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Ultramatic Park
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
One thing I've encountered with my "new" '55 400 is that it's often extremely difficult to get the Ultramatic out of the park position, even on level ground. I suspect I'm not the first to run into this. Ideas?

Posted on: 2019/7/29 15:57
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Re: Shock absorbers on torsion level cars
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
Thanks. Fixed the typo.

I found the specs on the KYB 343149 recommended for the rear, 8.66 Stroke, 21.57 Ext, 12.91 Compression, but not the originals.

It's very possible the application charts are wrong. Some of the same sites list shocks that are supposedly applicable to the '55 400, but obviously are not.

The only '55 listed that this shock fits is the Chevy Bel Air (rear).

Posted on: 2019/7/21 18:08
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Re: Shock absorbers on torsion level cars
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
Thanks for the information. So as far as anyone knows the '55 rear shocks are somewhat available but fronts are unavailable short of modification? (The Gabriel and Monroe models referred to in the past are no longer made.)

As for the rear a point of confusion with the recommended KYB 343149 shocks is that the vendor sites I've checked with all say they don't fit the '55 Packard.

Anyone happen to have detailed specs on the stock shocks regarding length, etc., or have any other recommendations?

Posted on: 2019/7/21 17:34
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Shock absorbers on torsion level cars
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
Regarding my '55 400, anything special about the shock absorbers? I recall long ago reading that they damped in only one direction. Is that the case? Any recommendations regarding replacements?

Posted on: 2019/7/20 20:28
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Re: Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
As for ball stud lubrication, I can say that whatever lubrication was ever there has been entirely replaced with a thick layer of dirt, sand and gravel. That's the only lubrication now. That location collects it. A cleaning and application of grease will hopefully resolve the issue.

Thanks for the tip on the radio modification. I'm looking into it. I wasn't aware of that particular vendor.

This is pending return of the car. It's been at the muffler shop for the past three days to have a reproduction exhaust system with resonators installed. This shop is operated by a single person that's been doing it for 40+ years. He has the experience and does quality work but can't be rushed.

Posted on: 2019/7/13 21:50
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Re: Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
This vehicle is 5587-5509. The bulletin says the new ball studs started with 5587-6739. So it could be the issue described in the bulletin being the pop seems to occur when the car suspension is unloaded.

The bulletin mentions a "special lubricant" applied to the ball stud seats. Anyone know what this lubricant was? I would think maybe a silicone grease would be appropriate. I don't see any specific reference to it in the bulletin.

Posted on: 2019/7/10 16:21
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
With the fuel tank cleaned out, brakes and leveler working I took the '55 400 for it's maiden test drive. Rubber parts and hoses have been replaced and radial tires installed. It drove fine but I discovered the speedometer isn't working. Found the cable to be broken a couple inches from the trans. This car has more miles on it than indicated. Transmission works fine -- my biggest worry.

Electric windows, seat, blowers surprisingly all work. Radio doesn't -- no vibrator sound.

I'll be getting the new reproduction exhaust system installed soon and would like to get the wheel alignment checked. Anything unique about alignment on the torsion level cars?

An item to check while on the lift -- maybe some of you have encountered this -- although the car did not seem to have loose steering and rode well, there's occasionally a loud pop in the left front when the suspension moves up or down. Something must be worn out or loose.

Posted on: 2019/7/9 19:46
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Re: 1955 Torsion Level Problem
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
Just to follow up, I pulled the motor. That took a little longer than it should have as I discovered the through bolts were not threaded into the casting but had nuts that couldn't be seen. That wasn't a big problem but I assumed the nuts were the same size as the bolt heads and just couldn't get the wrench to do any good on the grease covered nuts until stepping up a size.

The motor windings looked fine. I grabbed the armature and tried turning it by hand. It was locked solid in both directions, as I expected. The mandrel it meshes with looked like it should -- no snap ring problem.

Next, I figured if the gearbox was damaged I couldn't really do much more damage by trying to break it free first -- perhaps I could get a feel for the nature of the damage. I put a strap wrench around the armature and turned with considerably more force. It broke free and I was able to keep turning with the wrench in that direction.

I then reversed the wrench and went back the other direction, expecting to hit a bad spot. Instead, it kept moving smoothly the other direction, past the starting point. Hmmm, things are looking up.

I reassembled the motor and discovered it now runs in both directions, though acts as if it's straining some, running kind of slow, but that could be electrical as my ground connection is iffy jumpering those contacts.

Anyway, I'm quite pleased the gearbox doesn't seem to be damaged. I was not looking forward to replacing that. Thanks for all your help!

Posted on: 2019/7/6 8:20
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Re: 55 400 Taillight removal
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
What you have on the '56 is a little different but suffers the same problem of in effect being installed backwards, i.e., on the wrong side of the hole. If it were reversed it could all be pulled out with the taillight assembly.

Posted on: 2019/7/5 13:38
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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Re: 55 400 Taillight removal
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 79
The external part of the seal under the taillight is a large flat rubber grommet, which could be extracted internally with some damage but the inside portion is a hard bakelite with a swaged metal cap. There is no way to pull the seal through the body opening to extract the wire or to pull the wire through it. The wire won't move at all as it appears to be crimped into place in the seal.

So the only way to remove the taillight is to cut the wire or completely destroy the weathertite seal? The wire has a nice bellows-like seal on the socket which is still flexible and intact.

Posted on: 2019/7/5 7:28
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1942 Clipper Club Sedan
1948 Custom Touring Sedan (22nd Series)
1955 Patrician Sedan
1955 400 Sedan
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