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Dodge Dakota - FAQs



  • mike133mike133 Posts: 13

    I now realize why you used the 7/8 open end wrench. You are not aware how the quick disconnects work. It takes a special tool to remove the fitting from the 3/8" tubing. It can be picked apart but you can damage the spring.Best way is the quick disconnect tool less than 10 bucks at most parts stores.

    I replaced my muffler right after I bought it with a 14" magnaflow sounds great and the rest of the exhaust system is stock other than a stainless steel tip.

    Have had no problems with my brakes. [non-permissible content removed] luck on the brake issue.
  • au1994au1994 GAPosts: 1,160
    What does everyone think a fair price on a new QC Dakota, 4.7, auto, 26E pkg, premium 40/20/40 seat would be?

    The incentives on the Dakota and Ram have me interested and I may be wandering down to the dealership the weekend.


    2016 X6 35i Space Gray over Ivory w/Black Trim
    2017 X1 Jet Black over Mocha

  • mike133mike133 Posts: 13
    2005 SLT CLUB CAB 4X4 with 5 speed automatic,4.7L, 40/20/40 split bench seat, 26E pkg, 17" x8" aluminum chrome clad wheels, electric full time 4WD T-case, spray in bed liner, aluminum gas cover, rear mud flaps, willmore nerf bar,dodge class IV hitch wired, with 8.7 percent state sales taxes included bought brand new last august 26206.04 with no trade in.
  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24 are right..I sure did not know about the QC lines. the job done. Cooler worked just fine as did the inline filter.

    The Dak is a bit underpowered for pulling my trailer (4200-4400 lbs loaded)...mind you low end tourque is the real issue. Going through the Rockies was not as problematic as I had imagined. A couple of spots (Rogers Pass & the first part of the Coquihalla), that were in excess of 6% required first gear and 4000 rpm. I just shifted in first or second manually and kept revs up to a max of 4500. But for the most part the ride went smooth and engine heating was not really an issue with temps going just past 1/2 on only a couple of occaisions. Outside temps were at the worst near Kamploops where it was +40C on Sunday. So all in all I'm pretty pleased with the results so far. Have to admit that when under a tow load, that Magnflow gives off a fair bit of noise.

    As far as gas mileage...well we won't go there..!! (-%

    I was getting avg 350 Km per tank and that was using premium at $1.28 / L in some spots. Whoever says that they don't raise prices on long weekends is fulll of crap. They do and it happens all the time.!!


  • dave112dave112 Posts: 3
    this is my first time buying a truck and i need some advice. I went to a dealerships website and found a nice 2003 dodge dakota sport(extended,3.9L V6, 22K mileage, and a ton of features) for 13,900. The next day i went to the dealership and the asking price was 16,000 but they said the lowest they can go is the online price (13,900). With taxes it would be a total of 15000. I wasnt sure what to do so I said I'll think about it. Does anyone have any advice for me. I checked other websites and I couldnt find any thing better.
  • mike133mike133 Posts: 13
    There are alot of incentives on new dakota's. If I were you, Check out the new one's first. The best price's may only be a few thousand more. Also something to think about.Warrenty transfer. I believe the 2003 has a 7/70 warrenty and the new dakota's only have a 3/36. Please don't leap for the first one you see. There are lots of good deals just look around first.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    This may be a great time to remind everyone that they can get a $500 refund for buying a Dodge by joining their local Farm Bureau for $50.

    This is a guaranteed conversion of $50 ==>$500 - you cant do that good in the stock market on a good day!
  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24
    First thing to ask is what is your application for purchasing a truck.? Will it be used for towing, city driving, hwy driving, or a combination of all of the above.

    I drive an '05 4.7L magnum SLT QC. Reasonable room in the rear for two teenagers. Front seats are heated and drivers is adjustable. Decent truck and as can be read prior to this post seems to be OK on towing .. although I would not want to max out Chryslers rating (7000lbs).

    Avg hwy mileage seems to be 21-23mpg depending on tail/head wind..!! No major problems and I am at 94,800km (59250 Miles). City mileage is probably in the 14-16 mpg range. The bed is about 5.5-6'...never measured it. but big enough that I can haul some drywall and 4X8 sheets of whatever.

    Only problem I had was with my brakes...that being that Dodge has still not figured out how to mix front disc with rear drum brakes and the first chance I get I am going to convert to rear discs. Read my earler post on what the problem was and how nicely (sic), they dealt with it.

    Only other thing that gets me is the interior cloth sucks as it gets very dirty - very one chould take that comment with a grain of salt as I am in the vehicle nearly 2-4 hours out of every 8-10 hr. day

    Advise you check out the LemonAid Guide (or online). Don't buy all the BS in auto mags as many are paid (hmm I wonder by who..??), to say what they write.

    All in all though I am pretty happy with the unit and when the Co. decides it is time for me to go with a new veicle, I will very very likely buy it.

    Tricks done to date:

    K&N CAI, MagnaFlow 3" SS Exhaust, Long Trans Cooler w/Inline Filter, Roll-n-Lock Tonneau Cover, Spray-in Bed Liner, Le-Bra, Toyo 16" "wear like iron" tires, 180 Deg Tstat, (see Mikes Posting in this thread)..thanks to MIKe on that one..!! (got it today).

    Waiting patiently for SuperChips to come out with the chip.


  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24
    Well the title says it all.

    I did install the 180 yesterday and probably did a couple of things wrong: did not let engine heat up and then put rad cap on. Went for a small drive and temp went to near H.! OK so I learned on this one.

    What i do notice is that on the OEM stat and on the side flange there appears to be a small brass tube with a tiny steel ball on the one side. I gather this is the "bypass" that bPebbles was mentioning. Well on the 180 unit it of course does not have the bypass. i am wondering if a small hole drilled into the flange would work..??

    I am going to try this and will report back as to what goes on. Also need to find the engine temp sensor and make sure it is in OK shape. That can be tested with an Ohm Meter set for 20K. Any resistance at all indicates it is functioning I am told.!


  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    did you "burp" the system to eliminate air pockets? There is a procedure for burping the system which includes using the "burping valve" at the high spot of the cooling system.

    Also - are you certain that the thermostat you installed is compatable with a "bypass" cooling system? (uses the thermostat to mix the cold [radiator out] and hot [engine out] flows to produce the proper temperature into the engine)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Are you getting a "Check Gauges" indicator illumination? If not, the PCM believes that the engine is operating at "normal" temperature (between 130 and 264F).

    THe Engine Coolant Temperature sensor is located on the front of the engine just below the MAP sensor. It has two wires. I can't tell you what the DC resistance range is, but as the temperature increases the sensor resistance decreases.

  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24
    Dusty..your comment on the bypass is bang on the dollar. Given that this 4.7 uses said system, I did not use a "bypass" tstat. However I sure would love to get my hands on one if anyone knows where to acquire..??

    The 05/06 4.7 Tstat is standard all way round except on one part of the flange, there is samll ~1/8" hole with a brass pin that has flared ends on either side of the Tstat flange.

    This apparently opens and closes to allow mixing of the fluids on either side (I am assuming this is how the unit works).

    Reason I am after a 180, is simply to keep engine cooler while towing. This came toa head just 2 days ago coming back from a camping trip through Southern BC. Took the Salmo-Kooteny Pass and man oh man that is some grade...up to 8% is parts and minimum 6% overall - 35 Km of it.!!

    I was pulling 4360 lbs. (I'd gone over the scales that AM). Temperature was 32C and about 3/4 of the way up I was in 1st gear doing 40 klicks at about 4200 rpm. She heated up good. That was the only time I ever seen the dash sensor light come on. A tad alarming..!

    Pulled over, reved it up at 1800 in park and let the motor cool down...did that twice and we finally hit the summit.

    After that I had no problems the rest of the 450 km trip home.

    So if anyone knows where one can acquire a 54mm OD Tstat that is of the "bypass" type..I would love to hear aout it.

    Thanx in advanz,

  • Driving home from work and the abs and parking light comes on. Then the head lights and instrument panel goes out. Can so one help me on where to start first. Oh by the way the rpm gauge comes on and off and the fuel gauge moves.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It is I that have been touting the "bypass" cooling system to you for several weeks. Your description of how a "bypass" thermostat works is incomplete.

    A "bypass" thermostat actually "reads" the temperature of the coolant ENTERING the engine. You can think as the "bypass" as the "hot" antifreeze coming out of the engine and the "cold" as being from the radiator. The thermostat then constantly mixes these two flows to maintain the target tempurture.

    When engine is 'cold', the thermostat seals off the outlet of the radiator and only allows the coolant to flow thru the bypass circuit effectively recirculating all the antifreeze in the engine around and around. This happens until the "target" temperature is reached. (this allows for faster warmups...thus less emmissions)

    At this point, a measured amount of 'cold' antifreeze is allowed out of the radiator to enter the flow. The thermostat constantly "reads" the temperature entering the engine and adjusts the mix of "cold" and "hot" antifreeze to maintain the target tempurature.

    Under extreme conditions, the thermostat can actually CLOSE OFF the bypass flow and forces ALL the flow to come from the radiator to enter the engine. (this condition may never actually ever occour.)

    The "hole" in the thermostat which you describe allows a very small amount of flow even when the radiator outlet is "sealed off". This small flow allows the antifreeze in the radiator to warm up a bit before it is 'used' in the engine. This is done to keep the engine block from cracking in cold wetaher. Without the hole, it would be possible for -10F antifreeze to flow into a hot engine when the thermostant opens up the radiator outlet. (the engineblock would instantly crack wide open due to this condition!!)

    Installing a regular NON-bypass thermostat can effectively scru up the entire cooling system because it does not have the proper components to throttle the "hot" and "cold" flows. Most likely, your cooling system would be incapaable of maintaining a constant tempurture.

    A bypass cooling system is so effective, that is why I have recommended to you several times to just leave the original alone. Changing the thermostat to a lower temturture can really mess with the onboard computer because it has several functions that need to key off of the designed target temparture.

    If you INSIST on installing a thermostat that deviates from the designed target tempurture, there are some places that offer such a device.... but beware, your onboard computer may never be "satisfied" that the engine has warmed up thus make for poor encoomy and generally unsatisfactory running.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Noise produced by the fan clutch on a Dodge truck is normal.

    The Dodge engines use a viscous clutch fan that permits reduced load and subsequent loss of horsepower at high speeds, yet increased cooling capacity at low speeds. These fans contain a high density silicone filled coupling that connects the fan blades to the water pump shaft. This design utilizes a thermostatic bimetallic coil spring that reacts to the temperature of the radiator discharge air.

    As the discharge air temperature through the radiator approaches 165 to 180 degress F, the bimetalic exerts pressure against a slip clutch and allows power of the water pump shaft to be transmitted through hydrostatic coupling to the fan assembly. This raises the speed of the fan blades and increases air flow through the radiator to provide increased cooling.

    Sometimes after a vehicle has been driven to operating temperature the bimetalic spring may expand to the maximum coupling position due to localized heat from the engine or radiator after shutdown. After a cooling period the spring may not contract or contract fully. Upon restart the expanded spring causes the fan to spin at engine RPM until enough cool air has been drawn through the radiator, Then the spring contracts. This is what causes that momentary period when the fan is heard after restarts.

    Testing the Fan Clutch Assembly

    If the fan assembly free-wheels without drag for more than five revolutions when spun by hand, the fan clutch assembly is defective. This test must be conducted when the engine is completely cool.

    Fan drive engagement begins when the radiator discharge air flow is between 165 to 180 degrees F. Disengagement begins when the air flow temperature is between 135 to 175 degress F.

    There should be no perceptible lateral movement of the fan blades. If so, the fan assembly is defective.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    It wasn't me but Bpeebles, who by the way has given some very good advice.

    The bypass thermostat is available from any Dodge dealer.

    As Bpeebles pointed out, a lower operating temperature will affect emission controls and cause less than optimum engine and vehicle operation. Long engine warm-ups and increase fuel consumption can result. In addition, because of the way the bypass type thermostat operates by providing bypass galleries in the engine block with coolant, you may actually find that a non-bypass thermostat might cause engine block hot spots. What this might cause I do not know.

    However, 4.7 equiped Dakotas tow very well in all temperatures from my experience. If you've encountered overheating I would first suspect something else is wrong, either the radiator is partially blocked, the thermostatic fan clutch is defective, or the radiator fan motor is inoperative.

    Best regards,
  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24
    Hey nead to lecture..OK??

    For one and as I said previously, I re-installed the OEM 195 deg Tstat. After that, I had done, professionally, a complete cooling system change. (non Glycol type). All this was three weeks ago and prior to my vacation trip.

    I do appreciate the technical explanation of the "bypass".
    ..a 180 is not in the picture.

    The Hwy I traveled is called Hwy #3 in Southern BC. Check it out. And I can tell you that towing 4300 lbs (checked on the scale), on an 8% grade, at 4-5000' Above sea level and at an outside ambient temperature of around 90+F with a tail wind..It overheated. Ie; the engine temp light came on. The temp gauge was about half way between middle and Overheat.

    Now, do I believe there is/was some other thing wrong with my motor..?? No, not at all.

    It was damned HOT is all.!
    The motor worked damned HARD is all.! 1st gear at 4500 rpm
    It was damned STEEP is all.!
    I was towing 4300 lbs is all.

    Let me tell ya that this climb was an itch with a B.!
    This was not the little hills in the Adirondaks of up State NY nor the so called "Rockies" of Idaho cause I've driven those and they are nothing campared to what we have here. Don't believe me..?? Y'all come and see for your self.

    No Offense Dusty, but just about anything would have overheated in those conditions..!! As a matter of fact we were not the only ones pulling over in the conveniently placed rest zones (every 300 m) on the shoulder overlooking a 700' drop to the valley below. And ya know, we only had to pull over twice right near the summit. So IMHOP it was not really a huge deal although I was concerned at the time.

    Traveling on ~flat type of terrain, these units tows very well indeed. Given I use Premium gas and I use synthetic lubes all round...Bpebbles would be happy to note that I indeed took his advice and used Redline.!

    Overall am quite pleased at how the unit performed. But towing in the CDN Rockies is another story. Short of putting a larger engine with way more low end torque and or different gear ratio..not much else to add to this pupply. 'cept the chip.

    Not to worry guys, I promise I won't look at another Tstat again.! (-% :)

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It was not meant to be a "lecture" -- this is the Dakota FAQ forum and I was submitting a detailed explanation on how the bypass cooling system works. Now folks who need info about their cooling system can get a solid foundation about how it works by looking it up here in the FAQ forum.

    If you wish to chat about your dakota or ask questions -- there are several other forums here on edmunds that are better suited than this FAQ forum.
  • steak2k1steak2k1 Posts: 24
    That's fine. I too learned. However it did come across as such. Ergo the comment.

  • fiafia6fiafia6 Posts: 4
    I have a 2001 dodge dakota sport quad cab with over 100,000k mi now. My Check eng light came on about 5 or 6,000 back. I haven't done anything quite yet with it but figured i find out if anyone could help me before i start looking at basic troubleshooting procedures. Thanks
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    You can start by retrieving the OBD codes with the ignition key trick. Turn the ignition key from "off" to "on" three times ending in the "on" position. The OBD codes will display in the odometer ending with "Pdone". It may time a couple of tries to get it just right (at least it does with me!)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    HINT: Do not start the engine when you are pulling the codes... you just want to go to the "on" position 3 times then stay there on the last time.

    Then go to this website or here, or here to look up what the codes mean.
  • 99dktaguy99dktaguy Posts: 2
    and there's also a 3.21 ratio rear end. i have a 99 dakota 3.9 sport with it.
  • When I excellorate with my 2002 dakota it revs up and then goes, even though it is all the way in gear. any one know the problem I have an automatic
  • I'm getting ready to order a 2008 TRX4 Dodge Dakota (crewcab) with towing package, 3.92 gears, and full time 4 wheel drive. While looking at the Dakota brochure, it looks like if you order the part-time 4 wheel drive system you get the 9.25 axle and if you order the full-time 4 wheel drive, you get the 8.25 axle.

    Does anyone know why you would get a smaller axle size with the full time 4-wheel drive as compared to the part-time 4-wheel drive? The dealership doesn't know exactly why this appears to be the case.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I'm not sure. In the past the differential gearset size was dependent on the GVW rating of the vehicle.

  • I put 2007 chrome 20" Ram wheels on my 2005 Dakota club cab. I love the look. ust wondering if anyone else has tried this? And if so what size tire did you use. I got 285/50/20. They only rub barely in a deep turn but otherwise I love the look.
  • mrzeeemrzeee Posts: 1
    I cant seem to pull the PCV valve out. I turned it 1/4 turn and pulled it up at all angles. It wont budge. There is a flange thing that sits on top of the valve cover that the pcv valve goes into...I am hesitant to mess with that ... I thought the pcv valve should just pull up. Any ideas?
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