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Re: Deven
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
Me and grandpa working on the brakes earlier this summer.

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Posted on: 2/5 12:52
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Re: Deven
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
Definitely planning on adding the tubing to stabilize the engine stand! Better safe than sorry! Thank you all!

I picked up this piece today. New in the box from 1976. Gonna mount it under the dash in the car. I think it’s a cool little period accessory that a young guy my age would’ve added back in the day.

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Posted on: 2/4 13:35
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Re: Deven
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
I’m not sure how to add captions to photos so I’m gonna do it this way:

For the photos on my last comment:

Photo 1: at an abandoned coal mine near my home

Photo 2: Me cruising, photo taken by my wonderful girlfriend!

Photo 3: An ancient coil I took off of the car when I did my first tune up. Could be the original?

Photo 4: At grandpa’s

Photo 5: At my house with my ‘88 Town Car.

Photo 6: Me cruising back roads

Photo 7: Another backroads shot

Photo 8: The engine pre Optima and post tune up.

Photo 9: Mountain backroad climbing!

Photo 10: At the local lake

Photo 11: On our lift

Photo 12: New engine stand I built today

Photo 13: My old braided ground cable was in terrible shape so snagged this off of my spare ‘56 352. I’ll get another braided one after it’s been rebuilt, but this will do for now!

Posted on: 2/2 22:27
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Re: Deven
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
Been awhile since I’ve updated this!

Where to begin?

The ‘55 served as a nice summer cruiser this past year. Running and shifting well. I decided for the time being to just tolerate the leaking rear main, power steering, and transmission (although I did replace the pan gasket,) and enjoy it! I did a basic tune up, new points, cap, rotor, plugs, plug wires, etc.

The first time I took it out on the highway I noticed a TERRIBLE knock at prolonged highway speeds. I immediately took it back home, and began diagnosing the problem. Lifters collapsing and starving the top end of the motor at prolonged mid RPM. I knew it wasn’t the oil pump, as it had been replaced by an improved ‘56 pump. I did a few more local cruises but nothing strenuous. I figured well I have to pull it to repair the rear main so I might as well rebuild it while I have it out. That brings me to where I am now. In the process of getting everything together to pull it and get it rebuilt!

Here are my plans for the motor and transmission:

Keep the 352 block

Use ‘56 352 heads (already acquired)

Use a ‘56 352 camshaft (already acquired)

Keep the ‘55 4 barrel intake

Use a 650cfm Holley carb (already acquired, in grandpa’s part stash.)

Custom long tube headers (Dad is in the process of making them)

Hoping to make 300 HP before power steering, generator, etc is added.

I have sourced a ‘56 aluminum Ultramatic and torque converter from Mike Dulinski to install. I’ll be purchasing and retrieving it hopefully later this month.

This will be both my first engine, and transmission rebuild. Under the guidance of my dad and my grandpa; hopefully everything will go good! Maybe in 10 years I’ll be the go-to contact for Ultramatic rebuilds!

I’ll attach some pics of my adventures this summer leading up to now. Hope y’all enjoy! I plan on updating this a lot more often, so be sure to check back!

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Posted on: 2/2 21:52
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Re: Conversion of a ‘56 Ultramatic to a ‘55 400 & A Few Engine Rebuild Questions
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance

Jack Vines wrote:

As to ordering a kit from Egge (or Kanter, et al), be aware there are several key parts currently NLA.

If one wants Packard V8 horsepower, by far the most cost-effective place to start is with a 374" block and order custom pistons

Absolutely necessary to remove the soft plugs at the ends of the rocker shafts and clean inside with a bore brush and solvent. Then, regrind the rocker tips. We have rebuilt units on the shelf.

Why a Holley carb? It will require an adapter to bolt to the Packard intake. The Edelbrock has the matching base bolt pattern and will be fine for your use.

Your build, your budget, your decisions. Let us know what we can do to help.

jack vines

What parts are unavailable from Egge? Are there other sources? I’ve heard mixed things about Kanter in regards to engine parts so I’m kinda afraid to order from them. How do the plugs come out? Are they pressed in? Also, the Holley is because I already have one from grandpa’s stash of parts. Freshly rebuilt it and it’s ready to go. I’m not exactly looking for a high performance build, just a reliable, peppy daily driver quality build. 300 Hp MAX before power steering, generator, etc. Do you think a ‘56 Ultramatic would be able to handle that, with just mild daily driving, occasional highway cruises, and the rare quick get away? Thanks for all the great advice and help so far and looking forward to hearing more!

Posted on: 1/31 16:21
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Re: Conversion of a ‘56 Ultramatic to a ‘55 400 & A Few Engine Rebuild Questions
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance

HH56 wrote:
It sounds as if you are going for a bit more performance with your engine rebuild. As Riki says, the trans was NOT designed for high horsepower and to go farther, the trans turned out to be for all practical purposes the weak spot in the 55-6 Packard lines.

Im not going for an ultra performance rebuild, just a few extra horsepower. Definitely not a race car or anything, but able to keep up with highway traffic, although highway driving will be rare. I’m thinking 300 maximum, before the power steering, generator, etc is added. With just mild daily driving with the occasional quick get away, do you think it’d be decently reliable? I’m considering going the GM 700r4 route but at the same time I’d like to get the experience of rebuilding Ultramatics, and maybe one day become the “go-to” contact for rebuilding them. Thank you for all the info! Excited to hear back again

Posted on: 1/31 16:02
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Conversion of a ‘56 Ultramatic to a ‘55 400 & A Few Engine Rebuild Questions
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
Howdy fellas. I’m getting ready to begin a rebuild on my ‘55 400 352 V8. (See my project blog.) To begin, we’re rebuilding the engine and I’m wanting to do a few mild upgrades, enough to hopefully hit 300 horsepower.

My current ideas are:

Use the heads off of my 352 from 1956 (Purchased, but haven’t pulled them from the spare engine yet)

Stick with the ‘55 4 bbl. intake (Already have from the original engine)

Put a Holley 4 barrel on, ported to 650 cfm (Already purchased)

Port and polish (Can purchase the tool at my place of employment for $52)

Use the ‘56 camshaft and have a mild performance ground done (Purchased, but haven’t pulled it out of the spare engine yet.)

Jack Vines oil pump conversion (Need to purchase)

I do not want to bore it out unless absolutely necessary.

I also want to swap my ‘55 Ultramatic to a ‘56 version. I have lined up to buy a core ‘56 transmission along with the torque converter from Mike Dulinski.

My question is, what else will I need? Can I use my ‘55 linkages? Are the mounts different? Does everything just bolt up? Etc.

I would appreciate advice on the engine also. I plan on purchasing the Egge kit that comes with practically everything except the cam and crank. This will be my first engine and transmission rebuild, however I have my dad and grandpa who are incredibly experienced with building them, so I’m hoping for the best! I’d like to hear any tips and pointers you all have for the rebuild process itself also! Hoping to have everything done by this summer so I can be the only 21 year old cruising down the road in a 400 in all of West Virginia!

Thanks in advance everyone,

Deven Vance

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Posted on: 1/31 1:11
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
Howdy all. I recently picked up a '55 400 and it has something I've never seen before. It has original full leather seats. The car was originally a Packard dealer's and the story is that he ordered it specially with leather seats. How rare is this? Are there any other examples? My VIN tag doesn't help regarding interior codes as it isn't original to the car, but I know the seats are definitely how they left the Packard factory, as I've seen photos of the car when it was new. Also, I've seen part leather-part cloth seats, but never full leather such as mine. Looking forward to hearing everyone's responses!

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Posted on: 2020/8/24 22:05
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Deven's 1955 Packard 400
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
Howdy folks! I'm back again with another car. This one is probably the rarest I've owned. It was ordered by a Packard Dealer, William Slonaker, in late 1954 when the new models dropped. He ordered with quite a few rare options. Full leather seats, front and rear speakers, front and rear heat, rear foot rests, to name a few. It was in kindly poor shape when I picked it up. It was barely running, and extremely dirty. I got it home and did a tune up on it. New points, condenser, rotor, cap, coil, spark plugs, and wires. It runs much better now. It doesn't really need it but I plan on rebuilding the engine myself over the winter. I'll keep everyone updated and I hope you all enjoy the photos!

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Posted on: 2020/8/24 15:09
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

Re: Deven's 1951 Packard 300
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
Worked a little on the '51 this past week. Changed the spark plugs, rotor, and cap. The points and condenser were new, so I left them. Also installed a new exhaust deflector and put a new set of floor mats from Kanter in! The old rotor was pretty rough. I have no clue how it was running while bent like that. It's the original delco-remy rotor. Finally, I took it on a short cruise since yesterday's rain washed the salt off the road. Performed amazingly and it's ready for daily driver season!

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Posted on: 2019/12/30 16:47
1955 Packard 400 (Daily Driver)

1950 Packard Standard 8 (Daily Driver)

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