How to Identify Transmissions in '94 Chevy Trucks

A variety of transmissions were used on 1994 Chevrolet trucks. The transmissions included automatic models 4L60 and 4L80, the Borg Warner T5 manual and New Venture manual models 3500 and 4500. These transmissions each require a different visual identification process, however, locating the identification tag attached to the driver's side of the transmission case is a start. Since this tag may or may not be present, visual methods are necessary for identification. Having a manual or automatic transmission determines the steps to be taken.

Step 1 - Locate the ID tag. Normally riveted to the transmission case, this tag identifies the transmission by model number. Automatic transmissions include a portion of the vehicle identification number, or VIN, which can be matched to the VIN tag found on the lower left corner of the driver's side dashboard. According to Motivegear.com, Borg Warner T5 model numbers begin with "1352."

Step 2 - View the pan located on the bottom of 4L60 and 4L80 automatic transmissions. According to Malibu Racing.com, the 4L60 has a square pan with 16 bolts. The 4L80 has a rectangular pan with one rounded corner and 17 bolts fastening the pan to the transmission.

Step 3 - Identify the New Venture 3500 and 4500 visually. According to Motivegear.com, the NV4500 has a cast-iron casing with an aluminum shift cover on top. The bell housing is not integral to the transmission and warning labels may be attached to the transmission specifying the use of Castrol Syntec fluid only. The NV3500 is an all-aluminum casting with the bell housing integral to the transmission.

Step 4 - Identify the Borg Warner T5. The Borg Warner T5 is a five-speed, "toploading" transmission with a square waffle-pattern aluminum casing. A removable top cover, allowing access to the transmission identifies a "toploader." The T5 is illustrated on Motivegear.com's Domestic Truck Transmission Guide.

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