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  #1  
Old 02-13-2018, 08:07 PM
HalfBreed HalfBreed is offline
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Default Fj40: NV4500 vs SM465

Hey guys! Mid deep in my sbc V8 fj40 build and have come to the point of deciding what transmission to use. The ultimate goal is 37-38s and want to still be able to drive to trails and around town. I've read and reread many threads on mud and pirate on the sm420, sm465, h42, and nv4500. The H41/H55 are out of the question due to cost.

I'm leaning in the direction of the 465 and the 4500 for the gear ratios and being a little newer than the 420. I've heard that both the SM's shift a little rougher and slower.
My first choice would be the 4500 because of the over drive. However im a little nervous to do it because it's such a long transmission.
So my question is, is the length really the only downside to the 5speed? Any other problems that commonly arise?
And for those who have done either swap, would you do it again? Anything you dislike about it? Were all the little problems worth it?.
Any other trannys I'm over looking?
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:59 PM
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I have the NV4500 and the 5 speed is really awesome. I had looked at an SBC with a 4 speed and the vibrations on the highway and engine whine were a lot higher. True, it was a different truck so there was likely more different than the Tranny

The Drive shaft is much shorter due to the 5 speed and I think that in itself causes some minor vibrations at highway speeds starting around 70MPH

In post 25 I discussed how I shimmed the rear axle to get the best angle on both sides of the driveshaft. I think that is even more important with a short shaft
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:39 PM
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NV4500 better for pavement pounding. SM465 lower first gear and shorter case better crawler potential. But both will run the HWY with the right axle gears at 70MPH. Me, I'd rather have a slush box personally so what help am I?

I have a SM465 laying around for the record but no bell housing.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:04 AM
SteveH SteveH is offline
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I have an SM465 in my GMC plow truck. I love the gear ratios for plowing. Shift effort is very high - my daughter had to use both hands to get it into 3rd gear! Bombproof, but not a user-friendly transmission, if you're used to an H42.

With 37s, even running 4.11s, I'd think you'd have all the rubber-overdrive you need for highway use.

I think an NV4500 would give your truck more resale appeal, but 465s are tough and short and cheap.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:28 AM
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I don't know much about anything but for an FJ40 it seems an SM465 makes the most sense. Is O/D really worth the potential driveline issues in a short wheel base, lifted truck? For a wagon, sure, you got the wheelbase and so it's there for what-if. I mean, how often are you going to cruise along in 5th for long periods anyway? With the nice, low 1st you can dial in axle gearing and tire size to keep the 4th gear RPM comfortable enough for an hour or two on I-70 heading to Moab.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:31 AM
White Stripe White Stripe is offline
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5 speed will be tough for 37s due to drivetrain length unless you stretch the rear axle back a good 4 inches or so. The nv4500 is a good transmission. If cost is a concern I would just go sm465 with a plate adapter rather than the advance adapters 5 inch long adapter. I would do a sm465 again, unless I had the money for a h55f because I think it has a nice gear spread. The sm465 is basically a 3 speed trans with a extra gear for pulling semi trucks out of ditches or crawling in moab. I use it for the ladder. The front seal is hard to install without tearing. With 35s and 4:11s I don't think I would use a 5th gear too much if I had it. With the orion tcase I get about 100:1 1st gear. With stock tcase gearing you get 65ish:1.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:32 AM
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After having owned 3 FJ40's and now having the 5 speed, I wouldn't go back to a 4 speed. Some use the Toyota 5 speed and am not sure if that is shorter. I think its an HF55?
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:06 PM
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If any trans is possible in your build I would do an H55. Great shifting, excellant gear spread and bullet proof. The sm465 would be, and is, a great choice if rock crawling and moderate highway travel is your need. Personnally, I would never put a 4500 in a 40. They are bulletproof and excellant shifting but they dont fit well and the gear spread between 2nd and third is less than ideal as does the very tall ratio of reverse. In my 40 I went slush box and love it! Best choice for technical crawling and works well herding low gears and 40 tires down the road. Also is a natural choice for big snow.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:40 PM
HalfBreed HalfBreed is offline
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Awesome! Thanks a lot for all the feed back! Sounds like the Sm465 is the way to go for my intentions.
I like the plate style over AAs, but the only ones I'm finding are for the sm420. I know Merl used to sell them, is that still the case?
However. As Corbet and Uncle Ben mentioned, is there any reason not to go with an auto?
My main wheeler and daily is a 5 speed Tacoma, and while I love it, there have been moments where an automatic would be nice to have. And reading through many builds, lots end up going to the slush boxes, so should i just skip a step and go straight to it?
I wheel just about every terrain, except mud. Would the Sm465 be too difficult to shift quickly, say in the snow?
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:21 PM
White Stripe White Stripe is offline
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The only plus I have found of a manual trans over a auto in offroad situations is when the truck starts to endo. I naturally just push in the clutch and it rolls out of it but thats rare for me. In a auto you would have to gas it or shift it in reverse and gas it depending on which way your going. In the real technical stuff the auto lets you mostly just focus on braking and gas. In snow or mud a auto would be superior I would think in every way. So its up to you really and what you want. You would have to call classic cruisers about the plate adapter. Worst case hopefully you could get the cad plans and have one made. Its a simple piece.
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