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Dodge Dakota - Quad Cab



  • Love my Quad cab and when I finally get its problems straightened out will like it better. The newest problem is overheating. Truck was running just fine and I hooked a two-wheel trailer with a golfcart on it to tow about 20 miles. Truck began to run warm, and then dash light came on. Pulled in and overflow tank was full, waited for truck to cool and added about 1/2 gal of recommended anti-freeze. Drove it for a couple of days and it still ran warm. Took it to the dealer and they replaced top radiator hose because they thought it had a "crack". Drove the truck home and found overflow tank had the cap off. Replaced it and then drove the truck approx 100 miles before it started run at the top of the normal range. Took the truck back to the dealer. Dealer ran a pressure check and everything looked normal. Thermastat was replaced and truck was left to idle for over an hour with the air on. Temp normal. Drove truck 20 miles and same old story. Dealer took out radiator and had it cleaned. Radiator was clean, no blockage. To sum this up, upper hose, thermostat replaced, radiator flushed, pressure check good, and truck still get hot periodically. Any ideas??? Thanks
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The problem you describe is VERY unusual for 4.7L engine. This engine has a high-tech "bypass" cooling system that is usually very, very good. In all my years of following the 4.7L engine, I do not beleive I have heard on one that overheats.

    As a comparison, I run my 4.7L engine with cardboard covering the entire radiator all winter long. (to improve heating in the cabin) I have even TRIED to make it overheat by climbing up a long (many miles) hill that needs 4th gear just to get up it. The temp guage only moves slightly above normal. (this is WITH the cardboard over the radiator)

    Obvously, in your case, somthing is very wrong. The pressure (bleeddown) test they did seems to rule out a leaking head gasket. I also assume you do not see any water in the oil. This is good news.

    The next thing to consider is that the belt is slipping or the waterpump is not pumping the coolant. If changing the belt does not help, consider changing the waterpump.

    QUESTION: Does the upper radiator hose and radiator get HOT when it overheats? Does the heater with blower on HIGH blow hot air? (if not, this would point to the waterpump not moving the coolant thru the system.)

    It is possible that you are just suffering from "air lock" within the cooling system. Make certain that all air-bubbles are burped from the cooling system. There is a "bleeder nipple" on the cooling system to help do this.

    Also, It is IMPERATIVE that you cooling system has NEVER had "regular" antifreeze mixed in with the factory HOAT antifreeze. That could cause "jelling" of the antifreeze and may plug up the passagways in the engine.
  • Thanks for the advise - From what I have read on this forum, this truck differs from the usual. I've had to replace two coil packs - heard from folks that said this was unusual. I have a light tapping noise that sounds like a lifter that goes away with-in a minute or so of starting, some folks told me this is unusual. My gas mileage is around 14MPG (after a factury tune-up) which seems to be lower than most. Truck usually runs looks great w/100,000 miles. Talked to the dealer yesterday and was told to pick it up today and drive it, see what happens. Thanks again bpeebles!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I see yours is a 2001, but unless there was a very early component quality issue with the supplier that I don't know about, coil packs on the 4.7 are not a common problem. In fact, your's would be the first I've ever heard of.

    Just thinking, though, when doesn't someone say "that's a common problem?"

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My apologies for this late response, but a 2003 WOULD NOT have a "5.4" engine, and only the RT, I believe, received the 5.9.

    The standard Dakota V8 is the 287 cubic inch, or 4.7 liter.

    Best regards,
  • Truck seems to be doing fine now - engine temp is running on the lower half of the gauge - factory system was drained and radiator cleaned out, HOAT has been replaced with Prestone - looks like this did the trick.

    Replaced throttle position sensor - can't believe the difference it made in the number of times the tach jumped. Truck feels 100% better - not a bad deal for $25.00 at Autozone. Thanks again for your help!!
  • :confuse: HI just started looking at this site a couple days ago and see alot of helpful information. I recently started having problems with my 2002QC 4x4. auto trans. It has an intermittent glitch in the electrical system. I checked the P-codes (none). After driving for about twenty minutes the lights: head,tail, instrument, interior (if on) begin to flash off and on. Checked all fuses (ok). Turned engine off,
    lights (all) still cycle on and off intermittently. With the headlights off, engine off, and the door open, the interior lights will still flicker. The truck is out of warranty and I'm trying to fix ( with the advice from others ) myself. I just hit 61000.
    Deer season is in and I need these lights fixed!!!!!!!!!! Thanks in advance John
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Could be Central Timer Module failure.

  • Dusty,
    Thanks for the quick reply. Is there any good/easy way to check the CTM?
    Would this give me a code after several instances of seeing the problem?
    And now for the big ? $$$$$ how many am I looking at.
    You seem to be quite the expert here, I'm sure people are grateful.

    Thanks John
  • OK, I found the CTM under the left kick panel. Called the dealer $140.00. They also said they have had to replace the headlight switch ($60.00) for the above mentioned problem. I'm leaning towards the CTM as the door chime also has the intermittent problem. Is there another vendor that I can purchase this from, I've heard Dogde may be the only source. Appreciate any info.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The headlights switches have been a problem on earlier Dakotas, but I don't remember a failure being associated with random chimes.

    To the best of my knowledge Chrysler is the only source for the Central Timer Module.

    The CTM is one of the more difficult items to completely diagnose, but conventional electronic test equipment (digital voltmeter) can be used used to check each input and output circuit. Unfortunately, that can be tedious and a factory service manual is a necessity. Even after checking the hard input and output circuits there could still be a problem in the CTM itself that can only be verified with a DRB3 scan tool.

    Best regards,
  • Dusty,
    I just checked a sight, It's showing a recall : NHTSA campaign # 02v322000 for the CTM on the 2002 which could cause headlight failure. Taking this notice to the dealer tomorrow to see if they stand behind it. I'll let ya know what I find out.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Before replacing the CTM.... I beleive that there was a problem with GROUNDING of the CTM on some Daks. A poor ground can cause all kinds of goofy stuff to happen because the CTM has no "reference point" from which to base its timings on.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I forgot about the recall. i thought that it was on an earlier year Dak, but glad you found it.

    Let us know how you make out.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Grounding has been a problem for a number of electrical problems on the Dakota, even more so on the RAM.

  • New to the Dodge game, very impressed so far with my new '05 club cab 4.7, 5 speed auto. Wondering if you have decided on an exhaust yet?? I'm thinking of the same flowmaster 40 setup with rear dual oval stainless tips...a little reluctant though after finding a feedback on the web that this system has a gargly sound, not a deep throaty sound (specifically on the 4.7). Couldn't find much feedback/reviews on this setup. Have a local shop that will do this for about $290, sounds fair to me.
    Would appreciate any feedback....Thanks!
  • I am trying to get better gas mileage. I have put on the AIRAID intake system, AIRAID throttle body, and flowmaster 3" single exhaust. I have a 2002 4.7L v-8, and can't get over 16 mpg. Is there anything else I can do for mileage???
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The factory exhaust on the 4.7L is actually pretty good.

    If you are looking for PERFORMANCE : Do not go larger than 2.5 inches diameter and do not use "dual" pipes from the muffler. A single piple is MUCH better at maintaining exhaust velocity.... dual pipes WEIGH MORE, and REDUCE FLOW. (both bad for performance)

    If you are also looking for PERMINANT exhaust system: Go with BORLA. It is the best - no questions about it. The BORLA also sounds great ON THE OUTSIDE while not making the inside of the truck much louder. (Because BORLA uses heavier-guage pipes)

    Also, I have heard that SPINTECH has a good muffler. (uses sea-shell-shaped baffles to force soundwaves to cancell out.) Virtually no backpressure.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    "The factory exhaust on the 4.7L is actually pretty good."


    Yes it is. Like anything that comes from the factory its a compromise system. But Dodge trucks in general and the 4.7 specifically are very efficient single exhaust systems. If your looking for high performance, then maybe a dual setup would provide some measurable gain, but I doubt it would be anything more than marginal. You'd probably lose some torque besides.

    If you want the look and/or the sound, then that's something different. But for broad range performance and fuel consumption I think you'd be better off with the factory single exhaust.

    I heard a Gibson on a '05 Quad Cab a few weeks ago and I thought the sound was nice without being raucous. The owner said it was very quiet inside the truck.

    Good luck and best regards,
  • Dustyk,

    Thanks for the feedback, I'm really on the fence about the exhaust mods a week after buying the truck. I may keep it stock for a while and just try a K & N intake/filter FIPK instead to help a little with performance and mileage. Getting a Line-X bedliler and tinted windows soon so that will somewhat "personalize" my ride enough for now without creating any regrettable issues due to an impulse-buy exhaust system.

    Thanks again for the info...I'll definitely keep an eye on this board to further educate myself about my Dakota options, pro's and con's.

    Have a good one..
  • My Forum contributions to this topic...

    I agree with both bpeebles and dustyk; the factory OEM muffler for the 4.7L is pretty decent. Also, agree that to maintain good exhaust velocity to stay with with 2.5" size pipes and with a single outlet are both wise tips if the engine is not highly modified. Mandrel bent piples (equal in diameter throughout) are also preferred for backpressure reduction.

    Personally, I simply replaced the factory muffler only with a stainless steel Magnaflow low restriction one of the same size and am happy with the results. There was an approx increase of only 2-3 decibels of noise level while under acceleration. The slight deep throaty sound is music to my ears for a factory engine. During idle, there is only a very slight increase in the level of exhaust noise as compared to factory muffler. My setup on a 2003 is quieter than my friend's Gibson 3" cat back on a 2003 and another friend's Flowmaster (muffler only) setup on a 2000.

    It really boils down to personal preferences, budget, and performance modifications plans. As previously mentioned, Borla, Gibson, Magnaflow, Flowmaster, Spintech, Dynamax, etc., are some other good alternatives.

    Good luck with your selection.

  • Dusty,
    Thanks for the info, I Replaced the CTM, My VIN. # didn't match up for the recall so I dished out the $155.00 to replace the timer. Lights, door locks, etc. work. :) That fixed that problem. The keyless entry won't work, called the dealer today and now I have to take it in and have them use the scan tool to re program my remote,
    price $20.00. I am thankful however from reading some of the other posts that this is the only problem I have had ( knock on wood ). I've had the truck one year next month and quite frankly other than the poor gas mileage ( 13 :) ish in the city) I have been quite happy w/it. I plan on doing a oil change and tune up prior to winter so maybe that will help. Trucks aren't made for economy so we just visit the gas stations more frequently. Now it's time to do some hunting, and haul a little venison in the back.
    Thanks for your help. John
  • No owners manual with it... for the life of me I can't figure out how to get the jack etc from under the back seat. It can't be that difficult. :confuse:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, if its a Club Cab the jack assembly is held in by two velco straps that loop over the top of the jack. Just find the ends of the strap and pull upwards, then remove the strap from the loops.

  • No, it's a 4dr quad cab type. guess I'm just a little dense but it seems as though that one should be able to access the jack etc fairly simply. Honestly I don't see how to get it out of there.
  • I have a 2004 Dakota QuadCab 4x4 that had the same problem. While on the road it would begin to overheat as soon as I got off the highway. The only company that was able to figure out the problem was a radiator shop. The problem was the clutch fan. It would never engage and would just freewheel. When I told the dealer this on the second visit, they agreed and replaced the clutch fan. Unusual to fail after a year I know, but the maintenance-free battery failed the same week. I'm looking for an auxilary fan to replace the cooling of the clutch fan. The truck comes with a clutch fan and an electric fan hidden in the fan shroud. There is a guy in southern California that replaced it all with a Dodge Viper fan and it seems to work, even in the heat of CA. It is expensive though, so I still think I can find a pusher fan that will work. :sick:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It would be pretty trivial to add a switch on the dash that would manually turn on that electric fan. Were you aware that turining on the AC *automatically* turns on that electric fan?

    I find it VERY hard to beleive that a 4.7L engine was overheating by just getting off the highway. My clutchfan has never kicked in (based on factory service manual criteria) . My temp guage has NEVER EVER get close to overheat point. (Even in 90F, AC on high traveling 75MPH for hours....then come to a dead stop.)

    I do not even have the "heavy duty cooling package" for towing. I am beginning to wonder if Dodge speced a smaller radiator in the newer Dakotas.

    My suspicion is that you have some other issue besides that fanclutch....just how hot is it where you are? We are brushing SNOW off our vehicles here in Vermont at this time of year.
  • Okay, here the latest on the '01 Quad w/4.7 - Radiator flushed and cleaned, block flushed - pressure test done - fan clutch replaced - three radiator caps - two thermostats - new hoses and system bled for air lock - truck will be fine for a week and then out of the blue truck will overheat - no anti-freeze being used and oil is super clean - the last time it overheated I turned on heater and it was blowing cold, by increasing RPMs it heated up in a minute and temp immediatly started down to normal. Truck has been okay now for another week - I hooked up to a car trailer last week with a '67 Chevelle on it and truck ran fine - pulled into yard to unhook trailer and truck began to heat up while running - makes no friggin sense
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The fact that your heater was blowing COLD while temp guage was showing overheat points to an issue with coolant FLOW (or NOT flowing) the way it is supposed to be.

    As a longshot.... are you SURE that the serpentene belt is installed properly? Although I have never tried it, I have been told that the serp belt can be installed incorrectly in such a way that the waterpump is driven BACKWARDS rotation. (Like I said - this is a longshot and most likely not your problem)
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    I am inclined to agree w/bpeebles on this issue. Given what you said about temp decreasing when you increased rpm's certainly points to coolant flow issue. Further, I would suspect a problem with heater control system malfunction not allowing coolant to flow, again given what you said about the heater initially blowing cold when you turned it on.
    Another thing to consider, although I have never heard of it happening to a Chrysler product, Ford had an issue on older vehicles with water pump impeller erosion. Impeller vanes would erode to the point that the pump would no longer circulate coolant sufficently to keep the vehicle cool under high ambient temps after a period of driving. In fact, I have the same problem right now in a '89 302 and have eliminated all but the water pump...and it will be changed next week.
    One other point, I have seen problems, although rarely, with either a radiator hose or heater hose collapsing under higher speeds and restricting coolant flow and then opening back up when vehicle cooled down. Check all your hoses and if you can easily collapse any place along it's length by squeezing it with your fingers, replace it.
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