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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • dapeppe - I insert the needle somewhere in the mid section of the rubber bladder and give 3 or 4 pumps on the grease gun. Then I feel the bladder to see how full it is to determine if it need s a few more pumps. Most times I have not experienced any grease leakage after withdrawing the needle. It is not really very complicated. By the way the needles frequently come in a set of 2 different sizes, I have used the larger size simply to reduce the number of pumps.

  • roper2roper2 Posts: 61
    I changed my oil today and when puting in the new oil I noticed a very light film of what looked like rust on part of the cap and inside the fill neck.Had 4000 miles on the oil and checked it and there was no water in the oil and was dark but still somewhat clean.It smelled ok.Is this condensation from humid weather or what? It has 42000 on it runs great never had a problem . Thanks I'm in tx.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    (roper2) What you are seeing is the residue of the "snot problem". In the very early 4.7L engines, the inside of oil-fill tube would get coated with a thick coating of oil-water emulsion (aka snot). To help alleviate this problem the design of the cap was changed (it is no longer hollow) and a "baffle" is inserted into the oil-fill tube. (you should be pulling it out and wiping it clean regularly)

    Many folks changed to using synthetic oil which greatly reduced the 'snot' buildup.

    How do I know all of this.... I have an early 2000 4.7L and was perhaps the first one to report this 'snot' problem in late 1999. Within 6 months, Damlier-Chrysler had redesigned the cap twice and added the baffle. (My dak was one of the first to get these 'upgrades')

    The baffle does not reduce the buildup of 'snot' very much but it does HIDE it. That is why the baffle should be pulled out and wiped clean regularly (especially in cold weather)

    I could explain how this emulsion originates and why it builds up in the oil-fill tube... you can read all the gory details in the archives (look in the winter of 1999-2000)
  • roper2roper2 Posts: 61
    bpebbles thanks a lot for the info.on this .I will clean it tomorrow and check out the 1999-2000 page. dennis
  • ferousferous Posts: 226
    My QC was built in 3/2000 and I have the same issue with the oil fill cap. I regularly check and wipe it out. You post that fill tube was replaced. I still have the original one. Was there a recall or TSB?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Yes, its water in the oil from moisture inside the engine. Short trip driving will cause this, especially in colder weather. I doubt that its build up from high humidity summer weather because of your mileage I suspect you get a fair amount of highway driving. The engine should purge the moisture out after being operated at normal temperatures for longer periods of time.

    At last oil change I noticed a very slight frothy trace on the oil cap of my 2003 4.7, despite my short trip driving. I am using Mobil 1 0W-30, but I don't know if that's contributing to my experience.

    At your mileage you might want to make sure that the PCV valve is clean and operating correctly. That can really cause a sludge problem.

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    (ferous) As you should be aware, a "recall" is only for SAFETY items.... which this is not.

    There were at least 4 different TSBs for the oil-fill tube frothing up. None of these REPLACES the oil-fill tube.

    At first, DC tried to squelch the problem with this TSB;

    *)DCs next attempt to address this problem was to replace the original oil cap (which was 'open' on the inside with one that was 'closed'. This new cap is enclosed when viewed from the underside.

    *) Then, DC came out with the baffle that simply slides into the oil-fill tube. This baffle directs the fumes from the crankcase into the PCV valve (which is plugged into the side of the oil-fill tube) This baffle also tends to HIDE the bulk of the 'snot' that builds up. That is why I pull my baffle out and wipe it down at least twice a month during the winter. I usually saturate 2 paper towels with the stinky goo that builds up on the baffle and inside the oil-fill tube.

    *) The next problem I had was the rubber o-ring on the second oil-fill cap started to 'decompose' and no longer sealed.... Another redesigned cap was installed, this one does not have a o-ring... it has a rubber 'flapper' that creates the seal.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Since the PCV valve is located just below the oil filler cap, the purge stream circulates all internal engine gases under the cap. During acceleration the manifold pressure drops reducing the air flow. During this period the non-moving air that contains moisture condenses on the bottom of the cap or in the upper area of the filler tube. That's why the froth collects in this area,

    My 4.7 hasn't been bad compared to other vehicles I've owned, although my wife had a 2.5 Plymouth Acclaim that never exhibited this problem. Her '99 Toyota Avalon is about the worst I've seen in quite a while. My Chevies always exhibited this problem to various degrees. Even my '93 Sentra would produce a little during the winter months.

    After the warmer weather comes in it should disappear completely unless the motor oil has collected too much moisture.

  • roper2roper2 Posts: 61
    When i got home today I pulled the insert and it was kinda messy.I used wd40 and paper towels and cleaned it and the pvc to.I have been running a 5/30 blend oil and have been thinking about going full syn.Today I changed it over to mobil1 10/30 and wix filter and that is what is going in from now on. I was thinking about doing 5000 mile oil @ filter changes .Would this be a good range for this engine? Thanks everyone for all the info. Dennis
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    the plastic filler does not get hot enough to "boil off" the goo. I had the new cap and the baffle and it was still there, just "hidden" under the baffle.
    From a design perspective, the tube should have been metal or for simpler usage, perhaps put the oil fill back on the valve cover like all mopar v-8's used to be. No foam or mess that way.

    FWIW......once had a 95 Tarurs that a plastic exteneder tube above the plastic valve covers. Beginning in the fall up to spring, it was always full of goo.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    (roper2) Certainly changing to Mobil1 can be beneficial for your engine. DO NOT USE ANYTHING BUT THE RECOMMENDED 5W30 VISCOSITY. The clearances within the 4.7L engine are designed for 5W30.

    Changing every 5,000 miles would be fine. Changing any sooner would be wasting your money, time, and the environment.

    As posted in these and other forums, the 4.7L engine has proven to be VERRYY reliable, dependable and long-lasting.
  • roper2 - I have a 2K Dak and switched over to Mobil 1 at 7.5K miles. Since that time I have stayed at the 7.5K mile changes (currently at 50K miles) and also have used a Mobil 1 filter. The truck runs like a top. I would agree with bpeebles that you would be better off with 5W-30 Mobil 1. I have read some research papers that showed that Mobil 1 in controlled tests did not lose any of its lubrication efficiency at 18K miles. I would never go that far without a change but I do think that 7.5K miles between Mobil 1 changes is doable.

  • While we are on the subject of oil caps I have a question. I have a 2K Dak with the 4.7 and have the new cap with baffle. This cap is extremely difficult to remove; the last 2 times I took it of I had to use a pipe wrench to get it off. I have tried silicone spray and then some white grease and it still is extremely difficult to remove. Has anyone else had this problem and are there any recommendations to make the cap removal process easier.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    First, I strongly support Bpeebles caution regarding the upward deviation from 5W-30. The 4.7 is a tighter than normal Detroit engine and increasing the viscosity at low temperatures might put lubrication at the margin of sufficient flow. Believe me, most lubrication mistakes effecting premature wear or longevity are made increasing viscosity, not reducing it.

    Since my vehicle does not have the luxury of garage protection I use Mobil 1 0W-30 in the winter.

    The oil cap on my 4.7 is harder than most to turn, but I've yet had a problem requiring a tool. It most certainly is not an item on a 4.7 that's going to fall off right away!

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    (ronslakie) That was the sympton of the 1st revision of the oil-cap. (when the o-ring started to decompose and make the cap stick) Using silicone or some other lube will only prolong the agony.

    I have the 3rd-generation oil-cap that replaces the o-ring with a 'flap' to make the seal. I have not encounterd any problems with this design cap for over 2.5 years.

    You ask for suggestions.... get the latest-revision oil-cap with the 'flap' for a seal.
  • roper2roper2 Posts: 61
    Lots of good information but the reason I picked 10/30 is I live in texas and the weather is mild to real hot summers.Would the 5/30 be ok year round and with medium towing? I guess the 10/30 is more for the big block engines.Just a guess. Next time I go buy again I will switch to 5/30 and stay with a wix filter.Thanks again Dennis
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    (roper2) All motor oil starts as the LOWEST number and is 'modified' to behave like the upper number when it is hot.

    5W30 is a 5-weight oil with viscosity modifiers
    10W30 is a 10-weight oil with viscosity modifiers

    It is more difficult to engineer a motor oil with a WIDER viscosity range. Thus, in general, 5W30 is technically superiour to 10W30.

    It is a fact that most engine wear occours during warmup while the various metal parts are expanding at different rates and the lubrication is not up to temperture. This is when the "5W" is more important than the 10W.

    It is ONLY the upper number that means anything once the engine is warmed up to operating temperture. A cheep oil will shear down under heavy use and end up as a single-grade oil. (close to its base viscosity as mentioned above)

    The above is a simplification. You can get more details from the "engine oil bible" here;
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    but I have read good comments on redline and amsol oils too.

    For filters I have for the past few years stayed with either WIX or Purulator.

    I avoid, like the plague, filters found at discount stores and "big box" stores.


    Because you get what you pay for! Sure wally world can offer "lowest price" but when you spend 20K or more for your truck, why penny pinch on a filter? Fram unfortunately, is now sold at wallyworld. And yes, they are cheap, about half price of a wix. But I have read far too many horror stories about this filter plus took apart a few myself to see if it was ax grinding on the part of the webmaster or was it indeed true just how poorly they are made.

    Its true.

    WIX filters, also available as NAPA gold, by contrast are sold at NAPA auto parts stores. And they are not sold based on being "price point" or "loss leader". Thus, there is little if any pressure on WIX to cut costs because NAPA is pushing for the lowest possible cost. That's wally world's job and the reason much of their merchandise is approaching that of big lots quality. This includes their automotive parts.
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Posts: 159
    The dealer found a faulty ignition switch on my
    '01 Quad. Fixed problem I noticed when I repositioned the steering wheel, my radio and turn
    signals went off. Short in switch connection/wiring. Replaced switch, so far so good. Miles 35750, owned 35 months.
    I still plan on keeping this truck 4 or 5 more years? I also have extended warr.
  • mhall02mhall02 Posts: 38
    The real question here seems to be how often do you change the oil? If your filter is on your vehicle for 5,000+ miles, yeah I can see maybe gettting a 'higher quality' WIX filter, however, what about those us us that change every 3,000 miles? I have used the Fram oil filters for nearly 10 years and have not had a problem, however, I do change every 3,000 miles using Castrol GTX or Quaker State. First vehicle, '78 F-100, totaled at over 220,000 miles, using the Castrol and Motorcraft filter, ran great too much damage to mess with. Second vehicle, 1991 Dodge Shadow, used Fram PH-16 filter and QS oil, sold with over 180,000 miles on the clock and the second owner took it to over 200,000 miles. Third vehicle, 2000 Jeep Cherokee w/ 83,000 miles, Fram oil filter w/ QS oil, runs great, and the Final vehicle which put me on this board, 91 Dodge Dakota 124,000 miles Castrol GTX w/ Fram PH-16 filter. All vehicles ran/run great and never had sludging nor filter failure, however, changed oil every 3,000 miles. The longer you leave the oil in and the dirtier it gets, so this is what I would consider when selecting a oil filter.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
This discussion has been closed.