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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions

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  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    just put on new cooper weathermaster tires for the winter and took off the tiger slicks, rim and all, and storing them until next spring. Cooper tires have a bit of a bounce to them like a belt is at odds with its partner belt so I am going back to the dealer tomorrow to get them looked at.

    As to your question, no problems. Last year, at around 4K, the alternator gave up the ghost due to a mis routed wiring harness that shorted out and smoked the alternator. Otherwise, still humming along. No brake issues at all, same type of driving, same hunting type trips, same roads, same pretty much everything. Probably the main diffrennce in my brake troubles with the Dak and this rig are:
    1. Stick shift allows me to use engine to slow down, thus saving on the brakes.
    2. Rotors are obvisously much better quality and properly sized to the vehicle. Dodge, are you reading this?
    3. Perhaps a tad more braking power goes to the rear on this rig as the Dakota since there is a bit more weight back there. Less to the front so the braking forces are probably spread out a bit better than on the Dak.

    That's pretty much it. I spend more time keeping this vehicle clean rather than wondering what will break next like I did with the Dak.

    My advice, take it for what it's worth, is get out of that truck and get yourself something that lasts. One lemon is enough, two is too much to bear.

    Good luck.
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Well at the request of my dad, I unplugged the 2 connectors on top of the ABS module next the engine. My brake problem went away. I have 4 wheel ABS by the way. I had no speedometer and of course my brake and ABS warning lights were on. I plugged the ABS back in and my problem came back.

    Its like the ABS is kicking in during hard braking as it should but, instead of pulsing it is sticking and I just slow down like coasting to a stop in neutral and the brake pedal wont move.

    I am picturing it like a valve that opens and closes real fast and instead of doing that it is sticking halfway and not letting the full braking force go. Does this make sense? Any of you guys with a book know if there is a way I can disable the ABS and still have speedometer and no warning lights on the dash in a 2001 Quadcab, 4.7 auto, 4x4?

    Thanks,

    Robert
  • jhorljhorl Posts: 89
    To be honest, that is something I wouldnt do. I would bring your findings to the best dealership you can find and then they could troubleshooot that component. I do agree that what you've done is better than no brakes, but I dont think you should have to mess with a system like that yourself.

    Just my 2 cents.
    John
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The fact that you say the power steering fluid has a slight red color to it makes me believe that it was initially filled with ATF+4.

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    I didnt leave it like that. I just did it around the block to test it. It was like like for less than half a mile.

    Robert
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Since you have disconnected the ABS unit (Hydraulic Control Unit) and the symptom has gone away, it appears that this is the controlling element in your problem. I don't think you have a wheel speed sensor problem. I say this because if you did I'm pretty sure you would be triggering the ABS on every stop.

    (The wheel speed differential would be detected as a "ABS stop," meaning it thinks one of the vehicle wheels is completely stopped all the time.)

    My guess is that the ABS unit is defective. I would mention what you did to your service people and see what they say.

    By the way, the ABS brake system on my wife's Avalon is about the worst I have ever driven. It triggers easily and often, even on dry pavement. The Toyota service manager told us that ABS controller failures are "kind've common" on Toyota vehicles, recognising our complaint. Since we have nearly 70K on this car everything is out of warranty. The ABS controller on the Avalon is $1000. GM uses the same unit. We've replaced them before. I sometimes am tempted to do the same thing you've done and leave the blasted thing disconnected.

    Also, my Dakota is rear wheel ABS only. That probably explains the difference in the way they act.

    Good luck,
    Dusty
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    I would tell the dealer, but they told me not to come back since I wont let it drop and Dodge has said they will not cover brakes on this truck at any dealer. I am out in the cold because the local dealer gave his 2 cents to D/C and I am not allowed to. So all I can do is lemon it, sell it or fix it out of pocket.

    Dodge=BAD! lol...

    Robert
  • try this attitude: customer is king! take it as far up the Chrysler ladder as you need to before they start tripping over one another to please you. trust me, it's not as far as you think. tell the right people Dodge wants you to drive sans brakes and they'll cave big time!
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    sort of mirrors my fathers. He had an 1999 Intrepid. Took it to the dealer for an oil change (free coupon). The next day, he and my mother drove up to PA from Indiana. He called me at I79 exit and said, bring 3 quarts of oil. I thought, oh s***.......so I drove out there and guess what? No oil cap on the engine. Anywhere. So we added oil, stuffed rags in there, and made it back to my place. We got another cap from the dealer here in town and they made it back to Indiana no problem.
    He goes to the dealer, shows them the god awful mess (oil was EVERYWHERE) and showed them the oil soaked and now dripping hood insulation.
    The service guy said, well, hey dude, you left off the oil cap when you changed your oil....not our problem. Till pops showed them the receipt. Then the service guy got real quiet and sheepish but still hemmed and hawed about how "busy" they were and it might be "two weeks" before they could look at it.
    So pops shoves off, gets in the car, and proceeds to park it right in front of the main service bay door. Gets out, locks it up, and called a buddy for a ride. The service guy comes out, yells, "Hey move the car". To which pops responds with a vertical finger salute. Then the GM of the dealership gets involved and is falling all over himself to make excuses for inept workmanship but said dad can have a free rental while they clean up the mess.
    So a new hood insulator is ordered, installed, and the motor is cleaned. THe service guy was all out of sorts and said, "Hope you're happy, ya got a new insulator on there, just like you wanted."
    Dad said, "yeah, remember it was nice and new when I brought it in here too"

    Ok, so this isn't design or manufacturing defect but as you can see, its plainly obvious that once you sign the papers and hand over the money, they seem to forget who you are.
    Your situation is totally inexcusable. I hope you can get a satisfactory resolution to your issues.

    Small wonder that sales, profits, and market share continue to trend downward for the big 2.5

    There's a lesson here somewhere.

    PS......this past summer, after some more issues like crank sensors failure, master cylinder leak, and loose ac pulley, dad traded the Intrepid for a new Toyota Corolla. Remember this is/was a dyed in the wool 29 year UAW, rah rah rah Detroit iron driver. Goes to show anymore that people will indeed go where they are treated well.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Ben, your Dad rules!

    Bookitty
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    and I learned early on, you don't "dis" and ex-marine. Never.
  • I just purchased an '04 quad that is "bouncing" on certain sections of Highway 50 in CA. The dealer is calling it "beaming" and says there is no fix yet from Chrysler. According to dealer, Chrysler has known of the problem for 6-8 months but nothing yet to fix it. The truck starts to bounce inside the cab to the point where your body is jiggling up and down about an inch. If you look out the rear view mirror you can see the back of the bed bouncing 1-2 inches up and down. It's happening around the Hazel through Zinfandel exits on HYW 50 and along the "causeway" heading towards Vacaville and Davis. I'm seeing the dealer next week so he can drive the truck and then I can listen to him sing vibrato.
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    I had the same problem when I got my CC back in 'oo. The tire pressures were just shy of 40psi!!! After I adjusted the tire pressures to 30psi it rode just fine.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Make sure you read your owners manual pertaining to tire pressures. Some of the tires used on Dakota are SUPPOSED to be at 40PSI for highway travel.

    My Dakota has the 31X10.5 tires which I always run at 40PSI because of the specific warning in the owners manual. (Higher PSI also provide better MPG too)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Some years back a friend of mine bought a new S10 Blazer and after a couple of hundred miles realized the thing was handling very squirelly. He asked me to drive it and to my perception if exhibited an extreme amount of oversteer, to the point of instability if moving the steering wheel very rapidly.

    He took it back to the dealer and they found that someone had put 45 psi of air in the tires. After bringing it down to the normal 32, it handled normally (for an S10 Blazer, that is).

    Regards,
    Dusty
  • 2nddak2nddak Posts: 44
    Some questions for those of you that have replaced your front brakes. I'm putting on new pads and rotors tomorrow and have a few questions for you. 1. do the pucks on the caliper simply push back into the cylinders or do they screw in like some do? 2. are there any odd sized wrenches that are needed that wouldn't be in a standard metric set, or allen wrenches needed? Any other heads up on idiosyncracies of this job that you may have found would help. The last time I did this was on my '87 Dakota, so it's been a while. By the way, the brake problems aren't new to the recent Dakotas. I had warped rotors on that one by 25K also, and with every change there after. I sold it at 105K miles still running strong and needing very few repairs while I owned it.

    I'm also putting on some Yokohama Geolander A/T II tires in the 265-70R-16 size. I'll report back after a few good snows to let you all know how they do. Tire rack had a lot of good reveiews for them, other than wearing fast.
    Thanks for all your help.

    Lastly, can anyone post me the link to the article on bedding in new brakes.

    Thanks for all your help. Kevin
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (2nddak)
    *)Be prepared for the rotors to be STUCK on the hubs.
    *)No special tools besides my 'normal' brake tools. (including wire brushes, brakleen and file to smooth out the pad sliders)
    *)Quality Pads will come with various StainlessSteel shims to properly 'fit' the pads on the sliders.
    *)Quality Pads will come with proper lube for the sliders.

    BrakePad Care&Feeding:
    http://www.shotimes.com/brakes/part1.html

    Install brakes on Dak:
    http://geocities.com/maldbnsf/PS.html
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    '01 CC, 4.7, Auto. When I started my truck this morning the air conditioner would not turn on. It appears that the system is "dead". No light when the button is depressed. No fan blowing. The electric cooling fan does not start up. The compressor clutch does not activate. I checked all applicable fuses and swapped relays. I swapped the control panel with a known good one. The system pressure checks good. The low pressure switch checks good. I can get the compressor clutch to activate by applying 12 volts to the connector. I don't have the capability to check the Pressure Transducer or the PCM. I,m still trying to find a clue in the Service and the Diagnostic Manuals. I did a scan with the engine on and off and no codes were set. Tomorrow I start checking wiring. If it is the PCM I'll have to take it to the dealer to have it changed as the security code will have to be programmed. I'm not looking forward to that. Anyone else have an A/C failure without loss of freon?
  • 2nddak2nddak Posts: 44
    Thanks for the brake info. I did find your post 1693 describing the job well. It answered all of my questions. Hopefully I won't need too big of a baseball bad to get those rotors off. I see the rails that the pads ride on are actually pitted out pretty good where the pad backing plate makes contact on them, so I guess I'll have to file them as smooth as possible. It will be nice to be rid of all that thumping while stopping. Thanks again. Kevin
  • 2nddak2nddak Posts: 44
    I had a similar problem with my air. Although, it would work but only in the high fan position. It turned out to be a blown fan motor resistor. The A/C system could not be actuated unless the fan switch was on high. Sounds like you don't even have it on high though. Just a thought.
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    Thanks for the tip Kevin!!!! I checked and the A/C works normal on high fan speed. I'm now digging in the Manual for the resistor block location. Thanks again.

                            Dick
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    This morning I went to the dealer to order a resistor block for my A/C problem. The dealer had them in stock which indicated they sell more than a few of them. I spoke to a mechanic and he said it was a common problem. I was pleasantly surprised at the price---$9.90 including tax. The block is in and the A/C working normally again. Thanks Kevin.
                          Dick
  • 2nddak2nddak Posts: 44
    Dick, I learned the hard way on that resistor and it cost me about $120 if I recall. At least you got some benifit from my experience. Of course, I was about 3K mile out of warrantee. Kevin
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Where is the resistor block located?

    Thanks,
    Dusty
  • 2nddak2nddak Posts: 44
    I installed my new rotors and pads the other day. Thanks for the info bpeeples. As predicted the rotors were rusted on the hubs pretty well. Thanks to Buffalo winters and salt. It took a bit of penetrant and wacking with a hammer to get them off. I'm wondering if any one has removed the rear drums on their rigs yet. I'm curious to see if they too rust on to their hubs. That happened on my 87 Dak and they had to break them to get them off the hubs at the brake shop. They wouldn't even come off with a torch heating them. God, I can't believe how nice the truck stops now. I waited way too long to correct this problem. The new Geolander AT II's run pretty well so far, a bit noisier than the stock RTS tires but hopefully they'll make up for it in traction in snow and rain. I walked out of a spot in 2wd that I had to use 4wd to get out of with the old tires today.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (2nddak) I pulled my rear drums and PMd them this summer. I was teaching my nephu how to do it. After taking the slack out of the 'star' automatic adjusters, they came right off with no troubles.

    I cleaned everyting up and added hi-temp lube to all sliding surfaces (just like on the front pad-sliders)

    I would have to say that the rear drum PM on my Dak was no different from any of my other vehicles I have PMd. (except for VW which uses a different kind of automatic adjuster)

    The only 'tricky' part is understandig how to 'back off' the automatic adjuster mechinism.... otherwise, the brake shoes will 'catch' on the lip of rust inside the drum and keep the drum from coming off.

    PM= Preventive Maintenance (A term used in industry)
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    Dusty, The resistor block is mounted vertically in the plenum on the passenger side forward of and in line with the glove box latch. It has two 8mm fasteners and a 5 pin plug. The hardest part of removal is disconnecting the plug. It has a locking feature as well as the usual hard to find release.
                              Dick
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Dick, thanks. Yeah I found it. Even though I can still bend my body, working under an instrument panel isn't made for us oldtimers that wear bifocals.

    I have heard of the "nothing but high fan speed" symptom before, so I guess I'm ready for this failure. Talked to a neighbor that has a '97 and he hasn't had the resistor burn out yet. But I'm not prone to that kind of luck!

    Best regards,
    Dusty
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    I know what you're talking about. I recently had "occupational lenses" put in my spare glasses. They are like bifocals but have the same magnification at the top as on the bottom. Wearing my bifocals, I found it extremely difficult working under the engine cowling of a B747 where most of the work is overhead. It makes a big difference.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    When I got my 02 QC two years ago, I installed a bug deflector that mounted between the grille and the hood. Today I noticed 3 cracks in the top of the grille in about a 1" wide area. When I installed it, I thought I was careful not to overtighten the grille mounting nuts. But, maybe not. Looks like I will be installing a new grille next spring.
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