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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I can assist in the following manner(s). I have 2 years and 26K of experience, both good and bad.
    And, drum roll please, I subscribed to ALLDATA for TSB. I can for one year only, look up any TSB for the 2000 Dak. SO if anyone has a dealer, like mine, that just doesn't understand and doesn not want to search a TSB, ya'll post here, I'll read and respond in kind.
    I figure its the least I can do to help others here who might have issues they cannot resolve with the dealer.
    Between the talent here and some detective work, I think collectively, we can be as good or better than any CR, C&D, and BBB.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    Good luck with your "Zuki"! We test drove one, seemed nice. I thought the motor (hamster) was rather busy at highway speeds, but other than that was a nice mini ute.
    We decided to stay with Mopar and ordered a Neon R/T but will purchase the wrap around DC warranty which covers everything like the factory 3 year 36,000 warranty. There is a $100 deductible and covers the little bugger for 7 years/100,000 miles (Best deal I found on this so far is $1040.00 for those interested).

    Your problems with brakes as well as others has caused me to do a lot of web site reading. One thing I have picked up about disc brakes is quite a few people suggest that you never turn the rotors. If they are scored enough to require re surfacing or warped just replace them.
    We also talked about using a torque wrench in earlier posts and that came up quite often as well.
    Many other brands are having similar problems as the Dakotas and to me one common thread is the majority of the brake warping problems are the discs that do not have the integral hub/bearing races. The center section of our discs appear rather thin and I wonder if the flanges on the hubs are warping and over time the new discs are conforming to the warped flanges and in turn warping themselves.
    If there are others having to replace discs over and over maybe having the hub itself checked for runout would be a good idea.
    Well anyway you hopefully are rid of brake and transmission problems, hope you don't get bored with your new ride. Rick
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I will take you up on that offer...

    My intermittent wipers have a mind of their own. It has been this way since I bought my 2000 Dak. but seems to be getting worse lately. (2wipes-long pause, 1wipe-short pause,another wipe-long pause, no wipe-another pause, 2wipes-short pause...etc etc)

    I see that there is a TSB 08-022-01 intermittent wipers-eratic operation

    Can you look up the text of this TSB for me?

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Nope, the one you quoted is it. The brief details involves installing a jumper harness but the TSB does not give the detail on exactly how or where this is done.
    If I recall, there is a device called the Central TImer MOdule that has some input in the operation of this wipers. Mine did this less than 30 days after delivery and the switch itself (wiper) was replaced and the problem went away.
    I'll check the TSB updates for further devlopments.


    Addendum..........DUH.....would help if I read your whole fault.
    Ok the details for some reason on how to do the repair are lacking. But here it is.
    Intermittent wipers may operate erratically. When the intermittent wipers are set, the wipe interval may speed up or change to constant wipe.

    It the condition is present or customers indicate that condition has occurred as described above, perform the Repair Procedure. The parts package contains detailed instructions. Install the jumper harness using the procedures outlined in the instruction sheet.

    Thats it...the TSB does not give any more details.

    For Iowabigguy......yes, the hampster really runs hard at hiway speeds. Matter of fact, per 'Zuki, max HP comes at 6 grand.......whew! Thats a lot of hamspter feed. Below 3 grand, its a dog for sure though. Thank god for manual shift......!

    Yes, I did a lot of checking on rotors and what I found dovetails exactly with your post. Bookitty advised I get a torque wrench and I will study the FSM on the 'zuki and see what the lug nut torque specs are. Plus, I plan on personally supervising every tire rotation and brake inspection and if I even see an impact wrench within 10 feet of my vehicle......well......lets not go there shall we?

    Ok, Free TSBs to all takers, step right up!
  • Thanks Mopar67 and Rick for your input. Still aside from all the other things I mentioned in my last post, I wonder if the other Dakota guys have their oil pressure gauge sitting up on the first HIGH mark. Is that normal for most or all of you with the 4.7L V8? That needle rarely ever moves from HIGH. Dealer says its fine but I'd like an objective opinion if it's not normal.
    Thanks all, I'm gonna hang on the the Dak thru it's warranty period and hope to have a better experience with American made vehicles. I like the truck, just don't trust the dealer. Had a few compliments on it. No one ever complimented the trusty Camry. LOL.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    The 4.7 is a highly developed piece of work. The tolerances are much closer than on typical production engines. Plus recall you have two camshafts mounted in each cylinder head and both are a long way from the oil pan. My dak had high pressure too (as opposed to the pretty low pressure of most of my older mopars)matter of fact, it never dipped below 40 psi even at idle in gear at a stoplight.
    Relax, you're oil pressure is good to go.
  • jhorljhorl Posts: 89
    I've got almost 26000 miles on my 2000 DAK 4x4 and starting to get the pedal pulse and grind everybody is talking about. I consider myself fortunate that I've made it this far but the time has come. I think i've decicded on ceramic pads but i'm not sure about which rotor to get. Slotted/Drilled/regular...just not sure. Any input would be appreciated....Also any group buys going on that I may get in on....
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Sorry I have been on vacation and I just read the news. I can understand your frusration and am very supportive of your decision, after all its you that has to be happy right? Well please do stop in and see us sometimes. As you know this is a very active area and you will be greatly missed and I personally will miss the banter you helped provide.

    Hope to see more of you.

  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    I found out a few days ago th we arae moving to CA in June and would like to know if anyone in the area has any dealer recomendations. I would also love to hear about trails and such in the area since I have the 4x4.

    Any info greatly appreciated.

  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Sorry I didnt post sooner on this question, it gets busy on here and people my miss a few questions. I had the 2000 4.7 and it was always about 3/4 betweent the low and high mark when driving. My 2001 4.7 is always right on the high mark when driving and so is every other 2001 that I have seen and the dealer says its normal (isnt it always)

    I hope this helps ease your mind.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If you are using the proper oil grade/viscosity as called for by the factory (5w-30), you will notice that when FULLY warmed up, that the pressure gauge will fall a bit at idle.... still very normal condition for this hi-tech engine.

    The close clearances in the 4.7L V8 hemi engine are designed for the 5w30 oil.

    The dealer that told you that a high-compression engine has somthing to do with oil pressure is just plain wrong. There is no conneciton whatsoever between the "squish-factor" and the oiling system.

    BTW...MOPAR67... it is not the tolerances that are close... it is the clearances that are close. ("tolerances" are just a delta from nominal measurement specifications) But I understand what you are trying to say.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    THANK YOU!! I hope the extended warantee covers this "Central Timer Module" and "Jumper Harness"... I am beyond the 30,000 mile mark.

    I guess it wont hurt to ask the dealer if it is covered.
  • ron35ron35 Posts: 134
    jhorl - Below is a post that I saved from some time back. I finally ended up getting rid of the car I was talking about but the rotors I mentioned were on the car for over 10 years without any trouble and hardly any wear.

    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 ompany which advertised in the back of Road and Track. I have had them for over 8 years with absolutely no trouble and my brake pads are lasting more than twice as long as before. 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.

  • thank you for all your knowledge and input, If you were in CA. I think all of your problems would have qualified you for the Lemon Law. this might have saved you from buying a suzuki. all of that aside I and everyone else on this site would miss you great input into these sites so PLEASE hang around and keep putting your knowledge on this and the other sites. I'm now selling my '98 dak club cab with 79k + miles still original brakes and clutch, only normal maint and my rear-end problem rblt 3 times. Dealer is a 5 star but the rear-end dept has a turnover ??????

    last rebld was done by their shop expert????
    My new QUAD is built and waiting on a train ride to so cal.
    thanks again for everyone's input.
  • tuvtesttuvtest Posts: 237
    keep in mind the factory gauges are not precision insruments. I would consider them barely more than idiot lights. A good aftermarket gauge will give you an accurate picture of the pressure if you are concerned. What you are reading seems about right compared to my truck as well. As long as you show pressure, and it is consistantly the same, I would not be to worried about it
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    FOrds were notorious for just sitting at a pre determined setting regardless of oil pressure in the engine. GM I don't know whether or not they read accurately but I'd rate mopar gauges more accurate than some. I understand the 2001 just has a sweep area w/o any numbers at all. My dak actually had numbers to look at.
    A good fairly accurate gauge is far better than idiot lights.
  • Want to thank everyone that posted concerning my oil pressure gauge. I feel good about it now. My Dak seems to run fine where everything else is concerned. I appreciate how active this group is. I'll check in often and let you know how things go as the miles add up.
    Thanks again.
  • shawnh2shawnh2 Posts: 13
    I have a 3.9L engine and the oil pressure when cold is always at the high mark (top of normal I guess). When driving fully warmed it's just a little below and when sitting at a light fully warmed it drops a little below half. I gather by the rest of the posts that this is normalfor the 4.7L, but thought I'd let everyone know its the same for the 3.9L also.

  • shawnh2shawnh2 Posts: 13
    I have a 2001 CC 3.9L auto. When the truck is cold and I put it in reverse, I hear a buzz for a couple seconds. Seems to me I read here that this is normal (I think a solenoid opens and closes?). My question is this normal, because I only hear it in reverse and only when the engine is cold.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    mopar67 Mar 30, 2002 6:41pm

    I was saddened to read your goodbye, but I see that you won't be abandoning the Dakota gang after all! :-)

    Good luck with your Vitara!

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  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (shawnh2) You are correct, it is normal for the solenoids to "calibrate" themselves somtimes.
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Posts: 159
    I changed my plugs Sat. Rather pleasant job, just
    take your time. I went with the Bosch +4, 4418s.
    Beautiful plugs! I was going to purchase the
    Autolite APP5224 but the 2 part stores I checked
    didn't have them, glad I went with the Bosch!
    Seems like the cold start "studders" are gone?
    Thanks for the info, bpeeples,,,,,,,,
  • ron35ron35 Posts: 134
    MM - I also put the Bosch +4 sparkplugs #4418 in my 2K Dak (4.7) about 700 miles ago. So far I am very pleased with them. About the only problem I had with the plug change was with the bracket that holds the 2 coolant lines in place. The catch that holds the lines in place (driver's side) broke. I got a new one from the dealer and it also broke during installation. I finally gave up and followed the advice of someone on the DML who suggested using a cable tie to secure the hoses in place. This appears to be a very poor design.

  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Well I have had the gen 2 pads for a week now and although with brand new pads you cant tell if they perform much better but I can tell you they make alot of dust. In one week I have to clean my rims, normally it takes a almost a month to get this bad. I bet thats why they say they are less likely to warp rotors with too much friction heat. Its because all the hot pad disappears immediatly.

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I've had the Suzuki over a week now and yup, the brown dust that was a frequent companion on the Dak seems to have "jumped ship" and arrived on the 'zuki.

    On another note, I recall there have been some postings here about the fan roar on the Dak. Recall my Dak did this too. So does the "samauri hamster" usually when the engine is cold and after a hot start. So, don't despair friends, this too is not only unique to the Dakota.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    Well Last Saturday must have been spark plug day. I replaced the stock Champions with the Autolite 5224 just as an experiment based on input from Mopar67. Plugs that came out looked normal with some erosion of the electrode. One curious thing, the Champions have a crush gasket while the Autolites had none.
    I used anti seize on threads, although I had no problems with removal, as well as silicone grease on the "o" rings. Idle seem a little smoother but it is probably just the difference between plugs with 15,000 miles and new plugs.
    I experienced the same bracket breaking as ron35. I just used some small nylon ty-wraps to secure them in place. Glad I didn't bother buying a replacement only to have it break as well.
    I also did my second oil change using Mobile 1. The oil only had 3500 miles use but was really dirty looking. There has been no appreciable oil consumption in the 3500 miles using Mobile 1 however it also gets the yellow goop in the oil filler just like dino oil. Rick
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    those autolites should have had a gasket. The plugs I bought had the gasket loose in the individual sparkplugs box so I had to thread it on the plug itself.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    Thanks for the info, The Autolite plugs came in sealed 2 plug per pack blister packs. Guess I should have stayed with the Champions. Time to fire off a nasty email to Autolite. See how this stuff happens, you have had good luck with Autolites. My first try yields apparent defective plugs so now I have a bad taste in my mouth for Autolite products. Rick
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I sent an email to autolite outlining my problem. I was polite and just outlined my problem. Got a prompt response with an apology from an engineer. He said he didn't understand how it happened but they were sending eight gaskets to me at the address I supplied. After a good laugh I sent another email saying thanks for the offer but If I had to disassemble the top half of my engine again to access the plugs it wouldn't be to install gaskets on the plugs already installed. I was looking for at least a set of platinum plugs to offset the wasted afternoon installing the plugs. Told him if this was impossible I'd just write it off to a bad experience and go back to Champion plugs. We'll see what happens next. Rick
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Interesting issue. I can't say I've had that problem with autolites. GIven that I have the samauri hamster now, zuki recommends NGK plugs which, by the way, have iridium (sp) in the tip.
    I priced some online and holy cow, I'm looking at something like 45 bucks just for four!
    Yeeeeeesh. I wonder if plain old platinum would work here?
    ANyway, I am sorry to hear you got shorted on the gaskets. Unless the plug is a taper seat design like on GM products and some Fords, you should have a gasket there.
    AUtolite should, just for goodwill, send you some platinums. But then again, they have to consider shareholder value so good luck on that one!

    Lets see, 8 gaskets at a penny each.....hmmmmmm they should probably get a forum of shareholders together and see if they can all chip in a little here............
This discussion has been closed.