For Chevrolet drivers, one popular performance combination is the 5-speed manual transmission of the Chevrolet 350 engine, giving you a good boost as you drive.
But sometimes, your manual transmission can run into some trouble with a problem as serious as a dead battery or as simple as low fluid.
The Chevy 350 engine is a 5.7-liter V-8, a small block engine found in Chevrolet vehicles.
It can produce as much horsepower as 370 and as little as 145, depending on the make, year, and model of the car it is in.
With a Chevy 350 manual transmission, you can enjoy your driving experience and stay connected to your car.
Since Chevrolet vehicles are mostly paired with a manual transmission, it’s best to take proper care of yours when you get it.
What’s the Best Manual Transmission for Chevy 350?
There are different factors involved when choosing the best manual transmission for Chevy 350, and there is also a wide variety of options available to you.
It’s essential to figure out what you’re looking for before you start browsing the different options.
These important factors include your budget, traction or tires, type of ratio, power, performance, number of gears, type of cruiser, shift feel, and more.
It would help if you also researched different kinds of 5-speed manual transmissions before choosing the one for your Chevy small block engine.
5 Speed Manual Transmission for Chevy 350 [06 Common Problems]
Even with the best manual transmission for Chevy 350, you’re not free from problems like any other vehicle.
As long as you maintain your car regularly, you can prevent most of these issues.
Either way, here are the common problems associated with the five-speed manual transmission on Chevy 350.
01. Strange Noises in the Transmission
Firstly, you might be hearing a whirring or humming sound in the transmission, which is caused by low oil or fluid.
In some cases, when there is oil, it might have been contaminated with particles and metal shavings.
If you hear these sounds, it’s best to check your transmission oil first.
You might also hear the noise in a particular gear and not the entire transmission, and this is caused when the teeth or synchronizer are worn out or damaged.
In other cases, the whirring or humming noise sounds coming from outside, but it’s a problem with the transmission.
Another strange sound that you might hear from the transmission is a grinding noise.
This can be caused by clashing gears because of wear and tear, a broken shift fork or synchronizer, or wear and tear in the rail and bearing shafts.
If you can hear these noises, you should get your transmission checked out.
02. Transmission Jumps Out of Gear to Neutral
If you shift into gear and the transmission jumps out and into neutral, you are dealing with wear and tear in your transmission.
It can also be caused if the shift linkage is maladjusted, worn out, or stretched because of a broken transmission mount.
If the transmission is loose or misaligned, which can happen after servicing your car, it can also cause the gear to jump into neutral when you try to shift it.
But, you should check the transmission first and look for rust and binding before checking other vehicle parts.
03. Transmission Does Not Get Into Gear
If you’re having difficulties with getting your transmission to get into gear, this means there is a problem with your 5-speed manual transmission for Chevy 350 4×4.
You can start by checking the shift linkage in the manual transmission system, and if it is damaged, misaligned, or loose, you would have to fix this.
In some cases, this can be caused by the clutch.
The clutch of your Chevy might not be releasing fully, or it might have other issues, requiring you to adjust them so that you can use the gear.
04. Difficult to Shift Gears
You might also have trouble maneuvering the shift lever from one gear to another, which is caused by loose linkage in your five-speed manual transmission.
It might also be because of wear and tear in the shift cables or bearings.
It’s best to check the links, bearings, and shift cables first before other signs.
Your manual transmission can be hard to shift because of other minor causes.
These include a low level of transmission oil or using the wrong kind of oil, problems with the synchronizer, loose shift fork, shafts, levers, and other internal parts, wear and tear in the inner pieces, and a misaligned transmission.
05. Leaks from the Transmission
A leaking five-speed manual transmission is not uncommon, as many drivers end up dealing with it after using their Chevy for a while.
Leaks in your manual transmission system can be caused by loose bolts, worn-out gaskets or seals, bad or broken components, and the like.
If you want to check whether your transmission system is leaking fluid, you need to check the transmission case and oil level.
It might be leaking because you just replaced the oil and poured in too much.
If that isn’t the case, you can look out for damaged parts to find the cause.
06. Transmission is Stuck in Gear
There are different reasons why your manual transmission might be stuck in gear, starting with low or incorrect oil.
In some frustrating cases, you might not be able to get the transmission out of gear at all.
This, as you can imagine, would make driving safely very impossible.
Asides from the oil, it can be caused by linkage issues or problems with the shifter assembly.
The drive gear teeth can be broken, or the transmission can be misaligned too.
You can verify this by checking for broken shifter arms, rods, bushings, wear and tear, and maladjustment.
Once you identify the problem, you can get it fixed.
The solution to Chevy 350 5-Speed Manual Transmission Problems
If there is a problem with your five-speed manual transmission for Chevy 350, you can follow different troubleshooting processes to get it fixed.
You can do some of these by yourself if you’re handy with tools, although going for professional help is also acceptable when you’ve done all you can.
Solution 01: Use an OBD-II Scanner
When troubleshooting your Chevy transmission, the first thing you should do is read the fault codes using a diagnostic OBD-2 scanner.
These are very affordable to purchase online and at your local tool store.
You will read the transmission codes from the PCM/TCM module. Keep in mind that you need to buy a scanner that supports manual transmission.
To use the diagnostic scanner, find the port under the driver’s dashboard and plug it in.
Then, turn on your Chevy and the scanner.
On the scanner’s screen, you can select Chevy and the model you are using.
Based on the design of the scanner, you should find the control unit and select Manual Transmission.
Then, read the fault codes.
While you can clear the codes using the scanner, it’s best to fix the underlying problem before doing so, as this is only a temporary solution.
You can understand the meaning of the codes by checking the scanner’s manual and identifying the cause of your faulty transmission.
When checking the fault code, you should pay extra focus to those that have a current status.
Once you know the problem, you can fix it yourself if you’re skilled or hire a professional.
Solution 02: Check Pump Operation
Your 5-speed manual transmission for Chevy 350 4WD might also be failing because there’s something wrong with the functioning of the pump.
Malfunctioned or faulty pump will stop the vehicle suddenly, you may think the problem lies in the gearbox, but actually, the faulty fluid pump is the main culprit.
You first have to figure out whether the pump is working or not.
To do so, you should check the transmission fluid level in the pump when the engine is off and on.
First, do the former. Next, start the engine of your Chevy and run through all the gears while you’re parked.
Put the gear back to Park and check the fluid level.
The pump is working if the transmission fluid level went down from when the engine was off to on.
If not, the pump isn’t working because the level of oil remains the same.
Now that you have identified this as the problem, you can visit a mechanic to fix or completely replace the pump on your Chevy 350 five-speed manual transmission.
Solution 03: Check Transmission Fluid
Saving the most common for the last, low or incorrect transmission fluid in your Chevy 350 manual transmission can cause many problems.
These include harsh or delayed shifting or even no shifting at all.
If you suspect that something is wrong with your manual transmission, you should check if you have any oil in the system.
If not, avoid driving the Chevy until you fix it, or you would further damage your transmission.
Asides from having a low level of transmission fluid in your Chevy 350 five-speed manual transmission, you might also be using the wrong kind of oil.
Before purchasing any transmission oil, crosscheck if Chevrolet recommends it.
To check the amount of transmission fluid in your Chevy, you should start by setting the parking brakes and opening the hood.
Then, remove the transmission dipstick while the engine is running and the car is parked.
This isn’t the same as the engine dipstick, and not all Chevy models have this.
If yours doesn’t, you will find an oil fill plug on the side of the manual transmission.
Clean the dipstick with a clean cloth and dip it into the spot.
Then, remove it and check the level.
It should be between the Minimum and Maximum range and should look pink to clear in color.
If not, you should either add more fluid or change it if it isn’t enough or contaminated.
You can also check this visual guide on checking transmission fluid levels.
Solution 04: Hire Professional Help
Once your Chevy 350 manual transmission shows signs of damage or wear and tear, you should immediately check the fluid level and read the codes to identify the problem.
If you can’t do any of these yourself, don’t attempt to, as you can end up paying even more in repair costs.
Instead, visit a mechanic or a Chevrolet dealer so that they can identify the problem and fix it.
In the worst case, you would have to remove it altogether and replace your manual transmission.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Convert my 4-Speed to 5-Speed Manual Transmission on Chevy 350?
Yes, you can.
If you want to give your Chevy 350 more power and use a 4-speed manual transmission, you can convert it to a 5-speed system instead.
To do so, you have to take your vehicle to the mechanic to fix it up and swap the 4-speed with the 5-speed manual transmission.
After exchanging your manual transmission, you can enjoy a better on-road driving experience with the Chevy 350.
What Causes Leaks from my Chevy 350 Manual Transmissions?
Your chevy 5-speed manual transmission 4×4 might be leaking because of a broken component in the system.
Although in some cases, it’s simply because you poured in too much oil, and so you would have to remove some of it.
The leak can also be between the transmission and the engine, which is caused by the pump bushing or transmission seal being damaged and needing replacement.
If this is the case, you need to remove the entire transmission from your Chevy before replacing the broken parts.
How Can I Maintain my 5-Speed Manual Transmission?
You can do so by inspecting it annually for abnormalities and periodically checking the transmission fluid and other parts before driving.
You should also flush your transmission regularly or based on Chevy recommendations and service the cooling system too.
What is the best 5-speed manual chevy transmission for 350?
It’s very difficult to state one name.
Different users will state different names.
But according to our research manual transmission from Patriot is reliable.
What is the best 5-speed manual transmission for the 1986 chevy 350 4×4?
As we mentioned in FAQ 04, the transmission from Patriot is the best 5-speed manual transmission for the 1986 chevy 350.
Now that you know the common problems with Chevy 5-speed manual transmission and how to solve them, you can jump into action whenever you suspect that something is wrong with your system.
You can also purchase a diagnostic tool for a manual transmission to have at hand and always maintain your Chevy 350 and manual transmission to prevent future problems.