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Mike's 53 Clipper
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/4/11 10:01
From Stuttgart Germany
Posts: 769
Not that I am really restoring my car now, but it is still an ongoing project. I'll be posting some pictures and info from my history with the car, and some of the things I have done along the way....
This picture was taken at Lehigh University's Goodman Campus circa 1995. Lehigh University was where James Ward Packard and I got our engineering degrees. I used to walk by old number 1 just about every day when I was at Lehigh.

Let me go through some of the projects/repairs I've done over the years....I'll also include where I got the parts. Perhaps the info will be interesting, or somebody asks me a few questions....

Winter 1994 I got the car from my uncle Danny Barbush! Thanks Danny!
Driving it back from Pittsburgh to Lehigh the clutch throw out bearing seized, so in went a new pressure plate and throw out bearing (kanter). In those days I was working at the garage that serviced Lehigh's fleet vehicles, so I could use the lift and garage on occasion.
The starter switch on the carb would trigger on occasion when it was not wanted, so I took out the wires going to that switch and mounted a push button from Moroso in the hole where the rear speaker fader control was. -right below and next to the ignition switch.
I also installed 2 lap belts in the front seat. (kanter)
As a student, I didn't have too much cash for the car. A car cover and a garage took most of my spare change. I installed a radio in the glove box, 5 1/4 inch speakers in the kick panels, (embarrassed to say) a big boom box in the trunk. That is now gone, and the car sit's 1/2 inch higher in the back!
After Lehigh when I was in Ann Arbor, I installed Coker tires 215/75R15 with 2 1/2" white walls. They were a great ride and handling improvement over the old bias ply tires that were on the car. At this time I also installed new shocks and a hydraulic brake light switch (Tuscon Packard)
I had to cut one rear shock out with a torch. One upper mount was a real pain in the butt. The rest were not much problem.
Make certain to disconnect the battery before you change the brake light switch! That circuit is hot all the time!
The next big project was to rebuild the front suspension. I was living in a house with a nice garage at the time. I pulled the front suspension all off, sandblasted everything, did a nice paint job with POR 15 and their chassis black. New bushings, sway bar mounts, and tie rod ends were installed.
I rebuilt the master cyl in Aug 2003, cleaned in parts cleaner, (outside sandblasted inside honed) and painted with POR15. (Rebuild kit from Kanter)
Aug 2004 I had the generator rebuilt and got a new voltage regulator. From Professional Rebuilders 29076 Plymouth Road in Livonia Michigan.

Must have been 2005 I rebuilt the carb and the fuel pump. Also ran a new gas line from the pump to the carb. I lived 2 miles from Harbor Freight! What a great place to buy cheap tools. (cheap quality also, but what the hey!)

Oct 2006 I had the heater core re-cored at Four Seasons Radiator in Madison Heights Michigan. (after the windshield fogged up and a few drops of coolant got on the carpet)

When I got to Germany and went through TüV I had to fix and adapt a few things. In went a headlight switch from Kanter, the gas tank came out to get a leak fixed, the brake lines got fastened to the frame rail better. Headlights from a mazda miata went in with the Euro stamp. These are nice because I can use modern halogen bulbs. I also had to change some lighting:
The parking light circuit from the headlight switch goes to the parking lights inside the headlamps (European headlamps) The parking light filament in the parking lamp is now used for a four way hazard system I wired in. If anybody wants advice on how to do this, I could make a write up.
Over the years I've changed the fluids a handful of times, and done the usual maintenance.
Soon to be done are ignition tune up, try and get the thing to stop leaving spots everyplace I go. Nothing drastic, but would be nice to be clean...motor oil, trans, steering box and rear axle all leave a little drop now and then....

Attach file:



jpg  TobsPackard.JPG (14.37 KB)
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Posted on: 2008/10/22 10:31
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/4/11 10:01
From Stuttgart Germany
Posts: 769
Here is a scan of the Build Sheet (?) I found. It was located on the topside of the glove box. Between the glove box and the back side of the dashboard. A pretty sketchy place to put your hands if your car has been in the weeds for a while. (Spider zone)
If you can't read the scan it says:
2665 KO 5386 52 HE RPM WS FS BL OB OF ...
There is also an 87 hand written on there.
From what I have researched KO is the color code.
52 is the interior code -green striped bedford cloth.
WS means that the weatherstrip on the rear quarter window was updated.
Any other information about these codes would be interesting for me to know. Or if I can find it here, let me know!

Attach file:



jpg  scan0001.jpg (17.98 KB)
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Posted on: 2008/10/22 10:55
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/4/11 10:01
From Stuttgart Germany
Posts: 769
I did some 'fun' jobs over the weekend. I got a few things from Kanter, and after calling DHL 10 times and tracking down my package paid the import tax and claimed my long lost parts.

Gas tank spring. I didn't even know there was supposed to be one before this website. The door feels a little more luxurious now.

High beam switch rubber boot. Really a silly thing to do, but adds a little more luxury to the experience.

New parking light lenses. Brightened up the front of the car a little. A chrome grill would also help, but that is not in the budget right now.
More Pics to follow
Tobs

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jpg  Tank_door.JPG (47.47 KB)
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Posted on: 2008/10/22 11:15
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/5/29 19:02
From Kansas
Posts: 3707
Mike und Gerd, die Unterschiede zwischen Männern und Frauen machen mich dankbar für diese Frauen, vor allem die großen chested sind!

Posted on: 2008/10/22 11:28
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/4/11 10:01
From Stuttgart Germany
Posts: 769
Some more pics of my weekend activities. In one photo you can see the kickpanels I made years ago and never painted or upholstered. Also visible is the ignition push button, and the switch for my hazard lamps. The H4 Mazda Miata headlights are also to visible. They look a little funny because they are flat, and not convex like the original lights. The light pattern is a little better than the old lights.

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jpg  After.JPG (54.48 KB)
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jpg  DimmerSwitch.JPG (50.46 KB)
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jpg  Before.JPG (49.09 KB)
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Posted on: 2008/10/22 11:29
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 15672
You're fortunate to have found the build slip, many are either missing or degraded into dust. You'll find the build slip codes on this website, but I'll save you the trouble of finding them:

HE = fresh air heater and defroster
RPM = radio, push button, with manual antenna
WS = white sidewall tires
FS = fender skirts
BL = backup lights
OB = oil bath air filter
OF = oil filter

My German is quite rusty but did I catch something about large-chested women in a prior response.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 12:12
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10217
Quote:
Tobs wrote:........A chrome grill would also help, but that is not in the budget right now.........Tobs


Mike,

Unfortunately can't make a comment in German so English will have to suffice. Thanks for sharing your '53 Clipper and your history and ongoing involvement with the car. The painted grill, at least from my viewpoint, is surprisingly effective and "suits" the car.

Posted on: 2008/10/22 13:25
_________________
Mal
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"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/4/11 10:01
From Stuttgart Germany
Posts: 769
Thanks for the translation of the buildsheet! Now I know for certain the wunderbar is not correct. I pulled that out of a patrician in a junk yard in Maryland about 13 years ago.
And the painted grill doesn't look bad, but somebody once commented that there were no "cheap packards" Painted grills are more often seen on pick ups from this era....Someday... after my rockers and wheel arches are free of oxidation.
Tobs

Posted on: 2008/10/23 11:33
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/4/11 10:01
From Stuttgart Germany
Posts: 769
Just was visiting my car in the "tiefgarage" (underground garage) and took note of the number stamped on the block. It corresponds to a 1954 237 5 main with solid lifters... I know the numbers on the head are from 1953...I knew the engine was changed before I got the car, but could they have put the original 53 head on the 54 block, or were they still using heads from the previous year?
Cheers, Tobs

Posted on: 2008/11/18 11:47
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Re: Mike's 53 Clipper
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 15672
Yes they could have, Mike. Lots of interchangeability on cylinder heads, not only from year to year but from engine to engine.

Posted on: 2008/11/18 12:42
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