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mndave0002, engineer
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 528
Experience:  Design engineer and toolmaker mechanic previous ASE mech and ICARE body man
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2000 Dodge Dakota: 000 miles..thermostat, water pump..radiator..hoses

Resolved Question:

no heat in a 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup with only 35,000 miles. I have replaced the thermostat, water pump, belt, had radiator cleaned out, and pulled the hoses off of the heater core and water flowed fine with no sludge. Also, I can hear the "flapper" doors changing when I rotate the temp knob from cold to hot, so I don't believe the problem is in the interior lever controls. No fuses are blown.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  mndave0002 replied 9 years ago.

This seems like odd problem. I do have two suggestions. ONE these vehicles (exspecially after replacing suff are very sensitive to vapor locking. SO what you may have is that it is trapping air in the heating system (core and hose) when car is at idle. it would still flow when you had hose off but would not do well when it was connected. and two (less possible) your heater dore is clogged. This can be pain to prime and get all the air out of them but i beleive is your problem. (this was huge problem with some older dodge 90's dodge motors. OH and also when installed new thermostats have best chance of failing. That is why it is suggested that you boild them before installing> (no does but it is in manual) Hope this helps, From David

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I also thought of air in the system. Can you clarify the steps to remove the air pocket/bubble?
Expert:  mndave0002 replied 9 years ago.
Yes this is tricky because you must do it when vehicle is warm. Take off return line of heater core and if possible add length of hose. run this hose to ground. Then when lots of water comes out of this hose. Pinch or close end. At same time stop car motor and lift as high as possible (only needs to be above motor) athen disconnect extra hose. (if you use one) hold hose as high as you can and reattach. Make sure to have over flow full and that it is sealed (no leaks or cracks) so it will refill system as it cools. then run system for while giving occational higher idle. (rev engine some) Cool motor and make sure to top off fluid. even start with cap off. when warm have someone rev motor slightly and hold and you will see water go down. (if is warm enough to circulate) have them hold as steady higher iddle and rill as much fluid (mixed) as possible. Then install cap and rev and cool. And repeat filling nad rev few times. Should over fill system and allow air to exscape. (yes this is boring time consuming that is reason shops dont do it) Make cassual project out of it fill it then watch show or make meal then do it again. Yes it does require two people. but one end is not very demanding. (turn car off and idle up and hold at steady rev) this is basics of how to bleed air from cooling system. Hope this helps good luck. David
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am going to accept answer in a minute but wanted to add some info for your future reference.
I fixed the problem by disconnecting the heater hoses (3.9 v6); one at the connector on passenger side near valve cover/ the other that goes to the water pump. I backflushed the heater core first and muddy water came out. I then reversed the flow and it was clear. Just to be sure, I backflushed once again.
Removing the clamps for the air cleaner box allow easy acces to the passenger side hose. I used a piece of 1/2" ( I think) pvc pipe to connect an old garden hose to the drivers side. On the passenger side, an old garden hose will slip right onto the connector (no clamp needed).
After this I started the truck, refilled the radiator overflow, (Not the cap in the hose!), and within a few minutes had furnace-like heat! Woohoo!!