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I am replacing my connecting rod bearings and need to know if you need to disconnect the transmission or lift the engine to do so. please if you have done so it is a 1997 dodge Dakota. I would appreciate any feedback. 3.9 liter v 6
 

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On a 94 3.9 Dak you do need to raise the engine to get the pan off, but the trans can stay. 97 is probably similar.
 

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Ok... well my buddy looked at my engine when we were changing the oil today and told me I had a knock and then tracked the knock down with a stethoscope thing to the bottom end and he told me I probably have a bad rod bearing. Found the parts on rockauto and seems like something we can do easy enough. Can anyone give me a run down on what we need to do to change them??? like list out the steps for me... My buddy is mechanicly inclined but he's also a Ford man so this is kinda foreign to him.

Do the Haynes books give good directions for this kinda thing???

Oh and this truck is a 4x4 too if that makes a difference...???
 

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Dakota for Life!
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If a rod bearing is in fact bad, chances are it hurt the same rod journal. If it did hurt the journal, the crank will have to be pulled and reground. That will require an engine pull and tranny removal. Good luck and let us know what happened.
 

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this is Nathan... Winks friend... I've done total rebuilds on my fords and yeah... I'll be double checking the journals. sounds like the knock is coming from the front bottom of the engine so I assume it's a connecting rod... That being said I am a ford guy and there could be something I don't know about happening. He was 2 qts low on oil when we did his oil change...

We're also getting a coolant smell from inside when the heater is on. I'm guessing that's a heater core. Any suggestions on replacement? location of heater core? I know mine is behind the glove box and really easy to replace. Wondering how to get to his???

We also have some exhaust work to do. Muffler is bad and I think i'm hearing an exhaust leak from the front somewhere too.

Neither his nor my trucks are beauty queens...LOL dents and rust all around! Just good solid runners for hunting and daily driving to and from work. just trying to keep them running the best we can. He honestly got the truck on a good deal and if it comes to pulling the engine we might be looking at getting a bone yard engine to freshen up and dump in, b/c he needs it for a DD/work.

Thanks for the help guys and I'm sure I'll be back for more since I'm not that good with Dodges!

Nathan
 

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If you spun a rod bearing the big end of the rod likely got hot and is no longer round. For a band aid fix, you might be ok. I need to do something similar with my 440, but engine is on the stand and the only bearing that is bad is the thrust and the crank looks fine. the only thing is I'm not sure I'll be able to get a new thrust bearing in with the crank in, but I was able to get the old bearing out.
 

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this is Nathan... Winks friend... I've done total rebuilds on my fords and yeah... I'll be double checking the journals. sounds like the knock is coming from the front bottom of the engine so I assume it's a connecting rod... That being said I am a ford guy and there could be something I don't know about happening. He was 2 qts low on oil when we did his oil change...

Neither his nor my trucks are beauty queens...LOL dents and rust all around! Just good solid runners for hunting and daily driving to and from work. just trying to keep them running the best we can. He honestly got the truck on a good deal and if it comes to pulling the engine we might be looking at getting a bone yard engine to freshen up and dump in, b/c he needs it for a DD/work.

Thanks for the help guys and I'm sure I'll be back for more since I'm not that good with Dodges!

Nathan


I think since it was low on oil and you have a knock, a used engine would be the way to go. Listen to the engine run before you buy it. If it runs okay, put it on an engine stand and drop the oil pan and clean it. While it's apart, put a high volume (NOT high pressure) oil pump in it to compensate for slightly worn bearings and internal seals. Pop the expansion plugs out and flush the engine with a hose really well. You'll get all sorts of crud out of it from years of rust and old sand from the casting process when the block was made. Put new expansion (freeze) plugs in it and replace the timing chain. (Don't for get the plugs on the back of the engine.)These are all easy to do on a stand and a real bear in the truck. The last engine I did this to had 95K on it when I went through it and 203K on it when the truck finally got to where I replaced it with a newer truck.

One last thing to check is a bronze bushing where the distributor goes through the block into the oil pump. It is probably good but if it lets the distributor shaft wiggle, replace it. There's a special tool to make that easy. I've only replaced a couple of the bushings over the last 45 years.

By the way, this all works on Fords too.
 

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Dakota SLT Quad Cab 4x4
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Ok... well my buddy looked at my engine when we were changing the oil today and told me I had a knock and then tracked the knock down with a stethoscope thing to the bottom end and he told me I probably have a bad rod bearing. Found the parts on rockauto and seems like something we can do easy enough. Can anyone give me a run down on what we need to do to change them??? like list out the steps for me... My buddy is mechanicly inclined but he's also a Ford man so this is kinda foreign to him.

Do the Haynes books give good directions for this kinda thing???

Oh and this truck is a 4x4 too if that makes a difference...???
Don't waste your time , just replaced the ConRod Brgs on my 2002 Dakota , it helped a little bit , had ZERO oil pressure at idle when engine is warmed up , so Replaced the Rod Brgs , put a " High Volume Oil Pump " in and am running Castrol 20w50 oil , have minimal oil pressure at idle once engine is warmed up , and disable Overdrive when driving around town , the problem is that on the 3.9 Liter engine the Cam Bearing wear out and the oil pressure drops and wears out Rod Brgs . In order to pull the Oil Pan , I removed the whole front Axle and dropped the Steering Rack , it was quite easy actually , a little time consuming though .

I realize this is an old post , but if someone reads it by Googling for this problem like I did , they may end up here .
 

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Don't waste your time , just replaced the ConRod Brgs on my 2002 Dakota , it helped a little bit , had ZERO oil pressure at idle when engine is warmed up , so Replaced the Rod Brgs , put a " High Volume Oil Pump " in and am running Castrol 20w50 oil , have minimal oil pressure at idle once engine is warmed up , and disable Overdrive when driving around town , the problem is that on the 3.9 Liter engine the Cam Bearing wear out and the oil pressure drops and wears out Rod Brgs . In order to pull the Oil Pan , I removed the whole front Axle and dropped the Steering Rack , it was quite easy actually , a little time consuming though .

I realize this is an old post , but if someone reads it by Googling for this problem like I did , they may end up here .
And sadly, here I am... the painfully proud owner of a 92 dodge dakota with the 318. oil pressure light flickering, pressure gauge dropping at idle, draining slowly... I have access to another motor that is exactly the same, and its a good one. Im a Chevrolet chick all the way so i am pretty overwhelmed as a novice DIY mechanic. My dad and bf are helpful and experienced but neither one is super excited about it. How could they be? Im not... But we'll... Its mine now. (Hence the name) any advice would be appreciated.
 
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