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Dodge Dakota Engine and Underhood Questions



  • Do you have any engine mods, like cold air injection or throttle body spacer? I had an 2002 s10, if the battery was unhooked for to long it would reset the computer. The truck would run poorly until I drove it for about a half an hour in order to give the computer time to relearn how the truck ran. I dunno just an idea.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Just disconnecting the battery should not cause those problems. The ECU defaults to some basic factory settings (spark and fuel injector timing and duration, etc) when the battery has been disconnected for some period of time. The truck should still run, though maybe not optimally until, as dirtyharrys said, the ECU has some time to "re-learn" the engine and driving habits of the driver.

    Is that all you did - just disconnect the battery?
  • no..... i had to take motor out to fix very badly leaking freeze plugs........
  • Well, that is a whole different story. I would start by rechecking all of the vacuum lines and plugs to make sure everything is plugged in properly. Also, may sound stupid, but make sure all of the plug wires are on the correct plugs.
  • I have a 2000 dakota with a 3.9L magnum engine. Each time I star it either warm or cold it idles up between 1500 or more RPM. After looking through the different posts it seems the IAC motor may be the culprit. Is there any way of correcting this other than replacing the motor completely? Thanks for any suggestions.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    On my 2000 Dak, I would pull the IAC and clean it and the seating surfaces about once a year. It is amazing how much black crud builds up on the surfaces which are used to modulate idle-air.

    It is very easy to do with Torx driver, some Qtips and can of carb cleaner. While I was at it, I cleaned the entire throttlebody.

    The only thing to remember.... AFTER removing/replacing the IAC, you need to "recalibrate" it. Do this by turning ignition key to run (dont start engine) and wait about 10 seconds for computer to recalibrate it. Then, when you start engine, the idle may "hunt" for a few moments before it settles out. (It has to relearn how to idle the enigne with CLEAN air passageways)

    Remember, it is the COMPUTER that sets the idle-speed using the IAC to modulate airflow around the butterfly valve. NEVER EVER try to adjust the throttlebody to set the idle. (You wont change the idle and you WILL mess up the calibration.)
  • Thanks for the input. I have the shop manual which tells in detail how the IAC motor works so that helped me understand the operation of it. I did remove it and clean with some acetone and q-tip. It wasn't too bad. I even pushed down the spring loaded collar around the motor shaft and shot a little WD40 in it to help in case it was sticking. I turned the key on for a brief second and the piston retracted into the motor slighty. So I put it back on the throttle body and started it. I didn't go through the steps you mentioned to re-teach the computer. The first time I started the engine it only went up to a little over 1000 rpm. But noticed a few times afterward it still goes up to around 1500 then drifts down. My main concern is when the engine is cold and it does it. I feel it is harder on the engine to start it when it's cold and have it run so fast. I might even try disconnecting the battery and then reconnecting it to see if that changes anything. Will let you know.
  • Johnny005, I have a 2000 Dakota 3.9L and I need to replace both freeze plugs. Was wondering if you or anybody else knows of a way to replace plugs without pulling the engine? Doesn't look good because of where the plugs are located.
  • :confuse: ok guys heres a real kicker for over a month now my 94 dakota has been trying to tell me something at times my oil pump will shut down then turns on when i drive or actually when i accelerate it shuts off i can let off the gas and it turns on and this happens most trips but at times it shuts down and i end up either stopping shut off the motor turn turn it on or pop it in neutral shut off and turn on i know im gonna mess up my starter but what can ya do ;) is the truck telling me to put a new pump or is the sensor sayin change me :P im sure yall prob say do both but another kicker is when i get under 1/4 tank this is when it happens mostly over 1/4 tank the gage stays in middle and she runs perfect :confuse:
  • Well, finally got around to replacing the timing set.... Guess what,,,,, No help, the truck is still doing the exact same thing. Fires, but wont run. Any one have any other ideas???
  • please can someone shed a light for me its driving me nuts :confuse:
  • What do you mean the oil pump is shutting down? Do you mean your oil light is coming on? I am a 15 year Chrysler mechanic. If your oil light is coming on and off you should first look at the oil pressure sending unit which is located on the top of the engine in back next to the distributor. See if it is leaking or if oil is in the plug. If not the next step is to hook up a manual oil gauge but short of that you could just replace the sending unit as it is an inexpensive part. If the prob continues you probabally really have engine oil pressure issues.
  • thanks for responding well this prob is happening on my 94 dakota i will definately use your help and post back after doing this thanks
  • we just bought an 02 dodge dakota with 103,000 miles. within the first month the air bag light came on and the mechanic could not figure out the problem now the darn thing will not start on wet days. i bought a new fuel pump assembley, spark plugs and wires and distributor cap all in the past two weeks now when swapping vehicles with my boyfriend the engine light came on. I took it to advanced auto and it is popping a 420 code catalyst emissions running below efficiency......does anyone know what the heck that means??????
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    edited February 2010
    That could mean your catalytic converter is plugged - that would also cause the starting problems because of the backpressure and inability to "breathe" properly. Have an exhaust specialist check out the system from the manifold to the tailpipe.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • Hey dasboot, this is unrelated to your post but I had a quick question- My 06 dakota occasionally makes a loud thud noise when idling..I thought it might be my heater kicking on or something but I dont know..It happens when something in the engine block kicks on during idle..Any ideas?
  • Sounds to me like the A/C compressor cycling. If it gets real loud it may mean you have a compressor clutch or compressor itself issue or an A/C overcharge issue (If you've had any A/C work done recently.) Lust watch the compressor with the engine running and have someone turn on the A/C. You should see the clutch engage and if the noise is what you are hearing it will make the noise as you watch.
  • that makes sense, thank you. Ill take a look and see
  • I have another one for you..There is a raddling click sound coming from the front left wheel after I hit a decent sized bump. The same sound also happens when i brake alittle harder than average, but its just one loud click sound instead of a rattle of them..any ideas? note- a mechanic recently told me that my outer tie rods were getting alittle loose and i recently had my brakes done
  • A common source of front suspension noise on an ND body Dakota is a bad sway bar link. Drive down the street and swereve right to left seeing if you can get the noise to happen. Then reach under the truck and grab each sway bar like one at a time and have somebody bounce the front end of the truck. See if you feel anything in one or both of the links.
  • I appreciate it. I jacked it up yesterday and checked out the sway bar and I think that the bushing might be alittle worn on the one, so I think you are right.
  • Just want to let you know that you need to check the links and bushings with the suspension loaded (tires on the ground) Like I said previously, you need to get your hand on one of the links and have someone bounce the front of the truck. If its bad you will feel it in the link (you'll feel movement and or clunking). Don't try to check it jacked up because that pulls any play in the links tight.
  • Thanks I'll check it again. I took it into a shop today and they told me that it was both the outer tie rod and the ball joints needing replaced, but couldnt pin point the sound between the two..I know the outer tie rods are alittle loose but i dont think my ball joints need touched (another shop told me they were fine). I told them to look at the bushings but he claims they werent the cause of the noise..but im going to check them again cause im hoping its just alittle leary because he pinpointed the sound to the most expensive fixes up there
  • (2nd response) so the shop replaced my outer tie rod (which needed done anyway) and that didnt fix the metallic clicking noise
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 160
    I have a '98 Dakota 4X4 with the V-6. I am hearing the PCV valve rattling under a load. I am CERTAIN that's where the noise is coming from, not a lifter or engine noise. I changed the PCV months ago when I did a tune up, so I know it's good. Today I pulled the valve out of the valve cover and I note a lot of vacuum present. Could this be a bad intake manifold gasket? I looked in my Haynes manual and there is a plenum under the intake that has about a dozen or so bolts in it and a rectangular gasket there. Here's the kicker: I took it to a mechanic locally and told him what I felt was happening with the PCV valve noise, and he said most likely it IS that manifold gasket. But he also told me that my TIMING CHAIN was making the noise! He said he recently did this same job on a 2000 Durango that the owner was claiming made the same noise. This truck has 100,725K on it and I've never had any timing chain issues. It is a strong running vehicle. I was not expecting him to tell me that this issue is both a gasket AND a timing chain problem. I've actually NEVER had a timing chain issue on any vehicle I've ever owned. I know they can stretch, break, etc. But I have a good, strong running truck that really never misses a beat here except for this rattling noise coming from the PCV valve only. Does anyone have or has had a similar experience like this? I'd appreciate some help on this and thanks in advance.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 160
    I just wanted to say that I had a freeze plug go out on my '98 Dakota V-6 in 2006. Of course, it would be the one that they had to pull the transmission back to get at. Needless to say, the difference in parts cost and the labor to do this job was extremely high(Over 700 bucks!) I had no choice but to do it if I wanted the leak to stop. This was a highly professional garage and the Tech even took digital pictures of the leaking plug and showed me before even starting the repair job. There are 2 back there and both were replaced. Just thought I'd share.
  • mitraxmitrax Posts: 2
    on a 2001 dodge dakota slt 4x4 4.7 engine where is the oil pressure switch and what size socket is required to remove it?
  • mitraxmitrax Posts: 2
    i went to smyth and they sold me a switch socket, trucks running again all is cool
  • I have a 2000 Dodge Dakota. 4.7 replace plugs-wiring-oil, still knocks on passenger side of truck, dealers- say all different things none worked, spend to much money and no help,can some one help me. please :cry:
  • I have a 93 Dak 4x4 with 3.9 auto. It runs fine under 3500rpm with no problems. No check engine lights. Once you punch the throttle it bogs out at 3500. It will do this sitting in park or going down the highway. The plugs all looked good and are low mileage. New rotor, cap, and switched out the distributor pick-up coil with no change. It has 160,000 miles on it. I can feel all the injectors pulsing by touching and when I hold it to the floor and spray something flammable into the TB nothing changes. This leads me to believe it is a spark issue. The wires are not very old either, less than 10k. Any ideas?
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