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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have ever replaced the PCM on your Dakota, especially if it is of the 1998 or in that span, where did you buy the replacement? I may need to replace the one on my 1998 SLT 3.9L and doing some Internet search noodling I've found what looks like a pretty good deal from mintt.com. All they need is your VIN and they guarantee their replacement PCM will work right out of the box (no re-programming, etc.). The price was around $298.

So, what's your experience? Who have you had good results with? Have you had to go strictly to a MOPAR PCM?

Many thanks in advance for your replies!
 

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Rich, suffice it to type that you are not the first to post this query.


I elected to send mine out for bench check & repair as opposed to buying a reman. The place I sent mine to was SIA Electronics in Tilden Illinois, & that was about 3 years ago. I've had no issues with the repaired PCM (yet) but it is worth pointing out that I have 3 pickups & I am at a point in my life where I don't drive any of them a whole lot anymore. And I do not intend to type this in anyway as a plug for SIA, I am only relating the one experience that I have had with them.

I think if you do some searching, you will probably find a bunch more threads started by people asking the same question as you just did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rich, suffice it to type that you are not the first to post this query.


I elected to send mine out for bench check & repair as opposed to buying a reman. The place I sent mine to was SIA Electronics in Tilden Illinois, & that was about 3 years ago. I've had no issues with the repaired PCM (yet) but it is worth pointing out that I have 3 pickups & I am at a point in my life where I don't drive any of them a whole lot anymore. And I do not intend to type this in anyway as a plug for SIA, I am only relating the one experience that I have had with them.

I think if you do some searching, you will probably find a bunch more threads started by people asking the same question as you just did.
Yep, probably should have done that (search). I get so focused in on something that many times I don't search the forest for the right tree!

Many thanks for the information!
 

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Yep, probably should have done that (search). I get so focused in on something that many times I don't search the forest for the right tree!

Many thanks for the information!
Oh, that wasn't what I was getting at, at all. Just saying that in the time I've been on this site I've read a ton of posts asking about replacing Dakota PCMs.

I take it that when you checked for a trigger signal from your PCM to your coil that there was none & both your cam and crank pos sensors checked good?
 

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From another Dakota/Durango forum, here's another PCM thread for your viewing pleasure:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, that wasn't what I was getting at, at all. Just saying that in the time I've been on this site I've read a ton of posts asking about replacing Dakota PCMs.

I take it that when you checked for a trigger signal from your PCM to your coil that there was none & both your cam and crank pos sensors checked good?
Actually, apparently the mechanic I’ve been using isn’t that familiar with a diagnostic approach other than looking at codes (of which there are none right now) and reacting to them. Thanks to some others on this forum I’ve gotten a diagnostic procedure that gets down to that level (after ruling out some other things). I took that procedure to him yesterday but haven’t heard anything yet.

Wish I had the expertise and diagnostic tools to do these kinds of things but I don’t (and I don’t have time to learn). About all I do is brush off loose rust and paint on rust encapsulator (that’s on the frame/undercarriage) and sand, clean, prime, rattle-can some areas until I can get the vehicle to pros to do that. (She’s going in for a full paint job this Spring. Meanwhile I’ll use my dad’s old body tools to hammer out a few dents.)
 

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Actually, apparently the mechanic I’ve been using isn’t that familiar with a diagnostic approach other than looking at codes (of which there are none right now) and reacting to them. Thanks to some others on this forum I’ve gotten a diagnostic procedure that gets down to that level (after ruling out some other things). I took that procedure to him yesterday but haven’t heard anything yet.

Wish I had the expertise and diagnostic tools to do these kinds of things but I don’t (and I don’t have time to learn). About all I do is brush off loose rust and paint on rust encapsulator (that’s on the frame/undercarriage) and sand, clean, prime, rattle-can some areas until I can get the vehicle to pros to do that. (She’s going in for a full paint job this Spring. Meanwhile I’ll use my dad’s old body tools to hammer out a few dents.)
I was just curious, was all, if it were the results of that test that was resulting in your PCM search.
You see, even after I had performed that test & I felt everything was pointing at my PCM, I still wasn't positive I might not be missing something--that's what drove me to send it to a facility that said they would bench check it (pass or fail) for a fee, as opposed to just buying another one.
However, I guess I got that part right.
And judging by the number of posts I've read on the subject, I am starting to kind of think that those Dodge/Dakota PCMs might be inclined to be buggy.
By the way, I guess you can rule out the MoPar PCM from Rock Auto option; I just took a look, & evidently Rock is no longer in the MoPar PCM business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, it looks like I'm going to have to do something about the PCM after all. Some additional research shows that vintage Dakota has known PCM problems mainly due to heat from where it is located (at least according to what I've read). In any case I'm going to send it to SIA like immattj did with his. (Now I've got to get the mechanic to pull the old one for me since it is still in his shop). Hey, if the quoted price on SIA's website is correct for less than $130 (not including shipping) I can get mine bench-tested and reman-ed.
 

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If you have ever replaced the PCM on your Dakota, especially if it is of the 1998 or in that span, where did you buy the replacement? I may need to replace the one on my 1998 SLT 3.9L and doing some Internet search noodling I've found what looks like a pretty good deal from mintt.com. All they need is your VIN and they guarantee their replacement PCM will work right out of the box (no re-programming, etc.). The price was around $298.

So, what's your experience? Who have you had good results with? Have you had to go strictly to a MOPAR PCM?

Many thanks in advance for your replies!
I had a replacement sent to me, was $199.00 out the door. I also have 1998 SLT with electric everything including alarm system. Plugged it in and its worked flawlessly for 5 years.
Car & Truck Engine Computers for Sale | Car Computer Exchange is where I got mine, hope this helps you out.
 

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Well, it looks like I'm going to have to do something about the PCM after all. Some additional research shows that vintage Dakota has known PCM problems mainly due to heat from where it is located (at least according to what I've read). In any case I'm going to send it to SIA like immattj did with his. (Now I've got to get the mechanic to pull the old one for me since it is still in his shop). Hey, if the quoted price on SIA's website is correct for less than $130 (not including shipping) I can get mine bench-tested and reman-ed.
"Real quickly," Rich, for your reading enjoyment:


But, to sort of quote Judge Ito, I will cut to the chase: I did tell a contributor on the above thread about SIA & he wound up sending his PCM there. They fixed his PCM but it sounds as if the turn-time was ridiculous. Back when I sent mine to them, they did not meet their advertised turn-time but I did get it back within a couple of weeks. The way way extended turn time that the contributor in this thread experienced may have been due to Covid, but I just felt as if I should let you know since it appears that you are thinking of going this route.
 

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"Real quickly," Rich, for your reading enjoyment:


But, to sort of quote Judge Ito, I will cut to the chase: I did tell a contributor on the above thread about SIA & he wound up sending his PCM there. They fixed his PCM but it sounds as if the turn-time was ridiculous. Back when I sent mine to them, they did not meet their advertised turn-time but I did get it back within a couple of weeks. The way way extended turn time that the contributor in this thread experienced may have been due to Covid, but I just felt as if I should let you know since it appears that you are thinking of going this route.
When I ordered mine, I gave them the vin number so all the things would match and had it in my hand in three days. Of course they are in NC and so am I, with all the craziness in the postal system and Christmas on its way, no telling when they will come. MY plugged Cat was the down fall of mine I believe. I changes every sensor on the engine and ran great for a few weeks and then acted up. Changed the cat and was ready for the race track., 220,000 miles and still going strong
 

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Oh, that wasn't what I was getting at, at all. Just saying that in the time I've been on this site I've read a ton of posts asking about replacing Dakota PCMs.

I take it that when you checked for a trigger signal from your PCM to your coil that there was none & both your cam and crank pos sensors checked good?
Matt - What caused you to send your PCM in for repair? Just the lack of a trigger signal?
 

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Matt - What caused you to send your PCM in for repair? Just the lack of a trigger signal?

Yes, CG; my Dak had gone through an intermittent period of "die-and-start-or-sometimes-don't-start" which, fortunately, always occurred in my driveway. It devolved from being intermittent to going terminal, & since I did have fuel pressure at the rail but no voltage out of my coil, I then checked it for 1) voltage TO the coil & 2) trigger signal to the coil.
At the time I was using my Haynes to troubleshoot with, & when my Dak failed check #2, Haynes said test the cam & crank pos sensors & related circuitry, & if that all checked good, look at the PCM. When it was in the intermittent phase of shutting down on me, I did change both of those sensors, so it was looking (to me) like everything was pointing at the PCM.

Since I still wasn't completely & 100% convinced it was the PCM failing, instead of trading it in for a reman, I decided to send it out to a facility that said they would bench-check it & charge me for that, pass or fail, & repair it (if it was repairable), if it failed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My PCM should be in tomorrow! My challenge now, is, my truck is in a locked storage area at the garage and they don't let people come in to work on their own vehicles. Plus the mechanic doing all the work is now out on "Covid protocol" for 2 weeks. Oh, well...
 

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My PCM should be in tomorrow! My challenge now, is, my truck is in a locked storage area at the garage and they don't let people come in to work on their own vehicles. Plus the mechanic doing all the work is now out on "Covid protocol" for 2 weeks. Oh, well...
I will wish you good luck with that!
When you know, let us know.
 

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My PCM should be in tomorrow! My challenge now, is, my truck is in a locked storage area at the garage and they don't let people come in to work on their own vehicles. Plus the mechanic doing all the work is now out on "Covid protocol" for 2 weeks. Oh, well...
. . . and did you opt to go with a reman or did you decide to have yours checked & repaired?
If you went with the latter, did they say what was wrong with it?
 

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If by some happenstance you actually do wind up being the one who installs that PCM, make sure your battery is disconnected before you plug it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Finally got my PCM in. Along with a couple of distributor parts she is purring like a lion (kitten) now. (Needs a tailpipe.) No hesitation, no backfire, no stalling.

Many thanks to those who responded and gave me guidance along the way!
 
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