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Everything posted by biggman100

  1. Moses, on the 1991 to 2004 Dakota, the front axle doesnt stick out past the studs, after it comes through the hub and the nut is tightened on. If you look at the wheels on my dakota, the plastic cap that is over the lugs only comes off the wheel maybe 4 inches, so the axle shouldn't affect the moon caps at all. The first pic i attached is my front wheel with the cap off, the second is with the cap on, the third is the wheel im looking at (which shows the depth of the area the baby moon cap sits on, which is the raised area just outside the lug holes), and the fourth shows a lowered Dakota with the style im going for. His was done by a whole lot of parts replacements though, such as changing hubs, and modifying his spindles for the new hubs. One thing i forgot to add to this, im looking to keep my truck stock height or a bit higher, not lowering it.
  2. Moses, actually, for the drums and rotors, getting custom pieces made may not be such an issue. There is a foundry about 55 miles from me that does drum and rotor casting for bendix, and i have some friends that work there who have done other custom jobs in the past, such as one off or custom drilled rotors and drums, so with that, i may just have to get them all the specs, and see if they make a replacement drum and rotor for my truck, and just have them drill the pattern i need, although usually that takes a bit timewise to get them done. The last time we had it done was on a 1949 ford my dad had, and it took them 5 months to have them finished. The bolt pattern works out to a 6x4.5/6x114.3mm, and the only other vehicle that uses that pattern anywhere in the world is the 2004 to 2009 Nissan Xterra, and 2005 to 2009 Nissan Pathfinder. Unfortunately, because it is such an unpopular pattern, there arent very many aftermarket solutions available in steel or aluminum wheels. I have went through every available source to see what wheels are available aftermarket, and didnt like anything offered. This whole wheel discussion has been ongoing for more than 4 years now. It started with my 1991 Dakota, an the only options i saw i liked were either lowrider style wire wheels, which i have somewhat gravitated away from, or the old school baby moon look, which i have always liked. This isnt something i plan to do right away, so i do have time to search all the available options, and then figure out the best way to proceed.
  3. This is one where i would like some practical insight, and as much info as i can possibly get. I am looking to replace the factory wheels on my 1994 Dakota, which has a 6x4.5 bolt spacing. The wheel style i would like to use though, i can not find anywhere in that bolt pattern. I want to use a 15" or 16" "smoothie" wheel, with the baby moon caps, and the trim rings. I have always liked that look, and this is one of the few things the wife and i actually agree on, at least when it comes to my truck. My issue is, i cant seem to find any in a 6x4.5 bolt pattern, all i seem to find are 6x5.5. I have read about billet adapters, but i have also heard they arent recommended by some for any vehicle used off road or when towing, so i would like to hear from anyone who has used them for a decent length of time, and there experiences. Another option would be to redrill the rear axles, and front hubs for either a 5x5.5, or 6x5.5 pattern, due to that being more common bolt patterns. My issue there, i have never known anyone who has ever had that done, so i am also looking for some insight into that option. A few questions i have there, if i have the axles and hubs redrilled, do i have the drums and rotors done as well, or would it be better to source new drums and rotors already in the bolt pattern i choose? Another question there, being that my Dakota is a factory 6 lug, what would be the disadvantage of going to a 5 lug bolt pattern? I am only speculating the 5 lug, due to thinking the 6x5.5 might be too large for my hubs. One last option i have heard of, but only briefly, is having the rims redrilled to fit my truck. My concern there would be, what all would be involved in doing that? How would it affect balance? And how would it affect the strength of the center of the wheel? A last option, although one that may be cost prohibitive on this truck, would be to see if i could have new wheels custom drilled by the manufacturer, but being that im trying to keep costs down as much as possible, that might end up blowing the budget.
  4. I finally got back to this, after needing to use the truck non stop the last couple weeks, and found the problem through trial and error. Ultimately, the issue turned out to be a plugged radiator. I completely drained the cooling system, and also made sure to slowly blow out all the antifreeze with an air nozzle, to make sure the system was completely dry, i then filled the heater core with straight radiator flush, and let it sit for about 20 minutes, reattached the heater hoses, filled the system up with water, and ran it, with the water/flush mix for about 30 minutes. The first 15 minutes, no heat at all, but, the last 15 minutes, i ran it at a steady 2000 rpms, and the heat not only started to work, but worked very well, and, being that it was only 34 degrees out, still made it very warm inside the truck. After i let it run with the water/flush mix, without waiting for it to cool down, which yes, i know you aren't supposed to do, but, i drained the radiator, and for the first couple of minutes, the mixture that came out was ice cold, then as more came out, the warmer it got. I then blew out the entire system, to make sure it was completely drained. The reson i did this was to gauge exactly how much antifreeze/water mix it took. It is supposed to take, according to the factory service manual, just over 3 gallons, and it didnt. It ultimately took just under 2 gallons, so i started investigating further, but i couldnt see anything wrong. I then drove it a round trip of 95 miles, in which it had heat the whole time, but the gauge still fluctuated. After this trip, i started checking, mainly by feel, to see if the hoses, radiator, and other things were warm. During this check, i noticed, the top half of the radiator was almost too warm to touch, but, as i went towards the bottom of the radiator, it cooled down, to where the bottom of the radiator felt like it had sat in ice, and was about the same temp as the outside air, after being checked with a temp gun. This led me to believe the radiator was plugged. Another thing that led me to conclude the issue is the radiator, is due to the fact that the truck was hit in the front right, significantly enough to bend the frame, and also the core support. Those issues were taken care of over the past summer, but, in putting the truck back together, i reused the radiator that was in the truck when it got in the accident, being that it was new not long before the accident. I never suspected that it getting bent a little would cause this issue. The only other thing i did notice, in putting the hoses back on this last time, i reversed them. I dont know if that is why my heat got better, but, i am going to put them back the way they belong, and see if the heat still works the way it should.
  5. I have also seen this information on several other sites, as well as noting that, at least in the U.S. market, the safety recall does only seem to apply to gasoline powered models, with no evidence of a recall on diesel powered vehicles. Does anyone have proof of a diesel related recall? Possibly a letter from chrysler/fiat stating that its diesel powered Jeep is subject to the recall?
  6. I know this one is usually common sense, but i thought i would share it anyway, and that is off brand or cheaper tires, versus name brand tires. I actually have a couple off brand, and brand name tires in mind here. This started due to needing a set of tires for my 1994 Dakota about 4 months ago, and not having a lot of cash to work with at the time, but, i learned recently that on some things, it really is true that you get what you pay for. I bought a matched set of Green Diamond, all season, 235/75/15's, nothing spectacular, but, they were claimed to have a 45,000 mile life, which, i have since found out, was just hype. For comparison, my 1991 Dakota has Goodyear Wrangler A/T's, same size, that were purchased about 4 years ago, that still have legal tread, and havent worn uneven in any way, despite having been driven more than 60,000 miles, mostly highway and in town streets, nothing extreme off road. The Green Diamond tires, on the other hand, have less than 14,000 miles on them, same driving conditions, and, as i found out today, the left rear has worn excessively, and the left front has less than half tread life, whereas both right side tires still have 3/4 tread left. My 1994 Dakota has no alignment issues, so that isnt a factor, as well as having no visible rear axle alignment issues, and the shocks are name brand, upgraded shocks, that are less than 4 months old, whereas, the 1991 Dakota not only had a minor alignment issue, it also had issues with the tires going soft from issues with oxided beads on the aluminum rims. I looked into the Green Diamond tires, although after the fact, and found, without really understanding why, that they use crushed glass in the molding process. I have also read where there molding process isnt consistent. Another tire comparison, is on a pair of my wifes Subaru Legacy's, one being a sedan, one being a wagon, both 1999 models, with the same 225/60/15 size tires. We put Hankook Ventas A/S on her 1999 sedan, which is her daily driver, and has seen nearly 50,000 miles, and is just now about due for tire replacement, whereas the 1999 Outback wagon has Good Ride tires, which after researching, are a brand from Singapore. Dont ask how they ended up on the car, as they were on it when we bought it, however, that car has roughly 61,000 miles on it since purchase, and, the tires are still showing around half tread. All in all, i have learned, off brands arent always a bad thing, as long as you research what you are buying ahead of time, as much as you possibly can, before making a purchase.
  7. Moses, i have read, from time to time, some of Peter Egan's columns, and they always serve to at least give a good laugh, even when not sharing any useful information. When it comes to magazines, and even outdated, and what my wife calls now useless, repair manuals, such as the Haynes manual for 1979 to 1988 Yugo GV manual, (yes, i actually owned 2 of those cars years ago, feel free to laugh), i am what my wife calls a pack rat, due to having crates of old magazines in my shed. After all, what else is a shed good for? They range from Car and Driver, to 4 Wheel and Off Road to Lowrider, to Import Performance, and even some real odd ball rarely knowns, that are all vehicle or snowmobile related, and i will even sometimes go back and read through them for missed or relevant tips and ideas.
  8. I think what I am going to do, even though it is a bit of a job, is change the water pump anyway, due to it not being an overly costly part, as well as not truly knowing the condition of the pump, being that it was a used engine, even though it may or may not fix the problem, it would still be peace of mind, due to having some long trips coming up with it. I won't be doing it for a few days, but, i will keep everyone posted as to what happens.
  9. Moses, the thermostat doesn't have any kind of locating mark, and is just a regular gasket type. As for it overheating, when I first got it together, and was driving it, it was late july, early august, the hottest part of the summer here, and it never once overheated on me. Being in sort of a rush, and needing it finished kind of quick, as much as I hate to admit it, I also cut a couple corners, such as, leaving the old thermostat in the engine, and not mixing a proper amount of water and antifreeze, being that I had a bottle that was about 3/4 full, so I just used that, and filled it the rest of the way with water, and the only thing I noticed there was that the temp gauge would stay on the low side. It never seemed to run abnormally warm, or even hot. I also ran it for almost 2 months with no overflow bottle, and the overflow hose plugged off, and still no issues with it running hot. As for the timing/vacuum correlation, I don't see it being that, even though I haven't checked it, due to the fact that it runs and idles very well, gets very good gas mileage, and, being that I live mainly in a hilly, mountainous area, and I never have issues with it losing power going up some of the steep hills, even towing small cars, or full of wood. One thing I did notice though, when I finally changed the thermostat, the old one was quite rusty, which is why I flushed the system before I put the new thermostat and antifreeze in, but, when I did flush it, not a lot of rusty or dirty fluid came out either. Given the symptoms, versus stuff I have found with it, this is why I am at a loss as to what it could be.
  10. The latest info i have gotten on this one, one part really astounds me, the other does make sense. I asked my brother, who worked at a dodge used vehicle dealer for 10 years, what he thought. His first thought was that maybe the impeller is going bad in the water pump. He said it is common on the older dodges for that to happen over time. OK, that one, i can possibly agree with. His other thought though, is that the timing chain may be going bad. I don't see any way that a bad timing set could cause the heating issue i am having, and his explanation, as usual, made no sense at all, so i figured i would put it on here and see what everyone else thinks.
  11. I swapped the fan this morning, and it seemed to have gotten a bit better heat wise, although the gauge stays in the 1/4 range, and only goes near half after extended highway driving. One odd thing i did notice though, the bottom half of the radiator seems quite a bit cooler than the top, so i am wondering if it isn't an issue like the 1995 had with the heater core. The radiator was out of the truck for almost 3 months, and mud wasps are a huge issue around here. They will make nests in anything and everything, and i never covered the radiator inlets. On the 1995, it had an issue where the gauge would go to half, the hoses would get warm, but, it wouldn't get any heat inside, so i unhooked the hoses from the engine, filled the heater core with some over the counter radiator flush, let it sit about 45 minutes, and flushed it out with clean water and then blew through it with an air hose, and what came out looked like mud, and it has had good heat inside ever since, so i am wondering if they didn't somehow plug part of the radiator. The part about that that does puzzle me though, is that when i filled it with the new antifreeze, it took about the amount that the book says it should, which is right around 1 3/4 of a gallon, according to my manual.
  12. Moses, we keep antifreeze mixed to right around 50/50, and when tested it is good for at least -32 degrees. Luckily, unless the wind is really bad, it doesn't normally get to more than 5 degrees, and that is usually only at night. We rarely see below 0 Temps here luckily. Now, on to the fan clutch. When we put this engine in I'm pretty sure I put it in with the fan that came with the engine, so, it may have issues. I did notice it does turn kind of hard, but it didn't seem excessive, so I just left it on. I have the original fan that was on the old engine, that didn't have cooling issues, so, tomorrow, I'll swap it just to see what happens. I'll keep you posted.
  13. My 1994 Dakota is having an odd issue, that noone else around here seems to have an answer to, only speculation, and i have never encountered before, in any vehicle. The issue is due to a loss of heat at city speeds, and the temp gauge drops fairly quickly. I don't lose all my heat, it just drops enough so you can just start to feel it getting a bit colder, and the gauge will drop to around a 1/4 or so, but, when i am at higher RPM's, anywhere above 1800, the heat picks back up, and the gauge climbs close to the middle and stays there, until i am back in an area where i am doing 35 or less. My honest thought is, since i have already replaced the thermostat, twice, which i will explain why in a moment, as well as all new antifreeze, and flushed the system, that it is probably a water pump issue, but, one guy speculated it may be the clutch fan. The reason i replaced the thermostat twice, is because normally, due to high heat issues when towing, i run a 180 degree thermostat, and that seems to keep it a bit cooler when towing, but still gives it decent heat during normal driving. Sunday, i put a 180 degree thermostat in, as well as flushed the system, and refilled with all new fluid. I immediately noticed the gauge wouldn't go above the cold mark in town, and the heat was almost nonexistent, but then, on the highway, at 55-60, i would get decent heat, but the gauge wouldn't go above a 1/4. Today, i replaced the 180 degree thermostat with a 195 degree thermostat, which is oe recommended, and, the heat now is a bit better, but, in town, the gauge hovers just above 1/4, and on the highway, the gauge hovers just under 1/2, but, it still does the, cooler heat at lower speeds thing. I am leaning towards the water pump, since this engine was used, out of a known running truck, that noone can remember how long it sat, but, since i have already thrown money at it replacing thermostats, hoses, radiator (old one was quite twisted from the truck being in an accident before i got it), heater core, since the old one was plugged with rust, and none of that has fixed the issue, i don't want to just drop more money into it and have the water pump not be the issue. This morning, it did do something odd, but, i may already have fixed that issue. I left home, got about 4 miles, and it lost all heat, and the gauge ran way up, and i started smelling antifreeze, but, before i could pull over, the gauge went back down, and the heat came back, so i drove it about 3 miles to a gas station, opened the hood, and the engine was soaked in antifreeze. I think this issue happened though because i had broke the overflow bottle, and plugged off the overflow hose until i could get a new bottle. I also replaced the radiator cap, and it hasn't done the spewing antifreeze thing again, yet. I just think that one is odd due to it only doing it this one time, and the overflow hose has been plugged since august, because i kept forgetting about it. I replaced the overflow bottle, and it hasn't done it again, but only time will tell on that, if it does it again or not.
  14. Janet, a bit of clarification on Chrysler considering their Jeep vehicles safe. Chrysler corporation, whether before or after their partnership with Fiat, or any other affilliates, was under pressure from the NHTSA in the U.S., due to some consumer complaints after a few severe rear end collisions to come up with a viable solution, without actually admitting to any fault. In the process of finding a viable U.S. solution, it was also determined that Jeeps in other countries had the same defect, so, Chrysler decided to, as one of there own press releases here said, "take the high road and remedy the situation, irregardless of any fault of thiers". That is how they can still say Jeeps are safe and reliable, because no one pressured them to admit to any fault. It was also stated that they voluntarily ordered the recall, even though the NHTSA stated things a bit differently. I'm not trying to add to anyone's frustration, I just happened to see that press release, and the NHTSA release, and thought someone might find something useful in it.
  15. I have seen a couple Ford Rangers with the 3.9L Isuzu engine in them around here. Those engines are actually plentiful at a couple wrecking yards locally, due to having several companies that use them in large amounts. The biggest issue i see around here though, is that people usually put big, dual exhaust pipes through the bed, and they just pour black smoke, usually due to them not being properly maintained, but, as N.Y. doesn't seem to care what the vehicle has in it pre-1996, they can get away with it. I have also seen a couple newer diesel Dodge Rams with massive, 7" or larger stacks, that not only blow a ton of black smoke, but, are annoyingly loud.
  16. In new york, anything pre-1996 is exempt from emissions, so pretty much anything goes here, as far as engine swaps. I have a friend with a 1992 Chevy 4x4 with a 1970 Cadillac 500 in it. Why, im still not sure, but it goes to show, just about anything can be done with the right amount of work and time.
  17. Since this is what the original post was about, i can add what we found out today. We think we may have found out what is causing the front end to bind. I watched on the 1995, with it in 4HI, in gear, while the wheels were being turned, and the axle moves on the mounts to what seems an excessive amount, so, i did the same check on the 1994, with the same result. The mounts for the front axle also double as the motor mounts, and they havent been replaced in either truck as far as i know. However, the mounts were replaced last year on the 1991, and, after checking it today, there doesnt seem to be any play in that front end, no matter if the truck is in 4LO, or 4HI, and, after a complete rebuild and frame swap on that truck, i dont ever remember any bind in the front at any time, so, i am going to pull the mounts from the 1991, and swap them into the 1994, and see if the bind goes away. The 1991 has become a parts truck, due to parts being one year only, and getting harder to find, and more expensive.
  18. Moses, as always, thank you for the research and info. Using that, i found that that axle does only fit the 1987-1996 Dakota, and that there isnt much, if anything in the way of aftermarket parts for that axle. Noone i have found so far even stocks anything more than factory ring and pinion sets, bearings, seals, and not much else, and noone i have found so far makes a limited slip, or a locker set up for it. It seems that axle isnt very popular with the off road crowd, since i found more info on how to do a solid axle swap, than i did on even rebuilding that axle. I also found that it supposedly doesnt hold up well to much abuse, so we might be rethinking the mud truck idea.
  19. Moses, i was getting gas today, and saw a 1998 Dakota that someone had done a diesel conversion on in Pennsylvania. He used a Yanmar sourced, Cummins turbo diesel. He let me look it over, as well as showed me some of the downsides to the conversion, the biggest being getting the engine fitted properly, the fuel tank mounting, and wiring and electronics. He said this is the second one he has done, and didnt have structural issues, such as the frame being too weak, but did have issues with the engine he used being too underpowered for the swap, which gets me to wondering, if he used a 6 instead of a 4 cylinder turbo diesel, would that end up being too much torque for the chassis, or would it actually work. after seeing his truck, im curious about it, but, with the cost involved, im not sure if i would want to build one or not.
  20. Moses, im just curious mostly, but i was wondering if you could look up which axle the 92 to 96 Dakota has, whether it is limited slip, and what gear ratios are available. A friend wants to build a mud truck out of one, but he mostly wants it to play in an old field with, that his dad owns, and not for anything to use at any of the off road areas, so he wants to build it with what is available, without breaking the bank, so i told him i would see what i could find out. He is going to build it using a conglomeration of parts and pieces i have around here, before i get rid of what i no longer have use for.
  21. Today i went out, and found the problem. This system is wired the strangest way. The resistor pack, and the fan control switch get their voltage from the blower motor. The way the system is wired, it goes from the ignition switch, to the #1 fuse, then into the blower motor, out of the blower motor, into the resistor pack, and then out to the fan control switch. I did a bunch of voltage tests at the resistor pack, and the blower motor, and got no voltage at either place, so, i decided it wouldnt hurt to run a jumper between the #1 fuse, which is actually bypassed in the fuse box anyway, to the input side of the blower motor, and everything worked. Ultimately, i ended up hardwiring the jumper in to the blower motor, and it seems to be working just fine. I have a 100 mile round trip coming up today, and with the cold, the heater will be on pretty much the whole time, so ill keep everyone posted as to wether it has any other issues.
  22. Hi guys. This is the one area where i sometimes have issues, and that is in wiring systems. Anyway, the other day the blower motor stopped in my 1994 Dakota, so, i started checking things like the blower resistor, fuses, and relays and such, before i considered the blower motor to be bad. In my search, i found a couple interesting things, the first being, the fuse (#1) in the interior fuse box, and its cavity were melted, and the previous owner had bypassed it by cutting the 2 in and out wires from the fuse box, adding in an add on fuse holder, and connecting the wires to that. Being that it has worked without an issue since i bought the truck a year ago, i dont see that being the issue, i just thought i would mention it. After checking the interior, and power distribution fuses for the blower, both of which are still good, i next checked the relay, and there doesnt seem to be an issue there, so i next went to the blower motor. Before i tore my dash all apart to remove the blower, i unplugged it and jumped it to a charged battery, and it seemed to work fine, so, my next step was to check for power at the plug going into the blower motor, and, i dont seem to have anything at all coming from either the ignition/fuse box side, or the resistor pack side, so i checked for power at the resistor pack, with no luck there either. Now, i am at a loss as to where the power loss could be. In reading the wiring diagrams, which i have attached, it seems to me that the power side goes from the ignition switch, to the number one fuse, then directly to the blower motor, so, if the number 1 fuse is good, then i assume i should have power on one side of the blower motor connector, but, there doesnt appear to be. The other side of the plug, that is connected to the resistor, should also have 12 volts when the key is on, and the blower switch is in any position except off, but, no juice there either. My issue is, basically, am i reading the wiring diagram right, and the blower resistor gets power after it goes through the blower switch on the dash, or am i missing something here?
  23. I would say the weight in each wasnt too different between the two trucks. It was mostly boxes of stuff, clothes, electronics, a couple of stands, and not much else. He left all his furniture, so that wasnt a consideration. Most of this was highway miles, and not a lot of city or back road driving, which also helped the mileage numbers. One thing i have noticed with the 1994 though, is something i consider very odd, and that is that it seems to get better mileage with the chrome steel factory wheels, than it did when i had the aluminum factory wheels on it. Both trucks have the same 30/9.50/15 goodyears on them, so i know tire weight isnt a factor, i just find it hard to believe that the aluminum wheels are so much heavier than the steel wheels.
  24. Subarus are my wife's vehicle of choice. She currently has 3 road cars, a 99 sedan, a 2006 wrx, and a 2008 outback wagon, and 2 that are strictly rally cars.
  25. A quick addition to this, about the yellow and chrome bead breaker Moses posted. If the tire is a smaller one, such as for a small car, or smaller truck rims, and the rim doesnt fit on it perfectly, or takes a bit of force to remove the bead, you can actually bend the bead breaker. I borrowed one from a friend, to use on my sisters 2000 dakota front tires, and bent the base of the bead breaker, and didnt get the bead on the wheel to break loose.
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