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New Venture Gear 3500 transmission

The New Venture Gear 3500, commonly called NV3500, is a 5-speed overdrive manual transmission manufactured by New Venture Gear used by GM and Dodge in compact and full-size light trucks.
It can be identified by its two piece aluminum case with integrated bellhousing and top mounted tower shifter.

Similar Transmissions

In North America the NV3550 is used by Jeep with the 4.0L inline 6. It looks similar to and could be mistaken for the Dodge NV3500 however the Jeep NV3550 bellhousing bolts to the transmission case.

There are four GM medium duty transmission designs that led to and are often mistaken for the NV3500:

  • 1987 MG-290 MG= Muncie Gear
  • 1988 HM-290 HM= Hydramatic Muncie
  • 1989 5LM60 (early)
  • 1991 NVG 5LM60 (late) NVG= New Venture Gear
  • 1993[1] 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.[2]
    • 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.[3] 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.
    • Master & slave cylinder bore sizes went from standard to metric in 1992 (Master: 11/16"->18mm, Slave 13/16" ->20mm)
    • 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)


  • 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.


Dodge Ram order code DDC

General Motors RPO codes[1]
Full-size CK, Silverado, Sierra MG5
Small trucks S10 etc. M50


  • Single shift rail unlike the HM290 and 5LM60[2]
  • Distance between the centerline of the mainshaft and the countershaft is 85mm.[1][7]
  • Fully synchronized forward and reverse gears.
  • A two piece aluminum housing with no access plates.
  • A shift tower mounted shift lever.
  • 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 Full-size Light Trucks:[1]

1 2 3 4 5 R
4.02 2.32 1.40 1.00 0.73 3.55

Close Ratio GM S/T Small Trucks[1] & 2500 Light Duty Dodge Ram Truck Gearing:[8]

1 2 3 4 5 R
3.49 2.16 1.40 1.00 0.73 3.55


These are considered extremely difficult transmissions to rebuild. Special tools are required for a full rebuild.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^ a b Domestic Truck Tranny Guide
  3. ^ a b Up To Standards 11-98
  4. ^ Ram NV3500 Specifications
  5. ^ [1] High Impact Transmission & Gear
  6. ^ [2] High Impact Transmission & Gear
  7. ^ 1998 Chevrolet and GMC C/K Truck Service Manual 2nd edition Vol.4, 1999 General Motors Corp. All Rights Reserved
  8. ^

External links