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Re: KPack
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HH56
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Quote:

kevinpackard wrote:
Steve - I wasn't sure if it could be filled from there or not. Good to know. However, I still need to be under the car to check the level, right? Last I looked under that cover it didn't look like there was a way to pull the dipstick from inside the car.

-Kevin


The vent opening has been used as a more convenient fill spot since the cars were new. Can remember my dad pulling the carpet back so he could add fluid in his car when I was in elementary school and I followed the same procedure when I "inherited" the car in high school. No idea if it was ever Packard sanctioned though since they always assumed a dealership or service station having a rack or grease pit would service the car. If the vent has been used routinely in the past there is a good chance the sheet metal cap on the vent plug has been stretched to snap on and off so as to be more easily removable. There is also a chance the wire mesh inside the plug is gone.

You are correct that you still need to go under to check the level. One or two have tried to cut an opening over the dipstick but the location is right next to and even under the accelerator pedal pivot so not feasible. Packard did not change that go under "feature" until they introduced the 54 gear start with the dipstick in the engine compt. In effect all you are gaining from above is saving yourself the aggravation of trying to get fluid to flow into a small opening located in a most inconvenient and space challenged spot.

It has been discussed several times and here is one such discussion when other owners questioned the location. Someday it might happen that an owner will get fed up enough and be able to do the experimentation to adapt one of the universal dipsticks to the trans. Until that happens, it is grin and bear it time and under all the way.

Posted on: 7/9 16:57
Howard
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Re: KPack
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kevinpackard
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Quote:

HH56 wrote:

It has been discussed several times and here is one such discussion when other owners questioned the location. Someday it might happen that an owner will get fed up enough and be able to do the experimentation to adapt one of the universal dipsticks to the trans. Until that happens, it is grin and bear it time and under all the way.


At some point I'll get a four post lift and all this will be much easier. Until then I will suffer like everyone else and get type F transmission fluid all over me.

-Kevin

Posted on: 7/9 17:17
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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PackardDon
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I’ve never filled it through the hole (if my car even has one - I do not believe it does) as carpet doesn’t simply lift off. It is far more effort doing it that way than from underneath! However, when I added a bit to my 1954 Patrician a while back just to get enough in it for it to move under its own power, it was outside in the gravel. I managed to get it up enough to put some in but it wasn’t easy at all! Problem was, the car backed out easily and drove over to the parking area in the shade under its own power (sluggishly) but would not go forward at all after that.

Posted on: 7/9 20:07
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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JeromeSolberg
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I have had success routing a (temporary) hose through into the engine compartment to fill it, though I still have to crawl underneath to check the level. It's not fun. The two things I don't like: checking/filling the Ultramatic, and checking/filling the Treadlevac. Both are way harder than they ought to be. Way, way harder.

Posted on: 7/9 20:24
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Re: KPack
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kevinpackard
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Don and Jerome - definitely not a fun job. If the dipstick were easier to access it wouldn't be so bad.

I got the Ultramatic topped off this evening and didn't even make a mess this time. I ran it through all the gears to be sure that it was distributed around and the level was right on.

While I had the car on stands I took the opportunity to install my new front seatbelts from Retrobelt. I got the 72" length because I wasn't sure if the 60" would be enough. Better to have too much. A previous owner had installed seatbelts, and they were in a box of junk when I got the car. The color was hideous and all the hardware was rusted, so into the trash they went. I went with the dark blue from Retrobelt, because I feel it matches the dark blue carpet, dash, and trim. The seats are currently lighter than they should be, and the light blue from Retrobelt is very bright.

I used a body mount on the outside belts, and previous drilled holes for the inner belts. Grade 8 hardware and big fat washers. Should be plenty strong.

Because I don't trust my fuel gauge I picked up a 2 gallon can and threw it in the trunk, along with a tool roll and jumper cables. I really don't want to get stranded while I test drive.

Threw some more gas in the car and double checked the timing. It's still right on target at idle. Then buckled my new seatbelt and turned on the "radio". My wife got me a JBL Flip 5 for my birthday a while back, and even managed to match the color to the inside of the car. I place it right under the front of the bench seat and it blends right in. Sound is great. It's pretty nice to cruise while listening to Elvis or Sinatra. I don't think I'll get to repairing the factory radio anytime soon, so this solution works great.

I took a nice 15 mile or so drive to test everything. The transmission feels fantastic. So much more responsive now. The fuel gauge is miraculously registering something....not sure it's accurate but at least it shows something. Took the car up to 50 for a few miles and it was effortless. Temp stayed very steady (85 ambient), engine was smooth, slight bounce in the speedo (lube the cable?). Brakes are working great.

When I got home the car had quite a bit of light colored smoke coming out the exhaust. I notice this whenever I run the car hard. I can't tell if it's just burning off carbon build up, burning up a clogged muffler, or if it's something more serious like a head gasket leak. I have a new exhaust system coming in a couple months, so hopefully that will help.

-Kevin

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jpg  Cruising at 50.jpg (100.33 KB)
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Posted on: 7/9 23:22
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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JeromeSolberg
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Looks fantastic! Great to hear your transmission is operating nicely!

Posted on: 7/9 23:26
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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Tobs
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Great work! glad the trans improved with the addition of fluid. The retro belts also look really nice.
Are these foam seals around the heat exchanger pipes just a good addition to seal air leaks from the heater, or were they also original? I am just trying to figure out if this is a small modification that helps a little, or if our cars came from the factory with something there.

Posted on: 7/10 0:38
1953 Clipper Delux Club Sedan, 1969 912, 1990 Miata, 2009 Ford S-Max.
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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PackardDon
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The heater seals are original but all those I’ve ever seen on unrestored cars are bubbly like Kevin’s as they didn’t age well.

The seat belts look great and I’ll have to find a couple sets. Likely those for my 1954 Patrician will also be blue while those in my 1956 Clipper will either be gray or black.

Posted on: 7/10 1:18
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Re: KPack
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kevinpackard
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I had a bit of time on Saturday so I gently washed the Panama. The paint felt very rough still because of all the sandblasting, metal grinding, and welding. So I decided to try a clay bar to see how it would do. The clay came up red, which I think means there was a bunch of steel dust on the surface that was corroding.

I clayed the whole car, then waxed it all. The paint is much smoother, but there are many, many imperfections from dust bits to chips in the paint, to the huge dent in the rear fender. Eventually I might fix those.

A couple things I'm noticing now. I have a very small leak at the junction between the hard and flexible fuel line in the front. I thought I had fixed that previously, but turns out it's still there. I still have a very slight leak on the rear junction at the fuel tank. So fun.

I have a ticking in the engine that I believe is a lifter, or possibly still that sticky valve. I can hear it up high in the vicinity of the valves. It is louder when the car first starts up then quiets down some as the car warms. Should I run a bottle of Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil through a full fuel tank?

-Kevin

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jpg  After clay and wax.jpg (116.71 KB)
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jpg  It looks way worse in person.jpg (135.71 KB)
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Posted on: 7/12 10:33
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Re: KPack
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Ernie Vitucci
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Good Morning...I've kept a bit of Marvel Mystery Oil in Miss Prudence's gas tank since 2012. She has quieted down and stayed that way. I have known others to do the same with Sea Foam...it seems that they both work as top end lubes if used as directed all the time...Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 7/12 10:46
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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