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Dakota, going insane


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As some of you know, I have been driving around in my brothers 2000 V6 3.7L 4x4 5spd dakota while I mess with my truck. Well today (and supposedly a week ago it happened to my dad) it just went nuts. Ran perfect then all of a sudden it would buck and backfire and the RPM gauge was going all over the place erratically. If you let off it will just get lower and lower on the RPM until it dies, sometimes it will catch itself though and rev up to 1200 (like something in the gassermatronics is sticking), it does that even when the engine is running fine and everything, but today it added all the insanity to it. On the way back home it ran fine, then I had to stop for a car and when I took back off it just bucked and backfired again, then as quickly as it had started doing it, it ended it and ran fine. Any ideas? I don't know anything about gassers, believe it or not :lol:

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A while back we had a similar problem with our 98 Dodge caravan, it threw some code about ECM to PCM communication problem or something like that. Original they thought that one of the computers had gone bad but after replacing it the problem still happened so then they traced the problem down to the actual wiring harness that goes between the 2 computers.I don't know if any of this might apply to the Dakota too but thats the experience I've had with a problem that had symptoms like what you described.

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I got:P0138 Downstream oxygen sensor input voltage maintained above the normal operating range.P1391 Intermittent loss of either camshaft or crankshaft position sensor.I wonder if it is a bad ground that is shared between the oxygen sensor and cps. Would the cps make it jerk and backfire and everything else? Guess I don't know what either sensor would do if it were bad.

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If it is a V6 I would assume a typo and guess that it is a 3.9l? In 2000 to the best my knowledge there were 3.9l, 4.7l, and 5.9l engines available. The 3.9l being the only V6. I have a 1994 which is much older than this one but I was plagued by problems with back firing more so between 1800-2400rpm. So if your engine is anywhere near the same here is what I went through.Turns out that for one my timing chain had a lot of slack, they make a tensioner to fix this. Also my distributor was wore out and out of sync. Replacing the distributor is easy but in order to properly set the sync you need to have a Dodge dealer bring out there scan tool and twist the distributor until it is correct. The distributor position on these trucks doesn't affect ignition timing it affects injector timing. Then to top it off Dodge has a plug wire reroute TSB that they suggest to prevent cross firing between the wires. Just a few thoughts. :thumb1:

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Yep, actually I think I posted that a while ago when I was tinkering with my Dakota getting it to run right. However while I think the timing chain may have accelerated wear on the distributor the injector sync and distributor wear seemed to be the culprit when it came to the surge and back fire. Mine was intermittent. If I were to raise the rpms up to about 1800-2400 rpm in any gear and then stab the clutch I would hear a decent backfire followed by a few smaller pops as the rpms fell.
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