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'54 Packard Clipper Manual Shift Lever(s) Remove & Replace
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The manual shift levers occasionally don't realign on the 1-2 shift and hangs up. We are attempting to install new "shift levers" (R-1/2-3) and the "selector" in hopes of rectifying the hang up issue. It appears that the column shift shaft/rod that runs down beside the steering shaft is threaded into a u-bolted bracket at the bottom of the shaft adjacent to the steering box. Does anyone have any detailed information on how to go about removing the shaft/rod and old shift levers and installing the new ones? Steering wheel is off and we thought there may be some way of turning the shaft/rod to remove it from the u-bolted bracket at the base by the steering box but we haven't discovered anything. Also, someone has installed a radiator clamp around the shift shaft/rod to keep the levers in position. Evidently, there was some type of factory item there that was lost at some point and we need to obtain that item also. It should have a locator hole to slide the alignment pin into the shift levers to calibrate the shift rod arms. Can anyone help? Thanks!

Posted on: 2022/2/22 17:06
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Except for shift lever shapes and a few styling details the 54 assy is identical in operation to the 41-7 Clipper and 48-50 setup. There is a very good writeup and operation details in the Clutch and Trans section of the 48-50 service manual. If you want to review it you can download the 48-50 Clutch, Trans and Electro Clutch section from the literature archive.

On your question, the end piece is threaded onto the end of the shift tube. You adjust its position on the threads as necessary to have the upper end of the tube engaged in the hole or pocket in the spider assy below the wheel and the lower bracket positioned so it can fit over a small pin on the steering column.

To change the shift levers, I am not sure how easily it can be done in the car as there is a pin connecting the shift rod to the selector tongue that needs to drive out so the upper 2-3 lever an be removed. You may need to remove the column and put it on a bench to get access or a good working position to drive the pin out or in.

To remove the bracket, there is a cotter key below the end bracket that needs to come off first. That key holds the shift rod spring so once the key is released the spring will come out with force. Pay particular attention that a small round disc which is the spring seat and will also come flying out is not lost. Once the key is out the U clamp holding the bracket can be removed and the bracket unscrewed off the shift tube.

One common issue with the shift linkage is there is very little that gets routinely lubed in the mechanism. There is a small undocumented hole on the side of the shift tube where a few drops can be applied. Those drops will run down inside and some drip out the slot in the tube to catch the R-1 lever but Packard made no provision for lubrication on the upper 2-3 shift lever at all. Rust and corrosion due to moisture condensing and running down between the tube and the upper lever causes the lever to bind to the tube. Both levers must be absolutely free to independently rotate on the tube. If rust or corrosion has caused the upper lever to stick it will want to move when trying to shift R-1 and because of the linkage arrangement any movement of 2-3 at the same time will cause the trans interlocks to bind things up. Once you get the levers off and tube cleaned, when reassembling be sure and lubricate well and then periodically add a few drops to the hole in the tube and also a few drops between the upper C clip and washers and the 2-3 lever so some oil can work its way down between the tube and lever.

Here are some photos showing the layout of the assy and in particular the corrosion on the tube which caused issues with this 47 assy.

Attach file:

jpg  linkage.jpg (357.69 KB)
209_62157e729e09f.jpg 1166X1842 px

jpeg  IMG_0497.jpeg (42.59 KB)
209_62157e80e4f95.jpeg 1280X310 px

jpeg  IMG_0501.jpeg (75.09 KB)
209_62157e8c59a70.jpeg 1280X700 px

Posted on: 2022/2/22 19:29
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Re:'54 Packard Manual Shift Lever(s) Remove and Replace
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Hey, thanks so much for your response and details.

Posted on: 2022/2/22 20:26
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