You will absolutely need an fsm that covers this transmission. The dis-assembly and reassembly procedure covers 42 pages. All but a very few illustrations are clear and concise, I only noted one error in the inspection/repair area and one slight omission in the rebuild area.
This is in a 2001 dodge ram fsm, I do not know if there was a change between earlier than 99 nv3500's and 2001 to make this technically correct in the 01 manual.
The first error is:
correction. the counter shaft bearings and races do come in the rebuild kit. You need a pilot bearing puller to remove the races and a good bearing driver to seat them in. freezing the races is advisable as is heating the case if you can.
you do need all of the special tools the fsm outlines.
if you aren't doing the shift rail bushings, WHICH DO NOT COME IN THE MASTER REBUILD KIT, you don't need a couple of the special depth setting bushing installers.
shift rail bushings don't seem to wear out much. unless there's more serious mechanical damage than even i noted, i doubt you'll be into that at all.
Taking my time, with a gimpy helper, the correct tools, and a not too cluttered shop the rebuild took around 12hrs. Without the special tools, especially the fixture stand, I don't think i could have gotten it done in less than 18hrs.
If I didn't have the special tools I would have needed to still have a good set of bearing/seal drivers, a bunch of different diameters of pipe for on the press, and three sets of monkey hands.
(I assume you've managed to get this thing on a work bench, with the shift tower already off)
trans MUST be in neutral before you start dis-assembly
NOTE: there is a lock ring around the od of that bearing you can see from the front. This is only used to set mounting depth and doesn't retain the bearing in the housing. This caused a few minutes of pause when we were trying to disassemble the case originally without the aid of the fsm.
you can now either use a punch to push the locating dowels through and slide the case half off, or use a dead blow to pop the front half off the pins, up to you. You'll need to remove the dowels for re-installation of the case halves anyways later.
This is with the front case half removed and the 3/4 shift fork, shift bushing, and rail already out.
As seen in that last pic.
Now comes the fun.
Once again, just like with t-case work, a very good set of lock ring pliers, in a medium or large size, is invaluable here.
I took next to no pictures at this point, we were paying too much attention to what we were doing to remember the camera action. The fsm has excellent illustrations to rely on though.
Inspect the ends for excessive wear on the bearing surfaces. Inspect the gear teeth for sharp edges, burrs, chips, or discoloration. The counter shaft is a one piece unit, if you find any damage replace it. They can be had on ebay, used, for less than 100$ most weeks.
Now we work the main shaft over. Lol.
BE VERY CAREFUL HANDLING THE SYNCHRO HUBS! They have three dogs with springs and small ball bearings in them that retain the shift collar in position.(mainly the neutral position)I did not think of a way to keep them from coming apart while pulling them, so just wrap the whole thing in a rag and work on a clean surface so you can find the balls and springs when they go flying. Pull them apart as you get to them before setting up for the next pull on the shop press so you aren't chasing them too far
Note/take a picture of the orientation so that you put it back in with the channels spinning the right way.
Follow fsm procedure for removing the gears and hubs from here on, it's clear and straight forward. You need a bearing separator/puller capable of opening to 9", DO NOT USE A 3 JAW PULLER ON ANYTHING HERE!
If any of the ramps on the gears are damaged you'll need to buy them separate, they are considered a "hard" part and are not part of the master rebuild kit.
Springs, ball bearings, and snap rings are also not included in the master rebuild kit, they're in a "small parts kit" easily found on ebay as well.
Inspect the main shaft for wear and damage. Especially on the bearing surfaces
you can see the needle bearing surfaces are a little scuffed, but nothing too crazy. i'd say this shaft is in good shape for over 120k on it.
shift collars are directional and gear cluster specific!Make a note of their orientation and the orientation of the synchro hubs on the shaft. Fifth/reverse synchro hub is directional , the others aren't.
Gears on the main shaft are in this order.
This is the most tedious portion of the rebuild. I wanted to decapitate a puppy during this process. I was swearing like I had tourettes.
Apparently you need fairly large hands to do this job easily, and more patience than I was demonstrating. My friend mike made reasonably short work of them after some trial and error.
There is a special cup to sit the fifth gear synchro hub on while pressing the other hubs onto the main shaft. I highly recommend purchasing it as it has a lip/seat to make sure things don't go slipping on you.
Careful handling those hubs or you may want to shoot people from a clock tower before the day is out.
The only thing the fsm glosses over in assembly is the synchro set up around the 1/2 hub.
There is a center metal ring with four slots called an intermediate ring on both sides. A bronze friction cone with tabs goes around that, then the synchro ring.
Everything else is covered well to the point of putting it back together on the fixture. Really straight forward and the instructions show every step.
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