I have a 1997 Dodge Dakota Sport. When parked and idle the truck runs greats. When I put the Truck in drive it will spudder a few seconds and cut off. I have tried this many times by just holding the brake and putting it in Drive. In reverse it spudders to but doesn't cut off.
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Re: Truck Cuts off Only in Drive
I have the same truck and have had the same problem, this is what fixed it,, clean the idle speed control valve and throttle body with the CRC throttle valve cleaner and disconnect the battery for 5 minutes, that should cure the problem
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Concerning the 1997 Dakota: I had the same problem. After a little checking and research I believed it to be the IAC (Idle Air Control Valve). I replaced it and it started right up and idled perfectly. It never stalled again. The IAC is located on the backside of the throttle body and is easy to get to and change out. Hope this helps.
I'm assuming this truck has Power Steering. (my 2000 Dodge Dakota does) Because the power steering pump is causing a strain on the engine when you turn the steering wheel and it is also being strained by putting the truck in 4 wheel drive, A simple tune up might be in order. By tune up I mean spark plugs, spark plug wires, air cleaner, Distributor cap and rotor button. I would also check the timing on the engine and if possible change the fuel filter (The fuel filter is a real bear on this truck because it is in the fuel tank along with the fuel pump and sending unit)