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Old 10-21-2017, 04:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4.8/NV3500 reliability?

How reliable is the NV3500 behind the 4.8L in certain 1500 trucks? It would seem to me like the output of the 4.8L is grossly more than the NV3500 should be able to handle, unless GM did some upgrading on them in later years?
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They dont handle it
Mine lost the syncros 1st then it burned up after losing fluid through the shifter and the foam boot between the cab and trans soaked it up hiding the leak
The only upgrade I know of is the 32 spline output on the 4wd ones
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Kinda what I thought.

So it makes more sense to use the NV4500 I have and just pick up a 4.8 and harness, rather than a 4.8/NV3500 truck to yoink the driveline from.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DirtyComanche View Post
Kinda what I thought.

So it makes more sense to use the NV4500 I have and just pick up a 4.8 and harness, rather than a 4.8/NV3500 truck to yoink the driveline from.
Nv3500's are junk. Ive seen multiple broken bell housing on them. Just swapped one out in a 95 silverado for a 4500 a few months ago.

Im sure your aware but any truck harness will work on the 4.8 (4.8, 5.3, or 6.0), just decide if your gonna run dbw (drive by wire) or dbc (drive by cable) throttle body. If going dbw try to get throttle body, tac module, and ecm all from same vehicle if possible.
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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From my actual experience..In normal street use they are fine...I assume you're talking about serious off road or high performance use?
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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From my actual experience..In normal street use they are fine...I assume you're talking about serious off road or high performance use?
Yeah, I'm talking like 4krpm sidestepping the clutch with locked axles.

Or maybe not that bad, but more serious use than putting into town for Sunday service and a bag of groceries.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm talking like 4krpm sidestepping the clutch with locked axles.

Or maybe not that bad, but more serious use than putting into town for Sunday service and a bag of groceries.
I have a 03 1500 4.8 5 speed posi 3.42 gear two wheel short bed....I do beat on it occasionally, a bit of drag racing and fast shifts...I haul moderate loads and pull a 2000 pound trailer...4.8 is not a torque beast but has decent power at higher RPM's...Obviously no off road with this 2wd...
For normal street use the 3500 has better gear ratios than the 4500, which is more or less a 465 with overdrive...3500 would be more at home in a V-8 S10 or something lighter than a full sized truck...
If you're gonna do more more than I mentioned you may want to avoid the 3500...
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a 03 1500 4.8 5 speed posi 3.42 gear two wheel short bed....I do beat on it occasionally, a bit of drag racing and fast shifts...I haul moderate loads and pull a 2000 pound trailer...4.8 is not a torque beast but has decent power at higher RPM's...Obviously no off road with this 2wd...
For normal street use the 3500 has better gear ratios than the 4500, which is more or less a 465 with overdrive...3500 would be more at home in a V-8 S10 or something lighter than a full sized truck...
If you're gonna do more more than I mentioned you may want to avoid the 3500...
I want to put a driveline in my 'other' Comanche (it has nothing right now). I'm pretty settled on 1 ton swapping it, 37s, an Ecobox and NP205F reduction setup. Doing the math, I intend for the truck to weigh about 5700lbs loaded, but I could see 6000lbs being more realistic. So it's not exactly still lighter truck territory at that point.

The tossup is between buying a whole 4.8/NV3500 truck or just buying a 4.8 and throwing the early NV4500 I have behind it (should be the version with the 6.34:1 first).

4.8 is because it cheaper (nobody wants them for hotrods, you can get a low miles takeout for very little) and hopefully get a cunt hair better economy than the 5.3 and 6.0h, plus is has 50% more power than what it's theoretically replacing.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The first gear in the GM 3500 is 4.03 I believe, similar to the Jeep AX15....The 4500 first gear is a lot lower, 6.5 or so..That might matter to your truck's use off road...
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I would take a 4.8l over a 5.3l any day. I have one in a 03 2wd rclb silvy and it flat out runs.

Going to need to run the crank spacer on the engine if you decide to run a non ls nv3500/4500.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Going to need to run the crank spacer on the engine if you decide to run a non ls nv3500/4500.
If its a 99-00 5spd 4.8 no spacer needed,gm thought it was a good idea to use a longer crank on the factory 5spd trucks for 99-00
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If its a 99-00 5spd 4.8 no spacer needed,gm thought it was a good idea to use a longer crank on the factory 5spd trucks for 99-00
Absolutely correct, sorry forgot to mention that in my post.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The first gear in the GM 3500 is 4.03 I believe, similar to the Jeep AX15....The 4500 first gear is a lot lower, 6.5 or so..That might matter to your truck's use off road...
I think I have an earlier one out of a 92 truck, so it's 6.34:1.

Despite what Novak says, I think it probably is the better way to go anyways because of the deep first gear. The only downsides are I had this tranny slated for another project, and it adds about 100lbs of weight going to it. But it's probably worth it given the NV3500 doesn't sound spectacular.

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I would take a 4.8l over a 5.3l any day. I have one in a 03 2wd rclb silvy and it flat out runs.

Going to need to run the crank spacer on the engine if you decide to run a non ls nv3500/4500.
I've driven trucks with both, I think either of them perform well, but the little 4.8 seems to be extra tough.

I'll either order the spacer or the flywheel with the spacer in it... Assuming it's not a long crank one. Actually, the one I was going to buy has disappeared, seller isn't responding, so we'll see if I can dig up a different one.

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If its a 99-00 5spd 4.8 no spacer needed,gm thought it was a good idea to use a longer crank on the factory 5spd trucks for 99-00
Yeah, I know, I'll confirm what I have before I order anything. Of course I still have no idea what clutch components actually work, based on the clutch thread where half the guys had problems with the same parts the other half of the guys had no issues with. I'll have to look at that stuff again, but cross that bridge when I get there.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have seen someone drag a turbo 6.0 with a nv3500. He burned up the clutch at the track once but said the trans was holding. Not 1st hand experience, I know
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Internet info says the GM NV3500 has a continuous torque rating of 300 ft lbs..The Dodge HD 3500 or 3550 has a 340 ft lbs rating...
Hot rodders have been using the NV3500 from later S10's for a few years...The word is they will handle abuse from a typical street build SBC in a light car...Otherwords, traction limited....In an off road truck the actual use various..If you crawl around in a dense woods never using full throttle because of traction limitations ,that's not so bad...
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Is anybody actually wheeling GM trucks with the NV3500?


That would be the true litmus, as my weight will be similar to a 1500 truck. And no, I don't plan on being super easy on it, and planning to be easy on something has never worked in my experience, I'm building a truck with 1 ton axles and 37s after all...
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:44 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Is anybody actually wheeling GM trucks with the NV3500?


That would be the true litmus, as my weight will be similar to a 1500 truck. And no, I don't plan on being super easy on it, and planning to be easy on something has never worked in my experience, I'm building a truck with 1 ton axles and 37s after all...
Maybe in S10's ? I would think your build needs a 4500 or at least a 465...
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Maybe in S10's ? I would think your build needs a 4500 or at least a 465...
I'm pretty sold on using the 4500 I have right now. The 3500 would package better and save 100lbs. But I'd rather it not break.

The lower first/reverse is nice too.

I also found out I can't use a NV241DHD planetary set for building up a NWF Ecobox, so the NP241C tcase that was slated for the same project as the NV4500 looks like it needs to go on the chopping block anyways.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:54 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I ran an NV3500 from a 2004 4.8L powered 1500 4x4 behind a turbocharged 6.2L diesel engine in my old 80s K5 Blazer. It was lifted on 37" boggers and had 4.56 gears with lockers in both diffs. I beat the ever living crap out of it for years and never hurt the transmission. Loved the gear spacing on that transmission.


That said, the earlier HM290 from the late 80s / early 90s is absolutely garbage. There are 4 versions of the NV3500 (93-95, 96/97, 98-00 and 01+) and they got better with each revision.

Of course, you can still break them with enough abuse, but they won't just immediately self destruct on your first shift just for being an NV3500. Lots of syncro issues are due to running the wrong fluid in them. They need syncromesh fluid to go with the carbon fiber syncronizers in them. Fortunately, this fluid isn't terribly expensive unlike the NV4500.

The NV4500 is a decent trans, but not without it's issues either. Stronger, yes, but I've seen lots of 5th gear retainer nut failures, failed syncronizers and the gear spacing is crap.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Avoid the later 2007-up 4.8L GM used the 799/243 heads which lowered CR to 8.8:1 horrible good for boost though. The 99-06 Gen III is the one you want.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I ran an NV3500 from a 2004 4.8L powered 1500 4x4 behind a turbocharged 6.2L diesel engine in my old 80s K5 Blazer. It was lifted on 37" boggers and had 4.56 gears with lockers in both diffs. I beat the ever living crap out of it for years and never hurt the transmission. Loved the gear spacing on that transmission.



That said, the earlier HM290 from the late 80s / early 90s is absolutely garbage. There are 4 versions of the NV3500 (93-95, 96/97, 98-00 and 01+) and they got better with each revision.

Of course, you can still break them with enough abuse, but they won't just immediately self destruct on your first shift just for being an NV3500. Lots of syncro issues are due to running the wrong fluid in them. They need syncromesh fluid to go with the carbon fiber syncronizers in them. Fortunately, this fluid isn't terribly expensive unlike the NV4500.

The NV4500 is a decent trans, but not without it's issues either. Stronger, yes, but I've seen lots of 5th gear retainer nut failures, failed syncronizers and the gear spacing is crap.
Wrong fluid is a problem and what won't work is a GL5 90w gear lube....In my 03 Rustarado. I use Redline MT90. It's a GL4 75-90 but is thinner than other 75-90's. It shifts the same or slightly better than Synchromesh oil and tames down the noisy gear rattle that 3500's can have in neutral..
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:13 AM   #22 (permalink)
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How reliable is the NV3500 behind the 4.8L in certain 1500 trucks? It would seem to me like the output of the 4.8L is grossly more than the NV3500 should be able to handle, unless GM did some upgrading on them in later years?


Bump for some updates. Im leaning to replacing the worn out 3.4l in my first gen taco with something in the LS family and am leaning towards a the NV3500 or NV4500. How far did you get with this project?

My truck will be a mostly street driven rig on 40s, SD front /14B rear axles, linked, blah blah blah, and an atlas. I want to keep it manual.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:56 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Bump for some updates. Im leaning to replacing the worn out 3.4l in my first gen taco with something in the LS family and am leaning towards a the NV3500 or NV4500. How far did you get with this project?
The 4.8 fell through and I went a different route.

I think it would have been fine based on more research I did after then, especially with a doubler to soak up a lot of the shock.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:21 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Bump for some updates. Im leaning to replacing the worn out 3.4l in my first gen taco with something in the LS family and am leaning towards a the NV3500 or NV4500. How far did you get with this project?

My truck will be a mostly street driven rig on 40s, SD front /14B rear axles, linked, blah blah blah, and an atlas. I want to keep it manual.
Is the Toyota trans not up to the task? If it is, that's what I would use since there is tons of aftermarket built around Toyota drivetrain.
Travis..
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Is the Toyota trans not up to the task? If it is, that's what I would use since there is tons of aftermarket built around Toyota drivetrain.
Travis..
Im not sure id trust a R150 behind any LS. I just dont think it be enough behind all that torque.

EDIT: Plus if i can find a 5-speed that was behind the LS in the 4wd trucks in the early 2000s, i think it would be cheaper in the long run. Clutch/flywheel/starter, no adapters, etc.
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