1987 Dakota 4x4 Starter and steering shaft removal - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
 
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#1 Old 12-11-2012, 04:57 PM
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1987 Dakota 4x4 Starter and steering shaft removal

Howdy all, I've been looking over the forum posts for a couple of days now, trying to find an answer to my specific problem of removing/replacing the starter on this Dodge Dakota SE / SS 3.9L 4x4. Some posts come pretty close to what I have but not exactly. person I bought the truck from said he changed out the transmission from one without an over drive to one with an over drive gear

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
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 001a 1987 Dakota.jpg (127.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 002a Dakota starter laying in engine compartment.jpg (127.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 003a Dakota starter and steering shaft and steering gear box.jpg (127.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 004a Dakota bolt in middle of steering shaft.jpg (125.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 005a Dakota steering shaft at the firewall.jpg (126.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 006a Dakota steering shaft to steering gear.jpg (127.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 1987 Dakota 003a.jpg (127.5 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by avianblue; 12-11-2012 at 06:41 PM. Reason: where are the pictures? okay, had to resize them
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#2 Old 12-11-2012, 11:49 PM
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Welcome to DT!

I know he has 1Gen but let's see if we can help the new DT member with this problem.


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#3 Old 12-13-2012, 06:27 PM
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Bump for the OP.

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#4 Old 12-14-2012, 11:56 AM
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Yes just remove the intermediate steering shaft. The shaft is in 3 pieces, the middle piece is removable by the 2 center bolts. Remove them then slide it up or down to get it separated. WD-40 will help.

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.


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#5 Old 12-28-2012, 05:49 PM
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1987 Dakota 4x4 Starter and steering shaft removal

For those of you with this 1987 Dakota 4x4 and are trying to figure out how to replace the starter, you may have realized that there isn't any way to get the starter out of the engine compartment from underneath the vehicle, nor is there any clearance from the top of the engine to remove/replace the starter. The steering shaft is in the way. Picture #4 from my original post and re posted here, shows a bolt and clip in the middle of the steering shaft. Initally, I removed the bolt and tried to wiggle the shaft around but there was little of any movement in any of the components. What I couldn't see was that the clip itself has a small flange that locks the lower shaft part with the upper shaft (see picture 4a&4b&4c).

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.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 004a Dakota bolt in middle of steering shaft.jpg (125.9 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Dakota 4a.jpg (723.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Dakota 4b.jpg (792.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Dakota 4c.jpg (900.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Dakota 4d.jpg (737.9 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by avianblue; 12-28-2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: add picture
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#6 Old 12-28-2012, 06:38 PM
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that "SS" emblem isn't stock that aint no Shivvy

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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