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I’m going to look at a 12 valve with low miles but it has an automatic gauge cluster with a 5 speed. Is there a way I can tell on the vin if the truck was born an automatic or born a manual, I’m worried it has had a low mileage gauge cluster out of an automatic put in it. Owner claims it was an automatic truck that was nv4500 swapped but I am not sure.
 

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if you dig around, i think there's a website that'll spit out a copy of the window sticker if you put in the VIN.
not sure how far back it goes, but it might be worth a search.
 

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at least it's better than the 4th gens, where (unless you bought the upgraded luxury group gauges) they all came with dodge caravan automatic clusters regardless of transmission.
 

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I tried re-entering my truck in my Snap-On Modis scan tool, which asks for various VIN position characters to get year, make, vehicle type, 2WD vs 4WD, and engine. Nothing for transmission.

This may shed a little more light: VIN info question

I'd go with calling a Dodge dealer with the VIN, or looking for that other data plate that was mentioned.

You could look on the core support and see if there are any signs of the liquid/air heat exchanger/cooler that would have been there on an automatic-equipped truck - differences in color/fading where the mounts would have been. Check and see if the liquid/liquid heat exchanger is still mounted, or if there are similar signs of it having been there. Also, try searching the non-powertrain forum and see if there's any discussion of a difference in clusters - I thinks there has been some discussion as to whether there is any difference.

This isn't a tech article, so if you get the moderators to move it to the appropriate forum it may get more attention.
 
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Build sheet info here > FCA RAM
 
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