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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I'm getting ready to change the fluid in the transfer case on my 02 QC and I need to know how many quarts to get. I remember it being about 1 qt, but I don't recall exactly. Thanks.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The fluid capacities are as follows:

    NV233 2.5 pints (Part-time Four Wheel Drive, Hi/Lo)

    NV244 2.85 pints (All Wheel Drive)

    ATF+4 is the recommended lubricant for both transfer cases.

  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Thanks for the info Dusty. My QC is at the dealer for an extended stay. It went in Thursday to have the ring and pinion replaced (among other minor things). However, they found damaged threads on a bolt hole in the differential housing. It's not clear if the dealer did it, or it was that way from the factory. So, it looks like a new rear axle is in order. I'm just waiting for an ETA.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    .............sorry to hear about that. I hope this is under warranty.

    Do you happen to know if you have got a 8.75 or the 9.25 axle set? Is it limited slip?

    Best regards,
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Yes, it is still under warranty. I have a 9.25", limited slip.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Well, my new differential housing came in today. If all goes well, my truck will be back in service on Monday 9/15. The dealer had to get the DC rep to expedite shipping. The original ETA was 9/23.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    At about 45K, I replaced the OEM parts with PowerSlots and the Raybestos ceramic pads. As I approached the 48K range, I was experiencing the same old pulsating foot pedal and shaking steering wheel as I did with the OEM brake components.

    Needless to say, disappointment became a constant companion. Since this was happening again, I figured that the root cause has to be something other than those brake components: me or the truck. I'm not a "speed-demon", so I'm never in a hard-braking situation and even if I would be, the 4-wheel ABS won't allow it.

    I decided to really heat up the brakes by coming down a long hill (0.75 mile) under power while applying some brake pressure but not enough to engage the 4-wheel ABS. By the bottom of the hill, the pedal was mushy. When I parked it, one could see a tiny bit of smoke in the front wheel wells. After cooling off, the brakes were acting like new. All of the pulsing and shaking was gone. Braking distances were and continue to be very good and predictable. I have to assume that I'll need to go through this procedure periodically. It might be a bit hard on the rotor and pad life span but so is taking some off with a lathe.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Yep. My wife's Toyota has done the same thing.

    I don't know what your routine driving is like, but my wife and I both have a majority of very short trip driving during the week. Now my Dakota has yet to develop this symptom, but my Nissan Sentra would occasionally do the same thing.

    I think because of conditions some people's cars/trucks get loaded up with rust outlines from the pads sitting in one spot in humid-wet weather. Then a good long drive or surface-scraping stop cleans the rotors off.

  • Just bought a used '99 Dakota CC which I love (previously owned a '93). Anyway, I want to replace the AM/FM cassette head unit with a CD unit I bought on eBay. Can someone guide me on how to remove dash trim without breaking any plastic. Thanks in advance!
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I got a call from the service rep at my dealer today saying that my truck was done. Yeah! When I got there, the new rear axle was in, the rear fender flare had been replaced, and the passenger side power window switch was replaced. However, the paint that was damaged by the old fender flare was not fixed, the bezel holding the window switch in was loose, and they didn't put the Mobil-1 that I gave them into the rear differential. The service rep said he would discuss it with the service manager and have him call me. We'll see. At least the rear end doesn't whine anymore. I'll wait until I have 500+ miles on the new rear end, and take it in for a fluid change and give them another chance to get it right. Maybe I could get the differential fluid changed for free?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Madcity, not sure what you are calling the "dash trim."

    If you are replacing the radio, I think you'll need to remove the Instrument Cluster Bezel. This is the molded, one-piece plastic item that covers the face of the instrument panel, including the speedomer/gauge cluster, heater control, radio, and dash vents.

    I believe your '99 has a different configuration instrument panel than my '03, but the instrument base should be very similar.

    1. Look for two screws just above the speedometer/gauges. If you have two screws there, remove them.

    2. Remove the steering column cover, or if you have tilt wheel, move the steering wheel to its lowest position.

    3. The instrument bezel should now be held in place by only molded-in clips. Using care, carefully begin prying the bezel away from the instrument panel housing from around the entire perimeter.

    4. After the bezel is completely free, begin removing the bezel away from the instrument housing from the right side. As you move the bezel away, you will expose more of the backside of the bezel and obtain enough space to reach over and disconnect various electrical connectors.

    5. Once all of the electrical connectors have been disconnected, tip the bezel toward the rear of the vehicle slightly and remove it.

    Never having done this to a '99, I hope this removal process is generic enough to work for you.

    Best of luck,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (spike50) I have been preaching this for years... (I guess you missed some sermons ;-) It is a good idea to "Let the smoke out" of the brakes once in a while. (every 6 months or so)

    You are not experiencing warped rotors... you are feeling the causes of NOT USED HEAVY ENOUGH rotors. Some areas of the rotors have 'slippery' or 'rough' spots. The heavy braking will 'burn off' residual oils and remove surface rust.

    I have one comment on how you performed this process. DO NOT COME TO A COMPLETE STOP WHILE THE BRAKES ARE SMOKING HOT You are INVITING warped rotors by parking the vehicle while the brakes are smoking hot. This is because the portion of the rotor underneath the brake-pads will cool at a different rate than the rest of the rotor.

     Instead, continue to drive for 20 minutes or more (Not stop-go driving) to allow airflow to cool the brake components. Park only once you are convinced that the latent heat is removed from the brake components.

    Here in Vermont, there is a ski area 7 miles from my house. I just drive up to the base lodge then coast down using the brakes heavilly. To give you an idea how steep it is... I have to shift down to 3rd gear just to climb up to the base lodge! (Manual tranny)
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    bpeebles - It's easy to miss those kernels of truth in the 5,000+ posts in the Dakota forum over our last 3+ years. I'll more closely follow your procedure next time. After smoking the brakes, I was driving again in about 15 minutes. It appears that any warping, if it occurred, is not noticeable. I just have to work around the 4-wheel ABS to put the needed heat into those pads and front rotors.

    dustyk - I'm guilty as charged: 53 yr old retired guy, not driving much (or riding my old motorcycle), and central Pennsylvania is basically having a monsoon summer. Hell, the tomatoes won't even ripen from all the rain we're having. So, lots of moisture and probably rusty rotors that really need heated up more often so they perform as advertised.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I didn't do this in the way recommended by Bpeebles, but I just completed a 260 mile trip today, from Rochester, NY to the Corning, NY area, and back. When I got back I noticed that the brake pedal felt smoother and more glass like upon application. I just realized that I had burnt off some rust areas and whatever. Since this is the first "long trip" I've taken the Dakota on this year, I didn't realize that the rotors were starting to scuz up.

    Just like new now.

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    but the taste is somewhat lacking. Gosh, I sure do miss an Indiana grown tomato....just like maw and paw used to grow!
    hint: Lots of sawdust after the crop, tilled in, will make a nice acidic soil for next season.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    BTW.... There is a HUGE difference how warped rotors feel as compared to 'scuzzed up' rotors.

    Warped rotors are characterized by a definite 'throbbing' feel to the brake pedal accompanied by slight wiggling of the steering wheel back and forth while braking. It is VERY obvious when a rotor is warped.

    scuzzed up rotors may have a pulsing feeling to the vehicle when braking... but the brake pedal will not 'throb' under your foot. It is more a 'sense' that things are not right.

    As mentioned in previous appends... 'scuzzed up' rotors can often be renewed by some VERY heavy braking (to the point of smoking the brakes) followed by normal driving until everything cools back down again. If you live in a flat area where there are no hills... you can drive at highway speeds (no traffic behind you and straight roads) then use the brakes heavally (down to perhaps 40MPH) then accellerate back up to speed. Do this a few times to really heat up the brake components.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    dustyk - Many moons ago, we traveled all over the PA and NY sides of that line from Corning, east. Corning was the "home of the 88 cent six-pack of Genny" and the legal age was 18 to be a buyer. Fond memories - probably because I could have all of the fun and no responsibilities at the time.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Was that the Genny in the white cans, or Genny Cream Ale in the green? The green color for Genny Cream can or bottle was selected because that's was the color of your face the following day!

    Real beautiful country along the PA/NY border along there.

  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    Hey guys,
    It's been 20k or so w/o a problem, but I have to jump in when the talk turns to Genny Cream Ale. My mother's side of the family is from North of Syracuse (my Grandmother lives on Oneida Lake) and every time I go out East, I have to pick up a case or three of Cream Ale. In fact, I will be taking the annual pilgrimage (duck hunting) to Oneida Lake on October 31.

    Unfortunately, this year my Eda ('02 QC 4.7 Sport Plus) will not be able to make the trip with me. The company that I work for is confiscating her so they can load her up with prototype cargo management/roof rack/running boards/tail gater system along with BBS wheels and Goodyear racing rubber, and they're shipping her off to the S.E.M.A. show in Las Vegas. Although I have to suffer through the trip out East with a Ford Escape (which will require much Genny), I can't wait to see how Eda looks when she's all tricked up.

    When she comes back, I have to perform the 40,000 mile maitenance, and thanks to you all, I can swap all the production fluids with the proper synthetics. I am still confused on the best spark plugs to use.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    ...Genny Cream Ale???!!! IRRC, we referred to it as "Green Death" in college. ;-)

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  • mstanmstan Posts: 15
    I have a 97 Dakota that has started to develop a clunking sound from the front of the truck whenever I'm braking and just about at a complete stop. It's not a squeal as if it were the brakes, but it's more like a dull thud or clunking sound. It doesn't happen all the time, but it is starting to become more noticeable. Any thoughts on what it might be? Thanks in advance for any input.
  • ferousferous Posts: 226
    Does it feel like it's in the tranny? Wouldn't surpize me if the clunk was the tranny downshifting.
  • mstanmstan Posts: 15
    Not sure if it's the tranny. Again, the clunk seems to happen not when I hit the brakes, but after when I'm almost at a complete stop. It seems to be coming from the front of the truck. I thought maybe it could be something with the shocks or suspension (I've heard Dakotas are notorious for bad ball joints), but it could be the tranny - sometimes the sound seems like it's right in front of the cab.
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    I had just brought my 2001 Quad Cab in for the 24k service interval.
    It also had a "thump" kind of a sound after coming to a complete stop, sometimes when just driving along and going over minor bumps in the road.

    They replaced the right upper control arm.

    Nice and quiet now.
    Good luck
  • Dusty, thanks for guidance on removing this piece. As it turned out, there were no screws to remove, just careful prying by hand. Upgraded from AM/FM cassette to AM/FM CD in a matter of minutes. Sounds great even with stock speakers! The CD head units are all over Ebay for anyone contemplating this upgrade.
  • Anyone know a good source for the bed extender accessory at a reasonable (read cheap!) price. I've not been able to do better than $210.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    Everything is Ok. As mentioned before, the Red-Line dealer recommended adding 4 oz of their friction-modifier (f-m) when I changed the 3.55 LSD rear's oil. As bpeebles pointed out before, Red-Line's 75-90W, that I used, already contained the additive. Again, I purchased a bottle ($5) anyway since it's a 60+ mile round trip. Just in case.

    After 2,000+ miles on the new oil, I was still getting enough "inside wheel" spin when pulling away from stop signs to make me want to add the friction-modifier. I started by siphoning off and saving about 8 oz to make room. The oil had already become "sooty" from the clutch plate dust. I added the f-m and then all of the saved oil plus a little bit more. In total, I needed about 5 oz (4 oz f-m & 1 oz 75-90W) to achieve the proper level. When I initially changed the oil, ambient temperatures were 90+ degrees F. I'm now going to recheck the transmission and x-fer case for their proper levels since the weather is cooler. Kind of amasing that either the rear's volume changed or that the oil itself expands and contracts that much due to the temperatures. Remember, I rechecked and insured that the levels were proper a week or so after the initial change over.

    Anyway, the additional f-m hasn't made much of a difference, if at all. The inside wheel still wants to rotate a bit faster than it needs to but again everything seems to be fine.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Viscous materials generally do expand with increasing temperatures, ATF and gear lubricants especially.

    Unless I have some weight in my 2003 Club Cab, I too will get inside wheel spin if I tickle the throttle pedal a little. I think you'll find that this is part of the design. I suspect that Chrysler's LSDs are using a little stronger clutch plate pressures nowadays. This will ensure dual-wheel traction on more slippery surfaces.

    Some of the older designs didn't quite have that much clutch plate pressure and if you're like me and have owned older vehicles with "Sure Grip," Posi-traction," or whatever,you are probably noticing the difference.

    When I changed mine a little while ago, I flushed the differential components and entire housing out to remove as much of the clutch soot as possible. I've since checked mine and I currently see no evidence of any soot, but finding it is very normal. I suspect the next time I change it I will again find the sooty residue, but I suspect it will be less.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (spike50) You may be confused about what the "friction modifier" is supposed to do for you. It is actually supposed to keep the clutch cones from 'chattering'.... not make them 'grab' more.

    In any case, are you SURE you have an LSD rear end? I find it almost impossible to spin one wheel (unless it is on ice while the other is not)
    More often, both rear wheels will break loose on pavement and the ENTIRE REAR END of the truck will begin to go sideways. This is the 'nature' of LSD operation. With an open differential, you may get one wheel to spin but the rear of the vehicle will not go sideways on you because the other wheel is "tracking" in a straight line.

    Keep in mind that "spinning" one wheel with an LSD will quickly destroy the clutch cones within the pumpkin. It would be akin to revving the engine and slipping the clutch until it smoked.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    Yep, I have a 3.55 LSD. What I'm experiencing in slow tight turns (leaving a stop sign) is that the inside wheel wants to turn at "almost" the same speed to cover the same distance as the outside. I wanted to add the friction modifier (f-m) to increase the slippage within the clutch pack to reduce this. Maybe I wrongly assumed that f-m would increase slippage. The additive felt very slippery.

    As noted previously, I have not experience a gain or loss of inside wheel spin since adding the f-m. $5 for nothing, I guess.
This discussion has been closed.