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Nv3500 vs nv4500

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by broncoman6524, May 28, 2009.

  1. broncoman6524

    broncoman6524 1/2 ton status

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    Aside form the deeper first gear and iron case in the 4500, is there really a loss to using the 3500?

    I found one local with a 241 attached for $350, I currently run a 208 so I was happy that I would not need to buy an adapter. Just maybe swap input shafts.

    Are there and differences size wise either?
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    From all accounts they are pretty wimpy for a heavy truck and semi-powerful motor. (wimpy compared to the 465 that is) As I recall, they also have an integral bellhousing, setup for the passenger side slave, which may interfere with the driveshaft.

    I hear there is something else out there, like a 3550, but again, I think the 4500 is really the only logical choice for an OD trans in these trucks, that has some aftermarket support, and has been done enough times that all the pitfalls have been discovered.
     
  3. broncoman6524

    broncoman6524 1/2 ton status

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    ah, I would probably kill it with my 383 and 37s then.

    Guess I'll do some more research and go from there.
     
  4. DEMON44

    DEMON44 Low-Tech Redneck Premium Member

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    its like comparing an '84 305 smogger to a '70 LS6 454
     
  5. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I ran one behind a 6.2L diesel with 35s and never had any trouble. The gear spacing on an NV3500 is awesome, and so long as you don't frequently shock your driveline (clutch drops, suddenly catching traction while spinning a tire etc), it will hold up just fine IMO

    An NV4500 is way tougher, no question about that, but the gear spacing is terrible (esspecially behind a diesel!), drives like an SM465 with an O/D gear tacked on for good measure.
     
  6. original balzer

    original balzer 1/2 ton status

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    The gear spacing is awesome if you like shifting a lot. :haha: On the road it is a good trans and if taken care of and not abused It should hold up. My 97 ran 35's and all the little bolt ons like throttle body spacer dual exhaust ect ect. I abused it a little bit here and there and it survived just fine.

    OFF ROAD however the gear spacing just flat out sucked. I shouldnt even say off road just playing in the hills and mountains around here on dirt roads and the like seamed I was always hunting for the right gear. The lack of a low first had me going to 4WL in the transfer case a lot more than I would like.

    Granted this is a truck with 3.73 gears, originally came with TINY 245x75x16 tires, Jumped up to 35's and for the most part was a daily driver. Also with all the extras on the engine it was still old and worn out.

    Now it does look VERY simular to the gertag that was in my 90 2500. Witch was a very weak crap trans. I blew out 3rd gear in 1 replaced it with a used one (cuz they cant be rebuilt) and within a week scattered the main shaft bearings in the second one. I then went to a SM465 with the newer top and shifter. The fact that it looked very small and simular to the earlier gertag made me causious of jamming gears clutch dumps and shock loads not to mention towing any wiegh.
     
  7. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    There are 4 different versions of NV3500s, the early ones are terribly weak, and they get stronger with each update. My NV3500 was pulled from an 04 Chevy K1500 with a 4.8L, and did quite well!

    Whenever I am off road, my truck is always in low range, so I never had any complaints with the gear spacing off road. Things up here are far too technical to be blasting about in high range! All in all, I feel it is a pretty decent transmission. Not any weaker than a stock 700r4, thats for sure. I've killed plenty of them.
     
  8. bigtruck1

    bigtruck1 Registered Member

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    Russell,

    I'm about to perform an NV3500 conversion (from the original TH400) on my 86 M1009. I feel pretty comfortable with everything except the clutch/master install... Do you have any pictures of the exact locations for these, along with some detailed instructions for any related cutting/drilling/etc...? I've done my homework on different tranny/converter/axle-ration combinations,, and it seems the NV3500 would function well with my existing 3.08 axle-ratio to achieve a comfortable cruising rpm (about 1800rpm for the 6.2 diesel) at around 70-75mph,,, while also producing plenty of low end torque to get my rig moving around town or in mild off-road situations. Any technical advice/warnings you can provide would be appreciated. Pictures would be VERY helpful. Thanks in advance!

    -Noah
     
  9. bronc3buster842001

    bronc3buster842001 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I swaped a 93 model NV3500 into my 97. I loved it. Then it lost the rear output bearing. Still ran just made noise. I then swaped to a NV4500 and couldn't be happier.
     
  10. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I wouldn't suggest you install your clutch master the way I did. It works, but resulted in a VERY heavy clutch pedal. That said, I installed a 93 K3500 NV4500 master cylinder on my firewall and installed a stud low down on my clutch pedal to hook it up.

    However, I've seen confirmed reports that the stock master cylinder for these trucks with an SM465 is of close enough displacement to the internal / external clutch slaves that you can simply splice the two lines together and go. Should result in a very light clutch. Your truck will have dimples knocked into the firewall that mark where you need to drill the holes for the stock master cylinder to bolt on. Simple drill the outside two holes out and use a hole saw or knockout punch for the center hole. Make sure you purchase a set of pedals designed for a hydro clutch, and with the proper brake stud for your style of brake booster (vaccum or hydro) on the brake pedal.
     
  11. bigtruck1

    bigtruck1 Registered Member

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    Looks like your running an nv4500 now...? From your experience, do you recommend that I use the nv4500 instead of the 3500..?
     
  12. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    NV4500 is actually coming out next weekend to be replaced with the NV3500. I am not happy with the gear spacing of the 4500, 1st gear I have lots of jam, but no wheel speed, second gear is already too tall to be able to start out & start slinging mud with to get some wheel speed. Shifting an NV4500 at wide open throttle is not an easy task either, haha
     

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