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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
98 dakota...4wd...v8...5.2...automatic

Hello ,I bought this truck after it had been sitting a year...it ran without any problems...changed all the fluids...it still ran good until I changed the transmission filter.
The very next day I noticed the transmission slipping and realized I'd put in a qt. Too much fluid in it... I siphoned it off , through the dipstick hole

The truck hasn't started sense...it just cranks .I noticed fuel pump wasn't coming on so I bought a new pump ...it also won't kick on
I ran the new pump directly to the battery it comes on... but truck still wouldn't start...I tested the wire harness on the fuel pump with multimeter and only one prong was getting power and that is only 1.9 v

I changed all the fuses in both fuse boxes ...I checked to see if each individual spot where the fuses plug in have power ...all good

I've changed all the spark plugs and wires
I've changed the camshaft position sensor under the passenger wheel and the crank position sensor under the distributor cap
Still no pump

I ran the pump direct and it came on
Still crank no start I checked the fuel pressure sometimes there pressure but usually not
I have no spark on my plug wires

I found a ground wire on the passenger side under the hood it comes out of the upper firewall and appears to have went somewhere along the side of the engine block it was melted in half against the engine...I can't figure outwhere it goes...could that be the problem?

Also when my transmission was slippingmy Throttle cable came off while putting it back on underneath ,on the transmission,I noticed a wire harness with 3 wires coming out of it 2 of the wires were disconnected so I spliced them back together ...neutral safety switch I believe, don't know how long they been disconnected but when I went to splice them I noticed one wire touch a metal bracket and sparking every once in awhile

One last thing:
Don't know if it matters or not but when iput my key in and crank it the dash lights come on and then immediately go back off and none of the gauges work..security light does not come on....my guess now is pcm

I don't know what else to do ...I'm not a mechanic everything I know about it I learned on YouTube if someone could please help me I
I'd really appreciate it I've been watching videos and reading websites for 2 weeks and I still don't know anything, I'm not real good on computer but I've searched everywhere I can possibly think of
Thanks
 

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I am looking at a schematic for a 2000 & it shows a two fuses for the fuel pump: a 10A & a 20A and it doesn't say where they are located. You also have a fuel pump relay in your under hood electrical box, & I think that the one right next to it is proably the AC comp relay & I think they are the same so they can be interchanged to rule out the fuel pump relay.

In the under hood electrical box you should have an ASD (automatic shut down) relay that might be labeled "ENG", I think that the one right next to it is for the electric fan (if a m'98 has one) & I think that they are also interchangeable. Power goes through the ASD relay to your crank & camshaft sensors & also to your injectors, but I don't see (in the schematic) it providing power to the fuel pump.

(In your OP you have the crank & camshaft sensor positions reversed, but that doesn't matter. You've changed them & that should rule them out.)

With a couple of edits, I am going to copy & paste an answer I provided for a no spark situation a while back ago. This answer assumes that you have checked & verified that your cap & rotor are not the fault giving you a no spark condition:

I don't have a FSM, & that is really your best resource. I have a Haynes, & it is not the greatest, & mine lists its applicability as from '00 to '04, & not being well versed on these things, I do not know what differences there are in the ignition system from 00 to 04 & your '98. (Wire colors etcetera.)

BUT, on mine, these are the checks that can be made, & I will paraphrase: "test for battery voltage to the coil by disconnecting the connector from the coil & using a MM to check for volts at the dark green/orange wire with the ignition ON.

Now, after you turn the key to ON, you will only get volts here for about two seconds before the ASD relay (controlled by the PCM) deenergizes. Meaning, you need to have the volt meter hooked up & in a place where you can read it or you will need an assistant. However, when/if you crank the engine, the ASD relay should be reenergized & you SHOULD see volts there while cranking if things are working as advertised.

No voltage=bad ASD relay.
If volts: use the ohm-meter function of your MM & check primary & 2condary resistance of the coil. My Haynes lists 0.95 to 1.20 ohms & 11,300 to 13,300 ohms respectively, but I believe Haynes is giving me inaccurate specs on that.

If coil ohms out good: check the trigger signal from the PCM. Using an LED test light (inexpensive from Advance or the like) back probe the coil driver terminal (black/gray wire) & check for a flashing light as an assistant cranks the engine.

If no flash: then check the operation of the cam position sensor & the crank position sensor (and you have already changed them).

If those sensors test good: send the PCM out to be diagnosed."

I am paraphrasing from a book that is not inclusive of a '98 & it would probably behoove you make sure you have literature applicable to your year when you troubleshoot,
 

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Also when my transmission was slippingmy Throttle cable came off while putting it back on underneath ,on the transmission,I noticed a wire harness with 3 wires coming out of it 2 of the wires were disconnected so I spliced them back together ...neutral safety switch I believe, don't know how long they been disconnected but when I went to splice them I noticed one wire touch a metal bracket and sparking every once in awhile
I missed that part. That sounds ugly. This is what the neutral/park safety switch looks like on your vehicle


note a 3 pin connector, so that sounds like a good guess. Maybe someone was having trouble with a no crank situation & that's why they cut those wires? Who knows -- I'm guessing.

On the disconnected ground wire, yes, that could cause a viscous problem. Can you trace it to it's termination?
 

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One last thing:
Don't know if it matters or not but when iput my key in and crank it the dash lights come on and then immediately go back off and none of the gauges work..security light does not come on....my guess now is pcm
I imagine that this does mean/indicate something and I am going with your guess -- the PCM. However, as far as that goes, that is all I am doing -- guessing.
 

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Coming back to this, at the same time I am following a problem someone else is having (cranks but doesn't start, hasn't checked everything I would like to have checked, but it sounds like fuel pump & ASD relay are clicking on & off, which seems to indicate certain things) and having looked at the schematic for the fuel pump system on a 2000, that system is relatively simple: from the fuel pump going backwards is a relay, a 20A fuse, a 10A fuse, and then the PCM.

So going back to your guess . . . .
 

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One last thing:
Don't know if it matters or not but when iput my key in and crank it the dash lights come on and then immediately go back off and none of the gauges work..security light does not come on....my guess now is pcm
I don't know if this is applicable or not, but take a look at it & see what you think.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am looking at a schematic for a 2000 & it shows a two fuses for the fuel pump: a 10A & a 20A and it doesn't say where they are located. You also have a fuel pump relay in your under hood electrical box, & I think that the one right next to it is proably the AC comp relay & I think they are the same so they can be interchanged to rule out the fuel pump relay.

In the under hood electrical box you should have an ASD (automatic shut down) relay that might be labeled "ENG", I think that the one right next to it is for the electric fan (if a m'98 has one) & I think that they are also interchangeable. Power goes through the ASD relay to your crank & camshaft sensors & also to your injectors, but I don't see (in the schematic) it providing power to the fuel pump.

(In your OP you have the crank & camshaft sensor positions reversed, but that doesn't matter. You've changed them & that should rule them out.)

With a couple of edits, I am going to copy & paste an answer I provided for a no spark situation a while back ago. This answer assumes that you have checked & verified that your cap & rotor are not the fault giving you a no spark condition:

I don't have a FSM, & that is really your best resource. I have a Haynes, & it is not the greatest, & mine lists its applicability as from '00 to '04, & not being well versed on these things, I do not know what differences there are in the ignition system from 00 to 04 & your '98. (Wire colors etcetera.)

BUT, on mine, these are the checks that can be made, & I will paraphrase: "test for battery voltage to the coil by disconnecting the connector from the coil & using a MM to check for volts at the dark green/orange wire with the ignition ON.

Now, after you turn the key to ON, you will only get volts here for about two seconds before the ASD relay (controlled by the PCM) deenergizes. Meaning, you need to have the volt meter hooked up & in a place where you can read it or you will need an assistant. However, when/if you crank the engine, the ASD relay should be reenergized & you SHOULD see volts there while cranking if things are working as advertised.

No voltage=bad ASD relay.
If volts: use the ohm-meter function of your MM & check primary & 2condary resistance of the coil. My Haynes lists 0.95 to 1.20 ohms & 11,300 to 13,300 ohms respectively, but I believe Haynes is giving me inaccurate specs on that.

If coil ohms out good: check the trigger signal from the PCM. Using an LED test light (inexpensive from Advance or the like) back probe the coil driver terminal (black/gray wire) & check for a flashing light as an assistant cranks the engine.

If no flash: then check the operation of the cam position sensor & the crank position sensor (and you have already changed them).

If those sensors test good: send the PCM out to be diagnosed."

I am paraphrasing from a book that is not inclusive of a '98 & it would probably behoove you make sure you have literature applicable to your year when you troubleshoot,
Thank you for your response ...I changed out ads relay and I put all brand new fuses in, also put In a new ignition coil and it tested good

I'm not real sure what you meant on testing the pcm I have the 3 plugs do I check the wire on one of those 3plugs ...sorry probably a dumb question but mechanics is not my area of expertise
Thank you very much for your help
I missed that part. That sounds ugly. This is what the neutral/park safety switch looks like on your vehicle


note a 3 pin connector, so that sounds like a good guess. Maybe someone was having trouble with a no crank situation & that's why they cut those wires? Who knows -- I'm guessing.

On the disconnected ground wire, yes, that could cause a viscous problem. Can you trace it to it's termination?
That's the part I disconnected and tried starting in park and neutral....no go
 

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Thank you for your response ...I changed out ads relay and I put all brand new fuses in, also put In a new ignition coil and it tested good

I'm not real sure what you meant on testing the pcm I have the 3 plugs do I check the wire on one of those 3plugs ...sorry probably a dumb question but mechanics is not my area of expertise
Thank you very much for your help


That's the part I disconnected and tried starting in park and neutral....no go

As far as what I typed about "having the PCM tested":
what I was conveying is that the manual I copied those instructions from was saying that if 1) you are getting battery voltage at the coil, and 2) your cam position sensor and crankshaft position sensor have tested good (or are known to be good, because, for example, you have replaced them as part of your troubleshooting), BUT 3) you are still not reading a trigger siganl from the PCM to the coil,

that this would tend to point towards a faulty PCM.

No, the PCM is not something you can test yourself. A dealership MIGHT be able to do that (I have developed an unnatural distrust of dealerships over my lifetime) but that is something that you would generally have to send your PCM out to a qualified facility for.

For example, I sent mine to a place called SIA Electroniics in Tilden, Il. And that is not a plug for SIA -- I have only had one experience with them, and that is ALL I can attest to.

If you do decide to start unplugging your PCM, be sure to disconnect your battery first.

And with that in mind, that is something that you can actually do. First disconnect your battery, and then unplug & plug your PCM a few times and then hook your battery back up. I don't have high hopes for that, but it is free and it is easy to do.

As far as the transmission park/neutral-safety switch, the function of that is to keep you from starting your vehicle in drive or reverse. When that goes bad, you will hit the key but nothing happens. I was only surmising that perhaps the previous owner cut those wires as an attempt to override it, but I am only taking a guess at that.

And . . . I have been told more than once that the only dumb question was the one that I didn't ask.
 

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I am following a couple of other PCM related topics, and in the course of doing so, I came upon this thread which I found interesting:

 

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having looked at the schematic for the fuel pump system on a 2000, that system is relatively simple: from the fuel pump going backwards is a relay, a 20A fuse, a 10A fuse, and then the PCM.

So going back to your guess . . . .
Where I was going with this particular post is that the fuel pump relay is controlled (switched on & off) directly by the PCM. So if your PCM was bad (and I am not saying that it is) it might not be switching your fuel pump relay on.

I just reread your OP; I am not seeing that you swapped out your fuel pump relay. I believe that the one right next to it is interchangeable. I don't think that they often go bad, but switch them around anyway and that way you can at least rule that out.
 

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Sorry to be coming back to this in such a disjointed fashion, but when I type (vs. actually working on something) that's the way my mind works.

ON EDIT: you need to figure out that ground wire. For now start by bolting it to something on your block to give whatever it is for a good ground.

Okay, so when you jumper from hot directly to your fuel pump, you know that it comes on. If it was me, I would still take an inexpensive fuel pressure gauge & hook it to the rail & see how much PSI I was actually getting.

But even with the fuel pump powered up, you know that it cranks but won't start. Which means that you most likely are not getting spark.
If it was me I would verify the no-spark condition with a cheap little spark testing gadget they sell at the box auto parts stores.
You did say that you changed a lot of ignition parts (including wires) but did you change your cap & rotor? If not, you might as well. Coming back to the work that you already did, are you absolutely 100% positive that you have the plug wires where they are supposed to be on the cap. Is the coil wire on snug & tight on both the cap & the coil. Are you absolutely 100% sure that the connectors are on right & tight for both the cam & crank pos sensors.

Okay then, you've changed the cam & crank pos sensor already, & if you have changed the cap & rotor, and you still are not getting spark, it is time to go back to my first reply to your OP & check for battery voltage to your coil & then for trigger signal from the PCM to the coil.

If you are getting both, but still no spark, it would be time to test the coil (except that you've already replaced it). Always double check your work. Is the connector snapped in place right & tight.

At this point, my Haynes (of which I've already discussed it's limitations) points to the PCM.

And there are some other symptoms that might support the PCM hypothesis:
your fuel pump is not powering up as advertised, & if everything is hooked up correctly, that would make me think that your fuel pump relay is NOT being switched on by your PCM. If your PCM is not doing that, there may well be other things it is not doing (trigger signal to the coil, for example)..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey thanks again for your detailed response i swapped out all the relays, checked for pulse but got none , ive tried bolting that ground wire in a couple spots but ..nothing, I'm get power to coil but I don't know how to check if I'm getting power from pcm to coil ....I haven't changed the cap and rotor , I guess that's my next move

I just can't figure our why everything was working fine until I changed my transmission filter ...it leads me to believe that the neutral safety switch wires when they touched and sparked may have fried my pcm ...is that possible ? Thanks again
 

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Hey thanks again for your detailed response i swapped out all the relays, checked for pulse but got none , ive tried bolting that ground wire in a couple spots but ..nothing, I'm get power to coil but I don't know how to check if I'm getting power from pcm to coil ....I haven't changed the cap and rotor , I guess that's my next move

I just can't figure our why everything was working fine until I changed my transmission filter ...it leads me to believe that the neutral safety switch wires when they touched and sparked may have fried my pcm ...is that possible ? Thanks again

When you say that you've "checked for a pulse but got none", are you saying that you've checked your fuel injector wiring harness for pulsing with a NOID Light (when you crank the engine) but didn't see any or are you referring to something else?

If you are not getting spark at the plugs, you want to know for sure that everything between the coil & the sparkplugs is good. With everything that you have already changed, I believe that this only leaves the cap & rotor.

So if you are reading battery voltage at your coil when you switch the key to RUN, the next thing to do would be to back-probe the OTHER wire going to your coil. On a 2000 to 2004 it SHOULD be a black/gray wire. I believe there are only 2 wires in that connector to the coil, so it will not be the one you checked for battery voltage. You want to back probe that with a LED test-light; they are pretty simple & cheap & you can get them at, probably, almost any auto-parts store or at Harbor-Fright.

With the affordable LED Test Light installed to back probe that wire, you want to crank the engine. If the light doesn't flash, this means no trigger signal to the coil from the PCM. Since you've already replaced the cam AND crank pos sensors, this points you at the circuit in between those two sensors and the PCM, OR the PCM.

(If the light flashes AND you have battery voltage at the coil, by all that is right and holy, you should have voltage going to your distributor cap.)

As far as damaging your PCM by the short at your neutral switch, I am afraid I am out of my pay grade on that one. I am looking at a schematic for the stating system for a 2000 and it sure appears as if the neutral switch wire is tied into the PCM via a black/white wire, but I am the first one to admit that electrical & electronics is not a strong subject for me. By looking at that print, however, I guess I would probably say that, yes, it is possible. I am guessing though.

That ground wire may be real important. Is there any way you can figure out where it originates from?
 

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98 dakota...4wd...v8...5.2...automatic

Hello ,I bought this truck after it had been sitting a year...it ran without any problems...changed all the fluids...it still ran good until I changed the transmission filter.
The very next day I noticed the transmission slipping and realized I'd put in a qt. Too much fluid in it... I siphoned it off , through the dipstick hole

The truck hasn't started sense...it just cranks .I noticed fuel pump wasn't coming on so I bought a new pump ...it also won't kick on
I ran the new pump directly to the battery it comes on... but truck still wouldn't start...I tested the wire harness on the fuel pump with multimeter and only one prong was getting power and that is only 1.9 v

I changed all the fuses in both fuse boxes ...I checked to see if each individual spot where the fuses plug in have power ...all good

I've changed all the spark plugs and wires
I've changed the camshaft position sensor under the passenger wheel and the crank position sensor under the distributor cap
Still no pump

I ran the pump direct and it came on
Still crank no start I checked the fuel pressure sometimes there pressure but usually not
I have no spark on my plug wires

I found a ground wire on the passenger side under the hood it comes out of the upper firewall and appears to have went somewhere along the side of the engine block it was melted in half against the engine...I can't figure outwhere it goes...could that be the problem?

Also when my transmission was slippingmy Throttle cable came off while putting it back on underneath ,on the transmission,I noticed a wire harness with 3 wires coming out of it 2 of the wires were disconnected so I spliced them back together ...neutral safety switch I believe, don't know how long they been disconnected but when I went to splice them I noticed one wire touch a metal bracket and sparking every once in awhile

One last thing:
Don't know if it matters or not but when iput my key in and crank it the dash lights come on and then immediately go back off and none of the gauges work..security light does not come on....my guess now is pcm

I don't know what else to do ...I'm not a mechanic everything I know about it I learned on YouTube if someone could please help me I
I'd really appreciate it I've been watching videos and reading websites for 2 weeks and I still don't know anything, I'm not real good on computer but I've searched everywhere I can possibly think of
Thanks
Sounds like a bad connection or not enough grounding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When you say that you've "checked for a pulse but got none", are you saying that you've checked your fuel injector wiring harness for pulsing with a NOID Light (when you crank the engine) but didn't see any or are you referring to something else?

If you are not getting spark at the plugs, you want to know for sure that everything between the coil & the sparkplugs is good. With everything that you have already changed, I believe that this only leaves the cap & rotor.

So if you are reading battery voltage at your coil when you switch the key to RUN, the next thing to do would be to back-probe the OTHER wire going to your coil. On a 2000 to 2004 it SHOULD be a black/gray wire. I believe there are only 2 wires in that connector to the coil, so it will not be the one you checked for battery voltage. You want to back probe that with a LED test-light; they are pretty simple & cheap & you can get them at, probably, almost any auto-parts store or at Harbor-Fright.

With the affordable LED Test Light installed to back probe that wire, you want to crank the engine. If the light doesn't flash, this means no trigger signal to the coil from the PCM. Since you've already replaced the cam AND crank pos sensors, this points you at the circuit in between those two sensors and the PCM, OR the PCM.

(If the light flashes AND you have battery voltage at the coil, by all that is right and holy, you should have voltage going to your distributor cap.)

As far as damaging your PCM by the short at your neutral switch, I am afraid I am out of my pay grade on that one. I am looking at a scematic system for a 2000 and it sure appears as if the neutral switch wire is tied into the PCM via a black/white wire, but I am the first one to admit that electrical & electronics is not a strong subject for me. By looking at that print, however, I guess I would probably say that, yes, it is possible. I am guessing though.

That ground wire may be real important. Is there any way you can figure out where it originates from?

Hello I appreciate all your input , you are very knowledgeable at this and it seems you tried your best to help ,I really appreciate it
I found a used pcm and a guy who knew how to program it to my Vin. I hooked it up and noticed right away the gauges all worked , heard the fuel pump kick on , and the truck fired right up on the first try ...so after all the parts I threw at it , it turned out to be the pcm ....
I learned a lot though and I'm thankful for the lesson
Thank you
 

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I'm happy it worked out & that problem seems to be solved.
I have seen a ton of suspected bad Dakota PCM posts since I've been on this site & another, so I cannot say that I am surprised.

As far as the parts you have changed (& I type this in all seriousness), now you know those are fresh parts & you also have spares you can use for future troubleshooting endeavors.

As far as the crank pos sensor that you changed, I'll just throw this at you for you to keep in the back of your mind. I have read on another site that the after market sensors are known to be problematic, & the best replacement for that part is the Mopar. That is what I have read, anyway.
 
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