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Deven's 1955 Packard 400
#1
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
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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)
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Re: Deven's 1955 Packard 400
#2
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John
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Nice find.

Posted on: 2020/8/24 15:20
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Re: Deven's 1955 Packard 400
#3
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Ozstatman
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Posted on: 2020/8/24 17:14
Mal
/o[]o\
====


"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

'38 Eight Sedan
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Re: Deven's 1955 Packard 400
#4
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kevinpackard
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Deven - nice ride. The 55'56 Four Hundred is one of my favorite Packard models. And the red/white combo looks so sharp. Can't wait to see how this one cleans up.

-Kevin

Posted on: 2020/8/24 21:34
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Re: Deven
#5
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
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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)
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Re: Deven
#6
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
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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)
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Re: Deven's 1955 Packard 400
#7
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R H
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That block is heavy. I support the front under the engine mounts once the lower end is in.

You add the heads that's about another 200 lbs.

Posted on: 2/3 0:03
Riki
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Re: Deven
#8
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r1lark
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Deven,

That is a beautiful car! A '55 400 is on my bucket list.

For safety, consider making the following modifications to your engine stand. Remove the single front caster, and add a piece of square tubing to the front of the engine stand, perpendicular to the tube that the single caster attached to. Get another caster, and put one on each end of your new tubing. The three wheel engine stands can tip over rather easily with a big heavy V8 on them. Ask me how I know!

Make the new piece of tubing about 2/3 or 3/4 as long as the rear perpendicular piece already on the stand.

Posted on: 2/3 7:27
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Re: Deven
#9
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64avanti
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Posts 7&8: V important!

Posted on: 2/3 8:57
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Re: Deven
#10
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Deven Vance
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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)
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