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Old 09-03-2018, 11:13 PM   #1
Pmsqrd
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Default Columbia for an A

I have a chance to acquire a V8 Columbia overdrive that has been set up for a Model A.
I am familiar with them from my flathead days but wonder what a fair price might be. Any thoughts please express them.

Thanks,

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Old 09-03-2018, 11:52 PM   #2
Russ/40
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

$3500 or more
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:35 AM   #3
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

What it's worth depends a lot on how nice it was converted to the A, ---spring perches cobbled onto a later wider track housings with unknown internals --gracefully sectioned early housings using 33-34 axle shafts to keep track same and looking like it was made that way
What controls ? ---down and dirty lever coming out of a hacked vacuum can ----hidden or intergrated button working concealed post war electric controls ---big difference in value

many variables---- i bought a 36 columbia at hershey for 250$ and it came with a handtruck------and i saw others moving ones that I saw had prices in the thousands, so they must have sold
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:53 AM   #4
Keith True
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

About 15 years ago I came across one at the Amherst flea market.It was made over for an A,I didn't pay any attention to it,it had a price of $3000.on it.A few minutes later I ran into someone I knew that had always wanted one,so I told him where it was.He took off at a dead run and owned it in 5 minutes.He said there were some guys eyeballing it and trying to make offers,he stepped up and said if these guys don't buy it I will pay the price.This was at 5:30 in the morning,we used to say if you got there at 6:00 you missed the good stuff.I didn't,and still don't know the real value of one,but he was pretty puffed up and proud that he only paid $3000.for it.I know he put around $85.into it before he put it in his car and it is still going today.
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:44 PM   #5
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Good afternoon...You might want to speak to Sue Mitchell regarding the Mitchell Overdrive...it is less than $3,000 still, I believe and it is all new. I have had one in my 31 Tudor for 12 years and in my opinion if Henry had offered a similar overdrive, he would have been making Model A's until World War Two...Ernie in Arizona
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

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Originally Posted by Ernie Vitucci View Post
Good afternoon...You might want to speak to Sue Mitchell regarding the Mitchell Overdrive...it is less than $3,000 still, I believe and it is all new. I have had one in my 31 Tudor for 12 years and in my opinion if Henry had offered a similar overdrive, he would have been making Model A's until World War Two...Ernie in Arizona

I agree,


I have Columbias in 2 of my early V-8's and a Mitchell in my Model A.


I would NOT go thru what is necessary to convert a Columbia to a Model A. I would buy another Mitchell. Less expensive and I think for a Model A, it works much better than a Columbia.


With a Mitchell, you can stop at a long stop light, put the transmission in low and then shift the Mitchell into neutral and let the clutch out. When the light turns green, put the clutch in, shift the Mitchell into direct (the Mitchell is synchronized) and take off. Low gear in the Model A transmission is not synchronized. You can not do that with a Columbia.


Again, this is just my experience and my opinion.


Chris W.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

I can save everyone some time here...

You guys may not be aware that the OP (pmsqrd) is very, very familiar with the Mitchell overdrives. He is one of two Mitchell overdrive gurus in our large club. I have personally witnessed him install Mitchell overdrives in at least a dozen Model As, and that is a small fraction of the probably 50 or more installations he has performed for club members. In fact, when I made the plunge to install a Mitchell in one of my Model As, I asked him to help because he is the most experienced guy I know when it comes to Mitchell overdrives.

So, with that said, if he is asking about a Columbia overdrive, he most certainly wants to know about those for a specific reason and is not seeking a sales pitch for a Mitchell overdrive.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Tanks everyone for their input. While I have some experience with the Mitchel products, I am not up to speed on the Columbia install. Actually my preference for an overdrive is the Ranger 4 speed install which I have in my wife's 31 wide bed. That system really works slick for our driving needs.

I will be selling the Columbia unit shortly if anyone is interested.

Again thanks for the input. Knowledge is always welcome.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

just bought a nice one out of a 1934 for $500, have 2 others in v-8 cars, love them, have 4.11 in one and 4.44's in the other.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Quote:
Originally Posted by P.S. View Post
I can save everyone some time here...

You guys may not be aware that the OP (pmsqrd) is very, very familiar with the Mitchell overdrives. He is one of two Mitchell overdrive gurus in our large club. I have personally witnessed him install Mitchell overdrives in at least a dozen Model As, and that is a small fraction of the probably 50 or more installations he has performed for club members. In fact, when I made the plunge to install a Mitchell in one of my Model As, I asked him to help because he is the most experienced guy I know when it comes to Mitchell overdrives.

So, with that said, if he is asking about a Columbia overdrive, he most certainly wants to know about those for a specific reason and is not seeking a sales pitch for a Mitchell overdrive.

Why didn't he tell us this?


We had no way of knowing what experience the OP had with Mitchell Overdrives.


Anyway, I hope we did offer some information that was useful.


Chris W.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:04 AM   #11
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

I've owned several Early V-8s & always dreamed of having a COLUMBIA!!!---"ALMOST" bought a '36 Fordor, with one.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:23 PM   #12
Gene F
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Makes me recall an overdrive that is now out of business. RYAN. I saw one sold at an auction about 5 years ago. Every time I mention something about putting a Columbia in my car everyone in my club says "I wouldn't".


We are from central Ohio, so most of us either have the original henry equipment (100% stock), or a Borg-Warner that we got from the late Lloyd Young. Some of our guys have the Mitchell, and the guys with Mitchells swear by them.


I have talked to a few guys that have converted over to the S-10, and some of them say "I would not do it again, it's a lot of work, and you don't pick up that much". They tell me, that the S-10 requires that a drive shaft be put in the car, and the torque tube goes away.


One thing is for sure, an overdrive saves babbit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If ya put your car together and expect to actually drive it, I don't know ho you'd ever own one without an overdrive and cast iron drums.
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:35 PM   #13
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

I looked at how I use my '31 RDPU and installed 3.54 rear end gears. Although nice, especially for those that do a lot of touring, a Columbia or Mitchell would not be worth the money to me.

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Old 09-08-2018, 05:18 PM   #14
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

I paid $15 for my 1946 Colombia from a junk yard, all in pieces (in 959). I had to convert it myself, including narrowing and shortening it. I love it but wouldn't pay more than $1,000 bucks for one today. The Mitchel is a great unit and easy to install. Colombia's have weak spots that should be re-inforced. PM me if you want details.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Thanks guys for your continued imput. All good information.

I have decided to try a 3.54 rear end and if that is not satisfactory for my driving profile I will move up to a Mitchell. We have quite a few Mitchell's in our club and we are quite familiar with the install procedure. In fact we have a complete set of install tools in the club tool chest

The Columbia goes.

Thanks again.

PMSRD
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

If you drive on the Sacto freeways much, go for an overdrive, you'll be happier. I had a 23% Ryan in my tudor, and it was great but a bit noisy under 45 MPH. I have a T-5 (S-10 Chevy) in my Vickie and as stated earlier a Colombia in my wide-bed. The T-5 is the easiest to drive.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Then there's the F150 4-speed Overdrive transmission. Those that have them (including me) wouldn't have it any other way.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:05 AM   #18
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

The only Model A with a F-150 in it that I have driven was easy to shift but IMO had lousy gear ratios. 1 to 2 was good, as was 3 to 4th but 2nd to 3rd was terrible, the RPM drop was way too much.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:46 AM   #19
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Brierley View Post
The only Model A with a F-150 in it that I have driven was easy to shift but IMO had lousy gear ratios. 1 to 2 was good, as was 3 to 4th but 2nd to 3rd was terrible, the RPM drop was way too much.
I bought an A with an F150 in it once and I agree with Jim, VERY poor gear ratios for any kind of driving except parades. I replaced it with a T5.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: Columbia for an A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Brierley View Post
The only Model A with a F-150 in it that I have driven was easy to shift but IMO had lousy gear ratios. 1 to 2 was good, as was 3 to 4th but 2nd to 3rd was terrible, the RPM drop was way too much.
I bought an A with an F150 in it once and I agree with Jim, VERY poor ratios for any kind of driving except parades. I replaced it with a T5.
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