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Brent
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was doing my first oil change on my '02 Dakota 4.7l since I bought it a few months ago and found some bad news... Can anyone hint as to what's going on here?

This is the (pardon my lack of parts knowledge) what I would call the CV boot on the passenger side, taken from the front, it has an oil of some sort soaking it.
IMG_20141210_215555.jpg

This is the bottom of the motor (taken from the little oil filter access hatch), there is some sort of oil all over where the pulley meets the engine
IMG_20141210_215625.jpg

Other symptoms: The truck is running and driving just fine, the only complaint I have that could be related is driving slowly, if I crank the wheels and turn, I hear a lot of screeching (I figured it's just the springs and suspension being old, as that's what it sounds like)
 

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Here is what I suggest with leaks.

First start looking from where the fluid is coming from from the top of the area.

If you can't identify the location clean up the area and then look to see if you can find the location.

The first one doesn't look too bad really. It could be power steering fluid related.

The second one - trace it up the motor, smell the fluid, could be water pump.

Look at fluid levels. How is the power steering fluid level?

Screeching - a loose or worn belt; insufficient power steering fluid, or a failing power steering pump.
 

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Yeah that's red, not black, so it is ATF - which is also used in the power steering pump.

Take the truck to a self-service car wash and use the power gun to clean off the entire engine and undercarriage. If the one you go to doesn't have an Engine Wash setting, use the Tire Wash. Let it soak for a couple minutes while you wash the rest of the truck, and then hose it off with the high pressure rinse. You don't have to take any special precautions like bagging the PCM or alternator because they are designed to get wet. Just make sure you don't shoot water into the air cleaner if you have removed the stock airbox.

Once the engine is clean, you'll be able to see exactly where it's coming from. The trans cooler lines are right there, and they can spring leaks, but since it's all over the front of the engine, a leaking PS hose or pump is the more likely culprit - especially given the screeching noise when turning.
 

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I'm not a fan of washing the engine - too much electrical stuff. Backtrack the leak from the bottom and clean it afterwards.

If it is power steering I'd suggest changing the fluid and adding Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak.
 

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I wash my engine and engine bay every time I'm at the car wash - because it makes misplaced fluids much easier to see. Never in 8 years with this truck have I had an issue. There is absolutely nothing that can be affected - especially since the engine in question is a 4.7, no cap/wires to worry about. The regular 12v wiring is not going to short out through water. The connectors are all Weatherpak sealed, the computers are potted, and the alternator will run completely submerged. The only thing you have to watch is the intake - and with the stock air system even that's not an issue.

And for the love of whatever fake guy in the sky you believe in, DO NOT put a stop leak product in your system. Find the damn leak and fix it or replace the part.
 

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Brent
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I miss spoke when I said it is screeching when turning, it sounds more like old suspension, that type of screeching, and given the age and miles (just shy of 200k), I figured the noise was normal aging. I'll see if it's not too cold this weekend and take it to the wash
 
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