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Columbia Overdrive in my 1939 Zephyr

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WOW! I FINALLY completed the installation of the Columbia Overdrive in my 1939 Zephyr. Hard to believe I used to do it over a weekend for a fee of $50! (That was in the 1950s when I was young and foolish! I'm not young any more) It is as sweet as I remember it being. The overdrive is the next best thing to shutting the engine off and coasting! It's a totally different car in overdrive.

Check out the new Columbia Overdrive installation photos at the end of my Webshots photo album at: http://community.webshots.com/album/73152974bRlXIf

My test run of about 10 miles this evening was delightful and very rewarding. cool.gifgrin.gifooo.gif

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Congrats, Phil.

Question -- How difficult a rebuild would you say it is? I did the tranny for my car and thought that was super-simple. I understand that this would be harder, but since it shouldn't require fancy machine-work (like an engine rebuild), I was thinking it might be doable if I'm careful to follow the directions / drawings. What are your thoughts?

It's not a matter of money (though that's always an issue), but rather I'd like to do as much as possible so I know how it all works.

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Rebuilding a Columbia is an interesting project. There are several people out there that have figured out how to "bullet-proof" a Columbia by strengthening the weak parts, primarily the spider gear carrier. There are some brass parts that probably should be renewed as well.

The Columbia that I just installed was rebuilt by Dan Krehbiel for my 1939 Ford several years ago, but never got installed. Dan was kind enough to swap out the Ford parts for the Zephyr unique parts for me and all I had to do was assemble and install them. I don't know of a source for the "bullet-proof" parts, other than Dan Krehbiel, but I know he's not the only one who builds Columbia Overdrives these days. I've known Dan Krehbiel since 1962 so he was my first (and only) choice.

Since you now have two Columbias, you could probably find enough good parts to put a pretty good one together. They're not that hard to assemble if you have the parts list and installation instructions and probably don't need to be "bullet-proofed" if you're not going to do burn-outs or drag racing.

Give Dan Krehbiel a call for more comlete advice. He's a really good guy and he's in the LZOC directory. cool.gif

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I agree on the difference in the experience using the Columbia. Engage the unit and suddenly it is like gliding across the dance floor with Ginger Rogers. The car floats, but with complete control. I now find more excuses to take the 37 out and drive it. Best buy I have ever made for a car. Wish I could get it for my 65 Mustang!


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