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Board index » All Posts (AndrewM)




Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#31
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

Leeedy wrote:
Quote:

Andrew M wrote:
Quote:

Leeedy wrote:
Sorry, but no pictures of the arms handy. But whoever robbed me in 2002 got a box full of the 1956 arms.

Somewhere I have old paper photos I took back in the 1970s of the two arms laying side-by-side. But where those photos are right now? Who knows? I have bins full of paper photos... from 60 years + and mostly unsorted.

But surely someone else out there knows this stuff and can show you a 1956 Ultramatic shifter arm made for a senior Packard that was originally equipped from the factory with manual selector lever?


Here are two I found on ebay. Do either of these look correct?

1956 Packard Automatic Trans Outer Lever for Manual Control Valve, NOS, #6480732

1956 Packard Ultramatic Outer Manual Valve Lever 6480732 NOS


Nope. The parts numbers may be somewhere from 1956–perhaps when they printed lists. But these are the 1955 style. Dead straight.

The ones I used and remember vividly were curved, not straight–no matter what the parts books or part numbers might say. And I had a Packard engineer back in the 1970s tell me why they changed the design.


Maybe someone will be able to find a picture. The one on the car looks to have an inward curve towards the transmission if looking at it from the front of the car to the back. When looking at it from the side of the car it looks straight. I'm not sure if the column is a 55 or 56. How can you tell the difference? I have all of the factory push button parts. It might be easier to convert it back if I can't get it figured out this way.

Posted on: 2021/2/25 21:54
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#32
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

HH56 wrote:
The lever in the photo resembles the revised 55 lever as shown in the illustration accompanying the report of the rod issue in Service Counselor Vol 30 #1. The lever in the parts book plate 33 identifies the trans as a 56 and typical of 55. It shows a slight curve to the lever. Being there is a different part number for 56 Leeedy is correct -- there is a difference in levers and for that I apologize for not paying more attention to the differences and catching that.

The question would be did the entire column and linkage get transferred from a 56 parts car to make the conversion or was it pieced together. If you have a 56 column then everything might have been transferred intact except for the lever which might be sitting on on of the other transmissions if an extra came with the car. If parts are intermixed then I would agree with Leeedy that it can be a problem to adjust things. With the change in angle between the revised 55 and the 56 levers appearing to be fairly small there might be enough adjustment to firmly get in all gear positions. Does the lever move in equal steps with a distinct detent felt at each gear position N,H,D,L,R when going from neutral to reverse and back again?

Once you verify the trans is going into each selection completely you might be able to adjust the indicator to read properly by moving the clamp for the pointer which is under the rubber cover on the column. If you cannot get it to read properly then most likely an adjustment is at an extreme probably because of a mismatch in linkage.


Yes, there is a distinct feel when moving the shifter through N,H,D,L,R. The indicator itself on the dash is only off by maybe half a indicator letter at max.

Posted on: 2021/2/25 21:50
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#33
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

Leeedy wrote:
Sorry, but no pictures of the arms handy. But whoever robbed me in 2002 got a box full of the 1956 arms.

Somewhere I have old paper photos I took back in the 1970s of the two arms laying side-by-side. But where those photos are right now? Who knows? I have bins full of paper photos... from 60 years + and mostly unsorted.

But surely someone else out there knows this stuff and can show you a 1956 Ultramatic shifter arm made for a senior Packard that was originally equipped from the factory with manual selector lever?


Here are two I found on ebay. Do either of these look correct?

1956 Packard Automatic Trans Outer Lever for Manual Control Valve, NOS, #6480732

1956 Packard Ultramatic Outer Manual Valve Lever 6480732 NOS

Posted on: 2021/2/25 21:31
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#34
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

Leeedy wrote:
Nahh. I'm sorry but that looks like a 1955 lever arm to me. These drop-forged parts (at least the ones I had and the ones I got from Packard Dealer Frost & French years ago) were not dead straight. The the 1956 arms I had were almost always painted bronze with a curve in them. The 1956 senior selector lever arms are not plentiful.

And who knows what else was mixed in when this car was changed away from Pushbuttons? 1955 and 1956 Packards (and don't forget to add in 1955 and 1956 Clippers) may look similar but there are so many changes and it can be deadly not to know these changes intimately. This may seem like a simple swap, but it just SEEMS like a simple swap.

My feeling is that It's always better to repair what you've got because usually when people start doing mix 'n match, there is wayyyy more to go wrong. AND then three times as much work to either figure out what is wrong, why and then how to fix it. OR... how to put it back. Many of these cars are "swapped over" and then put up for sale. So nobody knows the level of the swap-over until it is either a pleasant surprise or nasty surprise.

Few out there can do these kinds of swap-overs successfully with no tears. And pity the poor subsequent owners–even the ones who have notes of what the guy before thinks he did. One of the scariest phrases ever heard can be "re-built Ultramatic changed over from Pushbutton Shift to "reliable manual lever!" Uh-ohh...


Do you have a picture of what a 56 one looks like?

Posted on: 2021/2/25 21:05
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#35
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
The transmission is in park. I haven't had any trouble with getting it in or out of park. I don't know if this is related or not, but the indicator on the dash doesn't exactly line up with what gear it is in.

Also, I moved the linkage to the middle hole today and moved the linkage about 1/8" back, and that did not make any difference. It is still close to the front. I read somewhere where it is close to the middle of the threads usually. Should I adjust it to the middle of the threads? The throttle linkage coming from the gas pedal is 3 1/2", so that seems to spec. The transmission still seems to be slipping when you hit the gas. It seems like it starts slipping instead of going in to the torque converter locking or going in to the next gear. It seems to do this no matter if it is in high, drive, or low. The transmission was rebuilt and installed in 2009, but sat from 2011 to 2021, due to previous owner being in bad health. It only has 500 miles on it at the most. I wonder if something could be sticking from sitting?

Posted on: 2021/2/25 19:47
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#36
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

HH56 wrote:
Look at the gear select linkage on the drivers side when in park. In park the old lever and rod setup will have the end of the lever on the side of the transmission almost flat or at most 5 degrees or so up from horizontal. With a bad adjustment or if slop developed the lever end could fall down or even go below horizontal so the linkage was trying to push in a straight line.

The new lever has the setscrew in a different position so when in park the lever end is around 15 or 20 degrees up from horizontal. The long rod connecting to the bellcrank was also changed in length to accommodate the new lever position. While it might be difficult to connect and even more so to adjust, it could be possible there is a mismatch of parts. If that were the case even though the dash sector label might indicate one gear the transmission might be in another.

One other issue that has developed is the lever on the inside of the case the outer lever and shaft connects with is held by a setscrew. The inside lever is pot metal and threads for the setscrew can strip allowing slop to develop. The inside lever moves the manual valve in the valve body and any slop could also result in the driver indicator reading one gear while the trans is in another or even halfway between gears. Slop can usually be determined if you can wiggle the operator lever more than a very few degrees before it seems to drop into a detent. If you can then disconnect the long rod at the trans lever and try to move the lever manually. In any position other than park more than an eighth of an inch or so movement at the rod end would indicate excessive play inside.


Here is the selector lever on the side of the transmission. It looks to be at an angle. I can’t feel any play in it.

Attach file:



jpeg  C479AD23-332B-46D5-BF39-32C6328A61FB.jpeg (88.54 KB)
224808_6037ef56cbb51.jpeg 948X749 px

Posted on: 2021/2/25 13:40
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#37
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

Leeedy wrote:
Okay. Two things to consider, especially in light of all the modifications and swaps:

1.) I'm going to presume there is no pushbutton shift on this particular Four Hundred. Right? Or wrong? Was it originally the way it is now? Or was this changed since new?

2.) Most people don't seem to know that there were two different shift arms on V-8 Twin Ultramatics. One arm was used in 1955... the other on 1956 Ultramatics WITH selector lever and without Pushbutton shifters. I have seen numerous occasions where a Pushbutton trans was converted to selector lever using a 1955 arm. BAD idea since this conflicts with all the rest of the linkage design and adjustment for 1956. You can adjust the linkage until the cows come home and never get it right.

ONE of the big reasons for the change was to avoid the linkage dropping into the "straight-arm position" and thus allowing what appeared to be the transmission supposedly locked in Park position (it was the linkage that was locked–not the transmission).

Furthermore with a kittywhampus linkage arrangement, the transmission is certainly going to shift oddly. Something to consider and an area you will certainly want to inspect so see what you have going on there.


The car was originally a push button, but the previous owner changed to a column shift sometime after it was restored in 2003. I still have the original push button column and parts, as well as four more push button units and columns.

How can I see if it is the wrong linkage or the correct one?

Posted on: 2021/2/25 13:02
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#38
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

HH56 wrote:
Make sure the fluid level was checked in park or neutral with engine running or immediately after it was stopped as mentioned above.

How about the end where rod connects to the lever on the passenger side of the transmission. Make sure the rod is attached to the lever and clamp at bottom attaching to the shaft is tight. Is the lever pointing up as this photo shows?


Here is a picture of the lever on the side of the transmission. It seems to be tight. It’s not loose.

Attach file:



jpeg  7D4419E9-2DBE-4A4F-973E-35563AF5B28A.jpeg (276.43 KB)
224808_6037e49b7a415.jpeg 1440X1920 px

Posted on: 2021/2/25 12:55
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Re: 1956 400 Ultramatic Transmission Questions
#39
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
Quote:

HH56 wrote:
Make sure the fluid level was checked in park or neutral with engine running or immediately after it was stopped as mentioned above.

How about the end where rod connects to the lever on the passenger side of the transmission. Make sure the rod is attached to the lever and clamp at bottom attaching to the shaft is tight. Is the lever pointing up as this photo shows?


The fluid is red. I checked it in park. Since the transmission was rebuilt, the previous owner used Dexron III fluid. I see where some use Type F or Trick Shift fluid. Would this be any better? Also, what exactly do I measure for the recommended 3 1/2 inches. I’ll check about the rod is tight tomorrow.

Posted on: 2021/2/25 0:27
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1956 Torsion Level Question
#40
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Andrew M
The torsion level on my 56 400 has worked fine since I bought it until today. It still works, but seems to have a problem. When you push down on the rear, it picks itself up fine with no problem. It waits about 10 seconds or so and then comes up. However when it goes back down, it waits about the same time and starts to go down. It will go down about 2 inches then stop. Then it will go down about another inch and stop. Then it will go down a little more and stop. Each time it stops, it will take a second or so for it to start back. It will make the clicking noise when the motor engages several times when lowering down. It will do this until it gets to where it is supposed to sit and then stop when it is done as usual. I am wondering if something might have a loose connection?

Posted on: 2021/2/24 20:26
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