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.
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 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.
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:
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: