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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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PackardV8
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Yes, the PB clips were poorly designed/iinstalled at the factory/by the poor factory design. I have one PB unit with only 34K miles and one of the contact clips broke off shortly after i bought the car. No reverse. Upon close inspection there was one more clip that was fractured.

The problem occurs very near the bottom of the clip where it bends over somekind of a buss bar contact riveted to the fibre backing plate.

I corrected mine with toggle switches but the micro switch is prolly a better idea.

I have two more PB units of unknown history but they all appear very nice condition. But they have at least one fractured clip too. It was a piss poor design/manufacturing.

Posted on: 2018/3/18 10:25
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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Randy Berger
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My 56 PB works just fine - always has. I know of many others. I also have a used unit from a 56 400 that I scrapped. I just examined it - clips are fine, looks like a new one. Doubt I'll ever need it though.

Posted on: 2018/3/19 12:02
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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Owen_Dyneto
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I'm with Randy on this, I don't doubt there have been failures but the unit on my car appears to be original to the car, never a problem. And I have 2 spares, 1 NOS and one used - I've looked them both over, they seem defect-free.

Rather than cite piss-poor design for the failures, remember cars were expected to have a average lifespan of perhaps 12-15 years and for a manufacturer to design components for a 50 year life would have been a recipe for bankruptcy. Figures after the Studebaker acquisition are complicated but if you look at the 1949-53 figures, Packard was only making about $70-80 per car in profit - nickels and dimes (if not pennies) unnecessarily spent were critical.

Posted on: 2018/3/19 12:24
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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Mr.Pushbutton
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My experience with the console contact fingers is "when they are good, they are good" (and the inverse). My numbers indicate that more are/were good than bad. My test panel has probably logged more shifts than any '56 Packard on the road today, and it's all original.
When I can take a breath, I want to look into a retrofit deal like the micro switch solution, I have a basic plan.
The button assembly itself, not including the contacts is a very high quality unit, and I have never seen one fail mechanically.

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Posted on: 2018/3/19 14:43
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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HH56
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Since Riki spotted the ebay link for this unit and told me about it will put it in his thread since we are discussing actuators. For anyone else that might be curious here is the RR unit that shifts the GM 700R4 style transmission. RR uses a very similar electrical command operation -- different relay and power layout but the working principle is the same.

Am going to see how hard it would be to adapt the Packard PBs to work the RR actuator but if I ever find a dirt cheap GM trans to play with may even try to adapt the Packard actuator unit for someone who wanted to add the GM trans to a 56. It might be possible to adapt the Packard unit but if there is room for the RR unit it may be an easier way to go. I wonder if the fellow in Europe who first mentioned the RR unit as a possibility for his 56 PB cars 700R4 conversion ever got it done.

The RR gearshift selection uses a lever with individual micro switches for the gears instead of PBs but note the size and layout of the fingers on the unit. They also use microswitches for some interlocking, start safety and reverse lights.

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Posted on: 2018/3/19 15:14
Howard
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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Mr.Pushbutton
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Good to finally see one of those RR units. Very solid construction, and I really like the bronze cam riding the micro switches. There just isn't that kind of space on the Packard to allow that.

Posted on: 2018/3/19 20:37
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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R H
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Here is my quick test unit. Some day I will get all the bells and whistles.

H...did the rolls come with the motor?.. If it did and it works..think you did great on price.

The cable is like 40-60..depending..

Hh56 pointed out the ground for parking relay.

John your board looks nice..what's the chrome thing..

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Posted on: 2018/3/19 22:31
Riki
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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Mr.Pushbutton
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The chrome thing is a plumbing standoff from a building I was re-habbing 25 years ago, I route the logic harness though it for final testing to hold it out of the way.
The board itself is a laminated maple dresser top. Back when I owned a pick up truck I discovered that your friends all call you when they need something moved. A friend wanted to take these two dressers to a local unsupervised dumpster to dispose of, and I latched onto the laminated tops as they were clear maple. One became this test board, the other became pipe organ parts.

Posted on: 2018/3/20 8:10
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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R H
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The pushbutton. A model train friend suggested.

Using a touchpad instead of the buttons.. Which. I might like. If it could be lit up.and looked like the buttons..

Posted on: 2018/3/20 9:31
Riki
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Re: RIk's 56 ultramatic
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Mr.Pushbutton
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That is perhaps the worst idea I have heard yet in regards to these. The button assembly that came with the car is backlit, and the mechanical interlock feature is beautifully made. There are enough of them in the world that for a little over $100 you can install a brand new one and get a long life out of that. If the idea of the contacts bother you that much a simple retrofit of modern switches could be made to work.

Posted on: 2018/3/20 9:59
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