1987 Dodge Dakota 3.9L v6 4x4. When accelerating, engine quits and sputters as soon 60-65km/h is reached

Asked by Nov 03, 2014 at 03:04 PM about the 1987 Dodge Dakota STD Standard Cab 4WD LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am unsure what to do and am stumped right now.
I have replaced fuel filter, fuel pump, rebuilt carb, fixed the cat converter, changed the oil,
hall effect switch, distributor, spark plugs although many things have improved on the
truck, i cant accelerate past ~60km/hr and if I do the truck just sputters and quits, but
doesn't stall entirely (if i let off the gas it regains idle and I can feather the throttle and
maintain that speed).

The next thing I was going to look at was the fuel vapor canister (maybe plugged) or
maybe it is the crank sensor or even the ECU its self...

1 Answer

10

Check if your distributor has any slop. Turn the rotor inside and feel how much play there is. If there is play, then I would be willing to bet that the "gear" on the end of the camshaft may need to be replaced. I am having a similar issue with my 87 Dakota 3.9 4WD. I haven't had a chance to put a new distributor yet, nor do I know if I will. The way dodge setup the end of the distributor is nice if the distributor gaskets are worn out, but unfortunately the gear on the camshaft has been known to wear out and need more intensive work to repair it. If it is the end of the cam, you will have to replace the gear. Basically what happens is the timing is going to be jumping back and forth a couple degrees and it will cause the engine to be igniting the mixture too soon or too late, or every once in a while just on time. Also check the idle control solenoid and see if it is sticking, that can give you an inaccurate reading on the harmonic balancer when adjusting your ignition timing. This will cause you to incorrectly set your timing and will definitely cause a constant lack of power.

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