Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!

Posted by humanpotatohybrid On 2022/6/13 5:42:19
Congrats on the purchase! It looks like it was a great buy. Interior is fantastic and looks to be all original too.

On the windshield, my car did not come with back glass (technically it did, in a thousand pieces) so I have a bit of experience in replacing them (though the back and front are replaced a bit differently). You can get them online, Kanter and some other places have them, but they will be pretty expensive especially from shipping. Since you don't need it urgently, I would take a different approach, find your local Packard club and get to know people over time. Eventually you will find someone with a parts car they won't mind you pulling the windshield out of for cheap (or maybe free), same goes for pretty much any part under the sun in these years. You will still need weatherstripping for it though. Even if you're able to pull the old stuff off cleanly, it will be a huge difficulty getting back on (it gets stiff from age) and it will probably leak too. That being said, make sure to grab all the windshield fasteners you take off and even exterior trim, as you never know if something will break when replacing it. Speaking from experience.

It can be useful to check the repair times listed in the "flat rate manual". Here, an R&R for a front windshield is 3.8 hours, but plan on easily doubling that for your first time, not to mention you may be pulling your own. So plan a whole day, or two evenings, if doing that, and the same for the actual replacement. As a side note, I know that a rear glass will fit INSIDE a Packard, just barely... but it would be better to go get it with a pickup truck or just an SUV with the seats folded down. The instructions are in the "body" section of the service manual. They are a bit unclear in places so if/when you do this I would ask again for tips here. For example, on the back glass the fastest way to get it out is to cut straight through the middle of the rubber with a box knife on the top edge, then push it out. I don't know if that's a good strategy for the front though. And the trim is done differently front/back, etc.

Also, when buying/picking parts you want to check the parts lists in the literature archive for cross-compatibility. They are a bit of a pain to look though but it's worth it. For example, for your front glass I checked the 55-56 list, page 188, and the 48-54 list, page 561. Cross-referencing the body numbers with the Model Information pages, we can see that all of the two-doors in '55 and '56 (the Super Coupes, Custom Coupes, Executive Coupe, 400's, and the Caribbeans) all used P/N 444944. It turns out that it's not used on the 48-54's, but it's good to check related years (for example, the rear glass on some 55's was reused from that time period also). So if you find any glass for sale, or see/hear of a parts car you could pick the glass from, you know that any 2 door from 55 or 56 would work.

P.S. You may want to double-check that no rodents have made a home in your exhaust pipe. Maybe try to use a pipe snake?

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