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2nd Gen Dakota 1997 - 2004 Dakota's

Put on you thinknig caps, 2002 dakota won't start

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  #1  
Old 12-20-2010, 12:53 PM
echeesehead echeesehead is offline
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Default Put on you thinknig caps, 2002 dakota won't start

Hello all,
First time user here, lets see how it goes...

BACKGROUND INFO:
2002 DODGE DAKOTA 3.9 QUAD CAB 2WD, 150K.
My truck will not start. It was overheating due to a radiator leak. Replaced radiator. Overheated again I think because there was stop leak and egg whites used to plug the radiator leak prior to replacement that were still in the cooling system. I don't think it got flushed completely. Anyways, it overheated and the upper hose assembly exploded. Anti-freeze everywhere and hoses and hose springs everywhere. I got a new upper hose assembly from the dealer and replaced it. I filled with antifreeze and started it and test drove it.
The next morning it would not start. After several minutes of turning the key it started. It rough idled for about 10 seconds then smooted out. It idles at 1600 rpm now. The check engine light came on and I went to auto zone and they got error code for cylinder 4 misfire.
I replaced all plugs, wires and it started up. The next morning it would not start again. Again, after several minutes of trying to start it it started. It rough idled about 10 seconds then smoothed out again. I noticed while driving if I got up to 55 and let off the gas and cruised, it would seem like the truck was hesitating off and on like it would slow, then cruise, then slow, then cruise in a timely manner.
The check engine light came on again and this time the OBD codes said cylinders 2,3,4,5 misfire. I replaced the distributor capp and pick up coil. I replaced the ignition coil, the engine temp sensor, thermostat. It started again and seemed to run fine. Until I got out of work and it would not start again. It had been sitting for over 6 hours while at work. Once I get it started after several minutes of trying I can turn it off and IT WILL START RIGHT UP WHILE ITS WARM. But the next morning it will not start.
I got a fuel pressure tester and it read 50 psi which was correct. I turned off the engine and did not lose pressure so I know the fuel pump is good and there are no leaks.
I took it over to the Dodge dealership and they had it for 4 days before telling me it was the intake manifold gasket and plennum pan gasket and it would cost $680.00 to fix. I bought the gaaskets and did the job myself and saved myself $570.00. After cleaning everything and putting it all back together it started right up. I took it for a test drive and everything seemed good. UNTIL NEXT MORNING WHEN IT WOULD NOT START.
By now I have to try to start it until my battery is almost dead, then I get my jumper cables out and jump it with the neighbor's car. After several minutes it finally starts and rough idles then smooths out again.
I have tested the resistance on all sensors and electrical connections and they are all good.
I AM AT A LOSS FOR IDEAS. PLEASE HELP ME. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Sorry for the lengthy post but I wanted you to know the whole situation. And by the way, my check engine light hasn't produced any codes lately.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2010, 01:03 PM
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1969CoronetR/T 1969CoronetR/T is offline
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Welcome to the site. I will move this thread to the second generation Dakota section,
FF
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:21 PM
echeesehead echeesehead is offline
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thank you
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:24 PM
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could be your battery. our trucks run like crap with a even a slightly low battery.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:36 PM
echeesehead echeesehead is offline
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The alternator is putting out enough juice and my guage on the dash is usually about 2/3 toward the high side. My battery is at 12.6volts right now with the truck off and cold. This all started after it overheated that day a month ago. Is there any sensor that would go bad and not put up a trouble code? Ive tested ohms and voltage on every sensor that was in my Haynes manual and they are all within range.
Could it be the CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR? I've heard alot of people replacing that, but wouldn't my check engine light come on then? BTW- nice truck.

Last edited by echeesehead; 12-20-2010 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echeesehead View Post
The alternator is putting out enough juice and my guage on the dash is usually about 2/3 toward the high side. My battery is at 12.6volts right now with the truck off and cold. This all started after it overheated that day a month ago. Is there any sensor that would go bad and not put up a trouble code? Ive tested ohms and voltage on every sensor that was in my Haynes manual and they are all within range.
Could it be the CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR? I've heard alot of people replacing that, but wouldn't my check engine light come on then? BTW- nice truck.
Just because a battery shows 12v when not running doesnt mean its good. My jeep battery is a great example it showed 12.5v when off as soon as it turn over it would almost be dead now with winter being here it doesnt have enough juice to even start. I would at least get the batt tested to be sure.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:14 PM
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Dodgeramguy is right. Load-test the battery and check the alternator output. Autozone does it for free. So does Advance. If it were the Crankshaft Position Sensor it would not start at all, hot or cold. My first guess here is a bad charging system or bad battery. My next guess would be the PCM is bad. The only way to check the PCM for sure is with the DRB scan tool at the dealer. The PCM may be what caused the misfire codes all along. Was there an obvious coolant leak or diveability problem that made the dealer say you had an intake manifold leak?

Jimmy
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:23 PM
echeesehead echeesehead is offline
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No. The dealer mechanic said that he hooked up a vacuum test and determined the problem from there. I think they dont have a clue and figured they could try that and get $700 out of me, not knowing that I am a mechanic and so I bought the parts assuming they were right. I told them that I thought it might be the PCM, they said they tested it and it was fine. I just talked to another mechanic who said to see if there is any 'play' in the pick-up coil under the distributor cap and if there is that could be an indication of worn teeth on the gear and if so then it needs to be replaced and also replace the brass bushing in there also.
BACK TO THE BATTERY....If my battery was bad I wouldn't think that I could turn the engine over for 5-10 minutes while trying to start it. It just cranks and cranks and cranks. This morning it started right up. While driving it down the road I let off the gas and it did that hesitation thing again. This has become constant while driving. When I came to a red light I put the truck in Nuetral and the RPM's would jump from 1600 to2100 and back and forth until I put it back in gear.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:33 PM
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Tps ?
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:35 PM
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+1 on Throttle Position Sensor. It would be a good idea to clean the Idle Air Control Valve too.

Jimmy
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:48 AM
echeesehead echeesehead is offline
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Default Truck overheats after replacing thermostat

My truck, 2002 dakota 3.9v6 auto, overheated due to a crack in the radiator. I put a few egg whites in to plug the leak, which it did, then it started leaking again. I put in a few more and it stopped. Then it started leaking again and overheated. I installed a new radiator. All was well.
Then a crack formed on the plastic "T" where the radiator cap goes. It overheated while leaking and the "T" exploded. I bought a new upper hose assembly from the dealer and installed it. I also installed a cheap thermostat at that time.
Now, just recently it started overheating again. I turned on the heaterr and it was blowing cold air. So I thought the cheap thermostat was to blame. I went and bought the higher grade thermostat. I installed it and all seemed fine, then after driving around on my way home it started overheating again. The heater was blowing cold sometimes and hot sometimes but the engine stayed hot.

Could my water pump be clogged from the egg whites that I used a month or 2 ago? Or could it just have gone bad? Is there a way to test the status of the water pump without removing it?
Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:56 AM
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Could a bad water pump cause the bad starts? My engine started overheating again, when I turned on the heater it was blowing cold air. Then it started blowing hot air and the temp went down. Then later it started to overheat again. I replaced the cheap thermostat with a better one. It seemed to be fine when I drove it to the bar. On my way home about an hour later it started to overheat again. The heater was blowing hot/cold off and on but the engine temp only dropped slightly.
Is there a way to check the water pump without removing it?
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:43 PM
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Hows the head gasket?

It started with overheating then you say the "T" exploded. That's a bit more than normal pressure. It will also account for the cylinder misfires.

Hard to start, then runs rough for bit. It has water in the cylinder(s).

What does the oil look like?

You have way too many codes for just a water pump and simple boil over. Something serious is going on.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:32 PM
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I'm pretty sure the head gasket is fine. The oil looks normal. I replaced the intake manifold gaskets and plennum pan gasket.
When it does get hot, the upper hose assembly seems to be under alot of pressure if I squeeze the hose with my fingers. I am taking the water pump off now to see what it looks like.
The dealer couldn't even figure it out. I am going to take it to another refferred local mechanic to have a new set of eyes take a look.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:10 PM
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Real quick and easy, pull the plugs. I think you said the misfire was first showing on #4 so look at it. The plugs should be a light tan. If they look or feel wet, or if any seem to be very clean, you have a head gasket issue.

Another thing to try is put a pressure tester on the system and see what's going on. If it pulsates at all, you've got a problem.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:36 PM
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If it won't start after it sits maybe the fuel pressure regulator is loosing pressure after a while.Just a guess.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:11 PM
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you might want to try a compression test. if it overheated twice you could have damaged the valve train and it could be causing to run rough until it warms up.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:33 PM
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X 2 on the compression check, stat.

as for the misfire/not starting, I would bet $$ a bad crankshaft position sensor is to blame. mine went out 6 months back and I had he11 figuring it out. like you said, it seemed to work fine once the vehicle got warm. and unlike someone else said, the CPS can definitely be an intermittent problem.

likely the spraying of the anti-freeze all over everything probably pushed that sensor over the edge, especially if you're in an area with salt on the roads or anywhere near the coast.

the part is actually pretty dang simple to replace; two bolts and a snap connector near the distributor. the sensor is near the flywheel (as it reads it magnetically as it spins).

get back to us on that compression check. could also be something loco like a bad radiator cap that's not letting pressure out of the radiator system. or maybe your heater core is blocked since you're having issues with heat/cold. pull those hoses off and by-pass that thing at the firewall and see what that does (connect them together)
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:06 PM
echeesehead echeesehead is offline
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I took it to another mechanic and he says the head gasket is bad. He said that I would have to replace the gasket and cylinder heads and it's gonna cost me about $1800.00 to do the job. I told him I'd be by to pick up my truck later, not to do it. It would be cheaper to just get a new engine!

Any ideas now? Anyone have an engine for sale?
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:24 PM
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Sorry to hear that. I think I would check on a good low mileage used engine from a junk yard before buying a new one. Most good yards can pull your old engine and install the new one too, and may even do the whole job cheaper than the $1800.00 estimate from the mechanic.

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Old 12-23-2010, 12:24 PM
 
 
 
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