Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-16-2018, 01:16 PM   #1
Ed Wendell
Senior Member
 
Ed Wendell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 138
Smile Love our new mitchell overdrive

PICKED UP OUR CAR THIS WEEK WITH THE MITCHELL INSTALLED. LOVE IT, PURRS ON OUR CALIFORNA FREWAYS. MOST OF OUR CLUB TOURS INVOLVE SOME FREWAY DRIVING. WILL BE NICE TO KEEP UP WITH THE GROUP NOW. SHOULD HAVE PUT IT IN DURING THE RESTORATION.
Ed
Ed Wendell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 04:45 PM   #2
HDowse
Senior Member
 
HDowse's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hancock, New Hampshire
Posts: 224
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Ed, Congratulations on the new overdrive. What ratio did you pick and what shifter, cable or 'gear shift'? I’d like one for my '40 that has a 4:11 rear end and need to make those decisions. Thanks, Hunt
HDowse is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 12-16-2018, 10:08 PM   #3
TerryH
Senior Member
 
TerryH's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Fountain Valley, Calif.
Posts: 768
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

It took me one fifteen minute ride in a friend’s Model A Roadster to be convinced how nice and practical a Mitchell OD was in a Model A. To me, it is basically like a 4th gear. I also live in S. California, and I use mine all the time, not just on freeways. Even on fast moving surface streets, I shift in OD anytime I hit 40-45 mph....it’s that easy, and I really enjoy how quiet and smooth the Model A is in OD at 45-50 mph.
TerryH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 10:21 PM   #4
NZ28ModelA
Member
 
NZ28ModelA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 73
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

I am super keen on getting some sort of overdrive but are not thrilled with the idea of another shift lever in the cramped floor. Do we have other options?
NZ28ModelA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2018, 11:28 PM   #5
daveymc29
Senior Member
 
daveymc29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Danville, CA
Posts: 1,315
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

I like you was not a fan of the second shifter lever. Had the o/d for several years and decided to have it checked out so took it back and Steve opened it up and replaced a balk ring or two. He also sold me a very well thought out shiift cable that mounts onto my transmission shifter like on the 18 wheelers I have driven in the past. I have 3:54 rear gears and a 26% o.d, Steve told me that he could have saved me some money had I contacted him before I put in the 3:54's. I had 411 and he said that was ideal with a 36% o/d which he can make. I have a stock 3.78 in my coupe with a 36% B/W and wish it were the Mitchell, but it is fine. Just that the 3:78 seems a bit high for long grades, Talk to Steve before you decide. I do like the cable shifter on the stick and both O/D's are controlled that way. The B/W was prone to popping back into free wheeling so I put a couple of rubber bands around the controller on the stick. doesn't shift itself anymore.
daveymc29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 12:54 AM   #6
Ed Wendell
Senior Member
 
Ed Wendell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 138
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Hunt,
Our OD is the 36% with the shift lever on the floor.
Ed
Ed Wendell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 12:04 PM   #7
larrys40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: St Charles , Missouri
Posts: 1,675
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDowse View Post
Ed, Congratulations on the new overdrive. What ratio did you pick and what shifter, cable or 'gear shift'? I’d like one for my '40 that has a 4:11 rear end and need to make those decisions. Thanks,

Hunt

I'm a complete advocate for the Mitchell in an "A" but As an alternative for the '40 which would work slicker and be period I might suggest a columbia 2-speed. I have one in my '40 convert and it is a pleasure to drive.

A little expensive if you are starting from square one so maybe that's a factor...

John Connelly has parts available and services for bulletproofing.

http://www.columbiatwospeedparts.com/


You might see if there's someone in your area that has a columbia so you can see the difference in how it drives and works.



Larry Shepard
larrys40 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 12:17 PM   #8
Ernie Vitucci
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 274
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Good Morning all... I also have a Mitchell overdrive which was put in in 2005 and it has been trouble free ever since...I quickly got used to the additional shift and don't even have to look...Sue did make me a longer shift handle so that it is at the same length as my normal shifter and I like it a lot. Ernie in Arizona
Ernie Vitucci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 04:01 PM   #9
NZ28ModelA
Member
 
NZ28ModelA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 73
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveymc29 View Post
I like you was not a fan of the second shifter lever. Had the o/d for several years and decided to have it checked out so took it back and Steve opened it up and replaced a balk ring or two. He also sold me a very well thought out shiift cable that mounts onto my transmission shifter like on the 18 wheelers I have driven in the past. I have 3:54 rear gears and a 26% o.d, Steve told me that he could have saved me some money had I contacted him before I put in the 3:54's. I had 411 and he said that was ideal with a 36% o/d which he can make. I have a stock 3.78 in my coupe with a 36% B/W and wish it were the Mitchell, but it is fine. Just that the 3:78 seems a bit high for long grades, Talk to Steve before you decide. I do like the cable shifter on the stick and both O/D's are controlled that way. The B/W was prone to popping back into free wheeling so I put a couple of rubber bands around the controller on the stick. doesn't shift itself anymore.
Thanks for that.. What company does Steve work for?

Kindest regards
NZ28ModelA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 04:24 PM   #10
Ruth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Glide, Oregon
Posts: 272
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by NZ28ModelA View Post
Thanks for that.. What company does Steve work for?

Kindest regards
Steve Mitchell...
Ruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 04:59 PM   #11
AL in NY
Senior Member
 
AL in NY's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern Upstate New York
Posts: 864
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Ed, for the same money, you could have purchased an F150 OD transmission from Dave Delume and had a full synco transmission with OD and nobody would have been able to tell you had it unless they crawled under the car. Best of luck with the Mitchell, it's a good upgrade.
__________________
AL in NY
AL in NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 05:18 PM   #12
Synchro909
Senior Member
 
Synchro909's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,412
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

I have 3 mitchell O/Ds in my 3 cars and a 4th on the way Two of them have cable shifts and I made one of those myself. The latest car will also get an O/D. As far as I'm concerned, one of the features of the Mitchell is that the cross member doesn't have to be butchered.
I saw a gearbox conversion on show at Reno earlier in the year, which I liked because the crossmember was left unmolested and I told the vendor I so, only it is useless. That brought a frown to his face until I said that I would need it RHD. He had gone to all of the trouble of designing a shorter bell housing, making a pattern, casting and machining it etc when for virtually no extra, he could have made it universal. His pride turned to disappointment that he hadn't thought about it beforehand. "I should have spoken to you before I started", he said
I guess it is partly to do with the size of the market, partly lack of thought that you guys don't have RHD on your radar but often, it takes no extra to make a component ambidextrous. That leaves we RHD owners with far fewer options than you guys in the US. That brings me to another nice thing about the Mitchell - they HAVE considered RHD and make a RHD version of the shift lever. The unit in the torque tube is exactly the same, which highlights that it usually doesn't take much to make something RHD compatible.
__________________
Life's journey is best undertaken slowly.
Synchro909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2018, 09:09 PM   #13
TerryH
Senior Member
 
TerryH's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Fountain Valley, Calif.
Posts: 768
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Unless you are trying to squeeze 3 people in the front seat, I’ve never understood why the OD lever is an issue...it’s not in my way, or my passenger. I also have a stock 3.78 rear end and the 26% Mitchell, which most think is ideal. Unless you live in the mountains, I don’t see why one would want the 4.11 and a 36% OD.....the stock Model A gears are already pretty low.....
TerryH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2018, 10:36 AM   #14
daveymc29
Senior Member
 
daveymc29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Danville, CA
Posts: 1,315
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Some folks still find it safer to get out of the vehicle on the curb side. An extra lever makes that just a tad more difficult as one ages. Not the end of the world, but then the cable shifter came to mind so what's to dislike? I know it isn't stock but neither is the Mitchell. Just choices we have and makes me happy, my car so not trying to please anyone else. Gear choices are up to the individual with the Mitchell. They will make what you feel you need. 4:11 W36% is what Steve suggested to me would be optimum given our driving habits in CA.
daveymc29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2018, 10:52 AM   #15
30 Closed Cab PU
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,402
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

What is the ballpark cost to have one installed (parts + labor combined) by a shop?
30 Closed Cab PU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2018, 02:01 AM   #16
Ed Wendell
Senior Member
 
Ed Wendell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 138
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

The unit costs around $2400. Price varries depending on shipping and taxes.
Installation around $800 to 1000.
Ed Wendell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2018, 02:36 AM   #17
apbright
Senior Member
 
apbright's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 157
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

A lot has been written on other threads (and in other publications) about the merits of the Mitchell overdrive, and I would disagree with none of it. That said, here's another 2:

While in principle higher top-speeds could be achieved with ever narrower rear-end ratios (3.07:1 anyone?), I think my own real love derives from peculiarities of any (near) stock Model A engine. The comparatively long stroke of the Model A crankshaft, to my understanding, means it has a relatively narrow useful range of rpm. A stock engine is done at 2500 rpm, and other than overhead valve conversions, significant modifications (counterweighted crankshaft, high compression heads, high-flow/Weber carburetors, modern dizzy's, pressurized oil sys.), don't really extend that range much beyond 3000. Versus a modern engine, this narrowness really motivates a five or six-speed transmission, the latter being what a Mitchell OD ultimately provides. On my everyday drives, when starting from a red light, I always go 1st, 2nd, 2nd+OD, and then into 3rd. Going up very steep hills (e.g. Nob Hill in SF), 1st + OD is more than just showing off. I'm sure I could hack a modern VW six-speed with enough welding, custom casting, etc., but if I would do all of that, why not swap out the engine for 200kg of Lithium-Ion batteries, and the Banjo Housing for a 100hp electric motor? (Actually, the State of California, bless it, may force me to do that some day...)

As for that additional transmission stick: Yes, when having two passengers in the front seat, if one of them isn't a small child, it does require an additional exertion of nimbleness so as not to accidentally fondle that passenger immediately to one's right - especially if it is your employee's charming British wife after the company Christmas party. Having made it though that without becoming Silicon Valley's latest #MeToo poster child, is, well, yet another #ModelA_Moment.

Last edited by apbright; 12-19-2018 at 02:54 AM.
apbright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2018, 02:27 PM   #18
30 Closed Cab PU
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,402
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Wendell View Post
The unit costs around $2400. Price varries depending on shipping and taxes.
Installation around $800 to 1000.

Thanks ED, my A is in the shop being worked on, considered adding the OD, but is too costly for my budget at that price, and I do not Tour with it.
30 Closed Cab PU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2018, 09:55 AM   #19
Gene F
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 135
Default Re: Love our new mitchell overdrive

I have a B/W. The overdrive makes the car 1) useful, and 2) enjoyable. Plus I can keep a filling in my tooth.
Gene F is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:09 AM.