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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • I want to change the Dino fluid in my Dakota to synthetic. I see in the manual, I have and 06, that it already has synthetic in the rear differential. I was underneath the Dakota yesterday and looked for the drain and refill plug on the front differential and could not find it. Does anyone know where the drain and refill plugs are for the transfer case and the front differential. I would really appreciate your help!!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I am not certain about the 2006... but in past years, the differentials have no drain plugs. There were 2 choices.

    *)Pull the cover to drain it. (which is messy and makes an otherwise simple task a hassle)
    *) Use oil-sucker to suck the (warmed) fluid out of the rubber fill plug.

    The FRONT differential poses even more of a hassle due to limited clearance to access the fill-plug. A secret is to use the vent hose (comes up near the battery) as a 'funnel' to fill it.
  • Thank you for your help bpeebles!! What are they thinking of, obviously with the the set up there is, no drain plugs, people, like me, who would other wise change the differentials fluid will just skip doing it. Are they trying to discourage changing the fluids or are they just cheap and want to save a buck or two by not installing drain and refill plugs?
  • 5.5 is enough for me, and i keep the rest handy jic.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The 4.7L is a "slow drainer" due to the hollow camshafts which are used to supply oil to the lobes and valvetrain components.

    Also, I recall where the oil on my dipstick was when brand-spanking new right off the delivery-truck to the dealership.
    If a 4.7L engine has been sitting for any length of time, the oil on the dipstick will show ABOVE the full mark. (again-- due to the hollow camshafts draining into the crankcase)

    If properly drained. (at least 30-40 minutes of dripping hot oil) The 4.7L engine will take 6 quarts of oil and be exactly right on the dipstick if checked about 5 minutes after turining off engine.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Differential drain plugs were eliminated by most auto and light duty truck manufacturers a long time ago. Yes, there is a cost savings but even in today's economy it is not a sum that represents an overwhelming consideration.

    The more primary reason it is not found on most light duty vehicles is to force removal of the differential cover to encourage inspection of the differential components and a check for the presence of foreign material. When drain plugs are found on differentials, gear inspection is far less likely to be performed.

    As an aside, the 9.25 axle assembly was standard on 4x2 Dakotas over a certain GVW (6000 pounds, I think). It was standard on Club Cab Sport Plus 4x2 versions in 2003. I have one.

    Best regards,
  • Dusty,

    I doubled checked the glove-box and have confirmed the LSD rear-end differential is a Corporate 9.25 inch version.

  • Bruce,

    I have confirmed a count of 12 bolts on the cover of the LSD rear-end differential and info printed on the decal in the glove-box indicates this one to be a Corporate 9.25 inch version. This one is a 2WD model built/assembled in May 2003.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (dataguru) Thanks for the info. (That is why you are the dataguru ;-)

    I guess I have yet to figure out the "algorythim" which the factory used to determine when they installed the 8.25 -or- 9.25 rear axle. Perhaps it is based on engine/xmission options?
  • Bruce,

    Yes, not sure what the configuration rules are. Perhaps engine/transmission combinations or a variety of other, as Dusty alluded to having perhaps something to do with the GVW rating or towing capabilities of the vehicle or something like that?? or simply just using up the inventory stock of what's on hand at the time of assembly, perhaps?

    Ohhh, my moniker...bestowed upon me by a colleague from years working in the IT data management field.

  • I have a 2K Dak 4.7 5 speed with 70K miles, which has been relatively problem free. Recently the A/C went out and it was diagnosed as a bad evaparator, which required removal of the dashboard. The bill (mostly labor) was a little over $1000. Luckily my extended warranty picked up almost all of it. I am wondering how common a problem this is, has anyone else had this problem?

  • I have a 2001 Dakota Quad with 90.000 miles. For some reason every 25,000 miles or so the truck starts to get a dull groan in the front area when the brakes are applied, usually in conjunction with taking a slow turn. I believe in the past the dodge service department has replaced worn sway bar bushings to correct the problem at a tune of $123 (parts and labor).

    My question is how often should bushing wear out and is it safe to keep driving the truck if you don't replace bushings? I do ZERO off road driving and the truck has pretty much had an easy life. I'm starting to get tired of having to take the Dakota in every 2 years to have bushing replaced. Anyone else have this problem and is it normal for most trucks or a Dakota suspension problem?

    Thanks for info/Brake4me
  • tjfitztjfitz Posts: 41
    Dennis, have you learned what is the cause of the smell? My daughter is driving a 1990 Dakota and has noticed an exhaust smell developing the past few weeks. I wonder if it has something to do with the weather getting colder (it is now October and she is up in high altitude).
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You are getting rooked.

    The sway bar bushings are just rubber thingies that can be replaced with the truck sitting on the ground using a wrench. Most folks DO NOT replace them and instead just use some rubber-lube and re-assemble.

    Also, squeeky swaybar bushings do not constitute a "problem". At the worst, they are an annoyance.
  • Ron see post 4115. Didn't cost me additional $ from my warranty direct warranty. I did not expect repairs at my mileage either..2001 quad cab 76k miles now, 4.7l 5sp, 3.92rear bought from flemington NJ dealer.. Ger
    2 People make it common..>?...Who else?
  • I also have warranty direct and they covered all but $71, dealer said that they had a disagreement with WD on the amount of labor required and that was what the $71 went for. Mine happened at about 80 months into service.

  • Tried to look up "Tenefly. The part # they sent was 05013660AA" on internet and can't find anything. Took the message to two auto repair places and they both said, "I don't want to fool with this problem" ... any suggestions on how to get this fixed? I hate taking it to a Dodge dealer.
  • I have a 1999 Dodge Dakota, 4X4, 6 cyl., club cab

    After extended use of the Air Conditioner I have lots of condensation dripping onto the floor mat on the passenger side. Any suggestions on how to fix this mess? One guy trying to blow out the tube, but didn't help.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

    As you may have noticed, we are reorganizing the Forums to allow better focus and easier searching when you have a particular problem or comment about any given vehicle. Many of the large generic discussions (like this one) will be closed to new posts, and we ask that you continue in the more focused discussions that you can find at the Group page for the vehicle, linked below. This discussion will not be deleted, so you can still search for information in it.

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