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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions

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  • sorry to keep bugging you guys, but im afraid im annoyed by the 500 rpm idle...if i go to the dealership, is the flash for the PCM free since its their fault? or do i have to pay? mine is an 00 with 62k on it...do you guys know if its even worth it to get the flash? does it really help? i keep hearing 500 is normal...but some say 600-700 is normal...ugh it bugs me!
  • Experencing a slight squeaking/rubbing sound coming from the rear of the truck only when making slow parking lot turns or after coming to a complete stop and turning a corner. This seems to occur after the truck has been driven for approx 3 miles and is warmed up. Will not occur when its cold.
    I recently had a front brake job done and they adjusted the rear brakes. This noise seemed to start shorly after this service. I've driven the truck approx 2,000 miles since this brake job. The noise has not gotton any worse or better. Today I took the truck to the same facility which did the brakes and explained noise and took the tech for a ride. They reinspected the rear brakes and found they are fine and not sticking, rubbing etc and the noise I'm hearing is not coming from the brakes. Thus the tech suggested that the clutch plates in the rear end may be making some noise and recommends just dealing with it or adding some friction modifier and seems to think its nothing to worry about that some vehicles with lsd's make some noise once they have some miles on them? any one else experence something similar?

    fyi 01 q/c sport plus 4.7l auto, lsd 3.55,33,000k
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The symptom you describe is very typical of a limited slip differential with the clutches chattering. I suppose you could just add some friction modifier, but I would strongly recommend doing a complete drain, clean, and reinstalling new lubricant and friction modifier.

    The recommended maintenance cycle for the rear axle is 36,000 miles anyway.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • is it free, or what do i do to go about it, is it worth getting?
  • thanks for the info dustyk. I'm considering doing just what you suggested with servicing the differential. However, my mechanic seemed a little hesident on if he wanted to perform the job and recommended I take it to the dealer for a second option.

    are u sure on the recommended maintenance cycle?
    is this 36,000 miles for severe service?
    I thought I read that DC does not recommend changing the rear axle fluid unless you do alot of prolong trailer pulling for long dist then they recommend switching to synthtic fluid.
    If I do end up having it serviced eventhough I dont do alot of pulling I will have the synthtic fluid installed as an extra measure of protection.

    Does dc have a special part # for the synthtic differential fluid?

     

    .
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Arranger, I think if your vehicle is still under warranty its free. Out of warranty I think they'd charge you a flat-rate. You might want to consult with a Dodge service manager to see if any apply. I don't believe there were too many PCM updates issued for the 4.7 and I think they all addressed very specific symptoms.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • Well i heard they came out with a flash for low idle speed...thats what im trying to get done, and my vehicle is not under warranty...im going to call the dodge dealership on monday
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The 36,000 miles is based on schedule "B." I keep forgetting that schedule "B" occurs first in the service manual, then schedule "A." Changing the rear axle lubricant does not appear on the Dakota schedule "A," so it appears that its not required for "normal" service.

    In all my years experience, however, I can't remember a limited slip differential going 75,000 miles, much less 120,000, without needing some attention. I have a neighbor who just changed out his differential lubricant on a 2003 GMC at 13,000 miles because his limited slip clutches were clanging real bad. And he also found a quantity of metal grit in the case, enough that suspension carrying them around in the gear oil would definitely damage gears.

    I don't think that Chrysler recommends against lubricant changes for the rear axle. I think what they state is that regular maintenance is not required under "normal" driving conditions. You can't harm machinery by providing a higher level of maintenance. Besides, if you purchased this vehicle used you do not know how it was treated. I would change the rear lubricant just to be sure.

    There are two types of Mopar(R) Rear Axle Lubricants: 80W-90 Gear & Axle Lubricant, pn 4874468, and 90W-140 Synthetic Gear & Axle Lubricant. Both the small case (8.25 inch) and large case (9.25 inch) rear axle assemblies take 4.0 ounces of Mopar Friction Modifier, pn 4318060-AB. There is no gasket on the differential housing cover. You'll also need a tube of the special sealant, pn 82300234.

    The 90W-140 Gear & Axle Lubricant is synthetic. I don't have the part number handy, my apologies. This lubricant is recommended for severe service: carrying heavy loads or towing heavy trailers more than 50% of the time; long-distance towing of heavy trailers or heavy loads, or driving at high speeds for extended periods. This lubricant is a heavier viscosity and its increased film strength will reduce gear wear when the vehicle is used to carry/tow heavy loads.

    One thing that I will caution you on is using the 90W-140 in extreme low temperature conditions, especially if you do a lot of short trip driving in the winter.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • datagurudataguru Posts: 95
    After logging 15,600Kms or 9,700Mi, I've encountered my first clunk noise in the front-end. I'm surprised because I thought the steering components had undergone improvements for 2003 and later models. Also, have noticed that the front-end steering has loosen up quite a bit since when the vehicle was new. The wheels are tracking straight and tire pressures are OK.

    I hear this noise just as the wheels are turned to the LEFT while going over a speed bump or a similar situation. It sounds like the lower control arm is scraping the steering knuckle area. Would this be a worn out Ball Joint problem or a worn out shock problem. I thought DC was using improved UBJs from another supplier? Could it be the shocks are collapsing? No signs of leakage is evident.

    Any suggestions on troubleshooting this one? Thanks in advance.

    dataguru
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Data, suspension components were upgraded in 2003.

    What might be the problem is the front sway bar bushings. You could have a loose shock, usually the problem is at the lower mounting.

    Some loosening of the steering over time is normal. If it seems unusually loose you might have a loose tie-rod end.

    Of course, there's nothing to say that you don't have a bad upper ball joint. I noticed on mine that the grease seals are fully collapsed as if it never left the factory with any grease in them. Mine's still tight at 24,000 miles. No noises yet.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    >>>There are two types of Mopar(R) Rear Axle Lubricants: 80W-90 Gear & Axle Lubricant, pn 4874468, and 90W-140 Synthetic Gear & Axle Lubricant.<<<

    Slick,

    The part number for the Mopar Synthetic Gear & Axle lubricant is 4874469. Its listed as 75W-140. I guess the older stuff was 90W-140. My error.

    Anyway, over-the-counter price is $19.20 per quart.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    I've read postings here that others have had trouble finding it, but I'm under my husband's '01 Dakota 3.9L and there is this black plastic housing around the radiator that I think I have to remove but am having the darndest (sp?) time trying to remove it! Do I even need to do this to get at the drain plug for the antifreeze? I've changed antifreeze before but not on a Dodge. Any advice appreciated! Thanks! Elissa
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Ok, found the black plastic drain cock and rubber drain valve and tube. I turned the drain cock all it would turn - about a quarter of a turn - and nothing flows out. Do I need the engine running? I have my radiator cap off and my reservoir tank top off. What am I missing? -elissa (thanks!!!)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Elissa,

    There's two possibilities. You were either very low on coolant in the first place, or you haven't opened the drain cock enough.

    If you weren't over heating before you attempted this project, then my guess is there was adequate coolant in the system. This leaves the drain cock not being opened. I have yet to have the experience of doing this myself so I'm not aware if there are any peculiarities with the drain valve.

    Someone else in here able to advise Elissa?

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Thanks Dusty! Working like a charm now! My other cars only ever required partial turn for the coolant to drain so I thought I'd turned it enough. Lovely! Now if only I had the torque to loosen the rear diff screws that I siloconed on so well 30K miles ago... ;-) -elissa
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    Elissa,

    Many folks have encounterd that plastic drain plug BREAKING OFF when they attempt to drain the radiator. Replacements are available at a reasonable cost. You were lucky.

    Do not forget that there is more to changing the antifreeze than draining the radiator. There is the engine, hoses and heater-core that all should be drained. Also, that plastic cover you mention contains the overflow tank. I have removed that plastic cover and hosed out the overflow tank with the garden hose. I seem to recall that there are 2 bolts holding that cover on.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Elissa,

    Bpeebles is correct. There is a plug on each side of the engine to drain the engine block and most of the system. The drain plug has a flat top and is located very close to the top flange of the oil pan. On your 3.9 V6 they should be fairly close to the middle of the block.

    On my son's '91 Dakota they were fairly easy to see. Again, I haven't had the experience yet on mine or a newer style Dakota. They usually come out a little hard. Some sealant on the threads is recommended when they are reinstalled.

    Bests,
    Dusty
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Thanks Dusty! Working like a charm now! My other cars only ever required partial turn for the coolant to drain so I thought I'd turned it enough. Lovely! Now if only I had the torque to loosen the rear diff screws that I siloconed on so well 30K miles ago... ;-) -elissa
  • arrangerguyarrangerguy Posts: 18
    Anybody that reads this, what does your 4.7l v8 idle at, mine idles at about 500-525, please let me know what yours idles at(4.7l v8 only)
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Thanks Dusty and BPeebles! THanks! I never really drain the engine any more when doing coolant drain/flush/refill... I broke a $5 aluminum 'bleeder bolt' on my '93 civic once trying to drain the core and it was a $100 tow and service fee to fix, as the system could not be re-sealed. Without the Chilton or Haynes on the '01 Dakota out yet, I'm afraid I'd do more harm than good trying to figure out which is the coolant drain bolt. Although your descriptions will certainly help!

    I satisfy myself with more frequent drains than a full drain. <shrug> I flushed it a couple times hoping I'd get like 75% of the old coolant out. Probably not, but it looked clean and good and I did get the overflow emptied and filled a couple times too (even if I couldn't figure out where the second of those two bolts were).

    Of course NOW I'm finding all these posts on the CORRECT coolant - yikes! :-)

    Thanks!
    Elissa
This discussion has been closed.