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96 Dakota 5.2 won't run right

Discussion in 'Dakota, 1998-2013 Durango and Aspen' started by 96Dodge4x4, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Hi,
    I have a 96 Dakota 5.2 5 speed and have been having issues where the idle will drop down close to the point of stalling (400 or less and sometimes actually stalling) and when driven rather than smoothly accelerating it will be smooth for part then it will stop and just jump up and jerk the truck (all of this is around 1000-3000 rpm and at low speeds as I haven't been able to go drive on the road just on my driveway). So far I have replaced the Crank position sensor (wouldn't start and stay running with out pumping the throttle and even then ran terribly), Cam position sensor, Coolant temp sensor, Tried switching map sensor with one from another truck (didn't help so put the original back), Switched IAC with one from another truck (after cleaning it, which seemed to help some), and the computer is new. The truck will run fine for around 45 minutes perfectly fine (used to be less before switching IAC) then the oil pressure starts to jump down and the truck will randomly drop the idle then bring it back up. Once (this was before switching IAC) after driving it down the driveway the jerking/ jumping got worse to the point where I barely made it back before it wouldn't stay running without pumping the throttle and it was running like before I changed the Crank sensor (and I got a code for loss of crank/cam sensor) but this hasn't happened sense. I'm unsure where to go from here. Could I have gotten a crank sensor that starts going haywire when it heats up or is it something else? Any help would be appreciated. I plan on taking the throttle body off and cleaning that along with switching the TPS with another that works to see if it makes a difference.

    Thanks
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    Sounds like there really hasn't been any diagnosis - just parts thrown at it.
    You could be losing fuel pressure.
    The cat converter could be starting to plug up.
    Could be a vacuum leak (check in the intake plenum).
    What do the spark plugs look like?
    Have you checked for any error codes?
     
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  3. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Yes, could be failing fuel pump, and a pressure check should reveal that. I just had one fail in my Dakota, and it started as loss of power at highway speed, and then would only accelerate with very low throttle opening, and finally died on the side of the road like a Ford.

    Could also be a bad timing chain. The guides wear out in these engines, known problem. Has it ever been changed out to the re-engineered new chain and guide set?

    Could also be a bad distributor bushing where the dist engages the cam. These also wear out and cause bucking and stalling.

    Finally, could be a bad O2 sensor, which usually shows up in the fault code check.

    Chrysler Computer Codes, 1980s-1990s
     
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  4. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Sorry it took so long to reply, I go to school during the day and just got home.
    As for codes none are being thrown the only one I've gotten in the last couple months of working on it was a P1391 which cleared itself and hasn't came back. Before finally asking for your guy's help I've just been reading every forum I could find and trying what closest matched my symptoms. I've tried best I could to re use parts from other trucks that I can use(that I know work). With the cat converter are there any symptoms that would tell it's plugged. Right now it makes some noise as if it's broken inside. Also the code reader says the catalyst monitor is incomplete. I will check the plugs soon and will let you know but I did clean them a while back so I'll see what's happened since then. With the fuel pump it builds up pressure pretty quickly when you first turn the key but I will look into that along with pressure I will see if I can find a pressure gauge. The timing gauge hasn't been changed as I know. How many miles do they go out on average. I currently have 130,000. I'm gonna try and include a video I took of what's happening to try and give you guys some more insight. Thanks for replying, I appreciate the help!
     
    #4 96Dodge4x4, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  5. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Also to check the distributor bushing do I need to pull the entire shaft out or is it visible with the cap off?
     
  6. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Checked the plugs, they all look normal, Mostly black, tips are grayish, plugs are dry. What's confusing me the most is why it runs perfect for upwards of 45 minutes then starts acting up. I have the video uploading to YouTube and will link it in when it's finished
     
  7. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    You have to remove the distributor to check it. If you do so, make sure crankshaft is at TDC, and the ignition rotor should point exactly to the scribe mark on the lip of the distributor housing. That reference sets the fuel injector timing. It needs to be 0 degrees +3/-1.
    Check the slop in the timing chain by trying to turn the rotor by hand with engine off, to see if there is play. And look for side play in the dist shaft before pulling to inspect the bushing.
    I had my timing chain replaced at 124K miles, and there was some slop, according to the dealer. Not enough to notice in performance.

    That P1391 code does seem to suggest a failing crankshaft position sensor. I don't think these engines had a cam position sensor.
     
  8. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Alright I will look into that next. The sensor I replaced was in the distibutor. I'll let you know how it goes and I'll have that video linked in here shortly as it finally uploaded.
     
  9. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    The Hall effect in the distributor that provides the injector timing is used instead of a real cam sensor.
     
  10. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Alright here's the video, I rev it up a couple times to show how the rpms jump around, and then later in the video the "idle dropping" starts happening. Hope this helps make some sense.
     
  11. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Let's go back to the basics.

    How many miles/months since the last full tuneup? Should be less than 30K miles. These engines don't like dist caps with aluminum contacts, they can cause misfire as soon as they begin to oxidize. Always use dist caps with brass contacts. And rotors can char before 30K miles.
    Full tuneup includes plugs, wires, rotor, cap, air and gas filters, PCV valve, cleaning and re-oiling the breather cap, and spray cleaning the throttle body.
     
  12. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    The plugs should not be black. Is it oily black or sooty black?
    A break in the intake plenum gasket could explain oily plugs and the bouncing RPMs (as it is a vacuum leak).
     
  13. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    I'm not sure when the last tune up was, I was planning on doing that soon and will check for oxidation. I will include a picture of one of the plugs. Can I see for the leak by looking into my intake manifold with a flashlight because I currently have the throttle body off to clean it. If so is that the most likely culprit.
     

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  14. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    look for oil on the bottom of the intake when you down where the throttle body would mount.
     
  15. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Alright I'll look for that when I get a chance between rain storms. Will let you know soon
     
  16. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    Got a chance to look down there and it does have some oil. Are they supposed to be completely dry in there? I got a few pictures of it. There is a little pool in the back
     
  17. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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  18. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    There's a lot of residue there from gasoline vapors.
    I would use a throttle body cleaner spray first. Slowly spray small amounts and let that gunk melt away before you spray more. Too much at once and it will stall. Then rev it above 1000 RPM to clear it.
    Then do a full tuneup. I see that you are using Autolite plugs. I have always found them to be deficient in Chrysler products. They often cause rough idle and flashover. Use Champions when you tune it up and you will notice the difference.
     
  19. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    I've seen them a lot oilier than that.
     
  20. 96Dodge4x4

    96Dodge4x4 New Member

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    So are you guys saying probably not a plenum leak? Is a little bit of oil in there normal. I will go ahead and clean it out later today with throttle body cleaner and will do the tune up soon.
     

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