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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    .. I am wondering if my fuse box transplant somehow altered my rotors. 31,000 (I commute a long way...)miles, (mostly highway) and NO rotor problems as mentioned here. No weird feelings, no vibration etc. A mild chirp but i am told it is from the slight vibration of the pads which a new shim plate or an after market sticky stuff on the back of the pad should fix.(bpeebles.. is this technically accurate?)
    Anyway.. No brake problems.. even my earlier "groves" have all but cleared up and even my tire tread looks almost new.. no uneven wear anywhere...
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    mailman54 - E-mail me and I'll tell you about the nastiest trail I've been on. Have experience (1997 & 2001) with the parts you plan on doing.
  • ron35ron35 Posts: 134
    After going through 2 sets of rotors for my wife's car (in two years),
    because of warpage, I ordered a set of crossed drilled rotors from a Canadian company which
    advertised in the back of Road and Track. I have had them for over 9
    years with absolutely no trouble and my brake pads are lasting more than twice
    as long as before. Additionally, they show no sign of wear after that length of time. I'm not sure if they have them for a Dakota but I used to be on the Ram mailing list and they had them for the 1500, 2500 and 3500. Several guys on the Ram list got them and were very pleased with them. If anyone does try them please let me know if they do have them, cause when
    I do have to replace the rotors on my new Dak that is definitely the way
    I'll go. They did go for about a hundred bucks but I believe you get what you
    pay for. The company is:
    Best Auto Parts
    1537 Startop
    Glocester, ON K1B3W5

    Phone (613) 746-2378

    They require specific info on your truck, so make sure you know what axle
    you have. They have no email link but you can call at the above number, or fax at
    613 746-2497 Attn Dan.

    Ron 35
  • pomycpomyc Posts: 28
    Over past 3 mornings I have noticed a large puddle of water under my truck when pulling it out of the garage in the morning. The puddle is definitely water (not oil or coolant)and is in the typical vicinity where water drips during use of the air conditioner. I live in Denver and the climate is typically very dry. However, the past few days have been very humid for our standards. I have the 4.7L and am wondering if any others have noticed a puddle of water even after 10-12 or more hours have past with the truck at rest since using the A/C. The A/C is working fine and I am just wondering, if this is a leak, how and why would it leak at that location?

    Also, can someone with the BOB tell me where the fuel filter is???

  • tuvtesttuvtest Posts: 237
    What you are describing is pretty normal. I get it quite often. Remember, the higher the humidity, the longer it takes for standing water to evaporate.

    To the best of my knowledge (I don't have my BOB with me) the fuel filter is inside the tank. It is a sock style on the end of the fuel pickup. Typically, they do not need changing as often as an inline style. On my last truck (Ram 1500) I inspected it when I had to change the fuel pump at 50k/mi, and it was still relitivly clean, although I changed it anyway.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    pomyc - The puddle of water under the truck is a "good" sign. Other owners have had that puddle inside the truck because of a clogged drain line, disconnected drain line or a leak in some portion of the general A/C unit that channels the condensate water to the drain. A few years from now a slim might build up in the drain line and cause this condensate to spill over into the inside floor. This happened to me on a '85 Volvo, so every few years clean it out.

    I have had the "the inside puddle problem" (A/C leaks to the inside of the vehicle) on a '73 and a '85 Volvo after minor accidents that shifted the A/C housing. This promoted the premature rusting out of the driver's side floor beside the moldy carpet. In both cases, the problem came to light many months after the insurance claim / repair work was done. Insurance company denied my claim that the leakage was due to the original accident. At some point in time some of us will have an accident in our QC's. Remember to have your A/C units checked too, not just the apparent body damage.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    mailman54 - Haven't seen an e-mail yet. Careful with the spelling if its not going through.
  • pomycpomyc Posts: 28
    It has been hot and dry here today with low humidity and I have not seen the dripping water today.

    In regard to the fuel filter, I kind of figured it was in the tank because I sure didn't see an inline. We have to use the oxygenated fuels here in Denver because of air quality issues and I know that the ethanol is hard on the filters. I have 27K on my 2K Dakota and I had always replaced the fuel filter on my 98 GMC about every 15K. The fuel that we use here in the summer is not as bad as the winter stuff (especially the gas mileage) but I was just trying to stay ahead of the power curve so to speak!

    Thanks again for the input. This site is a great source of info.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Yes,you are correct in saying that there are both peel-n-stick pads and anti-squeek goop available that can be applied to the back of disk-brake pads. The above-mentioned squeel remidies have drawbacks too. The added "squish area" behind the pads tend to keep them from fully releasing. (sorta like little springs holding the pads against the rotor.)

    Unless your brake squeel is extreemly annoying... I would suggest you just live with it. An occasional squeek is "normal" especially upon first use after sitting in damp/humid weather for awhile.

    Some folks actually remove their pads and lightly sand them to remove "glaze". It is said this process stops the squeel too.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It is in the fuel tank and is part of the pump assembly. The BOB says it will display a troublecode if it becomes plugged enough to require replacement. (Low fuel pressure?)
  • I agree with bpeebles on the brake squeak remedy.

    My wife's '97 LHS had a terrible squeal on the left front brake when stopping. Pads and rotor were fine and in excellent condition.

    I took the pads out and sanded them. Placing the sandpaper (I used 120 grit) on a smooth surface, obviously with the sand side up and rub the pad on the sandpaper. You're only looking to scuff the pad, not sand it down... Once you're finished with both pads, "hose off" the pads AND the rotor with brake cleaner. Let dry. Do not touch pad surface or rotor with dirty/oily or greasy fingers.

    I put everything back together and not a peep since.

    Good Luck,

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Took ride withe the service manager last evening. Had HIM drive and we took a 9 mile trip up and down hills and such.
    He made several brake applications and agreed with me the bouncing is there. However, he still believes its the drums and not the rotors causing it. To drive my point home (no pun intended) I drove and from about 50 MPH applied the emergency brake (which only activates the brake shoes not the front pads) and lo and behold we experienced no boucning, shuddering, or shaking. THen I applied the foot brake (the brake pedal) and from 45 MPH down to about 30 MPH and the shuddeirng, bouncing reared its ugly head.
    NExt phase, the zone manager from Detroit is paying the dealership a visit sometime next week and I have an appointment to discuss this whole messy affair with him.
    Meanwhile, I spoke strongly about going aftermarket rotors and pads. The service manager kinda perked up and said, hey, we never did change out the pads did we? Nope never did was my reply. A thoughtful look appeared on said managers face and he rubbed his chin and suggested that maybe replacing pads too would be a good idea. I agreed, but again I insisted that Mopar OEM stuff was for the birds and I wanted aftermarket stuff from NAPA. Said manager asked "Did you price out the rotors from NAPA? Sure did was my reply. $67.00 per unit. And again, I expressed my discontent with OEM replacement parts from Mopar.
    Finally, to seal the deal, I spoke volumes about various Dakota message boards and the postings regarding brake issues. He then interjected, "you outghta see how many Rams we get in here with brake problems, those guys are lucky to get 20K from a set of brakes"
    Wow, I said. Thats amazing.
    Then we shook hands (no spit shaking here) and parted ways until next week.
    This should be very interesting. My first go around with a higher up stuffed shirt from a big company (other than the one I work for).
    Stay tuned.
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    thanks bpeebles and fat_fenders. I like the idea of sanding much better than over the counter "remedies". My "chirp" is minor but as a QC owner will attest, it's noticeable to me; in fact, my wife says "what chirp.... oh THAT??? I hadn’t noticed".
    mopar67, I hope your brake issue is resolved properly, I hate to see a problem go for so long while trying to convince the dealership there is actually a problem (remember my idle crusade?).
    Funny how they alter time and space to get you to buy, then when we need service.. we are suddenly the un-educated owner and have to PROVE OVER AND OVER there actually IS a problem, and that we know what we are talking about (sometimes more than they even know, especially thanks to the expertise shared here)..
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    Since my warped rotors are not covered by the warranty (now @ 17.7K), my local mechanic says he can turn them down for $60 - $100 depending on rotor type (might need to remove bearings). I'll plan to go that way until these are worn out, then hopefully one of you can head me in the right direction on replacements.
  • alex4x4alex4x4 Posts: 19
    I was just wondering if any of you folks with warped rotor torque your lug nuts evenly? Admittedly I've never torqued a lug nut in my life, however if the Mopar rotors are substandard it would seem to me that uneven torque would contribute to the warping problem.
    My QC is only a few months old, and so far no problems. I haven't had the front wheels off yet, however when I removed the rear wheels to install my splash guards I noticed that two lug nuts were barely tightened down, not loose, but they broke loose very easily, the others where far more snug.
    If DC can't even torque the lugs nuts evenly coming out of the factory, that might be the source of the problem.
    I'm going to check the torque on my front wheels, does anyone know what the correct ft lb. torque is supposed to be?

  • skylerkskylerk Posts: 67
    The recommended lug nut torque is in your owner's manual. I'm too lazy to run out to the garage and look, but I believe it's in the tire changing section and it is 90 - 110 ft lb.

    I had to remove all four wheels to install wheel flares on the day I brought my new 2001 Dakota QC home last November, so all of my lug nuts have been torqued to 100 ft lb since day 1. I'm at 9K miles now and haven't had any brake problems yet, but it's too early to tell so I'll be crossing my fingers and hoping that any defects show up *before* I hit the 12K brake warranty limit.
  • billarfbillarf Posts: 38
    Would someone please tell me the WIX oil filter
    number for the 4.7 Magnum. Thanks! Bill in NY
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    At 11.9K, I started taking samples of 4.7L's crankcase oil in for analysis. After three (3) tests (11.9K, 14.1K, 17.3K), wear metals and oil condition / contaminants appear to be normal. I've done this to provide a base line to periodically compare against as the QC and I grow old together.

    With approx. 4K miles on the last oil sample, the Wear Metals (parts per million) are: Copper@5, Iron@39, Chrome@2, Lead@0, Aluminum@6, Silicon@10, Molybdenum@8, Sodium@11, Tin@1.

    Oil Conditions are: Water@Negative, Fuel@Positive (normal in gas engines), Antifreeze@Negative, Soot@0% allowable, Oxidation@49% allowable, Nitration@93% allowable, Sulphur Products@46% allowable.

    I'm concerned about the nitration and sulphur since these appear to be elevated but this might be due the short (6 mile) trips to and from work.
  • pirat5pirat5 Posts: 20
    Hi everybody!
    Does anybody replace any of mentioned above. I just bought Bosch platinum plugs. They're supposed to be much better than original cheap Champions. Hopefully they're not to good. At the beginning engine had some delay when pressing the accelerator, probably the ignition had to adjust. After few miles everything went to normal. I wonder if the new plugs are gonna improve gas mileage and overall performance. Anybody has changed creepy rotors or shocks. I just hit 30K, and I am going to change transmission fluid. Would you recommend synthec and having the trany flushed. Please share your experience.
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    I put the Bosch Platnum + in my 97 with 5.2. Have not noticed any significant difference in performance or mileage nor did I expect too. Plugs can only do so much and the main thing is how long they last. I hope to get quite a few miles out of them as I am too old and weak to change them again.

    I just replaced the shocks all around with Edelbrock Performer IASs. Not enough travel yet to form an opinion. Decided to try these as I like performance handling but I also wanted some travel for the bumps and so on. They so far seem to be a decent shock.

    Transmission fluid, it has been said on this forum many times, DO NOT USE ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE CORRECT MOPAR FLUID. Many shops replace with other types of ATF and claim it is compatable and the next thing you know it shifts like crap and need a rebuild that won't be covered by warranty.
  • pirat5pirat5 Posts: 20
    Thanks namfflow for your response. I've been also looking for an improvement with better plugs. From what you said it means nothing really matters to that big engine. I was thinking about changing all fluids to synthetic. I may be wrong, but I think that on some other forum I read that some manufactures including GM and Chrysler put synthecs and than they stretch maintenance intervals to 100K (on transmissions). Thanks for further discussion.
  • slr9589slr9589 Posts: 121
    hey everyone,
    my 00,slt,4x2,quad cab has 28,000 miles and it looks like i will need new rubber before christmas.these were the standard issue goodyear ,15 inch tires.....
    anybody got any favorites for wear,ride,and mostly on road use?there is no snow where i'm moving to just tons of heavy rain.
    ps;factory tires were rotated every 5k.
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    I replaced my OEM Goodyear Invictas 215/75-15 on my 97 with Pirelli Scorpion Zeros 255/60-15. Fit on the rim nicely and stick like glue. A little smaller diameter but not significant. Great in the rain. Have about 30K and still going strong. I expect to get about 40K out of them.

    Plan on putting these on my 01 also.

    Another good choice is the Dunlop Sport Rover GTX in 235/70-15.
  • ron35ron35 Posts: 134
    Has anyone installed a Prestone T flush kit on there 4.7 cooling system and if so were there any special considerations and instructions on installation? Also I noticed that that just behind the pressure cap of my 2K Dak (4.7) there is an allen nut labeled coolant bleed. I have checked my factory service manual and I can't find any reference to this. In my past experience I have always bled the air out of my coolant system through the pressure cap. Can anyone shed any light on this?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (ron35) The 4.7L V8 Hemi has not been available long enough to require a cooant change yet.
    It utilizes the new LOOONG LIFE coolant that does not requre constant changing. Changing the coolant is simply a waste of your time and $$. This is one reason that the BOB does not detail the coolant flushing procedure.

    That said...
    Be aware that the 4.7L V8 Hemi uses a BYPASS cooling system that mounts the thermostat down low on the engine. This type of system has several advantages over the ol' "thermostat on the top of the engine" design. The main benifet is that that this type of system actually maintins the ENGINE temperature and not simply the COOLANT temparture.

    This is accomplished by ALWAYS flowing at least 50% of the coolant all of the time coupled with controlled "blending" of the hot/cold (engine out / radiator out) flows to maintain the temperature. Even during warmup when the flow thru the radiator is NONE... the flow is maintained thru the engine to distribute the thermal mass.

    What does this mean to somone wanting to "flush" the cooling system?
    Since the thermostat will be "in the way" of a total flushing, it would be best to pull the hoses and flush each section individually. (Radiator, Engine, Heater core) Do not bother with the silly "flush kit" that will not get to all areas anyway.

    If you REALLY want to do somthing that will proloing the life of your rig, Ignore the coolant and flush the hydrolic systems. (Brakes, Clutch, auto tranny... etc).
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I went in and searched "chrysler" and came up with lots of hits. This URL in particular pretty much sums up what ails Detroit today.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Sadly, this has been a problem for more than several decades.... not just today.

    If you do MORE will discover that virtually ALL of Detroit's noteworthy automobiles were products of special "teams" that temporarily broke free from those corporate bonds to be creative. (Pontiac GTO, Ford Mustang, Corvette, Shelby Dodge ...etc)

    I work for one of the largest companies on earth and understand how the corporate giant can overshadow the creativity of the individuals.

    Some folks believe that Dilbert is a cartoon... I KNOW IT IS A DOCUMENTARY!!
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Just received a call from my friendly Dodge service manager. They want my truck this Friday (the zone manager will be there) for evaluation.
    We did not discuss specifics (I was multi-tasking in my "paperless" office and the service manager was multi-tasking also).
    I can only guess as to what will transpire this Friday. I have extra TUMS in case.........
  • ron35ron35 Posts: 134
    bpeebles - Thanks for your reply about the 4.7 coolant change, however, it does raise more questions. There is nothing in my Owners Manual or the Factory Service Manual that indicates that my 2K Dak 4.7 uses long life coolant. Additionally, both manuals advise to change the coolant at 36 months or 45,000 miles (normal not severe service schedule). The long life antifreeze I've seen on the shelves normally says good for 5 years. Your last comment about changing the hydraulic fluid also raises a question. I have the 5 speed which has a hydraulic assisted clutch, I have checked the service manual and have asked about bleeding this system in other forums and all response are that this is a closed system with no way to bleed it. I found this disappointing since my last truck had a clutch bleed valve. If you do know a way of bleeding this unit please post it.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I have not climbed under my truck to check it but I cannot beleive that it is totally sealed and not servicable.... ALL hydraulic sustems need to be free of air. It would not be possible to manufacture this system without air in it that needs to be bled before leaving the factory.

    Perhaps the system NEVER fails.... yea right!!
    My buddy who has been a mechanic for 30 years tells me that the clutch SLAVE cylinder on Dodge trucks tends to blow a gasket in VERY cold wether if care is not taken using the clutch the first few times. He has replaced many of these slave cylinders on Dodge trucks in cold wether... AND BLEEDS THEM TOO.
This discussion has been closed.