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Dodge Dakota: Problems & Solutions



  • i have a 01 q/c 2x4 mine seems to favor the left side and since the 2wd version doesnot have torsion bars there is no adjustment....... does any one know if there is any adjustments for the rear leaf springs??
  • i have had a simialr problem with my 01qc sport 4.7 2wd with 4wl antilock brakes... seems to make a slight pop sound when turning left or right with the brakes applied... i have brought to the dealers attention many times but they say they cannot recreate the sound enough to figure it out they did however ck the entire front susp and every this is fine....... i have come to thinks however this noise is coming from the brakes since it only occurs when they are applied while turning usually parking lot or slow turns.....find a road where you can play around a little put the truck in 1 st auto trans so its not shifting up and down, ride the brakes around 10-15 mph jerk the wheel from side to side and you should hear this sound from side to side.... i did this and sure enough it work. i think its just the way there designed however i will perform this manuver for the dealer next trip in when ever that is truck brakes fine steers fine so i'm not rushing to the dealer its a P.I.A.good luck if you find something out pls let me (us) know.....later
  • I have a similar noise in my 2000 Dakota 4x4,,,,I only have anti-lock brakes in the rear. I also brought this to my dealers attention,,,they say they cannot duplicate problem,they told me a truck does not drive like a car and there will be different noises(I told them not to play me as stupid just because I am a woman-I do work with mechanics everyday and do know a little) What ever the case truck/car, when you make a sharp turn,there should not be popping noise of metal on metal.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Not a problem. Do not worry about it. Nothing is going to fall off of your rig. Go on with life.

    I have owned several vehicles that exhibit this so-called 'popping sound' when turned sharp to one side and a bump is encountered (wheel-jerking can cause it too slickwilliedj .)

    Starting in 2000, the Dakota received a brand-new front end. This included Rack-n-Pinion steering and IFS. (Independent Front Suspension) This is all suspended with Torson-bar springs.

    The benefits are enormous. Handling better than some cars. Less unsprung weight and better steering geometry. This is one reason I BOUGHT a Dakota. Everywhere you look, it is a better design.

    Lets not forget that just because we hear a sound, feel or smell something, it is not automatically a "problem". Perhaps a concern to some people... but NOT a problem.
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    under the dash of my 2001 quad, 4x4, 4.7 auto there is a little holder like box to the right of the steering column and it has a little red lock clip button thing. is it some kind of fuse or relay? what does it go to and or do?

    also, the manual states that with the towing package you get a 7-4 adaptor, wiring harness for electric brake controller and 3 relays. anybody get the relays? my truck didnt have them and every truck on the dealers lot doesnt have them. you are supposed to install the relays if you install the brake controller so it should have been in the bag with your adaptor and pig tail. any answers?

    also, anybody know why they changed and what the difference is in the new tranny fluid, its not 7176 atf+3 in my 2001 multispeed its atf+4 9602. also the tranny fluid change is 100k miles if you do the a schedule and 30k miles if you do the b schedule. the 7176 was 30k miles with a schedule and 15k miles with the b schedule. and is the new fluid required like the 7176 was?

    questions, questions, questions?


  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    "little red lock clip button thing" made me look....some kind of circuit breaker? Maybe someone with the service manual would look it up to clarify.

    I have the tow package on the truck. No relays were supplied in the bag. I have not looked, but are the relays already installed where the relays go?
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 60
    I know that I've read this somewhere in this board but am unable to find my answer, so i will post the question.... again.

    FYI: 2001,QC, SLT+, 4x4, 4.7, multi speed auto, 3.55, HD service.

    I am getting very close to the coveted 600 miles on the odometer (dying to put this puppy through its paces) and was wondering if a certain whine should be heard from the engine/tranny. I believe that this noise have been present from day one and never really thought too much about it, but you never know so who better to ask than the boys (and girls)!

    The whine that i am talking about sounds like what you get when you put a lot of pressure though a hydraulic line. All most like the whine one would get from a low power steering pump, just not as loud. One could also liken it to the whine from a blower (oh how i wish!) but again not nearly as loud. It is dependent on engine speed, but I think only when in gear. It seems to me like it is simply the tranny winding through its gears, but am somewhat unsure.

    The tranny shifts fine, and she runs like a dream, I'm just curious if this is common with all 4.7 auto's. don't want to mash anything up.


  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    the manual says that there are 3 relays included in the towing package that has to be installed if you install an electric brake controller but its not in the plastic bag. i wonder if it is a misprint? i also wonder if the tranny fluid 9602 is a misprint because on the mopar parts website they have 7176+3 and 7176+4 not 9602+4 so i think its a misprint maybe. they also say its that the +4 is a fluid for life.

    any info greatly appreciated.

  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    i was thinking about bluebayou and his whine and i wonder if whenever someone has a funny noise or problem and others live in the area maybe get together and listen/observe each others trucks and gang up on dealer to eliminate the "oh they all do that" syndrome.

    also, whatever happened to the get togethers across the country?

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    If the relays are included in the tow package, then they are probably already installed by the dealer when they do the vehicle prep. I have not checked this area in my truck so can't confirm if the relays are there or not.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (bluebayou) This sounds as if you are describing the infamous rear-end-whine that some folks have encountered. Does the sound change frequency with each gear change? if are hearing the rear differential gears.

    There are many manifestations of this whine including during deceleration and at certain speeds or loads. Some people seem to be more sensitive to this whining sound too.

    Apparently some differentials, although they may be within tolerance, can whine at times. Others may have enough 'play' in them to clunk when unloaded. (for automatic xmission, this could be a D-R or R-D shift)

    These are not a 'problem' from a reliability standpoint and your dealer may tell you it is normal.
    You may not want your dealer opening up your differential to mess with it anyway. Without special training and experience... it is VERY easy to make things worse.

    DC has apparently had problems with DANA as of late. DC has announced that they will be changing to another vendor to manufacture differentials... this, obviously, will not help your immediate concern.

    It has been reported that changing to synthetic gear lube has helped. Also, differentials tend to get quieter as they get some miles on them. (the meshing gears tend to 'shape' themselves to each other as the mating surfaces get VERY shiny. )
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    last evening.. and has been in the recovery room all night. I got the call she is ready to come home. I will be going after work.. and will ensure there were no problems with the long stay in a strangers garage (sctatches, damage etc..)and the transplant was done properly. Post-Op details as they become available.. Bye Durango 6-banger ;-)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 60
    The sound does change with each shift and gets louder with higher rpm. I'm almost positive that it is not the rear end, as that is a seperate sound that i can hear (usually when coasting).

    Neither sound is very loud, at least not to the point that it bothers me, i'm just not sure if it should be doing this. I'll take it for a spin during lunch and report back with a little better discription.


  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    the dealer said they dont put them in and they are only for use if an electronic brake controller is used, me so confused :o)

  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 60
    Ok, I think i've got it.

    I think that the whine that I hear is the timing gear drive.

    I know that when you build a motor... say a bowtie 350 (come on! it is the most popular). If you put in a gear drive in place of the timing belt you get a whine. Kind of like a quiet blower.

    Bear with me, I do have pretty good ears and that may explain it.

    It increases with engine speed, can be heard while in park, is definetly not the rear end.

    If anybody can confirm, it would be appreciated.

    Thanks again!

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (bluebayou) Did you say you have the 4.7L V8 HEMI?
    The timing drive is 3 seperate chains with an idler where a 'normal' camshaft would be. There are no GEARS involved.

    I guess that one with sensitive hearing such as yourself would have little trouble detecting all of that metal moving around in the front of the engine.

    I know that an ALTERNATOR will emit a "whine" while under load. Does it get louder when the lights are turned on?
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    Bpeebles has a good insight here. Used to own a Mercury (!) GASP! some years back. Had power windows and seats and whenever you roll down a window or move the seat, that alternator sounded like a hurt puppy. It even did this after I rebuilt it with new bearings etc. Guess it was part of the design...anyway it worked.

    Noises are hard to describe and one noise to one person will sound perfectly normal to another. I know of several posts mentioning the bzzzz tick... from the 45RFE. WHen my dad drove a Dynasty 1991 (had the A604 ultradrive)he took it back to the dealer after two days complaining about the bzzzz tick when he shifted into drive. It was explained to us this was normal.

    Skeptical, I listed out for minivans and other Mopar cars with that tranny and after a week I heard more buzzz tick than I care to remember.
    But to the virgin ear or untrained ear, it sounds like a major problem. It's not.

    A water pump bearing can also contribute to a whine also.

    Remember the 2.2/2.5 four bangers? I had a Reliant and that sucker always whined no matter what oil or filter I used. Solution? Turned up the radio.
  • bobsyveebobsyvee Posts: 63
    I've had that whine all along. bluebayou describes it perfectly. Sort of like a power steering pump thats low on fluid, but not real loud. I wonder if it has anything to do with the power steering cooler that comes with the HD package. To me it's just a noise as everything is operating fine. Still a lot of time until the warranty expires.

    Jim H
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 60
    Bruce - Good call on the timing chain. For some reason, I had a brain fart and substituted a gear drive for a chain drive. Oh well, back to the drawing board. lol

    I will have to pop the hood this weekend and give it a real good listen as I was unable to get dirty the other day.

    Again, the noise does not seem to hinder perfomance or signal a mechanical problem so I'm not to worried about it, just trying to get to know my Qaud inside out.

    I'll let you know what i find!

    Thanks for the input!!!

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You mention another possible source of a whine. The power steering pump.

    Certainly, an alternator whine is almost a "whistle" sound while the Power-steering-pump can be described as a groan or gear-churning sound.

    As I said previously, turning on the lights often makes an alternator "whistle" louder.

    The "Test" for a power-steering-pump sound is to turn to the lock and "gently" hold the steeringwheel while listening for the sound.
    (CAUTION: Weak hoses may burst during this "test" It is never a good idea to turn to the lock in either direction with any force.)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 60
    The source of the whine has been identified. It is definetly the power steering pump. I finally got a few minutes to pop the hood and take a real good listen. I had to stick my head in the bay and then my ear on top of the power steering pump fluid filler cap to actually isolate the whine, but that was without a doubt the source of the whine.

    The whine does not change pitch or volume when i turn the wheels. It does give me the yelp when you hit either lock, but most will do that. Steering effort is light and it seems to be operating correctly. The fluid is at the proper level etc.

    I guess that I will have to let the dealer know when i take it in for the once over.

    If anybody has any sugestions, please feel free to let them fly


  • ron35ron35 Posts: 134
    I have just had the second headlight in my 2000 Dak CC fill up with water drops inside the headlight housing. This also happened to me with my 98 Ram a couple years back; is this a common problem on all Dodge trucks?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    ( ron35 ) I do not know if it is a 'common' problem but I have had several of these occurrences on new cars (including Dodge and Honda). Usually on a side-marker-light.

    Since this is "supposed" to be a sealed unit, have the dealer order a replacement under warrantee. (Drilling a hole in the bottom of it IS NOT AN OPTION although I had one dealer actually suggest this as a fix.)
  • ahasherahasher Posts: 236
    is back home.; picked her up Fri evening (Tropical Storm/Depression Allison made it VEY wet). When I made it to the dealer after dropping off the Durango, she was ready and waiting for me. A quick once-over for paint damage or anything else obvious, i checked the trannsplant, it looked to be a very good install, except for teh obvious new looking fuse box and wire harness, it looked factory original. They even re wired (better, since the space was opened up) my lighted DODGE emblem front license plate. My QC looked great and the sound of the 4.7 idling was music. As soon as i sat it her, and got everything adjusted again, I can definetly say the QC beats the Druango overall; mostly I missed the 4.7 power.. So, overall, very good work, helpful service dude ( I prodded a bit, but he came around) and get this.. I picked up my MOPAR hitch and wiring ( which I highly recommend for price and quality) while I was there, and they gave me a nice discount for waiting so long for my rig..
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    nothing better than being behind the wheel of your own rig.
  • steve234steve234 Posts: 460
    The fuses and relays are installed already. Whether or not the dealer does this, I do not know, but when I installed my controller, I checked them all out. On the negative side, I had a bad 30amp fuse and had to get a new one. Would not have been a problem, but it was Friday and I was prepping my boat for a weekend trip. Fuses are only available at a dealer, so I couldn't take my boat out that weekend.
  • urban3urban3 Posts: 74
    I asked about this before and received good advice. My QC definitely seems to be lower on the passenger side by 1/2"-3/4". We re-measured this on level ground and with a full tank of gas and someone sitting in the driver's seat. I realize these are rough measurements not made from the specific points on the frame.

    But none the less, I'm wondering if this is a "problem" that can or should be corrected (as bpeebles points out, I'm not saying it is a problem). What, if anything do you recommend?

    Also noticed, that the right rear tire extends 1/2"+ beyond the outer edge of the wheel flare (while looking from behind the vehicle), and the left rear tire is "inside" the edge of the wheel flare by the same amount . I believe I saw other posts about this. I have the 16" wheels with the T&H package, 4WD Sport. Again, a problem or no?

    (ahasher) I think I know a little how you felt. Friday they put down the PetroMat and covered it with oil and sand on the streets that are being re-surface in my neighborhood. So Saturday they started putting down the final layer and I decided wait to take the truck out (1 week old). Well they didn't finish, but by Sunday I couldn't wait anymore and headed out. A noticeable feeling of relief after not driving for even one day. Just had to go 2 MPH for a few blocks.

  • captcrunchcaptcrunch Posts: 11
    The neighbors are asking...."why does he keep crawling under his bright red truck with a tape measure?" The report from the dirty side of this QC is that both the rear axle and the pickup box are about 1/4" off-center with respect to the frame rails. Since the rear tires line up well with the fender arches, both mounting variables must be in the same direction. But should I care that parts of my truck are slightly left of center? Lack of odd tire wear suggests that everything is pointed in pretty much the same direction. End of story, or...?

    One question from my explorations: what's the purpose of the 2-to-3" diameter metal tube mounted in soft rubber across the frame between the rear bumper and the spare tire? Why do I want the extra vibrating mass back there?

    Finally, it looks as if the rear shocks might be leaking somewhat. Is there a better way to test them than bouncing up and down on the rear bumper and trying to count rebounds?

    The benefit of any and all expertise is appreciated!
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    This has been an issue since the 2000 Quad came out. The axle has been off centered on a fair number of Quads. I had thought it might be a quality control problem with the axle supplier welding the spring mounts off center. I don't think that is a problem because Dodge quietly changed axles between the 2000 and 2001 model years. My Quad, a year 2000 baby, has the Chrysler corporate 9 1/4 or 9 3/8" (I forget the exact fraction) rear end while the new 2001 models have the Chrysler corporate 8 1/4" rear end. You would think if there was a problem causing them to change axles due to mispositioned mounting pads you'd think the replacements would be correct. I seem to recall though that all the misaligned rear ends had the tire offset toward the passenger side. Mine is offset about 1/2" to the passenger side. I have almost 11000 miles and tire wear and driveability has been terrific, no complaints. I do occasionally polish the tread when departing a stop light. ;-)
    There have also been many complaints on the 2000 Quad of bed misalignment. If the bed is re aligned you MUST replace the mounting bolts per the shop manual. They have a coating that prevents them from vibrating loose which gets ruined when the bolts are removed. The book states to use new bolts so keep that in mind if you opt for the dealer to realign the bed. I thought that this problem was corrected on the 2k1 models but some must be slipping through the crack. Unless it really bothers you I'd leave it alone.
    I bought a brand new Nissan Maxima SE in 1985, this was the first "luxury" car I'd ever owned. When it was running you could put a glass of water on the hood and not see any ripples. I took it to the dealer for the first routine service about 7500 miles and they fixed my idle for me. They made sure there I could see ripples in the water and added vibrations in the steering column so I could feel if it was running if I didn't have a glass of water to check. Thats when I bought my first Shop Manual. Unless it is a clear cut warranty issue no one works on my truck or car but me. Rick
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I do not blame you one bit for being wary of repair shops... even your dealer can take an acceptable situation and turn it into a headache.
    (As you found with your Nissan Maxima..which is a fine automobile BTW)

    As for the switch in axles between 2000 and 2001. I beleive you are mistaken. One's choice of options dictate which differential they receive. Both the 8.25" (10-bolt) and 9.25" (12-bolt)Pumpkins were available in 2000. (The choice of differential ITSELF is not on the option list)
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