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1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Quite a regular
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 47
Hi guys, I've been around these forums for years now but haven't had much to contribute, not having a Packard yet myself. My father bought a 1938 Super 8 about 6 years ago but lived halfway across the country. My family has since moved and now we are in the same general area and can both enjoy the Packard....if it was running.





About 5 years ago the car lost power and struggled just to hit 25 mph, with junk being blown out the exhaust. After some headscratching and crossing some problems off the list, it turned out to be a cracked block. A couple of the cylinders had lost all compression.

To make a long story short, the car has been without an engine for these five years. The original block was repaired by welding at a competent place, repainted, reinstalled, etc. We got about 20 miles on it before it cracked again. We then picked up a block from a '39 and had it prepped for the car. This one also cracked around the valve seats (they had attempted to press new modern seats in). After repair, going back to the original style valve seats, machining the block, boring the cylinders, new pistons, crankshaft bearing, etc, the engine is finally ready to put back together. This whole process took the better part of 2 years.

Unfortunately the guy we have doing the engine work had surgeries on both shoulders and can no longer finish the project. He knows his stuff and has been doing this for a very long time. Enter my dad and I, total novices when it comes to rebuilding engines or anything Packard in general. Our friend will guide us through the rebuild and hopefully we'll have the car put back together and running this winter.

This blog will hopefully chronicle our struggles and mistakes as we figure this out. Advice is always welcome! Hopefully we can get it back to looking like this and running as smoothly as it did when he first got it.


Posted on: 10/14 9:50:32
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/2/16 15:39
From Santa Fe
Posts: 5252
The AC hoses and fittings in the last photo reminded me of a similar Packard I saw at a CCCA show in Waxachie, Texas a few years ago. The owner mentioned his Packard was air conditioned. Pretty automobile. Same car?

Posted on: 10/14 11:49:53
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15365
It is a beautiful car and wish you all the best in getting it quickly on the road again.

If you have a chance between down periods of working on the car could you post some photos of the AC and particulars of how it was done. First question: has the car been converted to 12v or is the AC an older unit or something new modified to run on 6v. Several have asked about AC for their cars and any bits of info on a successful installation would be most appreciated by those contemplating the job..

Posted on: 10/14 13:27:21
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
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Joined:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10217
Quote:
JW wrote: The AC hoses and fittings in the last photo reminded me of a similar Packard I saw at a CCCA show in Waxachie, Texas a few years ago. The owner mentioned his Packard was air conditioned. Pretty automobile. Same car?

John,

Could well be. The Registry entry shows it being in Texas before moving.

Kevin,

Looking forward to following along as you get the Packard back up to speed.

Posted on: 10/14 13:43:17
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"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

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What's this? >>>>>> FAQ - Add your Packard to the Owners Registry
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/10/28 7:49
Posts: 2222
Given the compromised condition of those 80 year old motors I would get rid of the air conditioner. It only serves to put a heat load on an already very thermally inefficient cooling system.

I remember a Rolls Cloud I years ago that had an add on air conditioner put in it. It never ran properly after that even after all sorts of radiators and cooling fans were tried. It was a pre-war motor design in a 1959 automobile. When the Cloud II came out the new engine could handle factory A/C.

Posted on: 10/14 15:55:22
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Quite a regular
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 47
It does have A/C and it did come from Texas. It is likely the same car that you saw JW. I don't remember off the top of my head if it is 12V or 6V....I haven't been able to spend much time around it yet. I do know the A/C was an add-on kit that the previous owner installed. We've flipped it on once or twice, but just to test it out. I don't think we'll use it much.

Next time I get down to my dad's place I'll get some detail pictures of the A/C setup. And I'll confirm if it's 12V or 6V. I might try to head down there this weekend and get a start on the engine reassembly.

-Kevin

Posted on: 10/14 22:20:25
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Home away from home
Joined:
2007/2/18 18:55
From Canberra, Australia
Posts: 620
Hello Kevin, I have a 1603 and a 1605. I notice that your Owner Registry description specifies overdrive. Is this correct? Have you or someone fitted a 39 Super Eight R6 trans to the 38 1605? Just curious as I was thinking of doing this to my 1605. Have included a pic of my 1603, which is a formal sedan but not on a 1604 chassis. It has been freshened up but not restored. It has 94,000 miles from new. Nice car to drive but the 4.69 diff ratio is a stump puller. Cruises well on 55 mph but 65 mph is a no no.
Kind Regards, Peter Toet

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jpg  Packards Jan 05 004.jpg (84.29 KB)
154_5da5a19aa50fb.jpg 640X480 px

Posted on: 10/15 3:38:25
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Quite a regular
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 47
Hi Peter - beautiful car. I love that color.

I'm not exactly sure where the overdrive came from, but I'm pretty sure it was an aftermarket kit, and not from a '39 Super 8. I would have to double check on that to be positive. It's been years since I've been around the car so a lot of these details are pretty foggy right now.

Whatever it is the car does cruise nicely on the freeway once the overdrive is engaged.

-Kevin

Posted on: 10/15 10:56:04
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Quite a regular
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 47
The car has been converted to 12V.

Still not sure on the maker of the overdrive. Gear Vendors? Borg Warner? Not sure.

Posted on: 10/15 11:59:58
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Re: 1938 Super 8 1605 - adventures with a newbie
Quite a regular
Joined:
2008/10/27 6:47
From Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 47
Alright, we are getting close to having all the components ready to start reassembly...hopefully within the next two weeks.

Part of the equation is the oil filter. It looks like the previous owner had a NOS or repro Purolator on there:




I have no idea how long this unit has been on there for or when the car was last serviced. The guy who did the engine rebuild said the oil pan was full of sludge. I've read on some forums that using a NOS oil filter can cause some issues because the paper inside can turn to mush and clog oil passageways. So our plan is to replace with a kit to allow a standard screw-on filter.

I understand that R&A is the only one offering a kit now?
http://ra-restorations.com/Oil_FIlters/OilFilters.html

What size is right for this car? L-6 or L-8?

Posted on: 10/18 13:53:48
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