1998 Dodge Dakota truck wont run

Tiny
JONSBIKABABE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 3.9L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 120,000 MILES
For starters, the truck won't hardly start until you work the clutch pedal. When you get the pedal held just right it will start. It was running good for about 20-30 minutes then it won't run unless you keep the RPM above 2. Now it won't run 10 minutes without doing this. If you don't keep the RPM's up the truck will quit and when it does I can't get it started until I let it rest for a few minutes. Can you help?
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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 AT 5:54 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
TY ANDERSON
  • EXPERT
Is there a service engine soon or check engine warning light on the instrument cluster?
Check that is comes on when you cycle the ignition key on engine off. The warning light should come on for a second then turn off.
From your description it sounds like you may have a vacuum leak. Spraying starting fluid or carburator clean on the intake parts will help you find a leak. Spray the intake a wait a second or too with the engine running if your able or have someone maintain the engine rpm while spraying.
There are several thing that make an engine run. Good spark to the spark plug, correct ratio of air to fuel, enough compression from the engine and correct timing from all of these. With out a check engine light or service engine soon light on it will be difficult to narrow down why the engine is running the way it is because you'll need to rule out spark, air fuel ratio, compression and timing to determine the cause.

As for "working the clutch pedal" does that mean the engine wont crank over unless you press the clutch pedal to get it crank over?
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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 AT 7:18 PM
Tiny
JONSBIKABABE
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your answer. Just to answer your questions, Yes the check engine light does come on and stay on. When I was talking about working the clutch pedal, I mean that if you push it all the way in, it wont even crank. You have to let out on the pedal about half-way and then it will crank. I Always let up very slowly and keep turning the key until it will crank. Oh yeah, when you don't keep the RPM's up it almost seems like it is flooding or loading up if that even makes sense; Again thank you for your answers.
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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
TY ANDERSON
  • EXPERT
Have the vehicle scanned for fault codes. Most auto parts suppliers will do this for free. Send the code(s) back to me so I can provide more information about the engine running poorly.

I would suspect the switch on the clutch pedal. This switch disables the starter motor from spinning if it is not working or is hardly working. Try disconnecting the electrical connector on the switch and jump the two pins together. ONLY DO THIS IN NEUTRAL AND WITH THE PARKING BRAKE ON. Because, if it is in any gear will cause the vehicle to move and possibly damage the starter motor. Try starting the engine normally, does the engine crank over consistently. If it does, then replace the switch. If not let me know.
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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 AT 7:54 PM

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