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Dodge Dakota Engine and Underhood Questions



  • I have a 2000 Quad cab 4x4 4.7 auto that does the same thing. I have to crank it for a few seconds, or try again before it starts. Mine also spits and sputters every so often. If you figure it out let me know...
  • I have a 99 dakota sport with the 2.5 liter engine that had a similar problem and it ended up being a bad fuel pressure regulator. When the regulators fail, it's usually the diaphram inside and they'll leak fuel pressure down back to the tank when you shut the key off. So instead of getting in and turning the key and it starting right up, the fuel pump has to spin for a few seconds to build up enough pressure and volume. When it gets real bad, you can have a rough idle at first, mine did after it had the problem for awhile. If you want to try a a quick preliminary test, cycle the ignition key on and off 3-5 times leaving it on for at least a second and see if it starts no problem after that. If that doesn't work or if you want to do further testing (I would), find the line going from the fuel rail to the regulator in the tank. Chrysler uses a returnless fuel system so there should only be one line. Hook up a fuel pressure gauge to the fuel rail and have someone start the truck up and let it run till it stops sputtering. Shut the key off and see if the pressure drops down to zero or dramatically. If it does, start the truck again and let it run till it stops sputtering then have your assistant shut the truck off while you pinch the fuel line off with a pair of pinch of pliers or vise grips with rags stuffed in the jaws. If the fuel pressure stays constant with line pinched off and then drops when you release the pliers, you've found your problem. On my truck, the fuel line was a hard line at the fuel rail and so I had to connect a piece of rubber hose between the fuel line and the fuel rail in order to do this. If it continues to leak down, then one or more of your injectors is leaking, though it would probably run rich and and experience drive ability problems all the time if this were the case. The fuel pressure regulator on my truck (and probably yours) is integral to the fuel pump assembly and had to be replaced as a unit. I'm not sure what the cost would be on a 4.7L pump but the one for my 2.5L ran about $325 with taxes and freight shipping. Just thought I'd give my 2 cents, good luck!
  • Have a 98 Dokata with the 2.5 and we're having a problem. The radiator fan will not cut off - after shutting off the vehicle you have to unplug the connector to get the fan to stop. Plugging in back in later (doesn't matter how much later) the fan kicks on prior to the starting the engine.

    The temperature guage reads low except when my son forgets to plug the fan in and then it reads high.

    My first thought is a coolant temperature sensor problem but I'm not sure as it never seems to "reset" - could the sensor be shorted out and that be what's causing it to run continously?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I beleive there is a fanswithch screwed into the radiator which energizes the fan when the coolant is hot.... I suppose it could get stuck in the HOT (ON) position.
  • Thanks, I think I'll go to a couple of different dealers and see what they say. I know they extended the warranty on the ball joints to 100,000 miles.

    My thought is that if it is the "steering knuckle" as I was told, I should look to see if Dodge beefed it up in later model years and take them to task for my problem.

    As for the window, I bought an ice scrapper from autozone and it scratched the windshield, but didn't scratch any of the other windows or the windshield of other cars/trucks I tested.
  • I am new here I bought my dak brand new and took xclnt care of her until recently i have a car im scared to drive if your on here please respond
  • luckily my gas cap fits its factory Im new here yet I bought my baby dakota afew years back i lloovvee it I need serious help does anyone have a printable of what my truck should look like from the underside? also does anyone know how to access a detailed list of parts, equiptment, and accessories I purchased maybe even with each parts s#'s on a report. :cry: :mad: :confuse: :sick: :(
  • rudakorudako Posts: 3
    I have the same problem with my 97 V6 4x4 extended cab Dakota, I have changed the thermostat twice to a higher temperature, 97 degrees but I have had no luck. If I find out what it is I will post right away.
  • Today, as i was checking under my hood i noticed an obvious hiss that wasnt there before. First off i have a 3.9L V-6 in my Dakota. So as you look into the engine, underneath the carburator cover-more precisely-Directly underneath the flexi-hose leading to the carburator-i found a metal pipe,about 1 " long with a tiny bit of black hose(?)left on it. Literally a fragment of rubber-i assume it was a hose. Upon placing my finger over the SUCTION, the engine died. What is this and more importantly, please tell me what goes there. What is the missing part. There are no loose hoses hanging either side of my engine. What fell off?
    Anyone that can help me thank you so much
  • Today, as i was checking under my hood i noticed an obvious hiss that wasnt there before. First off i have a 3.9L V-6 in my Dakota. So as you look into the engine, underneath the carburator cover-more precisely-Directly underneath the flexi-hose leading to the carburator-i found a metal pipe,about 1 " long with a tiny bit of black hose(?)left on it. Literally a fragment of rubber-i assume it was a hose. Upon placing my finger over the SUCTION, the engine died. What is this and more importantly, please tell me what goes there. What is the missing part. There are no loose hoses hanging either side of my engine. What fell off?
    Anyone that can help me thank you so much
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    With a vacuum leak this large, I would think that your engine is idling pretty bad at times. (Lets hope noone adjusted the carberator or idle speed while this leak existed.)

    By federal law, there is a sticker somwhere under the hood that depicts the routing of all the hoses. You may be able to determine where this is supposed to be connected using this sticker as a guide.

    I am thinking what you found is part of the PCV system. (Positive Crankcase Ventalation) The PCV system maintins a slight vacuum within the crankcase to continously suck out fumes and feed them under the carberator into the intake plenum so they are burned in the engine.

    The hoses leading from the PCV valve to the intake plenum are KNOWN to desinagrate due to all of the noxous fumes which travel in them. That is why they MUST be replaced with hoses rated for use on PCV systems. (ordanary hoses would not last very long at all)

    As a check, you can pull out your PCV valve and check it to have a strong vacuum on it at idle. If no vacuum, then you KNOW what you found is related.
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    It is your heater core .... I have seen this so many times and tried so many things and thats what it always comes down to....... Even if you flush it and it has good flow it dont matter....So good luck .....Not sure what year you have but some of them take up 10 hours to do.......
  • When I removed the head off of the engine block the cylinders had coolant in them. Is this normal?
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    From all the times that I have removed heads coolant comes out of the passages when you break it loose from the block so this is normal, or should be in your case...... What size engine to you have and why you removing the head??????
  • Help me please!! I have a 93 dakota 3.9 It did this once in a while for quite a while but a week ago its doing it now daily, anyway it starts fine cold and runs fine but after it runs about 3 to 5 minutes if I stop for something shut down the engine it and come back to start and go it starts and stalls it will not idle on its on have to 2 foot it for a bit till it smoothes out than its fine has new plugs and wires anybody, anybody have any suggestions on what might be my problem? Please help!!
  • HI,
    I have a 1987 dodge dakota 3.9 litre 5 speed and I have noticed that I am only getting at the most 10 mpg. Also I noticed that every time I start it up the gas gauge is lower than where I shut it off. When I start it up the exhaust is just black. Does anyone know of any common problem that would cause this or anything to help.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Have you checked for a leaking gastank?
  • Had an oil and coolant leak somewhere. I replaced all major gaskets as well. New water pump thermo, radiator. also put another tranny in it. It's a 1995 3.9 V6.
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    are you still having problems now if so maybe a bad head gasket (the new one) or your intake gas
  • Haven't started it yet. The guy who sold me the truck back in October, Did not have the 4wd shaft installed. It was in the bed of the truck. He told me there was nothing wrong with it. I new he was full of it because you don't take that out for the hell of it. The shaft looked fine. I really never had a chance to mess with it because I put in another tranny. Yesterday was when I finally got to the 4wd install, it seems that when I tighten the 4 bolts and those little mounting plates to hold it in place, they are not keeping the shaft where it needs to be. The bolts are as tight as they will go. Those little hubs on the ends slide off when I spin it around to snug the other bolts down. There is grease inside the hubs. I'm thinking it needs to be filled with grease to create some pressure so it snugs into place so the hubs will not come out. Any tips?
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    when you say hubs do you the u joint caps? if so then you might have the wrong u joints. i think thats what your talking about.. yeah anytime someone tells you there is nothing wrong you know there telling the truth right ha ha
  • I'm not getting hot air coming from the vents like I should. The engine is plenty hot so I am not sure why It's still not working properly especially after changing the water pump and thermostat.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    There are several reasons why you may not be getting heat. (even after replacing waterpump and Tstat)

    Try this, when the inside fan is blowing on high and controls set to full heat.... gently feel the temparature of the hose LEAVING the heatercore. (easilly accessable under the hood)

    If that hose is HOT... then the antifreeze is FLOWING... but heat is not being removed from it. Suspect inoperable flapper under the dash or perhaps a partially-plugged heatercore.

    If hose is NOT as hot as the hose feeding into the heatercore... then there is a problem with FLOW. (or perhaps air-pockets in the system)
  • I replaced the battery, now the truck idles rough and will only stay running if the gas is held down. Any help is appreciated
  • I have a 1999 dodge dakota 3.9 ltr. i have a knocking sound in the engine it don't do it when it is cold but when it warms up a bit it starts.I had a a small shop tell
    me he thought it was in the oil pan? the truck has really good oil pressure and doesn't use any in the 3000 mile change Thanks in advance.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    How many miles on the engine?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, it's very difficult to attempt any diagnosis of this type of problem over the net. There are a number of components that could cause a knock, and then there are "knocks and then there are other "knocks."

    THe 3.9 is an exceptionally strong little V-6 design and over the years I've only seen one actually have a serious problem...and that was the fault of the owner. They most certainly don't have a reputation for connecting rod or main bearing failure, which I think is the implication when a noise is emanating from the oil pan area.

    Because your not hearing this noise when the engine is cold it could mean that you have a connecting rod bearing that is worn or has been damaged. However, excessive piston wear or a bad wrist pin can also produce a knock that sometimes appears to be coming from the oil pan.

    My recommendation is to get a stethiscope (sp?) and try to pin-point where the noise is comming from. Valve train components or a worn camshaft lobe can cause a knocking sound. I have seen two 3.9s with a bad timing chain and after dissassembly I noticed that the chain had been hitting the inside of the timing chain cover. They had a "knocking" sound, too. Don't forget accessory drive components, such as belts, pulleys, air conditioner pump, water pump, etc.

    I have also witnessed a few Dodge truck motors that had a knock caused by a stuck bypass valve in the oil filter. In these cases there was a noticeable drop in oil pressure after the engine came to operating temperature.

    What kind of motor oil have you been using?

    Best regards,
  • I have 2000 dakota 6cyl 4x4. It sat for a while this fall and I did not use it for about a month. I went to take it for a drive and the power steering was acting funky. First, the steering wheel was nearly impossible to budge. Pump was making a whining noise. I checked fluid and it was a little low so I filled it up and then worked the wheel back and forth until it loosened up. Problem solved, right? NOT! Ever since, when I park it for the night and go to drive it the next day, the steering wheel turns as if the enging were turned off. If I force it and turn it from coast to coast a couple times, it loosens up and then steers fine until I let it sit for a while again.

    Next issue. Engine is still bucking and backfiring and it downright refuses to go sometimes. Check engine light keeps coming on and code is for loose gas cap. I have done complete tune-up, all belts, 3 new gas caps, TPS, all to no avail. I just noticed the other day that my fuel filler pipe has a rust hole in it. Could this be causing the issue? I have heard someone mention that the problem could be due to a bad intake manfold gasket. Is this true? Is it a BIG job, as I do my own work usually. I am ready to bury this thing if I dont figure it out soon. I cant even trade it in running like this. Please help.
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    It sounds to me likvacuume your pwr steering pump is going bad mine is starting to do the same thing to. The only other thing it could be is the rack but thats pretty rare.. A good way to find out if its a big job is to call a local shop and tell them what you want done and how many hours it calls for... I do beleive that is not a bad job though i dought thats your problem. There is also canister under the truck about at the tank that has vacuum lines on it that the lines get cracked and will set the light off
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