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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#21
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Randy Berger
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Just some pix of special advisor and assistant assembler.

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Posted on: 2007/6/23 22:11
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#22
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BH
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Oh, I gotta come clean on this.

As for being a special advisor, there are surely Caribbean owners out there who know a lot more than I do, but I've always been willing to exchange good info with and learn more from other savvy, hands-on Packard owners.

I wasn't assembling much, either, on this trip - just looking for that special intake manifold shield for the 2x4 set-up that so few people even know about.

Truth be told, I'd been wanting to see this car since Randy first told me he purchased it. I was finally able to make some time for that this weekend, and I got to compare notes with Randy on many things. This car must have been off the radar for decades and is an bona fide factory-sprayed two-tone exception - truly a great find.

Anyone who picks up with a restoration in progress has their work cut out for them, but I can think of no better hands than Randy's for this job. He has a good start with a workable repaint and plenty of parts that have been nicely rechromed - plus his own private stock of parts and the experience of restoring his Four Hundred.

I suspect many people will follow the story with great interest here, and I especially look forward to the day this car makes its debut on the South Lawn at Warren.

What a great way to enjoy your retirement! Keep up the good work, Randy!

Posted on: 2007/6/24 9:15
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#23
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Randy Berger
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Really confusing problem today and I hope nothing is damaged. I installed a new TL control unit today, but nothing worked right. The TL would only go one way. I ran a jumper from the NEG terminal of the battery to the small terminal on top of the upper solenoid. The rear end of the car should have risen. It did not, it went down! I checked and rechecked all the wiring and it passed muster. After lifting the car on the grease rack, I did notice the drivers side aux link was very close to its max travel as it was up against the housing. I wanted to be very careful here not wanting to cause any damage. I came home and verified the upper solenoid does indeed raise the rear end. I drilled out the brass rivets on the control box and returned to the garage where I reinstalled it minus the cover. I didn't mount it on the frame but wanted to verify the action on the contacts. Just hanging there it suddenly kicked on and the hub started rotating. By the time I reached the unit and moved the arm slightly I noticed that the short link was now in front of the hub?? I manually pushed in the "UP" contacts with no effect. I dressed those contacts with a point file and they are working better but not 100 percent. By this time it was 5:20 and the garage was shutting down for the night. As I drove home, I was still confused when all of a sudden I realized the short link should not have been behind the hub but in front of it all the time! I opened my shop manual and there is a very good overhead picture of the TL gearbox and the links. The short one goes in front of the hub and the long link goes behind. The fact that someone had previously bypassed the limit switches and had wound the link clear around to the back. Therefore when the motor would turn the hub counter-clockwise it would pull on the short link rather than pushing it and making the rear go down instead of up. Tomorrow's close exam will tell if any damage was done and verify the upper solenoid does indeed raise the rear of the car. A further cleaning of the control box contacts should make that unit dependable.
Wotta day

Posted on: 2007/6/27 21:46
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#24
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PackardV8
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Randy. Tell us the story. How did u happen to find the car???? how far away was it???

Posted on: 2007/6/27 22:42
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#25
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Randy Berger
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Keith, thanks for asking and I should have entered that info in the beginning.
A friend, Rich Sycks, who had sold me a set of wire wheels moved to Florida. He and his Father-in-law Art deal in Packard parts and cars. At a gathering of Packards he noticed a fellow wearing a Packard T-shirt. Rich asked him if he owned a Packard and the gent said "56 Caribbean". Rich asked if he could see the car and shortly thereafter drove up to view the Caribbean. Although it needs a good bit of work, the body is rock solid, the engine sounds good, and the transmission works. Rich called me and gave me the fellow's number. I called and talked with the owner, Jim, who described the car and the price. I had some other financial things to attend to and didn't get back to Jim for about nine months. I called again and made arrangements to fly down to Florida and examine the car. I had arranged with a friend to come down and haul it back on an open trailer if I bought it.
I spent all of Monday examining the car and looking at the quantity of parts. I was going to head back into town to book a motel room for the night, but Jim and his bride said I should use their guest room. I took advantage of their hospitality and spent Tuesday studying the car in more detail and getting to know Jim. He purchased the car in 1974 when he lived in Ohio. They took it with them when Jim retired to Florida. He truly loved the car but realized he was probably not going to be able to finish it. Enter the Packard nut from Irwin who swallowed hard and paid the asking price. I decided to have the car hauled in an enclosed trailer, saving my friend Al the trip and some long miles. It is 950 miles from Jim's place to mine. Since Al wasn't going to haul the car home, how was I to get all the parts back here? We were planning to haul them in the pickup truck that was hauling the car. Jim to the rescue - he had a son in Ohio he hadn't seen in a while and offered to haul all the parts back in an enclosed trailer. He has a nice GMC diesel-powered dually. We loaded the trailer and departed Thursday for Gov. Rendell's tax haven. I did almost all the driving and we ran straight thru except for pit stops and meals. The Jimmy was a joy to drive and Jim and I got to know each other a lot better. We pulled up at my place about 4:00 AM and took the rechromed parts and stashed them in the basement. I showed Jim a few trains, as that is really my hobby and about 8:30 we pulled up in front of Al's garage and unloaded the trailer. Jim bid farewell and headed for Ohio to surprise his son.
I sat down and pondered whether I had made a huge mistake or just gotten a great project. It has been determined that I am not allowed to die until the Caribbean is on the road and demonstrating to other car owners just what an "automobile" looks like.
I am slowly discovering faults and problems as with any vehicle that hasn't been on the road since 1974. Hopefully I can resolve them and have fun at the same time. The fellow who did my 400 upholstery has agreed to come out of retirement and deprive me of a large amount of cash. The gearhead who rebuilt my 400 tranny back in 91 has graciously agreed to rebuild this one also. Things are falling into place and several Packard friends have given advice and loaned parts. All in all, a satisfying way to enjoy retirement

Posted on: 2007/6/28 17:36
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#26
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Kip56
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Randy,

I have been enjoying your posts on your "new" Caribbean so much that it was time to Register an account with Big Kev to wish you a hearty congratulations.

Although I agree with one of Brian's earlier posts that you have your work cut out for you but what a great find! Thanks for taking the time to share how you came to purchase the car and get it home. I look forward to your continued progress and the 2009 finished product!

Best Regards,
Robert

Posted on: 2007/6/28 19:32
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#27
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Randy Berger
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Robert, thanks for your good wishes. Why don't you start a blog and tell us of your restoration? I'm sure it will be a more complete resto than mine. I want to drive and enjoy it as soon as possible while I know you are doing a full and complete restoration. My thanks again for getting Bob Berg to reissue the TL tool.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 20:01
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#28
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PackardV8
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Randy, how many miles are on the Carib?????

Posted on: 2007/6/28 20:21
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#29
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PackardV8
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Brian, is that u leaning over the front fender of Randy's Carib???

Posted on: 2007/6/28 20:23
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Re: Randy Berger's 1956 Caribbean
#30
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Kip56
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Randy,

You are very welcome. I will start a blog at some point to share my project experience. Mine is by no means a complete restoration but certainly from the firewall forward a significant undertaking. If there were just more hours in the day or more days in the weekend!

The Bob Berg experience was good for all of us and I really enjoyed speaking with him and was delighted he went the extra mile to reissue those tools. Mine are still on the car working flawlessly holding up the TL suspension. I hope to have the steering linkage back under the car in the next few weeks and have a "roller" again. I will post some pics when I get to that point.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to one day meeting you in person and checking out both your fine rides.

Robert.

Posted on: 2007/6/28 20:39
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