I posted a message a few weeks back. I was the guy with a blown heater
core and developed a bunch of other problems after replacing it.
Several people offered troubleshooting help, and I wanted to report back
Problem 1) The speedometer didnt' work until I hit 35mph, and the
engine would die when I came to a stop.
Fix) The ABS speed sensor in the rear differential. Cost me $45, and
I'm still trying to break the habit of goosing the engine a little at
stoplights to keep it from dying.
Problem 2) I rather loud and irritating resonant noise at around 2500rpm.
Fix) I replaced the fan clutch. The noise was still there, but with a
different tone and at about 2300rpm, and the engine now ROARED until it
warmed up. The guy at Autozone said that the clutch can kill the water
pump if the vehicle is driven that way for an extended period. Would
9months be an extended period? Yeah, I thought so. I took the clutch
back, got my $50 back, and put the quiet when cold clutch back on. If I
have an extra $150 laying around at some point in the future, I'll
replace the fan clutch and waterpump. But barring a leak, I'll just
live with the noise. But, heh, at least I got to spend over $100 buying
a new pnuematic brake booster. (a $100 part I replaced thinking it was
the source of the noise)
New Problem) Looks like my oil pressure isn't coming up in the morning
like it always has. It always comes up to just shy of 40psi, hesitates
a few seconds, and then jumps well past that mark. Takes a lot longer
for the second jump now. (yes, I have oil in the sump 8*)
I was hoping that I might be a bad connection, where I screwed up
putting things back together from the heater core repair. But it
appears that everything is designed to fall apart at 5yr or
100,000miles. Since the '80s I've thought American cars were a bad
deal. It just seems that a corporate decision was made to design the
vehicle to last 5yrs (the amount of time for a lease or typical car
loan). Not that there is anything wrong with the engineering,
machining, or quality control. Just a conscious decision that we will
not spend one red cent to make these cars last past the trade in date.
I bought the QuadCab Dakota in 2000, because the Nissan 4-door light
truck didn't have ANY leg room in the back seat. I justified the Dodge
purchase with the reasoning that Detroit must have learned its lesson,
and is making cars that will last 10yrs with reasonable maintenance. It
appears I was born on the minute.
I will run this truck till it drops, but I won't make the same mistake
This is by far the hardest lesson about freedom. It goes against
instinct, and morality, to just sit back and watch people make
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