There is an excellent article written by Dwight Heinmuller on the Torsion Level system and how bushings, shocks, and other mechanical components interact. It was published in the November, 2017 Cormorant News Bulletin and is now available to read on Dwight's website.https://www.packardparts.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/torsion-bar-article-8-30-2017-revision.pdf
Very little is mentioned on the compensator and electrical leveling part, just the suspension aspects. Would suggest anyone wanting to have the system as close to original road handling condition as possible read the article.
Synopsis of the article is everything needs to be in good condition and since rubber bushings deteriorate yet play such an important part are probably the item needing the most attention. Shocks do play a part in the overall design and as the article pointed out were somewhat special. Dwight mentioned consulting with Monroe who supplied the original shocks and also Gabriel reps. Their opinion was most shocks available today will not have the same characteristics as the originals because of larger piston sizes and different valving. They are too stiff and actually hinder operation. The article did recommend one particular brand which closely mimics the size and special valving in the originals and are available from NAPA, Rock Auto, Summit and others.
Kayaba or more commonly KYB shocks part number 343127 for fronts and 343149 for rears. The rear shocks will fit both years as is and for 56, fronts will too. For a 55 the fronts need to have a modification. The article mentions there is a crossbar on the shocks which will bolt to the 56 lower A arm but since 55 used a stud mount on the bottom the bar needs to be removed from the shock and a stud welded in its place. That may present an issue for some but if the shocks work as they are supposed to maybe worth the extra hassle. I don't know if there are any kind of adapters available to avoid the welding. There are adapters for a 55 stud type shock to bolt on a 56 but don't know if anything is available for the 56 bar to work with a 55 stud mount.
This Post was from: https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=213530