I am looking to buy a reliable used 4WD truck. I moved to Colorado and my 2WD truck does not cut it. I want something reasonably priced and reliable, something I don’t have to make payments on. I’ve been looking at older trucks and found a 96 Dodge Dakota for sale. It has 127000 miles and no problems other than what the current owner describes as a problem with the computer chip in the transmission. He says the car is sluggish when you hit the gas from a stop and takes a while to speed up, then runs fine. He took it to a mechanic and the mechanic told him it’s a problem with the chip and could be replaced for $500-$700 plus labor, but the car will run fine without it. My question is whether this is a reasonable estimate for repairing this problem, as I would most likely get it fixed if I buy the truck.
I had a 1995 Dakota 2wd I traded in for a 2000 Blazer (AKA The Antichrist) when it started to have transmission problems. The 95 did not have a computer controlled transmission. The 96 Dakota is OBD-II so there is a possibility that the transmission is computer controlled, but I doubt it. Hopefully Transman can clear this up. I did a quick search and found a link discussing the TV cable (mechanically controls the shift points) on a 99 Dakota.
The best forum for all things Dakota is:
They should be able to help.