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rpmxixipt
Dodge Dakota
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4/06/2003
17:35:24

Subject: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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I have a '97 Dakota SLT with the 3.9L magnum engine & 80k miles on it. As if the brake, transmission, and distributor problems weren't enough with this thing over the years, now I've developed a new problem - I'm dropping oil pressure sporadically, bottoming out at zero without any regularity. And yup, it sure sounds like this is really happening - no sensor problem, the pistons are just hammering and knocking away. That was then.. NOW this thing will NOT get pressure up at all - it maybe holds for about a minute before bottoming out, and is looking to become a backyard fixture by all accounts. I'm not leaking or burning oil at all, everything is clean as a whistle.

Luckily this hasn't occurred when I'm 50 miles from nowhere, but what's the story here? I've hit a couple of message boards and this sounds like a pretty grim thing. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it the oil pump, problem with the sender, ???? I've read sad tales where people have had to do a complete overhaul because of this.

Is the '97 Dakota a candidate for lemon law prosecution? I'm about mad enough to strangle everyone at the local Dodge dealership.

Steve

I shoulda bought a Ford.. :(



Kracker
Dodge Dakota
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4/06/2003
18:20:30

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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It does sound like an oil pump problem. If your not burning it wouldnt be rings or anything... so I'd guess the oil pump.

---Kracker

P.S. I'm a Chevy/Dodge guy... hehe, I've never liked ford... except I wouldnt mind owning a stang, though... hehe



justin
Dodge Dakota
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4/06/2003
18:22:31

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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i would like to know because it happpens to me to. it will drop and when i let off the gas it goes back to normal then when i try to drive it drops . i have to shut the car off and turn it back on and it works fine, but it only happens a little. mine is a 2000 with 55000 miles



vern
Dodge Dakota
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4/07/2003
08:04:24

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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if you,ve tryed a newoil sending unit,no change,try a manual gauge[for about $15] you don,t have to put it in your truck just hook it up to see if your oil pressure still drops if it is sound like oil pump .



Daveo
Dodge Dakota
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4/07/2003
09:15:11

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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My '96 started doing this, and then one day it stayed down on the "L".
My valves started clicking. It turned out to be the oil pump.
It took about $360.00 to solve this problem.

Since then the oil pressure always runs in the middle of the gauge, and no more problems.
Good luck.
Daveo.



Monkey_Man
Dodge Dakota
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4/07/2003
12:15:08

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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From what I have read around this site, try doing a search, I would check the oil pump and also there is some sort of screen that filters oil crud. I would check out that.
do a search and it should be able to explain it better then I can.



toddmrfixit
Dodge Dakota
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4/07/2003
12:55:00

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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hook up a remote oil pressure sending unit($25.00 at any murray's,auto zone,etc,etc..)you want to see if the engine really is dropping off pressure or if the gauge is malfunctioning. if you can hear the lifters chattering away then save the $25. if the engine has good oil pressure on start up and quickly loses pressure, then you most likely have a clogged up oil pick up tube. (considering you have fairly low miles)if you have high miles you may have a worn out bearing.the odds of just an oil pump going bad are slim to none.for anyone that disagrees with my info should come work with me at a real repair shop.i say that because we are an independent shop that has 7 contracts with local dealerships who can't figure out how to fix their own vehicles.sad case i know, but for those of you who have paid big money and still get the same problem understand.



rpmxixipt
Dodge Dakota
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4/07/2003
17:46:42

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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Todd, that sounds almost exactly like what's happening here. I have decent oil pressure for about a half a minute, then it falls off the map and stays down. What do you think would be a reasonable rate for getting this checked out/repaired?

Steve



toddmrfixit
Dodge Dakota
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4/07/2003
19:02:05

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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any repair shop is going to charge a check out fee.they all vary in their price.we charge $48.50 so you can bet most places will be in that range. just make sure you go to one with an A.S.E. certified tech. to pull the pan and clean up all the junk should'nt be any more than $250.00- $300.00 . if they say they have to pull the motor,go somewhere else.also, now this is REALLY important.DO NOT USE A MOTOR FLUSH that claims it will free your engine of sludge.this will break up the sludge at the expense of your entire engine.it is an extremely harsh agent that will also wash out your bearings.i have rebuilt countless # of motors for just that reason.if you find what i say to be a fact, please start changing your oil more often.



toddmrfixit
Dodge Dakota
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4/07/2003
19:05:42

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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almost forgot, make sure you put on a new pick up tube.if the old one IS stuffed full of sludge, it's almost impossible to get COMPLETELY clean.



NewIn92
Dodge Dakota
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4/08/2003
17:24:25

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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I went through the expense of having the pan dropped and a new oil pump installed and still had this problem.
This worked for me: Buy a spare drain plug and drill it to tightly fit the extension tube from a can of carb cleaner. Drain out the oil and put in the drilled drain plug. Spray a can of carb cleaner into the pan. Let it sit awhile and the drain into a clean drain pan and look at the s@@t that was blocking your screen. Change the oil and filter. If pressure is restored then ok. If not drain out the oil and save it and repeat the process. This fix works!
Caution: Don't fill the pan with carb cleaner: it will ruin your bearings.



toddmrfixit
Dodge Dakota
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4/08/2003
17:50:17

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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what would be the purpose of putting in a drain plug with a whole in it? if that was going to work,then why not just spray into the pan without any drain plug at at all.that way you can watch the junk fall out.anyways, their is no way to be sure you unclogged the pick up tube unless you can visually see the inside of the screen.considering the tube is designed to sit on the bottom of the pan, i doubt you can clean it with a can of carb cleaner.did'nt you say that you replaced your oil pump anyways?why would'nt the repair shop change the pick up tube when they changed your pump?the whole story makes no sense.NEVER SPRAY CARB CLEANER INTO THE INSIDE OF AN ENGINE!! if your going to spray anything you should use ether(starting fluid),it basically disappears. A.S.E. certified for 10 yrs



NewIn92
Dodge Dakota
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4/08/2003
19:51:04

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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Oil pump and screen were replaced 2 years ago, and the thing blocked up 2 days later! I have been struggling with this off and on since then.

My mechanic recomended using carb cleaner. The hole in the drain plug is small so that the cleaner tube blocks the fluid from draining out until it has done its magic. The carb cleaner never gets near the bearings; it stays in the sump.

I tried just spraying it in the drain hole, but this works better. If (when) the problem comes back I will try starting fluid.



Larry L
Dodge Dakota
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4/08/2003
22:27:27

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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If you want to try a cleaner for the internals of the engine, try Auto-Rx. It is not a flush but an ester based product similiar to the esters in synthetic oils. It will clean the engine and not only is it not harmful, because it is an ester, you probably will see a slight gas mileage increase. www.auto-rx.com While I don't care for their marketing techniques, the product is great.



toddmrfixit
Dodge Dakota
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4/09/2003
00:24:19

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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to NEWIN92, if your're having a problem with the tube continuously clogging up, it sounds like your whole motor is full of sludge(valley,crankcase,heads,etc..)short of changing the whole motor, i would pull the intake and valve covers. then its time to break out a wire brush and start cleaning.also may want to check out the pcv system and make sure it is functioning properly.my engine has 189,000 on it and still runs like the day i bought it.although i change my oil every 1500 miles and do routine maintenence every 30,000. dirty oil is an engine worst enemy.hoping to get 300,000.let you all know when i get there.



GrammaGeri
Dodge Dakota
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9/04/2020
15:07:36

RE: Oil pressure problems w/97 Dakota 3.9
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My problem is not losing pressure
when driving. I lose pressure at
idle, almost to 0. When I'm moving
pressure is below 40 but at least it
rises. Fluid levels have always been
good, although there is a constant
clicking. (The reason I check often)
The click gets more pronounced when
I am accelerating. I just noticed
the pressure changes yesterday.
Drive it home and parked it. Afraid
to try driving again. Help!



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