Last post on Aug 07, 2012 at 9:49 AM
You are in the Dodge Dakota-2010 and older
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Dodge Dakota, Truck
#20 of 40 1990 Dakota steering gear pulled loose from frame crossmember
Aug 06, 2008 (12:31 pm)
My daughter has a 1990 Dodge Dakota (with automatic transmission, power steering and 3.9 L gasoline engine) that she inherited from her older brother. The truck has been all over the place, and last September was driven from Idaho to North Dakota.
I've noticed a kind of "cracking" feel as the steering wheel is turned, and put it down to wear in one or both tie rod ends.
This last weekend, my other daughter had the pickup out on the highway for two roundtrips to a town about 50 miles distant. I drove the pickup after she returned and thought the "feel" had gotten worse, and decided to park it the pickup in the driveway until I could have a look at it.
I'm just back from taking the look, and am shocked by what I saw. I watched under the hood as my wife turned the steering wheel back and forth. The steering column was not only turning, but it was also moving from side-to-side. When I rolled under the front bumper with a flashlight, I saw that the steering gear had come away from the frame crossmember and the whole rack and pinion gear with its tierods were moving as the steering wheel turned.
There are two diamond-shaped, four-sided holes in the crossmember that correspond to the points where the steering gear is to be bolted to the crossmember. I can see where it looks as though welds have broken around the holes, maybe by corrosion or cracking, and it seemed to me like there were only two spot welds on each hole that held things together.
The fix, I think, is to remove the steering gear and re-weld whatever has broken-away.
Has anyone else seen this happen? Am I right in what I am saying about welds cracking or corroding?
#21 of 40 Re: 1990 Dakota steering gear pulled loose from frame crossmember [tjfitz]
Sep 07, 2008 (12:10 pm)
This is the first time I've heard of such a situation on any Dakota. Keep in mind your truck is eighteen years old, but I know that the racks were trouble prone in those years. For that reason it is possible someone before you had replaced the rack and done something unconventional.
However, I suspect that this problem can be fixed if taken to the right shop. Heck, an acquaintance of mine just repaired a badly rusted frame on a thirteen year-old Chevy. I'm sure a good welder/fabricator can get you going again.
#22 of 40 Re: 1990 Dakota steering gear pulled loose from frame crossmember [dustyk]
Sep 07, 2008 (12:36 pm)
Thanks for the reply, Dusty. The whole sordid tale can be viewed on another forum, complete with photographs of the welding repair in progress at
#23 of 40 2000 Dodge Dakota 4x4 Club Cab V8 4.7L Winding Noise
Mar 16, 2009 (4:18 am)
My Dodge Dakota makes a winding noise when I first start it up. It's not like the revving of an engine, but it's like a wind-up toy type noise. Once I get up to speed on the road, the noise disappears, but reappears when I turn. I think it's a power-steering issue...any thoughts? Also, I noticed the other day a squeaking noise everytime I accelerate from a stop or slow down to a stop.
#24 of 40 loose steering
Mar 18, 2009 (6:59 am)
My 1995 dakota has loose play in the steering. The suspension parts all check out ok so we tried tightening the steering box and this didn't help either. It has 137,000 miles on it, don't know much about it 'cause I just recently purchased it. By loose play, I mean it kinda feels like it floats a little on the road. Any ideas?
#25 of 40 04 Dakota steering problems
Jul 13, 2009 (5:47 pm)
My 04 Dakota has steering problems, one time I have power steering the next time I do not. I took it to the shop and we have put on two racks and three pumps and it still has foam in the pump reservoir. My mechanic ran five gallons of fluid thru the system under vacuum and still can not get the air out. The Chrysler garage just put a new engine in it under warranty and this is when my problems started. I will not go back to my local Chrysler dealer. Please HELP !!!
#26 of 40 Power Steering Pump Failure
Jul 27, 2009 (8:07 am)
#27 of 40 Power Steering Pump Failure
Jul 27, 2009 (8:07 am)
I replaced the power steering pump with rebuilt pumps, on my sons 2004 dakota V-8 three times within the past two weeks due to a leak. The pump functioned prior to replacement. First time it lasted 10 miles and went out. Second time it locked up when I was doing the air bleed, never got out of the driveway. Third time I decided it must have trash in the system and replaced both the rack and the pump. Pump stopped pumping on the way to return the cores. (5 miles) I read one post that stated this system takes ATF, is that the problem? I filled it with power steering fluid all three times. Is it possible to get three bad pumps? Any other ideas on why the pumps would fail?
#28 of 40 '01 Dodge Dakota steering problem
Aug 22, 2009 (4:55 pm)
Last night drove my '01 Dakota (with 89,000 well cared for miles on it). On the way back I noticed that when turning the wheel about an 8th of a turn (both left and right) it feels like for a moment it is loose or slippery. Then when I went to turn it off the steering wheel would not lock into place as usual. Anyone have any ideas? I checked the power steering fluid and it is good. Anyone have any ideas?
#29 of 40 1995 Dak 5.2 4x4 ExtCab w/Loose Steering
Dec 29, 2009 (1:00 pm)
Just bought with 118+++ miles. Loose steering as measured from left to right at the top of the steering wheel. Replaced the sterring rod that exits from steering box to wheel inside. What about the adjustment on top of the box ??? Any thoughts given all other related parts are tight !!!