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Old 11-24-2008, 09:46 PM   post #1 of 15
mbkerk
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Default Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Well... it finally happened to me!

I have a 98.5 Dodge / Cummins combination. Mine happens to be 4 wheel drive, and have the now infamous NV 4500 5 speed transmission.

I spun the 5th gear nut off the other day. Just driving down the highway, and suddenly no more go! After a few anxious moments trying to figure out what was wrong, downshifting to 4th (worked fine) and back to 5th (still no go) it hit me as to what had happened.

There are only 2 types of NV4500 transmissions in Dodge and GM diesel pickups... those who have had this problem, and those who are going to!

So... my question! Has anyone here done this repair themselves, and if so what can I expect? I have learned that it is fairly simple, and it can be done on the truck, except in my case I have to drop the transfer case.

The dealer told me $800 to fix it. Parts are only $150! For the $650 they want for labor, I will do it myself. The kit is an upgrade and has improvements so that is does not happen again.

If you have done this repair, I would sure like to hear you stories!
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Last edited by mbkerk; 11-24-2008 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:08 PM   post #2 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

I've got the auto in my 97 so I can't say how to fix it. But I'm sure if you look here you'll fine what you need. http://www.dieseltruckresource.com/dev/index.php

M.D.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:00 AM   post #3 of 15
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Yikes Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbkerk View Post
Well... it finally happened to me!

I have a 98.5 Dodge / Cummins combination. Mine happens to be 4 wheel drive, and have the now infamous NV 4500 5 speed transmission.

I spun the 5th gear nut off the other day. Just driving down the highway, and suddenly no more go! After a few anxious moments trying to figure out what was wrong, downshifting to 4th (worked fine) and back to 5th (still no go) it hit me as to what had happened.

There are only 2 types of NV4500 transmissions in Dodge and GM diesel pickups... those who have had this problem, and those who are going to!

So... my question! Has anyone here done this repair themselves, and if so what can I expect? I have learned that it is fairly simple, and it can be done on the truck, except in my case I have to drop the transfer case.

The dealer told me $800 to fix it. Parts are only $150! For the $650 they want for labor, I will do it myself. The kit is an upgrade and has improvements so that is does not happen again.

If you have done this repair, I would sure like to hear you stories!

Mark,

When you thinking of doing the repair, I could help you if the timing is right, would like to learn how it all works?
You need a real pickup (GMC) to haul the parts for you?
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:54 AM   post #4 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

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Mark,

When you thinking of doing the repair, I could help you if the timing is right, would like to learn how it all works?
You need a real pickup (GMC) to haul the parts for you?
I told Katy I thought we could do it on Thursday!

It was that big Tuesday trailer pushing me that messed it up!

FYI... The GM pickups with the 6.5 diesel had the same transmission for a while, and the same problem, though not as prevelant as in the Dodge / Cummins trucks. Seems the more HP you have the quicker the nut backed off!
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:34 AM   post #5 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

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Originally Posted by Mighty Dodge View Post
I've got the auto in my 97 so I can't say how to fix it. But I'm sure if you look here you'll fine what you need. http://www.dieseltruckresource.com/dev/index.php

M.D.

Thanks for the link MD! I spent an hour over there looking at solutions! Very helpful!
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:31 AM   post #6 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

that sucks mark... 650$ in labor - ouch... man nothing is cheap nowadays...
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:44 PM   post #7 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Well... there was no more putting it off! Had to get the pickup fixed.

I lined up my BIL Mike (Hillbilly), warmed up the shop, and started the big job!

As I lay under the truck contemplating where to start, I kept thinking... the he!! with this! I am going to farm this out!

One phone call to the guy I had put a clutch in this truck a while back, and his estimate of $800 to $1200 was all the kick in the a$$ I needed to get started!

Once Mike and I came up with a plan, it really didn't go all that bad. Took probably 2 hours to get it apart. It was really great to see that the 5th gear nut really had spun off! I knew that was what was wrong, but until you can actually see it, you just never know what is behind that next cover!

Here are a couple of visual aids for ya!

First picture is with the rear cross member and the transfer case removed. The transfer case adapter / rear transmission cover is also removed. Mike and I fabbed up a quicky support from an old trailer hitch and a couple of "J" bolts to hold up the transmission and the rear of the engine as we had to remove the cross member.



This next shot is of the components involved. I don't have it back together yet. I had to see what was going on in there so I could line up the parts I need.

Notations on the picture should explain everything! The splines and the threads on the main shaft seem fine, so I think the upgraded gear and nut package should cure my problem.



More pictures when it goes back together!
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:27 PM   post #8 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Getting ready to put this back together! I have got to get this truck out of my shop and into the storage shed so I can have some room to get on with more projects!

First off... here is the upgraded 5th gear nut. You can see it is "split" and there is a set screw through the side that pinches it tight after you have it torqued down. The nut, new thrust washer, and the lock-tite in the kit were $80!



I am told that this nut, used in conjunction with lock-tite will correct this issue and I will not have the problem again. given the fact that I seldom drive the truck these days (under 2000 miles a year) I am sure I will be too old to fix it should it fail again!

Next problem... How to tighten the nut to the required 300 ft/lb of torque without the required special tool j-1234567890? Easy! Just call BIL "Hillbilly" and have him program up the laser machine to make a tool! Piece of cake... at least for me!

The "Hillbilly" special tool...




And the tool shown with the nut!



Thanks again Mike! You're handy to have around!

Got to go out and work on the truck now...
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:58 AM   post #9 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

All done! Back together and put to bed for the winter!

A picture of the "Hillbilly" wrench tightening up the nut... Red Locktite was part of the upgrade kit.



And a picture of all the "stuff" back in place... the truck is ready to roll!



Thanks again to my BIL Mike for all the help!
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:16 AM   post #10 of 15
Mark / Ohio
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Soooo Mark...

Didn't I hear you mention that anyone that needs that repair only needs to contact you and you'll do the job for half the price of the tranny shops?


Those photos will come in handy for the next guy to have that problem.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:43 AM   post #11 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Estimated time to do the work ???
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:35 AM   post #12 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Looks good--you did "it" right-I know you are glad--and BIL sounds real handy to have around--I'd stick that tool away somewhere--you never know

- IT seems like a bad design to start with--why not, also use a regular hex headed lock nut with a flat back surface to run the thrush washer against??? Why always some new fastener that takes a special tool? Oh--so only a dealer could work on it? (I keep loosing sight of reality/the real world here..):
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:09 AM   post #13 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

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Estimated time to do the work ???
I didn't really keep track Kevin. I know I could do the next one faster! I think that the job could be done start to finish in about 3 or 4 hours. The hardest part for me was dealing with the cross member that was involved. I had to put a hydraulic jack between the frame rails sideways to spread them so I could get it out and back in. Really though, the job looks worse than it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn27
IT seems like a bad design to start with--why not, also use a regular hex headed lock nut with a flat back surface to run the thrush washer against???
Type "5th gear nut" in a search engine sometime and look at all the content you will find about this issue. It was not a well thought out design, and there are a lot of "creative" fixes. I chose the Chrysler approved fix, though some do not think that one is good enough.

As far as the "special tool"... I have wondered why they cannot make things more "standard" for years. I think your right. It is to keep all of the amateurs like me out of this kind of work. Mechanics have to eat too!
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:45 AM   post #14 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark / Ohio View Post
Soooo Mark...

Didn't I hear you mention that anyone that needs that repair only needs to contact you and you'll do the job for half the price of the tranny shops?
You know... I could do that Mark, if anyone wants to bring their rig here for me to HELP them with the job!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark / Ohio View Post
Those photos will come in handy for the next guy to have that problem.
Tons of pictures on the internet of this, but since we have our own "Trucks" forum here, I thought I would share them with the hometown folks!
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:17 AM   post #15 of 15
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Default Re: Dodge / NV4500 5th Gear Issue

Nice job! It makes my projects look simple.
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