Needs Rebuild Kit for Mystery Chevy 4-Speed
Love the magazine (when I can get it around here-I live in a very small community, and no stores carry it). I have a question on where to find a rebuild kit for my '92 Chevy 1-ton NV 3500 manual transmission. It has a Centerforce dual-friction clutch system, so I need to have synchros, bearings, seals, etc., replaced. I have not found any place in Canada where I can get the rebuild parts in kit form. Apparently, they want the $2,900 (Canadian) to do the work, but won't sell the kit for me to do it myself. I have rebuilt six manuals before and got 200,000 miles out of them or sold the truck.
Comberemere, Ontario Canada
In 1988, General Motors made the totally awesome decision to replace the virtually indestructible SM 465 four-speed truck transmission (with its very desirable 6.55:1 granny gear) with a less-expensive aluminum-cased alternative called the "NV 3500." Until the 1993 model year, however, these gearboxes were only assembled at New Venture's Muncie, Indiana, plant, and were not actually designed by New Venture Gear. Your transmission is actually a Getrag-sourced model known as the HM290. It's often mistaken for an NV 3500 since it resembles the later-version New Venture box on the outside, but its internals are vastly different from the "genuine" 3500 model, which debuted the following model year.
Utilizing four separate shift-rail assemblies, each with its own dedicated springs, detent ball and so forth, instead of one main shift rail (as is the case with the "real" 3500), it is a complex unit that's prone to excessive countershaft endplay, and it's notoriously difficult to rebuild, even for a skilled technician; it also requires a number of special tools to do the job correctly. (We're guessing that's why "they" quoted you such a steep price for the rebuild, whoever they are.) We couldn't find anyone who offers a rebuild kit for this gearbox, and frankly, we'd suggest you ditch this trans and consider swapping in a '93-or-later NV3500 from a Chevy HD truck instead. From what we understand, it's a relatively straightforward swap.
Where, Oh Where, Are the Dakota Lift Kits?
Why can't I find any lift kits for my 2002 Dodge Dakota? Was there some kind of problem with that model year of Dakota? I thought when I bought the truck in 2006 that there would be a ton of kits for it. I wanted to get five inches of lift. Could you point me in the right direction?
A "ton of kits" for the Dakota? Bwahahahahahaaaa!!!
Sorry about that. For whatever reason, the Dakota has kind-of been the redheaded stepchild of the midsize truck segment for many years, with very few suspension lift options available for it. We don't know anyone who manufactures a 5-inch-or-greater stand-alone suspension kit, though you could combine, say, a 3-inch Rancho suspension system that was available at one time (essentially, it was a leveling kit) and a 3-inch body lift from Performance Accessories to achieve your desired amount of lift. There are other options for spacer/leveling/air-bag kits and body lifts out there, but you're going to need to mix and match components if you want to achieve the amount of elevation you're looking for.