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General Dakota Board
FromMessage
King
Unregistered


2/01/2001
13:29:03

Subject: 4WD
IP: Logged

Message:
I have a 1988 Dodge Dakota and the 4WD quit working. The transfer case engages but the front does not. The 4x4 light by the shifter also quit working. Is the 4WD controlled electronically. Any suggestions?



JT
Unregistered
 Email

2/01/2001
17:12:05

RE: 4WD
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Message:
IT MAY OF STOPPED WORKING CAUSE OF VACUUM. THATS WHAT HAPPEN TO MY 4 WHEEL DRIVE.




95DakotaV8
GenII
 User Profile

2/01/2001
19:47:32

RE: 4WD
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Message:
the NP231D used in the 95 Dakota does not use vacuum, the shift lever goes right from the floor into the transfer case and engages a fork. I don't know what an 88 uses but it probably is not much different.

KJR
1995 Dakota Club Cab SLT 4x4, 5.2L, 5spd, 3.90 rear end

Phat4x4
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2/01/2001
20:30:08

RE: 4WD
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Message:
i was wheeling when i "broke" the front axle of my 93 dakota. before i took it in the mechanic told me it could be a couple things. the automatic hubs might not be engaging, something could be wrong with the front axle or driveshaft. also check out all the CV joints and bearings.



Walt_Felix
GenI
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2/02/2001
15:58:32

RE: 4WD
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Message:
This is a common question with early Dakota 4x4s that pops up every couple of months on the various Dakota message boards. Take a look at this image,



My truck has a lift kit so yours will look slightly different. Look at the connection just behind the tie rod end in the image. That electrical connection is for the 4WD lamp. The front axle has a Central Axle Disconnect or CAD. The CAD works sort of like an automatic hub and on an 87-90 Dakota works completely by vacuum. There are two vacuum lines that connect to a small round canister on the front axle that looks kind of like two small pie tins pressed together. You can see it on the left side of this image.



The other end of the vacuum lines run to a switch on the transfer case. If you look under the truck, you'll find it to the rear of the transfer case on the driver's side of the truck. It will have 4 vacuum lines connected to it. Two lines for the front axle, one from the engine and one to a ball canister connected to the underside of the bed.

All the wire with the plug on the front axle does is turn the 4WD lamp on and off. It is very common for the vacuum actuator on the front axle to stick.

Here's how to test it:

Disconnect the two vacuum lines from the front axle. With the truck running and in two wheel drive you should have vacuum to only ONE of these two lines. Make a note of which line has the vacuum. Now shift the truck into 4Hi and recheck the lines. The vacuum should change to the OTHER line. If it does not, the switch on the transfer case is bad and should be replaced. If I recall correctly, it will cost around $30-$40 at the dealer. It's kind of like an oil pressure sending unit and will screw into the transfer case. It has a small metal ball on the threaded end and when the transfer case is shifted into 4WD, something inside the transfer case pushes in the metal ball and changes the valve inside the unit.

If the vacuum does change from one line to the other, the actuator on the axle is stuck. Like I said earlier, this is very common. You can try to loosen it up by spraying some WD40 into each vacuum tube the lines connect to. Don't be shy, really try to flush the crud out of it with the spray. Reconnect the lines and drive the truck forward shifting in and out of 4WD. Repeat the process rolling backwards. If it doesn't come loose, you will have to replace the actuator. Once it is working, repeat the flushing process about once every six months to prevent it from happening again.

Also, sometimes when in 4WD, if you shift back into 2WD, the front actuator will stick. Usually happens in cold weather. The transfer case will be in 2WD but the CAD is still locked and the 4WD light will stay on. Shift the truck into reverse and back up about 15-20 feet. That will usually pop it loose when stuck locked.

Walt-n-Ingrid's Dakota





Walt Felix
88 Dakota Sport 4x4
http://WWW.Walt-n-Ingrid.COM

HumptyBumpty
Dodge Dakota
JOIN HERE


8/29/2009
00:22:06

RE: 4WD
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Message:

Worth a bump



Rick
Dodge Dakota
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12/03/2010
23:50:03

RE: 4WD
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Message:
Have 1988 Dodge Dakota in 2 wheel drive the 4 wheel drive floor light remains on, can I fix this?



jaydog5454
Dodge Dakota
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1/30/2011
10:48:03

RE: 4WD
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Message:
2001 dakota 4wd. can I disconnect front transfer case and still drive truck with just rear wd?



other bill
Dodge Dakota
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1/31/2011
11:57:49

RE: 4WD
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Message:
Yes...by removing the front drive shaft.



casey_segebart
Dodge Dakota
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6/02/2011
23:18:37

RE: 4WD
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Message:
anyone know where i could find the vacuum canister on the fron drive axle?? cant find one anywhere!!!



super bee
GenI
 User Profile


6/08/2011
09:04:34

RE: 4WD
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Message:
the canister is actually on a crossmember back by the transfer case
I moved mine to the passengers fenderwell and put in a manual operated vacuum switch by the 4x4 shifter
The 95 t-case does not have the vacuum switch built into it, so i made a manual operated one.
Now i can have 2wd-low. It makes burnouts VERY easy


1990 sport RC SB, 1995 318drivetrain, 3.92 gears (came with truck) Powertrax "traction system", 95 dash/steering wheel, hearthrob exhaust, headers, cutout after y-pipe, necessary electric fan add-a-leafs, 30x9.5 mud tires, cranked T-bars, AR 39 15x8 rims, grill guard, roll bars

mike seeler
Dodge Dakota
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10/10/2011
11:24:20

RE: 4WD
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Message:
hi my service4wd light is on and won't switch out of 4wdhi andlight on switch on dash don't light



LouFuller
Dodge Dakota
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11/09/2011
18:27:23

RE: 4WD
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Message:
Thats a job for the stealership.



Kevin
Dodge Dakota
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1/06/2012
21:13:43

RE: 4WD
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Message:
Can I manually engage the axle actuator on my 88 Dakota
instead of using the switch on the transfer case



AngelEyes
Dodge Dakota
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1/08/2012
16:02:22

RE: 4WD
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Message:
Can I manually engage the axle actuator on my 88 Dakota instead of using the switch on the transfer case?

Yes, wrap your feet around the transfer case, and jerk it forward while your real good buddie drives off road.




patrick gallagher
Dodge Dakota
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6/19/2012
21:27:11

RE: 4WD
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Message:
looking for steering knuckle pass side 1988 4x4 brake calliper bolt holes stripped can they b helicoiled



Dale
Dodge Dakota
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7/27/2012
19:19:03

RE: 4WD
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Message:
i have a 88 dakota the 4 wheel drive made a pop sound when in reverse was pushing aother truck and stoppped working any ideas. the shifter fork doesnt appear to be engaging. transfer case appears to be ok.



other bill
Dodge Dakota
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8/02/2012
14:17:11

RE: 4WD
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Message:
Patrick,

Yes they can. Did mine a couple years ago. Got the kit from NAPA.



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