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Cant see me
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1,210 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So a friend of mine just bought a 2003 Ram similar to mine except it has a few problems. The others I can sort out but his cluster for some reason is all smashed. We are thinking someone either was trying to steal it or vandalize it. He got it at an auction so we dont have any history on it.

I have been searching for the past day and cannot come up with a straight answer about these gauge clusters as far as replacement. From what I read there's conflicting information of whether you can plug & play a used gauge cluster or if it needs to be brought to the dealer to be flashed or some other electrical issues need to be done there?


I did find one similar to his on eBay but do not want to order it unless it is plug & play. If it is beyond plug & play i will excuse myself from the situation and let the dealership handle it. I also read that mileage is stored in PCM but then I also read that it was stored in the cluster. We want to find one with similar mileage obviously, but if we can't is the mileage going to be shown on the newer cluster from the old truck if we install it or will the computer tell the new cluster the mileage?


Also from my research we need to find one that has similar options as far as speed sensitive locks, automatic transmission and the Hemi motor. What else matters when looking for a used cluster? This truck also has the skim key so does that matter when looking for a cluster?

The skim key part kind of leads me to believe that it was attempted to be stolen and wouldn't start because of the skim key so the thief thought they would smash the dash cluster.

Any other advice? Thank you!
 

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Red Trucker
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2,220 Posts
Mileage has to be entered manually, upon initialization of a new cluster. I don't know of any dealer that will install a used cluster because they don't have the software to change mileage in a used cluster. If you plug one in, it should work; SKIM won't matter, that's between the module and the PCM (does he even have it with an 03? black keys or gray? mine doesn't...). There are companies that can enter the mileage on a used one since they have necessary tools to do so. I would suggest pulling the cluster and finding the part number on the back, then looking for that. FYI, RKE module is on the back of the cluster (if it has RKE).
 
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