Used truck purchase, good idea to late.

FU64RY

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:18 AM
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
2,976
Reaction score
2,811
Location
York Pa.
Light bulb idea to late for this one.
Went to look at a 96 Dakota last week to probably buy. By a private owner.
Several questionable issues @ 132K.
Test drive revealed a hard shift and a vibration at 47+ mph.
OD button did not light up or work at all.
Some what of a rough idle.
Got back and looked over all of the wheels for balancing, the left front had no wheel weights at all. All 4 tires were 95% tread left and somewhat knobby. I chalked up the vibration to this issue.
He had all the BS as a used car salesman are noted for.
Made the deal and he said he would deliver it, about 9 miles away.
Put it up on my lift and discovered there was a trans plug unplugged, may have been the shift issue. Was not.
Made a apt to have the front end aligned, on the way the check engine light came on.
So I mentioned it to the shop and he said lets put a scanner on it. LIGHT BULB WENT OFF in my head.
It revealed 4 issues.
2 trans issues the OD button and # 6 plug or plug wire misfire.
Next time I will take along a scanner tool and actually know what the issues are. Would have made a hell of a negotiation tool .
I changed out the tires and wheels and that solved most of the vibration.
He did give me a lot of extra parts one of which was a OD button, so he knew it was bad but did not mention it.
Next you go to look at a purchase take a scanner along.
 

#41

Well-Known Member
Local time
4:18 AM
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
2,173
Location
WA
I hope it was really, really cheap.
 

FU64RY

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:18 AM
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
2,976
Reaction score
2,811
Location
York Pa.
What engine did you get? 3.9, 5.2 or 5.9?
3.9 Why do you ask? This truck is a SLT "custom" first one I have ever seen. Fully loaded, including CC and factory fog lights.
I did get all the scanner issues fixed.
Replaced the OD button and it works now, replaced two modules on the trans and it is much better, #6 plug wire had no continuity, EZ fix. Added new plugs to. Replacing all the plug wires and cap and other distributer components this week.
 

gkent

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:18 AM
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
4,983
Reaction score
5,257
Location
Ontario, Canada
FWIW I have a thing called a "Scan gauge" that plugs into the port and attaches anywhere with velcro. I leave it in at all times. It gives a lot of info during normal operation - like fluid temps, fuel consumption, a/f ratio, miles per gallon, etc. - and if the vehicle does throw a code the manual will tell you what the code is (or you can google it) AND it has the ability to clear it. Since I've been driving used vehicles for the past 25 years, it a handy thing for about $150. !!

 

FU64RY

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:18 AM
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
2,976
Reaction score
2,811
Location
York Pa.
FWIW I have a thing called a "Scan gauge" that plugs into the port and attaches anywhere with velcro. I leave it in at all times. It gives a lot of info during normal operation - like fluid temps, fuel consumption, a/f ratio, miles per gallon, etc. - and if the vehicle does throw a code the manual will tell you what the code is (or you can google it) AND it has the ability to clear it. Since I've been driving used vehicles for the past 25 years, it a handy thing for about $150. !!

brand part # ?
 

fesser

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
4:18 AM
Joined
Oct 17, 2022
Messages
372
Reaction score
614
Location
Napa, CA
The worst thing about your situation is you know that dude used a scanner to reset the check engine light. Or it was a hell of a big coincidence.
 

FU64RY

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:18 AM
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
2,976
Reaction score
2,811
Location
York Pa.
The worst thing about your situation is you know that dude used a scanner to reset the check engine light. Or it was a hell of a big coincidence.
Yes he was a gear head.
 

FU64RY

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:18 AM
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
2,976
Reaction score
2,811
Location
York Pa.
It really is. A buddy of mine bought one and I was skeptical at first but it has been worth every cent I paid for it.
Placed the order with Auto Zone got 20% off. $128
 

Slap Stick

Well-Known Member
Local time
6:18 AM
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
8,086
Reaction score
8,539
Location
Missouri
What engine did you get? 3.9, 5.2 or 5.9?
The 5.9 wasn't available until the next generation "baby Ram" R/T model.
In 92 the LE was the top trim level and became the SLT in 96.
Now, you need to look down the throttle body with a flashlight and open the throttle blades-engine off, of course! If the floor of the intake is wet, you have a blown intake plenum gasket. This causes oil consumption and spark knock under load. When it's bad enough the engine may not even run. The CORRECT fix is to order the kit from Hughes Performance in TX. Just replacing the gasket is temporary.
To my knowledge the OD switch is NLA these days. The Ram vans used the same switch in the early 90s. Something else to check is the intermediate oil pump shaft which engages the cam gear. The gear and the shaft bushing wear and cause the gear to flop around, throwing off the fuel injector synch. The distributor does NOT set ignition timing. That is controlled by the ECM. The cam sensor in the dizzy tells the computer when to fire the injectors. Symptoms include a lumpy idle in gear and the transmission kicking out of OD at speed after what seems like the engine cutting out.
The fuel synch can be adjusted by turning the dizzy but only slightly. IIRC they like the synch slightly advanced. The tool the shops use gives a reading from -3 to +6. Turn the distributor too far and the engine won't fire at all.
Enjoy your new Dakota!
 

ckessel

Well-Known Member
Local time
4:18 AM
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
4,053
Reaction score
4,585
Location
Los Osos Ca.
The 5.9 wasn't available until the next generation "baby Ram" R/T model.
In 92 the LE was the top trim level and became the SLT in 96.
Now, you need to look down the throttle body with a flashlight and open the throttle blades-engine off, of course! If the floor of the intake is wet, you have a blown intake plenum gasket. This causes oil consumption and spark knock under load. When it's bad enough the engine may not even run. The CORRECT fix is to order the kit from Hughes Performance in TX. Just replacing the gasket is temporary.
To my knowledge the OD switch is NLA these days. The Ram vans used the same switch in the early 90s. Something else to check is the intermediate oil pump shaft which engages the cam gear. The gear and the shaft bushing wear and cause the gear to flop around, throwing off the fuel injector synch. The distributor does NOT set ignition timing. That is controlled by the ECM. The cam sensor in the dizzy tells the computer when to fire the injectors. Symptoms include a lumpy idle in gear and the transmission kicking out of OD at speed after what seems like the engine cutting out.
The fuel synch can be adjusted by turning the dizzy but only slightly. IIRC they like the synch slightly advanced. The tool the shops use gives a reading from -3 to +6. Turn the distributor too far and the engine won't fire at all.
Enjoy your new Dakota
Slap Stick mentioned some things to check that I was going to let you know about, but got beat. Also there was a TSB, technical service bulletin, from Ma Mopar about the 3.9 dealing with spark scatter. When the timing components get loose, the relation between the cam and crank sensors gets out of whack allowing the scatter to happen. Also the bulletin said to look at the oil pump/distributor drive gear as it can get worn which adds to the problem. So, the TSB said to replace the 3 units up front, cam gear/crank gear/chain, plus they made a tensioner unit to put on which replaces the cam retainer with a new unit that also contains a tensioner for the chain. Look at the op/dist drive and replace if worn and while there, look at the shaft bushing in the block. If its allows wiggle on the shaft, replace it too. These components are the same stuff for the A engines btw, so you can get better stuff if you want. The tensioner unit was also available through Mopar Performance, maybe check with Mancini or the local dealer. The 4 and 6 cylinder engines are harder on timing components than the 8's due to the dwell time between ignition events in the rotation of the crank. One of the reasons 4/6's need components changed sooner than 8's. If you get that far into the fixing you may as well take care of the intake leak as Slap mentioned. Also good time to do the water pump, t-stat & gasket, crank seal, by pass hose. There is an o-ring needed for the heater tube that goes into the water pump. Make sure you get a replacement, preferably the specific one for that location.
 

Slap Stick

Well-Known Member
Local time
6:18 AM
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
8,086
Reaction score
8,539
Location
Missouri
Well said, ckessel.
It not only has spark scatter, it also gets the injectors out of synch, as I stated in the previous post as the distributor synchs the injector with the spark plug firing.
The bushing and gear/shaft are available from Rock Auto at a reasonable price. The one I bought was from Melling.
The intake plenum kit from Hughes has everything you need from the intake to head gaskets all the way to the gasket for the air breather to throttle body, including all new bolts and bypass hose. They have the timing sets and IIRC the tensioner. Heck, while you're that far into it get a new cam from them! Now we go down the rabbit hole! V8 throttle body, and more!

Oh yeah, IIRC some years had a problem with cracked frames around the control arms.
I need to do the plenum and timing set on my 92 318. Should have done the timing set when I replaced the water pump.
 

toolmanmike

Henchman #2
Staff member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
6:18 AM
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
10,338
Reaction score
18,349
Location
Iowa
Slap Stick mentioned some things to check that I was going to let you know about, but got beat. Also there was a TSB, technical service bulletin, from Ma Mopar about the 3.9 dealing with spark scatter. When the timing components get loose, the relation between the cam and crank sensors gets out of whack allowing the scatter to happen. Also the bulletin said to look at the oil pump/distributor drive gear as it can get worn which adds to the problem. So, the TSB said to replace the 3 units up front, cam gear/crank gear/chain, plus they made a tensioner unit to put on which replaces the cam retainer with a new unit that also contains a tensioner for the chain. Look at the op/dist drive and replace if worn and while there, look at the shaft bushing in the block. If its allows wiggle on the shaft, replace it too. These components are the same stuff for the A engines btw, so you can get better stuff if you want. The tensioner unit was also available through Mopar Performance, maybe check with Mancini or the local dealer. The 4 and 6 cylinder engines are harder on timing components than the 8's due to the dwell time between ignition events in the rotation of the crank. One of the reasons 4/6's need components changed sooner than 8's. If you get that far into the fixing you may as well take care of the intake leak as Slap mentioned. Also good time to do the water pump, t-stat & gasket, crank seal, by pass hose. There is an o-ring needed for the heater tube that goes into the water pump. Make sure you get a replacement, preferably the specific one for that location.
3.9 timing chain loose? :lol:
 

ckessel

Well-Known Member
Local time
4:18 AM
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
4,053
Reaction score
4,585
Location
Los Osos Ca.
With the roller cam, replacement was not generally needed. The V8 TB does fit, but some have tried it and found its too big CFM wise. There was an older mod that I used which will work for the 3.9 and wake it up like putting a curve kit in an old distributor using the light springs and heavy weights. What you did was, engine off but key on, measure the voltage at the TPS connector[ don't remember which wire] by back probing the connector. You would have like .5 volts at it. Once you id'd the wire, you would pull the TPS off and remove the steel bushings from the screw holes. Put it back on with the screws not fully tight, move the TPS till you got .7-.8v or so, then tighten down the screws. This changes the sensitivity of the TPS and really wakes it up. I did this on my 94 1500 5.9. Would lift the nose up when you nailed the gas. This is a cheap, easy mod but you would be wise to research it as my memory of the desired voltage reading is off. Also the IAC motor gets built up with crud. Before you get a new one, pull it off and fill the plunger recess up with some Berryman's B12 and lit it sit for an hour or so. After that, dump it out and spray it down with B12. Also clean the TB with same and an old toothbrush, removing any deposits from the blades and their passages.
 

Dibbons

Well-Known Member
Local time
5:18 AM
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
4,608
Reaction score
5,092
Location
La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
Nice purchase. I'm driving the '96 Dakota 3.9L five-speed Dad purchased new from the dealer (odometer clocking 295,000 miles now).
 
Top