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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    17.3 running 70-75 with AC on and approximately 400 lbs of stuff(read junk) in the bed.
    This is on BP/AMOCO gas from Indiana, refilled in Wheeling WV.
    AC did the trick in 90+ heat and humidity to make a jungle seem tame in comparison. I did get a tiny bit of internal condensation drip on the duct which directs air to the floor. It seems as though there is a slight bit of air bleed from the evaporator plenum and it was enough to chill the duct and for moisture to collect on worries the floor mats (cannon) held it well.
  • kruzerkruzer Posts: 9
    OK guys,

    I have an 01 SLT+ 4x4 4.7, auto, and have a question. I have the "parttime" 4wd and can guess the obvious with OFFROAD, but what is "offroad"? The manual talks about "slippery, loose road surfaces".

    I know. I don't NEED a 4x4. I do occasionally *need* it with camping and dirt motorcycling. Mostly, I just wanted it. Just because. I only put about 5k/yr on the truck so extra maint is not really an issue.

    Anyway, besides the obvious, what is OK for the system? Is it OK to use 4WH in rain? I guess first, is it needed to occasionally use 4WD so it doesn't get "rusty"? What damages the system on dry pavement? Seems like I have read that the Differential is damaged when turning on dry pavement.(?) More so in curves than straight?

    I don't really want or need to turn on the 4WD button, but am concerned with the long-term health of my truck. I don't want the truck to suffer damage because I am ignornant of proper "maintenance". If there is no problem with lack of use, I'm OK. Otherwise fill me in...

  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I own a 2x4 Quad but I drive at work either 1 of 2 4x4 3/4 ton Chevy Suburbans or a 1 ton GMC crew cab. I use 4x4 whenever I have any doubt about road surfaces. I use it in the rain all the time as well as on gravel roads and cow paths going out to the radio sites I work at. In 16 years of driving the company 4x4s I've never broke any 4x4 component. I've gotten a few grills and fenders pushing deer out of the way at 70mph but thats another story. I've on occasion forgotten to switch back to 2 wheel drive and have driven several hundred miles in 4 wheel drive on dry pavement(I do a lot of Interstate driving). I only notice a binding sensation while backing up while turning on dry pavement. Then I remember to take it out of 4 wheel. Of course these are full size Chevy 4x4s and are probably built a lot tougher than whats in the Dakota. Seriously, I don't think you are going to damage your 4x4 system driving in the rain. Rick
  • cyberdinecyberdine Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 Dakota sport (extended cab), about a week ago, my front breaks started making a loud squealing noise and grinding when I pressed on the breaks. I took it to the break shop and they told me that I would half to replace the drivers side rotor and get a new set of calipers. The reason was that Dodge had used "plastic" pistons in some models to save money. He showed me both the rotor and the caliper. the rotor was ruined. The piston had mushroomed flat and caused the break to never completely release on that side. This also destroyed the inside break shoe.

    The funny thing is that I never felt any dragging or pulling to one side until the squealing started. Has anyone else ever heard of this?????

  • bja4bja4 Posts: 67
    I had a 92 4x4 Dakota Sport that started to trow a shoe in the rear at 40k miles. There was a chatter coming from the rear when hitting the brakes. So I decided to go ahead and do a complete brake job(news hoes,turning rotors and drums). Everything in the rear was easy. Then came the front. The floating hubs in the front made removing the rotors easy, but trying to open the calipers to make room for new shoes was almost a nightmare. I stated to use a large channel-lock pliers to push the calipers back in like I have on several other vehicals I have owned. The dam caliper chip; I couldn't believe it. I guess there made out of some type of ceramic material. I finished the rest of the job using 1"x4" piece of wood sandwiched between the pliers and the caliper.
  • bja4bja4 Posts: 67
    I used 4x4 low all the time on my last 92 Dakota when backing the truck up the driveway with the camper on it. 4x4 low makes baking up a lot easier when aligning truck to accept camper as well. Put over 65K miles on last truck and never had a problem with the 4x4 system. I use 4x4 low on our new Dakota as well. Leaving black marks in the driveway once in a while shouldn't hurt anything. If it did hurt, I would get rid of the truck. A rocky trail would cause more wear/abuse.
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Posts: 215
    This weekend I had to jack the front end of my (4x2)2001 QC. I had the jack in the proper location, but fully extended it didn't raise the truck enough to remove the tire. I ended up putting the two by four under the jack. Anyone else ever have this problem.
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    I have changed both rear tires on my 4x4 Quad and the jack lifted the truck OK. Have not tried the front. I'll have to try the front to make sure the jack lifts properly. Thank you for bringing this up.
    When you tried to jack up you truck, were you on a flat level surface?
    Good luck,
  • skylerkskylerk Posts: 67
    When rotating my tires, I have used the tire jack on all four corners of my 2001 QC 4x2 (with the big Tire & Handling package tires) and the jack had plenty of height. Were you using the frame right behind the front tire as your jack point?
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Posts: 215
    Thanks for the replies. I was on a flat level surface and I had the jack immediately behind the front wheel. Go figure. It was a real head scratcher.

    My guess is I got the wrong jack.
  • Well, just got my baby back from the dealer.

    abou two weeks ago I sent her in to have the power steering pump looked at, due to the fact that I was experiencing some excessive whine from the engine bay. My analysis pointed to the power steering pump ( the old screwdriver to the ear trick). None the less, they agreed with me and ordered the part. Called me a week later to schedule the replacement.

    What a difference! The engine is sooooo much smooother too. Could be my imagination, but there is definetly an audible reduction, especially at idle.

    Kudo's to my dealer (service department) too!!! I told them that I had an almost inaudible click over rough roads that sounded like it was coming from under the dash, behind the airbag. Once the pump was replaced, they pulled the airbag cover and reattached some of the insulation to correct the problem. they even told me that it that the fix was a little more dificult than simply reattaching, because they didn't want to interfere with the airbag clearances. Now that is using the old noodle.

    If anybody is looking for a dodge in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, you have to go to Junction Auto at the corner of SR 322 and SR 44.

    I'm one happy camper!!

  • bja4bja4 Posts: 67
    DETROIT, Aug. 1 — The U.S. unit of DaimlerChrysler AG is recalling 216,100 Dodge pickup trucks because of a potential problem with the driver’s side airbag.
    THE PROBLEM, ANNOUNCED by federal regulators in a monthly list of automotive recalls on Tuesday, has been detected in 1997-2000 models of the Dakota and Durango and 1997-2001 models of the Dodge Ram pickup
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said about 216,100 of the trucks were included in the recall.
    In some of the vehicles, sound muffling material inside the steering wheel could become detached and wind up disabling the driver’s side air bag system, NHTSA said.
    The recall began in June but was not announced by NHTSA until this week.
  • You said all 4 corners when using your jack. Just this morning I came out to a flat rear tire and changed it, but the manual specified jackpoint for the rear tires is the axle between the leaf springs and the shocks. Easiest tire change I ever did, the tire came off the ground with very few cranks of the jack(2001 QC 4x4 T&Hpackage). Did you have success using the jack on the frame for rear tire change? Just curious...
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    2 within a week.. !!!
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Warped rotors...ahh such familiarity. This Friday I go back to the dealer.
    Since its a known fact to me that OEM rotors are pure garbage my goal is to get Chrysler to fund replacement aftermarket units. Already priced out a Raybestos unit (made in USA by the way) from NAPA for $67.13 + tax.
    I know its a long shot on getting Chrysler to work with me on this but I plan to hit the advisor with my report to the NHTSA on Dodge brakes. See what he says about it.
    Stay tuned.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    A few weeks ago I took my '00 in for the 1 year once over. Excessive noise coming through the door seals, power steering fluid on the low end for some reason, new version oil cap and the rotors are starting pulse. The oil cap and door seals are on order, told me to fill up the power steering myself and that the rotors (all brake components) were only covered up to 12K (I have 17.6K on it now).

    Are rotors only covered up to 12K?
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    yes, according to the documents.. I am going to try to nail them on the fact this started WAY before 12K. SO I will see; I don't know which way Chrysler will go on this.
    WIll keep updates going..if anyone is interested.
  • skylerkskylerk Posts: 67
    When I said that "I have used the tire jack on all four corners" of my truck, I was just trying to use a little mildly humorous slang. I actually placed the jack at the locations shown in the diagrams on the jack handle carry case -- the frame just aft and inboard of the front wheels and the rear axle just inboard of the leaf springs.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    I realize that the ultimate solution is to get an quality-made rotor, Mopar or not, but I'll get these trued up for now. Anyone out there trying non-Mopar rotors, keep us apprised of your experiences so the rest of us can make the right decision, eventually.

    Just returned from backpacking a portion the Tuscarora Trail in south central PA. It was uphill both ways, hot, rocky and dry. QC got us there and back, the rest we did the old fashion way.
  • mailman54mailman54 Posts: 111
    spike50: This is off the subject a little bit, but I coudn't resist. Had been planning a hike to the same area during the first week in September. Have previously hiked from Colonel Denning state park to junction with AT at Darlington Trail and back. Was planning to go south from Colonel Denning to Cowan's Gap state park and back this year. What section did you actually hike? I have not been overly impressed with the Tuscarora Trail so far. If it is no better south of Colonel Denning state park, I may go to plan 2 and hike the Bartram Trail in North Carolina instead.

    Speaking of brakes, I am rapidly approaching 12,000 miles on my 00 Dakota. So far I have not had any problem with my brakes, although my 91 Dakota had all kinds of problems. If I am going to have problems I wish it would start now so that I could get them fixed under warranty.
This discussion has been closed.