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Old 08-28-2019, 12:58 PM   #1
frank d kirkstad
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Default Mitchell Overdrive

Hi folks.
I have a 36 coupe with stock running gear and a 4:11 rear.I'm not comfortable driving more than 40 mph, because of the excessive rpm.I have no plans on running any major highways, but it would be nice to keep up with traffic on some of the local roads and not have to pull out of the way because of tailgaters.I remember seeing a Mitchell with cable shift many years ago on a 36, but an opening to allow room for the unit had to be cut in the floor in front of the differential. A cover was then fabricated to cover it. Has anyone installed one, and is this still the case or have the newer units been improved on?
Thank's
Frank
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:30 PM   #2
Bruce Compton, Canada
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Frank : I've done this and can offer some advice. Call me at 613-258-0336 or email me before you order anything. Bruce
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:17 PM   #3
frank d kirkstad
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Thank You Bruce.I will be in touch.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:46 PM   #4
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Perhaps it has a 6 blade truck fan----- 60 shouldn't be a problem, I ran the 39 with the 60hp and 4:44 rear over 65 all the time
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:22 PM   #5
frank d kirkstad
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Thank's Kurt.
I'm using a 4 blade stock fan. At about 45, I'm only at less than half throttle with plenty to spare. I'll try and hook up a tach. to see what my rpms really are.
Thank's
Frank
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:41 PM   #6
koates
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Frank, have fitted a Mitchell overdrive to a standard 36 coupe and did have to modify the rear floor a little and make a little cover for the cut out section. That was about 4 years ago. Regards, Kevin..
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Another option you might consider is a higher ratio rear end, e.g., 3.78. Mitchells are nice, though.
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Maybe a Mitchell and a 3.78 rear. Best to my knowledge you will have to mod the floor on your setup. Have a 36% mitchell on a 38 (thinking about it on a 36 coupe) a healthy flathead (3.78 rear). love it. 36% a bit much but I pull it okay without headwind. No need to open drive it or get rid of the tube design.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

On my Mitchell I only moved the cable shift arm downward instead of up but it make the cable pull to disengage and push to engage.Love the Mitchell.Mounted the cable to the left of steering column.Wold not have the floor shif and didn't have to modify floor on my 40
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Can anyone post a picture of their floor after installing a mitchell?
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

I had to modify the floor in my '47, it cleared in the garage but it would hit on bumps going down the road. It didn't take much to clearance it, but a '36 would probably need more.
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

I have an overdrive in my '47 convertible. It is a 30% reduction when engaged. The car has a 3:78 rear, and if you choose a unit with that ration, it should do fine with the 4:11. It will allow you to leave it in overdrive a lower speeds. My Ryan unit mounts directly to the rear axle banjo, and I shift it with a cable sold for truck power takeoff application with the knob under the lower edge of the dashboard. I can run at highway speeds above 60 mph. Just be sure that your brakes and steering are in top shape for such high speeds.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

here is my floor conversion for my mitchell.
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:07 AM   #14
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

That is why I moved the shift brkt to the bottom when someone was in the back seat it would hit on a bump.Changed the shift lever in OD unit and no more bump.Did't have to modify floor at all.Went with 36% with 378 gear
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Here's what I had to do with my '47, a small notch on either side of the driveshaft tunnel. I used an old 289 valve cover and welded it in on both side.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:38 AM   #16
frank d kirkstad
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Thank's guys for all the response and suggestions. Changing ratio is an option, but setting up a new ring and pinion requires a lot of work, with adding and removing shims to get the mesh just right and also there's the question of the quality of the new gears.We all know about reproduction parts! A mitchell seems the way to go, since it appears to be a bolt on item, I just have to convince myself to cut a hole in the floor.
Frank
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Frank, just fit up the overdrive unit and then see how close it is to the floor. Cars vary so you might not have to modify the floor much. As others have said you wont need to touch the rear end, your 4.11 will be good to go. Regards, Kevin.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Go with a Columbia and avoid having to butcher up your car. Columbia set ups were made and engineered for Fords.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Frank cutting a hole is the last thing I 'd worry about It would be the big smile on my
face If I could afford a Mitchell. The thing embedded in my mind still in high school
summer job picken weeds painting windows for a retired whisky pickled soft hatted gent
would send me to the dump in his car a 49 V8 business coupe with OD what a dream
to drive a whisper quiet car. Go for it sam
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:37 AM   #20
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimTN View Post
Go with a Columbia and avoid having to butcher up your car. Columbia set ups were made and engineered for Fords.
True : but try and find one yeh ebay and then you need a student loan and
thats with no guarantee's either. Not to mention shipping. Other than that
you are correct.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:54 AM   #21
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Anyone have a tach along with their 4.11 and Mitchell? I was in a friend's '36 with a 411 and his Columbia, it still sounded like it needed another gear at 60 mph and was running around 3000 rpm. I have a 3.54 in my '36 and even with that run around 2800 rpm at 60 and it sounds like it needs another gear. A Columbia would be nice but everyone tells me it will lug the engine.
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:21 PM   #22
frank d kirkstad
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Thank You Kevin I'll keep that in mind.
A columbia my first choice, is hard to find and then it has to what they call "bullet proofed"
If my floors weren't original and replaced at one time,then I would't mined cutting.
I drove a 51 with O/D in high school so I know what Sam means,and it was 12 yrs old.
Maybe I'll just stay the coarse,I'm 74 and we senior citizens are always accused of driving to slow anyway.
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:17 PM   #23
glennpm
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Hi Jim,


I'm with you on this but I do know that Columbia 2-Speeds get pricey. T5's, Mitchell's, etc. kind of go away from keeping things mostly stock Unless mods have already been done to the car.



Quote:
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Go with a Columbia and avoid having to butcher up your car. Columbia set ups were made and engineered for Fords.
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Old 08-31-2019, 04:12 PM   #24
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

I have a Columbia in my 3-W coupe and a Mitchell in my 1/2 ton P/U.
I actually like the Mitchell better. Both are great but I prefer the Mitchell.
They both do the same thing.
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:56 PM   #25
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Using a cable to shift an overdrive is fairly simple. The only adaptation is making a clamp for the cable sheath at the overdrive. I push the knob to shift into OD, and pull it to go back. My OD is mounted directly to the rear axle, and since it moves with the springs, a cable avoids moving a lever mounted to the body
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:36 PM   #26
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

My '41 came with 3.78 gears and I was just not happy with the rpm and racket needed to keep up with Interstate traffic. Considered Columbia and Mitchell but ended up changing the rear end to 3.25 ratio. I am very pleased with performance cruising and in traffic. That is a little tall for a stock engine, but if you have a 4" or better stroke and a a stock or mild street cam, there is plenty of torque for low speed maneuvering and starting off on hills. With room, strength, patience, and reference materials, you can do it yourself. I was short on all of that, so I had Walker Smith hot rod shop do the gear change for me. It must be done precisely, and experience in this job is very beneficial to get it right the first time. The gears and gaskets are $400 from Van Pelt, and the shop should be under $1,000. Good luck with whatever route you take.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:00 AM   #27
Conrad#Hamburg
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Hello from Germany,
this is my first post here…

I have a 36 Cabriolet with 4.11 rear, 39 gear box and a french flathead.
Without the Mitchell I was not able to drive more than 50 miles an hour.

Now 65 miles are fine, although I do not have a tach connected.

I bought it from Macs, and they said that we did not have to cut the floor.
But it had to.

By the way, I did not do it on my own, it was a shop here in Germany.

Greeting
Conrad
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:36 AM   #28
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

That is a professional looking installation. I'm kind of surprised about the 50 mph maximum with the 4.11's; they are low, but I had a '36 3-window with a 276" Merc, a '39 box, and 4.11's, and it would do a lot more than that.

Glad you like the Mitchell, though.

Welcome to the "Barn".
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:45 AM   #29
Conrad#Hamburg
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Hey Tubman,
the engine could go more, but i was too afraid to try ;-)
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:45 AM   #30
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

I was going to go with a Coumbia and have the parts but at this point I do not think I will get to it. Age & health changes things ! kx
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:30 AM   #31
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Hey Conrad, If the reason you do not have a tachometer connected is because your car is still 6 volt positive ground, I make a solution : https://www.ebay.com/itm/6-volt-to-1...r/233307790645.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:39 AM   #32
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Westach makes a 6 volt tach. Very reasonable and a cinch to hook up.
John
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:18 PM   #33
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/P...model-a/gauges
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
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Westach makes a 6 volt tach. Very reasonable and a cinch to hook up.
John
Expensive and very "agricultural" looking.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:52 AM   #35
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Thank you guys, I already converted to 12Volt.

I think I will buy a cheap tach just to check the rpm
and then disconnect it.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:35 AM   #36
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Our 33, when it had the 4.11 gears and the stock 33 babbit engine would run up to 75 mph as smooth as silk
Lawrie
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:26 AM   #37
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

I have 411 rear in my 40 coupe with a Columbia 2 speed, in direct drive the tach is reading 2950 rpm at 60 mph. In overdrive it reads 2000 rpm if that helps anyone.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:55 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete pa View Post
I have 411 rear in my 40 coupe with a Columbia 2 speed, in direct drive the tach is reading 2950 rpm at 60 mph. In overdrive it reads 2000 rpm if that helps anyone.
Hey Pete ! How tall are the rear tires you are running ? Thanks in advance - F F
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:21 PM   #39
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Someone from Middle of the country sent me an email and I am not able to reply ! Computer problem or ME Sent him a reply and told him I am from ma and National V 8 Club member and in the roster .. He can try again if he wants. Not going to Hershey for the first time in Many many years. but maybe someome could arrange transportation if it is the problem. kerk i
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:39 PM   #40
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Default Re: Mitchell Overdrive

Ford Freak, I'm running 235/75/15 American Classic 28.80 inches.
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