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Ask Jerry Your Own Question
Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1754
Experience:  ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
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I have a 01 Dakota with auto trans I need to disconnect the

Customer Question

I have a 01 Dakota with auto trans I need to disconnect the shift linkage so that I can manually shift into nuetral to have it towed. I don't have the key for it it got lost. So how do disconnect linkage
JA: Do you have a backup key? Maybe the emergency kind that fits in your wallet?
Customer: No
JA: Are you fixing your Dakota yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: It has to go to dealership to replace ignition cylinder so I can get a new key
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nobody can find the proper code to rekey
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  bill replied 7 months ago.

the best way is from UNDER the truck on the transmission, using a large FLAT screwdriver lever the cable end off the transmission linkage

however any decent wrecker driver will be able to disconnect the linkage at the transmission to get it on the back i am assuming they will be using a flatbed if not then a good wrecker driver will tow from the REAR and let the front tires stay on the ground all depends on if it's a 4x4 or not

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's all wheel drive
Expert:  bill replied 7 months ago.

so the wrecker driver will bring a flatbed HOWEVER i do urge you to let the wrecker driver undo the linkage it's actually part of their job , or at least it was when i ran wrecker a few years ago

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My problem is I lost the only key and no one seems to be able re key it so I have take it dealership for new ignition cylinder, that's what I've been told . Is that correct
Expert:  bill replied 7 months ago.

the dealer can use the vin and their code book to cut a new key and program it if needed

a locksmith WITH the tools to program chip keys can do this as well BUT not every locksmith can do this

a dealer or locksmith are the ONLY people with the ability to do this legally that is

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's parked in a parking garage and the wrecjer can't get to it because of clearence, so I have to do it myself and push it out to street for wrecjer
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The dealership can't find the code , and it doesn't have a chip in key locksmith couldn't do it eitherc
Expert:  bill replied 7 months ago.

then you will need to go UNDER the truck and lever off the linkage then move the lever on the transmission to neutral

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok how do I do that
Expert:  bill replied 7 months ago.

i can't believe a dodge dealer can't find the code all they need is the FULL vin and proof of ownership it's ALL done online while logged into the dodge database

they are MOST LIKELY unwilling to pull a code unlless they have the truck many dealers won't cut a key unless they have the vehicle for liability issues

since anyone can go to a dealer and request a key with only a vin and ID it would be relatively easy to steal a vehicle and the dealer would be liable

if they have the truck onsite thir liability is greatly reduce/eliminated

Expert:  bill replied 7 months ago.

here's a link to the linkage as it is ON THE TRANSMISSION i have no idea which of the 2 auto transmissions you have so i sent pics of BOTH it's up to you to determine which you have

the eyelet at the end of the cable just needs to be levered off the link with a flat screwdriver then move the link on the trans out of park