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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15986
A Dodge owner who posted under the name Redneck came up with the proper transistor to install instead of the original to make it work the panel lights on positive ground cars. http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... id=163962#forumpost163962


In the second or middle photo of the 535 the transistor is the little 3 wire black plastic item at the top of the photo. The correct orientation of the base, collector and emitter leads need to be soldered in place of the transistor presently there and it takes care since solid state devices are generally heat and static sensitive.

Posted on: 9/12 18:02:57
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 2050
I've been using the 535 for decades and didn't know they had a transistor in them! Is that something recent? Mine have always worked well in my positive ground Packards.

Kevin, have you changed your bulbs to LED? If so, a mechanical thermal flasher will not work and you'll need to get an electronic one. The one in my 1954 Patrician came from the UK but I don't recall off hand the place that sells them.

Posted on: 9/12 23:54:35
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15986
I've only tried the 535 from Napa and it did not work the indicator light as others have also found out and posted in that thread I referenced above. That is the unit I used for the photo showing the flasher with the transistor.

If you do a search there are some 535s sold by other vendors that specifically say a particular flasher is for positive or negative ground but looking at the photos they provided you cannot distinguish by part number. I cannot say if they are separate flashers with correct transistors and the vendor is using a common photo or if their flashers are made without a transistor.

There is a place in Texas that advertises a 6v positive ground electronic flasher which they say works with LEDs or incandescent bulbs or a combination of both. I have never tried their product but it may be a good option. I remember seeing ads for other electronic positive ground units from other vendors so they are not the only game around. https://litezupp.com/Flasher-Electroni ... ng-6-Volt-Positive-Ground The only bad part about electronic units could be the typical solid state polarity specific issues. Like solid state radio vibrators, if the flashers are not internally protected then an accidental reversal of the battery could damage them.

Posted on: 9/13 6:59:53
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 271
I spent a bit more time yesterday night working on the flasher problem. After reading several threads across the internet, I decided to open the 229D and see if there was something wrong inside. Everything looked fine that I could tell. I cleaned the 3 pins a bit more for kicks.

I pulled the turn signal switch again and cleaned the contacts better as well. It's tough to get in there and work on it but I was able to clean it pretty well.

I plugged the 229D back in and got a steady flash on the passenger side, but a weird timing. It's a long on, short off, long on, short off. The driver's side only had the rear light flickering quickly and nothing on the front. No change after cleaning all the grounds. I also pulled the gauge cluster again and changed out the indicator bulbs and cleaned the contacts and grounds....there were 55's in there but I think they are supposed to be 51's, so that's what I swapped them to. The indicator lights still did not work after that.

For fun I threw the 535 back in and got a normal (and bright) flash rate on both sides. Obviously the indicator lights did not work, and the driver's front did not flash (stayed off, though the light works normally), which tells me there is probably an issue with the contact on the switch.

I'll clean that contact again and see if I can fix the front driver's light issue. I'm also going to pull the wire on the flasher plug that goes to the indicator lights (blue) and connect it to ground. Other people have said that this has worked for them. The dash indicator lights are already connected to the front and rear lights....theoretically they shouldn't need a separate source of power from the flasher unit.

-Kevin

Posted on: 9/13 8:31:21
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15986
Removing the dark blue wire from pin 2 of the flasher socket and connecting it directly to ground will place the indicator lamps in parallel with the other two. That will take the drive out of the flasher transistor and power them with the thermal part. That may work as long as the total resistance doesn't change so much the thermal spec is disrupted but will also reverse the way they would normally get power and ground since they would now be powered with the outside bulbs. You may need to reverse the lights in the cluster to have them flash with the correct side. Rather than the original way of having ground run thru the opposite off sides bulb filaments so they won't both flash at once and also take advantage of the extra resistance, they will now have power plus a solid ground and may be quite a bit brighter. This really should not be necessary if the connections and grounds are good.

The phenolic insulating board which holds the contact buttons on both the switch and inside the sockets has been known to warp or otherwise deform allowing one contact to be positioned at a different level than another generally resulting in a poor connection. The inline Wade (flat tabs) or Douglas (round bullets) connectors are also known to corrode internally particularly if they have been sitting for years in a moist environment.

As mentioned before, grounds are notorious for causing issues even if they look clean at a bolt to sheetmetal surface. The other end that is threaded into potmetal could still be corroded. Grounds for the parking lights go thru several bolt connections in the pot metal grill pieces and are particularly susceptible to the point that some owners have needed to solder or otherwise attach a ground wire directly to the socket shell and connect that wire directly to sheet metal on the fender.

One fairly easy way to tell if there is still a ground issue is to get a long length of hookup wire. Attach one end directly to the ground post on the battery and go around to each socket with the other end. Use some sandpaper to clean a bright spot directly on the socket shell and touch it with the ground wire and see if the lamps start working or get brighter.

Posted on: 9/13 9:36:14
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2008/3/21 18:20
Posts: 2297
The grounds on the front lights on 53-54 cars are especially tricky as those electrons have to make it out of the base, through the bulb holder, through the reflector onto the light housing. somehow onto the chassis of the car and back to the battery. I have often soldered a ground wire to the bulb socket and screwed the other end to some of the splasher sheet metal.

Posted on: 9/13 16:35:18
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 271
Thank you Howard and Ross. I'm going to hook up some dedicated ground wires to the park lights in front and see what that does.

I messed around with it early this morning and didn't make much progress. I pulled the signal switch again and confirmed that the tabs were all making contact when the switch was turned. I can't tell if any of the contacts are degraded internally (likely) but I can confirm that the contacts are working at this point. I do think my issues are all related to ground, and probably on the front.

Hopefully I can get this resolved by today. I put the steering wheel back on so I can drive the car to the neighbor's house for more welding this afternoon....if the smoke outside isn't too hazardous.

-Kevin

Posted on: 9/14 9:00:20
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 271
Well this has been a frustrating day.

I made separate ground wires for both the parking lights in the front. Soldered to the light socket and grounded to the ground on the left and right junction boxes. Passenger blinker works normally, driver does not come on in the front. Instead the dash indicator comes on for that side only. The 229D does not work on the driver's side at all. Just a high rate pulsing on the driver rear light, nothing on the front. I'm not sure what else to look at.

I ran wires for the rear lights and hooked them up just like the wiring diagram shows. They must have been installed after the car was delivered because they had run the power wire under the car, when it should have been with the main wire loom (or at least I assume). The ground wire was disconnected in the engine bay so I have no idea where they had hooked it up. It is supposed to go to the back of the instrument panel and attach to one of the circuit breakers. So I made up wires that were routed correctly and attach in the correct places, but the reverse lights do not come on.

I also drilled a hole in the flange of the fuel tank to get a better ground because my fuel gauge is not working. I grounded to the fuel tank door screws. The gauge still does not work. The fuel sender is brand new.

Then I tried to start the car to get the engine running and give it some exercise. It had trouble starting, and when it did it is very rough and I hear a definite knocking. It ran great last week. I have no idea what could have changed in that time. It's always had a bit of a tap when first starting that goes away as soon as the engine warms up a bit. But this sound is different.

So now I'm 0/4 for my projects today and I'm afraid that somehow the engine is damaged. Just one of those days where I question my choice of project.

-Kevin

Posted on: 9/14 17:27:13
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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2015/1/16 9:43
From sw, pa
Posts: 1261
These old cars can be trying sometimes. John

Posted on: 9/14 19:02:52
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 271
Bad news. Had my friend come over with his timing light and some other instruments to see what we could find. Timing is good, idle speed is good, all spark plug wires are right, points and rotor are clean. All plugs are getting spark.

But 3 and 4 are not firing, despite the spark plugs working, and there is a loud tapping in that area around the valves. Spark, fuel and air are all there so the only thing I can think of is a problem with the valves on 3 and 4. Thoughts?

So frustrating, especially since my compression numbers were so good last week. I was really hoping not to have to tear into the engine anytime soon, but I guess I don't really have a choice now. My goal of at least driving it on the road this year is quickly disappearing.

Ugh.

Posted on: 9/14 19:40:07
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