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G-Guy
Dodge Dakota
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5/06/2002
11:19:18

Subject: Thermostat change?
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Twice now I've had the temp guage almost pin to the top on my 3.9 '99 Dakota. It was only up there for about 5 seconds and then dropped back to normal operating temp. I'm guessing the thermostat is sticking and I need to change it.
Could anybody tell me where it is located and how to change it out?



Zaurusman
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5/06/2002
11:25:49

RE: Thermostat change?
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It's located at the end of the big black hose going into the intake manifold, but how quickly does the temperature gauge move? If it jumps up and down or moves quickly it is not your thermostat - it's probably your temp sensor nearby in that case. Could just be a loose connector.

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Zaurusman
'98 RC Red Sport V6 5spd 3.21 15x8's
http://home.earthlink.net/~tiborkun/Dakota/Index.htm

G-Guy
Dodge Dakota
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5/06/2002
11:32:45

RE: Thermostat change?
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It took about 5 minutes to rise, but only a couple of seconds to drop. I didn't notice it pinned until the warning chime, but when I did I shifted to neutral, hit the gas, and it dropped right away. Is the sensor next to the Thermostat?



ctw
Dodge Dakota
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5/06/2002
11:36:16

RE: Thermostat change?
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Thermostat is on top of engine under the hose coming from top of radiator. I could be wrong, but five seconds seems like short time for coolant to get that hot and cool back down again. Maybe could also be a short between temp sensor and the temp gage. After replacing thermostat, check temp sensors. On my 1990 3.9 there are two temp sen, one next to thermostat for computer, and one under the a/c compressor for the temp gage on dash. There should be 12 volts on plug that attaches to temp gage sensor. If you short out that plug, temp gage will top out.

good luck,
CTW



Zaurusman
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5/06/2002
11:42:57

RE: Thermostat change?
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Sounds like it to me but you might want another opinion. You'll need a thermostat, gasket and bucket (and tools). I used airline for an aquarium to siphon coolant out of the radiator into the bucket, then undid the thermostat housing (two bolts - need an extension) and then removed the thermostat and swapped. Some people tear it apart up there to make more room to access the thermostat with, but I haven't needed to. Worst part is scraping off pieces of the old gasket; stuff a shop rag in the hole to make sure none of that debris enters your block. When done replace everything (including fluid) and go. :-)

You may want to swap to a 180 degree thermostat while you're at it; costs the same and supposedly extends the engine's life. Speedtweaks has 'em (Robert Shaw's product) and Jet makes one for our trucks too.

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Zaurusman
'98 RC Red Sport V6 5spd 3.21 15x8's
http://home.earthlink.net/~tiborkun/Dakota/Index.htm

G-Guy
Dodge Dakota
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5/06/2002
11:49:54

RE: Thermostat change?
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Thanks!

I had planned on doing the coolant this week, so I thought good time to do the thermostat. Is there no drain plug for the rad? You have to siphon it?



G-Guy
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5/06/2002
11:51:52

RE: Thermostat change?
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Oh. I think I get it. You siphoned a little to change the Thermostat??? Boy, do I feel stupid!



Zaurusman
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5/06/2002
11:55:23

RE: Thermostat change?
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Well it's either that or drain it from below and all that plastic crap on the underside is a PITA to get through compared to a quick suck on a long platic airline. You want to mostly empty that hose so you don't make a huge mess.

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Zaurusman
'98 RC Red Sport V6 5spd 3.21 15x8's
http://home.earthlink.net/~tiborkun/Dakota/Index.htm

Scotty
Dodge Dakota
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5/07/2002
14:01:44

RE: Thermostat change?
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I had the same problem as you describe G-Guy. I have a '98 3.9L Dakota. It would always happen about the same time on my commute, about 25 minutes into the drive if I recall. I was about to replace the thermostat when I discovered I was low on coolant. Not sure where it all went (no visible leaks), but I was almost a gallon low. I topped her off and the problem went away for about 6 months, then happened again. I topped her off again, and so far so good. So that's a pretty easy fix.

However, I am due for some spring maintenance to my cooling system, so I'm going to replace the thermostat and whatever hoses. I just picked up the thermo, and the guy at Pep Boys suggested a 165F rather than the standard 190F. I found this interesting since Zaurusman mentioned replacing with a 180F in this thread. 165F is quite a difference from 190F, so I'm wondering if this guy wasn't nuts. Anyone have any thoughts or comments on this?? Thanks, and good luck G Guy!

Scott



Gus
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5/07/2002
16:24:39

RE: Thermostat change?
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I put a 160 stat in my 2000 3.9 Dakota and it runs great! I tow a 4000lb. camper with a quad in the bed and it dosen't see over 180 degrees. Alot of people said that a cooler stat will trip the check engine light, but I have not had that problem. Good Luck!



Zaurusman
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5/07/2002
16:27:34

RE: Thermostat change?
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I've heard that a 180 is ideal for Magnum engines, but cannot personally confirm that. I don't particularly notice any difference except on the temp gauge. :-)

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Zaurusman
'98 RC Red Sport V6 5spd 3.21 15x8's
http://home.earthlink.net/~tiborkun/Dakota/Index.htm

sean
Dodge Dakota
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5/07/2002
21:25:13

RE: Thermostat change?
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Hey G-guy, have had the same problem aswell with my 2000 3.9 Would redline and just as I was pulling over , would drop back down to normal.
Stumped the dealership guys for a while. They changed the thermostat and that seemed to fix the prob for a day or two, then It happened again only coolant was low this time. Turned out that when it overheated the first time, it also blew the seal on the frost plug. The catch was this plug just happened to be behind the tranny. hte had to remove it to get at it. Anways, turned out to ne $560 worth of labour, for a $3 part. That needle jumps again, shut'er down FAST!!!!



G-Guy
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5/08/2002
11:02:26

RE: Thermostat change?
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Frost Plug??? God I hope not. I haven't really noticed too much loss of coolant, no more than normal. But that A/C evaporator sure leaves a nice pool of water! The problem seems to be similar to Scotty's. Personally, I wouldn't want to run a thermostat lower than a 180 unless I had some major mods under the hood.



Allan
Dodge Dakota
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12/08/2002
16:44:57

V6 Magnum Drain Plug on Radiator
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Seems that the drain plug on the V6 Magnum Dodge Dakota 2000 is a ball valve? Turns 90 Degrees but doesn't let a thing out. Thought it might be plugged and fished a small rod up but doesn't seem to pass the valve/plug. My question is this..Is there something you need to do different with the drain plug than most normal plugs or what? Doesn't seem to unscrew like most that I have seen over the years of other cars and trucks. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.




Bryan
Dodge Dakota
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2/16/2003
12:56:18

RE: Thermostat change?
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I have my dakota sitting right here in the garage as I write same thing turned the valve and nothing! I pulled the plastic away to gain access and pulled the little rubber hose down to drain the radiator turned the valve and nothing! The other strange thing is that the valve in its origanal position seems that it would already be open in that it is inline with the hose and when you turn it (it the handle) shows cross line? Turned it back and forth and still nothing. I'm going to go by a chilitons manual now since the obvious isn'nt cutting it!



bryan
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2/16/2003
16:48:37

RE: Thermostat change?
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Ahha !!! I figured it out chiltons wasn't much help but what ya do is turn the plug so that the handle is cross the line were the fluid should flow out and get ya some duck bill pliers and wiggle it a little while pulling the plug out not all the way just about a 1/4" is all it will take and the fluid shoul begin to trickle then turn the valve back until it is straight up and down or inline with drain and it should start pouring out! Then when you have about a gallon or so turn it back and push it in reatach hose to the storage spigot and that should do it!



t will ricboo
Dodge Dakota
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12/22/2008
21:22:10

RE: Thermostat change?
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when i start out in my truck the gage is like everyone elses. down on zero. then it will rise to 180 and stay there. never moving no matter what. and i am not getting any heat, and its winter time. i'd say about 50 to 60 degree air. i've even tried to put stuff in front of raditor still no more heat can anyone out there help me???



rich
Dodge Dakota
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12/23/2008
00:18:58

RE: Thermostat change?
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t will ricboo,

Wow responding to a 5 year old post, must be really board.



Squeeker
Dodge Dakota
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12/23/2008
12:02:15

RE: Thermostat change?
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Start by pulling the hoses from the heater core and back flushing the heater core with a garden hose,i have to do mine every 3 years or so to keep it working right.the dakota heater cores are slightly smaller than most making them a bit more prone to getting pluged especially if you happen to use anykind of stop leak as it seems to collect in the heater core . hope that helps



rich
Dodge Dakota
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12/23/2008
12:05:39

RE: Thermostat change?
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im really board too, as if ya couldnt tell



Amanda
Dodge Dakota
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12/19/2011
11:40:53

RE: Thermostat change?
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99 Dodge Dakota Sport V-6

Need help? What all do I need to get when I change my thermostat? Just got this truck know nothing about it. I know I put anti-freeze in it and it didn't help with the temperature at all continued over heating. So I am guessing its my thermostat. This truck has never been in weather in which a real flexibility is needed. Help please.



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