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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Let the ride decide
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Interesting post on the Packard Club Facebook page, sounds familiar;

Paul Stabile
Tom Smith , it certainly didn't start out that way. I've owed the 1953 Mayfair for just about 3 years now, got her running perfect mechanically about a year and a half ago, decided to address the body . pulled the nose to properly repair the fenders , always noticed a little rust staining coming thru the drivers side headliner, when I removed the liner it was discovered that despite 90% of the roof being rock solid the front section under the under the drip edge was almost entirely gone. My choices were to Frankenstein it back together, patch the front 18" of the roof back in or replace it completely. I chose option 3 after finding a really solid donor, I was fearful of chasing an almost 5'weld across the entire roofs width. Although she was originally painted that medium sage green, I've opted to paint her in the popular '54 light blue body with darker metallic blue roof

https://www.facebook.com/groups/342912285774974/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Was there a service counselor or technical bulletin on this issue?
Was this only an issue on hardtop?

Posted on: 2020/10/16 9:49
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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HH56
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Quote:
Was there a service counselor or technical bulletin on this issue?
Was this only an issue on hardtop?

There are a dozen articles on various water leaks in the 51-4 bodies. Half or more are related to the windshield areas and while it was primarily the hardtops, there are a couple of sedan mentions. If you are interested in reading them you can go to the Service Index and look under 51-54 and then Body to find a link to the various articles.

Posted on: 2020/10/16 10:34
Howard
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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I think the majority of my rust problem was from the mice, but I'm also finding evidence of leaking around the windshield and up on the drip rail. I've been busy removing seam sealer from the space between the drip rail and the roof, then will go in and thoroughly clean and wire brush the whole drip rail assembly. Then epoxy primer and 2K epoxy seam sealer (roof is going to have to get stripped and repainted anyways). It really seems like a weak area of the car.

The donor front roof section I got from Tucson Packards had lots of rust in the general area too. Through the roof, and some on the header. Really seemed to be a problem with these cars.

I'm going to go overboard to make sure there is no more water leakage or chance of rust in the future.

-Kevin

Posted on: 2020/10/16 11:21
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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HH,
Thanks again.
That service index is a great time saver.
I had only looked at the 53-54 service counselors index.

Posted on: 2020/10/16 12:41
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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Finally was able to put some primer on the bare metal. I've been planning this for weeks with ordering supplies, reading and watching videos, and scheduling time to do it. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate, and this is quite possibly the last day I had to get this done before it gets too cold.

Wind was blowing 15+ mph with strong gusts, and temp dropped just below 60. Trying to mask the last few spots in the wind was fun, let me tell you.

I used a leaf blower and blew out and remaining sand I could get (a surprising amount). Then vacuumed up anything that remained. I sanded the new patched metal with 80 grit, as well as a few other spots that needed it. Then wire wheel to any remaining rust spots from moisture that had dripped onto the metal. Final vacuum then acetone everywhere.

Mixed up some Eastwood black epoxy primer and shot it through a cheap Harbor Freight paint gun. This was my first time doing any of this, and I wasn't the smoothest. But thankfully it's primer and it's inside, so it doesn't have to be perfect. Coated everything in a medium wet coat, then let it flash for an hour. Went back in and did a second coat and am now letting it cure for the next day or two. I don't know that I need a third coat or not.

It does feel good to have this done. I hated having bare metal just sitting there.

-Kevin

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Posted on: 2020/10/17 21:16
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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Had some time today and was able to pretty much wrap up the interior. The epoxy had cured pretty well, so I went ahead and did the seam sealer. I used two products from Eastwood: their Seam Sealer Cartridge, and their Brushable Seam Sealer.

I used the brushable stuff on the areas that used to have really thick sealer. A pile of throw away 1" brushes made it pretty straightforward. I covered all the repairs I did as well as the really pitted areas of the floors just to be sure there were no issues.

The sealer cartridge was great. It's super easy to use. I placed it on all of the smaller seams and it made it really clean. I also used it on the replacement header. The header attaches to the roof via a flange that is made up of the drip rail flange and roof flange. I sealed the inner part of the that junction, as well as the outer. I stripped and epoxied the front of the drip rail also, since the paint there was trash.

After the seam sealer dried I hit most of the epoxy primer with a topcoat of Eastwood Underhood Black. The epoxy primer needs to be topcoated if it is going to be exposed to UV. Nearly all of this will be covered up in the future, but to protect the epoxy until then I did a quick topcoat.

-Kevin

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Posted on: 2020/10/19 20:55
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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PackardDon
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That all looks really good, Kevin! If you are looking for originality in final appearance, I seem to recall that the rear wheel wells have some large diameter rope-like material at the seam where they meet the fenders. You've sealed so well that it probably isn't actually needed for functionality but it will look original with it.

This, of course, is probably a last step once the mat or carpet is installed and will make the seam look nice and tidy. I'm not sure where one buys the rope, though, as I've never gotten far enough on any of my cars to need it.

Posted on: 2020/10/20 1:50
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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r1lark
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The interior 'finished product' looks really great Kevin!

Posted on: 2020/10/20 6:55
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Ernie Vitucci
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Wow...You have done one hell of a lot of work...when you finish, your going to have a nice driver...Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 2020/10/20 11:02
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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Don - Thanks! The rope you are talking about is still there (kind of) on the car. Some of it is missing. I left the remainder as is for now. I think it's purpose is to keep things from falling into the space between the wheel well and fender. It certainly isn't a seam sealer and I don't think it does much sound dampening. I have no idea where to get replacements.

Regarding originality, I haven't quite made up my mind in the trunk. I know that original was a flimsy piece of cardboard or carpet on the floor, then flocking on the wheel wells and sides. I'm leaning more towards a cleaner/finished look with carpet panels similar to the 55-56 cars. Carpet on the floor, wheel wells, sides. But that remains to be decided. For sure I will carpet the divider panel behind the rear seat.

Paul - Thanks! This was my first time doing any of this...priming, sealing, painting. I'm glad it was on the inside and not real bodywork. It was a great way to get my feet wet. Probably not a professional job, but WAY better than what it was when I received the car.

Ernie - That's the goal for this project....a nice driver. I'm not going frame-off or full restoration, but I would like to get it nice and original where practical. Mainly this car is a learning experience for me. By the time I have the car "done" I'll probably have learned the 51-54 Packards inside and out.

-Kevin

Posted on: 2020/10/20 11:33
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