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1st Gen Dakota '96 & Older Dakota's

starter relay?

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2006, 01:15 AM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default starter relay?

ok, my 88 dakota will not start. when I turn the key all I hear is a clicking sound. I think it's the starter relay but I'm not sure. it will only click once. and the battery is good.

I can hear a ticking noise comming from the drivers side fender area. which I think is where the relay is.

also, if I take a test light to it and see if there is power goin to it. will that work? I'm gonna clean all the connections tomorrow and see if that helps. but what else would make it make a clicking noise?

plus it's -15 out now and we have like 3-4 feet of snow[:@] figures my luck thats when the stupid thing brakes down.[:@]
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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:10 AM..
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2006, 04:16 AM
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dodgerules86 dodgerules86 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

It could be.
The starter relay is located exactly where you think it is. There should be about 2, 3 or 4 relays in a row (depending on engine/options). The starter relay should be the one closest to the firewall.
If you remove the relay, there should be numbers (30, 85, 86, 87, 87a) on the bottom of the relay near each blade. If you connect a jumper from terminal 30 to terminal 87, the starter should engage (only jump for a short time, just long enough to ensure starter will turn over or not)
If starter fully engages, either the relay is bad, or there is a fault in the wiring somewhere. If you have a multimeter and another body, this will be simple. With the ignition in the START position, test for voltage across terminals 30 and 86 (PCM provides a ground via terminal 30, and the ignition switch provides positive via terminal 86).
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1996 Dodge Dakota, 4x4, extended cab, 3.9L, automatic. - my baby
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2006, 07:34 AM
gb6491 gb6491 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

You might also have a bad plunger in your starter. There is quite a bit of info on the problem here: http://www.nasyard.com/infoA.html
He also has the tear down procedure here: http://www.nasyard.com/click/Main_Li...ml?refid=store and a test procedure: http://nasyard.com/click/A_Direct_Al...Test_OSGR.html
It's possible to clean the contacts and plunger with sand paper and have everything work for quite awhile.

Checking the connections is a good idea.
-15 is pretty cold, the whole shebang might have become sluggish enough that the solenoid just doesn't have the strength to overcome it and pull the plunger all the way into contact position.
Regards,
Greg

Attached images are from the 1989 service manual.

[IMG]local://upfiles/27279/F953F65998044263BBCDEE80C01E74D5.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]local://upfiles/27279/CBCA9951D8844FBD8769A758179399E3.jpg[/IMG]
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2006, 12:50 PM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

I'm gonna try and jump the starter and see if that works plus check all my connections. and it's like -5 right now so atleast its abit warmer to work on it. and I'll take a volt meter to the relay too.

thanks for the information
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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:11 AM..
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2006, 05:34 PM
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Default RE: starter relay?

well.... I checked all the wires and I replaced the positive terminal and then I tried to jump the start relay. I took a wire and put it in 30 then put it in 87 and it sparked and it make a weird noise and then it wouldnt do anything[:@]

so I took the starter off and tried using jumper cables on it and at first it kept on clicking and then after about 10 times it finally started turning. so then I did acouple more times and it would turn and then it started clicking again. so now maybe it's the solenoid.

but when I jumped the relay, do you think that it should have sparked like that. what I did was un hook the relay, put the key on "on" position then put the wire on 30 and 87. is that how you do it.


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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:12 AM..
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2006, 05:52 PM
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Default RE: starter relay?

Quote:
but when I jumped the relay, do you think that it should have sparked like that. what I did was un hook the relay, put the key on "on" position then put the wire on 30 and 87. is that how you do it.
Putting the key to the "on" position to just test it is not needed because your bypassing the PCM and ignition. The spark should only worry you if it was big.

It does sound like the solenoid. I know for mine, they didn't sell the solenoid seperatly. And I would recommend replacing the whole starter anyways, you don't wanna get stuck some place, I almost let my starter go for too long.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2006, 06:29 PM
BOOMER_87 BOOMER_87 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

since I've had this problem it is most likely your relay you can either replace it or just wire in a button to bypass it it's a simple procedure just put a wire from the battery to the small wire on the starter with the button in the line.voila you now have a sterter button.if you want to be sure a button is necessary just jump the posts on the starter it should turn immediately and as normal,you wont need the key on to do this and your proof will be difinative. I know thia because I had to bypass mine and it works fine.
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:14 PM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

the spark wasnt a big one but after I did that I tried plugging it back in and then I turned the key and it didnt even click anymore. so I dont know if i shorted somethin out or not.

a new starter is $160 and a used one at a junk yard is $30 so I have to wait till monday for a junkyard to open.

I think its the starter now, but I hope I didnt short anything else out in the proccess.

and now I know to make sure the key is OFF before you try and remove the starter. I got one hell of a jolt.

once I get the starter I will know if the relay is good or not. I will probl just put a switch to it like boomer said.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2006, 10:53 PM
BOOMER_87 BOOMER_87 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

remember this if you're going to remove the starter disconnect your battery or you'll get the same kind of sparking, don't leave the system live it could cause a myriad of problems.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2006, 11:02 PM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

ya, I left the batter connected while I was taking the starter off. lol I have a bad memory some times and I forget to do stuff.

Im gonna price out a rebuild kit monday and see if its cheaper. and I'll rebuild it myself. (I hope I dont screw that up either) I just hate electrical stuff[:@]


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  #11  
Old 12-10-2006, 12:05 AM
Mr_Shorty Mr_Shorty is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

If it was me... I would remove those three screws on theback of the solenoid and clean the brass up with some sand paper. As long as the contacts on the inside of the solenoid aren't worn down too far then it will work just fine for a long time.

When I pulled mine apart, it was worn badly, but the guy had been letting it click for a long time before I got the truck. The solenoid itself was $109 and the starter complete with new solenoid was $82... I am not sure why the price difference, but it was.




Later Daze,
Shorty
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2006, 12:10 AM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

ok. I'll try cleaning the solenoid tomorrow. then I'll try jumping it and see if it will turn over. and if it does then I will put her back in and call her good.



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  #13  
Old 12-10-2006, 05:18 AM
gb6491 gb6491 is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

Be careful not to lose the check ball. The plunger spring sits on top of it and it can fall out when the spring is removed.


[IMG]local://upfiles/27279/89A053D3D2954691AA1E6DA1C61E355C.jpg[/IMG]
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2006, 06:00 PM
kahanabob kahanabob is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

I have replaced 2 starters on my 90. Same thing just clicks. I use the tire iron and tapped on the starter and it worked. Both times did that for about a month tap tap and start then replaced the starter.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:57 PM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

ok the starter works!!.............. I think[:@]

I took the starter apart and cleaned all the brass contacts with sandpaper and brakeclean. then I put it back to gether and put power to it and it turns right away now. so I put it back in the truck hooked all the wires up and then went to start it........ and nothing happend[:@]

so I took a screw driver and jumped it at the starter and it spun, but it didnt engage to the engine. so I dont know if its still messed up or not.

I tried jumping it at the relay but nothing happens, so I think theres an electrical problem with it too. so maybe I will have to rewire some stuff. or just make a switch for it like boomer said. then I know it will be getting power.













I HATE ELECTRICAL STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![:@][:@][:@][:@]

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  #16  
Old 12-11-2006, 12:15 AM
Mr_Shorty Mr_Shorty is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

Look for a fuse... from your earlier post, the popping sound with the spark sounds to me like you might have hit the ground side instead of the switched side of the terminal... That would cause a blown fuse or fusable link (which there is a ton of them on the driver's side between the firewall and the battery). If you lived closer, I would love to help out, I don't mind electrical work at all. It is easier if you take it one wire at a time...

I wish I had a schematic for the Dakota, I could look it over and try and help you more.

Later Daze,
Shorty
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  #17  
Old 12-11-2006, 12:25 AM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

ya the fuse thing makes sense.

so you know where the fuse would be. under the dash or in the engine bay. tomorrow I will look and see. that would explain why there is no power there anymore.

thanks for all the help you dont know how much I hate wireing.[:@]
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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:19 AM..
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  #18  
Old 12-11-2006, 01:09 AM
BAnders BAnders is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

could be a bad solenoid, best bet would be to replace the starter
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  #19  
Old 12-11-2006, 02:33 AM
Mr_Shorty Mr_Shorty is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

I don't have a manual or a schematic for the dakota... YET, but I am trying to find one so I can finish up my wiring and help others with... As far as the location, I would imagine it is in the engine bay. There are also the fuseable links that are between the firewall and battery on the driver's side.


Just incase the cleaning of the contacts doesn't work, here is a link for a cheap starter

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MINI-...QQcmdZViewItem
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  #20  
Old 12-11-2006, 05:09 PM
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jonnymagnum jonnymagnum is offline
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Default RE: starter relay?

ITS ALIVE!!!!!!!!


I dont know what I really did.lol but I took the starter off again and cleaned up all the contacts and every connection. I tried to find any sort of fuse or fusable link, but I couldnt. so I just jumped it and it sarted!

so now Im just gonna run a switch to it. a push button one would probly be better, so i'm gonna go look at some today. and hide it so I dont push it by a mistake.



so thanks for all the help and information, and hopefully I dont have anymore problems for the next lil while.




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Last edited by jonnymagnum; 05-08-2011 at 04:20 AM..
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:09 PM
 
 
 
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