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New Venture Gear ID

New Venture Gear is a defunct division of Magna Powertrain that was a partnership between GM & Chrysler borne out of Muncie Gear (GM Hydramatic) and New Process Gear, to produce various transmissions and transfer cases for their purposes - primarily truck applications. They also did some FWD trans but that's not relevant here. Identification of these truck transmissions can be difficult because in most cases there are no ID tags or relevant markings to easily decode models. And so you have to study the construction and take measurements.

The first question might be, is your trans even from New Venture Gear? If it is a 4 speed, it is not; they only produced 5 & 6 speeds. There was overlap with lighter duty 5 speeds in many vehicles - meaning you may have to rule out T5 (S10) or AX15 (Dakota & Jeep) first. Also consider the predecessors such as the NP535 & Getrag G360 (-1993 Dodge) and successors like the Getrag 238 & G56 (2005+ Dodge). Refer to the Shifters page and click on the link for your vehicle model to learn more.

Now this gets more confusing because GM produced NVG-type transmissions years before the partnership with Chrysler. Muncie Gear began producing a version of the Getrag 290 5 speed transmission (under license from Getrag) for trucks in 1987; this was the predecessor to the NV3500 but called the MG290, HM290, and then 5LM60 as it evolved. It is often called a Getrag trans which is true as it is a design licensed from Getrag. The true NV3500, with a single internal shift rail, was not introduced until 1993. Other variants were developed like the smaller NV1500 / NV2550 for 4 cyl and the NV3550 w/ separate bellhousing for Jeep. All of these transmissions use a similar shifter interface, varying only in receptacle height. The heavy duty NV4500 & NV5600 however are completely different.

NVG-type transmissions are found in the following models:

  • GM C/K & Silverado/Sierra full-size trucks
    • 1988-1992 1500 series (MG290, HM290, 5LM60)
    • 1993-2007 1500 series (NV3500)
    • 1988-1992 2500 series < 8500 GVWR (MG290, HM290, 5LM60)
      • 1988-1991 2500 series > 8500 GVWR = Muncie SM465 (4 spd)
    • 1993-1999 2500 series < 8500 GVWR (NV3500)
      • 1992-2000 2500 series > 8500 GVWR & 3500 series (NV4500)
    • 2001-2007 2500 & 3500 series - 6.0L gas only (NV4500)
      • 6.6L (diesel) & 8.1L use ZF S6-650 (6 speed)
  • GM S10 / S15 / Sonoma compact trucks
    • 1990-1992 w/ 4.3L V6 (5LM60)
    • 1993-2005 w/ 4.3L V6 (NV3500)
    • 1996-2003 w/ 2.2L I4 (NV1500)
      • All other engines to 1995 use T5
  • Dodge Ram
    • 1994-2004 1500 series + light duty 2500 (NV3500)
      • Preceded by NP535 (aka NV2500); Succeeded by Getrag 238
    • 1992-2005 2500 & 3500 series (NV4500)
      • Preceded by Getrag G360
    • 1999-2005 2500 & 3500 series w/ V10 or diesel (NV5600 6 speed)
      • Succeeded by Getrag G56
  • Dodge Dakota
    • 1994-2004 w/ V8 (NV3500)
      • Preceded by NP535 (aka NV2500); Succeeded by Getrag 238
    • 1999-2004 w/ 4 cyl (NV1500)
      • Preceded by AX15
    • 2000-2004 w/ V6 (NV3500)
      • Preceded by AX15; Succeeded by Getrag 238
  • Jeep
    • 2000-2004 Wrangler w/ 4.0L I6 (NV3550)
      • Preceded by AX15; Succeeded by NSG370
    • 2003-2004 Wrangler w/ 2.4L I4 (NV2550)
      • Preceded by AX5; Succeeded by NSG370
    • 2000-2001 Cherokee (NV3550)
      • Preceded by AX5 & AX15
    • 2002-2004 Liberty (NV1500 & NV3550)
      • Succeeded by NSG370

So which one do you have?

Aluminum case

If the case is completely aluminum, it is from the "light duty" family of MG290, HM290, 5LM60, NV3500, NV3550, NV1500, and NV2550 - all of which use a similar shifter interface, varying only in receptacle height. This is important because if stub depth is not correct, the shifter will not work properly and could bind or even cause damage. But if the transmission is not original, or if the exact source is unknown, the only way to definitively identify the compatible shifter is to remove the shifter base & gasket and measure the receptacle height on the trans:

 

Cast iron case w/ aluminum lid

If the case is cast iron but with an aluminum lid - "top loader style", it is a NV4500.  This is a heavy duty transmission for GVWR above ~8500 lb. There are various models of NV4500 and the shifter base can only be changed on later years with the "square top" lid (1995+ for GM, 1998+ for Dodge) where the shifter base is removable. The early years had an integral shifter tower that fixed the fulcrum height (i.e. shifter leverage cannot be changed); however lids are fairly interchangeable and so it is possible to convert early models to the later lid:

 

One aftermarket source for a new top cover lid assembly is Allstate Gear

Be aware though that for GM models of NV4500 there are two different lids - lid casting # 25137 for 1995-2000 and lid casting # 33893 for 2001-2007. The base mount for this later lid is 1/4" higher than earlier lid, requiring a deeper stub - i.e. each model requires a different shifter base. There is also risk of this taller lid being found on rebuilt Dodge units, meaning the original shifter base will not be compatible - so best to check the lid casting number (near front center of lid) when buying a shifter for any NV4500.

If you have an aftermarket lid with no numbers, it is almost certainly the shorter lid used by Dodge & early GM. We are reluctant to discuss stub depth here as it is hard to measure and easy to confuse but depth from flange face (w/ base gasket removed) to bottom of notch in rails would be ~ 1.75" for Dodge & early GM, 2.00" for late GM. This depth is best measured on the trans; to measure stub length on the base you must include the gasket to get the correct flange reference. Notice in the pic below the stock base housing remains the same for all years - only the stub length changes.

6 speed (cast iron case)

If it is a 6 speed and the main case is entirely cast iron (w/ aluminum bellhousing) it is a NV5600. These were only used by Dodge Ram, from 1999-2005 w/ V10 or diesel. 2005 is a tricky year because there was a mid-year (perhaps overlapping) change to the Getrag G56 - which has an all aluminum case and complicated shifter base mechanism. However it is quite easy to differentiate NV5600 from G56 by shift pattern; NV5600 has reverse upper right while G56 has reverse lower left.