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 05-05-2018, 06:16 AM   #1
roy green coupe
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 34
Default My Mitchell synchro trans experience

I wanted to make our coupe easier for my wife to drive so after much research on this forum and others I decided to order a synchronized transmission from Mitchell manufacturing. I ordered it through Snyders and waited a couple of months and they were nice enough to call and make sure I still wanted it before they shipped.
I was very impressed with how well the trans was packed and it arrived in good condition. A nice professional looking folder with instructions was included. I took several months to get the trans installed since I did a bunch of other things to the car over the winter.
Finally the day came where I could take the car out for a test. I was primarily focused on the brake adjustments and not the trans , I was so confident it would be fine. Well as others have commented second gear was pretty noisy, probably louder than my stock trans but shifted into high nice and smooth .
This is the part where things take a turn, as soon as I let off the throttle the trans popped out of gear. Well, back to the garage. I have bought other expensive aftermarket parts that didnt work as promised so I guess I shouldnt have been surprised.
In the paperwork that came with the trans there was a page dedicated to what to do if your trans "slides out of first or third gear after installation". Answer: Shift Tower Repositioning.
They go through several things to check after you tear the car back apart and pull the top off the trans. Check the Real Deal oil seal to make sure not interfering with shift rails, check for burrs in holes preventing cover from sliding forward as much as possible, remove gasket from between bell housing and trans top ( only .011" thick) , push shift tower forward as far as possible.
Another test, same result. Its a good thing I like working on old cars. One thing I noticed was when I put the top on it was apparent that the shift fork was too far rearward to line up with the shift collar when in neutral. Attempting to measure this seemed to confirm that moving the cover forward would be a fix but would require removing about .020 " of metal from the front of the shift tower.
Why would a brand new 2000.00 trans need to have this done? There are alot of places for the tolerances to stack up here. The shift fork is made by them,the shift rail with its detent positons is made by them. Perhaps the location of the synchro on the mainshaft varies from one case to the other ?
One thing I am sure of is this problem was built in and has nothing to do with what car it went in. With that said and the fact that Mitchell knows this is a problem and tells you so, I feel this should have been corrected before it was shipped.
The good news is after I machined the cover, basically enough to move forward as much as possible without slotting or enlarging the bolt holes, it now seems ok. I am a little concerned about the plastic shift pads on the forks wearing since this synchro seems to barely work when they are new. I feel very lucky that I didnt have to take this thing out and ship it 3000 miles and wait who knows how long for it to get fixed .
I found many other folks who seem to have had no problems with their Mitchell transmissions. I guess its a crapshoot if you get a good one, shouldnt be that way.
If I had to do this again I wouldnt take a chance on it unless I knew that Mitchell was addressing this problem. Some might ask " did you call Mitchell?". No, I did not , they already know there is a potential problem and said so in the instructions. Cost me 2000.00 and alot of stress to find this out.
roy green coupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2018, 07:22 AM   #2
slammin
Senior Member
 
slammin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Fruita, CO
Posts: 278
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

I don't have a Mitchell, but if I had the extra funds, I would consider one. Even though the instructions mention your problem, I think a call would have been the proper thing to do. They may have had a solution short of altering the transmission that may have involved returning just the shift tower.
slammin is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 05-05-2018, 07:29 AM   #3
1929
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: New York
Posts: 855
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

I have the Mitchell, works fine besides just a little tranny oil leaking.
1929 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2018, 07:51 AM   #4
MikeK
Senior Member
 
MikeK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Windy City
Posts: 2,809
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

What I find amazing is why anyone would throw $2,000 at a tranny with NO 1st gear synchro. Apparently they never shift into 1st while rolling? I tried a vehicle with a Mitchell for about 10 miles in city stop-go traffic. Hated it for that reason.

You are absolutely correct about their lack of fitting the assembled tower they send to the box. A few simple Go / NoGo fixtures in their shop would fix this before it went out the door.

As to the plastic (likely nylon) fork fingers, this is common on many transmissions and if you are a constant city traffic shift banger you may only get 10,000 miles out of a set. Likely will last the 1st owner's lifetime in an A.
__________________
Mechanical engineering 101: If you put an adjustment knob, screw, bolt, or tolerance specs on something, some people will immediately fiddle with it. If you mark it DO NOT TOUCH everyone will mess with it.
MikeK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2018, 09:35 AM   #5
Railcarmover
Senior Member
 
Railcarmover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 1,011
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

I bought an early overdrive unit second hand and had some questions so I called them,I didn't expect much given the age of the splitter and that I didn't buy it from them.

They answered all my questions as if I just put in an order for ten new ones,first class customer service..


plastic fork fingers reduce vibration and noise,they are common on late model stuff.
Railcarmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2018, 10:10 AM   #6
1929
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: New York
Posts: 855
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railcarmover View Post
I bought an early overdrive unit second hand and had some questions so I called them,I didn't expect much given the age of the splitter and that I didn't buy it from them.

They answered all my questions as if I just put in an order for ten new ones,first class customer service..


plastic fork fingers reduce vibration and noise,they are common on late model stuff.
Agree, the best customer service from the mitchells.
1929 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2018, 11:18 AM   #7
Benson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,857
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

... Found answer in post #1

Last edited by Benson; 05-05-2018 at 10:46 PM.
Benson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2018, 08:59 AM   #8
roy green coupe
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 34
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
What I find amazing is why anyone would throw $2,000 at a tranny with NO 1st gear synchro. Apparently they never shift into 1st while rolling? I tried a vehicle with a Mitchell for about 10 miles in city stop-go traffic. Hated it for that reason.

You are absolutely correct about their lack of fitting the assembled tower they send to the box. A few simple Go / NoGo fixtures in their shop would fix this before it went out the door.

As to the plastic (likely nylon) fork fingers, this is common on many transmissions and if you are a constant city traffic shift banger you may only get 10,000 miles out of a set. Likely will last the 1st owner's lifetime in an A.
I agree this could easily be fixed before shipment. Somewhere along the process a decision was made to simply let it go. Let the customer figure it out. There is really no excuse . This is not good business and insults the customer. No amount of good customer service can compensate for lack of quality control. The best products don't need warranty repairs.
roy green coupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
Railcarmover
Senior Member
 
Railcarmover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 1,011
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

What would have me concerned is there's .020 between it popping out of gear and staying meshed,that's a fine line,but they are stuffing two synchros in a case that wasn't designed for it.They ship without the shift tower on the transmission I assume,wonder why they don't set them up and dowel pin the tower/case so on final assembly you hit the spot dead on?.With a .020 variance pinning would give some peace of mind in my opinion.
Railcarmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2018, 12:17 PM   #10
California Travieso
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Moreno Valley, CA
Posts: 576
Send a message via Yahoo to California Travieso
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railcarmover View Post
What would have me concerned is there's .020 between it popping out of gear and staying meshed,that's a fine line,but they are stuffing two synchros in a case that wasn't designed for it.They ship without the shift tower on the transmission I assume,wonder why they don't set them up and dowel pin the tower/case so on final assembly you hit the spot dead on?.With a .020 variance pinning would give some peace of mind in my opinion.
a

Railcarmover,

That seems like the best solution. We do have to remember that many of the suppliers of Model A parts are small businesses and we need their products. I'm sure they would appreciate helpful suggestions to improve their product instead of angry calls.

I noted that the original poster said he ordered it through Snyders. I would think Snyders would have some responsibility as well unless they just have it shipped by Mitchell to the buyer.

Living in Southern California, I would rather drive up north to pick it up from the factory. It's a good excuse to continue on to Lake Tahoe!

Now that we know the problem, it might be a good idea to ask if they can ship it with the shift tower installed and tested.

David Serrano
California Travieso is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 01:40 PM   #11
M2M
Senior Member
 
M2M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: AUSTRALIA/USA/EU/RUSSIA
Posts: 644
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
What I find amazing is why anyone would throw $2,000 at a tranny with NO 1st gear synchro. Apparently they never shift into 1st while rolling?
That's a good point. In Australia we'd call it a "Clayton's syncro tranny", the syncro tranny you have when you're not having a syncro tranny.
__________________

M2M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 03:02 PM   #12
CarlG
Senior Member
 
CarlG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 8,377
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

That's the main reason I went with the F150 overdrive solution. I not only got synchromesh in all gears, but got overdrive at the same time.
__________________
Alaskan A's
Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska
Model A Ford Club of America
Model A Restorers Club
Antique Automobile Club of America
Mullins Owner's Club
CarlG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2018, 11:18 PM   #13
fixitphil
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 73
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

A friend had the exact same problem and he had to fix it himself with the included instructions.
__________________
FixitPhil
fixitphil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 12:35 AM   #14
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,369
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
That's the main reason I went with the F150 overdrive solution. I not only got synchromesh in all gears, but got overdrive at the same time.
That's the best move IMHO.
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 01:42 AM   #15
old31
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 942
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
That's the main reason I went with the F150 overdrive solution. I not only got synchromesh in all gears, but got overdrive at the same time.
X2 with what Carl said!
old31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 11:24 AM   #16
M2M
Senior Member
 
M2M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: AUSTRALIA/USA/EU/RUSSIA
Posts: 644
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
That's the main reason I went with the F150 overdrive solution. I not only got synchromesh in all gears, but got overdrive at the same time.

I agree with you but probably many go for the Mitchell despite the price and no syncro on 1st because it fits without cutting the car up and without roaming ebay or car graveyards for a suitable tranny.

My preferred option is the syncro "55mph in 2nd gear" Ruckstell transmission, see:

https://books.google.com/books?id=n-...rdrive&f=false


__________________

M2M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 01:13 PM   #17
CarlG
Senior Member
 
CarlG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 8,377
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by M2M View Post

I agree with you but probably many go for the Mitchell despite the price and no syncro on 1st because it fits without cutting the car up and without roaming ebay or car graveyards for a suitable tranny.

My preferred option is the syncro "55mph in 2nd gear" Ruckstell transmission, see:

https://books.google.com/books?id=n-...rdrive&f=false


In my case, there was no "cutting the car up", nor "roaming eBay or car graveyards". The kit I bought was a complete bolt in kit, installed in a weekend, complete with no extra parts needed.
__________________
Alaskan A's
Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska
Model A Ford Club of America
Model A Restorers Club
Antique Automobile Club of America
Mullins Owner's Club
CarlG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 03:36 PM   #18
M2M
Senior Member
 
M2M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: AUSTRALIA/USA/EU/RUSSIA
Posts: 644
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
In my case, there was no "cutting the car up", nor "roaming eBay or car graveyards". The kit I bought was a complete bolt in kit, installed in a weekend, complete with no extra parts needed.
Okay, sounds great. Where does one buy the kit you have? Price?
__________________


Last edited by M2M; 05-08-2018 at 04:05 PM.
M2M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 04:00 PM   #19
FRANK PKNY
Senior Member
 
FRANK PKNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: POUGHKEEPSIE NY 12601
Posts: 960
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

CarlG I have the same question that M@M has. Wher do you find such an item. ??????????????
__________________
FRANK PKNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2018, 07:10 PM   #20
dirt t
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kingman,AZ
Posts: 107
Default Re: My Mitchell synchro trans experience

who supplies this F150 kit
dirt t 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 07:13 PM.