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Dodge Dakota - FAQs



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    I've either been very busy, trying to survive another personal upheaval, or suffering from a bad case of RoadRunner internet service.

    I only have experience with the factory supplied Champions and the Bosch Platinum Plus 4s. I changed the factory plugs out at 10,000 miles because of an intermittent lumpy idle and very slight and only occasional cold weather hestitation.

    I just replaced the Boschs at 50,000 miles. They looked very good and I'm sure they would go another 50K. When I went from the Champions to the Platinum+4s I did not feel any difference in the way the engine ran, except the lumpy idle and occasional cold weather stumble seemed to disappear. There was no change in fuel consumption and I do not believe any change in overall performance.

    When I changed-out the +4s for another set, I did realize about a 1.7 MPG increase in fuel mileage and I felt some increased responsiveness in the low end. I must also say that I replaced the air filter and PCV valve, as well as cleaned the throttle body and air port. At this moment I am not inclined to believe that the Bosch plugs offer a lot more than the Champion Copper Plus that came with my 4.7. In all fairness, I should try another set of the Champions before I can conclusively be convinced, but I have worked on a few Dak 4.7s with 50-60K on the factory plugs and they seemed to be running fine, albeit they ran better after a plug change. Maybe after 40K on Champion Copper Pluses Id being saying the same thing. I don't know.

    One thing I can say for sure is that for most drivers with the 4.7 the Champions are probably a pretty good spark plug and you won't go wrong if you continue to use it. You should go longer with platinum, however.

    Bests & Merry Christmas,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    Good comments on 4.7 spark plug maintenance. At 50K everything looked almost like new on my 4.7. The O-rings are still pliable and appear to be sealing well.

    The one curse is the cooling line clamps that secure the metal heater lines that run in front of the throttlebody. I broke one the last time and broke another this time. The right side clamp is 05015518AA, by the way.

    I also broke the end of the PCV valve off trying to remove the vacuum line. Fortunately I had a new valve (53032800AA) in hand. Be sure to remove the inlet duct from the air box before attempting to remove the PCV valve. The valve does not simply pull out, but twists out by camming action, and to properly access the PCV valve requires good access. Looking at the PCV valve head on from the right side of the vehicle, the PCV valve must be rotated downwards (counterclockwise) and may then be withdrawn.

    Bests & Merry Christmas,
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Very good information...Thanks, Dusty and Bpeebles
  • hey ppls i have a standard 2000 4.7 dakota and i was wondering if any of you have run one stock in a 1/4 mile. i was wondering what they run. and i've seen the new dakota r/t's from the 2006 line. why are they using an inferior engine to the 5.9?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Petroleum-based Dexron-Mercon automatic transmission fluid (ATF) was originally designed for General Motor’s automatic transmissions and has been in existence since the early 1950s. In "normal" service Dexron-Mercon will provide an approximate 100,000 miles service limit when operated in a steady 175 degree F environment.

    Dexron-Mercon ATF, like all other types, are easily deteriorated from heat, friction, moisture, and other contaminates that cause oxidation. As oxidation advances, clutch and other component operation are adversely affected, and likewise as component and clutch operation degrade, ATF deterioration advances. This causes a rapid, non-linear effect in overall fluid deterioration and subsequent lack of fluid performance.

    The approximate life expectancy of petroleum-based Dexron-Mercon ATF types are shown in the following commonly distributed chart. Keep in mind that the chart only considers temperature variation. Contamination from moisture or other materials will advance the fluid’s deterioration and expiration:

    175°F.............100,000 miles
    195°F..............50,000 miles
    212°F..............25,000 miles
    235°F..............12,000 miles
    255°F...............6,000 miles
    275°F...............3,000 miles
    295°F...............1,500 miles
    315°F.................750 miles
    335°F.................375 miles
    355°F.................187 miles
    375°F..................94 miles
    390°F..................47 miles
    415°F...................5 miles

    NOTE: The above chart has not been verified for accuracy, however is included here to illustrate the relationship of operating temperature to ATF longevity.

    A little known fact is that Chrysler Corporation has for some time had its own proprietary ATF, eventually known as ATF+ (ATF "plus"), and since the mid-1950s this fluid was designated "fill-for-life." This meant that under "normal" driving conditions the transmission fluid was serviceable for the life of the vehicle and did not require routine service. "Normal" driving conditions were defined as a vehicle that was NOT used for police, taxi, or other commercial operation, towing or exceeding the vehicle load specifications, not operated in dusty conditions, at high speeds in greater than 90 F ambient temperatures, excessive idling, or above average short trip or stop-and-go driving (city). In addition, Chrysler stipulated that if any amount of Dexron-Mercon was added to the original factory fill, the fluid and filter required replacement every 25,000 miles.

    Chrysler permitted use of Dexron-Mercon in their older series of transmissions (A-904, A-727) for many years but strictly for the purposes of maintenance or over haul. Since its inception, Chrysler has improved on the original ATF+ with ATF+2 (7176D), ATF+3 (type 7176E), and the current ATF+4 fluids and now recommends the use of ATF+4 (type 9602) and prohibits the use of Dexron-Mercon, with a few exceptions. Jeep vehicles using the Aisin-Warner transmissions (AW-3, AW-4) must use Dexron-Mercon. In addition, all 1999 and older mini-vans should continue to use ATF+3 to prevent torque converter shudder. For all other Chrysler-built cars and trucks, any transmission originally supplied with ATF+, ATF+2, or ATF+3, should use type 9602, ATF+4. Chrysler states that ATF+4 may be used when adding fluid to all vehicles originally supplied with ATF+3. Some earlier Chrysler vehicle owner’s manuals stated that Dexron-Mercon could be used, and some dipsticks are marked "Use Dexron-Mercon." This is an error, however. Dexron-Mercon should not be used in ANY Chrysler-built vehicle.


    Despite the myth perpetrated by many, Dexron-Mercon is not a universal transmission fluid. And just like the prohibition against its use in Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and some Ford products, Dexron-Mercon should not be used in ANY Chrysler-built motor vehicle. In addition, all packaged ATFs of whatever type are not necessarily the same. If you look closely at the various manufacturers of Dexron or Mercon, for example, you will note there are significant variations in the fluid specifications. There is even disagreement in the industry of whether Mercon V is compatible with older transmissions specifying the use of Dexron IIE or III. The same situation holds true for non-OEM manufacturers of ATF+3.

    Chrysler’s prohibition against the use of any fluid other than the appropriate ATF+ is not arbitrary. ATF+3 & 4 are highly modified fluids. ATF+ 3 and 4 contain a unique and patented friction modifier formula that is integral to the transmission design and is required to maintain the original shift quality, and ultimately the design life of the transmission. This makes the shift and clutch engagement quality of Chrysler transmissions extremely sensitive to ATF characteristics. Despite claims otherwise by transmission repair centers or competitive lubricant manufacturers, Dexron-Mercon altered with generic friction modifiers are NOT equivalent with the design specifications of ATF+ series fluids.


    ATF+3 is an advanced fluid that replaced factory fill ATF+2. It is specifically formulated to Chrysler automatic transmission designs and is necessary to maintain factory shift quality and overall transmission performance. Although a Chrysler proprietary formulation, ATF+3 has been licensed by Chrysler for manufacture by competing, non-OEM suppliers. Although always a better choice than using somebody else’s fluid, aftermarket ATF+3 formulations are not necessarily the same as the original factory fluid and either shift quality or long term transmission performance and reliability may be adversely affected.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931

    ATF+4 is a superior fluid that contributes to increased transmission performance and reliability. Developed by the Lubrizol Corporation and currently manufactured by Havoline, Chrysler Type 9602 or ATF+4 is a specially formulated fully synthetic automatic transmission fluid that incorporates a very high viscosity index (VHVI) base stock and contains a unique and exclusive high-strength additive package. This transmission fluid is engineered to be a "fill-for-life" fluid under normal driving conditions with a minimum practical end life of 150,000 miles. Designed exclusively for DaimlerChrysler automatic transmissions, it is also recommended for certain manual transmissions and all 1999 and newer Chrysler power steering systems. ATF+4 is fully compatible with all transmission applications where Type 7176 fluids (ATF+, ATF+2, or ATF+3) have previously been specified.

    Through the use of its patented additive package ATF+4 will maintain the original shift quality of all Chrysler designed automatic transmissions. It contains superior properties for low temperature operation to -55 degrees F, and maintains a high viscosity index above 350 F. ATF+4 produces superior wear and rust prevention qualities especially when compared to Dexron-Mercon or aftermarket synthetic fluids. ATF+4 controls oxidation to a much higher degree than Dexron-Mercon series fluids and represents a notable improvement over ATF+3.

    ATF+4 reduces the effects of moisture and will practically eliminate the formation of deposits in otherwise healthy transmissions. Its exclusive friction modifier composition also controls friction and maintains the minimum surface loss of transmission clutches. ATF+4 contains the maximum anti-foaming characteristics of any currently marketed ATF.

    ATF+ series automatic transmission fluids must be operated in an ATF+ pure operating environment and are highly susceptible to chemical destabilization from non-ATF+ automatic transmission fluids. With the exception of 1999 and older mini-vans, automatic transmissions designed and manufactured by Chrysler Corporation or DaimlerChrysler using ATF+3 may use ATF+4, either as a supplement or full replenishment. Transmissions originally equiped with ATF+4, however, should never have anything other than ATF+4 added to the system

    Chrysler has recently allowed licensing of ATF+4 manufacture by non-OEM suppliers.
  • 2001 quad , 4.7l, 3.92 lsd, 5sp. Question..mentioning PCV valve. 2 dealerships, 1 purolator catalog, 1 fram catalog, 1 pep boys store, 1 thuls store, 1 auto store: All do not see/mention PCV valve listed, nor have a part # that I see or was given to me. Where is this valve, as I have had many funny looks and parts people look at my truck to say NONE exists. What does exist I am told is an air valve, 1 at each rear of the valve covers which there is a piped connection which connects both to a tee(Some call pcv?) which is connected to my airbox by about 6 inches of ~ 1/2 id hose.. Greenbrook dodge, NJ wanted to sell me a pcv valve, and I asked "where does it go" and they could not tell me, or walk 50 ft outside to show me as their airbox picture did not show both my air intake to throttle body and small hose attached..SO I am confused..maybe I need to attach pics for someone to explain to me..Confused..or is there an actual PCV on some 4.7L and not mine? Ger :surprise:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    The PCV VALVE is on the side of the oil-fill snout. To remove it, pull the hose off of it then twist 1/4-turn and pull straight out. There is o-ring that makes the seal.

    If you open the oil-fill snout and pull out the baffle insert, you can see the hole on the side where the PCV valve sucks the fumes out of the crankcase. With engine idling, you can put your finger over that hole and should feel suction.

    Do not forget that the DC (Damler Chrysler)4.7L V8 is the same engine as the 3.7L V6 (just 2 cylinders lopped off) Many parts (including PCV valve) should be interchangable.
  • Bruce, Got the location, thanks!! Was a bit confused as the dealer wanted to sell me p/n #53032800AA originally, which I think i read at post 186 and they could not tell me the location. They told me that p/n is for 2002 per their book, who knows.. My 2001 p/n # is 53031777AA, sold for $10.25 +tax. Like Dusty had wrote, I also pulled the air box out. I then slid back the hose, and twisted the pcv valve counterclockwise till the hose connection pointed downwards, 1/4 twist, and it then released, pulling outwards... Thanks !
    Posted a few pics for others that may not find the valve either..Either my finger or screwdriver is pointing at the valve/location.
  • Can anyone tell me where the pcv valve is located on a 2000 dodge dakota???
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Which engine do you have?
  • the engine is a V6
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    It should be on one of the valve covers and has a hose connecting to the intake manifold.
  • smithmrsmithmr Posts: 1
    As you are facing your truck it will be on the right side toward the back of the valve cover. I just changed mine today. It took all of about two minutes from start to finish.
  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24
    I have been trying to source a 180 deg TStat for my SLT Dak. Reason is: I am pulling 22' trailer 4200 lbs loaded weight and am going into Cdn Rockies twice this summer.
    (Am using a Reese 750 WD w/Dual Cam Sway Cntrl).

    4.7L motor is std 4.7 - not the high output.

    I have done following to increase HP as methinks I am gonna need a bit more (-%

    KN Cold Air Intake/Filter
    Magnaflow single 3" free flow Cat Back exhaust
    As of today, Im using synthetic oil Mobile 1
    Will run Premium Fuel when towing - no detonation/pinging.

    There is no chip programmer avail as of yet..superchips says end of summer..Read middle of winter maybe.?? and I have heard from many that the "jet" modules are not worth the $$.

    Anyway...I would like to know why a 180 Tstat is not available for this motor.? Could it have anything to do with proper sensor readings being distorted by the lower engine temp..?? My thinking was that using a TStat @ 180 as opposed to OEM 195 would be simply easier/better on the motor whilst towing (less heat - less energy loss)

    As well I have read that diff oil SB synthetic..?? really.?
    Any other recommendations re: Towing would be appreciated.

    Also have read here not to tow in OD. Why.? Given a good reason, I gather that one should use the Tow/Haul button at all times when towing.?

    Lots of Questions I know...bear with me.!

    Rgds and hello to all.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    You did not say - but I assume from your comments that you have AUTOMATIC xmission. Given that, do not use OD when towing, the xmission can overwork/overheat by constantly going in and out of OD.

    You also did not mention which final gear ratio you have. This may affect towing performance.

    Another key element you did not mention was if you have the factory-installed towing package or not. Some of the items included in the factory package are not readally apparent. (like the additon of power-steering cooler.)

    If you are not ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN about your gear oils being synthetic... change them all to the approprate RedLine lubes. (Yes - RedLine is expensive... this is because it is 100% high-grade synthetic base stock...beyond even Mobil1!!)

    Not only is RedLine perhaps the best lubricant available, I realized 2-4 MPG better just by changing from dyno-oil to RedLine. (xfer case, front/rear diff and Manual xmission) As a bonus, RedLine saved my rear diff when all the lube leaked out of a failed seal due to its ability to lubricate under those conditions.

    The factory towing package is supposed to include synthetic lube in the rear diff. Folks that have added a hitch WITHOUT putting in synthetic have fried their rear diff. Some folks WITH the factory towing package have fried rear diff. because factory put in dyno-lube. It is better to put in RedLine to make CERTAIN.

    As for the thermostat, the cooling system on the 4.7L semi-hemi V8 is a "bypass" type system. (thermostat is mounted low on engine and actually MIXES hot/cold to ensure engine is correct temp.) I would not mess with what is in there.
  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24
    bpeebles: Decent post - great info.!

    I do have automatic trans, had the rear diff changed with a synthetic 75W-90 (GL-5 rated),& with the Mopar additive and just did an oil change albeit with Mobile 1 synthetic oil. I have had the transmission serviced as well...all in the past 30 days. I think I am gonna leave that alone for now.

    I do have a class III Reese receiver, Tranny cooler & all the electrics reqd for trailer. I do not believe that this unit has a power steering cooler..never heard about one of them.? Like to know what/why/how etc one requires that particular hardware. splain please..? (-%

    Interesting on the Red-Line Lube. & On that note, I saw on the web site (thanks for the link) that it looks like good product. When I go to change fluids/gear oils, I will give it a try.

    Understand re-TStat. I shall leave it alone..explanation clear and succinct. I believe that the Gear ratio is 3.55 for no other reason than I did not specify the higher ratio when the unit was bought.

    I have no issue with spending coin on preventative maintenance/permium products...the alternative is just not worth the savings or the time wasted. ( I used to wear $ 35 dollar shoes..they wear out and are not comfortable. Now it's Clarks or Ecco's. Pricey they are but they last damned near forever and by God your feet feel comfortable.)

    Many thanx,

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,083
    To answer your questions about the PowerSteering cooler....

    It is simply a small radiator inline with the return hose that is connected to the plastic overflow tank. If you wish to add one, then the biggest problem will be locating a place to mount it. Since there is no pressure in the return line, a couple hoseclamps is all that is needed to plumb it in. Any small radiator like a xmission cooler would suffice... it just needs 2-3 passes of the pipe thru the core.

    The one on the factory 4.7L is actually mounted just beside the PS pump. (on the engine). Perhaps you could look under the hood of some Daks with the factory towing package to see what it looks like.

    I dont have a PS cooler and prefer to not have one. The steering used to get 'stiff' when outside temps are below -15F. I beleive adding a PS cooler may "overcool" the fluid in my situation.

    Instead, I replaced my PS fluid with the RedLine PS fluid.... I never-again had 'stiff' steering in the winter. The RedLine base-stock can handle any heat that may get generated without breaking down so it is a good alternatave to having a PS cooler.
  • mike133mike133 Posts: 13
    I would like to know more about your tranny cooler. I was told by two different dodge dealers. Cooler is not available by dodge for the 2005 dakota. How is your cooler installed so as not to have to modify the cooler lines. Can the dealer deny warranty work if the lines are modified. i am planning on bypassing the factory in the radiator cooler, any thoughs on this. I will not be in any weather area's below zero. Thanks, mike
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