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  • Mitchell Overdrive thoughts and experiences

    I installed a Mitchell overdrive in my car so far I find it a little stiff to get into high but it is getting better Steve @ Mitchell told me this takes about 100 miles for it to break in. I really like it since it improves the jump from 2d to 3d quite a bit. If you are a touring type it is a nice item to have. One other thing I like about it at a stoplight shift the od into neutral and change whatever gear you want in on the ford tranny goes right in like it was synchronized which the mitchell is. I know you can buy a synchronised mithcell tranny or do a conversion but installing the mitchell was very easy and it is a well built unit. Wondered how many are running this or other conversions and your thoughts and experiences.

  • #2
    Chief, I Mitchelled myself about 3-4 yrs ago, the best thing I ever did. Of course we do a lot of touring here, maybe 1K miles at a time. Agree with all you've said.
    It is an incredibly well-made unit, and there is a certain special satisfaction that comes from buying a truly American made product. A 7-letter country trumps a 5-letter country any day of the week.

    I too shift the Mitchell to neutral at a light, and pull the tranny into first, and sit there waiting for the light to change. Then slip the Mitchell into low silently, and off you go. There will be times that you will use second high and you will love that extra gear.
    If on the fly, and decide to shift to hi-range or lo range, I always double clutch the Mitchell, I like it when the synchro clutches do less work!

    Comment


    • BNCHIEF
      BNCHIEF commented
      Editing a comment
      Exactly as you said.

  • #3
    Exactly what I do as well Tbird but after driving a truck for over 40 years my hands need something to do, but i have not reached for the jake brake yet, but I do still stop for rr xings which my wife thinks is funny.

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by BNCHIEF View Post
      Exactly what I do as well Tbird but after driving a truck for over 40 years my hands need something to do, but i have not reached for the jake brake yet, but I do still stop for rr xings which my wife thinks is funny.
      If I had a Mitchell I would shift exactly as Dave does.
      Many years ago I read that it's best to not be braking or accelerating when crossing railroad tracks, and I've always crossed them in a coast mode.
      Of course if you see the train a few feet down the track, you better floor it. LOL

      Comment


      • BNCHIEF
        BNCHIEF commented
        Editing a comment
        Having hauled hazmat Tom we are required to stop it is just ingrained in me and I find myself stopping even in my personal vehicle but gates and lights can malfunction so it is a good habit to have anyway.

      • Jeff/Illinois
        Jeff/Illinois commented
        Editing a comment
        What gets me is, people that don't know if the RR crossing is rough or not hit it at full gallop and whop there goes the front end.

        When I was at the Ford garage a 1972 Mach 1 Mustang that a customer bought new, and always took good care of, came in with a very serious handling problem. It shook and shimmied so hard it was dangerous to drive.Car had about 19,000 miles on it was only three years old.

        Turns out his 16 year old son hit a set of railroad tracks going REAL fast and bent the front end structural sheetmetal, the shock aprons. The '71-'72-'73 Mustangs were famous for that, that was a bad design from Ford, they went on the cheap here. I'll never forget how screwed up that car was!!

        And his Dad was pretty mad when they got the kid to confess!!

        Must have been an inherited problem because my '69 Mach 1 has welded up re-inforced shock tower inner fender panels! Too much torque! The six cylinder and 302 cars didn't have that problem.

    • #5
      [QUOTE=tbirdtbird;n30571 Of course we do a lot of touring here, maybe 1K miles at a time.[/QUOTE]

      Sounds like for a using car that is the way to go. Mine has a 1939 ford trans so it is sycronized, I love it.
      tbirdbird I'm so impressed with what you said about doing 1000 mile tours. Wow, sounds like my kind of club.

      Comment


      • BNCHIEF
        BNCHIEF commented
        Editing a comment
        Tbird is a pretty cool guy always like to hear his advice and thoughts.

    • #6
      The Dallas club is renowned for its touring. Texas has about 12 clubs, but many from other Texas clubs belong to our club as well, as well as ppl from OK, and LA, so they can get in on the touring. They are not all 1000 miles, of course, but we do about 3 long tours each year

      Comment


      • BNCHIEF
        BNCHIEF commented
        Editing a comment
        I am gonna be talking to you about some in the future my friend.

    • #7
      I had the mitchell and totally changed my driving and touring forever., Best unit i ever installed....built good and using the 6 gears made th drive so much more enjoyable and was an overall great thing... BUT now i have to find the bucks and get another one......

      Comment


      • BILL WILLIAMSON
        BILL WILLIAMSON commented
        Editing a comment
        Mark,
        Our Club visited their shop ! One Guy said, "Sue put a chunk of metal in a machine, RRRR & RRRR & out plopped a PERFECT GEAR, totally AMAZING"!!!
        Bill Wishihadgone

    • #8
      I have the F150 4-speed OD in my pickup. For me, it's the Ultimate Overdrive solution.
      Alaskan A's
      Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska
      Model A Ford Club of America
      Model A Restorers Club
      Antique Automobile Club of America
      Mullins Owners Club

      Comment


      • #9
        Concur with all posts. Have one in a '35 non -Ford for which Mitchell Mfg. was very accommodating to help sort for that make.
        Have had most of them , Ryan, Borg Warner, Peugeot in an A, and Mitchell is the best for a stock setup with great service.
        Also have an F150 conversion by the previous owner ,which is like shifting a modern car .
        Hope Mitchell wasn't affected by the fires in N. Cal.

        Comment


        • #10
          Originally posted by CarlG View Post
          I have the F150 4-speed OD in my pickup. For me, it's the Ultimate Overdrive solution.
          CarlG,
          Can you elaborate on the F150 trans? What is involved in making the conversion? Are parts all available off-the-shelf? Expensive?

          Thanks,
          Walt

          Comment


          • CarlG
            CarlG commented
            Editing a comment
            I bought a complete bolt-on kit. All parts necessary to make the conversion were in the kit, and no modifications to your vehicle are necessary with the exception of the wooden floorboard. The shift tower is moved aft about 1.5 inches. It is necessary for you to supply some parts for him to modify, which I just bought extras at Berts and sent.

            Dave Delmue
            Morgan Hill, California
            408-722-2518
            [email protected]

          • birdguy45
            birdguy45 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Dave. Was your kit from Gary referenced in #11?

          • CarlG
            CarlG commented
            Editing a comment
            No, Dave is the one I bought my kit from. I think both Gary & Dave build an excellent kit. Dave is just a bit closer to you.

            At the time I bought my kit, Gary's kit required a modification to the frame cross member and Dave's did not. That may have changed by now.
            Last edited by CarlG; 10-21-2017, 05:19 PM.

        • #11
          We have a brilliant tranny shop guy here in nearby Ft Worth that supplies the F150 conversions, Gary Bernard.
          Our club pretty much either has the Mitchells or Gary's F150 with 4th as OD
          (817) 624-4342

          I am not aware of a website

          Comment


          • birdguy45
            birdguy45 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Tbird. I spoke with Gary this afternoon and am awaiting receipt of his literature. Sounds like a winner, and Gary is really easy to chat with and very helpfull. When my CFO gives me the green light this spring, I'll probably go this route.

          • tbirdtbird
            tbirdtbird commented
            Editing a comment
            Gary is top shelf and has supported the hobby for years, good luck, you are in good hands

          • BNCHIEF
            BNCHIEF commented
            Editing a comment
            Birdguy spring is for driving maybe santa can get with your cfo if your a good boy.

        • #12
          I know what you guys are thinking, but NO i am not the inventor of the Mitchell.. Wish i was tho
          3 ~ Tudor's
          Henry Ford said
          "It's all nuts and bolts"


          Mitch's Auto Service ctr

          Comment


          • BNCHIEF
            BNCHIEF commented
            Editing a comment
            We are easy to fool,should make you inventor for a day.

        • #13
          Originally posted by CarlG View Post
          I have the F150 4-speed OD in my pickup. For me, it's the Ultimate Overdrive solution.
          I agree that this would be my first choice, as long as no mods have to be done to the frame or body.
          I also like the lowest price idea of just going with a 3.27 ring and pinion, so you don't even have to modify the driveshaft or tube.

          Comment


          • #14
            For those of you that have the Mitchell, which overdrive ratio do you prefer or would have the next time after a previous experience.

            Comment


            • BNCHIEF
              BNCHIEF commented
              Editing a comment
              I have the 26% I answered your pm dennis let me know if I can help further, and I gave you a lot of info for comparison.

          • #15
            26%
            Not sure even a warmed up motor can handle more than that. I think the 26% is what Mitchell suggests, too
            At 2200 rpm, I am doing 65 mph
            My personal redline for an A is 2200

            Comment


            • BNCHIEF
              BNCHIEF commented
              Editing a comment
              I like my rpm range with the 26%, might go fast but you still want to stop it.

            • tbirdtbird
              tbirdtbird commented
              Editing a comment
              oops should have said the diff is the stock 3.78

          • #16
            Ha! Yeah I'd say that is perfect. Seems I've read the 33% is a better match for a 4.11 rear ratio. I don't know why you'd want that unless you are also getting their transmission with 15% higher ratio in the trans for 1st and 2nd. I'm leaning towards 26% with stock rear axle ratio and original transmission. I have until the first week of December to give them a final answer as they are now that far out on orders.

            Comment


            • BNCHIEF
              BNCHIEF commented
              Editing a comment
              I think the 34 might be ok here in kansas with no wind but I have stock gearing and 26 works perfect for me.

          • #17
            Originally posted by Dennis View Post
            I have until the first week of December to give them a final answer as they are now that far out on orders.
            Amazing how busy they are at that price, but if you have it its worth it 1000%......I very happy for Glen and his Team at Mitchell

            Comment


            • #18
              Originally posted by tbirdtbird View Post
              We have a brilliant tranny shop guy here in nearby Ft Worth that supplies the F150 conversions, Gary Bernard.
              Our club pretty much either has the Mitchells or Gary's F150 with 4th as OD
              (817) 624-4342

              I am not aware of a website
              I really have heard that the 150 is OUTSTANDING also...what is the price range of it??

              Comment


              • CarlG
                CarlG commented
                Editing a comment
                When I did my "cost analysis" back 7 years ago, the F150 kit was essentially the same price as the Mitchell synchromesh transmission + the overdrive unit. The F150 kit gives you both in the same box, and only one shift lever.

            • #19
              Carl then your saying close to 5K???? for the F150??? Whooa..the mitchell is 2200.00 for the overdrive and I personally don't think you need the sacra tranny then but is that what your saying on the 150??

              Comment


              • CarlG
                CarlG commented
                Editing a comment
                Back then (7 years ago) the price for either scenario was a tad over $3K.

            • #20
              do not quote me, and I am not really sure, but I thought the F150 setup from Gary Bernard ran about 3K or so. I posted his number, give a call and ask for the literature.
              I thought the Mitchell was up to about 2500, but I am not sure

              Comment


              • #21
                Originally posted by tbirdtbird View Post
                do not quote me, and I am not really sure, but I thought the F150 setup from Gary Bernard ran about 3K or so. I posted his number, give a call and ask for the literature.
                I thought the Mitchell was up to about 2500, but I am not sure
                Depends on who you buy the Mitchell from. Direct from them is $2,300, Shipping is $75, CA residents tax

                Comment


                • tbirdtbird
                  tbirdtbird commented
                  Editing a comment
                  that is still a deal for what you get!

              • #22
                My 31 Town Sedan had a Mitchell overdrive installed when I bought it and I love it. I use 3rd gear overdrive like a fourth gear all the time and find that 2nd gear overdrive is perfect for mountain climbing some of the steeper inclines in Western Maryland.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I also used the F150 in a couple of cars. Used a AA bell housing and modified the tail shaft to fit the inclosed drive shaft. They worked out fine.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    A guy in our club also did his own F150 tranny swap.
                    He was lucky to find the tranny on Craigslist for cheap, used an AA bellhousing and made his own pedal brackets.
                    As I recall the only frame mod was to bend the forward lower lip down a tiny bit for better clearance.

                    Comment

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