performed well. But I've since switched to the milky-pink-orange stuff from Rain-X. It's both a winterized mix and contains their standard Rain-X windshield treatment.

    The Rain-X seems to work well at cutting the morning windshield frost/ice (truck sits outside in central PA) and helps in wet-weather visibility. Although these alternatives are a little more expensive than the generic blue stuff, the "start-up and go" aspect is worth it to me. Also it has eliminated system freeze ups, which did occur in another one of my vehicles recently.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Sometimes the problem can be induced by the type of washer fluid. I typically buy the generic blue stuff (a lot of it is made here in Rochester by a company called Clean-brite and labeled under a dozen different brand names). You will notice every once in a while that there are little blue particles in the bottom of the bottle. These probably get poured into the washer reservoir many times, especially at night, and you'd never notice them. They do clog the nozzles. I've had that problem before.

    Spike, what do you think of the Rain-X orange stuff? I've had one person say they thought it was more effective.

  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    So far so good. Technically, the washer tank currently contains a mixture of 1/3 cheap blue stuff, 1/3 winterized Prestone, and 1/3 winterized Rain-X. I'm now only refilling with Rain-X.

    It does clean the windshield of bird doo-doo, mud, etc. Two weekends ago, it was about 55 degrees and really raining here in PA. I noticed that the windshield's rain shedding improved after a let loose a squirt or two of washer fluid. This past weekend, it dropped to around +5 to 10 degrees F and the fluids didn't freeze up.

    If anything bad happens, I'll post.
This discussion has been closed.