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Pesky Patrician Wiring Troubles
Just popping in
2019/5/25 15:37
From Sewickley, Penna.
Posts: 3
Hello All,

I've a 1955 Patrician I'm outfitting for regular summer use. The transmission should be finished being rebuilt soon, and the only remaining trouble is the reverse lights. That is, they don't work. Neither do the interior courtesy lights. I've had a look at the wiring and can't find anything that looks out of place or wrong. All the bulbs are brand new. The body fuse blows sometimes rather regularly, bit I can't find any broken wires. Is there something I'm overlooking?

Note, the neutral safety switch is in working order.

Many thanks in advance,


Posted on: 2019/9/17 8:40
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Re: Pesky Patrician Wiring Troubles
Forum Ambassador
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15646
A couple of possibilities. The body loom goes down the left side floor, into the trunk to the left tail light area. It continues in a section of loom that goes across the trunk rear floor in a sort of trough just in front of the vertical panel below the trunk lid. The loom is vulnerable to foot damage in a couple of spots across the floor and objects have been known to fall in that trough and wear thru the insulation as well as worn or missing grommets and rusted holes where the wires exit to the license lights. Loose objects in the trunk slamming into the light sockets and mashing wires at the tail lights are also a possibility. All have been known to cause problems in that section of loom resulting in intermittent issues with the lights and fuses.

The body loom where it exits the area behind the left kick panel and is clamped to the floor can get worn or damaged by continued foot pressure and also a round connector under the left dash or just inside the left kick panel space which connects the main loom to the body loom has been known to have terminals back out and short to the body metal or corrode and cause problems when conditions are just right. Problems with some rear 55 cigar lighters being loose in the socket and shorting have also caused intermittent blowing of the body fuse.

On the reverse light, with the key on do you have power on the green wire with white tracer at the neutral safety switch? There has been a question on where that power actually comes from. Diagram shows it fed off the heater fuse but IIRC, another poster said his came from a different fuse so just verify if there is power to the switch. Sometimes the fuses in the Packard holder develop corrosion issues and while the fuses look good they actually are not passing current. If the power is present at the switch then when reverse is selected there should be voltage going out the dark green wire where it then goes to that round connector behind the left kick panel and then out the body loom to the reverse lights. If it does not get thru the switch, because the switch sections activate at different ends of shift lever travel sometimes the adjustment can be fussy to have both the neutral section and the reverse section work properly. If there is anything in the shift linkage which is restricting the full lever travel when going to reverse the switch may need to be fudged a bit.

Posted on: 2019/9/17 9:20
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Re: Pesky Patrician Wiring Troubles
Forum Ambassador
2006/5/15 20:07
From Irwin, Pa
Posts: 3512
There is a seven-prong plug up under the left side of the dash that feeds the rear wiring and if those brass contacts have oxidized to the point where they won't conduct electricity it will drive you nuts. I used a brass bristle brush in my dremel to polish up the male and female parts of that plug and my courtesy lights work again. I hope you find your problem.

Posted on: 2019/9/17 11:47
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits" - Albert Einstein
YFAM, Randy Berger
Packard 400 (Best Other)
Packard Caribbean
Caribbean restoration
1956 Patrician
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