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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • ohc_babyohc_baby Posts: 116
    The trick to getting the molding off is the use of WD-40 and dental floss. Put the truck in the sun, run WD-40 down the length of the top of the moldings, then use the dental floss to 'saw' your way down the door. It won't harm the paint or anything and will separate the adhesive from either the door or the molding. Just go back when you're done and clean up the bits of adhesive, then wax.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    FYI to all in this discussion. Some of us are getting to the mileage limit for changing the transmission fluid and filter. And I just wanted to share some information that can mean the difference between a fluid/filter change and a new transmission.
    Only use Mopar type 7176 ATF+ as the fluid in your trans. Even if its a pint low or something, DRIVE 20 minutes to you dealer or another Dodge dealer and get the proper fluid. DO NOT use Dexron fluid of any kind (ITs spelled Dexron not Dextron)
    Why? Dexron fluid is a "grabbier" fluid. It will cause the clutches to tighten up severely and then the trans controller will back off the pressure. The fluid will then make the clutch packs grab and then the cycle will repeat itself over and over and over. WHat you will feel is a shudder on upshift or down shift, either of which is BAD news. Don't trust the local yokels to use the right fluid. I've seen for myself some of these places use whatever is "in the can" with no regard as to what really belongs in your transmission.
    Don't fall into the mindset "Its all the same stuff, it don't matter." I know way back on the 727, 904 and baby 904 you could use Dexron (not Dextron) and it was fine. But that was then and this is now.
    Proof positive: Neighbor had a full size Ram 1500 with the 46RFE trans. Did his own fluid and filter change. 3,000 miles later, he is bitching up a storm that his tranny doesn't shift right and it won't shift into lockup. Brings it over to me. I tramp down to my local mopar dealer, get the 7176 ATF+ fluid, a filter. Go back, dump the old stuff, run the new, proper fluid in it.
    That was two years ago, my neighbor still has the truck, trans shifts fine and no more will he go to Wal Mart to get "whatever" looks like trans fluid.
    Part two: Same situation but Uncle had a minivan. Took it to the 19.95 grease lube station in town. The put Dexron (not DEXTRON) in the trans. 1200 miles later, time for a new tranny.
    DOn't let ANYONE [non-permissible content removed] you on this. I am dead serious. For more information and more technical stuff, go to ALLPAR.COM and head for the transmission section. Read the other stories there. Then commit it to memory: Use 7176 ATF+ fluid in your mopar trans and it will go thousands of miles for you.
  • I just checked the Allpar website and they said to use type 9606 fluid for years 2000 and above.

    Do you agree with that statement for the multispeed mated to the 4.7?
  • srnsrn Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Dakota LE with intermittent wipers and all that on it. About 3 weeks ago, during a rainstorm, the wipers just quit. Nothing, not a single wiggle out of the wipers. Being that wipers don't get a real workout in AZ, I've put off fixing them for a bit. Well now the turn signals don't work! If I push the lever up and down the appropriate lights come on (left or right front/rear signals) but it doesn't flash, it just stays on. On the other hand, the hazards work fine. All the fuses are good. So where do I go from here? Any ideas where to start would be great.

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Yes, that is correct. I neglected to note that in my diatrabe and many thanks for pointing that out. I also confirmed that with my service manager at my friendly dodge dealer.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Scott, I will address only the turn signal problem at this point. It is quite possible, that you are experiencing two separate problems. The "flasher can" for the hazard four way flashers is not the same one utilized for the turn signals.
    The fact that you are getting lights on either side from activating the lever indicates that there is some contact there. Check the "flasher can" by using another if you have a spare, or try the can from the four ways. The wiper problem could be the motor, which can be checked out by applying current directly. If you don't know how, find someone who does. Good luck.

  • Chris,
    I have a 2000 qc 4.7 4wd and my mileage is about the same as yours, suburban driving. My truck has the full time 4wd option. From what I have gathered from this forum, that has some significant effect on your mileage. I don't know if your truck has this "feature", but I don't think that mileage is too far out of the norm for what type of drivetrain I'm operating. Perhaps some wiser ( or at least more wizened ) heads could chime in.
    I HOPE my truck isn't too abnormal ;-)
    drive safely!
  • amend1amend1 Posts: 98
    Bluebayou- When you did the fluid changes on the trannys, were you able to access the fluid in the converter and, if so, how?? I'm going to assume your fluid changes only refer to dropping the pan and replacing the filter. Thanks for the VERY important info- it has been brought up before on this forum and you have written it in stone.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 60
    amend1 - I have yet to do any of the tranny service described herein. I believe that "MOPAR67" was the savior of many transmissions. I'm sure he can describe the procedures in more detail.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Go to This is a site totally dedicated to Mopars, both old and new. You have to dig, but click on the transmission link, and go forward about two pages. There you will find a plethora of information on mopar transmissions.Read it carefully. Those people there are VERY experienced in transmissions. BTW there is a place back in Indiana called A&A transmission. Rick Allison owns theplace and he has built more mopars than anyone except Chrysler. And he knows Mopars inside and out. I have confirmed with him all the information on He verified exactly the information there.
    Best Wishes.
  • bikenutbikenut Posts: 19
    I have a new 4X4 lsd, cc. 4.7 manual, and being cheap I opted not to get the tilt wheel, because I didn't want cruise for $250. Anyway, does anyone have the non-tilt wheel, and figured a way to lower it? I'm wondering if all of the trucks have the same steering column, and the non- tilts lack the adjust lever. I don't necessarily want it to be easily adjustable, I want to lower it about 3/4 inch and leave it there. The truck is great, but a little too quiet! Thanks in advance.
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    well after 3 rebuilds of my rearend because of whinning. they are finally putting a all new rearend in on tuesday. i hope it will be ok. also gonna get the oil fill tsb, the 4.7 idle tsb and fix a few odds and ends.

    so far my dealer and my DC rep has been fantastic. they even asked me if i was going to try and do a buy back and i decided not to. i love the truck, dont want to pay the difference because of milage and they have handled and have promised to continue to handle any issue. yippieeeeee!!!!!!!!!

    ill update all after new rear is in, good luck all.

  • jimtjimt Posts: 56
    The wiper problem may not be electrical. If you can hear the motor run it is posible the plastic fitting that connects the linkage under the windshield cowl has broken. Discount auto, Pep Boys, etc. carries universal Chrysler fittings for a dollar or so. This was cause of wiper failure on my 92 Dakota. Good luck, JimT
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    mopar67, thanks for your info. 2 questions for you. can you tell me where the AIS motor is located? and can I tell if it is defective before i bring it in? And, do you have a record of the TSB # for the PCM upgrade? I am having problems getting info on which one so i can do my service managers job for him.
    I CANT believe i have to go thru this much trouble for an idle problem, but I am getting tired of this annoying and embarrassing condition... you know.. wife or friends in the rig.. SMOOTH acceleration... awesome highway performance. then.. I slow to a stop and rumble\rumble\chug\rumble\ etc.. away goes the smile :-(
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    the AIS motor is located on the driver's side of the throttle body. It looks like a round black cylinder about 1 1/2 inches long and about 1 inch around. Its right by the throttle plate. Wish I could send a pic to you on this, then you would have no problem finding it. Also, how to determine if its defective, I don;t know what us shadetree mechanics can do. What your dealer should do, is take your truck overnight, go out the next morning when it is cold, hood up the scan tool, start your truck and monitor the "steps" of the AIS motor. IF you notice when you start your truck, the motor sort of revs up a bit, the little by little will drop down to about 600-650 idle when cold. Bear in mind, when you are totally up to operating temperature, and in Drive at a stop light, the idle will drop to as low as 500 RPM. Two reasons for this. 1. Chrysler actually believes it saves fuel at idle, (FYI my dads intrepid with 2.7 v-6 does the same thing) and 2. Two cylinders actually "cut out" and the timing gets retarted several degrees. Reason for this is to cut down on Hyrdrocarbon emissions & CO emissions at idle. However, as you say, it should NOT stall or quit.
    Question 2; On the TSB, I will dig out my old work order on that or if I cannot find it, then I will contact my service rep at Preston Dodge and ask them for it and send it on to you on this board. For the life of me, I cannot remember what the number was, but will find it.
    When you get the TSB, go into your dealer and if need be, just be a total pain in the [non-permissible content removed] until the service manager plops down in front of his computer and looks it up. I am shocked and disappointed that your dealer has no knowledge of this. Sounds to me like they are playing your fiddle in the hope you will go away.
    Just thought of something, where do you live? I live in PA and perhaps it is a cold climate thing. If you are down south somewhere, perhaps Chrysler never thought that this would affect warm climate drivers? Just a thought.
  • steve234steve234 Posts: 460
    I have found that you are full of good advise, but I have to disagree with you about 'two cylinders cutting out'. I have talked to several mechanics that I know and they say someone is feeding you a line. First off, while DC might want to keep emissions down, the idle would be so rough as to have customers complaining continually and wanting adjustments. My Quad at hot idle is very smooth running. I would suspect that the problem is actually a timing problem. I do not know about the DC engines, but I have seen it at a GM garage I once worked at and it happened on my F150. The timing is set by aligning marks on the harmonic balancer. Sometimes things are not installed properly and the marks are not exactly where they should be. My F150 would ping on premium until I found a dealer that checked the actual TDC (top dead center) and then reset the timing marks. Unfortuneately, most mechanics accept the marks as gospel and make excuses to get out of something they don't want or have the ability to do.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Not sure which engine you have but the 4.7 does cut out two cylinders or so I am told by two mechanics and the service manager at PReston Dodge. I suppose the only way to know for sure would be to look at a service manual short of contacting a powertrain engineer.
    This is something I hope to clairfy. Like you, I have no problems now that the AIS motor was replaced and the PCM flashed. Prior to that, my problems were exaclty like that of what ashasher described.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    FYI. the 4.7 does not have a distributor like the 318/360. Timing is controlled by the PCM
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (mopar67) I have the BOB and have read it cover-to-cover several times. The 4.7L V8 Hemi does not cut any cylinders for idling.

    Perhaps your sources were refering to the cutting of the injectors during decelleration. This function was implemented for several reasons
    • Reduces raw fuel getting into the catalyst.
    • Improved engine-braking
    • Better MPG
    • Reduced backfiring (Backfiring is burning fuel in the exhaust manifold)
    The injectors are turned back on around 1000 RPM. This can be felt under some conditions as one decellerates and the RPMs fall below 1000.
  • 2nddak2nddak Posts: 44
    Someone stopped me the otherday in my 4.7 qc and wanted to know what kind of mileage I got. (12-15 local, and 18.5 on trips). The proceded to tell me that I could have got a Mercedes V8 in the truck for a $2K option. Claimed it gets 17 local and 25 on trips. Also said a friend had one in his quad. I told him that he was fed a line but he says, "no, you have to ask the dealer specifically for that option. I couldn't convince him otherwise. I hope he goes in and tries to buy one. 2nddak
  • weebednaweebedna Posts: 30
    Are there any problems associated with the Cold Air Intake offered by Mopar or K&N??
    I'm considering getting one, but only if it will boost horsepower w/out any negative side effects...
  • ohc_babyohc_baby Posts: 116
    If you have a 4.7, check out and (my personal favorite and what I run - scroll to the bottom). Both enjoy a good reputation on the Dakota Mailing List.
  • weebednaweebedna Posts: 30
    Thanks for the links ohc_baby. I really want to try this out, but have a few questions.
    1. Most of these systems don't have a hose to pull cold air thru the side of the engine bay to the filter. Won't this cause the system to just pull in hot air from inside the engine bay (especially in slow stop/start driving)?
    2. Isn't there a possibility of the filter getting soaked w/water during wet conditions/off road?
    3. For just the intakes (not throttle body), won't this cause warranty problems?
    4. I see systems w/steel and ABS hoses. Are the ABS hoses able to tolerate the heat?
    thanks for any help....
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    That's the part the service manager did not explain to me in detail cause he did not have a service manual handy. By the way, what is the BOB? Is it a bible of sorts? If so, how do I get one?
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    Took my samples yesterday with 11,900 miles on a '00 QC and 3,500 miles on the last oil / filter change. To get a sample, I ran a 36" long 5/32" stiff wall tube down the dipstich tube and used a large bore irrigation syringe that I got from a dentist. Samples taken hot after driving off and on for one hour. Will turn these into the lab at the local Caterpillar dealer (one used Mobil 1 5-30W oil and one with new Mobil 1). This will provide a baseline on "wear metals" that I can compare future results against. Should know by the end of next week and will post. I probably should have done this on the first two oil changes just to know. For approximately $13 its not cost prohibitive to do several times over the vehicle's life just in case something turns up with the 4.7L.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (mopar67) The term BOB was first coined right here on an edmunds Dakota forum by somone that has been contributing to these forums almost as long as I have. It refers to the factory service manual for the Dakota.

    It is a bible of sorts because it has technical explinations of the operation of virtually every device on the vehicle. It is FAR superiour to the Clymer or Haynes manuals that try to cover many years of vehicles in one small book. The BOB is specifically for ONE model year and is over 3 inches thick.

    I always ask the salesman to "throw in" the shop manual as I am closing the deal... they do not want to loose a sale so they agree. You can get one by ordering the PartNumber for it found in the back of your owners manual. (about $100)

    Why is it called BOB? ... because of its color (Big Orange Book)
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    The factory service manual for my 98 Dakota is Green. Is the BOB a BGB too?

    Whatever the color, the book is good. I always get a manual for every vehicle.

    Drive Safe,

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    this year, I'm coming up to your place! Wow, that manual sounds like the stuff! And yes, I have used Haynes before, they're ok, but they only cover the basics and seldom tell you the why behind stuff.
    Bpeebles, may you always be on this forum. I think I can learn a lot from you.
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    mopar67, I'm in New Orleans so I believe that makes me a "warm climate" driver, however it has gotten to the 30's once in a while. The rough idle is worse on the cooler days (a clue??) but still happens on warm days. And yes I get the almost stall as it "searches" for it's idle when I first start it in the mornings. I will refr4ence this AIS motor to the service dept when i go in soon.. once I know the TSB number... since i do not plan on sitting around on a work day as they fool around pretending they are looking it up for me. I believe they should have it called up as soon as I come in.
    One last question for you... what i used to refer to as 'curb" idle or as steve234 says "hot" idle is 500 RPM ?? is this correct? That seems low for the V8. My 2000 dash has the hack marks so it appears my idle is 500 or a bit lower when fully warmed up.. although on occasion it appears to hover at 600 or a bit higher (no real rough idle at this RPM). I hope I am not rambling, but with each post I feel I am learning valuable info on my 4.7.. do I get college credit for this?? LOL THANKS for your input!

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    this past weekend. I celbrated my becoming an MCP and lots of frosty libabtions were consumed. Now as for your idle's how mine works. When COLD and almost all the time druing the winter, in DRIVE it willidle at 600 RPM. Only exception is when the AC is on, and it usually runs to 700-750 RPM. Now during warm months like spring summer and early fall, during warmup, it will stay around 600 RPM. Once up to operating temperature, it will idle @ 600 then drop down to 500-550 in Drive. I notice this after about 15-30 seconds of sitting at a light.
    ANd yes, I agree that 500 seems low for curb idle but recall curb idle is idle in either neutral or park. (If memory serves me correct Mopar always said check curb idle in neutral but that was long ago)
    Refer to BPEEBLES as he has the factory service manual for the dakota. He says its about 3 inches thick and it sounds like it covers all we would need to know.
    I will get that TSB number somehow. I stll cannot believe your dealer is totally dumb on this. Have you talked to another dealer?
    BPEEBLES, any input on this?
This discussion has been closed.