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The New Venture Gear 3500, commonly called NV3500, is a medium duty 5-speed overdrive manual transmission manufactured by New Venture Gear used by GM and Dodge in compact and fullsize light trucks.
It can be identified by its two piece aluminum case with integrated bellhousing and top mounted tower shifter.
Prior Design Variations
There are four GM medium duty transmission designs that led to and are often mistaken for the NV3500:
- 1987 MG-290
- 1988 HM-290 HM= Hydramatic / Muncie
- 1989 5LM60 (early)
- 1991 NVG 5LM60 (late) NVG= New Venture Gear
- 1993 New Venture Gear releases the NV3500. Externally the earlier GM units "look like" the NV3500 however internal components were extensively re-designed.
- The HM290 and 5LM60 units have a complicated arrangement of 4 shift rails. The NV3500 has one shift rail.
- There are two designs for the 5LM60 input shaft and bearings (input shaft and main shaft). The first design 1988–1990 has a ball bearing with a roller bearing behind it. The second design has a much larger single ball bearing. The first design bearings are reputed to be failure prone. The updated input shaft and bearings carried through to the NV3500.
- All 5 of these transmissions can be interchanged as a complete unit with the following caveats.
- "Drop in" interchanges between GM S (S10 etc) and C/K trucks will require modification of driveshaft length and crossmember placement. GM S models have a longer tail-shaft than C/K trucks.
- GM and Dodge transmissions will not interchange.
- The case and bellhousing are one piece with differing, engine specific, bellhousing bolt patterns.
- Dodge uses Dodge specific input shaft length, spline count, and pilot diameter.
- Dodge output spline count differs from the GM units.
Lubricants for the NV3500:
- OEM Recommended:
- Mopar Manual Transmission Lubricant (4874464)
- GM Synchromesh Transmission Fluid (in US 12377916 in Canada 10953465)
- Less expensive alternatives CERTIFIED to meet GM 9985648 and Chrysler MS-9224:
- 4.2 pints DRY is stated in the Owners Manual and the Service Manual.
- When performing a fluid change some of the old oil will not drain out.
- 5W30 engine oil does not contain additives for use in manual transmissions.
- Additives in standard gear and axle lubes will etch the bronze synchronizers and 80W oil will not properly flow into the NV3500 bearings.
WARNING:DO NOT USE REGULAR REGULAR GEAR & AXLE LUBRICANTS IN THIS TRANSMISSION THEY WILL DESTROY IT.
- 1993–1998 Chevrolet & GMC CK with Vortec 4300
- 1999–2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2500LD
- 1999–2006 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2500LD
- 1993–2003 GM S (S10 etc) trucks with 4.3 liter Vortec 4300
- 1994–2001 Dodge Ram 1500 
- 1994–1995 Dodge Ram 2500 Light Duty
- 1994-???? Dodge Dakota V8
Dodge Ram order code DDC
General Motors RPO codes
Fullsize CK, Silverado, Sierra MG5
Small trucks S10 etc M50
- Single shift rail unlike the HM290 and 5LM60
- Distance between the centerline of the mainshaft and the countershaft is 85mm.
- Fully synchronized forward and reverse gears.
- A two piece aluminum housing with no access plates.
- A shift tower mounted shift leaver.
- GM RPO codes;
- Wide-ratio MG5
- Close-ratio M50
- Dodge order code DDC
- Rated for 300 ft·lbf of torque
- Weight 110 lb with oil
Wide Ratio Gearing Option in Dodge 1500 & GM Fullsize Light Trucks:
Close Ratio GM S/T Small Trucks & 2500 Light Duty Dodge Ram Truck Gearing:
These are considered extremely difficult transmissions to rebuild. Special tools are required for a full rebuild.
- ^ a b c d e http://media.gm.com/gmc/mg5ben.html
- ^ a b Domestic Truck Tranny Guide
- ^ a b Up To Standards 11-98
- ^ Ram NV3500 Specifications
- ^ 1998 Chevrolet and GMC C/K Truck Service Manual 2nd edition Vol.4, 1999 General Motors Corp. All Rights Reserved