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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, i have a 2003 dakota 3.9 auto, 2 wheel drive. i start it and its running perfect, for about 5 min, then it just dies. it starts back up runs perfect and dies again. ican repeat this time and time again. there are no codes, i did notice that the temp is not rising above 1/4 of the way up, other than that i cant seem to find anything wrong. can anyone point me what to check, thanks.
 

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I have read on the Dakota forums the symptoms of a crankshaft position sensor (ckp) starting to fail, and what you describe does not seem totally unlike that. However, you are not getting a code, and I am most definitely NOT saying that this is what I think the issue is.

Your Dakota does have an ASD relay in the under-hood PDC, and when energized by the PCM voltage is provided for the injectors and the coil via this relay. Again, I am not saying that I think that this is your problem, but if the relay were to operate and then fail (on a repeated basis), this would shut you down. There is also a fuel pump relay ion your PDC. I guess you could check that this is not a fuel pump condition by hooking up a fuel pressure gauge to your fuel rail and observe it when your Dakota is idling and see if you lose pressure right before it shuts off.

I find these intermittent issues hard to troubleshoot until they devolve to being terminal. I usually start with the nonscientific parts throwing technique of troubleshooting. I did have a somewhat sort of/kind of similar issue with my '03 5.9 Dak, it was intermittent shut down and sometimes restart & sometimes not restart but it was not as frequent as what you have described. When it became a terminal condition, I was able to follow a troubleshooting sequence that led me to the PCM which I wound up sending out to a facility for diagnosis and repair.

But once again, I am ot saying that I think that anything I have mentioned above is necessarily applicable to yours. Try this: first disconnect your negative battery cable and then unplug and plug back in your PCM connectors a few times. This is a free and easy place to start.
 

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. . . and, it may or may not be worth noting that both the ASD relay and the fuel pump relay are energized and de-energized by the PCM as dictated by signals that the PCM does or does not receive from the cam position sensor (cmp) & crank position sensor (ckp).
 

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thank you so much, i`ll try disconnect those connectors and let you know how i did.
I honestly don't have high hopes for that, but as I typed--free and easy, so why not try it.

Because of my (kind of similar) previous experience on my Dakota, and that I have read a ton of posts about suspected buggy Dakota PCMs,, that kind of biases me to be thinking along those lines. But my biases aren't exactly what I'd call grounds to throw a PCM at the problem right away.

However: a combustible mixture of fuel + spark at the right time + compression = an engine that should run, & from what you have typed, I think you can rule out compression as the culprit. So whatever is failing intermittently sure appears as it must be related to fuel delivery or ignition, and the PCM and a couple of sensors play a vital role in both. If the problem persists, there is a way to check the operation of those sensors and also the fuel pump & injectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well i got lucky, so far, i did take the plugs out from the pcm, cleaned them off. i also did see that the coolent temp sensor had broken off and the coil was rusted pretty good. so i did change both of them, about 70 bucks for them. i took the truck for a 50 mile ride and it`s all good. i can`t say which of the 3 things i did fixed it, but , so far so good. i will update in a few weeks or if it happens again,. thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
also, the guy i got the truck from had changed the pcm about a year before i got it. he changed a bunch of other things on it to. thats the best thing about these site`s. i lot of good people out here that want to help. i was a big air cooled beetle guy, i have restored about 25 of them and those guys are the best.
 

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well i got lucky, so far, i did take the plugs out from the pcm, cleaned them off. i also did see that the coolent temp sensor had broken off and the coil was rusted pretty good. so i did change both of them, about 70 bucks for them. i took the truck for a 50 mile ride and it`s all good. i can`t say which of the 3 things i did fixed it, but , so far so good. i will update in a few weeks or if it happens again,. thanks for the help.
I'll go out on a limb and say that the temp sensor wasn't the cause of the intermittent shut downs that you were experiencing. A pretty good mechanic once told me that in his experience, ignition coils either work or they don't work; however, I am not entirely convinced that is true . . . but based on everything you have typed so far, I am inclined more & more along the lines of the PCM.
 

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2 cents-
Got a PCM from place in Miami, a year ago, fix many random problems including, firing problems, dash intermittent problems and charging system. After a year and a few days, it completely failed with the odometer showing BUSERR or something similar a couple times before refusing to start. Miami replaced it no charge, originally about $225-250 don't recall.
 
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