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MO
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2/20/2002
11:21:45

Subject: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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hey guys mabe you can help. I have a 89 dodge dakota 3.9. and i get very bad MPG aound 12 MAX. what can i do to get better MPG and more HP. this thing is a DOG (slow). I dont want to spend lots of $ on it. any cheap mods i was thinking about a cat back. and a chip. can anyone tell me what cat is best to use and also what chip and if anyone knows what i will gaine. thanks for all your help.





Montag
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2/20/2002
11:49:36

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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Has it always been slow?



MO
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2/20/2002
12:08:31

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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its always been slow but now i think its getting worse. what do you think i should do.



TigerDak
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2/20/2002
12:19:43

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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Something is wrong somewhere if your only seeing 12 mpg and it's progressively getting slower and slower. Have you ever run a self diagnostic check on it?

Go here and follow the directions:

http://www.geocities.com/Baja/Desert/1727/FaultCodes.html



dakkid
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2/20/2002
12:25:44

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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correct me if im wrong but didnt they (89's) have retrictive cats?



mo
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2/20/2002
12:38:47

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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should i take it out. what i am looking to get is Better MPG and more power. i have a chevy impala ss396 and i get about 10 mpg but 300 more hp thank this dakota has. what do you think i should do.



Kazoo
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2/20/2002
13:04:01

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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I have the same year truck and engine. I have a 163,000 miles on mine and checked the compression and it is good. Mine is slow too. I have a hard time getting up to speed on the highway and if there is a head wind forget it. I'm in forth gear just to keep the same speed. My symptoms are hard to start, bad fuel economy, no power, and backfiring. The speed problem is fuel and ignition related, I believe. I changed my fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator and coil. That did improve the power off the line but I sill have a hard time keeping the speed limit on the highway and it is still hard to start. Reading the posts on here I believe the problem could be the pulse ring on the distributor. I just don't know if I can replace the ring or if I have to replace the whole distributor. Can someone let me know. But if you have these symptoms as I do than you might need to replace these things.



TigerDak
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2/20/2002
16:51:26

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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Yes the early Gen I Dakotas have very restrictive catalytic converters. If you must leave it on for emissions checks, find one that is high flowing. Yours will be made of a honey-comb interior and it really sucks. I removed mine and I gained almost 1.5 mpg's. How big are your tires? Is your truck lifted at all? Do you use a high quality oil? Do you injectors need cleansed? Air filter? Spark plugs? Are the plugs gapped correctly? Try a K&N air filter setup. PCV valve? Crankcase breather? Fuel filter?

Try adding some Restore into your crankcase and see if that helps during your next oil change. There are lots of potential things robbing you of power and speed...I have a 1989 4x4 automatic.



kRaSh
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2/20/2002
16:59:25

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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Another thing to check is the AutoShutdown relay, small vaccuum leaks, and new CATS. Is it carbureted or TBI?





'91 Gen I/II DAK 3.9 troublemaker



BlueDak
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2/21/2002
18:00:37

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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First of all, is it a 4wd cuz if it is, I'm here to tell ya...I've got a new 2000 3.9 4x4 and it's dog slow and I'll get 12mpg around town and w/some highway. The best milage I've gotten so far is 15 and that was all down hill with the wind to my back! Sorry but the 3.9 is just SLOW, always has been, always will be.



stu
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1/30/2003
15:20:55

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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Tiger Dak I was wonder what engine restore to use I saw this restore stuff in an offroading magazine and it had a 89 dakota as a test truck and it shows the improvement will this stuff wreck my truck or does it really help? thanx



Dakron
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1/30/2003
17:31:44

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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Are the newer ones really that bad? My '87 3.9L carb gets about 22mpg on the freeway and better than 16mpg around town - with the original cat. It's not quick, but it has held its own, even uphill - 'till recently. Now it's stalling frequently when warm under load. It's still a great truck - worth keeping and fixing (I hope).



Kracker
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1/30/2003
19:21:05

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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My grandpas 94 Dakota got REAL good gas mileage with his 3.9 auto 4x4. I'l admit it lacked some power, but the MPG's were excellent for his truck, I'd give you my stats, but I havnt ha much chance to drive my truck with the windshield and tranny in the shape there in.

---Kracker



Mudslinger
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1/31/2003
16:41:05

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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I have a 94 3.9 4x4 CC, I get about 14 MPG around town, the MPG SUCKS!



Erwin
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2/01/2003
05:12:17

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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I have a 1988 Dakota 5 spd 4x4 that when new got about 23 mpg. It had 195/75/15 tires on it "car tires" not realy truck tires. I switched to 215/75/15 Wrangler AT's and lost about 4 mpg. The final drive is geared at 2.94:1 wich was discontinued shortly after. I believe the current highest gearing is now 3.25:1. Anyhow gearing and tire size will make a big difference on gas mileage.



SuperBee
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2/02/2003
00:29:16

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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check out the 02 sensor as well, replaced mine and mpg went from 12 to 16, in the winter with my stock air cleaner on



CowgrlUp86
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12/12/2003
15:48:26

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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I have a 89 Dakota V6 3.9 manuel tranny. My lil' truck has 137 on it. It has plenty of pick up and go to it. it's all stock. ever considerd a tune up?



Spencer
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12/12/2003
20:27:59

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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get a cam, headers, and dual exhaust, that will help it out alot



Spencer
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12/12/2003
20:28:33

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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thats what i did,
http://threefortyduster.250free.com/dakotaflyby.WMV



Dev
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1/09/2004
05:52:33

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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I have a 1988 Dodge Dakota 3.9 4x4 and when I bought the truck the guy said that it got 20 - 24 mpg on the road. Well all I could get out of it was around 10-12. I worked on it for about 2 weeks just in trial & error and the problem that I found was a couple of vacum lines where broke. I fixed that and that brought me up to 15 mpg then the next problem I found was that my intake had a hair line crack in it whitch will rob power and gas milage. When I fixed that I had no trouble going 160kph on the road and it also brought my gas milage up to 24mpg. So if you want try that because that might be your problem aswell.



vern
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1/09/2004
07:41:38

RE: 1989 dakota 3.9 slow
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erwin the 195 tires on a truck that calls for 225s or 235s will speed up the speedometer and mileage will appear better than it really is.

i,ve owned several 87-89 4x4 daks with 3.55 and 3.92 rear end gears,all autos,12-19 mpg is common place for a 4x4,it depends alot on how you drive.



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