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susan merkley
Dodge Dakota
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11/20/2005
14:41:41

Subject: Rolling down hill and smashing into tree
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Today..my husband parked his vehicle (Dodge Dakota about three years old, V6 Standard Trans) in our driveway (slight incline) He swears he put it in gear and put the emergency brake on but he is getting up there. Well, apparently the thing came out of gear??? parking brake failed???? rolled down the driveway, across the road into a tree. Has anyone had this sort of thing happen to them???? I believe this truck is jinxed as it has had so many problems...complete new engine this summer, now it needs ball joints or something..it's just one thing after another but this is the strangest. Good thing we live in the country and it didn't roll down the drive way and kill someone!!! If anyone has more information about weird failures in Dakotas, I'd sure like to hear from you
Sue in Canada



GB2000
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11/20/2005
17:42:55

RE: Rolling down hill and smashing into tree
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I don't know if the Dakota transmissions (manuals) are similar to my four-wheeler or not...but is it possible that it was in a gear allowing it to be able to roll in the direction the driveway slopes, but not in the direction against the slope.

Like for example...with my four-wheeler, if I shut the engine off with it in reverse, it can't roll backwards. HOWEVER, it can roll forward. And if it's left in 1st - 5th, it won't roll forward, but it can (and definitely will if left on a hill) roll backwards. Like I said though...I don't know how that transmission compares to a manual Dak transmission. And if that's the case...then the parking brake was the only thing holding it and those aren't exactly real reliable, especially on a hill.





Josh Blackshire - Founder, OhioDakotas.NET
Red 98 Dakota Sport - Check it out!

Mark
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11/20/2005
18:11:19

RE: Rolling down hill and smashing into tree
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Balljoints will be replaced free of charge under dealer recall. Check your local dealership for details.

-Mark Hryckiewicz
1993 Sport RC SB 5.2L Auto




Bob Lincoln
Dodge Dakota
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11/21/2005
09:53:49

RE: Rolling down hill and smashing into tree
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"Like for example...with my four-wheeler, if I shut the engine off with it in reverse, it can't roll backwards. HOWEVER, it can roll forward. And if it's left in 1st - 5th, it won't roll forward, but it can (and definitely will if left on a hill) roll backwards."

That makes no sense. My manual transmission vehicles all hold the vehicle from rolling in either direction whether in first or reverse. Putting it in successively higher gears makes it more and more likely to roll.



TuckerLdlow
Dodge Dakota
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11/21/2005
10:15:26

RE: Rolling down hill and smashing into tree
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In 1964, my Dad had a brand spanking new Dodge 7-passenger station wagon, slant six, push button tranny. To put the thing in Park, you had a slide lever, and of course, it had a standard parking brake.

Our driveway sloped from the house to the street about 30 degrees - pretty steep. Across the street was this very nice older couple, who owned a green 1953 Buick Roadmaster Coupe that meticulously maintained - washed every Sunday, waxed about once a month, etc.

My Dad worked for the telephone company, and since this was the only car we had at the time, I had to take him to work each morning before school. I'd just returned from taking him to work, having pulled up the driveway into the carport, sliding the "Park" lever in and hitting the emergency brake. As I walked into the house and past the phone on the wall, it rang - and as I picked it up I could hear someone (kid down the street) screaming "YOUR CALL IS ROLLING!!!".

I tore outside just in time to see the car cross the street, missing the Buick by a mere fraction of an inch - Mr. Can't-Remember-His-Name standing in his picture window with his hands gripping his head on either side, horror stricken - and the Dodge finally coming to rest on top of a pine sapling next to their driveway, with both rear wheels off the ground. Blessedly, it had completely missed the Buick.

I had to get a handsaw and cut the tree out from under the car before I could move it. There was no damage to either car, but of course, the man's tree was kinda totaled.

After all that, it seemed that the "Park" lever didn't engage, and the parking brake, even though set, WILL usually allow a car/truck to roll backward if there is enough incline - although it will seldom allow it to roll forward.

That old Dodge was the first new car that my Dad had owned since before World War II - and he had SO many problems with it! It was wrecked at least 4 times, the tranny went out a couple times, rear end went out - a cheap, 25 cent carbeurator linkage part broke, jamming the throttle wide open with my mother driving mountain roads. She didn't know it was broke for 3 miles, because she had it floored just to get up the hill. Once at the top, it became apparent very quickly that something wasn't right. Fortunately, she was able to shut it off.

What a jinxed car that was!!



daddio
Dodge Dakota
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11/21/2005
10:48:48

RE: Rolling down hill and smashing into tree
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GB, your 4wheeler probably has an auto(centrifugal clutch) that's why it will still roll even if it's in gear.



GB2000
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11/21/2005
14:36:50

RE: Rolling down hill and smashing into tree
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Ah, yeah...that'd be it Daddio. It's a 5 speed with the auto clutch.

And since I now know that's not the reason it decided to roll down the driveway...I dunno what to tell ya.





Josh Blackshire - Founder, OhioDakotas.NET
Red 98 Dakota Sport - Check it out!

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