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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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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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Welcome to the site. I will move this thread to the second generation Dakota section,
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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
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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?

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Old 12-20-2010, 06:23 PM
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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.

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Old 12-20-2010, 08:35 PM
 
 
 
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