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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • check the battery first. if the battery is weak strange things can happen. Too much electronics in todays cars and trucks
  • The blower on my heater/ AC doesn't come on got a resistor to try but can't buy a copy of a manual for an 03 in Racine/Milwaukee Wi where is the resistor located,ordered the service manual but it will take a week to get here and I'm fogging up.

    Norm :confuse:
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    The blower resistor is located in the blower plenum to the left of the blower motor. It is held in by two 8mm hex head screws. There is a wire harness with five wires going to it. It is easiest to remove the resistor before removing the wiring connector. It's difficult to see without crawling underneath the dash a bit. The leftmost screw is a bit of a pain to get to. I just replaced the one in my 02 QC last month.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Been in the auto repair business and around cars most of my life. I've seen ball joints and tie-rods wear and fail at mileage much less than yours. Ford Falcons and early Mustangs, for example, typically required ball joints at 25,000 miles.

    However, on you '99 Dakota there was a issue with the ball joint seals prematurely failing allowing moisture and water to enter the internal joint connection and cause rust. Chrysler has extended the warranty on the upper ball joints up to 2003. The newer ball joints have a much more durable seal.

    As to tie-rods, at 77,000 miles this seems early based on my experience from fellow Dakota owners, but I have read of a few being replaced in the Edmunds forums.

    As to replacements, I can't recommend any particular brand. When I worked in the business Moog was usually a good quality replacement for most everything.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Since your problem it intermittent, the battery suggestion is on solid ground especially if its the factory original. As the previous posted stated, flaky things happen to a Dak when the battery is on the threshold of going belly up. However, the Central Timer Modules (CTM) on previous years also have a higher than normal failure rate.

    As to reading TCCM codes with an OBD2, I have no idea. The current tool recommended by Dodge is the OBD3.

    Best regards,
  • I have a 2005 Dakota Quad Cab 4X4 that I use on the farm. On dirt roads particularly the ones that are really rippled up by heavy truck traffic, my truck rides extremely rough, almost like a 3/4 ton. The back end hops around horribly. It has stock 245-75-16 tires, and stock shocks. Will a 265-70-16 tire and different shocks help to smooth this truck out, or is there another solution. I tried dropping my air pressure down to 26 psi, that helps in rough fields but on the road the ride is the same.
  • This message is to all of you with the "Warped Axel, Bad brake drums etc." problem. I haven't posted for a while, trying not to jinx my outcome. Chrysler admitted that they couldn't fix the problem and they bought my truck back. I have the check in hand, it took two months to get through all their red tape I held my breath the whole time. I am in the Pittsburgh area and would be happy to answer questions. They put me through hell, but I kept my mouth shut. Hope this helps. By the way I bought the truck in May, took it back the first time two weeks later. I had it back 4 times before they involved the Chrysler rep. He tried twice (everything from axels to drums to wheels), the last time he brought another rep and they took the fuse for the anti-lock brakes, still no help.

  • Can anyone help me here?
    I've tried everything related to poor fuel economy on my 1989 Dodge Dakota.
    Here's the short list:
    1. Replaced entire exhaust system (cat converter, muffler, pipes) from engine to exhaust pipe.
    2. Major tune-up: Injector system cleaned professionally. Replaced Oxigen sensor, fuel filter, pcv valve, spark plugs and wires, gas cap, air filter, etc (everything!).
    3. Compression and cylinder leak down test: all within specifications (130 psi plus or minus 15 according to Dodge). Fuel pressure test passed.
    4. New Tires (3-months old) kept at 38-40 psi.
    5. Using premium gasoline (Chevron).
    6. No engine leaks (new oil pan and valve cover gasket). Using 15-50 Mobil 1 plus 1 qt. lucus.

    After all this, I still only get 11-12 mpg on the the highway. I used to get 18-20 mpg with my bed (with camper shell) fully loaded with gear going from Los Angeles to San Francisco!!!!
  • Found it and was a breeze to change, under the glovebox on passenger side had to clip the tags on the side of the new resistor

    :shades: Norm
  • I too bought my 05 Quad Cab 4X4 Dakota in the Pittsburgh area. I have never been so fed up with a new vehicle in my life. I absolutely hate this truck because it vibrates, and Dodge refuses to fix it.

    I have been trying to avoid seeing an attorney, though it looks like that is my last resort.

    Would you be willing to speak with me to give me some advise? If its preferable, I could even meet with you somewhere like a resturaunt in the Western PA area (?) to discuss your experience and how you handled this situation.

    Any suggestions?

  • cujo1cujo1 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I know the recall for the dakota included the 2000 model do you know if it includes the 1999 Dakota also. Thanks
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The front end (upper ball joints) issue could only be on 2000 and newer. The design of the front end was changed to have rack-n-pinion steering starting in 2000.

    I also beleive this would be a four wheel drive issue.... the 2WD design is different.
  • I just purchased an 05 Dakota ST Quad. Love it with the 4.7 and tow pkg. :)
    anyway i noticed that the needles on the gauge cluster do not glow when the headlights are on. are they supposed to?
    everything else on the cluster seems to work properly.. all of the service lights work as well as the gauge faces. only the red needles themselves do not glow.

    if this is not a normal condition, is it something that i can fix? (im very experienced with component electronics repair.) or should i just drop it in for service and let them "find" the problem?

    i would hate to put it in the shop and lose use of it for a whole day if i can fix it myself.

    thanks for any help!

  • I have a mystery for you. On cold starts after putting my '02 Dakota in gear, I get a series of backfires and loss of power intermittantly. So far, I've replaced my water pump(leaking), plug wires & plugs, rotor cap, & crank sensor. I've had the fuel injectors and computer system checked several times with no problems showing. I, the dealership, and my expert mechanic have run out of ideas of what else could be wrong. Any ideas? Anyone else have this problem?
  • I recently overhauled a 97 dakota 3.9 engine. Nothing bore or ported, but replaced crankshaft and a piston, new rings and heads installed. I've received several P codes after engine installation. I've replaced crankshaft sensor, ignition coil, and now have a fuel injector code that points back to the PCM as the fault. (after replacing the component that the P code indicated crankshaft sensor and ignition coil the engine ran fine for a couple days then another fault) I check on a replacement PCM and was told that if I replaced it I would have to re program the module.

    So I guess my question is two fold here. Do I need to re program the PCM from one vehicle to another? And two, If I do then when I overhauled the engine could that of caused a need for re programing?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Generally, each PCM is specific for a vehicle, year, engine, options, ...etc. and the programming is not "transferrable" to another vehicle. (unless you lucky enough to locate a donar-vehicle that is virtually identical in every way.)

    It is NEVER a good idea to swap out PCMs. Do not forget that re-programming is not a trivial task and may only be doable by a dealersip with the proper equipment. Even then, they are trained to install NEW (unprogrammed) PCMS and may not be able assist with a "swap". Some of the programming is not UNdoable for security reasons.

    Consider a PCM as part of the vehicle identity. (in fact the VIN is coded into it)

    My suggestion, forget about swapping out the PCM and look for other causes of the issues you are seeing. I would be looking for a poor ground or power connection to the PCM or an engine component.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    How many miles on the vehicle and what engine?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Check the brakes and ensure their not dragging.

    How's the engine run? Good idle and no performance issues? If not, the intake manifold gasket may be bad.

    High mileage? Check the O2 sensor. Actually, just replace it if its over 100,000 miles. A check of the timing chain could be warranted as well if real loose.

  • Hi Everyone, I have a 01 QC 4x4 auto 4.7 and need to do a brake job. The parts list for the rears are 9 inch or 11 inch drums. I have just the regular 4x4 sport model, does anyone know what size they are? Should I take off a wheel and measure or are the 11 inch for optional brakes??
  • yoshioyoshio Posts: 18
    The engine light display suddenly lit on the dashboard of my 2001 dakota (4.7). I looked at the owners manual and it said it has to do with the emissions. I'm not able to get to a shop right away and need to drive the truck. How serious is this problem. Does anyone know what it could be? Or how to go about checking for the root of the problem?
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