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If this happened suddenly, and the Dakota had been working properly before that, it's probably the linkage. I don't know if you have mechanical linkage (cable or rods) or hydraulic (master cylinder and slave cylinder), but it shouldn't be too hard to find and correct the problem.
When I do clutch jobs. I replace the clutch package(comes with the slave) and the master cylinder also. Have the flywheel turned or replaced. Just a note. The clutch plate can be installed backwards. No matter how many times you bleed it, It won't work.
It's your hydraulic clutch system that probably isn't working. When you press the clutch pedal down, it causes the clutch master cylinder to put pressure in the line to the transmission's little "slave cylinder" that operates the clutch inside the transmission bell housing. This disengages the engine from the transmission so you can shift gears. It's probably not putting the slave cylinder to work by hydraulic pressure. The clutch master cylinder is mounted on the firewall, similar to the brake master cylinder, the clutch cylinder has a reservoir and you may need to add brake fluid to it. If it is dry, then you will need the system bled at the slave cylinder by a pro or someone who understands how. Pretty simple, really, just like bleeding brakes. Also the clutch master cylinder can develop internal leaks and this will lead to loss of clutch.
if the slave cylinder remaine intact on the hose from the master cylinder then there is no need to bleed the system
if the slave cylinder was inside the bell housing and you ahd to remove a hose to get the box out then yes it has to be bled and by the bleed niple on the sode of the bell housding
bleeding procedure is as per any hydraulic system
Need to know year and engine size. I know that the 1999 Dakota 2.5L clutch hydraulic system comes as a pre-charged, completely sealed system including the reservoir, master/slave cylinders and the connecting lines. There is no means of disassembly. If you use aftermarket parts, you must buy the entire aftermarket set and assemble and bleed it.
can you see leaking hydraulic fluid anywhere? The principle is very simple The master cylinder behaves like a syringe. You press the clutch pedal and fluid is forced by the master cylinder plunger to the slave cylinder mounted on the side of the gear box. The slave cylinder is like a syringe in reverse so that the fluid pushed into it from the master cylinder causes the plunger to extend into the clutch/flywheel bell housing and engage with the end of the clutch bearing release lever. The slave cylinder has a bleed screw on the top of it to release any air that has got into the system.
Ensure that reservoir is full and ensure that a sheet of polythene has not been left under the screwed on cap: sometimes done to prevent excessive fluid loss whilst working on hydraulic systems. Make sure that the hydraulic unions at the master and slave cylinders are nice and tight. make sure all bled points are similarly tight. The only possible remaining places for air ingress (and by default fluid egress) are the cylinder fluid seals on the pistons... get under and look for leaks when you can get a colleague to pump the clutch repeatedly
I have not tried myself but see if the link below will work for your case. It is not the same model as you have but most vehicles have the same components for the non electronic parts.
you have to replace the master and slave. if there is no bleeder, you might get lucky bench bleeding it, but the whole assy, comes from dealer pre-bled. The system is sealed and even to do a clutch or trans, you shouldnt have to take it apart. DO NOT PUSH CLUTCH WITHOUT ALL PARTS HOOKED UP! youll break it.