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Dodge Dakota Braking Problems

KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
Stop here to stop your Dak :)

kcram - Pickups Host


  • my wife has an 03 dakota that is under warranty. it was
    showing the classic signs of master cylinder problems
    ( brake pedal would slowly go to floor while sitting at light.) dealer replaced master cylinder....same problem.
    dealer then replaced power booster...brakes are soft , some pedal drop off is noticed but does not go to floor , and now notice a faint double hissing noise near the power booster/brake pedal area ...( like fluid being forced through a line and then returnning without letting up on the pedal. did dealer get a faulty replacement part , or improper bleeding or is there yet another possible problem?
  • 2000 dakota quad cab 4x4 5spd 4.7l. i have 4wheel abs. everytim i slow down to about 10-15 mph my abs is coming on. is this signs of brakes needing replacement as i have not looked yet. or is this something else maybe a sensor? i was told my rear brakes were out of adjustment...adjusted and no different any help would be appreciated.
  • ok heres the story i have a 94 dakota with a 3.9 in it ok now the back drivers side wheel was locking up when i got to about 10-15mph and then i took off the back wheels and adjusted them cuz they were out when doing this the front shoe of the drivers side is wore more than the back the brakes only have 20000 on them so i out everything back together and went down the road and sure enough it did it again if ne one has ne suggestions please let me know thanks
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Let me ask you this: The 2000 Dak was available with (standard) Rear Antilock or (optional) 4Wheel antilock. Which system does your Dak have installed?

    Brake adjustment has very little to do with ABS light.

    The ABS light can come on for FARRR MORE than a simple brake problem. Oftentimes it is because a diagnostic fault has been detected in the hydrolic system. Also the sensor screwed into the rear differential can cause ABS faults. If the tires on the vehicle are not EXACTLY the same size as the factory reccomends, that can also trigger ABS faults. (Per factory shop manual - Changing tire size requires reprogramming the ABS system to compensate)

    I wonder if you have been replacing your brake fluid every 2-3 years? If not, then your brake system is likely to be full of corrosion. This can lead to very expensive ABS repairs.

    BTW: I have replaced the brake fluid at least 2 times on my 2000 Dak... it only takes about an hour in my driveway and one can of fluid. (I use a vacuum bleeder)
  • my bad i have the optional 4wheel anti-lock, i remember seeing the front sensor wire when i took the front wheel off to check the brakes wich seem fine. the rotors do have some grooving in them though.
  • the ABS light never comes on except for at initial start up when you first turn the key. i did have to have my whole rear end replaced at 52k miles too. they said the abs sensor in there got all mashed up but they were going to replace it. i wonder if they actually did. could that be the problem?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    That 4-wheel ABS that you have is FARRR more complicated than the RWAL system on most 2000 Daks. I have the Facrory shop manual for the 2000 Dak and there is an entire chaptor dedicated to just that 4-wheel ABS option.

    If the light is coming on when you first start up (truck has not even moved) Then that fact can help isolate the source of the problem.

    Have you checked to see if the ABS light will come on by just turning on the key and NOT starting the engine? (This would show that the ABS diagnostics are failing some basic check) You should be able to "pull the code" to see what is throwing the error.
  • I am not an expert on anti-lock brakes, but your problem seems to maybe not be the anti-lock brakes. If the light does not come on besides at start up, you may not have an electrical/electronical problem at all. I know a very common problem on newer vehicles is cheaply made rotors. The rotors are designed very cheaply, and they overheat and warp quite easily. When rotors warp, they feel very much like pulsating brakes. The pedal pumps slightly, and the wheel jerks slightly as well. Beings you have grooves in your front rotors already, I would suggest having the rotors turned down or replaced. Most vehicles' replacement rotors are fairly cheap, so I would just have them replaced.

    A reputable brake shop should be able to tell you if that is indeed the problem. If it isn't, they may have a good idea where to start. If it is, it shouldn't be too pricey of a fix. Good Luck!
  • Sounds like the brakes weren't quite put back together correctly. If there has been no prblems with the passenger side brakes, I would suggest pulling off that drum, and double checking the drivers side brake in comparison. If they look exactly alike, but opposite, then they are put together correctly probably. There are a couple of problems with what you mentioned. If one shoe is wearing more than another, that points to improper installation. If the brakes are not adjusting out automatically, that points to improper installation. If, after checking the installation carefully, the problem persists, it may be a wheel cylinder that is not functioning properly. It will need to be replaced. Good Luck!
  • I have a 90 dakota, and the "antilock" light has come on in the dash, and I don't know what to check to fix it. I had the problem before on another dakota, and I just removed the bulbs and lived without the antilock function. I would much rather resolve the problem for this truck. If anyone knows how to reset this light or track the problem, I sure would appreciate the help. I seem to remember the first time I had the problem (on the other truck), someone told me that it was a very common issue, then they refered me to the dealer.
  • thanks for the help i will try putting the new wheel cylinder on cuz the brakes were changed by the dealership b4 i bought it a year ago this month so idk what they did to them but thanks fer the info and i wil get back to u as soon as i change it thanks again
  • the rotors do have a slight warp to them that i can feel. but i know that is not the problem. i pulled out the ABS Pump Fuse in the engine compartment relay box and it stopped the ABS from coming on. now i have an abs and brake light on in the dash. i did also try replacing all the hardware and the shoes in the rear thinking that was the help.....
  • i also pulled the rear abs sensor which looked to be fine....i don't know how to test it or if it can be tested though
  • Ok, so removing the abs fuse stopped the undesired effect that was occurring? And before you removed the fuse, the light would only be on at the turn of the key? The light did not stay on during operation, before you removed the fuse? Does the pulsing or undesired effect come at less than 10-15 mph speeds? Or greater than 10-15 mph speeds? What, exactly, is the undesired effect? I am just assuming that it is pulsing. Let me know these answers, and I will do some more research on the matter. Thanks,Scott
  • I have a 1989 Dokota Sport 4x4 with a 3.9 engine. My problem is I have a brake line blown on the drivers side rear, no one seems to be able to get me the part to fix it. I have been to part stores and a dealer. The dealer says that the line I need is a discontinued item. This is the short steel line about 6 inches long that goes from the spliter block on the fram to the rubber hose for the drivers side rear brake. The problem is the fitting that goes into the block no one seems to be able to find it for me. If anyone know where I can get this line please let me know?
  • kkochkkoch Posts: 3
    Truck stalls when coming up to a stop or light. Starts right up and runs great until the next stop or light. The check engine light is on. The speedometer also stopped working, it moves slightly every now and then. The brake light and (abs)light comes on after a few mn and stays on. ken
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The ECU (Engine computer) needs to know the roadspeed of the vehicle to determine the best idle speed and for the ABS to work properly.

    Since your speedometer is not working... this means that the ECU does not know the speed of the vehicle. (It is the ECU which drives the speedometer and feeds roadspeed signal into the ABS computer.)

    There is a roadspeed sensor which feeds a signal into the ECU.

    In other words, the path of roadspeed signal is as follows;
    Sensor ==> ECU ==> speedometer & ABS system

    Given the above, I would suggest you replace the roadspeed sensor (screwed into the rear differential) This may fix ALL of the problems you describe.
  • kkochkkoch Posts: 3
    Thanks i will try that.
  • kkochkkoch Posts: 3
    Thanks, I changed the sensor and everything is fine now..Ken
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You are welcome Ken. I am glad that it was as simple as screwing in a new sensor. The "trick" is knowing how the system operates 8-)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I hope that works out for you.

    BTW: I'm not certain if your 1996 Dak has the sensor screwed into the rear differential or screwed into the xmission housing...I guess you will find out 8-)
  • landgraflandgraf Posts: 3
    Can I replace the Brakes on My Dakota? Are there specialized Tools?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I cannot speak for your mechanical abilities... but the only thing I would call a "specialized Tool" would the the torque wrench that is useful in torquing the various bolts upon reassambly. (including the lugnuts!) If your Dak has rear disk brakes, then you may need a special tool to "retract" the calipers.

    To do the job right, there is a certain amount of skill and attention to detail.

    For example, when replacing disk brake pads, if the sliding surfaces are not filed smooth and lubricated with approprate hi-temp lube, you may encounter pads which do not retract properly.

    Another example would be to ensure that the sliding pins are lubricated with rubber-lube so the "fully floating" calipers truly do float as expected.

    Sitting in my dirt driveway, I can do each front wheel in under an hour. (even quicker when my wife helps!)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    To add, if the Dakota in question has rear drum brakes a brake adjusting tool will probably be necessary to release the shoes before drum removal.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dusty -- the reason I did not mention the drum-adjuster tool is because I beleive the 2002 Dak has disk brakes in the rear.

    Also, I have always used 2 screwdrivers to get at the starwheel to adjust the drum-brakes. (Volkswagen drum brakes use a spring-loaded wedge ... really threw me for a loop the first time I tried looking for the starwheel on my VW pickup-truck)
  • datagurudataguru Posts: 95
    Bruce - I may be mistaken but, wasn't 2003 the only model year that rear disc brakes were installed on Dakotas from the factory recently? Perhaps, 2002 owners can respond whether their Daks have rear disc brakes?

    dataguru (Bill)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Don't know about other years, bit according to the factory 2003 Dakota service manual, rear discs were an option for that year. I want to say that anything over 6100 GVW had rear discs, and/or a Dakota with four-wheel anti-lock brakes..

    Best regards,
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