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1996 Dodge Dakota 5.2L V8 Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Yes sir I completely get the crank and pickup coil confused..And yes the coil has been checked and is good..I even bought another one to try it and nothing also. so...Here is where I stand at this point..Before I send the ECM in I ordered a actual Mopar crank sensor because I found 1 person on the internet that said specifically my 96 5.2 being it is first year for OBD2 It is sensitive and OEM is the only way to go..Who knows tho. Someday I will be letting yall know what it was...Hopefully!!
 

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What is the order this trigger signal comes from? is it computer, crank sensor, ignition coil, pickup coil, plug wires, spark plugs, BOOM?;)

On the Gen2 (and we need to keep in mind that yours is NOT a gen2) if the PCM (computer) is recieving signals from the crank and cam position sensors (ckp and cmp) then the PCM SHOULD send the coil a trigger signal via the black/grey wire that can be checked for by using the LED test light I alluded to earlier.

This is where a Haynes manual would be a lot of help for you. They barely touch the tip of the FSM iceberg, but they would identify a lot of stuff for you, including explaining this. Not that I mind, but I am keeping in mind that I am telling you about how a gen2 works on this system. A Haynes for that would probably go for pretty cheap.
 

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Yes sir I completely get the crank and pickup coil confused..And yes the coil has been checked and is good..I even bought another one to try it and nothing also. so...Here is where I stand at this point..Before I send the ECM in I ordered a actual Mopar crank sensor because I found 1 person on the internet that said specifically my 96 5.2 being it is first year for OBD2 It is sensitive and OEM is the only way to go..Who knows tho. Someday I will be letting yall know what it was...Hopefully!!
Okay, you have eliminated a bad coil from the list of possibilities and I believe you stated earlier that you have battery voltage at the coil when you are cranking the engine. Putting in the Mopar crank position sensor (ckp) is worth a shot, and if no-go you will have a spare ckp to keep your spare coil company.

On a gen2, I'd say if you have a good CMP AND a good CKP AND voltage at the coil AND it is a good coil, the coil ought to produce voltage. Which is not to say that it will necessarily start, as another issue might exist between or at the distributor cap and spark plugs or an overlooked fuel issue might exist, but the coil should produce. Meaning: if it doesn't on a gen2 this is where I would seriously consider the PCM. However, as redundant as always, I will also say that a manual on your year Dak would be helpful. Even the basic Haynes.
 

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1996 Dodge Dakota 5.2L V8 Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Okay, you have eliminated a bad coil from the list of possibilities and I believe you stated earlier that you have battery voltage at the coil when you are cranking the engine. Putting in the Mopar crank position sensor (ckp) is worth a shot, and if no-go you will have a spare ckp to keep your spare coil company.

On a gen2, I'd say if you have a good CMP AND a good CKP AND voltage at the coil AND it is a good coil, the coil ought to produce voltage. Which is not to say that it will necessarily start, as another issue might exist between or at the distributor cap and spark plugs or an overlooked fuel issue might exist, but the coil should produce. Meaning: if it doesn't on a gen2 this is where I would seriously consider the PCM. However, as redundant as always, I will also say that a manual on your year Dak would be helpful. Even the basic Haynes.
BTW, was this Dakota running when you bought it?
No it was not running..That is why I got it for 200 bucks..There is already a remanufactured ecm in it and the previous owner was just sick of it. She was a customer of mine and wasnt even up for sale. Very solid clean florida truck. That is why I am not to worried about replacing these parts with OEM.. I am really thinking it will end up being the ECM. Found a place for 130 bucks repair and return on Ebay...Here in ft Lauderdale..
 

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Okay, well good to know it is a "project Dak" and not a daily driver making you suffer because it won't run.

Something else, however, that is harder to check, that would also prevent the PCM from communicating with the coil (and this assumes that communication between ckp/cmp & PCM & coil is the same as the gen2 system I have been referencing) would be all the circuitry involved. In other words, it is always possible to have a bad wire or wires somewhere in the chain. In fact, the Haynes that I took that procedure from that I started out my replies to this topic with, did list checking that before finally sending the PCM out (I think I left that part out of my first couple of replies). It's a '96 so it's getting up there, and stuff vibrates and wears. . . . But that is harder (unless it is something way obvious) and considerably more time consuming to check.

At the point that you are almost at (meaning you have a CKP coming in the mail, and I have read that after market sensors on Dodges sometimes present issues, although I don't know that for a fact . . .) I'd probably do the same thing (as a matter of fact, once when I was at this point, I did do the same thing) and send the PCM out to a facility that says they can bench check it.

And of course, being overly redundant as always, this does assume that the gen1s in your year do not have some sort of "gizmo" in the chain in front of the coil that can cut the coil out that I do not know about.
 

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Jaydaug, try this:
first disconnect negative battery cable, then disconnect your PCM plugs and reconnect them. Do that three or four times. I don't have a whole lot of hope that this will work, but, as I always say, it is free and it is easy.
 

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1996 Dodge Dakota 5.2L V8 Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Good News I was able to download a 1996 dakota FSM off another dodge forum...Not that I am the best at comprehending all of it. but I will probably be able to find out some stuff..I will tell you what..The FSM calls the sensor in the distr. a camshaft sensor and some people call it a pick up coil some dealerships call it a switch W/ plate. ugh lol...And and most the distributor parts are discontinued. I dont trust aftermarket with this stuff either.. 92 bucks for a Mopar cam sensor. Yikes! when all day you can find aftermarket for 15 bucks? Good grief. Oh well..First thing I am doing when I hear this thing at least pop over is change oil...It is so full of fuel and very bad fuel Id imagine...Gee wiz what to do with a half a tank of probably 4 year old fuel...haha..Anyways I really like this truck!!! And I cannot wait to get past this spark issue!!! I will probably be putting alot of money into it and making it a forever truck..A 5.2 isnt my favorite motor but I love that its the bigger one for the Dakota..Anyways I guess we will wait for the snail mail to deliver my sensor and put that to bed. Probably be disappointed no doubt..Haha it's fun...Cheers
 

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The FSM calls the sensor in the distr. a camshaft sensor and some people call it a pick up coil some dealerships call it a switch W/ plate. ugh lol..
Yup, Camshaft sensor aka distributor pickup coil. I believe that for your year, Rockauto calls it the latter.

.A 5.2 isnt my favorite motor but I love that its the bigger one for the Dakota.
Well, the 318 has been around forever, so I guess one would have to say it's proven.

..Anyways I really like this truck!!! And I cannot wait to get past this spark issue!!! I will probably be putting alot of money into it and making it a forever truck...Anyways I guess we will wait for the snail mail to deliver my sensor and put that to bed. Probably be disappointed no doubt..Haha it's fun...Cheers
That's the spirit! Keep a positive attitude! And for what you paid for that Dak, I bet you could get that much out of it at a scrap yard or selling it at a salvage yard (even if it doesn't run). But just for the helluvit, try disconnecting & reconnecting the PCM a few times. But remember to disconnect the negative battery cable first. Keep us posted.
 

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To answer your question, the crank sensor on tranny bell housing gets its power from the pcm. If you want to check the crank sensor proceed as follows: First, get all of that old gas out of there with one of those cheap transfer pumps.
Find the crank sensor at back of engine. Get a multimeter and hook it (wire probe) to the wires of the crank sensor.
Disconnect your fuel injector harness if you do this test before emptying tank.
Turn key on then MANUALLY turn over engine at the crank pulley with a 1/2" breaker bar.
You should be getting an "on-off" signal of around 5 volts.
If you get this signal, its your pcm which also goes south on these things quite frequently.

Disconnect the coil before this test is done as well and DO NOT remove the crank sensor for this test. It can stay right there.
On the tranny housing, locate the c sensor and strip off enuf wire (black/grey) to connect your m meter red wire to this. Your meter should be in " dc volt" mode . Connect your black m meter wire to any good ground.
Have someone flip over the engine w the breaker bar and notice if you're getting a voltage reading.
The reason you manully turn over engine is to not get a false signal that the starter motor can cause.

Now if you're getting this signal, then you know its not the sensor. If you're not, you could have a bad ground here so clean up this connection first before we accuse the pcm.
If you wish to know how to test the pcm, let us know.
The 5.2 is one of the best engines you could possibly have in your truck.
This is an easy fix (although the crank sensor can be a pain in the ass to replace. Easiest if you take off fender cowl covering) and your truck will start eventually.
GET THE OLD GAS OUT before you do anything else and don't use a test light as that just measures electrical signal and NOT amount of proper signal.
That could fool you otherwise.
 

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1996 Dodge Dakota 5.2L V8 Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I wish I had more time to consistently to work on this truck.. It is on my mind constantly and cant wait to break free and put my peepers on it..haa.. I am a mobile glass technician in Florida and it is neveeerr slow lol.. So anyways what I did get done is.....drum rolll.....Siphoned out 13 gallons of fluorescent brown crap out of the tank lol.. and Threw in 5 gallons of roses!....Then my ups driver pulled up with my Mopar Crankshaft sensor.. I tossed that bad boy in just to say goodbye to that problem which it never was..........:cautious:..So now I am going to send the Computer in. I almost want to buy a plug and play because this has already been worked on according to the seals on it.. It is jello inside. Like I said I am not afraid to throw a bone at this truck. It was one owner and a farm girl she told me she knows how to take care of vehicles. She went and said she followed the owners manual religiously! Trans flushes coolant flushes ball joint maintenance.. I was impressed lol.. I told her that is music to my ears haha.. Anyways I am now a Dodge Truck dude! I don't give a Sh..t about gas prices.. I will buy a trailer now that I have something to tow it with...All my other cars are so low you cant even easily throw a jack under them...so annoying......I can totally just buy the part and install it... With ease too because nothing is that rusty. If I have to throw some kind of small block 350 in this truck I will.....I would like to get this computer crap straightened out tho... Wow I rambled.. Cheers and Seriously Thank you SOO much for the feedback!! 96 Dakota fire red are the way to go lol
 

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1996 Dodge Dakota 5.2L V8 Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Oh and I hear everyone complaining about the crank sensor being such a B..ch to replace....On my 96 5.2 they are Alan bolts and not to bad at all.. I am right handed so this may matter.. but I get the lower bolt by hand first on pass side and leave it very loose... Then I jump over to the driver side and lay on the engine and use my right arm again and its not so awkward...It seems so ass backwards because its on the other side of the engine but it works.. You need strong lady fingers lol.. You do not have to pull fender skirts on this one. Not sure about the 13mm jobs
 

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1996 Dodge Dakota 5.2L V8 Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
No signal pulse at a brand new mopar crank sensor will mean the computer.? correct? That is it-skis? We are done? I have checked the infamous 3 wire breakage under the relay box and she has flow.....Swapped relays.. I am definitely thinking jello mold with the computer...Sock it to me if anybody has any other ideas before I buy a new brain lol..I greased all 3 computer plugs with proper silicone jizz.....This truck should have been doing 1 wheel burnouts by now haha
 

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No signal pulse at a brand new mopar crank sensor will mean the computer.? correct?
Yes and no. One last thing you can check is if the ground wire is good. I have seen where the other pins were shorting out each other on the terminal connector..Back probe the connector just to be sure before voltage reaches the end terminal

Oh and I hear everyone complaining about the crank sensor being such a B..ch to replace...
I guess it depends on the length of ones arms. Tyrannosaurus people have more trouble here.
. If you feel everything is ok here at end terminal, get a different pcm and then start your truck.
You do not need a new short block. Shorty headers help this engine through all rpm ranges. If you need more grunt, get a set of 3.91 gears and you'll have a different truck.
(BTW, it would be a new "360 short block") Mopar never made make a 350 anything.
 
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