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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
3.9 V6, Manual, 132K miles.

Ok, it looks like I am back after my son purchased another Dakota. Thanks to everyone in the forum for the help in advance.
So here is the scenario and before I go parts replacing I wanted to run it by all of you as it doesnt fit the normal scenario.

He got the truck 5 days ago. It only had 4K miles put on it in the last 2 years so we are dealing with some ankle biter issues but this issue is a strange one.(owner was military and deployed a good bit)

The following was/has occurred: (BTW in all sceanrios we can turn on and off the AC and hear the clutch engage/disengage, when you change temps with it in the RUN position but not running you can hear the blend door moving when changing the temp dial and the selectors - have to have the truck not running to hear it but it is doing that part at that time.)
When I test drove the truck - blower motor worked as expected
Next few days, the blower motor would only run (all speeds worked) when the truck was in the was in the RUN position
Once you started the truck - it stopped blowing
Turn the truck off , go back to the ON position - fan would run and select all speeds.

Also at various times my son reported that sometimes when you would start the car (rare- but did occur 1 or 2 times) everything worked as expected but in 45 seconds in one instance the blower quit - the other rare times it worked completely as expected it ran the whole time he drove it)

Getting to last night in the dark:
Last night I was able to actually see the truck again as he has been gone and working a lot of hours and now , it will not blow (it may be blowing but if it is - its nearly undetectable) in the RUN selection before starting OR when running. So we have actually gone backwards.

I picked up another set of controls (actually the whole facia with the light controls too), the resistor plug that doesnt show signs of being burnt, the blower motor from that truck, the cover under the steering wheel with an emergency brake release lever that wasnt broken (his is/was), a jack and hardware - $20 couldnt go too wrong.

I was planning on picking up a new resistor and use the plug I got from the donor truck or purchase a new one and install
Should I look at replacing the ignition switch as well? I have heard that the feed from the switch can make things act funny as well.

Any other thoughts?

Sorry for the convoluted story and information above.
Thanks guys.
Chris
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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499 Posts
Almost sounds like a ground problem.

Before I'd change the ignition switch I'd do almost anything else -- start with the resistor and controls. Check your harness grounds, your fusebox connections, fuses and relays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Turned out to be an ignition switch that had worn out.
Blower works on all scenarios (key on and engine started key on).
Now off to search for the ABS and Brake lite issues (reader said Code 78 with some general text).

Thanks!
Chris
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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499 Posts
Glad you found it, I'd have been headed down the wrong path. Did wiggling the key in the switch reveal anything?
 

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From a fellow Jayhawker... Code 78 applies to the base service brakes, and rarely from the ABS system.
Check the base brakes for leaks. Key off, pump the brake pedal 5-6 times, look for leaks. The brake pedal
should get hard and not fade away. If the pedal fades check all lines, calipers and wheel cylinders. If
no leaks are found loosen the master cylinder from the booster and check for fluid in vacuum booster.
If no leaks or other issues, replace the master cylinder and flush complete system.
Good Luck, Daddyododge
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Glad you found it, I'd have been headed down the wrong path. Did wiggling the key in the switch reveal anything?
Yes, that is what eventually lead us there. Just happened to try to move it back and forth a touch and that is how it was found. I was just commenting to my boy that he needs to make sure he doesn't hang a bunch of keys or anything with significant weight from the ignition key. When I met the owner - he had a ton of keys hanging on his keyring.

In the diagnostics, someone had already replaced the connector to the blower resistor as well and it looked good. I tested the motor separately and tried a different motor. I started thinking about the ignition switch being the problem and bought one even before I was able to get him to park the truck long enough to do some testing.

Hope this helps someone else.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From a fellow Jayhawker... Code 78 applies to the base service brakes, and rarely from the ABS system.
Check the base brakes for leaks. Key off, pump the brake pedal 5-6 times, look for leaks. The brake pedal
should get hard and not fade away. If the pedal fades check all lines, calipers and wheel cylinders. If
no leaks are found loosen the master cylinder from the booster and check for fluid in vacuum booster.
If no leaks or other issues, replace the master cylinder and flush complete system.
Good Luck, Daddyododge
Well I am not finding any leaks NOW. (the light was on) I say that because the rear brake line let loose was replaced along with the wheel cylindars by Meineke. The truck sat a long time, I put fluid in it when we went to take it home (was loading it on a trailer due to a UJoint I didnt like). That is when we discovered the broken line. I was only able to test drive it a few blocks and at low speeds - and at night too... but I did not notice anything other than a soft pedal. After the work was done on the lines , brakes are great, firm pedal and work as expected. Wondering if there is a bad fluid level sensor, ebrake sensor (wouldnt think that would be showing both ABS and Brake lights on) or something else tripping it up. Ill try to get some down time (him out of the truck) and check the booster as you recommended. Thanks.

Rockchalk!
 

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If since the brakes have been fixed, has the code been cancelled? If not disconnect the battery ground cable
for five minutes. This should clear the code. After connecting the battery, start the truck without using the
brake pedal. If the red light comes back on and not the ABS light, check for a bad switch on the park brake
pedal assembly. Unplug the park brake switch, if the light goes out, the problem is in this system.
Do the park brakes work? On a slight incline, truck in neutral release the brake pedal. If the truck rolls
on its own, set the park brake and release the park brake, if the truck rolls, the rear brakes and cables
are releasing. If the truck does not, rear brakes or cables are probably at fault. if it does roll away,
then the park brake switch is at fault. To verify this plug the switch back in if red light comes back
on, replace the switch.

Rockchalk, Daddyododge
 

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Not saying that this is your problem, but on my Dak I once had some damage to the wires for my speed sensor (which is on the rear diff) and this did cause the amber ABS & red brake lights to illuminate. Changed the sensor, which came with wires, & that did solve my problem.
 

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My explanation was to determine if he had an ABS problem or a base brake or park brake problem.
If only the red brake light comes on, the problem has nothing to do with the ABS system. The red
brake light by it self refers only to the base brakes. If you have a ABS problem the yellow light
will come on also. I'm in agreement with your problem, but e-brake problem can turn on the red light
without the yellow light. A fluid leak can also turn on the red light without a yellow light.
I'm not surprised about your sensor being bad, I have probably changed several hundred of
those will working for Dodge and Chrysler. I was a chassis tech for over thirty years.
Daddyododge1
 

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My explanation was to determine if he had an ABS problem or a base brake or park brake problem.
If only the red brake light comes on, the problem has nothing to do with the ABS system. The red
brake light by it self refers only to the base brakes. If you have a ABS problem the yellow light
will come on also. I'm in agreement with your problem, but e-brake problem can turn on the red light
without the yellow light. A fluid leak can also turn on the red light without a yellow light.
I'm not surprised about your sensor being bad, I have probably changed several hundred of
those will working for Dodge and Chrysler. I was a chassis tech for over thirty years.
Daddyododge1
I am not saying that you are wrong, Daddy Dodge; I am only saying what happened on my Dak. I smashed the wires going to the speed sensor on the rear diff, & on the instrument panel I got a solid (not flashing) red 'brake' light & the amber ABS light. I bought & installed a new sensor that had the wires attached & the lights went out.
 
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