A surging or bucking during acceleration can be caused if the distributor is moved or mis-indexed. This is a result of the cam and crank position sensors being out of synchronization. Wear of the oil pump drive gear can cause similar symptoms because it allows excessive free play in the distributor drive. The distributor drive gear and bushing should be replaced if the rotor tip moves back-and-forth more than 3/16th of an inch when checking drive gear free play.
Worn or Mis-Indexed Distributor Shaft Can Cause Surging/Bucking on Acceleration on Dodge Dakota
Average mileage: 125,510 (104,020–147,000)
9 people reported this problem
When I go to accelerate either in reverse or drive my truck starts to stall,buck like its out of gas so I went to change plugs wires and distributor cap I noticed free play in my distributor, is this my problem?
1997 Dodge Dakota 147,000 mi, Visitor
Just replaced rear end truck idle good when I started down high way it started backfiring cutting out till it quite wouldn't crank back up I'm at aloss
1997 Dodge Dakota 104,020 mi, Visitor
Two months ago I had a complete tune up of my Dakota, so I don't think it is a distributor problem. Nevertheless, while decelerating to make a turn I had to brake, because the truck did not slow down. After the turn was completed the engine was still accelerating. I pumped the accelerator while braking (I was by a playground.) The truck kept accelerating. I pumped the gas again and finally it stopped speeding up.