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Board index » All Posts (su8overdrive)

Re: Front seat removal
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JD & 56 are right. Simple enough, and remembering when i had my seats out so we could redo the carpets, upholstery,
wonder why oh why oh why couldn't Packard have used aluminum for the front and rear seat frames. That alone would've saved 100-150 lbs. It's not like sophisticated automakers didn't appreciate the value of saving weight in a serious road car, which Packards were. Railton was notorious for shaving dead weight, and Bentley's aerodynamic, streamlined if not as well as our 1941-47 Clippers 1939 Corniche saloon was a precursor to the lightweight R- and S-Type Continentals.

Our Packards are already 100-200 lbs. lighter than accordant Cadillacs and Buicks, with more torque and with overdrive, longer legs; the best chassis in the industry.

Given the steel shortages immediately after the war, you wonder why East Grand couldn't have jigged up for aluminum in heavy items like seat frames.

Ah, well. I decry Monday morning quarterbacking and here i go.

G'luck getting the front and rear bottom seat cushions to slip back in. Always seemed to be a tussle in my '47 Super.

If you haven't yet, install at least front seatbelts.
Because the front seatback is a solid steel shell, you'll have to slot it, and artfully rim it with rubber hose so it doesn't chafe the seatbelt. Anchor the belts securely using huge washers beneath the floor.

Posted on: 2012/6/29 16:16

Re: Radio Repair Service
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I've sung his praises here before, but my auld friend Steve Messenger, Just Packards, Napa, CA in the North Bay Area wine country, knows as much about ancient radios, including short wave, as he does 1930s and '40s Packards.
Call him seven days a week -- talk about labor of love -- at
1 (707) 254-2046. Tell Steve a black '47 Super Clipper in Walnut Creek sent you. Prompt turnaround.

Posted on: 2012/6/29 3:35

Re: Stuck Water distribution tube '35 893
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To ensure you don't have to revisit the scene of the crime, as posted earlier, use only soft, not distilled, water and a good rust/corrosion inhibitor like If your car will never be exposed to a hard freeze and doesn't have air conditioning, avoid antifreeze like the plague.

As mentioned above, brass is a fine material.

Posted on: 2012/6/27 17:24

Re: 1931 833 Tires
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As mentioned above, i've no doubt Packard released various promotional papers depicting whitewalls, as they did in magazine ads, even many showrooms. A few years later than
Tom's car, the Company would even paint the odd car a garish
hue to draw attention at a new car show. I recall seeing an otherwise lovely '40 160 convertible painted a glaring look-at-me red displayed at a concours a decade ago.
The owner justified it with, "Well, Packard painted a car this color once. See (holding up the ancient press release)?"

But in street scenes in Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, 1931-47, you see few whitewalls.

BTW, i'm not telling anyone what to do, or not to do.
Some cars look fine shod in white sneakers. Your club sedan looks lovely. I was happy with wide white Denmans on my black '47 Super Clipper for years. But that spoilt rotten gothic-grilled b__ch looks much the more serious, international embassy or road car wearing black pumps.

I'm just trying to get people to think outside the box, as 'twere.

No, don't recall the CCCA poll, but would love to. Would
and could you post it here?

Thank you, sir.

"I'm a cranky old Yank in a clanky old tank, on the streets of Yokohama (or Bridgestone) with my Honolulu mama singing those beat-o, flat on my seat-o, Hirohito blues..."

-- Hoagy Carmichael (recorded 1944 by Bing Crosby)

'Course, the poor guy was probably driving a '41 Cadillac.

Posted on: 2012/6/27 15:17

Re: Buy or Stay away? - 55 Patrician
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Rik -- No, 'twas here in Walnut Creek, the East Bay area.
And i've no idea what became of the car, mainly as i've no interest in Packards beginning in the year Alvan Macauley left the Company. But, given its mint condition, it certainly survives. My friend was more catholic in his taste than i.

Posted on: 2012/6/27 14:58

Re: 1931 833 Tires
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The first part of this post won't help Tom, but for those of you whose cars take 7.50/17, Bridgestone, and Yokohama, still offer a 7.50/17 bias-sized radial LT that several '30s Packard and Cadillac owners are happily using. I don't know if Michelin is still offering theirs.

You don't need tubes. Just make sure your rivets are tight, your wheels smooth, painted or powdercoated.

Tom, on page one of this thread, you ruminated blackwalls for sportiness vs. whitewalls for "class." Be assured there is nothing "classy" about whitewalls. Old money eschewed them in the day, considered them gauche, tacky.
Only one in 30 or 40 cars had whitewalls when your car was new. You'll always get people trotting out the occasional magazine ad from such and such a year, or a photo of a similar car on a Packard dealer's showroom with whitewalls.
But you'll also note the most elegant ads in your car's day often as not showed the taste and understatement of blackwalls, and again, we've seen many period photos of big city Packard showrooms with senior cars parked on Persian carpets surrounded by potted palms, shod in black pumps, sans
fog/driving lights, without deluxe hood ornaments.

Whitewalls were almost never seen on highend Brit and European barouches, other than later in the '30s, on a few impractical Figone et Falaschi, or, as they were called then, "Phony & Flashy" one-offs with skirted fenders fore and aft, that sort of nonsense.

Live dangerously. Go blackwalls, let your car do the talking. You can't add class. Your Packard came standard from East Grand Avenue with class. Less is more.

Or, if you're dying to look like every other car at a suburban concours d' nonelegance or the page after page after page of monkey see/monkey do jalopies in the Classic Car Club of America quarterly, i'll leave it to the others above as to which brand of bias ply 19-inch tires is best,
whether black or whitewall.

In the days long ago when i thought i somehow had to have whitewalls, i got good service from Denman. But for those with cars a few years later than Tom's, the entire Lester, Coker, Denman, Firestone discussion is mote when you can get the bias size with the benefits of radials.
Packard built automobiles, not rolling floor lamps. Packard was not in the tire nor battery business. Get an Optima battery while you're at it. They make camouflaged cases but since your battery's covered anyway, who cares?

Anyone demanding to open your battery compartment and inspect your battery needs to get a life. What's next? Will they take a sample from your dipstick and have it analyzed by a lab if it's a tiebreaker?

If you want your car to stand out with both "sporty" and historical correctness in the sea of whitewalls, go black.

Some of us have brought up this blackwall/whitewall 800-lb. gorilla before, only to be greeted with some nervous laughter, the usual excuses, and then business as usual.
But this is a savvy site devoted to Packards. The buck stops here.

Why don't we leave the whitewalls to the Kadillac konkours krowd?

Just because a few period ads and showrooms had whitewalls means nothing. Again, if you're in business and want to stay in business, you offer what people want or think they need.

But in Tom's year, 1931, and before the pug ugly bathtubs and '50s hohum, Packard was still the soft-spoken boss of the road, the leader, slightly apart and above the fray,

not an also-ran.

So why are we so eager, desperate to reduce our cars
with whitewalls and the fog/driving lights you rarely saw
in the day? Longtime Packard owner Bob Mehl recalled never seeing fog or driving lights on the "fine cars" of his 1940s Pittsburgh, PA boyhood, when you'd still see cars like Tom's in good repair, parked casually.

Rebuild your fine, rare Packard for yourself, not clipboard-wielding twits. A friend who runs a shop devoted to making "restored" 1930s and '40s Packards run like the automobiles they once were had to run a die grinder over the engine block of a '34 Graber-bodied Standard Eight. The car won best in class at Pebble Beach.

Ralph Lauren buys a nice late '30s Bugatti Type 57 coupe which left Molshien with its wire wheels painted body color. Lauren chromes them.

That's the sort of nonsense shows care about. Get the car right, and don't sweat nonsense like tire valves and hoseclamps. Leave the aligning of screwheads to the Model A Ford crowd. It's the same at Meadow Brook, all of them.
The usual crowd will sputter, beg to differ, point out a few instances of hyper correctness. But most of the cars are parodies.

Don't join them, Tom. You've got a terrific Packard as is,
the epitome of class.

Posted on: 2012/6/27 4:10

Re: Brake fluid
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I bow to the above, but been using nothing but silicone DOT-5 brake fluid in my Packards since the late '70s with never a problem. Pedal pressure feels fine, and i've driven other Packards so filled that felt fine, "normal" pedal. Just make sure you flush out your brake system, master/wheel cylinders, lines, with isopropyl alcohol, etc. available at any drugstore, blow the lines/system out with compressed air, before switching to DOT-5.

I'll never go back to DOT-3. It draws water into the system, which rusts your wheel cylinders. A friend has the
same batch of DOT-5 silicone brake fluid in his '42 One-Sixty drophead that he installed in 1978 and it still looks new.

Lotta these silicone campfire stories sound akin to the don't use multiweight/detergent oil, you "hafta" use antifreeze, don't rest a battery on a cement floor, your engine will wear out without ZDDP additive-- that entire decades-old litany of malarkey so-and-so knows someone who heard someone say he heard tell that Henney Penny said...

It's always easier to blame the big bad oil company, the gasoline, the product than deferred maintenance, ancient hoses, et al.

Posted on: 2012/6/25 17:12

Interesting bit on oil and filters --
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I'm not interested in endless conjecture, opine, debate, nitpicking, just thought the below sounds level, confirms what i've read, heard from degreed professionals.

Obviously, if anyone with a technical grounding can refute or amend the below with vetted information, some of us would welcome hearing it:

RE: wix vs napa oil filters

clip this post email this post what is this?
see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by avro_arrow (My Page) on Thu, May 27, 10 at 13:02
As someone who has worked for 6 years at NAPA as well as independent auto parts stores and have had long, candid conversations with petrochemists and sales representatives from Honeywell (FRAM/Defense/Canadian Tire/Pennzoil), Dana (WIX/NAPA/Kralinator/Delco) and ArvinMeritor (Arvin/Purolator/G.A.P.,), I can tell you that there is NO difference whatsoever as far as the internals of OEM-replacement filters. With regard to specialty filters like Fram Racing, Purolator PureOne, etc., there is a difference. Think of this from the company's perspective. Oil filters must meet or exceed OEM requirements of the vehicles for which the manufacturer recommends. In the case of WIX/NAPA Gold, the silicone-rubber anti-drainback valve is superior to the nitrile rubber valve on the Kralinator/NAPA ProSelect/Silver, but the OEM requirement is only for a nitrile rubber valve. In everyday use with oil changes done at intervals of less than 10,000km, both valves function perfectly. The silicone-rubber valve is made orange in colour to look pretty and make you think you're actually paying for something when in reality, you're paying for overkill. In the case of FRAM, the Defense filters are listed as a second line at a lower cost but have the exact same warranty as the RAM filters. The only difference between the two is paint, marketing and the "easy-grip" is not found on the Defense, Pennzoil or Canadian Tire filters. Think about this from a corporate perspective. If you were making two lines of filters, would you go through the time and expense of stopping the line and retooling just to make an inferior product or would you just do one production run, paint and market them differently and save the time and money? I think we know the answer. It wouldn't make good business sense to stop production because it would cost the company more money to make a product with a narrower profit margin. This is why you NEVER see comparisons of Fram vs. Defense or NAPA Gold vs. NAPA Silver/ProSelect/NASCAR. If they ever did a test like that and published it, nobody would ever buy first-line filters again. The other side of this racket is the oil itself. There are mechanics who swear by Pennzoil, mechanics who swear by Valvoline, mechanics who swear by Quaker State, Castrol, Havoline, Mobil, etc. Either the vast majority of mechanics are automotive morons or they just respond differently to the different marketing strategies of the oil companies. Consumer Reports once did a test of 75 different brands of oil, this test included synthetics, semi-synthetics, virgin conventional and re-refined conventional. They put these oils into the toughest street-legal test imaginable for oils, New York City Taxicabs. The cabs were driven day and night in stop and go traffic with the oil changed every 10,000km (6,000 miles) instead of the recommended 5,000km/3,000 miles in order to get worst-case scenario results. After 100,000km/60,000 miles the taxis were pulled off of the road and the engines were taken apart to test the wear levels on vital engine parts. Their result that the range of wear levels across all 75 brands and types from what could be called the best to what could be called the worst was thinner than a thin, glossy magazine page. They also concluded that no oil brand or type consistently produced more or less sludge or varnish than any other. Their final recommendation: Change your oil at regular intervals and use whatever grade of conventional oil your manufacturer recommends. Regardless of their claims, no oil (conventional or synthetic) will make your engine live longer than the cheapest oil on the shelf. My 1993 Honda Civic that went 300,000km before I burnt a valve which was more a result of towing a U-Haul twice the car's size for 8 hours through mountainous terrain. Even then, the engine still lived for 6 months. I always used the cheapest oil and filters I could get my hands on simply because I had the inside information. Next time you go to a shop, look at the oil and filters in their bays. I guarantee you that you won't see any specialty filters and you'll see the least expensive oils that meet OEM requirements. This is the reason that all those Castrol Syntec and Mobil 1 commercials never compare themselves against other synthetics, only conventionals. It's because their "torture tests" that break conventionals down and not synthetics are more brutal than what oil goes through in a Formula 1 Grand Prix Race! I'm pretty sure that we're all safe in the knowledge that not only will we NEVER drive at 200mph, our engines are not even CAPABLE of imposing that level of stress on oil without destroying themselves in the process! LOL
Here is a link that might be useful: Synopsis of Consumer Reports Oil Test

Posted on: 2012/6/25 3:42

Packard vs. Amsoil by-pass filter effectiveness
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A long experienced Packard man tells me he's adding a modern aftermarket Amsoil by-pass oil filter to his Packards; a '38 six, '38 Eight (120), '38 Twelve and '39 Super-8 (Model 1703). The Amsoil site claims it will catch particles as small as 2 microns.
Does anyone know --and PLEASE, just the corroborated facts-- the smallest particle in microns the NAPA/Wix 1080 by-pass filter captures? We've emailed Wix, who manfacture the filter sold by NAPA as the 1080, but haven't received a reply.

We need the confirmed, hard facts, and just the facts, before deciding whether it's worthwhile replacing the Packard by-pass filter used during the '40s with the Amsoil unit.


Posted on: 2012/6/25 3:35

Re: Buy or Stay away? - 55 Patrician
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PatGreen's sooo right about the '56 Patrician with Torsion-Level compared with the wallowing '60s Cadillac. I rode in a '55 or '56 Patrician with Torson-Level and the firm, steady, serene ride was impressive. Packard issued a promo film showing such a new Torsion-Level Patrician gliding over a railroad crossing at 35 or 40mph nonplussed, while the new Cadillac and Lincoln bottomed out, sparks coming from one of their rear bumpers as they grated on the pavement.

However, the Patrician i rode in was a low-mileage, always garaged, mint California car back in 1977, only 21 or 22 pampered years old, not a rodent infested, abandoned projectcar.

It's testament to the character of the gentlemen on this site that all the above have given Dangermiller "level" advice and not the usual clubbie rah-rah and misery loves company palaver.

Aside from the usual plating, there's a lotta anodized trim on such cars, and that can be expensive to redo, assuming you can find a shop that knows what they're doing.
And the interior's going to be expensive.

Admittedly, i'm a prewar Packard guy, and if i somehow had to have a '50s barouche, i'd domestically go with the aforementioned Chryslers or a 1951-54 Packard w/ stick & OD, or one of the Jag-ue-were Mark saloons. The latter's Borg Warner automatics aren't as readily rebuildable or troublefree as a Torqueflite or HydraMatic, but less grief than a Twin Ultramtic. Those formal Jags have their issues, but aren't quite the money pits as a Packard V-8 with Twin Ultramatic.

Packard could've avoided much Torsion-Level trouble simply by fitting a better tin cover over the control unit, but the Company's desperate plight on crowded Conner Avenue has been told many times before.

Be prepared, too, to embark on various other electro-mechanical upgrades as described in Packard Club articles, etc. over the decades. But perhaps, like my 1936-37 Cord friends, you thrive on challenges.

However, if there's something that just sings to you in a bent eight Patrician, you'll do what you do. We're all driven by
these siren songs. Just remember, even if they pay you to haul this particular car away, assuming you can find a
LOCAL Twin Ultramatic maven, you'll always be upside down in this car, not that most of us care about return on investment and all that yuppie Sports Car Market crap. Go slow,
but then, your name is DANGERMiller!

Posted on: 2012/6/22 14:00

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