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  #1  
Old 10-28-2011, 08:13 PM
mosconeg mosconeg is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Vehicle: 2004 dodge dakota
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Default Common Problems to Look For Before Buying

Hey guys im new to this thread. I signed up because I am looking to buy a...

2004 Dakota SLT 4.7L V8 4WD Quad Cab (64,000 Miles)

Before I make the purchase I really want to know what common problems to this year and Model I should look for. I want to get it up on the lift and make sure I am not inheriting any inherent problems. Any information you guys have on what I should make sure checks out would be greeattly appreciated. Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2011, 01:39 AM
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ELGEORGEKBRON ELGEORGEKBRON is offline
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Location: Ontario Ca.
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Vehicle: 2000 dodge dakota
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My best advise is to ask the owner of the vehicle to let you take the truck to a good reputable shop and invest in a complete inspection............believe me when i tell you that $75 to a $100 bucks investment on such an inspection is the best thing you can do before you pay for the truck.If the owner of the vehicle won't allowed you to take the truck to YOUR OWN MECHANIC,......DON'T BUY IT,specially if you live in California and the vehicle must have it's smog inspection for transfer of ownership..........
there's my 2cents,

Good luck man.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:32 PM
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EvBaxter EvBaxter is offline
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Location: MoCo, MD
Age: 45
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Vehicle: 1999 Dodge Dakota RC
Trim Level: R/T
Color: Intense Blue
Engine: 1998-2003 - 5.9 L (360 cu in) Magnum V8, 250 hp (190 kW)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELGEORGEKBRON View Post
My best advise is to ask the owner of the vehicle to let you take the truck to a good reputable shop and invest in a complete inspection............believe me when i tell you that $75 to a $100 bucks investment on such an inspection is the best thing you can do before you pay for the truck.If the owner of the vehicle won't allowed you to take the truck to YOUR OWN MECHANIC,......DON'T BUY IT,specially if you live in California and the vehicle must have it's smog inspection for transfer of ownership..........
there's my 2cents,

Good luck man.
Sound advice. My truck is a bit older, 2WD, and had 180k on it when I bought it, so even though I got it for a good price, I knew I had some work to do. In talking to folks on this and other forums as well as a couple of the mechanics that have worked on my truck, here is a brief laundry list:

Heater core: notorious for going bad in our trucks and can be costly to fix; if you have to do this go ahead and replace the evaporator core as it is in the same location that requires dash removal

Front caliper pins: notorious for stripping out; can be heli-coiled but if that doesn't work new hub/spindle is outrageously expensive

Front suspension: I had to replace all my ball joints and wound up replacing the steering rack to fix a power steering leak; all tie rods, shocks, and bushings replaced (on the up side it rides like a new truck)

I hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2011, 02:59 AM
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carverman carverman is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Posts: 830
Vehicle: 1998 Dodge Dakota
Engine: 1997-1999 - 5.2 L (318 cu in) Magnum V8, 225 hp (168 kW)
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosconeg View Post
Hey guys im new to this thread. I signed up because I am looking to buy a...2004 Dakota SLT 4.7L V8 4WD Quad Cab (64,000 Miles)

Before I make the purchase I really want to know what common problems to this year and Model I should look for. I want to get it up on the lift and make sure I am not inheriting any inherent problems. Any information you guys have on what I should make sure checks out would be greeattly appreciated. Thanks in advance
You won't necessarily detect problems on the lift on a 2004.
Mine is a 98 (13years old) with about 64,000 miles on it now.

Here's the problems I have experienced with it so far:

Rotors warping..both have been replaced twice in 13 years.
Calipers seizing..the driver's side seized up twice..oem in about 8 years
and the replacement within a year..so far, the 3rd one on the drivers side
is reliable. Passenger on#2; Drivers side on #3
Wheel hub bearings..sealed, not able to repack..my drivers side failed
around the same time the caliper seized as the wheel overheated.
The passenger side was replaced this year..around 62k miles because
it was loose.
Ball joints...notorius for wearing out. I've been sort of adding grease
with a small grease gun and a grease injection needle straight into the
rubber boot on all 4 ball joints..that probably have kept mine going
until this year, when the drivers side lower joint started to have too much
play.

After seeing the horror story on Youtube of the wheel breaking
off on a 2000 Durango (same chassis as the Dakota)..
I decided to replace all 4 of mine with aftermarket Moog ball joints,
which have grease fittings. Expensive, but I don't anticipate having
any further problems with suspension as long as I own the truck.

Shocks: OEM shocks suck! I replaced mine a long time with Monroe
gas shocks.

Sensors: I've been lucky so far with mine..only the transmission speed
sensor failed..which was replaced and allowed the tranny to shift normally.

Serpentine belt and tensioner idler bearings: I'm on my 3rd serpentine
belt. The tensioner bearing started to make a lot of noise about 3 years
ago, so I took it off, popped the grease seal, washed it out in solvent
and repacked it with bearing grease..no further problems.

A/C clutch bearing..mine started to make a lot of noise, so I pulled off
the pulley with the bearing, popped the grease shield, washed it out
and repacked it with wheel bearing grease..working ok so far.

And for places where the truck experiences harsh weather conditions:
One of the front transmission cooler lines developed a rust pin hole and
had to be replaced with a tranny flush, filter and new fluid.

This year, my front to rear brake line failed because of similar rust perforation. Had to replace all lines front to back, over axle and new
wheel cylinders/shoes.
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Last edited by carverman; 10-30-2011 at 03:06 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-16-2011, 08:38 PM
amandasdodge amandasdodge is offline
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Default 2000 Dodge Dakota

Hello. I bought a Dodge Dakota, 2000, 4x4, etc from a guy that knew it had a problem but didnt tell me.
Anyway, had it looked at today. The truck needs a new map sensor circuit or something... anybody else had this problem?!!

Also, the heater doesnt work. Anyone know why it isnt working?

Thanks!
Amanda
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2011, 05:32 AM
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carverman carverman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandasdodge View Post
Hello. I bought a Dodge Dakota, 2000, 4x4, etc from a guy that knew it had a problem but didnt tell me.
Anyway, had it looked at today. The truck needs a new map sensor circuit or something... anybody else had this problem?!!
Do you have a check engine light on?

How do you know it's the MAP sensor?... and not the TPS sensor..which is the more common sensor problem on the Dakota.

My truck is a 1998 and it hasn't had a problem with the MAP sensor..(which is an expensive sensor, and an unusual failure for the Dakota).
here's how they work..
http://www.aa1car.com/library/map_sensors.htm

Quote:
Also, the heater doesnt work. Anyone know why it isnt working?
By "not working"..do you mean the blower is on Heat settings, and
you only get cold air coming out of the vents?

There are many reasons for the heater "not working".

1. Blower not working. (Blower motor relay not working or 40amp fuse in PDC)
2. Engine thermostat not functioning properly
3. Rad partially restricted,perhaps not producing enough coolant
flow.
5. Heater core (inside cab) or heater hose tap on water pump restricted
6. ...and probably a couple more reasons.
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Last edited by carverman; 11-20-2011 at 05:34 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2012, 11:48 PM
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MR_FROST_FTB MR_FROST_FTB is offline
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Vehicle: 2003 dodge dakota
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Default the intake

if its a 3.9
the best thing i could say to do would be to look at the throttle plate its only one plastic bolt (on the top of the engine) to git at and its most comminly over looked by oweners. just look for a large bulid up of black gunk. (the more there is the less they cared) i would not condem a truck based on this but its a good place to start.

the best bet though is what ELGEORGEKBRON said
Quote:
Originally Posted by ELGEORGEKBRON View Post
My best advise is to ask the owner of the vehicle to let you take the truck to a good reputable shop and invest in a complete inspection............believe me when i tell you that $75 to a $100 bucks investment on such an inspection is the best thing you can do before you pay for the truck.If the owner of the vehicle won't allowed you to take the truck to YOUR OWN MECHANIC,......DON'T BUY IT,specially if you live in California and the vehicle must have it's smog inspection for transfer of ownership..........
there's my 2cents,

Good luck man.
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2012, 09:12 PM
Fall City Bob Fall City Bob is offline
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Vehicle: 2002 Dodge Dakota
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I think the biggest defect in the 2002 4.7 L is poor oil circulation in the heads. Mine dropped an intake valve seat after only 80k miles. I did change my oil and filter often. My mechanic and other research said stay away from the 4.7 magnum all together or else be lucky. The bigger v8 did not have this problem. Also the gas milage is bad. You are better off with a full size RAM. I had allot of fun with my quad cab, but it has been alot of money on gas and repairs.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2012, 02:13 AM
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carverman carverman is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fall City Bob View Post
I think the biggest defect in the 2002 4.7 L is poor oil circulation in the heads. Mine dropped an intake valve seat after only 80k miles. I did change my oil and filter often. My mechanic and other research said stay away from the 4.7 magnum all together or else be lucky. The bigger v8 did not have this problem. Also the gas milage is bad. You are better off with a full size RAM. I had allot of fun with my quad cab, but it has been alot of money on gas and repairs.
Aluminum heads/cast iron block..not a good combination..add to that a long
timing chain due to overhead cam design. The Dodge boys didn't design
this one..it was done by a bunch of college kids that wanted to try out some
of the things they learned in school .
I'm glad mine has the "ole reliable" 318..which has been around for
a long time...not the greatest on fuel..but far less problems with the engine
than some of the other offerings from Daimler-Chrysler.

My biggest beef is the crappy sealed ball joints. They wear out prematurely
and if you don't check them after 50K miles on a regular basis, the wheel
can break off and cause an accident. This is irresponsible design on Chryslers
part to save a few cents per vehicle. Had they included grease nipples
on the ball joints, they would last a much longer time and save hundreds
of dollars to replace them.
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