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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15355
For 54 believe the switch is on the brass block at the end of the power brake unit.

Brake lights are powered from the aux circuit breaker on the back of the instrument cluster and goes via the main loom into the engine comp and to a section which drops down and eventually gets to the brake switch. Can't remember but there may be wires for other things in that section. Out of the brake switch and then back to the dash where it enters a round black plug with 6 wires connecting to wires coming out of the steering column.

Power from CB to the brake light switch is an orange wire and signal out of the switch is a green wire which enters the round plug. The plug connects to the turn signal switch and once brake signal gets thru the switch where the signal is split into separate feeds for the bulbs goes back out the plug to an inline connector where it connects to the body loom going to the trunk. The right bulb is a yellow wire and left bulb is a brown wire.

The brake switch is where I would check first but if it is OK the next most likely spot is a bad connection at the plug or poor contact in the turn signal switch. The brake light signal goes to two spots in the switch -- one separate contact for each bulb so unlikely both contacts would be bad to have no brake lights at all.

Here is the turn signal circuit showing also the the brake light part where the switch connects the single green wire to both bulbs.

Attach file:



jpg  49-56 Turn Signal Extraction2.jpg (375.03 KB)
209_5d0fde0283f8b.jpg 2047X1233 px

Posted on: 6/23 13:04:46
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2008/8/23 21:43
From Minnesota
Posts: 1255
Wow! That shows/says it all. Thanks! I have been under the dash and in the trunk lately. Rooting around for cause of inoperative fuel and temp gauges (left side of instrument panel). I did not find anything loose, but I might've jiggled something. Also looked in trunk for wire to sending unit from tank, and why my trunk light doesn't work. (The wiring diagram in the service manual shows all of these on same circuit.)

So, I might've jiggled something, or, the mechanic who just had the car in for an oil change/lube/inspection might've disconnected something. He said he put in brake fluid (which I didn't ask for. I check it regularly and don't want it overfull or mixed with anything I don't know about).

Is there something close to the MC like a wire he might've disconnected?

I've got some more sleuthing to do, armed with excellent information now. Everyone: look out for that parking brake handle when you're under the dash. Ouch.

Questions showing more of my ignorance: Which end of the power brake unit is the Brass Block on and what does the switch look like? Do you get at it from inside or outside or underneath?

Thanks again,

Guy

Posted on: 6/23 15:32:53
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Guy

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Lking for a '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper Hardtop: "Decent Driver"
FOUND a '54 Clipper Deluxe 3-speed OD with PS, PB, 327 "Thunderbolt" 81K on the clock. Very decent driver.
Still wouldn't mind a 2-door '55 or '56, but it might be a few years.

We had a 2-tone blue '55 Clipper Custom with Torsion Level in in my family beginning in 1955 when it was new (two years before I was born). The car was the regular family driver until 1969. You might say I grew up in a Packard!
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15355
The brass block is at the end of the master under the steering column and I believe the brake light switch might be on the end although some cars has it screwed in one of the ports on the side of the block. It is fairly confined spaces but you might be able to see or reach from the top if you bend way over the fender. Switch is a hexagonal shaped unit about an inch in diameter with 2 terminals sticking out the end. Wires have a terminal on their ends which push over those on the switch. There should be an orange and a green wire on the terminals.

I don't remember if the body loom to the trunk goes overhead on 54s or if they moved it to the floor like they did for 55-6 models. The body loom is fairly thin with 5 or 6 wires in it. The schematics do not show any connecting plugs on the body loom except an inline connector which has 2 or 3 wires on each side but you might look under the dash or in the L kickpanel area for another round plug like the one at the edge of the dash connecting to wires coming out of the steering column.

The fact brakes and fuel and temp gauges are not working almost sounds like a power or circuit breaker problem except I believe there are two separately powered breakers involved so not likely a problem with both of them. The instruments have a voltage regulator at the center back of the cluster which is connected to a 10 amp breaker powered by the key. The regulator might have lost power or failed which would affect both gauges. You could check with a voltmeter connected to ground and see if there is 6v on the terminal in the center of the regulator and then see if there is anything coming out the terminal on the side. The regulator needs to be fastened to the cluster and grounded to work properly.

Brakes should be powered all the time via the other breaker but it is possible one of the wires was pulled off when the fellow was adding fluid. That same breaker does power the body feed line which the trunk light gets its power from. Does your back seat reading or courtesy light work when switched on or door opened? It gets power from the same place. The fuel sender wire is in the same bunch of wires and part of the body loom but is a wire straight from the tank to the fuel gauge.

Here is the diagram showing the back of the cluster and where to check voltage. The other is a typical 51-4 brake unit showing where the brass block and switch will be.

Attach file:



jpg  cluster.jpg (365.35 KB)
209_5d100ec3e1552.jpg 1420X1122 px

jpg  brake switch.jpg (161.32 KB)
209_5d100ed0854d9.jpg 1040X904 px

Posted on: 6/23 16:45:05
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Howard
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2008/8/23 21:43
From Minnesota
Posts: 1255
HH,

More great stuff. The trunk light and gauges were out long before the brake lights went out, so there is probably no link between them. I bet it's the connection at the end of the MC. The wire was probably pulled out at shop. That would be a relief. Not my fault!

The courtesy light works by the switch, but it didn't used to. The mechanics fixed that a long time ago and I don't know how.

The rear loom comes in on the left side of the trunk along the fender, then goes to the floor after it powers the left tail light.

There is a wire going from the loom to the trunk light. It looks good, but the light doesn't work. I believe it's on the same circuit as the sending unit for the fuel tank, so that gauge might not be an instrument panel problem - who knows, maybe the sending unit is bad. The book shows how to test it, but as I mentioned before, there's no access panel in trunk so you'd have to drop the tank.

The temp gauge is really the most important one that's not working.

But the brake lights come first.

Incidentally, the right license plate light works, but the left does not. I believe I checked the bulb long ago and it was good.

Thanks again for all the great info which will be useful now and in the futre.

--- Guy

Posted on: 6/25 9:42:33
_________________
Guy

Not an Expert

Lking for a '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper Hardtop: "Decent Driver"
FOUND a '54 Clipper Deluxe 3-speed OD with PS, PB, 327 "Thunderbolt" 81K on the clock. Very decent driver.
Still wouldn't mind a 2-door '55 or '56, but it might be a few years.

We had a 2-tone blue '55 Clipper Custom with Torsion Level in in my family beginning in 1955 when it was new (two years before I was born). The car was the regular family driver until 1969. You might say I grew up in a Packard!
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15355
If the back seat courtesy light works and the car is stock, the trunk light should be getting power. The trunk light is powered via a splice in the same wire feeding the rear courtesy light and originates at the 30amp always powered breaker. That breaker also feeds the brake lights. It is very possible the steel ball inside the trunk light assy that rolls and connects power to the bulb when the lid opens has rusted or corroded and the switch is not making contact. A fairly common problem and there are a few posts on the forum where people have been able to restore contact by removing and shaking the lamp assy vigorously to kind of beat or wear off the rust or, on the older mercury switches, the coating that develops on the contacts. Other times the shake method has not been successful and it requires a new and different switch. I had to go that new switch route on my 47.

There is a mistake in the 54 Packard wiring diagram on the fuel sender wire. In actuality there should be no connection between the fuel sender wire and any lights. Fuel sender is an orange wire which has one inline connector that usually is positioned just after the short length of wire from the tank unit enters thru the grommeted hole in the rear of trunk floor. Occasionally the connector is underneath but other than the connector the wire goes directly and only from the sender to a terminal on the gas gauge. In the 54 diagram they indicate a splice going to a senior back up light on that wire instead of where it really is on the green wire next to it that takes care of back up lamps.

Best I can suggest on the gauges is check the instrument voltage regulator. It is possible that item has failed which would affect both gauges. Since the turn signals work the breaker feeding the regulator should be OK since turn signals also get power from the same breaker. If you have a voltage at both terminals on the regulator there should also be power at both gauges. If nothing at the terminal toward the side then the regulator is bad. If there is power, ground the wire out at the temp sender. If the gauge moves the sender is the problem, if nothing happens then the wire or the gauge. The fuel gauge can be tested the same way by disconnecting the inline connector in the trunk and temporarily grounding the wire as someone watches the gauge. If it moves the sender is the problem, if not then wire or gauge. Don't leave the wires grounded longer than it takes to verify that the gauges move.

Posted on: 6/25 10:16:52
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Howard
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2008/8/23 21:43
From Minnesota
Posts: 1255
HH,


I've been looking at a lot of things. You might call it "monkeying around" but I'm seeing a lot and learning where things go. Two of the terminals in the hydraulic switch (which seem to be firmly connected) are an orange and a green wire. I took pics of all of this, but speaking from memory here: Coming out of the switch and bundled with other wires is our friend the yellow wire. Coming out of the bundle and going down through a grommet are a green, an orange and our friend, Mr. Yellow. I suspect these go through the firewall. There is also another wire of unknown color and origin going through at this point. Then, under the dash we find Mr. Yellow, Mr. Green and Mr. Orange (just think "Reservoir Dogs" if you saw that).

Under the dash I found one disconnected wire hanging down, but alas, it was Mr. Black. But maybe a ground wire that needs to go somewhere. The end of it was fitted to go into a plug type connector. It was hanging right where the wires were headed up into the steering column but was much too short to go up there. Does it connect behind instrument panel maybe? IDK

Then to the trunk. Followed the bundle of wires in there along left side. There is an entirely separate wire going to the trunk light switch from this bundle. I had NO IDEA that there was a mercury switch in the trunk light. (I had hunted all over to find a push-in switch like a door switch.) It looks like the unit is riveted in. I'll try to "tickle" it though. (The bulb is new and I cleaned to socket.)

More fun in the trunk with Mr. Yellow: He came out of the bundle of wires and went across the floor on at the back of the trunk. (that is, the edge nearest the bumper) and went through several links and maybe a fuse? I tried to upset as little as possible. I found the wires going through the grommet. I know these go to the license plate lights and the fuel gauge sender (a single wire goes there).

The yellow wire shows up along this route and as far as I can see ENDS at the bulb socket for the right rear tail light. It does NOT go to the left tail light. (I believe the wires going to the left tail light are green and orange). Which would make sense. Mr. Green, Mr. Orange and Mr. Yellow all wind up at the tail lights. The end. And nobody gets killed.


I have no electrical sense, no meter. All I got is my hands, my eyes, electrical tape, extra wire and some connectors, and a good set of tools. I never could read a schematic.

It's really essential to find out why the lights went out and where the fix is, rather than to have them start working again "for no reason." That would be awful. Sometimes when things "fix themselves" it's a very bad deal. Especially with electrical things.


Thanks for staying with me on this. Brake lights are so essential.


Guy

Posted on: 6/27 12:54:22
_________________
Guy

Not an Expert

Lking for a '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper Hardtop: "Decent Driver"
FOUND a '54 Clipper Deluxe 3-speed OD with PS, PB, 327 "Thunderbolt" 81K on the clock. Very decent driver.
Still wouldn't mind a 2-door '55 or '56, but it might be a few years.

We had a 2-tone blue '55 Clipper Custom with Torsion Level in in my family beginning in 1955 when it was new (two years before I was born). The car was the regular family driver until 1969. You might say I grew up in a Packard!
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15355
I truly don't know what all is going on with your car but it sounds as if someone has done some modifications and who knows to what or where the wires are going.

If everything was still stock, the wires in the trunk should be a yellow going to the Rt tail light & would be the brake/turnsignal wire coming from the black plug at the base of the steering column which connects to the turnsignal switch. The brown wire to the Lt tail light is the brake/turnsignal for that side also from the black plug. Neither wire should have any fuses but who knows what has happened in 65 years

The black wire hanging under the dash is not a ground as Packard only ran a couple of grounds via wires and those are in the engine compt. Normally grounds were done by a component just being screwed to the body metal. If the wire is coming out of the steering column it may be for the bulb in the Ultramatic shift quadrant. If so, it plugs either directly to one side of the double terminal in the center of the ceramic portion of the head light switch or if it was too short, possibly an extension wire with a mating plug coming from the switch.

I don't think you are going to be able to do much more without checking some voltages or maybe taking the car and a copy of the wiring diagram back to your mechanic. You could also just replace the brake switch since those are the usual reasons for suddenly having no brake lights. If it fixes the problem great, if not then you have a spare switch for when it does fail and can troubleshoot farther to find the real cause of the problem.

If you don't have a meter possibly you could pick up an inexpensive test light. Amazon has the one pictured and Harbor Freight used to have and may still carry something similar. All you need to do with the light is ground the clip and with the pointed end touch the various terminals and see if power is present. If voltage is present the bulb will light.

If you do buy a light similar to the one in this picture then because the pointed end looks to be long and bare it would be a good idea to wrap most of its length with tape just leaving maybe 1/2 inch at the tip exposed. If there is a clear plastic shield that comes with the light to cover the probe then the tape would not be necessary. Covering the probe will go a long way to prevent shorting anything in close confined areas.

To check the brake switch remove the orange wire completely and stick the probe in the hole so the tip touches the metal terminal inside. If it lights you have power. Plug that wire back on the switch and then pull the green wire off and when someone steps on the brakes test the exposed terminal on the switch. If the light works there too the switch is OK and you need to start checking the turn signal switch or maybe find a broken wire somewhere. If no light on the orange wire the brake switch is not getting power and you need to find out what has failed or what someone has modified.

Attach file:



jpg  test light .jpg (113.60 KB)
209_5d15591e37a15.jpg 662X930 px

Posted on: 6/27 17:05:25
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/8/23 21:43
From Minnesota
Posts: 1255
Thanks Howard,

Good advice indeed. I have one of those little test lights, I think. I presume they work on 6v as well as 12. The yellow and black wires to the right rear (Passenger Side) tail lamp... Could Mr. Black be the culprit of this whole thing? I doubt it because the running lights and signals work on both tail lamps. I think that rules out Mr. Black.

Thanks for all your help. It is now up to the challenge of figuring out on my own. I'd much prefer that to taking it back to the mechanics. I want to see with my own eyes where the open or short is.

I just wish I hadn't messed around under the dash and in the trunk when I got it back from the shop. I usually check the stop lights every time before I go somewhere, but of course when I brought it back from there, I was in a hurry... I'm learning to never be in too much of a hurry with these old cars... especially starting out. Note to self: check everything every time (withing reason).

I kind of doubt anything has been radically modified. The person who owned the car before me was as obsessive as me about keeping things stock (except the paint, which is not a bad match for the Bikini Blue, and available at my local parts store through GM).

The previous owner passed away and I bought the car from his brother, who never bothered much about it because it wasn't a Studebaker. It's just possible that I am only the 3rd long-term owner of the car. It has 80,000 on the odometer.

But things happen. It obviously sat outside for some time, on a slant, with the driver's side lower. It droops on that side, and there's water damage under the driver's seat next to the rocker pane -- rusted through a fairly large hole, but it's "plugged" by yours truly. It's been a good reliable car, though. I will post pics of the wiring at some point here.

_ Guy

Posted on: 6/28 7:39:50
_________________
Guy

Not an Expert

Lking for a '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper Hardtop: "Decent Driver"
FOUND a '54 Clipper Deluxe 3-speed OD with PS, PB, 327 "Thunderbolt" 81K on the clock. Very decent driver.
Still wouldn't mind a 2-door '55 or '56, but it might be a few years.

We had a 2-tone blue '55 Clipper Custom with Torsion Level in in my family beginning in 1955 when it was new (two years before I was born). The car was the regular family driver until 1969. You might say I grew up in a Packard!
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2008/8/23 21:43
From Minnesota
Posts: 1255
If anyone is still following this, they might want to look at some pics that show a lot of what I investigated. Oh yeah, now the oil light isn't on. I think all these new troubles (since I discovered the stop lights didn't work) have been self-inflicted due to trying to "fix" things."

I am no expert, but the pictures may be helpful to some of you on the forums. I'm not an expert on posting photos here, either, but I've done it before and will try to do it again and give clear explanations.

Here's the first one. It's looking down toward the top of the MC. Green, orange, and yellow going into the bundle, and yellow going with yellow and, I believe white and green:

Attach file:



jpg  Underhood MC.JPG (932.44 KB)
917_5d192fa39cba3.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  MC top & yellow green wires.jpg (500.77 KB)
917_5d1935cacf2ec.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Going through grommet underneath.JPG (770.11 KB)
917_5d1935f55407d.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Yellow to Coil.jpg (536.84 KB)
917_5d19361cd8c79.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Wires to underhood grommet.jpg (770.11 KB)
917_5d19364702121.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Steering column wires.jpg (508.17 KB)
917_5d1936771aa82.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Trunk wires coming in.jpg (563.47 KB)
917_5d1936aa460cd.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Trunk wires to left tail lamp.jpg (672.19 KB)
917_5d195288a7cd3.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Left tail lamp splice?.jpg (603.93 KB)
917_5d1952cc212cf.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Trunk bundle to rt tail lamp 1.JPG (502.91 KB)
917_5d195401ef13d.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Trunk splice & Grommet.jpg (506.32 KB)
917_5d1955941ec94.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Trunk bundle to rt tail lamp 2.jpg (506.93 KB)
917_5d1955e6cc7c1.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Trunk bundle to rt tail lamp 3.jpg (575.73 KB)
917_5d195618d888a.jpg 1600X1200 px

jpg  Rt tail lamp wires.jpg (594.18 KB)
917_5d19568642aa0.jpg 1600X1200 px

Posted on: 6/30 13:19:46
_________________
Guy

Not an Expert

Lking for a '55 or '56 Packard or Clipper Hardtop: "Decent Driver"
FOUND a '54 Clipper Deluxe 3-speed OD with PS, PB, 327 "Thunderbolt" 81K on the clock. Very decent driver.
Still wouldn't mind a 2-door '55 or '56, but it might be a few years.

We had a 2-tone blue '55 Clipper Custom with Torsion Level in in my family beginning in 1955 when it was new (two years before I was born). The car was the regular family driver until 1969. You might say I grew up in a Packard!
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Re: Hydraulic stop light switch
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15355
Wish I could be more help but think it is now time to follow the wiring with a test light or meter to find out where the voltage to the brake, instruments and now oil light is coming from and why it is apparently not present in more than one place. All those items if wiring was stock would not be powered from the same end source so there must be something changed or the failure is early in the distribution. The instruments get power from one circuit breaker fed from the ign switch and the brakes from a constant on breaker fed from the battery. The breaker and the ignition switch are powered direct from a wire coming from the battery terminal on the starter solenoid. If the failure is that wire and so early in the distribution you should be seeing more things without power.

If you have trouble reading the diagrams maybe a friend could help out. If stock, the oil light gets power direct from the ign switch and is grounded thru the sender. When the key is on and engine is not running or has low oil pressure the light should be on unless the wire is disconnected, bulb burned out, or sender went bad. There is a dark blue wire that connects the bulb socket to the sender. Maybe that wire or the socket in the cluster was pulled out or broken during the searching.

On the wire hanging out of the steering column that does look like the Ultra quadrant light. It is short so there should be a black wire coming from the ceramic portion of the headlight switch with a connector having a round hole that bullet on the steering wire would mate with.

I can't really see enough loom details to guess what wires might be in that section of loom along with the brake switch. The loom is low so the light dimmer is a possibility as are some of the components low on the block such as oil sender, horn wire, maybe even the generator.

Here is a direct link to the 54 factory diagram. It has wire colors as well as the sizes and also the notation where there was a factory error Packard caught and notified dealers about. A couple of other errors are still on the diagram and not noted.
http://www.packardinfo.com/xoops/html ... 54%2054th%20Series%20.pdf

Posted on: 6/30 17:13:35
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