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Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/5/26 1:49
From Wabash, Indiana, USA
Posts: 72
I bought this 400 last fall knowing that the TL was inoperative, contacted a reputable restoration shop, and was told they would start on the car in January. It's now March and I'm getting nervous. They don't answer my emails. I want to drive the car this summer and take it to the PAC National Meet in West Lafayette, Indiana, in July.

I'm 76 years old, don't bend the way I used to to get under a car to work on it, and don't know much about the TL suspension, anyway. I want to hire the job done if I can.

Does anyone have a recommendation of a good shop that would be qualified to work on Packard Torsion Level? I'm in northern Indiana, but I would take the car wherever to get the TL working.

Thanks,

Steve in Indiana

Posted on: 3/5 12:01:42
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Steve
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/11/1 19:59
From Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 144
As far as I'm concerned Ross Miller in MD is THE guy to go to. I had my car brought to him and in a day (and for a VERY reasonable price) he had little odds and ends sorted with my ultramatic, torsion level and timing.

Posted on: 3/5 12:10:55
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15375
Ross would be an excellent choice but at 600 miles and 10 hrs maybe a bit far for you to drive. Were you perhaps waiting to hear from Michiana Packards in Elkhart? I just saw a Facebook post dated Sept 2018 where there was an announcement they had closed but the person making the post -- Troy maybe?? -- was still around and there would be some kind of new business in the spring. Don't know if anyone from the old business is personally taking on customers though.

I share your concern that not just anybody should be turned loose on the TL but if the problem is electrical that is not too hard to diagnose and the usual parts that fail are readily available. If there is a mechanic willing to look we could walk him thru what to check for or how to diagnose what might be wrong. If there is something mechanical wrong such as bushings needing changing or something obviously broken then that is a bit more involved.

Posted on: 3/5 12:29:18
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Howard
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/1/7 19:30
From Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 1927
Contact the PAC regions close to you and see if they can recommend anyone.

Contact Max Meritt and see if they have someone to recommend.

Contact Ross and maybe he could recommend someone closer to you.

Posted on: 3/5 13:26:58
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/3/4 2:53
From Magnolia, TX
Posts: 453
Steve, I have owned several 55/56 senior Packards and as fate would have it I'm working in West Lafayette. Give me a call and I'll take a look and offer some suggestions. Two-eight-one, seven nine three, three three seven seven.

Posted on: 3/5 19:06:59
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/28 6:22
From Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 624
There are several post on this site about working on a TL system. My mechanic did not want to work on my TL system either. I used them to successfully diagnose the ills of my '55s problems. It turn out to be corroded electrical contacts and a bad TL limit switch. I found a NOS switch on-line, but by the time I received it I had to go in for back surgery.

If you have problems finding someone to work on it maybe if you print out trouble shooting hint on this site and show your mechanic he might be willing to give it a go.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention HH56 (Howard) as a wizard who was a wealth of information to me during my TL repair.

Good Luck and Happy Motoring.

Posted on: 3/9 15:20:01
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2013/6/15 12:16
From Torrance, Ca
Posts: 61
Hi Steve.
Girimes is a good source.
but when you say not working, what do you mean?
They system is touchy since its mostly electrical
and the wiring is now agent.
I'd take it to a automotive electrical shop first
have the motor checked, then the switch.. both sit inside the
X box frame. Not likely that the torsion bars came lose or broke
but even the electrical service can tell...
and don't forget the switch under the dash... old, I'd replace it
All the best

Posted on: 3/15 4:42:48
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
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Joined:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10229

Posted on: 3/16 14:23:01
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Mal
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Re: Torsion Level Suspension 1956 400
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Joined:
2007/1/10 19:12
From Deee-troit
Posts: 1136
I would be concerned that the shop will not answer calls/emails.
The Torsion-Level system is fairly simple, from an electrical standpoint. Like everything else on the car, unless you have replaced the wiring harnesses you are relying on 63 year-old wiring.
The most essential thing for any shop to know is that the timing box send a GROUND to the solenoid, the pull-in coils are fed +12VDC internally, they are looking for a ground to activate.
You want a shop that is willing to study the wiring diagram, and accept and deal with the system the way it is made, not one that spends your money adapting it and dumbing it down to what they understand already.

Posted on: 3/24 9:32:12
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