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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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Stewart Ballard
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Here it is Christmas evening and everything is nearly back to normal. Its only 14 degrees outside.

I find myself thinking about firewall insulation pads. eBay has several to choose from ranging from $90 to $330.

I have to ask, does a reproduction pad serve an actual purpose in the operation of something else on my 400 OR can I just cover the inner firewall with the same modern insulation pad that I plan to use beneath the carpet?

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Posted on: 12/25 17:55
Stewart Ballard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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HH56
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As a point of information, if that is a repro pad in your photo it is for a 56 factory AC car. Pads for cars without AC do not have the large square and rectangular holes on the left side and a few of the small round holes are also not needed. 55 has a different power brake pedal so it does not have the two slots on the left for the brake pedal support.

The pad is functional inasmuch as it provides heat and noise insulation as well as provide the finished look to an otherwise crap looking piece of sheetmetal. Pads were a jute and fiberglass insulation cemented to a formed cardboard with an embossed pattern on the face. Clippers only had the embossed appearance while Packard pads also had a piece of carpet matching the floor carpet attached to the lower half of the cardboard so the firewall would blend into the floor.

The main benefit of a repro pad is most if not all the holes for wiring, screws and their various shape and size mounting pads as well as the air ducts will be neatly die cut or at least located. The located spots will generally only need a slight pressure or Exacto knife to open up. If you make the entire thing yourself it can take a lot of measuring and trial and error to locate the various spots on the cardboard and cut the larger holes in the almost 1" thick pad underneath the cardboard the right size to clear the sheetmetal mounting pads welded to the firewall. Depending on what was used, cutting the cardboard or other support material so it has clean holes can also be a task.

I guess the answer to the question would be there is no real difference in function whether you buy or make it yourself. It is a matter of how much time or work you want to devote to the project and how much you want it to appear as original at the finish. I decided to make mine and it was a project not having the same materials Packard used to duplicate the thickness properly. A couple of items going thru the firewall do need a certain thickness so that is important but if the item in the photo is the only repro offered then IMO, you would be better off making your own.

Here is the official 56 description of the purpose. 55 was essentially the same.

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Posted on: 12/25 18:33
Howard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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Stewart Ballard
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Thank Howard
I was mostly asking out of curiosity. I'm planning to purchase one of those eBay pads soon. I'm hoping to start on the dash in the spring when I can paint it and I just want to start getting a few parts like this pad and a new heater plenum.

I stumbled across this 400 image this morning. I have mentioned before that I am thinking about painting my 400 a white jade body and topaz lower and roof and I think that is what this image is showing.

Someone will come back and argue that the darker color is actually Sarrdonyx but when I look at the dealer's guide I see that small print next to the color and it makes me think that this has to be topaz.

What do you folk think?

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Posted on: 12/27 6:33
Stewart Ballard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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BH
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The darker color looks like Topaz, which has a brown tone to it.

Sardonyx had more of a pink/red shade. In two-tone paint schemes, the 55 showroom album shows that Sardonyx was only offered, in regular production, as the body color - not on the roof or lower body.

I've seen that White/Topaz combo on several 55 Patricians and it looks good. It reminds me a bit of The Request show car, though it is not the same.

Posted on: 12/27 8:34
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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Tom (Packin31)
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Hi Stewart,

I had purchased a firewall insulator for my 1931 833 from Quiet Ride Solutions and was very pleased with it

Here is a link to a 1955 one they offer.
Quiet Ride Solutions

Posted on: 12/27 9:13
Tom
1931 833 468 Coupe
Packard Registry|1931 Project Blog
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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HH56
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Quote:

Tom (Packin31) wrote:
Hi Stewart,

I had purchased a firewall insulator for my 1931 833 from Quiet Ride Solutions and was very pleased with it

Here is a link to a 1955 one they offer.

Not a bad price but even tho it is labeled 55-56 they are not the same pad. If the illustration is accurate it looks to be a better option than the one with AC openings but 55 does not use the slots for the brake pedal support on either side of the L vent opening. Those will show unless you cover them with the carpet strip as used on senior cars. If not already embossed in some fashion waiting to be punched out, for a 55 you will need to locate and add holes or an opening for the one piece brake support bracket which will be above and to the right of the steering column cutout.

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Posted on: 12/27 9:29
Howard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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PackardDon
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Based on your description, would this one be for 1956 with factory A/C?

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Posted on: 12/27 12:52
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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HH56
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Quote:

PackardDon wrote:
Based on your description, would this one be for 1956 with factory A/C?

Yes but there is an issue with that photo which may be someone's interpretation or just parts of the photo not showing well. The two large openings on the left are for AC. Square hole is the blower and rectangle is for the evaporator tubes. There may be other things that just did not show well but the most visible in the photo is the slots for the brake pedal brackets are shown incorrectly for a 56 which may mean it is really a 55 pad as originally posted but for an AC car. The slots are about in the right spot for a 55 bracket but I don't remember seeing slots on pads I looked at but rather a larger opening that the entire bracket fit into.

The 56 non AC locations are all shown correctly in the illustration and the same large AC openings would need to be cut into that pad along with some holes for the evaporator box mounting. The heater valve is also different on AC cars with the body at an angle rather than straight so a mounting hole for that change is also different.

Posted on: 12/27 14:02
Howard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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PackardDon
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Thank you, Howard. According to the parts book, there were four different pads and the one posted here was listed specifically for Caribbean but indicated both 1955 and 1956 which seemed odd to me. I'm not sure that Caribbean's was different that other senior models of a given year, though.

Update: I misspoke. Apparently there were SIX different pads! Looking further, I see this one that is listed for 1956 with factory A/C but I don't see the A/C opening at the upper left.

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Posted on: 12/27 15:00
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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HH56
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55 with the different brake bracket style and location for two of them. 56s appear to be Clippers with the embossed finish without carpet for two more and Packards with the strip of trim carpet for the last two -- although on those they didn't ask for a trim code so maybe the finish is different for better adhesion when gluing on the carpet..

Posted on: 12/27 15:44
Howard
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