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Discussion Starter #1
I am having problems with my 94 dakota 3.9 4x4 stalling out under load. It will stall out in the worst possible places. Like getting on the freeway, going up a hill, towing a trailer.
I am in the process of getting it ready for paint. I would like to share the truck with my daughter, as it would be her first vehicle. I need to get this bug fixed first though. It is a safety, reliability issue. I had it scanned with a good scanner and the codes were 12 and 32, and something with the crank shaft position sensor. The mechanic said to start with the crank sensor first, did that and it wasn't it. I read the check engine light codes and got a 11 and 12. I have heard that the distributor bushings go out often on dodges, And I don't think it is a fuel issue. Any advice on what to check, replace next?
Mike
 

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It's a common problem once they have a lot of miles on them. The crank sensor could still be an issue, as the spacing is critical. I think there is a paper spacer as a guide. Also, the distributor bushing, which is seated in the block under the dist, can wear and cause the dist shaft to wobble.

Code 32 is EGR, which can cause stalling at idle, stumbling while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am having problems with my 94 dakota 3.9 4x4 stalling out under load. It will stall out in the worst possible places. Like getting on the freeway, going up a hill, towing a trailer.
I am in the process of getting it ready for paint. I would like to share the truck with my daughter, as it would be her first vehicle. I need to get this bug fixed first though. It is a safety, reliability issue. I had it scanned with a good scanner and the codes were 12 and 32, and something with the crank shaft position sensor. The mechanic said to start with the crank sensor first, did that and it wasn't it. I read the check engine light codes and got a 11 and 12. I have heard that the distributor bushings go out often on dodges, And I don't think it is a fuel issue. Any advice on what to check, replace next?
Mike
Bob Lincoln I am new to this forum computer stuff. I would like to post this so as many people can see it as possible. No disrespect to your reply, and thank you for replying. I would just like to know if other people have had this same problem and how did they go about fixing it. I have a haynes manual, but that does'nt have the trouble shooting fixes for the problem that I have. It only happen's when under load. It does'nt matter if it's cold, hot, wet, and runs fine until I give her some gas. Idles great, does'nt stall out at stop signs, turns, or any other time but when I NEED it to GO!!! So if you need to repost this at a different spot on this web page, have at it. Any direction at all will help me out.
Thanks again,
Mike
 

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I have split this off into a seperate topic for more visibility.
 

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You might want to temporarily install a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail and keeping the hose out of harms way, tuck it under a wiper blade to watch the fuel pressure under load.
An 18 year old fuel pump or metal tank may be failing. Fuel demand increases under load, so any restrictions/ volume issues here would likely show up.
Spark demand also rises under load, but if cold and wet don't seem to bother it, I would investigate fuel.
The cam driven distributor/oil pump auxillary shaft had a bronze bushing that wore prematurely in these years. It would get sloppy and cause stalling and no-starts. Any service history?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The fuel pump and filter were replaced last summer by the guy I bought the truck from. I did have to drop the plastic gas tank and realign the float to get the gas gauge to work right. The float was riding on the side of the tank and always registered a quarter tank. that is fixed now. I did pull the cap off the distributor and there is play, slop, wobble in the rotor shaft. Not much, but how much is to much? Should it be rock solid? My guess is between five and ten thousandths wobble at the rotor. Is the bushing that maybe at failure pressed into the block? Is it on the distributor shaft? Is it something a driveway mechanic could do in a weekend? My manual just has removal and installation of the distributor, anything else that I should check out before I attempt this?
To make it clear that I think it may be a electrical issue is there is no stumbiling, or rough idle. I will be traveling along and try to give it gas and the speedo and rpm gauges just go to 0. I put it in neutral, turn off the key for 5-10 seconds and it fires right up, put it in drive and i'm back on my way. I just do not want my daughter to have to deal with this as she has enough to learn about driving as it is.
Mike
 

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There should be almost no side play to the distributor shaft, less than about .005 inches.

That bushing is, as I mentioned, in the block, between the camshaft and distributor shaft. The dist shaft fits into it. So you need to pull the distributor and possibly use a tool like a pickle 'plucker' or tongs to lift the bushing out. The new one should be inserted with the same rotation as the old, to maintain distributor timing.

Now, the other snag is that on these vintage V-6 engines, the ignition timing is controlled by the crankshaft position sensor, not the distributor rotation. The magnetic pickup in the distributor is used to control the firing of the fuel injectors. Therefore, removing and/or rotating the distributor body will mess up the fuel injector synchronization. It really needs to be set with a scan tool, as its spec is TDC plus 3/minus zero degrees. If you are off by more than a few degrees, it will run poorly, backfire or not start. TDC is indicated by a scribe mark in the lip of the distributor body which lines up with the center of the ignition rotor tip. So that approximation should allow the truck to start afterward, but it then should be fine-tuned with the scan tool.

I'll bet it dies under load when the bushing allows side play of the dist shaft as the load is applied, and this changes the gap to the magnetic pickup enough to kill the fuel injector signal.

If the timing chain has never been replaced, it will have some slop and wear that can also affect the fuel injector timing.
 

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If the tach and speedo pointers drop to zero instantly while the truck is still moving along, that does indicate an electrical problem if the speedo is electronic and there is no speedo cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I called a few parts houses in town for the bronze bushing, Napa did'nt have it in their book. The Dodge dealer said it is a discontinued part, and if they did have it I would need to buy the whole distributor. They won't sell just the bushing. One other place in town has a machine shop, parts side was open but no one was in the shop on a Sat. The fella said he remembers the shop making the bushing for some v-8s. I will need to talk to them on Mon. Is there anywhere I could get the dimensions, specs on the bushing? I tried Rock-auto also, nothing there. Any other places to call that might have it?
Thanks,
Mike
 

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This bushing isn't in the distributor or a part of it. The bushing is in the engine block and supports the oil pump/distributor drive gear and should still be availible through Chrysler or engine rebuilders. First determine whether it is worn and the problem.
It may be the same across the 3.9L, 5.2L and 5.9L engines. I'll try to find a part # to Google.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I found the replacement bushing in town and I installed it. FUN FUN playing operation. Took the truck out and ran it, it did still stall under load one time. It's better, but not reliable yet. A different mopar guy thinks it is a bug in the ignition system somewhere. I will probaly give him the truck for a day or two to see if he can figure it out. Thank you to all who replied and tried to help me out here. Any other suggestions will still be appriciated. I will check back as time permits, and let you know what finally fixes it. Thanks,
Mike
 

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Do you have the original timing chain? How many miles on it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes I do think it is the original timing chain. It has about one hundred and seventy- to one hundred seventy five miles. Could that mimic the symtoms that I am having?
I have had a chain go on my Dad's 454 suburban and that was it for it. I mean when it went out it was dead, crank all you want. jumped a tooth and it ain't starting period. Would slop in the chain cause it to die under load? I really don't want to tear into the timing chain gear replacement thing just yet. Would that throw a code? Right now it still has 11 and 12 and 55, the haynes book said 11 was for no distibutor signal, 12 is for battery interuption, 55 is for end of codes. My wife thinks we bought a lemon, and I don't want to blindly throw money at it any more. Gotta keep the wife happy! I will go over all the ground wires again and check the red and white striped wire fron the fuse block that I saw alot of talk about. Peel back the crappy cloth tape about a foot to a splice.
Thanks again,
Mike
 

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If you're getting code 11 there's a good chance you are either lossing the crank or cam position sensor signal at some time.
 

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Ditto.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I think it is getting better now. I took it in to the mechanic who read the codes the first time and found the crank shaft sensor signal would cut out for no reason. He found out by looking at the wiring diagrams that there is a power supply in the engine computer that drops voltage down from 12 to 8.5-9 volts. He checked that the new crank sensor was in fact good with his scanner. He then checked the camshaft sensor and it registered in the proper range also. While hooked up to his scanner the truck died, he found the voltage dropped to 2.6 volts at the speedo sensor. He unplugged the speedo sensor and the voltage came back up to 9. On the wiring diagrams he noticed only three orange wires ran those 3 components, they all were the only things on that power supply. So he had me pull the wire harness from the tranny tailshaft area all the way out to the fire wall and inspect it for cracks, pinching and chafing. Sure enough, the orange wire had a tiny bit of chafing where you could see copper. I mean half the size of a pinhead small. The fella I bought the truck from did have the tranny rebuilt, but whoever did it never put the corrigated plastic sleeve back on the wires. He also zip tied, wire tied the harness about nine times in the 25- to 30" lenght of harness really tight. I put it all back together and protected the wires properly, it cost two dollars twenty seven cents for 7 feet of the split plastic tubing and I had plenty of leftover. So far problem solved, knock on wood. Thanks again for everyones input and help.
Mike
 

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the stalling issue is resovled. but now I am having problems with the overdrive. I was having problems with the cruise control, but that went awady. the cruise control was reving up and then stay, rev up and stay.its not acting up any more, while in cruise mode.I am know having trouble with overdrive. It will not shift into overdrive. It stays in third gear and wont shift into forth. I did double and triple check all the plugs that I had to unplug to fix the sstallingtrouble.Any suggestions?
Mike
 

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If the computer does not think the truck is getting warm, it will shut out overdrive.
 

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The coolant temp sensor for the PCM is different from the one that controls the dash gauge. Both are at the front of the intake manifold near the thermostat housing. The A/C compressor in the way may make things harder to get at. The Vt wire sensor is for the dash gauge, so you want to look at the other one. It may be a 2-wire sensor with one of the wires Bk with a tracer color.
I have seen these CTS connector corrode for some reason. The PCM temp sensor signal can be erratic and intermittent. If the PCM still believes the temp signal value, it won't set a fault code and go with the supplied temp value. If the value is wrong, it may run poorly and not lock the converter if it believes that the engine is still cold.
 

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The other thing that commonly goes wrong to prevent overdrive is that the solenoid pack can vibrate loose from the valve body inside the pan. If there is a fluid leak at the seam where they meet, O/D shift won't occur. It can be as simple as tightening up the screws that hold the solenoid pack, after you drop the pan.
 
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