Question about 1992 Dodge Dakota

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1992 dodge dakota starting problem

When I try to start my truck sometimes it starts fine but other times it will rev up and then die. Other times it will start and idle but it is rough and when I push the accelerator the RPM will not go above 2000 and it misses and backfires. When it runs it runs good but sometimes I will be driving and it will start to miss and spit and sputter and backfire. I have replaced the plugs, wires, ignition switch, ignition roter, distributor cap.

If anyone can help me with this I would greatly appreciate it.

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  • Trojanek Sep 21, 2008

    1992 Dakota 3.9L, 55K miles

    On starup engine lopes and will try to die, when I give it gas to keep it running it backfires and hesitates. I get no check engine light, and no trouble codes.

    I get 18 on the mercury scale for vacuum pressure, and 39 psi for fuel pressure and EGR valve bench test fine. I've replaced spark plugs, wires, dist. cap and rotor, dist. pickup, MAP sensor, O2 sensor (with O2 sensor out no change so cat is ok), and crankshaft position sensor with no change in reslults.

  • kuebs Sep 29, 2008

    It ended up being a timing issue. I pulled the distributor and the oil pump drive gear and found that the gear was chewed up. Apparently this was a common issue with the 1992 Dakota. I replaced the drive gear, bushing, and distributor (for good measure). I lined up everything and it runs like a champ. Thank you for taking the time to write me back. Thought you would like to know for future reference. The first sign of this problem is hard to start when cold and erratic idling and driving conditions.

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    starts, runs, revs up, put in gear, it idles around good, but try to accelerate and it miss and dies.

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  • 169 Answers

The first thing you need is to have the unit scanned. Check things like the baro sensor,map sensor,coolant temp. and the TP sensor.Also check your fuel pressure,volume and injector spray pattern. I think you will have found your problem,but if not hit me back with engine size and any codes,Good Luck.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008

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SOURCE: starting and running problem

Breaking up like you described can be related to a condition where the distributor drive gear is wearing out.
Had you checked it for rotor tip travel (about 5mm of loose travel is the max) or had the distributor indexed? The indexing procedure appears to be similar to an ignition timing adjustment but isn't the same.
Chrysler TSB 18-08-93 Rev A describes a condition often seen on the 1992-1993 3.9 engine. The distributor drive gear wears out prematurely and then wallows out the support bushing in the engine block. Your oil pump is driven by the same gear through the distributor shaft, so cold engine operation often is worse from the higher viscosity of the oil and the resulting load it places on the worn parts.
The distributor index slips to the retarded zone (trails what it should be) just from the gear wear. Adding in the worn bushing and chain stretch can put the distributor in a position where ignition cross-firing can occur and the switch plate (cam sensor) within the distributor can drop out-of-sync with the crank sensor.
If you haven't done so, check this out for me. Remove the distributor cap and twist the rotor clockwise and counter-clockwise. The total tip travel should not exceed 5mm, which is just about 1/8". Even if it exceeds this, an adjustment/ indexing of the distributor will get it running right again if only for a short while.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Starting and running problem


Breaking up like you described can be related to a condition where the distributor drive gear is wearing out.
Had you checked it for rotor tip travel (about 5mm of loose travel is the max) or had the distributor indexed? The indexing procedure appears to be similar to an ignition timing adjustment but isn't the same.
Chrysler TSB 18-08-93 Rev A describes a condition often seen on the 1992-1993 3.9 engine. The distributor drive gear wears out prematurely and then wallows out the support bushing in the engine block. Your oil pump is driven by the same gear through the distributor shaft, so cold engine operation often is worse from the higher viscosity of the oil and the resulting load it places on the worn parts.
The distributor index slips to the retarded zone (trails what it should be) just from the gear wear. Adding in the worn bushing and chain stretch can put the distributor in a position where ignition cross-firing can occur and the switch plate (cam sensor) within the distributor can drop out-of-sync with the crank sensor.
If you haven't done so, check this out for me. Remove the distributor cap and twist the rotor clockwise and counter-clockwise. The total tip travel should not exceed 5mm, which is just about 1/8". Even if it exceeds this, an adjustment/ indexing of the distributor will get it running right again if only for a short while.

Aug 14, 2008 | 1992 Dodge Dakota

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