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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    at about 28,000. Had the problem from the get go however so plugs weren't the culprit. It was irritating in the warmer months, when it started to cool off in the fall, it ran like a slant six with a broken choke!
    AIS motor replaced, TPS was replaced, TB was cleaned and finally the service manager started looking up TSB. There he found the erratic idle addressed and did one, two, finally three different upgrades to the PCM. The third one fixed it and I had no more idle problems. I cannot recall at what mileage that was done (I threw away the receipts since I no longer own the truck and the sucker, er I mean dealer who took it as trade probably took it to an auction somewhere and sold it)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    That's too bad. Sorry to hear of your bad experience. They've likely got any PCM-related programing fixes into the 4.7s since yours was built.

    So far everyone I've talked to in person hasn't had a complaint about idle quality with 2000s and up. In fact, I don't think I've actually known anyone with a newer Dakota that's had a problem in that area at all. I guess the intake manifold gaskets had been a problem on older LA series motors that caused pinging and poor idle.

    I've been in several newer 4.7s and they've idled very well. I had a ride in a 2003 3.9 V6 recently, and that one idled like glass, too.

    We'll see how the long term effect is by changing plugs. It took 10,000 miles to start to lose perfect idle quality on mine with the factory versions. Since I can feel the difference with the new plugs, I'm expecting more out of these Bosch platinums. I'll keep everyone posted.

    Best regards,
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Posts: 159
    4.7, auto, 2wd.
    My 2001 quad has 26K miles. I've had the Bosch +4's in for about 12K miles. The first 5 or 6k
    miles truck ran great, now has the stumble at idle
    also. Cold starts are becoming a problem, (ie)
    stumbles and hunts between 500 and 1000 rpms.
    Wants to die for a few seconds when placed in gear. (auto).
    I'm also thinking about new shocks.
    Haven't been back to the dealer since new.
    I still like this truck better than any now out
    there. Works great for my needs!
    I'll take it back to dealer one day?
    I'm making a list.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    My 200 Dak has over 50K miles. I currently have 2 outstanding "problems"
    1) the 4X4 indicator light does not come on. (although the xfer-case is REALLY in 4X4)
    2)The intermittent windshield wipers have a mind of their own.. (they wipe at the speed THEY want to reguardless of the setting.)

    I am well om my way to my original 150,000 mile expectation for this rig.
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    fuel injected vehicle I owned that had idle problems. My 1992 spirt 2.5L four banger idled well, as good as one can expect from a four banger. No PCM or any problems. Ran perfectly until it was totalled in a wreck that put mom in life support for two weeks. Ironic too, that day I mailed the last payment to the finance company!
    The taurus, same thing, good idle, my vitara, good idle, three intrepids not counting the two my father has owned, all had good idle. his Dynasty was good too.....ran to 165K with nary a sensor, PCM or anything. Just a plug change.

    Oh well, what can one say?

    Just glad to hear everyone else's rig is running well.
  • steve234steve234 Posts: 460
    Just hit 60,000 miles. Two weeks ago I finally replaced the front brakes with the Powerslot/Raybestoes combo. Did a little shopping and got the Powerslots from NAPA for $103 ea and the pads from Pep Boys. I had my favorite mechanic do the job. He passed some info on to me that I thought you may benefit by. On a lot of the disc brake setups that start acting up after a few thousand miles, it is not warpage as much as the fact that the rotors are not aligning right. The main deal is find a shop that will mill the rotors on the truck. It could save big bucks and much aggravation.

    As for plugs, I have always been a fan of platinums, but I have had read several reports that they do not always do well on engines like the 4.7. The best plugs I have found for the 4.7 are the Autolites copper core.
  • amend1amend1 Posts: 98
    Wanted to put this out to you guys in case anyone had a comment. Changed over my plugs on my 2000 QC 4.7L, 4X4, about a month ago, 32,000 miles. Put in the Bosch +4's. Since then I've noticed two things. The morning start up is not as crisp as it used to be and I think my gas mileage has gone down (wasn't that great to begin with!) It runs and idles great. Any thoughts??
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    bpeebles - You finally got to me. I bought all of the Red-Line products to do my '00 4x4. I'll get the Mopar goo for doing the seals next. I have to wait a while due to rain (everyday) here in Pennsylvania. I imagine the task would be impossible to do under water.

    My question is about flushing out the old fluids. Did you do this? Same method and flushing materials on all units (rear, x-fer, front dif, 5 sp manual)? I've followed your saga over the years but can't remember all of the details.
  • ronslakieronslakie Posts: 58
    Amend1 - I have a 2000 CC 4.7L, 5 speed with 42K miles. I have had the Bosch +4 plugs in since 30K miles, starting and idling have been fine. I haven't noticed any change in mileage but it appears to have a stronger pick up. I keep hearing people say that we shouldn't be using the +4 plugs with the 4.7 yet nearly everyone who has used them has had positive results.

  • gtownguygtownguy Posts: 73
    I have a 01 QC 4x4 and was wondering if anyone changed the shocks. I like a stiffer ride and mine does tend to sway and bounce more than I'd like. I was considering putting on Rancho rs5000 shocks. Does anyone have input on these or other brands. Also will this improve my ride?? Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Just let things drain well after well-warmed up... the viscus fluids take time to drain.

    The FRONT differential is the hardest to do. There is VERY little clearance between the Diff cover and the frame.

    Expect to gain about 2 MPG from this change to RedLine synthetic. The "feel" of the shifting will take about 300 miles before you start to notice that it snooks into gear easier. (even at -40F)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (gtownguy) The Edelbrock IAS shocks are the way to go. They have a patented design that is STIFF all the time until the wheel needs to move quickly... then the "soft" circuit kicks in instantly.

    This is the only shock that will make a noticable improvement in BRAKING and HANDLING due to the shocks resisting nosedive and bodyroll.

    It goes without saying that the ride is improved.

    I like the noticable difference in the way the wheels "stick" to the road while accellerating over bumpy terrain.

     The original shocks were just plain CRAP and the rear wheels could not stay on the road and maintain traction. The rear end of my Dak felt as if it leaped to the side over expansion joints. (pretty scary at 70MPH)
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Has anyone had a loud squeek from the engine belt before on the 4.7? It started happening recently and is very loud.

  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Hey, I paid more attention to it today and notices a loud grinding type noise associated with the squeak. I was paying so much attention to the squeak that I missed the grind. (That sounds bad) LOL...

    I will take to dealer when I get a chance.

  • gtownguygtownguy Posts: 73
    Thanks Bpeebles for the info. I think I'm going with the Rancho RSX reflex. They seem like the same as yours as they adjust automatically. Also their on sale for about $150.00 for 4 w/free ship.
      I 'll probably have them on in about 3 weeks so I'll let everyone know what the result is.
      PS - I also have the problem of the rear end jumping over expansion joints and aspalt abnormalities. Yes, it is scary, glad to hear it can be corrected w/ shocks.
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    I was halfway to work today when it felt like my truck hit a rev-limiter at 2000 RPM. Truck kept moving, but the Emissions light came on.

    Needed a new crankshaft position sensor. Bummer.

    2001 QC 4x4 4.7L Manual
    26k miles.
  • datagurudataguru Posts: 95
    Antonio, congrats on your improvements.

    I was just wondering how significant were the improvements...what did you notice with the addition of the Z-tube from Intenseperformance and 9" Pro Flow filter? Did you consider K&N FIPK, Airmax or AEM or some other induction system? Was there any gains in gas mileage?

    How do you like the Magnaflow cat-back and what part number is your system? How much louder is this system versus the factory system? Did you consider the Gibson cat-back or Flowmasters?

    I would be very interested in your comments and feedback? If you had to do it over, what would you do different?
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I just started to notice some possible rear-end whine in my 02 QC with 3.92 LSD. It starts at about 30 MPH and continues until about 55 MPH. It only does it at a constant speed/throttle. Any acceleration or deceleration will cause it to stop. I was recently on a trip that had a lot of city driving at 30-45 MPH, that's when I first noticed it. It is not very loud, but it is noticeable. Is this normal or should I add it to my list of things for the dealer to look into on my next trip?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Before you pronounce the differential as the culprit, rotate your tires so that the rear two are now rotating in the opposite direction of the wheel that they just came off of.

    Good luck,
  • ready10ready10 Posts: 13
    Thanks for your reply!

    When I first moved here to Colorado Springs I was getting 9MPH in the city with the stock air box. I replaced the factory filter with a drop-in from K&N and received no improvement; that box was just too restrictive. I later installed an Airaid intake and gained 2MPH bringing me to 11, but I knew there had to be something better (short of installing a supercharger). I found while surfing the net on my lunch hour and decided to try their Z-tube. I looked like a HUGE intake, and the installation looked simple enough (I'm not too mechanically inclined; prior to all this all I ever did was change oil and filter). I now get between 13 and 16 in the city, depending on how spirited I am with the pedal! To tell the truth, the altitude here is the real culprit.

    As far as the exhaust, said they didn't notice a difference from one make to another(but they did gain more power using a single-exit versus dual). I chose the Magnaflow simply because it was easy. They make a cat-back system specifically for the 4.7, with all the components packaged together. No having to match pipes, mufflers, tips, etc. The system number is 15611. I've found that it's not necessarily louder than the factory system, but gives a much deeper tone. The noise level inside the cab is still well within acceptable limits for me. I was told of another customer who went with the Gibson and later put his factory system back in because the resonance was too much to bear. I suppose it's all subjective. By the way, not too much of a difference in mileage but I have noticed better uphill acceleration.

    The iridium plugs have definitely helped out in the acceleration department! And they've stopped the idle "hunting" between 500-1000. It now sits right at 800.

    I'm still waiting for my Edelbrocks to get here. I'll be having them installed the same time as my new Michelin LTX's. And I've also ordered the Powerslot rotors for the front brakes. Found them for 162.95/pair at I still can't find the 180 thermostat for the 4.7L. When I do, I'll be ordering the Stage II JET Chip.

    Good Luck!
  • datagurudataguru Posts: 95
    Yes, higher altitudes will surely have a larger impact on air/fuel mixtures than at sea level. I'm surprised that there is that much improvement on gas mileage (up to 7 mpg) due to the addition of the Intenseperformance Z-tube and 9" Pro Filter setup. What was the cost of this system?

    Glad to hear the Magnaflow system works for your needs. However, I'm quite surprised that the customer went back to the factory exhaust due to higher resonance levels of the Gibson. Gibson's single side outlet cat-back is said to be the quietest on the market due to thicker 14 gauge thickness of the muffler and pipes providing very little resonance back into the cab. Perhaps that customer had a dual system which would be a much louder over stock? Actually, I believe the stock factory exhaust is pretty decent as is. But, I guess a certain amount of improvements can be had by relieving more backpressure.

    Wish you smooth sailing with the rest of the performance mods.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    dustyk - I cross-rotated the tires and the whining sound is still there. It's not real loud. When the windows are down at 45 MPH, you can't hear it. I know that some read ends are noisier than others, but I was not expecting this after converting to a synthetic 75W-140. I have also check the fluid level, and it is up to the full level. Probably just another thing the dealer will say is "normal".
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    The Intense Performance ( Z-tube runs a little over $200, depending on the type and size of filter you get with it. Another alternative is the 360 AirIntakez ( setup. It is similar to the Z-tube, but starts at $170.
  • datagurudataguru Posts: 95

    Thanks for your feedback re another alternative for an air intake system. There are some many vendor products available these days one needs to do an evaluation to compare actual gains. Thanks.

  • ronslakieronslakie Posts: 58
    ready10 - I have a 2K CC with a 4.7 5 speed and am interested in the irirdium plugs for my next plug change. Please provide any info you have on them (model #, price, place of purchase, etc.). I have seen them advertised on ebay at a good price but they don't seem to provide much info on specific applications.

  • ready10ready10 Posts: 13
    For the 4.7, the model number for the Denso Iridium plugs is IK16. They are engine specific and come from the factory pre-gapped.

    I bought mine from "" for $10.99 ea. That was the best price I found on the internet. I had them in less than a week with UPS ground shipping.

    Glad to help out!

    P.S.: Anyone know where I can find a 180-degree t-stat for the 4.7? I'm still searching for one (unless they're not engine specific and I've just been wasting my time).
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The thermostat for the 4.7L V8 is very unique. The cooling system on this engine is a "bypass" design.

    Unlike previous Dodge engines, this type of cooling system maintains constant coolant flow thru the engine and the thermostat perfoms "double duty".

    You may have noticed that the thermostat is mounted LOW on the engine. This is because the thermostat is actually controlling the temperture of the coolant ENTERING the engine. (not leaving the engine as in other designs)

    The thermostat has a "2 stage' action. The first 'stage' of the thermostat controls how much coolant is 'bled' thru the bypass. Under extreme conditions, the thermostat BLOCKS OFF the flow thru the bypass and forces ALL flow thru the radiator.

    BOTTOM LINE: Use only a thermostat designed for the 4.7L V8 lest you will have serious problems.

    Check out the DML website (DakotaMailingList) for the approprate 180degree replacement for the 4.7L V8 engine. The folks over there have what you are looking for. Just search for "thermostat" on the DML website.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    The 180 deg thermostat that the 4.7L community is using is the Robertshaw GT755-180. It needs to have a small notch filed into it so the gasket fits correctly. Other than that, you are all set.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Here's a short list of plugs for the 4.7:

    Double Platinum APP5224 .040
    Platinum AP5224 .040
    Resistor 5224 .040

    Platinum +4 4418 Do not Gap
    Platinum Part 4230 Gap=.040
    Super Plug FR8LCX Gap=.040
    Platinum Plug R8LPX Gap=.040
    Platinum 2 4301 Do Not Gap
    Super Part 756 2 Gap=.040

    Double Platinum RC12PYP #7071 .040
    Truck Plug #4071 .040
    Platinum Power #3071 .040
    Copper+ RC12MCC4 #439 .040

    Iriduim IK16 .044
    Double Platinum PKJ16CR-L11 .044
    U-groove KJ16CR-L11 .044

    IX Iridium ZFR6FIX-11 (6441) .040
    Double Platinum PZFR6F-11 (3271) .040
    GP Platinum ZFR6FGP (7100) .040
    V-Power ZFR6F-11G (6987) .040
    Platinum Laser PZFR5F-11 (4363) .040

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    How many miles is on your Dakota?

    Did I understand you correctly that you've just started to hear a noise since you changed to synthetic differential lubricant?

This discussion has been closed.