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1st Gen 1998 Dodge Durango Problems


Active Member
May 8, 2020
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Berlin, CT
Hi everyone,

I am 1stGenDurango'98, one of the newest members here which I just joined today. I have a green 1st Gen 1998 Durango SLT 4x4 as a daily driver with 200,000 miles on the clock. It is a 318 and is a great "truck", however it has been giving me problems lately. I am not sure if anyone here can help me out, but if anyone can it would be much appreciated. The problems never happened before and they just recently happened on Monday of this week. The problems I am having with it is it stalled on me twice at a stoplight, it was jerking and/or bucking, was backfiring, and the idling/rpm's were all over the place too. It would not stay at a consistent idle. Interesting thing is that it is NOT throwing any codes. I hope the engine is not going on it, fingers crossed. The throttle position sensor was already replaced.

If anyone can help me out it would be much appreciated, thanks everyone.
I would be leaning towards either the distributor pickup (cam sensor) or crank sensor. The dist pickup is easy to change so I would start there.
I would be leaning towards either a fuel-pressure issue, or a failing EGR system.
A scanner should reveal the problem, but without a code, you will likely need a good EFI technician to decipher the results.

The fuel-pressure issue could be as simple as the pump sucking air.
Hi All,

I got an update on my Durango 4X4 daily driver. We only cleaned the throttle body again so I decided to take it out yesterday since it was a warm day, it ran crappy on the last hot day, and I had some errands to run. I took it out, and it ran great ALTHOUGH it jerked/bucked/stumbled on me twice taking off from a stop. I sat in line at the gas station for about 15 minutes and it idled smooth with no problems at all.

I am thinking on replacing the idle air control valve first, does anybody have any other opinions of what it could be before I do this?

Thanks everyone for the help and advice.
Save your cash, it's not the IAC. It only operates at idle, the computer opens and closes it to control idle speed, when you open the throttle the computer opens the IAC. Check for codes first and report back.
Hi all,

Checked for codes and took the old Durango for a ride today. It did throw one code and it was for the charging system being low, but that was fixed already from a prior incident which was my fault. Otherwise it was fine with no other codes. I took it for a ride today and it ran great with no bucking/jerking/stumbling although the ride was very short, only down the street and back. However there was an incident today though, and thank God it was at my house and not elsewhere. I live on a main road so I pulled in my driveway, and I like my car backed in because it makes it easier to pull out and saves time in my opinion. Anyway I was at the end of the driveway and waiting for cars to pass, I was getting ready to back out in the street to turn the car around to back it in and the next thing I know it stalled. So I started it up and it was fine after that. WTF could be causing this?!
The stalling at idle is usually a dirty throttle body, but you cleaned it. So I would start somewhere else. Stumble is usually fuel, bucking/jerking is usually ignition, either secondary(plugs, wires) or a sensor(cam or crank). Do you have access to a fuel pressure gauge? I would like to see what it is at idle then driving while under some load.
Do you have access to a fuel pressure gauge? I would like to see what it is at idle then driving while under some load.

I unfortunately do not have a fuel pressure guage on hand, I would have to buy one. I went to my local Harbor Freight Tools to get a cheap one for $15 but they were sold out of them. My stepfather actually talked to our Mopar friend/mechanic/guru about the Durango problem along with another problem with one of our C-bodies, and he seems to think it is the crank sensor. I also have this thread up on Moparts, and another guy said he was having the same problem with his 2003 Durango, he put the link of his thread on my thread to maybe help me out. One person on his thread thought it maybe an old battery because the cars do crazy things when the battery is old and on the way out, so the other day I went out and looked at the battery on my Durango and it did not have a date on it. I however do not think it is the battery because it cranks over just fine, so I AM THINKING on taking our Mopar mechanics (and yours as well Mr. Sporty) advice and replacing the crank sensor. Please let me know if you have any other thoughts before I do this, thanks.
Hi All,

IT FINALLY HAPPENED! I took the big green beast out today, and I was going to a friends house 2 towns over from where I live. I was in his town and I decided to stop at Dunkin Donuts, and boy was that a mistake. It was running great until I got in his town. I pull into Dunkin Donuts, I am waiting in line with the car in drive NOT neutal and all of a sudden it stalls. Here's the kicker, normally it starts right back up after it stalls and continues running. THIS TIME it does not want to restart......perfect. So what I did was pushed it out of the way and let it sit for a half hour with the hood open. I start it up and it was fine after that. THAT said I had to tell my friend sorry I am not coming with the car acting up, and I did indeed make it home and luckily did not have to have it towed. So that prompted and motivated me to order a crank sensor. Here is what I ordered.....

1998 DODGE DURANGO 5.2L V8 Crankshaft Position Sensor | RockAuto

More Information for NTK EH0178

I also got this from Walmart as well to put in the gas tank when it runs low on gas and I need to fill the car up again, just in case
No, thats the thing. The check engine light didn't even come on when it happened. It was interesting though, I started it up in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot and it was running so I thought it had a glitch or somethin so I proceeded out a the parking lot, nope not a good idea. I pulled out of the parking lot and it bucked twice a little, not as much as the last time then it died so then I pulled over on the side road and let it sit for 30-45 minutes, then it was fine after that and got me home without issues.
Locate the computer grounds and make sure they are making good contact. I maybe wrong but the computer maybe over heating causing a shut down. We carried a 12V portable fan in the old Dakota just to cool the computer down in the summer time. Unless it got real hot out it would cut restart times to 15 minutes. Yes it was annoying but the old truck just was not worth the cost of a new computer.
Hi All,

So I took @7mopar's advice and located the computer today, and also cleaned it. Like everything on the truck the connections were a bit rusty which could of been my problem. We cleaned those and sprayed some spray on the connection holes to where they connect to so it helps stop it from rusting again, and we also reset the pcm too by unhooking the negative battery cable and letting it sit while we cleaned the connections. Took it for a 15-20 minute ride today and ran great with no issues. The crank sensor is still on the way, it shipped today and so as of now we are planning on putting that in
That will be a simple fix if it solves the problem. It gets real disgusting why you expect it to die but just never quite know when.
I got the crank sensor from RockAuto in the mail today. It will most likely be put in tomorrow. I looked up a video on how to replace it and it looks kind of like a real B.....fill in the rest to do. Has anyone else replaced one before?
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Just on the V6 but should be about the same. Seeing what your working on will be the hard part.