2001 Dodge Dakota



December, 18, 2008 AT 11:11 AM

Engine Mechanical problem
2001 Dodge Dakota 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual

how do you align the timing marks for the timing chain if the cranshaft will not turn anymore before it starts the compression cycle? Or to make it easier how do you get the timing mark for the bottom key to line up at 12 o'clock so that the timing chain can be put on?


26 Answers



December, 18, 2008 AT 5:31 PM

Hello -

To better assist you please tell me the model of your vehicle. Is it a just a Dakota 2WD, or Quad Cab, or RT? Also the engine size in liter and the 8th digit of your VIN.



December, 18, 2008 AT 11:26 PM

Sorry I did forget to mention that the dakota is a 2wd quad cab with the 3.9l V6, and the 8th digit of the vin is X. Also what is it that you are referring to when you are asking for the final fix, are you referring to my question about how to remove the egine fan nut?



December, 19, 2008 AT 1:37 PM

Hello -

Thanks for the info.........did you remove the chain tensioner or did you push the tensioner back and pin it?

If you did not then remove it and put it in a vice and gentle push it back and then pin it.....install it with the pin and then do the next items. If it were me.....I would replace the tensioner since I was in there.............preventive maintenance.

I would start from the beginning...............

To make it easier I would remove the plugs...this allows you to turn the crank more easy...............

Now, remove the distributor cap and rotate the crank around until it shows TDC on the alignment mark pic 1.


Then ensure the distributor shows the rotor pointing to number on cylinder pic 2. The distributor rotor should now be aligned to the CYL. NO.1 alignment mark (stamped) into the camshaft position sensor. If not, rotate the crankshaft through another complete 360 degree turn. Note the position of the number one cylinder spark plug cable (on the cap) in relation to rotor. Rotor should now be aligned to this position.


Now from this point on I am going to attach the directions for removal and installation of the timing chain. Review and skip the steps that you already did. If you notice though, you have to remove both crank and cam gear, put on the bench, put the chain on and then install. But first make sure your marks are lined up before removing anything.

For the last statement....." Please let us know......" that is for the final finish so us and the other readers will know what you did to fix your car.


Disconnect battery negative cable.
Drain cooling system.
Remove timing chain cover.


Rotate crankshaft to align timing marks (Fig. 84) to #1 TDC.
Remove camshaft sprocket attaching bolt and remove timing chain with crankshaft and camshaft sprockets.


Slip crankshaft sprocket onto crankshaft and compress tensioner shoe by placing a large screwdriver between crankshaft sprocket and tensioner shoe (Fig. 83). Compress shoe until hole in shoe lines up with hole in bracket. Slide a suitable pin into the holes (Fig. 83) and remove screwdriver.
If tensioner assembly is to be replaced, remove the three tensioner to block bolts and remove tensioner assembly.


If tensioner assembly is being replaced, install tensioner and mounting bolts. Torque bolts to 24 Nm (210 in. lbs.) .
Place both camshaft sprocket and crankshaft sprocket on the bench with timing marks on an exact imaginary center line through both camshaft and crankshaft bores.
Place timing chain around both sprockets.
Lift sprockets and chain (keep sprockets tight against the chain in position as described).


Slide both sprockets evenly over their respective shafts and verify alignment of timing marks (Fig. 86) with a straight-edge if necessary.
Install the camshaft bolt. Tighten the bolt to 68 Nm (50 ft. lbs.) torque.
Remove tensioner pin. Again, verify alignment of timing marks.
Install timing cover.
Fill cooling system.
Connect battery negative cable.
Start engine and check for oil and coolant leaks.



December, 20, 2008 AT 11:02 PM

Hello -

I also wanted to let you know that it looks like you may have some recalls on your vehicle. The dealer may fix these for free. Please contact the dealer service department, give them the VIN number of your car and have them check on these to see if they apply to you.

Recall 07V555000: A/T Shift Interlock Defect

Recall - GAWR/Tire Certification Label Replacement

Recall 03V505000: GAWR Label Replacement

Recall - Dash/Headlamp Wiring Harness Routing

Recall 03V389000: Wiring Harness Rerouting/Repair

Recall 01V233000: Seat Belt Anchor Defect

Recall 01V077000: Transfer Case Control Module Problem

Recall 00V366000: Child Restraint Instructions Missing

Recall - Child Restraint, Owner's Manual Update



December, 22, 2008 AT 10:16 AM

all the information that was given was good. However, I still have one more question that I was hoping that yall could help me with. The camshaft of the truck does not stay in place once I get it to TDC, and I was curious as to why it is doing this. I have everything else taken off and everything removed that would normally caused this but all I can do is turn over the crankshaft until it lines up at TDC and then it turns back, I was curious as to how to try and fix this problems.



December, 22, 2008 AT 2:41 PM

Hello -

No problem on the question. That is what we are here for. Will do my best to assist.

Okay, sorry, but I want to make sure I am thinking the same thing your are saying.

If I understand you correctly. You rotate the crankshaft to where everything is lined up. That is the distributor is on number one, the camshaft is at 6 O'clock and the crankshaft is at 12 O'clock.

Then you let off pressure with the wrench and it moves one direction just a little. Is this correct?

And when you say you have taken everything off that may cause this. Can you tell me what you have taken off?

Sorry, I just want to make sure you and I are saying the same thing.



December, 22, 2008 AT 3:08 PM

Ok what im meaning by taking everything off im simply meaning the sparkplugs, distributor cap, alternator, a/c, and power steering pump so that I could easily get to the timing cover. Now the problem is that when I try to turn the crankshaft I cannot get it to lineup at TDC and the distributor is facing 180degrees from the number 1 cylinder and the crankshaft will not turn over anymore unless pressure is put on, but after the pressure is let off it turns back to where it was before. I know that with the sparkplugs out it should turn over freely without any problems, but it is not doing so. I want to know what is causing this so that it can turn over freely. I have the crankshaft right now at about 11 o'clock and I just need that little bit extra because I only have to turn the wrench about 1/4 turn before the timing is at TDC



December, 22, 2008 AT 3:21 PM

Would it just be ok if I left the crankshaft where it is at and took the timing cover off? And then once I have the cover removed, remove the chain and rotate the camshaft so that the distributor points to cylinder number 1 or will that not work?



December, 22, 2008 AT 7:34 PM

Hello -

Okay based on what you say. If the distributor is 180 off. Then rotate the crankshaft until the distributor rotor is pointing to number one.

Then your timing mark (first pic) should be at TDC.

I always turn my crank looking at the distributor. Once it is in place then the TDC, then last, the marks on the two gears.

Try that and let me know.I am watching for your post reply so it won't take long.



December, 23, 2008 AT 10:04 AM

all of the information that yall have given has helped a good bit, but the problem I am having now is that when the camshaft is lined up at 6 o'clock the distributor is still pointing 180 degrees from the cylinder number 1 position. How do I get it so that the distributor is pointing to cylinder number 1 so that the timing mark will be at 6 o'clock. Because even though the distributor is off the crankshaft will be lined up at 12 o'clock

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