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Dodge Dakota Braking Problems



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Have you checked the brake fluid level in the master cylinder?

  • bone5bone5 Posts: 5
    Yes. The level is good. The brakes are pretty touchy sometimes, especially when you first start up.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    "Touchy" brakes often point to an issue with the vacuum-booster.

    If a single wheel is locking up (touchy), then check for brake-fluid leaking on to the rotor/drum.
  • 2003 club cab, 4.7, auto, 70,000 loving mi (used as car), 4 wheel disk w/antilock.

    With normal driving, I have an intermitant pulsation when stopping. This has varing intensity and comes and goes with different stops on the same trip. I only feel this pulsation in the "seat of my pants", not in the steering wheel. Stops straight with normal pedal pressure.

    I have disasembled and looked at: rotors; clean & smooth -- pads; factory, thick, clean & smooth -- calipers; dry, pistons free -- fluid; clean & full.

    I'm at a loss, HELP.

    Thanks, Dave
  • bone5bone5 Posts: 5
    Will brake booster problems cause the brake and ABS lights to come on? How can you check the booster to see if it's the problem?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Your symptoms are typical of rotors that have developed hard spots. As the pad moves ove the rotor surface during brake application, the pad travels over a small section that effectively has a much different surface friction value, changing the speed of the vehicle. This delivers a sensation different than a rotor that is warped or has run-out, which is always felt through the brake pedal or the steering wheel.

    Despite the appearance of the rotor surface, I would recommend replacing the rotors, especially if they have 70,000 miles on them.

    Best regards,
  • I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota SLT and just replaced my caliper. rotors and pads. we boled the brakes 4-5 times and stil the brake and ABS lights come on and I still have no brakes. Can someone help me????
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Obviously you have not purged out all of air from the hydrolic system.

    Did you allow it to run totally dry (Air got in)? If so, then you may need to perform special steps to get the air out of the ABS pump and accumulator.

    Also, what technique did you use to bleed the system?
    1) Pressure-bleeding?
    3) Manual pump-the-pedal process?
  • ch4bsch4bs Posts: 1
    I have a Dodge Dakota Quad cab that I had to have the rear end changed. My mechanic (I believe) installed a rear from a Dakota that was not a quad cab. The hubs on this one are smaller than the hubs that were originally on the truck. The rear brakes now squeak when going down hill or there is a load on the truck. He tells me that the different rear with the smaller hubs should not make a difference.
    Is this correct and/or is there a fix for this other than the rear being changed again?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Sqeeking drum brakes should not be considerd "problem" especially on a truck. My Dak brakes sqeeked for most of the 95K miles I owned it.

    I may be costly to get rid of squeek and you will not have any better stopping-power... I suggest you ignore it and be happy.
  • tfigueroatfigueroa Posts: 1
    Yes, I have a 2005 dodge dakota after a year or so I notice on an sudden stop my rear wheels lock-up like the old brakes on the old cars, check the fluid, was ok, check the pads front and back ,ok . so i've been driving like that cause i cant afford to take it to a mechanic. most likely its something simple; i could'nt pay the high pymnt. thanks
  • doctorhookdoctorhook Posts: 3
    I have 2001 Dakota Quad Cab 98,000mi. I bought this new and the brakes have had this problem since new or almost new Brake pedal has some travel , then has resistance and holds (doesnt go to floor ) I don't think the back brakes are working and i am only stopping with the fronts. The rear pads are original the fronts been changed 3 or 4 times In winter when i hit the brakes the first time it feels like all 4 are working (like the brakes in my wife's car )the pedal engages at the top, but this only once , no Abs light ever comes on except start up. I am suspect of master cylinder ? no fluid leaks at wheels or is there something else ? thanks johnp
  • zeppelin64zeppelin64 Posts: 1
    I've had my left front caliper lock up several times since I purchased the truck new. Last year I replaced both rotors and installed new pads. Last week, the left front locked up again. I allowed it to cool down and continued on my way. I took a look at the brakes this weekend and everything appeared OK. As a precautionary measure, I decided to replace the left caliper. After completing the job, the front brakes are giving me grief. The truck now pulls hard to the right. I've rebled the left caliper several times. The brake pedal is rock hard when the truck isn't running, but seem to go down pretty far when running. I'm not sure what I'm looking at. The pedal seem to make a whooshing sound when you press it like there is air in the system, but I can't get any out. The right front tire will skid when I brake hard. I have anti-lock on the back only. Is there a trick to bleeding the air out? or do I have another problem. I'm starting to think that my right caliper is not pulling back enough and grabs before the rebuilt left does. Did I expose another problem, or induce a new one? Any ideas?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It sounds as if you have verified there is no air in LF hydrolic system so lets assume that is not issue. I suspect your RF is working normally and the LF pads are not generating the same "torque" as the RF. (not enough friction against the rotors)

    You may be experiencing contaminated rotor surface.... even touching a rotor with your fingers may contaminate. Did you perhaps get some brake-grease on the pads when you had them out to replace rotor? Did you use copious flooding with brake-cleaner to degrease everything thoroughly?

    Also, the pad-fingers may be "stuck" on the sliders if you did not file them smooth. EVERY TIME you have the Dak brakes apart it is a good idea to touch up the sliders with file to make sure there are no burrs which may 'catch' the pad-fingers.

    The whooshing sound is normal caused by the vacuum-booster.
  • jc727jc727 Posts: 5
    I have a 2001 I bought new and have had the front brakes left, right and both lock up or over heat, smoke every whereup on 3 different occasions, intervals of 30,000 miles between occurences or so have had rotors calipers and pads replaced all 3 times and it did it again today right front only. I am at a loss as how to fix problem,,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The front brakes on Dak are whimpy (under sized for vehicle weight). The caliper pistons are made of phenolic. Cheap, rebuilt calipers are even worse than original-equipment.

    Your only real option is to have some cash available to fix when it happens.

    NOTE: if pads/rotors are not damaged... you can replace JUST the sticky caliper.

    PS: I assume you know that if you continue to drive with sticky caliper, the wheel-bearings may cook and you can end up with VERY expensive repair on your hands.

  • I recently purchased a 2002 Quad 4x4 with 4.7 and 45000 miles. I have a clunking sound coming from the front when I brake heavy. The dealer has replaced rotors, lines and pads (and DS front axle seal). I don't feel the clunk in the pedal, just in the front end. Also, today it was raining pretty heavy. Decided to try out the 4 hi. It would not disengage out of 4hi until I turned the truck off. BTW - the light did change from 4 hi to 2. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  • 02dak02dak Posts: 1
    my 02 dakota locks up the rear brakes every time I touch the pedal. the master cylinder and proportional valve have been replaced and the drums have been adjusted all the way out. has anyone else run into this problem?? what did you do to fix it?
  • I don't know how to fix but I have similar probem with my ' '01 Dakota. I think there should be a recall as many have problems in braking
  • I also have an 02 dakota, rear brakes are very touchy and will lock up if braking hard. Used car dealer where I bought vehicle repaled drums, seemed to be ok for a while then started again. maybe something to do with abs system?
  • well I don't think anyone would think that replacing drums would stop brakes from locking up I would go back to dealer till they get it right I think there is a serious problem in Dodge brakes that they don't want to admit too, similar to the ball joint run around When you get it fixed please post results I think it has to do with proportioning valve as I have changed master cylinder ,didn't help ,and have no leaks
  • 1998 Dakota, 2WD, V6 3.9. Automatic trans.

    With rear end lifted, engine running in gear rear wheels spin (as they should) but, when I apply the brakes the left rear wheel stops completely while the right rear continues to spin freely.

    I was wondering, is this a normal function of the RWAL system, or is this a problem?
  • After several attempts to fix this problem, they say the fix was to remove and clean speed sensor in differential(metal filings on it) drain and replace rear end fluid.
    So far the brakes have been good, time will tell...................
  • Hello. It's midnight, and I've spent the last 2 hours reading all of the posts on this forum thread so that I don't sound like a total idiot. Too late. I do not know anything about auto repair, but hoping for some help:

    My right calf is about twice as strong as my left calf muscle from pushing down my '03 Dak brake pedal. I bought used in "06 with 45,000 miles, and I have since replaced front and rear brakes (just today rear pads/rotors). I was hoping that somehow this would help me with the very difficult to depress brake pedal, but it didn't :-/. Booster? Master cylinder? Leak? If you have any idea, perhaps you could also guide me to typical costs associated with the job? Thanks!
  • I have a '98 Dakota v-6 and 4 spd auto trans. My ABS and dash "Brake" lights are on. Also, the speedo doesn't work until about 20 mph. The speedo works just fine sbove 20. I had other trans related problems, most of which were fixed with the speed sensor mounted in the tail shaft housing. Can I assume that the speedo works from the rear diff sensor? And could this be the problem? Please help. Thanks!
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I would first look at the vacuum booster for the brakes.

    Disconnect the vacuum hose from the engine to the booster and plug it with something. Turn the engine on and see if there's any difference in the force needed to work the brakes.
  • I'm in need of a replacement "Parking Brake Cable Tensioner" (MOPAR part# 52008437AB) for my 1998 Dodge Dakota.
    I've been to my local Dodge dealer and I've been told that this part is no longer being produced and is not available. This part was used during model years 94-99 on both Dakotas and Durangos.

    Can anyone help?

    Any suggestions (aside from junkyards)?


  • I have a 1994 Dakota CC 5.2 L with RWAL Drum Brakes. I have had this in the shop several times. Rear wheel cylinders have been replaced and so has the master cylinder 3 times. I can drive it about 20 miles and then the ABS light comes on and the Rear brakes no longer work. This has happened 3 times each time a new master cylinder has been put in. The repair shop says the master cylinder is going into bypass. I am driving now with only front brakes. Any one help please. I want to give the truck to my son but I can't until I get the brakes fixed....
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