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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I've got nearly 33K on my factory rotors and pads ('03 Club Cab Sport). The 2003s and '04s got a different rotor and front brake configuration. Older Dakotas seemed to be more of a problem, but a lot has to do with your style of driving. I've had guys with '97-'02s say they've gotten 45-60K on their rotors. Other do not.

    As far as pads go I think you'll find the factory pads to be among the best.

    Good luck,
  • yoshioyoshio Posts: 18
    I've got 58,000 miles on my rotors and pads. If it wasn't for my bad hearing,(grinding metal on metal-scored rotor) I'd probably could have resurfaced the rotors and replaced only the pads.
      Funny thing was when I first got this truck (used 2001 with 20,000 miles, auto 4.7 club cab), it started the vibrations at 30,000 miles. At that same time I had an unrepairable flat tire (nail in the sidewall). I decided to change all four tires. The pulsing and vibrations eventually disappeared...weird???
  • It's amazing how fast you go through 40 good trips. I replaced the cap on Tuesday and figured I'd do the disconnect Saturday. Friday on the way home from work the light was out.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    Early this summer my rotors got scuzzed up and caused a lot of brake chatter from a lot of stop and go driving during a very rainy period. i thought I'd have to change the rotors out even though they had lots of thickness yet. After driving it around for a couple of weeks the chatter finally went away and they've been factory smooth ever since.

    Different people have different stories on the various aftermarket rotors. Some have had good luck and others bad. For the price, I think, I'll probably go with the factory rotors. I can get them from my Dodge dealer for $90 a piece, after my discount.

    My pads are wearing very well, with well over 70% of pad life left at 33K. I at one time looked into ceramics but the majority of the people I've talked to have not been satisfied with them, although none of them have had a Dakota or Durango.

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I think somone is confusing a "scuzzy" rotor with a "warped" one. Most of the folks here on thie forum that actually KNEW about the condition of ther rotors have spoken of "hard spots" or "scuzz" built up on parts of the rotor. This will make the braking-action feel a bit like a "warped" rotor, but the brake-pedal DOES NOT PULSE in this situation.

    A "warped" rotor will make the brake-pedal pulse and can be verified using a mechanics tool to actually measure the runout.

    I can say with certainty that my original rotors were made from such cr$ppy materal that they rusted into oblivioun. (But NEVER warped.) Then... my powerslots also rusted so they were not salvagable. (But NEVER warped.)

    The powerslots FELT like they were warped beacuse of the rough, uneven surface that the pads had to work against. Again, the brake-pedal never pulsed and the rotors spec-out with minimal runout.

    Keep in mind that I live where copious amouts of chloride is spread on the roads to melt the snow&ice. This gets all over an automobile as it is driven thru the resulting salt-water on the roadways. This atmosphere is corrosive to any metal. (Many vehicles get rust holes in the body within 6-8 winters under these conditions.)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Scuzzy rotor conditions can or will get better on their own, or with a little help from mechanical clean-up. A warped rotor can be ground or lathe turned back to true-ness, within reason of course. Moderate to severe hard spots, however, can generally not be corrected through mechanical means.

    I, too, live where road salts and other chemicals are used on winter time roads, so rotor life is usually shorter around here on most vehicles. My wife's Avalon seems to have a voracious appetite for rotors, although her driving style contributes considerably to short life. Our GM vehicles were anywhere from good to atrocious. My '93 Nissan Sentra went it's entire 10-year, 121k mile life with the original rotors, although they had a propensity for pitting.

    Best regards,
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    Recently, I've gotten an intermittent screeching noise upon start-up and for the next 10 miles or so on my '00 4.7L QC. I've traced it down to whenever the AC clutch engages. I removed the clutch plate and noticed that only 1/2 the plate shows the wear of contact (shiny metal). The other 1/2 is rusty. The clutch plate is flat (lays flat on a piece of glass). I can't tell if the shaft is bent. When fully assembled, the clutch and attached AC pump shaft move freely. When the clutch engages the drive pulley (electromagnetic force), there's no holding it back.

    Maybe the 1/2 worn clutch face is a "red herring" since one can not stop the clutch plate from turning when called to engage. It maybe the AC pump that is going bad and causing the squeek-squeek while rotating.

    Plenty of cold air when the AC is on.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    I officially checked the air temp and got 4 deg C (39 deg F) on "AC Max" at the center panel and 6 deg C (43 deg F) on the "Reg AC" setting all with an ambient temp of 14 deg C (57 deg F).

    BOB says that the max allowable temp at the center panel is 3 deg C (38 deg F) with an ambient temp of 21 deg C (70 deg F).

    From all of that, it might indicate that the AC system has lost some gas and lubricating oil. This might be allowing the AC compressor to eat itself up - sqecking noise that eventually goes away.
  • yoshioyoshio Posts: 18
    First off, I'd like to thank Bruce, Dusty and Klaus for your help.

     Being that I've never done this before, I did a lot of research in this forum. Thanks to Bruce's step by step instructions, it went pretty smooth. Well almost....

     After doing the first wheel,(I better get my hearing checked...the rotor was in pretty bad shape) and partially the second (removed caliper and rotor), I took a lunch break. When I came back, I started pushing the piston back into the caliper (this one seemed harder than the first). I had forgotten to uncap the reservoir for this side. So the question is "Did I screw up anything?" I'm not aware of any leaks. The reservoir looks like there are stress marks at the corners??? Could be imagining this? I hope this doesn't lead to another repair. My brakes seem to be working fine.

     Anyway, I ended up using the Raybestos 76645 rotor (sorry Klaus, this was my only option due to time constraints) and Raybestos quiet stop ceramic pads.

    Thank you again for all your help.

    I was talking to this parts guy and asked him about the Napa ceramix pads...he said Raybestos made them.
  • 2001 4.7 QC AT FWD

    When I put the vent selector to floor the air momentarily goes to floor and then to panel. Behind the dash I can feel the mechanism moving. It pauses at the proper setting and then moves on.

    Any idea how to adjust this?

    While I was checking under the dash I discovered a Red pull out switch of sorts beside at tube/cable that was in a notch. They're located just to the right of the steering column on the lower lip of the dash.

    Any idea what this is?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    >>>I had forgotten to uncap the reservoir for this side. So the question is "Did I screw up anything?"<<<

    Probably not. And I don't think the "cracks" were caused by stress from pushing fluid back into the reservoir.

  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    '01 CC, 4.7, auto, 25,236 miles. About a week ago the MIL came on and a code P0442(evap leak detected) was set. I checked the gas cap and erased the code. Each day at the first start the code would set again. I checked all hoses and examined the gas cap again. Finally I got a new gas cap and the problem was solved. When I dissected the old cap I found that it was full of rust that was clogging up the valves. The strange part was that there are very few metal parts in the cap. I think several people have mentioned replacing gas caps to correct the "evap leak" problem.
  • leobleob Posts: 1
    The truck is parked and the passenger side floorboard gets a lot of water and the driver side gets a little less. Can't tell where it's coming from. Only the bottom of the floorboard gets wet. Door seals look OK. No sign of a windshield leak. Help please.
  • I've not seen this one on the sights yet,but last week had to take my truck in and have the u-joints changed out. Back one was just about gone. Still not bad for a 2000 with almost 44,000 miles on it. Besides a brake job and regular maintainence the truck has been great.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Your story about your 2000 Dak is about the same as mine. I have over 60K miles on mine with 2 brake-replacements and a rear U-joint.

    NOTE: If you have not allready done so. Consider changing your power-steering fluid soon. The 2000 Dak came with 'normal' PS fluid...but starting in 2001, Dodge changed over to specifiying SYNTHETIC PS fluid. (even for your 2000)

    I just changed my PS fluid to RedLine brand, I can allready tell the difference. On cold mornings, I can actually steer my truck without having Popye forearms ;-)
  • Hello all, I've got a 01 QC 4.7 and was wondering what type of antifreeze to use. It seems to be confusing. The manual says they use a long life product. What type should I add and what type should I flush and fill with. The prestone site is a little confusing.
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    Water leaks can be hard to find. I have had to locate and repair three on my '01 CC. One of the leaks was at the top of the windshield on the passenger side. The water was running down the headliner (plastic base), down the "A" pillar and under the rug. I found it by removing the kick panel first and working my way up. I also had a floorboard seam leak and water entering around the a/c evap drain tube. Some owners have had rear windows leaking. Good luck,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If you have the 4.7 (287 CI) motor your Dakota contains a Ethylene Glycol-based Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) anti-freeze that uses caroxylate and deionized water. This material is available as Mopar MS-7170, but there are competitive products that are equivalent.

    WARNING: When selecting a anti-freeze that is not Chrysler Mopar MS-7170, ensure that the material being used specifically states that it meets Chrysler MS-7170 specifications. Do not use anti-freeze materials that are Propylene Glycol based, such as Dexcool or similar materials. These are not compatible with Chrysler cooling system components and will void the warranty on your vehicle.

    Best regards,
  • I recently inherited a 1992 Dodge Dakota extended cab with the 5.2 V8 engine with 130,000 miles on it. Runs and drives great most of the time.
    My problem is ever now and then, maybe once every couple weeks it won&#146;t start. If I wait a day or two it will start back up. When I say it won&#146;t start it will crank over but not fire. Sometimes it might start but sputter for a second or two and then die.
    I have already replaced the fuel filter but problem still there. I have now noticed that after I put gas in the tank the next time I go to start, it won&#146;t. I&#146;m really leaning towards the fuel pump being replaced its just very expensive and hard to do. I thought the not starting right after I put gas in might be a big clue as to what is wrong for the people who have been around Dodges. Any help would be much appreciated.
    *One more question. Do you have to pull the entire door panel off to replace the window switch? If not how do you do it?
    Thanks for any help.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I've seen this symptom on a couple of Dakotas, both 3.9 V6s, but I think it could be generic.

    Your vintage Dakota did have a problem with fuel pumps. As I recall there was a upgraded replacement pump that fixed the flaw in them. Yeah, they're pricey, but Auto Zone or other atuo parts stores may have a better price. Whether you'll get a quality unit is unknown.

    The other problem I've seen in those years was just plain lousy aftermarket ignition parts. I have repaired a numer of them in those years by just replacing the spark plug wires, cap, and rotor with Chrysler parts, even though the aftermarket stuff was not very old. This is especially true of the spark plug wires.

    I'm not saying all aftermarket is bad. Some of them are decent quality. But some of the stuff is not good.

    I'd first check to see if you're getting fuel. You could have a bad pump, a clogged fuel filter, a bad fuel pressure regulator, or lost electrical power to the pump or other fuel system components.

    I'd next check to see if your getting spark. If not them you need to troubleshoot the ignition system. You could have a failed catalytic converter. This could prevent the engine from starting, but when it does run it would be lacking in power as well.

    Make sure the air filter is not clogged. Although it's rare to see an engine fail to start because of a clogged air filter, I have seen it happen.

    Good luck,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My '03 Dakota 4.7 automatic (33600 miles) exhibited a loud noise a week or so ago on a cold start. It sounded like the accessory drive belt was slipping. This noise continued for about four minutes. I later noticed that there was a whirring or bearing growl that could be heard in the passenger compartment.

    This growl was heard for another few days. While driving across town one night I heard what sounded like nuts and bolts being launched from something under the hood. I stopped and checked the engine but everything seemed okay. I drove it away and for a few days more and it seemed okay except the bearing growl that varied with engine speed was still present.

    Now my Dakota is normally fairly quiet, but one night the engine noise was about 5x than normal and the truck seemed like the brake was slightly on at higher speeds. This sounded exactly like the Clutch Fan was engaged all the time. My gas mileage seemed to indicate a sudden full 1 to 1.5 MPG drop, too. I also began noticing that after the engine was shut off chirping noises could be heard for 5-10 seconds.

    As I suspected, a trip to the Dodge dealer confirmed that the Clutch Fan had bit the dust. A new one as made my Dakota very quiet again and the gas mileage took an immediate jump upwards. Last winter I would occasionally hear some chirps at cold start that I thought was the drive belt, but now I think it was the Clutch Fan.

    Anyway, I hope this might benefit someone just in case any of you start getting any of these symptoms.

  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319

    The fan clutch on my 02 QC 4.7 also exhibited occasional squealing noises during a cold start. It took the dealer some time to diagnose it, though. However, it didn't self-destruct like your's did.
  • Thank you for the reply Dusty. I have talked to a few other people about the fuel pump issue and they all recommended oem pump if thats the problem. A little more expensive but worth it because you don't want to replace it again. I have to put gas in it today so very curious to see if it will start afterwards.
    *Do you know if you have to take the door panel off to replace the window switch? It looks like the cover around the switch would pop off but I sure don't want to break it.
    Thanks again.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My son had a '91. I can't remember exactly, but I believe it should pop off in typical Chrysler fashion. That's how most Chrysler cars and trucks are designed. My '03 is the same way.

    Just use extreme care while prying with a flat-bladed screwdriver.

    Good luck,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Here is a photo of what my powerslot rotors looked like after 3 Vermont winters. (I snapped this just moments before I took them to the dump and shotputted them into the scrap-metal bin!)

    Now, I am running Bendix rotors and time shall tell if they are any better at resisting the winter roadsalt.

    As a reminder... the ORIGINAL Dodge Dakota rotors lasted thru only 2 Vermont winters.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    THey must use some really nasty road salt in VT!
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Bruce, they look worse than I do. And I've lasted over 71 winters. Ben, it's not only what kind of salt, it's how much and how often.

    Norm (Bookitty)
  • gjblegjble Posts: 23
    I have a 01 4.7 Dakota. I also have a trouble code PO161. O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 2). Anybody know where this sensor is located on the engine? Truck still runs good,(37 miles). I would like to fix this myself if I knew where this sensor was located.
    Thanks, in Atlanta
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    is they LOVE to use salt here. I mean lots. ANd the liquid stuff the trucks put out........gosh. Then there's the cinders for traction.

    Suffice it to say, this is a good state for any auto manufacturer who wants to "test" the corrosion resistance of the sheetmetal. If it can pass muster here, then I stamp it "tank"!
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I have a 01 4.7 Dakota. I also have a trouble code PO161. O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 2). Anybody know where this sensor is located on the engine? Truck still runs good,(37 miles). I would like to fix this myself if I knew where this sensor was located.
    Thanks, in Atlanta

    THere are 4 O2 sensors, one upstream on each pipe (of the pre-cat) and one downstream each pipe. Thus, sensor 2 would be one of the downstream o2 sensors. Never changed one myself. I hear they can be a pain to remove.
This discussion has been closed.