This is my post from a 03 model remove/replace. The resistor looks the same, and I dont know first hand but I would venture to guess that the wiring is the same. I completed this repair in mid October and so far so good. This is definitely something you want to take care of fairly soon. In addition to the air conditioning this also controls the defrost for ice and rain protection, well past winter so more rain than ice but you get the idea.
DISCLAIMER: THE WIRING SCHEMATIC REFERENCE WAS FOR A 2001-03 DAKOTA/DURANGO GEN 1. ALTHOUGH THE SCHEMATIC AND WIRING COLOR CODES COULD BE THE SAME PLEASE CHECK YOUR APPLICABLE YEAR/MODEL FOR VERIFICATION
"When I disconnected the resistor from the wiring harness, I noticed that the plastic was melted on the resistor around one of the metal prongs and also around one of the contacts on the harness... "
Which connector slot was melted? I will refresh everyones memory and this is from the schematic in the Chiltons Manual (20500) 2001-03 Dakota/Durango repair manuail Chapter 12 page 51.
MED1-- LT GRN
MED2-- LT BLUE
MOTOR-- BLUE/YELLOW (RESISTOR-MOTOR
MOTOR-- DARK GREEN (MOTOR- IGNITION, ACCESSORY/RUN)
With that said, YES I ditto, concurr/ +3 or however many yes answers there are!!! Here is what I did 1. Find a salvage yard, my donor vehicle was a Dakota, but just make sure remember the color coding, take photos etc...
It took me two tries but here goes. On the donor vehicle splice the wiring harness as far against the firewall as you can, get as much wire as you can. Once you cut obviously you are buying the resistor and harness, depending on the yard they may not sweat the extra wire, but thats between you the salvage yard, security cameras and the junkyard dogs. I kept my bad resistor and junkyard resistor for troubleshooting with the new one. Once I got the harness into the resistor, I was able to keep the resistor for troubleshooting. Once I was able to verify the resistor worked with the new harness splice I replaced the junkyard resistor with the dealer resistor and workd with full power all modes,/temperature/and fan speeds. As I write this I remember it was the power wire that had shorted and grounded out. The power wire between the resistor and the blower motor (DARK BLUE/YELLOW) Once I removed/replaced the harness it worked fine, I will caution you there could be a lot of extra wire to tuck up but at least it will work, I ziptied and electrical taped mine up under the dash. The key thing to remember, is cut on the firewall end for the harness that you are removing, and on the floor end of the vehicle you are splicing into, that way you have some slack.. I tell you this because I almost ran out of room for splicing because of bad splices and having to redo the connectors, I tell you this so you don't make the same mistake. The harness is a poor design, but we can't cry over spilled milk now. Dealer resistor was about $15 I believe, so that, $20 for a salvage yard harness, about $15 for wiring terminal connectors, electrical tape, and combination cutting and crimping pliers total $50
Good luck and once all my parts were in place, it took me about an hour but that was ops checking after each splice completion and taping/ziptie of more wire than normal.
FYI, Even though the Dakota is a different schematic, if you look at page 12-49 of the Chiltons manual the wiring color codes for the blower motor/resistor are the same. Please feel free to check for yourself especially before heading out to a salvage yard on my say so.
FYI Dealer does sell the harness, but there is a catch. As of last summer/fall. The dealer harness comes as a kit, as in wiring, backshell/connectors.etc. Kit is a generic wiring kit that could be used for many applications and basically you have to match the new wire to your existing harness and assemble the connector yourself. I believe the cost in Pittsburgh area was $60. Simple solution, Donor Dakota $20/resistor and harness. Since I knew mine was coming out, I cut it and brought the bad connector and harness into the salvage yard with me to get a good match of the new harness. Good luck, but again dont quote me on the Dakota Donor working especially since the Durangos changed styles in 04 but the Dakotas werent until 05.