1989 Dodge Dakota STALLING- Is it the ECM

Tiny
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  • 1989 DODGE DAKOTA
Computer problem
1989 Dodge Dakota V12 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 142k miles

I've been to 5 mechanics and one dodge dealer for this problem. The truck stalls unexpectedly and suddenly. So far, I've replaced plugs, wires, dist cap/ rotor, throttle control sensor, fuel pump/strainer and fuel filter. Took it to a local dealer ( AUFFENBERG CHRYSLER OF HERRIN IL for diagnosis- they took me to the cleaners - didn't fix the problem and blew the rear end on the truck.

Could the stalling be caused by a malfunction of the ECM? No engine lights come on. How do I check it? If I get a used one from a junkyard, how do you program it your VIN? Where else should I look? Nobody seems to be able to figure it out.

Thanks
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 11:42 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
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V-12 engine?

What brnad of fuel pump did you use?

Anything other than OEM, I would get a pressure gauge for the fuel hokked up and run it to the windsheild and watch it when the problems happen to see if it is fuel related. ANy codes in the PCM?
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 6:55 PM
Tiny
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It's a V6. 3.9L. Bought the fuel pump at Oreilly's. Their designation is AIX. Part # E7018. No codes in PCM. Thanks
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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 11:23 AM
Tiny
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The fuel pump on this truck is located in the tank.(Which is why I replaced everything) Is there a test port in the engine compartment?

Could it possibly be a faulty ECM, or, as some mechanics have told me, "if the ECM goes, nothing works"? Please advise. Again, how does one diagnose this?
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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 5:57 PM
Tiny
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You originally had specified a V-12 is why I asked about the engine.

While the ECM can be the problem, It isn't too common. Whne an ECM fails, there can be many different anomalies including your symptoms.

My experience with aftermarket dodge pumps is terrible. I have had this experience of an intermittant problems that are a nightmare to troubleshoot as you want to assume the pump is good because it is new. I am sure you changed the fuel filter correct? IF there is no test port, you need to splice into the fuel line to connect the pressure gauge into and test as I mentioned above. Having said that, sometimes you can listen for the pump hum
or lack there of when the problem is happening.
If you don't hear a hum, rap on the bottom of the tank to jar the pump...(yeah, I know it isn't a technical way, but can save time if the pump is intermittantly faulty.)

Testing must be done when the no start is present.

Test for spark when the problem happens. IF you have spark, it will greatly diminish the odds of an ecm. The PCM control both spark and fuel....as does the ASD relay.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/30961_ecm_1.jpg



I know you want to go down the ECM path, but I wouldn't jump to the end of the line first. Start at the basics. It gets expensive and frustrating to leap frog over the basics.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/30961_ecmsp_1.jpg



Questions? I'll help as best as possible. Intermittants can be a real hassle, but we can get through this.

Two other unscientific but helpful methods are the tap test. The asd relay and the ECM can be lightly tapped to see if it stalls when running or starts after tapping during the no-start period. A wiggle test of wires at connectors of related components may uncover the intermittant problem source.

One last thought at the moment is if this is heat related...that is the stalling and no start only happens after X amount of time. a suspected component can tested with a hair dryer to raise it's temperture into a fail point or removed and put into the freezer to cool it quicker.
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 6:22 AM
Tiny
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Service Writer-

The stalling is weird- some days it doesn't stall at all despite how much I drive, others 5-6 times daily even driving short distances. When it cuts out, I can usually wait a few minutes, turn the key, hear the fuel pump run, then start the truck. It may run fine afterwards, but sometimes it stalls out again right away. For ex: Drove it over 200 mi last Sat- no problems. Next day, it stalled about 6 times while driving it about 20 mi. So I can't really say it's heat( as I'd origiinally thought) or distance related. The tough part is testing it when it stalls as this usually occurs I n traffic, etc.
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 2:40 PM
Tiny
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In conversation, I learned a few things that might help. Check the wiring harness 4-6 inches back from the power distribution center under the hood. Look for corroded splices that feed ignition and fuel. Cut open the protective loom on the harness and be looking for corrosion.

If this doesn't pan out, then continue.

Also, I had heard of the pick ups in the distributer causing your symptoms.

The thing you need to weigh out is testing the better, more convenient or safer way? Often guessing is the more expensive way. Just wanted to drop that thought in there with this particular case.

So. You can do some simple quick things, if you are not in an unsafe area when it happens. Use some carb cleaner to narrow it down. That is, Spray it in the throttle body to see what happens when you crank it. This will at least isolate the lack of fuel as being the sole source. If it fires, then you narrowed it down to the fuel pump.

A spark tester may be valuable like this as well to identify spark loss.
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
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Thanks for the tips so far.

We've had a cold snap here in southern IL, AND we find that the truck doesn't seem to stall in the cold weather. Short trips, though, so the engine probably doesn't heat up enough. So, maybe this thing is heat related after all- does this ring any bells for you?

Thanks again
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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 AT 10:20 AM
Tiny
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Use a hair dryer and heat up the Distributer some before you run it and see if it is having an effect.
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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 AT 7:36 PM
Tiny
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Hey guys, new guy here. I had a similar problem with my 89 dakota (V6 3.9L), the engine would suddenly stall, especially at red lights, stop signs or slow traffic. It was getting very frustrating to deal with.

To make a long story short, I took it to the mechanic and he changed the pick up coil in the distributor, that was last week and so far so good, it hasn't stalled.

Just a note, the pick up coil he removed, looks clean, has no corrosion, the wire is in very good shape, but once it was hooked to the computer, its signal was very very low, so it may be the root of your problem as well.

BTW the replecement part is made by Standard Motor Products, INC. And the part # is LX127. I hope everything works out well.
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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 9:59 PM

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