I'm not a mechanic, lets get that up front.
The issue is getting the starter out of the engine compartment without pulling off the exhaust system.
Several posts state that there is enough room to wiggle it out through the underneath of the truck without removing the exhaust (with a lot of effort and two people, must be a different dakota from what I have)
I've looked at this option real close and there is no way it can get past the exhaust system and front frame work under the chassie (not sure what thats called *cross member maybe*). Even if I did unbolt the exhaust from the manifold I dont think there is enough room to slide the starter out.
The best option I've found to get the starter out is getting the steering shaft out of the way. But I haven't figured out to to disassemble it. Which is what I need help with
A couple of posts have been pretty helpful and the picturs were informative, but, (always a but) they all seem to be a bit different than what I have.
I've included picutres of my problem (the 1st pic is the truck itself)
Pic #2 is the starter laying in the engine compartment after removing the mounting hardware
Pic #3 is the starter and the steering shaft and the steering gear box (I think thats what it is called) at the front of the truck. At the green twisty wire is a bolt thru the middle of the steering shaft
Pic #4 is a close up of the blot in the middle of the steering shaft
Pic #5 is the end of the steering shaft as it connects to the steering column at the firewall
Pic #6 is the end of the steering shaft as it connects to the steering gear box at the front of the truck (I'm not sure what the large hole is on the side of the part is)
Pic #7 is the SE /SS emblem on the fender
From my reading I'm guessing that there might be something called roll pins that connect all the pieces (not sure). I managed to remove the bolt in the center of the shaft (Pic #4) and it wiggled a bit but didn't slide or come apart.
Any suggestions on where I go from here?
P.S. I get an "error on page" when I try to spell check, so my appologies if I didn't get everything perfect
Last edited by avianblue; 12-11-2012 at 06:41 PM. Reason: where are the pictures? okay, had to resize them
I know he has 1Gen but let's see if we can help the new DT member with this problem.
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The next option is to remove the shaft from the steering column and/or the steering gear box. Some have simple bolts others use crush pins which have to be punched out, an air hammer with a point is best.
Also, what I didn't see was a grooved cut out on the upper shaft on the back side of the clip (see picture 4d) which I found by turning the steering wheel a little bit. The grooved cut out had just enough space for me to insert a small flat tipped screwdriver and tap the screwdriver with a hammer to move the lower shaft part out of the coupler to free the two parts. There isn't a lot of room to swing a hammer so it took a lot of small taps to separate the upper and lower shaft parts.
The starter was $50.00 at autozone with limited lifetime warrenty.
Once the shaft parts are separated they swing easily out of the way to access the starter.
Last edited by avianblue; 12-28-2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: add picture
that truck has the "old style" starter that Dodge used since the 60s; newer trucks had the smaller starter which would directly interchange... easier to get back in
sorry; they will be prying my "old" truck from my cold, dead, fingers!
the new ones make me want to
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