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Torsion level wheel alignment
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 53
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: 7/9 19:46:46
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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: Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 15592
An alignment is done in the usual manner, nothing out of the ordinary required because of TL. It should of course sit level.

Posted on: 7/9 20:00:01
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Re: Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15253
As to the noise, it depends on how loud and when it happens as to what might be the cause. Earlier 55s were somewhat prone to an occasional snapping noise in the suspension because of the load link geometry and the TL pieces sliding against one another. Because of the first layout of components, water could also get in and wash lubricant out or promote rust in the link sockets. Packard did a redesign of the geometry and it was installed on some production. In 56 the new geometry and a rearrangement of the basic components was done so water could not collect which is why the 55 and 56 load link suspension parts are not interchangeable.

Have a read thru bulletin 55T-37. It gives vehicle numbers where the geometry changes were made and besides the links there are a couple of other things in the front that could cause a noise. Another common possibility is the rubber in the A arm bushings has deteriorated and the bushings are hitting metal to metal during a serious bump. Obviously, any bad bushings would need to be changed before any alignment is attempted. http://www.packardinfo.com/xoops/html/downloads/STB/55T-37.pdf

Posted on: 7/9 20:27:27
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Re: Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2012/4/10 19:35
From San Diego, CA USA
Posts: 1446
Take the specs to any shop, firestone can do alignment ..take the specs. They work with the new computer alignment system.

But you need the crows foot wrench. The nut is 1-3/8s. And regular crows foot is to big. And to thick.

Posted on: 7/9 22:58:11
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Re: Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 53
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: 7/10 16:21:14
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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:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15253
Packards special lube was a moly compound and any good quality moly grease should do. Sta-Lube SL-3303 has been suggested as an easy to find substitute.

Posted on: 7/10 16:46:01
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Howard
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Re: Torsion level wheel alignment
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Joined:
2008/10/28 6:22
From Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 618
On your radio issue you may want to see my post on "Changing '55 to Negative Ground System" #18. We're completely happy with the install. It is a little costly (~$600 for the radio & Bluetooth option).

No negatives in switching to a negative ground. I haven't the leads on the amp gauge as I don't want the hassle of reaching up there for fear of messing up the wiring.

Posted on: 7/11 7:22:21
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Re: Torsion level wheel alignment
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/3/3 12:50
From Pasco, WA, USA
Posts: 53
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: 7/13 21:50:55
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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:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10145
Scott(Rebus),
for including your '55 Four Hundred Hardtop Coupe in the Packard Owner's Registry.

Posted on: 7/13 22:10:24
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