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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/3/21 18:20
Posts: 2297
And if you would prefer to just have the normal manual brakes I have all of that stuff.

A word about dual masters: unless the brake pedal system is engineered to give the full stroke the new master cylinder requires it avails NOTHING. Some of my Studebaker customers have bought dual master cylinder upgrade kits and I have even installed them. In every instance I find that when one bleeder screw is opened there are NO brakes as the pedal can not stroke the cylinder far enough. So the "upgrade" is a fools paradise.

In actual practice brake tubing only fails by rusting , and that mostly but not always from outside, or some sort of bizarre trauma. In 48 years of fooling with old cars I have not yet seen a brake hose burst although I have seen them plug. All that to say that you can actually buy a very high level of safety by merely replacing all of your brake tubing and hoses. I am emphatic on this point: there should be no Packards running around with their original brake tubing at this age. For about $30 you can install the wonderful new nickel-copper lines from stem to stern and have genuine safety for your family. By the way, new wheel cylinders and master are available for you car for little money.

Posted on: 6/11 18:36:01
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 273
Steve - thanks, I will definitely try to keep this blog updated on a regular basis. I have lots to learn and you all have a lot of knowledge to share.

Don - I do have some of the original Easamatic parts in the trunk, though I haven't looked closely to see what exactly is there. I'm hoping to hit the brakes in the next couple of weeks, so I'll need to make a decision here shortly on which way to proceed. I may take you up on the Easamatic parts.

Ross - I've read dozens of pages on various restorations and have basically concluded that new brake lines are a must. I've never done them before, but the process looks fairly straightforward, though laborious. Luckily I have a neighbor who is a mechanic by trade and will be helping me out with various parts of the project. And he has a lift that will be invaluable!

-Kevin

Posted on: 6/11 20:31:13
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 273
Mouse Remediation

The car has an obvious mouse problem. The interior reeks, and droppings can be seen everywhere. I removed the front bench the first day I had the car to see what was underneath. No evidence of mice in the front bench thankfully, though poop everywhere. Today I started the unpleasant task of cleaning up the mice crap. I had placed a couple of mousetraps in the car the past two days, and this morning I found a mouse in one of them. An auspicious way to start my day.

I removed the rear seat and found a couple of long dead mice and evidence of a nest. Also found what appears to be the original factory speaker


There is mouse detritus inside that crossbeam and it's really hard to clean out


There was a nest underneath the rear seat. After cleaning up the junk on the outside, doesn't appear to be anything up inside the springs (at least that I can see)


By far the largest nest was in the front of the headliner. It was crazy big. More info on that in the next post. Here's half of it:

Posted on: 6/12 22:04:27
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 273
Continued....

I followed the CDC's guidelines for cleaning up damage from rodents in cars. Long sleeves, thick gloves, mask, etc. I soaked as much debris as I could in 9:1 water to bleach (per CDC) for at least five minutes before wiping it up with paper towels and putting it in a trash bag. There are literally no respirators available, but I was able to find a 3M P95 mask, that I overlayed with a level 3 surgical to keep the P95 clean. It was a very messy job.


Here's what it looks like after cleaning. The smell is significantly lessened, but definitely still lingering. I think the roof is the main culprit.





-Kevin

Posted on: 6/12 22:04:58
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 273
Headliner Removal

I was dreading this job, and it was about as unpleasant as I expected. The first challenge was getting past the many layers of trim to get to the headliner. These screws haven't been used in 60 years and they were not in good condition. On the sunshades, 5 out of 6 mounting screws (tiny things) broke immediately upon mild pressure with a screwdriver...even after soaking for two days with PB blaster. That was the first sign of trouble.

The trim over the windows was also difficult to remove. The screws were tough, and some were rusted. I eventually won the battle though. Some screws will not be reusable, so I'll have to find some that are similar when the time comes to put everything back together.


One I exposed the edges of the headliner, I popped it off the old glue that was holding it down. Then I just ripped it off the bows. It was so fragile that it came down easily.


And here's the other half of the nest that was in the front of the headliner. The amount of stuffing that the mice brought up here was unbelievable. And the amount of mouse poo was insane.


The original asphalt-like insulation was up there but mostly unattached. It pulled down easily. There was a ton of surface rust underneath it, so maybe a problem with condensation?? The bows are also pretty rusty, but should be able to get cleaned up and painted.


The biggest issue is up at the front of the roof where the huge mouse nest was. There is bad rust here that I was not expecting. I haven't found rust anywhere else on the car, so I was shocked to see this. I actually think it's from mouse pee....it probably kept this area moist for years. That thing on the left of the picture is where the sunshade mounts (driver's side), complete with broken screws.


So I am not sure what I need to do to clean this rust up. For the bulk of the roof I plan to use a wire wheel/brush in an angle grinder to clean it up, then apply POR-15 over the entire thing. But the front part is way worse on the driver's side where the nest was. I don't know if I can get it all the way down to clean metal. Advice???

-Kevin

Posted on: 6/12 22:24:04
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/3/21 18:20
Posts: 2297
Oh dude, I feel your pain. Cleaning up after mice is such a miserable job. I would suggest taping off the dash with some plastic sheeting and then pressure washing the whole inside of the car. That will help wash the urine away, but will also knock off a lot of the really flaky rust. I fear you will have some metal work to do in the visor area.

Posted on: 6/13 5:21:59
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2015/1/16 9:43
From sw, pa
Posts: 1261
Mice can do a lot of damage for sure. Did you check to see if they put any materials back in that square piece on the floor at the front of the rear seat. I see an opening on each side of the floor tunnel they could get into.
Where do you think they gained access into the car at?

I would think removing as much of the rust and treating it with some type of rust coating might be okay since it is inside the car. But it looks like there may be some rust out along the windshield channel too. Probably need to remove the windshield and assess the situation?

Posted on: 6/13 6:17:30
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2008/7/5 0:56
Posts: 76
I know Ross has also seen these pictures, and he is an authority on what I suggest. There are people in almost
every part of the country who routinely "chop" tops.
Since that rust is in an unusual but important area stress
wise, perhaps an amputation and replacement would be in order. That is one area that even rusty parts cars might
still be good. That is going to be a beautiful car by the
way.

Posted on: 6/13 7:29:52
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/31 12:20
From Potomac, Maryland, USA
Posts: 1521
Wow, Kevin, you did it!

For the water stains, I would get some Sol-U-Mel Stain Remover, Tough-and-Tender Cleaner and Sol-U-Guard Disinfectant from Melaleuca Company. They have a sort of Amway set up, but you can simply order these products directly at a slightly higher price than members.
https://www.melaleuca.com/ProductStore/content/category?c=54

The stuff is not cheap but it goes a long way and it has worked for me. You can also use it to clean/disinfect surfaces or spills on a rug.

I had a couch covered in a silk material with water stains, green ink, and blood. I was going to have it recovered for $1800, so before I did that, I thought what the hell, I unzipped its six cushion covers, followed the procedure below, and the result was so good, I then put more stuff on the weakening stains and put them in the washing machine. Unless you were examining it for the stains, you wouldn't notice them now.

I would start by putting the rear seat rest on saw horses and working on a water stain at the bottom corner of the back seat rest doing a section to the first vertical seam or between two seams.

Fill a spray bottle with water and add a teaspoon of each product. Up close, spray the test area having a heavy water stain thoroughly. Let it sit a couple minutes. Use a finger-size part of a soft rag to apply Sol-U-Mel full strength directly on the path of the water stain. Let that sit for 5-10 minutes. Use the spray bottle to spray the area again, like an active rinse. Then rub it (not too hard) with a clean absorbent rag to collect most of the moisture. Use a hairdryer around the perimeter of the wet area and dry it enough to let it dry on it own over a couple hours.

The result should spur you on to do the rest and save an upholstery job. If the upholstery can be removed like seat covers, where you can get it off without damage by removing the hog clips, you might try my cold water washing machine treatment, then ask an upholsterer to replace the mouse cotton and foam rubber if the mice got that, and replace the cleaned upholstery.

I wished I lived closer to help you with this. I just checked my cabinet and I have enough of each for you to do a test. Email your address and send it to you to try and if it works you can order your own. Do before and after pix.

Posted on: 6/13 7:59:55
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 273
Ross - I was considering taking the power washer to the inside, but didn't because I didn't want to give things another way to rust. Maybe if I hit it all with a leaf blower immediately afterwards and try to dry it out? But I do need to do something to wash the urine out. The car smells 90% better, but it's definitely still there.

ptv - There are some mouse droppings in that channel under the rear seat, but it's a blind channel and the holes aren't big enough to get the vacuum in there. I got out what I could and saturated everything else I could see in bleach water. Maybe if I made a thinner attachment for the vacuum, I might be able to get the remainder.

The windshield is cracked, so it needs to be replaced anyways, but I was hoping not to have to do that for a while. I do at least need to take off the upper windshield trim piece though so I can better assess the damage. A lot of it just appears to be surface rust, but right in the corner there is definitely a good amount of flaking.

Kansasboy - Some minor metal work would probably be doable, but not by me. I don't have the tools nor the knowledge to do that. But a major graft from a donor is probably out of the question if there's any other way to fix it.

I'm going to get a needle scaler and start cleaning everything up and see what I end up with. As long as I can get it cleaned up to the point that I can apply a rust converter/encapsulator I'm hoping that will be sufficient. But that might just be wishful thinking on my part.


Any concerns with using a wire brush in a grinder to clean off the roof? I don't want to heat and warp the metal.

-Kevin

Posted on: 6/13 8:06:53
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