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I'm the proud papa of a green extended cab 5 spd 97 Dakota with the 5.2 in it. It's been an excellent truck I haven't had any problems until now. It will act like it is out of gas and starts to cough and sputter, never to the point of stalling tho. I can either floor the gas or put it in neutral and rev it up and put it BK in gear and it's like it never even happened. And it may not happen again for 3 days or it may be 2 wks before it acts up again. There's no pattern to when it acts up, it does it when it wants to do it. Hot,cold, rain, snow,sleet or hail. I haven't changed anything yet cuz I don't want throw money down the drain and still have the same problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Maybe the fuel pump is going out?? My mechanic told me the tell tale signs are a fuel gauge that doesn't read properly ( mine didn't) and running normal until you try to "get on it". It would cough and sputter and struggle to build speed. I had both signs and figured bad gas or computer malfunction and chose to ignore it. When he pressure checked the injectors he found I was only getting around 20 psi when it should have been around 60 psi. He put in a new fuel pump last week and now it downshifts at 70 again and pulls hard in third gear well past 85. I haven't tried yet, but it may be a "buck twenny" monster again. BTW, it's a bone stock 5.2L "98 with a K&N filtercharger and a 1 inch intake spacer......no mods.
 

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I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you on the other hand I now see that I'm not the only one the exact same thing is happening and progressing as well. It's to the point I can't trust it to go anywhere without concern of breaking down and going the expense of getting towed home. I'm glad that you did post your problem so I now know what mine is thanks to the answers posted on here. I tend to use www.rockauto.com for the most affordable parts by the way because I have to do it myself. It's a really difficult job from my standpoint because I have to do it in the driveway while being on jack stands and I'm also in a wheelchair. But hey I don't have the $ to pay someone else to do it. Good luck with yours and I hope you post what solves the problem once it's fixed.
 

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Update: Finally got my fuel pump replaced and that seems to have cured most of my ills. It runs fine with the exception of an occasional stutter off load, and when under load the stutter disappears. Fuel economy has improved and it no longer hiccups when asked to downshift.
 

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My 94 has a similiar issue. But only when it gets down ton1/2 tank of fuel. Runs like a champ in all weather. But once i get below the 1/2 tank mark on my fuel gauge it wont run. Pops and backfires like crazy. Wont even pull itself down the road. But put gas in it and it fires right up and run great again. Any suggestions?
 

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My 94 has a similiar issue. But only when it gets down ton1/2 tank of fuel. Runs like a champ in all weather. But once i get below the 1/2 tank mark on my fuel gauge it wont run. Pops and backfires like crazy. Wont even pull itself down the road. But put gas in it and it fires right up and run great again. Any suggestions?
Sounds like you have a crack in the fuel line inside the gas tank; I'd replace the fuel pump assembly. Or at least pull the current one and check it out.

RwP
 
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