Dodge Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
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This may be the cluster causing this. A gateway is built into it to communicate with all the onboard computers. Once you get back communications, everything will work again.
Unplugging the cluster will definitely cause no communication, and yes, a 5 v reference should be there if there is communications. I would even start looking around for chew marks on wiring from mice etc. I've seen a lot of that.
OK, I would pull the cluster and send it out to be tested at a qualified rebuilder. I'm betting that's your problem.
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The cluster is also the gateway computer, that's why.