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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • ja812 - Try this website and do a search for your area

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    SparkPlug = 20 ft-Lbs
    Coil Mounting stud nut = 70 in-Lbs

    The Factory service manual has a BOLD WARNING about using the correct type of copper-core sparkplugs. It goes on to warn about PRE-ignition if incorrect sparkplugs are used.

    Also, The factory service manual suggests using compressed air to blow away any debris from around the coils BEFORE removing them to keep crud out of the sparkplug holes.
  • I dropped my truck off to the dealer again, 7th time. The Pacific Northwest Dodge Technical Assistant is going to drive my truck and get the feel for him self. Of course this is just a test drive but now we are past the local shop. Now we are moving up the food chain with this vibration problem. Will find out tomorrow what his feelings are plans are to correct the problem.
  • Anyone have any updates to this problem, I'm in the same boat with the shakes returning
  • I have the same issue on a 2006 Dakota Quad Cab. Dealer has replaced 3 tires and problem still remains. Shakes around 62 mph. Seven trips to the dealer and no end site.
    Love the truck / hate the shake.
  • I have a 2000 QC 4x2 with the 4.7l engine and 3.55 LSD rear end. I replaced the diff oil 18 months and about 14000 miles ago with Amsoil synthetic gear lube. My oil change shop popped the rubber plug recently and told me that the fluid was dirty and needed to be replaced. I know they are eager to sell their services, but I did see his finger come out of there and the fluid was darker than I remember. Has anyone seen any issues like this? I expected the synthetic stuff to pretty much last the life of the vehicle. Do I really need to change again?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • Wow, thanks again for more great advice. Sounds like "upgrading" to platinum plugs from the standard copper core plugs is the wrong thing to do!

    Has anyone out there run 3318 Champion "Platinum Power" plugs in a 4.7L Dakota? One of the reasons why I'm a do-it-yourselfer is so I can step up to higher grade replacement parts when I am working on my vehicles, but if I am actually going to do harm in this case, I'll step back down to the cheaper copper core plugs.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Many folks (including myself) am running the BOSCH +4 quad platinum plugs (#4418) in the 4.7L.

    Do not forget that BOSCH invented the sparkplug and has ALWAYS used copper in their plugs. (While some other cheeper manufacturers claim that copper is some kind of "special" thing!) BOSCH sparkplugs also have nickel-plated threads and high-silicon insulators. (The cheep Champoin plugs may not even offer these)

    Using a sparkplug with nickel-plated threads will reduce the chance of having them "seize" in an aluminum cylinder head. (YES!! I have had non-plated plugs do this!!..the sparkplug snapped off in the head when removal was attempted!!!!!)

    Other plugs that might work (but I have not tried)
    BOSCH APP3923 (+2 double platinum)
    BOSCH AP3923 (single platinum)
    NGK BKR6EVX-11
    NGK ZFR5F-11
    NGK PZFR5F-11
    DENSO BKR6E1X (iridium)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I also have 2000 Dak with 3.55 LSD rearend. I have been running RedLine in all the gearcases (front diff., rear diff., xfer case, power-steering and manual xmission)

    Any good synthetic in the diff. should pretty much last the life of the vehicle. Anyone that uses the COLOR of a lubricant as a guage of its lubricity may not be the best person to listen to.

    I have told this story here before... The pinion seal on my rear diff. leaked out virtually ALL of the Redline synthetic during an 8-hour trip with a load in the back of my Dak. Thanks to the supiriour residual lubricating qualities of the RedLine lube.... my rear diff. was NOT DAMAGED. After installing new seal, I re-filled with RedLine again and will never consider any other lubricant.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Any good synthetic in the diff. should pretty much last the life of the vehicle. Anyone that uses the COLOR of a lubricant as a guage of its lubricity may not be the best person to listen to.

    Krusty2, I fully agree with bpeebles here. Apparently you also realize the guy was just trying to sell you additional services. If it were me I would be looking for another shop that I could trust to not try to fatten their hip pocket at my expense.
    The lubricant is darker than you remember as it is impossible to get all the old lubricant out when changing and the new lubricant is going to darken up from mixing with the old along with normal useage.
  • mnallmnall Posts: 8
    The dodge regional manager drove mine last Friday, and figured out the tires had 5 pounds to much pressure in them. He said this would fix the did make it better but its still vibrates, so problem NOT solved. They even tried to blame me for the pressure, and I told them........they have been only ones to touch the tires. So much for a 5 star dealership.....LOL
  • I have a 1993 dakota with a 3.9(2nd gen engine) I hear valve train clatter almost all the time .since creasting the 100,000 mile mark : (sort of like marbles tapping together ) it runs fine but I would like to know the cause ? .It has 186,000 miles on it would replacing the valve train stop the noise or a specific part maybe ? I changed the timming chain and gears(gen 2 engines don't have slack adjusters)at 141,000 miles no change in sound
    I run valvoline 10w40 in the summer and 10w30 in the winter with no additives.
    all suggestions will be greatly appreciated fellow dodge fans .....
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    SInce you have an LSD, the normal wearing of the limited-slip clutches will cause the fluid to become darker than you would see in a non-LSD unit. It shouldn't be anything to worry about.
  • have your catalytic converter checked to see if it is plugging up .I had it happen to me with my 93 dakota while driving on I-94 to annarbor,MI from flatrock,MI my converter heated up and chocked off the engine.waited a while and could drive again .My remidy due to age of the truck (drilled out the converter now it's an expansion chamber )also when the converter plugged it burned the end off of the oxygen sensor in the crossover just befor the converter ($85.00)part .also since doing that my dakota has a bit more power. I hope this helpes you or someone else .
  • I have a 93 dakota and had the same thing occur change the ignition switch in your collumn take your cover off on the bottom side below your lock cylinder.the switch requires a star socket I believe it is a t-18 but it has to have a hole in the center of the socket to fit on the pin in the center of each screw.also check for melted wires (from the switch getting hot you may already have a short developed in system if so replace ignition harness in column )and chaffing of wires from rubbing loosly on metal surfaces causing shorts in system .
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    Sorry about the late response.

    You could have a vapor leak on a vapor pressure line and probably not see a code.

    Early '03s and down have two vapor lines that run along the left side of the vehicle body and upwards towards the engine left side in the proximity of the steering column. These are rubber hoses that utilize a black plastic coupling. These vapor lines develop cracks along their length the closer they get to the engine. The rubber hoses also split right at the couplers.

    If you have a model with the Leak Detection Pump, there is a filter with one vapor line going to it. This filter is attached to the battery tray. Check this and the other lines going to the pump as well.

    In mid-2003 Dodge replaced some of these lines with steel tubing.

    Best regards,
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319

    Thanks for the reply. After further investigation, it smells more like pre-converter exhaust. The smell seems to be coming out from the right front wheel well. I'm suspecting an exhaust leak on that side of the engine. There isn't any abnormal exhaust sounds, however. When I take the truck in to have the heater core replaced, I'll have it looked at.
  • I had the same problem, bad vibration when breaking above 40mph that started around 8500 miles. I had the warranty work done for TSB 05-004-05 REV A and it seems to have fixed the problem. It still rides rough above 70mph though but otherwise OK. I also got safety recall E14 'transmission cup plug bracket' fixed. A rattle near the steering column was also fixed, service said something wasn't installed correctly. At least Dodge admits to problems most of the time. I had repeated problems with an 05 Honda, about 6 trips to repair in 7 months, I got rid of the Honda for the Dodge and so far like the Dodge better as far as quality. Keep us posted on the vibration issue/resolution.
  • Well, I'm pretty sure it isn't the throwout bearing, the noise is unchanged whether or not the clutch is engaged.

    However the whine has gotten worse. I really think it's the input bearing (in the transmission). The whine shows up past a certain RPM level in every gear (I don't have a tach, so I can't tell exact RPMs).

    I have the 2.5L inline 4, and I have the 5 speed manual.
    I have about 82,000 miles on the truck. Have not replaced the clutch yet.
    Center bearing on rear axle? Not sure what this means.
    The truck is 2 wheel drive.
    It has a 10 bolt rear end (fluid is full).

    I've heard these trannys are difficult if not possible to repair, and that mose rebuilt trannys are junk. With that said, would my best bet be to find a tranny in a junkyard and just swap if one of the bearings IS bad?

    Any tips given would be greatly appreciated!

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Acdcording to my Factory shop manual, The manual xmission on the 2.5L inline 4 (NV1500)is NOT the same manual xmission that is used behind all the other engines (NV3500).

    Again, according to the book, the New Venture 1500 is a medium-duty xmission that is ONLY used on the 4cyl 2WD Dak.

    Judging from the exploded diagrams of the internal-workings of the 2 xmissions, the NV1500 is much whimpier than the NV3500. The case is much smaller and the gears are miniscule.

    It is not easy to answer your question. Obviously rebuiilding your existing xmission would take your truck off the road for a longer period of time than just popping in a used unit. Also, a used unit may be of questionable integrity. If you trust the rebuilder and can deal with your truck being off the road for awhile, rebuilding is often a better way to go. (most rebuilds also come with warantee)
  • Thank you very much for the information.

    I was talking with a guy a while back that works on (mainly older) Dodge transmissions, and I recall he did make a comment about how bad the transmissions are to repair.

    I guess another mitigating factor I failed to leave out is that back at ~40,000 miles, my rear transmission seal went out (no big deal, just the seal where the driveshaft comes out), but I did drive it for several thousand miles with the seal out. I know it had fluid in it, just not to the level that it should have been.

    I appreciate knowing the model number for the transmission, it will help me start looking for rebuilts, etc. I can afford having the truck off the road for a while, but only when the weather gets warmer (motorcycle!).

    So you don't think it could be the clutch or pressure plate, etc?

  • mullis1mullis1 Posts: 15
    I'm sure this has been asked several times in the past, but I'm a new owner of a Dodge Dakota and would like to know if anyone has suggestions on upgrading exhausts. Dual, single, mufflers, etc... I have read other places that dual exhaust can cause power and torque loss at low rpm's is this true? I have a 2004 Dakota 4 door, 4x4, 4.7L all I've done is added a K/N Filter. After adding the filter it seems that mileage has decreased slightly, has anyone experienced this? Thanks!
  • pdopdo Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Dakota w/ 5.2 engine and recently after an oil change and a PCV valve replaced at an oil change place, the next morning when I drove the truck for a few miles and then pulled into a parking lot. As I put it in reverse and then forward i noticed the transmission seems to slip a bit. When I started again and put it in gear, the check engine light came on and has stayed on since. I went to a parts store and they retrieve the error code as P0720.

    Can anyone give me some idea on how to fix this P0720 code (Output speed sensor circuit malfunction). The truck seems to drive OK and the transmission fluid a bit on the low side.

    Thanks in advance.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The "oiled guaze" airfilters are mostly hype. They do "flow" better... but actually FILTER WORSE. For a street-driven automobile, more "flow" is not needed. (unless you spend a lot of time at WOT --Wide Open Throttle) Any quality paper air filter will filter better and be better for your engine over the long-haul. (because it keeps out the fine dust)

    As for exhaust choices on the 4.7L engine. A SINGLE exhaust of not more than 2.5 inch diameter has been found to be best. Any larger diameter will lose the all-important exhaust VELOCITY. (larger = slower velocity) Dual-pipes will also lose velocity.

    For me, I wanted an exhaust system that NEVER needed to be replaced. (Salt-covered winter roads will disenagrate most exhaust systems) I ended up with a BORLA cat-back system. It is 100% T-304 stainless steel. It sounds great OUTSIDE the truck but the thicker metal in the pipes keeps the droning sound out the cab.

    After 6 winters, my BORLA exhaust still shines like the stainless-steel spoons in the kitchen ;-)
  • Well, now I'm really confused.

    I have a 1997 Dakota 2WD 2.5L Inline 4 5 speed Manual transmission with 82,000 miles that has a sound that continues to get worse.

    I was darn sure it was the transmission as the noise wasn't present until the truck was moving down the road and shifting gears.

    Now the sound has worsened, and is present when I rev the engine while the truck is parked with the transmission in neutral.

    I've never replaced the water pump, nor the power steering pump. The sound really sounds like a bad bearing. I haven't noticed any antifreeze leaking from the weep hole, so I doubt it's the water pump....

    I havent' really poked around the engine to try and find where the noise is coming from, but that will be my next step.

    The truck has been cared for meticulously, so I'm kinda at a loss for what it could be.

    Could it even be a bad alternator?

    Baffled... but hopefully someone has been here and done it before.....

  • I think I got it. Went by Aut0 z0ne and alas, I could not replicate the sound, but I did find out that I could take my serpentine belt off and run the engine for a short period with no harm to the engine. On the way home the thing was howling like a banshee, so I pulled off and put a brick on the gas pedal and poked around the engine compartment to see if I could isolate the noise. It seemed to be coming from the power steering pump. I then shut the engine off and took off the belt to see if the noise disappeared, and indeed it had. Diagnoisis: bad steering pump. I'm going to replace this weekend and hopefully put this issue to bed. Any tips for power steering pump replacement? Use new fluid? Redline synthetic? I'll take all the help I can....
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Since "normal" PS fluid is cheap and it takes about 20 minutes to repace it. I would suggest you put in "normal" fluid when you replace the pump.

    Then... after several thousand miles, REPLACE IT AGAIN. This will help dilute the old fluid and remove any metal-shavings which the old pump may have left behind. (It is nearly impossible to remove all the old fluid when it is changed)

    Personallty, I run REDLINE synthetic PS fluid. I have the 4.7L engine which has a different PS system than yours. (Rack-n-pinion steering) On cold mornings, my Dak WOULD NOT STEER for about 3 minutes. I tried replacing with "normal" fluid several times but had the same problem. After putting in the REDLINE... that problem was gone.
  • gmilitogmilito Posts: 2
    HI does anybody have any info about failing oil pumps on the Dakota? I have a 2003 4.7 and it appears that the oil pump has failed
  • mullis1mullis1 Posts: 15
    Thanks for the info. Should I not use the K/N Filter? I still have the old paper filter that came in the truck.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I've never heard of an oil pump failing on a 4.7L. Oil pump failures in any engine are very rare and usually occur at very high mileage. Have you always used the correct oil viscosity? What symptoms are you having?
This discussion has been closed.