How to Identify a Dodge Cummins 3500 Transmission

by Floyd Drake III

Cummins' diesel engines have been used by the Dodge Ram 3500 since 1989 and include the ISB 5.9-liter and the QSB 6.7-liter diesels. Currently, the 6.7-liter is the standard engine on all new Ram 3500 models. Transmissions offered with the Cummins diesel include the Chrysler-manufactured 47RH and RE automatics, as well as the Getrag G360 and New Venture 4500 and 5600 manual transmissions. Determining if the transmission is manual or automatic and, if manual, whether it is five- or six-speed, are the first steps to identifying the Ram 3500 transmission.

Step 1

Determine the transmission type. By first identifying whether the transmission is automatic or manual essentially identifies the transmission on the Ram 3500. The automatic is either the 47RE or RH, and the five-speed manual is either the Getrag 360 or the NV4500. A six-speed transmission indicates the NV5600. Further identification is necessary to confirm the transmission in question.

Step 2

Identify the New Venture transmission model using visual clues. According to the website Motive Gear, the NV 4500 is a five-speed manual with a cast-iron case and aluminum shift cover. The NV 5600 six-speed, used from 1998 and later, has a cast-iron case with an aluminum bell housing. Both units are large and heavy, with the NV 4500 weighing 200 pounds and the 5600 weighing 360 pounds. Both transmissions were issued with an ID tag on the driver's side, which, if present, identifies the transmission's model number.

Step 3

Confirm the automatic transmission. The Chrysler-manufactured automatic 47Re and RH transmissions are identifiable by finding the ID tag attached to the transmission housing. According to Dodge Ram, the 47 Series is identified by the numbers stamped on the driver's side of the transmission housing. The difference between the RH and RE variations is the method of control; the RE is electronically controlled and the RH is hydraulically controlled.

Step 4

Identify the Getrag 360 five-speed manual transmission. The Getrag 360 was only used on 1989 to 1993 Ram trucks with four-wheel drive and was later replaced by the NV4500. It has a cast-iron case and an aluminum shift cover and the housing is clearly marked with the Getrag name above the six-bolt side cover on the driver's side of the transmission.

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