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Badboy47
Dodge Dakota
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6/19/2004
21:33:29

Subject: Electrical Short
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I have a 96 4X4 Ext cab Dakota, I have been having some strange problems. Idle, trans shifting, loss of electrical power. I decided to check the Electrical system. Going through the steps it said to disconnect the neg terminal and hook a test light from the neg cable to battery terminal, if it lit I had a short or bad alternator. Checked out alternator it is good, so I started pulling fuses to try and find the short. I pulled all of the fuses (all but the relays) and the light never went out. Anyone have any ideas where I can look next?



Sephiroth
Dodge Dakota
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6/20/2004
13:08:56

RE: Electrical Short
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Check you headlights and system. I found out that they have no fuse or solenoid between the switch and the lights. It's straight-wired, and those damned things get so hot they actually melt. I have had my service-tech tell me they knew about it on the Rams, but not Daks. I had an actual Dodge mechanic tell me he had to rewire his '94 Dak for that reason. Right now, my high-beam wire is grounded under the dash somewhere. The plug that connects to my headlight switch is also melted pretty good. On top of all that, I found the EXACT same problem on a Gen1 Dak and two more Gen2 Daks. Melted plugs/wires causing grounds.

To test this, remove your light-bulbs from the headlights (fog-lights if they are on your truck also). Now pull the big square plug that powers your cab (should be in front of the driver, beside your master-cylinder). Hook up a continuity-tester to any combo of your high/low/gound wires where the bulbs plug-in. If you have no continuity, the problem is NOT in the engine-compartment wiring harness. Now plug that square plug back in and test again. If any have continuity, your problem (like mine) lies under the dash, near the headlamp switch. If you still get no continuity, then your short is elsewhere (thank God for that). Oh, and when testing the system with it plugged into the cab, I suggest disconnecting the headlamp switch and multiswitch to be sure you're testing JUST your wiring-harness. You can then reconnect one swithc at a time and repeat the test to see if one of the switches is faulty if you like.



Badboy47
Dodge Dakota
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6/20/2004
20:41:09

RE: Electrical Short
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Thanks for the reply I will try that in the morning (working night right now). I will post if I find anything.



chryslerman
Dodge Dakota
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6/22/2004
00:24:09

RE: Electrical Short
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Badboy47
You need to supply more information about your problem for us to help. The reason Sephiroth's wiring went south, is because he used the high intensity bulbs. They draw up to 2 times the current of the stock bulbs and will make switches and wiring hot. Dodge doesn't have a problem and he didn't talk to a mechanic. If you read some of his other posts, you may very well question his intelligence and for sure his maturity. Hes probably just a teenager and if not, he alone is responsible for the damaged wiring.



Badboy47
Dodge Dakota
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6/22/2004
04:04:53

RE: Electrical Short
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chryslerman
I have had some strange things happening. It seems it is getting worse lately. 1.I have lost all power, the truck dies and it will do nothing no lights nothing. 2.Also it will idle fine sometimes and others it will not idle at all, if I keep my foot on the accelerater it will idle when I am having this problem as soon as I take my foot off the rpm's drop then it dies. It will crank right back up, when it starts the rpm's go up to about 1000 or so then drop right down to nothing. 3.Sometimes if I am going forward (idling or just above idle)the transmission will shift all the way thru the gears just one after another other times it will not shift at all just stays in 1st. Most of the time if I stop and turn the truck off, then restart it it will almost like reset it's self and work fine. Also if I pull the negative cable and hook my meter positive lead to the cable and my negative lead to the negative battery post I am getting 12 volts, I would think if you put a meter on the vehicle ground and the other lead to negative post it should show nothing. Let me know if you need more info than this, I think I covered everything.




chryslerman
Dodge Dakota
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6/22/2004
17:32:37

RE: Electrical Short
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Badboy47,
Reading voltage between negative cable and negative post of battery with the positive cable hooked up is normal. Check all the grounds under the hood i.e. negative battery cable where it connects to engine, frame grounds etc. To do this you will loosen and then re tighten the bolts at the ground straps. How old is the battery? You may want to hook jumper cables from another vehicle to your battery and see if your truck will start and rev ok in park/neutral. Also, have you had any work done on the truck lately, such as tune up? Did you just fill up with gas? How much gas do you have in the tank? Are your gauges working ok?
Good luck



Sephiroth
Dodge Dakota
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6/22/2004
20:50:22

RE: Electrical Short
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Oh f*ck you too. Explain why in my '92 which has only EVER used the STOCK halogen bulbs, why the damn thing got hot. I suggest you do some work before posting, because now I get to make you look retarded for posting on a subject you obviously have NO CLUE on.

1) Dodge ADMITS to knowing of this problem, on RAMS. Guess what? They're wired IDENTICALLY to our Daks in MANY of their models. I guess the light-bulb in their heads never went off.

2) I have now seen this in multiple Daks, NOT JUST MY '95! Read the post before you reply. Being an idiot who glances at part of a post and replies always shows off your genuine low intelligence level. I have now seen three Daks and one Ram, aside from my 1995 Dak, that have the SAME problem with stock bulbs.

I can go on but I'll let you think about your idiocy for now. I actually had a post about this, which you obviously chose to ignore so you could sound all smart. Yeah, good way to make yourself sound smart man, insult somebody who knows what they're talking about and then blame them without EVER giving any helpful advice. That's because you CAN'T.

Your most recent reply is utter bull. This has nothing to do with his problem. He has a ground most-likly, and witht hat, your gauges can work FINE. The amount of gas in the tank has nothing to do with the problem unless it's bone-dry, and if it's starting and running, but dying, why the HELL would you jump it aside to weaken the battery a little?! Your intelligence has spoken for itself.

Badboy, the positive cable is hot and runs through the truck, so technically if you touch a test-cable to the negative and then the other lead to any good part of the truck, your tester is acting like the cable you yanked, and allows for a completed circuit again. That is normal.

As for the transmission, my old '92 Dak (V6) would shift funny like that at times, but I never found the culprit. Usually if it sticks in one gear and winds too high, I'd let off the gas and maybe tap it once or twice to make it shift up, then it'd be fine. No clue though as to why it did that.

When your engine is running (idling low or fine), how much does your ammeter in the truck read? If it's too low, the truck may be idling so low it isn't keeping enough power to fire the plugs. Got a friend with that problem on his F150, but it's due to a bad O2 sensor causing the engine to idle REAL low, and it isn't turning the alternator worth a dang.



chryslerman
Dodge Dakota
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6/24/2004
17:21:23

RE: Electrical Short
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Badboy47
Have you tried what I suggested to isolate your problem?

The geekk Sephiroth aka A$$hose Kid doesn't know anything and if you read other posts, he just tries to stir up $hit.



Chaz
Dodge Dakota
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9/19/2005
16:44:59

RE: Electrical Short ?
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I have a dodge Dakota.. and it recently stopped starting on its own.. I can jump start the truck and it will idle only when connected to the other car's battery.. when I disconnect the jump cables the dakota shuts off.. what is going on do you think? and what advise do you have for me to check on?

Chaz



Rob C
Dodge Dakota
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9/19/2005
19:01:45

RE: Electrical Short
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Your alternator/battery is bad. This symptom is common on the 3.9, 5.2 & 5.9 engines. Have your charging system and battery tested at AutoZone. Call first but I think they can test both items off of the truck with their test equipment.
Nice old thread but you probably should have started your own so your question is the first thing people read. What year and engine is your truck?



davec
Dodge Dakota
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9/20/2005
17:02:38

RE: Electrical Short
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You mentioned that the truck starts but then stalls and idles funny and does all kinds of weird things. These symptoms are very common with a dead battery. All except being able to start. What happens with the dead battery is it doesn't supply the PCM with the 9 volt minimum to keep the darn thing working properly, and also erases all of the learned memory such as IAC position, adaptive fuel values, learned TPS...etc, etc, etc. So what happens is it basically doesn't know where the heck it's at and shuts the truck down. However, since your truck starts, what I'm thinking is you are losing a power or ground source to the computer and your PCM won't hold a memory. What I would do is check all of the powers (battery voltage and key on voltage) and grounds at the PCM connectors. Check every single one and see if you are missing something. I believe that is where I would start, as long as, you don't have a bad battery:)

Also, I've never heard of the test light thing you mention. If you connect a test light to the negative cable when it is disconnected from the battery and touch it to the positive post it will or should always light. The negative cable is always connected to a ground...ie the chassis, engine block, whatever.

hope this helps...

dave



Rob C
Dodge Dakota
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9/20/2005
18:28:55

RE: Electrical Short
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davec, you went back too far. Chaz did a search and found an old thread from last year then posted a message about his truck on it thus, resurrecting the thread.
Chaz, you might want to do a search for 'soldering' or 'wire splice',there's a common problem with the Gen II Daks where a 3-wire splice in the wiring harness near the underhood fuse/relay box corrodes and starts causing flaky problems with your PCM or fuel system. If it turns out that you don't have a bad battery or alternator, I would look at your wiring harness under the hood next.



davec
Dodge Dakota
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9/21/2005
08:20:26

RE: Electrical Short
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Sorry guys! Bad day at work...

Test the starting/charging system as RobC explained.

dave



JD West
Dodge Dakota
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2/28/2016
16:28:13

Stalling While Driving
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92 Dakota 3.9. I am having the very common stalling problems it seems. Its stalling while driving or sitting still, no pattern what so ever. It has stalled after running for an hour and even as little as 15 minutes while its warming up before work. No check engine light, nothing just dies as if you turned it off. I have replaced the distributor cap, rotor button, plugs and wires, pick-up plate, and ignition switch, heat gauge sensor and the fuel filter. I was told my computer could be bad but before I spend anymore big bucks I would like to know where to look for the bad splicing issue? A picture of the location or what it may look like will be greatly appreciated!



ed atwood
Dodge Dakota
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3/10/2017
15:30:52

RE: Electrical Short
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these Dakotas..DO HAVE SOME FAULTS.. MY EXPERIANCE IS WITH 96'S/94'S.. ALL ELECTRICAL.. ALL HEADLIGHT .. AND THOSE EXAUHST BOLTS.. POP RIGHT OFF... BOTH TRUCKS.. SO THEY HAVE THEIR WEAKNESSES



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