Question about Dodge Dakota

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4X4 shift linkage on 96 Dodge Dakota is striking front drive line. Purchased with drive line removed and am installing new shaft. Dimensions on shaft CV jount are the same, length, diameter, etc. Suspect linkage has been removed and reinstalled improperly as the slide adjustment locking link has the retaining bolt on top where it is hard to get at. Lookiing for picture of how the linkage to and from the transfer case and 4x4 shift lever. 1996 Dodge Dakota, V6, Standard transmission

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Buy a Haynes manual for your truck

Posted on Sep 10, 2009

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96 dakota 4x4 the overdrive will not turn back on it turned off by it's shelf


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May 12, 2009 - 30 posts - ‎22 authors Learn more about Dodge Dakota at the Edmunds.com Car Forums! ... Hey man i just bought a 96 dakota with a v8 automatic. its runs great 4 wheel drive works it just doesnt go ... What would cause it to not go into overdrive?

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The 4x4 is controlled by vacuum. There is a vacuum switch on the top of your transfer case that control the vacuum to the front axle shift motor. The shift motor has 2 ports, when vacuum is applied to one side the shift motor moves the fork one way and when vacuum is applied to the other side, the fork moves the other way.

The first thing I would do is verify the hoses at the transmission cross member are hooked up. Then I would remove the 4 bolts from the shift motor and remove the motor and start the engine and shift in and out of 4x4 waiting 10 seconds before each shift and see if the fork moves.

If it doesn't you will need to check the vacuum connector on top of the transfer case and make sure it is fully attached, if it is, you will need to remove the vacuum connector and check to see if you have engine vacuum on one port(around 15" vacuum). The ports are as follows - one port goes to engine vacuum, one port goes to a vent and the other two go to your shift motor. The hoses that go to the shift motor are bad for getting plugged, so you should use compressed air and see if they are clear.

If everything checks out, you will have to remove the switch on the transfer case and operate it by hand while the engine is running and see if the plunger moves in and out. Sometimes the plungers will stick in!

A vacuum gauge and pump are needed to check the motor and switch. If you don't have one, you might need to borrow one and put a vacuum on the shift motor and see if it holds vacuum. Once you put a vacuum on the shift motor the fork should move and then should pump down and hold a vacuum, if it doesn't hold vacuum, you will need a shift motor.

This is alot of info, but there are many possibilities for this not working and you will have to check all these things to diagnose this.

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shift into 4wd and move truck a couple of feet.
if light is still off, park truck block the wheels set the park brake jack right front wheel and try to hand spin the wheel if wheel doesn't turn 4x4 is functioning properly but there is a wiring problem use an ohmmeter to check the 4x4 switch wiring fuse and bulb
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does shift motor plunger move at least 1/2 inch
no shift motor bad
yes check axle shift fork and vac motor for binging

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