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NV4500 5 speed manual specifications
 1994-2002 Ram NV4500 Specs  
Used in 2500 and 3500 Models
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  The NV4500 is a 5-speed constant mesh manual transmission. All gear ranges including reverse are synchronized. The transmission is a top loader design with a cast iron gear case and an aluminum shift cover.
       Two versions of the NV4500 are used in 1994+ models. A standard duty version is used for 5.2L and 5.9L applications and a heavy duty version is used for V10, and Cummins diesel engines. The main differences between the two versions concern the larger input and output shafts used in the heavy duty version.
       The NV4500 is a top loader style transmission. The shift lever is located in the shift cover bolted to the top of the shift cover and operates the shift forks and rails directly. The shift forks and rails are all located within the aluminum cover which is bolted to the top of the gear case.
       Dual cone synchronizers are used for first and second gears, similar to the T5 design. The 1-2 synchronizer also has a set of spring loaded flyweights in the synchro hub that govern shift speeds, to prevent over-revving the motor on a 2-1 downshift.
        A reverse gear inhibitor mechanism prevents reverse gear engagement when shifting into forward gear ranges. The inhibitor mechanism is located in the shift cover.
       Tapered roller bearings support the drive gear, mainshaft, and countershaft in the gear case. Pilot roller bearings in the drive gear hub support the forward end of the mainshaft. The mainshaft gears are all supported on caged type roller bearings. Drive gear thrust reaction is controlled by a needle type thrust bearing located at the forward end of the mainshaft.
      An identification tag is attached to the driver side PTO cover. Yhis tag provides the transmission model number, build date, and part number. Do not lose this tag, the information it contains is essential for correct parts ordering!
      The reverse gear and forward gears 1-4 are mounted inside the main transmission case. 5th gear is mounted in the tailshaft assembly.

Input shaft
Laying on side - view of front

Output end
NV4500 output

5th gear shift fork
5th idler gear and shift fork

 NV4500HD Specs:

  • Manufactured by New Venture Gear
  • Synchronizers: Carbon fiber composite
  • Input shaft: 1-1/8" 10 spline (V8 version - order code DDP)
  • Input shaft: 1-1/4" 10 spline (Diesel, V10 version - order code DDX)
  • 4x4 Output shaft: 1-1/2" 29 spline
  • Input torque rating: 460 ft-lb
  • Max GVWR: 16,000 lb
  • Max GCVWR: 21,000 lb
  • Cast Iron Case, Weight (with oil): 250 pounds
  • Fluid Capacity: 8.5 pints
    • Fill level is to the bottom edge of the fill plug hole.
    • These are the ONLY lubricants recommended for the NV4500:
      • 75W-90 Castrol Syntorque Synthetic
      • Mopar Manual Transmission Lubricant (PN 4637579)
      • GM Transmission oil (PN 12346191)
      • NOTE: Syntorque is NOT the same as Castrol Syntech.
      • Standard Transmission has the oil. 1-800-783-8726
      • Alternative oils?
  • Drain Plug P/N: 4882280
Gear Ratio
    1st 5.61
    2nd 3.04
    3rd 1.67
    4th 1.00
    5th 0.75

 *Around the 1998 model year, the reverse gear ratio was changed from 5.61 to 5.04. The pre-98 reverse gear on the main shaft has a diameter of 6-5/8" with 39 teeth; the later gear has a diameter of 6" with 35 teeth.     

   The 450 Lb-ft input rating is a continuous and conservative input rating for a long transmission life. The transmission can easily withstand higher torque from diesels with aftermarket power kits, but transmission life will be reduced in proportionately. Keep in mind that 5th gear has failed on some trucks that regularly pull or haul heavy loads. If you wish to avoid 5th gear failure, do not mash the throttle with the engine turning less than 1600 rpm while in 5th gear.
        Note: The 24 Valve diesel engine has a rated torque peak of 460 lb-ft. Either the engine specs lie, or the transmission can take more than 450 lb-ft, despite its rating.

Using helical gearing with all speed gears in constant mesh and all speeds synchronized, this transmission will handle 450 ft-lbs of torque, and vehicles with a combined gross weight of 19,000 pounds. The 4500 uses a dual cone synchronizer for first and second gears, similar to the familiar, world class T5 design. The 1-2 synchronizer also has a set of spring loaded flyweights in the synchro hub that govern shift speeds, to prevent over-revving the motor on a 2-1 downshift. (from Gears Magazine March 1998)

Other Lube Oils for the NV4500

Joe Donnelly tested several brands of oil for the NV4500 and reported the results in TDR issue #??. He also posted tothe TDR Roundtable "The Castrol was best, flat out. Torco RTF was very close, and has the GL6 additive rating for those worried about gear wear. If the lube doesn't get hot, it is easier on the brass synchros. The Castrol and Torco were slow to heat up. It took several full power passes on the dyno to get them to 140 deg. Another popular lube came up to temperature with just one pass. That suggests to me that friction was higher with it, and its higher drag figures (taken in neutral gear, coasting down from 110 mph) supported that guess. However, to get another kind of answer I asked the possibly most learned pertroleum/lubricant engineer (degrees, certifications, etc.), Kevin Dinwiddie. He told me to use Castrol. He sells LE and could have recommended their LE607 (90 wt) or LE606 (80 wt?). Since he took his company out of the controversy, and therefore "doesn't have a dog in this fight" I felt his advice was well meant, and not self serving in any way."

The NV-4500 calls for an GL-4 oil. A GL-4 oil has about 1/2 the sulfur/phoshphorus anti wear additive as a GL-5 does. The LE 607 is a GL-5. NV Gear is asking for a lesser amount of sulfur/phoshphorus becasue of the possibility of the sulfur attacking the light metals in the transmission. Because yellow metals are primarily attacked at high temperatures, systhetic GL-5 oils may not pose a problem due to their lower operating temperatures. Many are using synthetic alternatives to the recommended Castrol oil, whether or not you should is a decision that you should based on your own research.

RedLine MT-90 GL-4 75-90 - recommended by some TDR members who claim it works well.

LE 607 SAE 90 has been used in this application for many years with no problems at all because of the buffer package that they use in the 607 product. It basicly keeps the sulfer in check and does not have an effect on the light metals. This is a quote from the back of the Technical Data Bulletin of the 607 "Use in differentials and transmissons (except those requiring non-ep pur mineral oil) in over-the-road and stop-n-go fleets and off highway equipment. Use in all heavily-loaded industrial enclosed gears. Especially appropriate for heavy donstruction equipment and farm machinery where service is severe. Should be used where drain periods may be longer than normal due to equipment being away from home terminals or difficult access. For use in worm gearboxes and in gearboxes that have bronze gears and thrust washers which require extreme pressure gear oil. Especially appropriate for bowl mills, pellet mills, rock and coal crushers, machine tool gearboxes, gear heads, soy bean oil extractors and other industrial applications.

Amsoil Series 2000 75W-90 - Many have reported success with with this oil. A few have reported that shifting was more difficult, most report improvements in the shifting.

  Last Update February 6, 2000