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Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • circuitrydercircuitryder Posts: 30
    edited July 2012
    Have you checked the fluid level? These transmissions are very sensitive to fluid level. You have to put the truck in neutral on level ground to check it.
  • denysedenyse Posts: 3
    Thank you. I have sent this information on to my husband.
  • First- get a Chilton or Haynes book...that should be the first thing you buy for ANY vehicle.

    If it's still just slipping (no grinding yet) you MIGHT be able to save it- drop the transmission pan and filter (fairly easy- 14-15 bolts on the pan on the bottom of the transmission)'ll want a new filter & gasket kit (about 12 bucks at O'Reilly's) and you'll need new transmission fluid....since its slipping so badly, I would recommend draining ALL the fluid out of it, so to refill it, you'll need a lot (probably about 15 quarts of ATF+4)... To get ALL the fluid out- once you drop the trannypan and filter out (and get the inevitable red shower that you'll get), turn the truck ON, and cycle it through the gears (move the selector from Park all the way down to low)...when you get into reverse, allow the truck to move a couple of inches...when you get into the driving gears (D,2,L, etc) allow the truck to move back that few inches. This is called "rocking the truck" and it allows the +/- 10 quarts of old fluid to drain out of the Torque Converter....Once it's all drained out- follow the instructions in the Chilton or Haynes for adjusting the Transmission Bands (located in the same place you just pulled the trannypan and filter from)....if your transmission isnt already chewed up, then this SHOULD save you....once you're done, put new filter in place, new gasket on trannypan, and put trannypan back where you got it- be sure to put ALL THE BOLTS BACK and tighten them down across from each other like you would when changing a as not to have any leaks. When adding new fluid- turn the truck about 4 quarts at a time, cycle the gears, add more'll take 10+ just to fill the Torque Converter....and the transmission pan holds about 4 quarts... The advantage of doing it yourself rather than taking it in- is a lot of transmission places dont fully do the work- they instead just suck the fluid out of the dipstick, refill it through there, and then charge you 130 bucks for nothing...if you dont adjust the bands and change the filter- then you're just asking to spend a few thousand in transmission...Good luck. If you happen to be near the Austin, TX area, message me back on here and we'll swap contact info- and I'll come fix it.
  • denysedenyse Posts: 3
    I wish we did. We live in MD. Many,many years ago we lived at Ft Hood. Thank you for your help. I have print out your advice and will give to me my husband.
  • I also have a 96 dodge dakota same problems...sorry not good I ended up replacing my trans :cry: :cry:
  • ok im new here so here i go i have a 97 Dakota 5 speed nv3500 transmission had the transmission rebuilt i put a new clutch kit in the truck and just replaced the slave cylinder master cylinder assembly this is the problem the truck starts fine but when i go to put it in any gear it grinds bad i can usually get reverse and its fine but sometimes grinds there to i am out of ideas because i was sure it was the slave cylinder assembly. the only other thing i can think of is the fork that holds the throwout bearing ( can it be put in backwards i put it in numbers facing me to where i could read them) if you guys can help me out i appreciate it
  • I'm not sure about the fork for the throw-out bearing...I haven't had the privilege of working on a 97 Dakota yet....I just rebuilt the engine in my 02 Ram (360 Mag)...that was I'm due for a transmission filter/fluid change...once again- back out in the heat :)
    Again- best advice that I can give to ANYBODY about a vehicle problem- consult the almighty Chilton or Haynes...thats the ultimate tool for whatever vehicle you have... When the transmission was rebuilt- did they put the gear-oil or fluid it in? Manual Transmissions- while they don't have fluid that you check and add like an automatic, they DO have their own fluid/oil inside them that allows them to operate...there should be two plugs- one that sits a little higher than the other- and both on the same side of the transmission...they're probably a hex-head plug- and they're probably a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to loosen up...find those two plugs, and find the one that sits HIGHER than the other one...the higher one is the one you loosen up and remove to check your fluid level in there- much like checking the gear oil in a differential box...stick your finger in and feel for should feel the fluid just at the bottom of that hole...if you do- then thats not the problem, consult the chilton/haynes again.....if you dont- then remove the bottom plug (because you might as well drain out whatever nastiness remains of the old stuff since its low or non-existant...drain it- put bottom plug back in- fill from top plug-hole...then put top-plug back... Hope that helps- again- I'm not 100% on that- it just seems logical based on the transmissions i HAVE worked of luck!
  • well i have read my haynes book over and over the transmission was empty when i got it back from the shop and i filled it myself. i was looking through my book and i noticed that the clutch fork has a retainer clip on it. well mine never had one on it so when i put it back in i didnt think twice about it could the missing retaining clip be causing all my problems
  • That could be your problem- also- how much fluid did you put back in when you filled it? Remember that torque converter ALONE holds probably 10 quarts...

    If the retaining clip is missing- the next question is it somewhere INSIDE the transmission case? Hopefully not, or I would be worried about the quality of the rebuild done by the shop. Did the shop offer any warranty on their work? If so- I'd take it back to them...but I'd first check the ammount of fluid in the transmission. When re-filling it, you'll have to fill it, close it- run it and cycle it through the gears (as best as possible) and then shut it off and repeat the process over and over again until that torque converter is filled up... good luck!
  • davee2davee2 Posts: 3
    Clutch went as a plastic tube burst or split. Mechanic tried a lot of options but I was forced to buy a whole unit (slave & master cylinder& tubing ) He said removal & replacement was the worst clutch job he ever faced! As delivered you get one chance to couple tube directly as they are prefilled & there are no bleeders for air or refill
    If this is typical of Dodge design they deserve to be shot! $370.00 to buy parts alone This was a 2002 2 wd with 125,000 km
  • I have a 98 Dakota 5.2L V8 4sp auto with 150K on it. When I start it everything sounds fine, but when I put it in reverse or drive, I then hear a slight rattling noise. Once I start to drive it goes away, so far it has not affected the driving performance. Also, sometimes (but increasing in frequency) as soon as I hit the brakes from accelerating, I hear a loud click from underneath of me. I think it may be something with the clutch, but I am not really sure, any thoughts or experiences with similar symptoms?
  • That rattling could be the start of losing one of your gears. Because you hear it when you put it it reverse or drive, I assume it would mean that it's the reverse gear going out (or one of the bearings or bands) and when you put it back into drive, it rattles "out of the way" and continues to "function". if you're mechanically inclined (and have a spare vehicle to drive around in) then I would suggest getting a Chilton's or Haynes book for it- and getting ready to replace a transmission. If you're not up to doing such a job on your own- I would strongly suggest taking it to your nearest transmission shop or Dodge Dealership (which will be pricier). While it is not effecting the driving performance YET- it soon will. And then you'll be on the side of the road somewhere calling a tow-truck. 150k on the truck- when is the last time the transmission fluid & filter were changed? For that matter, since it's over 100k- when's the last time the timing chain in the engine was replaced?
    As for the clicking noise- I'm not sure what to tell you on that- one of those things I'd have to be there for. It COULD be a lot of things- ranging from something in the brake system- to pieces of a bad gear clicking around inside the transmission. Again- best bet- get a book, and about a case of ATF+4 because there will come a time in the not-so-distant future...when you're going to need it. Good luck!
  • Mark280 did manage to get the trans problem fixed? If so what was the problem?
  • are you sure it had water in it it could be the radiator leaking coolant into the transmission cooler lines look at the coolant in your radiator if it is getting transmission fluid in the coolant then i would replace the radiator flush the coolant and change the transmission fluid and filter.
  • lhendrickson, what did you find out about your transmission issues??? I also have a 2000 Dakota pick-up 3.9L 2-WD and have had similar problems, it seemed as though it would not change from 1st gear to second. It would rev up pretty high and then engage pretty hard when it finally did shift gears. It seemed to do it more when the engine was first started in the morning or when the engine was not warm. The funny thing is, it went away and I have not heard/felt it for a while, I'm just thinking that it's probably going to come back and I want to know what it is.

  • vohlkvohlk Posts: 1
    2000 Dakota 4x4. Is the bearing at the front of the rear axle punkin a press on bearing or does it just slip on the shaft. Any tricks to this repair job.
  • Good luck fillin up that torque convertor on a manual trans... O.o

    And most vehicles you check while still running, not shut off, in park or neutral, for obvious reasons.

    You cant realy check until the vehicle has been warmed up, you need to pretty much go out and give it a good drive for 20-30 mins...

    If you wana get right technical, most dodges you want the fluid at around 80 degrees to check it.

    if its about 1L below the "Full" mark, when cold and fillin it up, its prolly pretty close to the right spot, maybe a lil too much, maybe a lil too less..

    Most trannies, the "Add" and "Full" mark is about 1/2L.. it doesnt have to be RIGHT AT THE FULL, so long as its in that range.. too much is almost worse than not enough..

    Of course this is all Automatic tranny stuff, and has nothing to do with a manual tranny..
  • stumped15stumped15 Posts: 1
    edited March 2013
    I cant get my 2001 dakota out of park without really wiggling hard. Once it is out of park it goes into and out of all gears smoothly including park until i turn the key off. On the next start it wont come out of park again. I have already changed the brake light switch that didnt work. someone please help
  • my 1989 dodge dakota v6 2 wheel drive its ideling high but when i put it in gear it goes ok for awhile but then when i push gas pedal it starts slowing down but i can put it in nuetral and press gas pedal and it will race the motor fine then when i put it in gear it only wants to go at about 25 miles an hour but it doesnt never completely dies im at a loss can you help me please im stumped. thanks linda
  • Hello I have a 2004 Dodge Dakota 4x4 4 Door Quad cab. The exact same thing has been happening to me . also had the noise of going over rumble strips but there were no rumble strips growling and not up shifting into higher gears. I just dropped it off to my Tranny guy last week. He said the celluloid valve body was stuck closed. Also he put in a shifter kit and i haven't picked it up yet but he says its shifting and running perfect so i'll see when i get done working today don't know how much it cost yet im guessing 500.00 bucks Hope this helps . Good Luck !! Pat
  • peckdad4peckdad4 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Dodge Dakota 4x4 with about 120,000 miles on it. The transmission seems to be missing second gear. It shifts from first to third. I hooked up my computer to it and the computer shows it shifting from first to third, missing second gear completely.

    I changed fluid and filter making sure to replace fluid with the +4 fluid that it calls for. Still not shifting right.

    Any suggestions for what it might be?
  • I have a 3.9L V6 RWD Dakota with a 4-speed (5-speed OD)automatic trans and recently noticed something about when it shifts. When it shifts from 1st-2nd and 2nd-3rd it tends to drop about 100-200 RPMs before it shifts. Today it actually climbed 200-300 rpms right before shifting but only twice. 3rd to 4th is completely fine though. Before i changed my oil yesterday i noticed between the oil pan and the trans fluid pan there was something leaking out, which looked and felt like oil. Since its 12 years old could it possibly just be a worn out hose? Or is that even the problem? It doesn't jolt and its still a smooth ride. I did tune it up when i bought it but it didn't do that till months after. The front end as also shuddered twice when climbing a hill on the way back home, enough to make the steering wheel shake and the whole front in. Any input would be nice
  • teej314teej314 Posts: 2
    does anyone have any answers on how to fix this transmission problem we are all experiencing? i heard to you have to put in some kind of tranny stop leak stuff by doing a half tranny flush type thing. obviously i am mechanically illiterate. lol. ill ask what kind
  • teej314teej314 Posts: 2
    oh and its 5.9L v-8. automatic.

    and i was also wondering if i can change this transmission out for 2001 dodge ram 1500 manual transmission?
    if i cant exchange the tranny can i trade out the radiator?
  • I have 2001 4.7 auto that does about the same thing. backing up it sounds like the gears robbing together and will not back up. So put back in park and let stop sping and then good to go. Can you tell whats next to happen
  • This is a very simple problem that does not involve sensors or scanners or anything like that. The rubber boot on the gear shift needs to be rolled back, you will see a lever that is stopping the gear selector from moving. You need to step on the brake and lubricate that portion and you will be good for another 100,000 miles. Very simple and it works.

  • Dumb question but did you replace plug wires when you replaced plugs? Had the same issue with my ranger, changed plugs and coil pack, had the wires changed about a year ago so I thought they were fine, but it turns out one wire was bad. Changed them and haven't had a problem since

    @eidlws said:
    I have a 2001 DAK Quad with 172k miles. Changed the battery last month and I have noticed transmission shudder at hiway speeds. Especially when shifting into OD. Just changed my spark plugs and problem still exists. Changed the TPS over a year ago. Do I need to get my chip re-flashed having recently diconnected the battery and can I do this myself somehow?
    Thanks, Great site.
    @eidlws said:
    Another UPDATE: After a couple of long trips (150 mi) the problem has returned.
    New plugs, coil and ejector.
    I see where the O2 sensor could have a part in this problem. Any suggestions before I replace anymore devices?


  • I have a 2000 dodge Durango 4.7 motor 4x4 with a 45rfe tranny . In limp mode 2nd and 3rd gears only and have to shift manually to start in 2nd gear than to 3rd . getting a po755 code . first changed fluids and both filters and it ran fine for a couple of trips . than code and trouble back . next replaced SOLENOID PACK & Valve Body . again ok for a few trips and back again . Than replaced TCU drained fluid and replaced again . worked in for 2 trips and trouble back . also replaced tranny pressure sensor still trouble . Received 2nd solenoid pack and again ran ok for 1 trip than back . it seems that draining the fluid and refilling will clear trouble for a short time than back . has anyone had this trouble local tranny doesn't want to even look at this type of tranny .
  • Has anyone stated anything about band adjustments on these Xmissions. I was once told by an old gentleman who rebuilt Xmissions, that on a Dodge if you change the fluid and filter in one that the band's needed to be readjusted .
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