Alright, I have a Dodge Dakota V6 1991 that, about 8 months ago (Aug.), the
belt tensioner broke off. When it did that I was able to drive it back home
since it was just a short distance away. I noticed the steering was a little
difficult to do, but manageable (Seemed like turning it one direction was
harder than the other) and a small amount of steam coming from the hood just
before I got home, however the temp gage never showed "HOT". We got into one
of the other cars and went back and picked up the tensioner so that we could
make sure what had broken off. Now, I should point out that I am no
mechanic, I've never even changed my own oil. After letting the truck sit,
not really knowning what the piece was, I finally decided to do some
research and find out what had happened. Apparently the bolt simply broke
off of the tensioner and when that happened it must have been thrown
downward with some force because it knocked a hose off the bottom of the
radiator that led into the lower part of the engine. (the hose had a spring
My first question is, could this be an easy fix for me to do? Could I pick
up a new or used tensioner and reattach it.
Do you think there was any additional damage done by driving it back home
with the steering issues and the hose unattached?
And if I'm able to reattach the tensioner and the hose and replace any lost
fluids, what should I do to a truck that hasn't been started in 8months?
(I'm guessing oil change, etc)
Probably, but you'll want to have someone with a bit more experience than
you describe yourself as having work with you.
Depends on a number of things, but if the distance was truly short, and the
guage never read hot, you may have little or no problems.
Change the oil. Check around the engine for animal nests and such, as they
are a fire hazard. Crank it over without starting it by pulling the coil
wire. Do this 2-3 times for about 10 seconds each. This should get oil up in
the engine a bit, plus it'll allow you to hear if anything odd happens, so
you can stop cranking. If all goes well, put the coil wire back on, and fire
it up. let it idle for a short period of time, keeping an eye on everything.
Look for smoke or steam, note the guages and see if they are sitting at
normal levels. If all is well after about 3-5 minutes, shut it down, check
the oil for level and contaminants.
If its ok then, fire it up and take a test drive around the block at low
speed. From there, assuming all is ok, drive normally.
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
The gauge never read hot because all his coolant dumped onto the street when
the lower radiator hose came off... that's a $25,000 EPA fine on top of
everything else :)
And, it won't hurt to shoot a little lube at the throttle linkage assembly
on the throttle body before starting it. This is from past experience. My
'95 had been sitting for a while. I got in, turned the key, and it fired
right up. I went to rev the engine a bit, and the throttle stuck wide-open.
Ah well - that's what rev limiters are for.... oh yeah, except I had a
performance computer, with (apparently) no rev limiter, cause the RPM jumped
to a little over 5,000 (4,000 redline on the V10). I immediately shut it
off, figured out what happend, lubed the throttle linkage, and tried it
again.... worked much better the 2nd time :)
bet that was a little unnerving to see that needle swing that far that fast
especially on the 8L (makes my pocket book hurt just thinking about what
could have happened *grin*)
Not always true because with no coolant present it may not show temp
properly and some part of heads can quickly reach 500 degrees and more
when no coolant is present while other areas stay cooler which can
lead to warpage. cracks and blown head gaskets. He needs to have
someone more knowledable inspect it a bit.
FIrst off, I said "may" not have problems. Second, I also noted if the
distance was "truly short". These blocks can take a lot more than the
Chevies you grew up with. Not ssying its indestructable, just saying if what
he says is very close to fact, he'll have a good chance of getting away with
As to the inspection, ya know what the tech is gonna do? Put coolant in it
and see if it'll run. Pretty much exactly what the OP is gonna do, only the
OP probably won't charge himself $59.95 an hour to do it.
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
It was a fairly short distance and for the most part it was down hill. I
don't think I went over 30 during it either. What is the purpose and name of
the hose that fell off? It was located right below the tensioner and looks
like it comes out from the bottom of the radiator and attaches to the
engine. I'd like to know the name in case when I get in there it looks like
it was damaged and I can pick up a new one.
by the way, what does "OP" stand for?
FIrst my first street rod in late 60's and early 70 was a Plymouth
with a big V8 I swapped in and a worked on and drove, pontiacs, chevys
and dodges too. The first thing that can go with now coolant is the
heads and a 90 dodge v8 has very thin wall casting and it not the
anvil that dodge motors were in 60 and 70's for such abuse. Even a
very short distance can damage them with not coolant in them. If it is
overheating with coolant in it is is a different matter but no coolant
at all is risky at best in a newer motor even for a short distance as
engine was already warm before coolant was lost too.
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