Dakota - common intake manifold problem

Just thought I’d post this for all the other Dakota guys out there, might save you some trouble.

apparently it is very common for the gasket on the underside of the intake manifold (plenum pan gasket) to let go and allow crankcase oil into the intake manifold which then coats the inner portion of the intake manifold and creates deposits in your cylinders which can cause pinging upon acceleration/heavy load (on gasoline) poor idle, loss of oil etc.

Do to pinging under heavy load I suspected mine was gone and sure enough it was. I replaced the gasket, new spark plugs, and ran some sea-foam through the brake booster line and added to the fuel tank. Ran it for a little bit today and has made a notable difference.

Good info Dustin…Thanks


if i get one of those dakotas, i will be looking for that cause/since i got an s10/im thinking on that build after my 2500 chevy gets done, GOOD LUCK on the dakota, looks like a good miles per pound choice.

Because the plenum is so thin, the gasket blowing seems to be a common problem. I replaced mine with a thicker plenum. The kit came with the new plenum, gaskets and bolts. Here is the link to the one that I bought.

Thanks for the info .
That may be whats wrong with my truck.It runs good but if on gas and i push on it it pings and I am also losing bout a quart of oil every month or so …

Check the EGR solenoid and transducer, check to make sure the egr passage is clear (just pull a vacuum straight on the egr valve and see if it makes the engine stumble at idle). Oil is easy to see looking straight down the throttle plates.

If yours has the divider seafoam may not reach but one side very well.

I made a plate like Mr Hightowers out of 1/4" aluminum. Took the time to do a little porting to open things up while I was there.


looking good Marvin. I Ended up using the stock plate, didn’t have time to make or ship in the heavier plate. Maybe kicking myself in the future for that one. I was pretty surprised at how small the intake ports are on the 318 compared a 350 could defiantly use some porting

Never thought about the divider, may have to pour some through a vacuum line on the other side, thanks for the heads up.

Thanks Dustin

I didn’t go all out. Just raised the bottom of the runners about 3/8" and blended them back in. Raised the divider about a 1/2". I was worried about pushrod clearance with the thicker plate. Checked without the gaskets and it was close but OK. Just something to check if your making your own plate.

The ports did seem small and long like the old tuned port Chevys.

Thanks for bringing this up. We need a common problem/fix thread for these things.