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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought this truck last Friday & love everything but the less than lukewarm heat. I've replaced the water pump ( it was leaking ) & replaced the thermostat with a 195 & the heats no better. Any ideas where to go from here?
 

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I just bought this truck last Friday & love everything but the less than lukewarm heat. I've replaced the water pump ( it was leaking ) & replaced the thermostat with a 195 & the heats no better. Any ideas where to go from here?

What about a good flushing? Don't now if it will help, but sure wouldn't hurt. ;) Do your heater controls seem to work okay? maybe the heater control isn't opening all the way up?
 

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You may want to check into the heater core. From my research, that appears to be a problem area on our trucks. I've also read that it is a pricey repair. The dash has to come out and the AC system must be discharged. I read somewhere that at the factory when they build Dakotas they hang the heater core by two strings and build the entire truck around it.:confused: I hope this is not your issue.

I suspect mine is either bad or was replaced before I bought it recently as it has a distinct coolant smell on the inside. I'll be pulling the carpet out (which is trashed) tomorrow to see if that gets rid of the smell.
 

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Not to barge in on the thre bad but I just got a 98 with the same problem but the entire cooling system is warm to the touch. after driving 30 miles, I can open the radiator cap and put my finger in the coolant without getting burned. I changed the thermostat with a 195 (it had a 180 in it) and the heat was a little better. It blows 100 degrees out of the vent while driving. I had to block half of the resistor to get it to 130 out the vents. I think it has been in a wreck up front so I'm wondering if somebody had to replace the radiator and put one in from a v8 truck which should be bigger than the stock v6 radiator. Are the v8 and v6 radiators the same? Btw it's only in the low 40's here in houston.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had the same problem until I backflushed the heater core. I couldn't believe how much crud came out. Now I break out in a sweat with it on low.
 

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Not to barge in on the thre bad but I just got a 98 with the same problem but the entire cooling system is warm to the touch. after driving 30 miles, I can open the radiator cap and put my finger in the coolant without getting burned. I changed the thermostat with a 195 (it had a 180 in it) and the heat was a little better. It blows 100 degrees out of the vent while driving. I had to block half of the resistor to get it to 130 out the vents. I think it has been in a wreck up front so I'm wondering if somebody had to replace the radiator and put one in from a v8 truck which should be bigger than the stock v6 radiator. Are the v8 and v6 radiators the same? Btw it's only in the low 40's here in houston.
In January, with severe minus temperatures, you are asking a lot for the
heater to blow hot air...with super cold air coming into the rad while
moving...that is cooling taken to the extreme.

I have the same problem on my 98 V8..original rad/heater core and 195 thermostat..it just doesn't warm up sufficiently on a very cold day.

What I've done to help bring the heat up inside the cab is to take a piece
of cardboard the size of the rad and cut a hole in the center about
8x8 inches. That will allow some air flow to come in and keep the super
cool air from cooling down the rad and the engine..and of course the
heater core. Works for me. BTW..don't worry about the truck overheating
with this piece of cardboard, as long as the outside temperature is well
below freezing..the rad fan will do enough of a job to cool the rad at
those temperatures!

I think the rads are about the same for a v6/v8 as they both use a
thermostatic fan driven by the engine..besides having a little extra
cooling power in the hot summer months for a V6 is a bonus.

If the heater core is clogged with crud, you won't get the same heat transfer
as when it was new..but changing out the heater core is a big job on the Dakota,
because you have to take the dash apart..not fun! Try and get it backflushed if
it's not leaking. It's an aluminum core, just like the rad, so over time the aluminum
builds up quite a bit of crud and clogs the heat transfer in the cross tubes.
What you need to do is pull off the heater hoses and attach a rubber hose to
the inlet and put something in the outlet to stop the declogging solution (bleach
and water 50/50) from coming out..let it sit for a couple of hours then let it drain
(becareful and not get the bleach on your clothes or face) and then flush it out
with warm water and compressed air...
here's a how to it..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9efkLn_NTc&feature=related
 

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Thanks Carver, I was about to tear out my dash,but tried this first and it worked! saved me a lot of time and trouble
 

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would flushing my antifreeze in my truck be the same as flushing the heating core?? if not would it help my heat? because just recently i noticed i dont have very good heat in my truck, and it does not blow very hard.
 

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Hustlenomic, those are two different problems, as far as the low heat typically that is caused by either poor flow through the heater core which a coolant flush would help, or there is air trapped in the system.

as far as the blower not blowing properly typically its a resistor or resistor plug problem, but can be associated with other electrical problems
 

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I javen't had my 2000 very long and experiencing pretty much the same thing. I measured the temp with a guage in the vent. It gets to about 110 as it blows out. I do feel warm but on real cold days like in the high 20s and I put it on high it should be running me out of the truck if it performed like my other vehicles. The local dealer here for replacing the core was going to charge me $810. I asked at a privately owned shop I know and their price was right at $500. I went back to the dealer in the city where I bought the truck. They like me! Well, they ought to since I bought a new Caravan from them about three days before I bought the Dakota! So very nice folks they checked it out for me. Said I had an air pocket which caused a block and they said they cleared it but I really don't see any difference. The shop that said they would charge me $500 also said they would backflush it for something like $173 so think I will take it to them, play safe, have it backflushed and hope I get a significant improvement as Dakman got. Forgot to add that I have a 5.9.
 
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