have you checked your fuel pressure first, there are many things that can cause this type of problem, even the SPEED SENSOR
my friend has the '98 dodge w/ 2X4, & is having the same problem, well it got worse & now it is parked
he has had a people look at his, but he never took it to the dealership
he even sent his computer back east to get it rebuilt, it seems PIN 19 is the power pin
i went online & did a google search & found the problem is common for this series of Dodge models, Ram, Dakota, Jeep & almost all of the cars
the cheapest fix, maybe $4.00 the auto shutdown relay
may be bad; if it is, the fuel pump and coil will not get power
i also found this on a site that i can't post in here
The ASD relay is located in the Power Distribution Center under the hood next to the battery. Inside the cover of the PDC is a diagram to show which relay is the ASD. It has to be there. All 2001 Dakota's have one.The ASD is a small rectangular shaped relay with 5 terminals on it. You can test the relay by removing it and supplying power andground from a 12 volt source like the battery in your truck by using jumper wires from the battery terminals. Put ground on terminal 85 and 12volts to terminal 86 on the relay. You should hear and feel a click inside the relay. That tells you the coil is operating. Then put 12 volts to terminal 87 on the relay and with power and ground on terminals 86and 85 respectively and the relay is energized, you should have 12 volts power on terminal 30 of the relay. You can test that with a volt meter or a test light. When you remove the power and ground from terminal 86 and 85, there should be no 12 volts at terminal 30, and there should be continuity between terminals 87a and 30. If both of these conditions are not present, the relay is bad. If it is, you can try partsstores for it butit may be a dealer part only. It should not be very expensive.The relay should have the terminals labeled with their respective numbers but if not, look at it from the terminals side of the relay and follow this diagram:
_87a l 87 l 30
The ASD relay supplies power to the fuel injectors, ignition coil and oxygen sensor. It gets energized with a ground input on terminal 85 from the PCM. If the relay is defective the truck won't get fuel to the injectorsnor will the other parts receive voltageandthe truckwon't start.You should also get a check engine code from the PCM when and if the relay is bad. It might have code P1388 or P1389 for ASD problem. On your 2001 you can turn the ignition on then off, on then off, on then off then on and leave it on and the trouble codes will display in the odometer.
The ASD relay will also shut down if there is a problem with or a defective signal from the crankshaft position sensor. You may get code P0219 or P0320 or P0387 if the CPS is defective. The CPS is located on the passenger side of the block, below the distributor, behind the cylinder head on that side. It's near the bell housing. There are 2 bolts and a metal plate holding it to the block. It's hard todescribe and hard to get to to replace. You have tojack up that sideof the truck, putiton jack stands and remove the wheel and the inner splash shield to get to it. The splash shieldis riveted in place so have to drill them out (they are plastic so it's not hard to do) andyou need new plastic rivets and a rivettool to put it back in. You can get both at most parts and/or tool stores like Harbor Freight or maybe Northern Tool.You are also supposed to only use the original bolts to putthe CPSback in because they are machined to put it back in the correct orientation. And if you do have to replace the CPS the new one will set a trouble code in the PCM so you have to disconnect the battery negative cable, turn the ignition to start position and hold it there for about 60 seconds to reset the PCM. Or you can use a code reader to do it, or Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, etc may use their code tools to clear it for you.
Check the ASD relay, check for PCM trouble codes and see if any of this infohelps you. I would say try the ASD relay first, it's a lot easier than the CPS. If you have small hands and the tools for it, you might be able to get your hands up in there and remove the CPS without removing the wheel and splash shield. Once you do get this fixed, you should clear the codes from the PCM anyway, regardless of what the problem was.
it could also be that the Camshaft or Crankshaft position sensors are bad