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Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#1
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Tom
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I have some items on my instrument panel, that I am trying to figure out what they are for. Any help is appreciated. See picture below.

Attach file:


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Posted on: 2012/6/6 18:31
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#2
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HH56
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None appear to be stock Packard including, I believe what looks like a starter button on the dash facing out. No idea on the condenser like thing unless someone tried to add one for noise suppression for the radio in the wrong spot. Generally those were added at the generator and regulator and either behind instrument cluster or behind dash and connected between ign switch & ground.

If that is a starter button on the dash above, then no idea on the pushbutton either. Many cars with accelerator pedal start had an extra starter button added similar to the one underneath. If carb was flooded, car could be started without using pedal but if you already have one, then wouldn't need two.

You might have to try and trace wiring on the pushbutton.

Posted on: 2012/6/6 19:00
Howard
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#3
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BDeB
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The pushbutton under the dash could be for an accessory vacuum windshield washer.
Check to see if it has tube connections or wiring.

Posted on: 2012/6/6 19:56
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#4
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Tom
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Very good call on the windsheild washer. I think you are right. The car has the tubes for the window washer, but no reservoir or pump. I don't know if it was an add on, or if it was removed. But that seems like a likely use for that particular button.

I think the push button starter is original. It has always been that way.

Posted on: 2012/6/6 22:14
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
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Don Skotty
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On my 47 Custom Super Clipper, the "Weird Button" under the dash (but under the radio) operates the siren! Didn't know anything about the siren when I bought it. It was discovered by the painter.

Posted on: 2012/6/6 22:53
Don Skotty
1938 Super 8 1604 1116 Club Sedan
1939 Twelve
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#6
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HH56
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I think the push button starter is original. It has always been that way.

I believe all postwars were accelerator pedal start until 54 when they went to the key start. The switch was probably installed by an early owner or his mechanic. Doubt Packard or a dealer would have installed it there because of the height difference the cluster caused. Most factory approved extra switches such as those in taxis were neatly placed in that empty space to the Left of ign key or variously mounted under dash. Here is an example of factory switches on top row and then some added by others on the bottom.

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Posted on: 2012/6/6 22:58
Howard
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#7
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su8overdrive
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The above gents offer good guesses. Mine's a long shot but i've heard several Packard and other old car drivers say that in the day and since they've added a pushbutton to
enable the overdrive to be "kicked down" without momentarily flooring the accelerator pedal. Immediate prewar Chryslers, i've heard, had such a button from the factory at the end of the column shift lever.

A fellow who owned a Packard Darrin back in the '50s said he installed a door bell button on his dash to switch back to direct drive. It was just a nifty old car then, so apparently he didn't stand on formality.

An old friend who still has the '50 Ford six with overdrive he bought new said he often quickly switched the ignition key off and on, which sounds a little dicey to me,
but he did it for decades with no ill effect. I wouldn't do that, afraid of blowing a hole in a piston.

Meanwhile, if it is a back up starter button, it's a good idea. I added such to my '47, tho' i only used it to blip the starter trying to find the timing mark on the vibration dampener. Still, am a big believer in back up systems.
Consider our Packards akin to fire trucks in back up service, slumbering peacefully, but ready to go in a minute's notice no ifs, ands or buts.

Often wonder why Packard went to the gas pedal starter button in '41. Best reason i can think of is that Buick had it, and was the hot car of those days, even upstaging corporate sibling Cadillac, and the debut Clipper was aimed squarely at the Buick Roadmaster market. 'Course, that's not why Packard
said they had it in their ads, brochures, etc. But i've no
doubt someone with more insight will weigh in. In fact, i
hope they do, because i'd like to know.

Have you noticed several sporty cars at both ends of the market today have push button starters? It's hilarious.
Everyone wants a no muss, no fuss retrorod with a factory warranty and a nationwide service network.

Posted on: 2012/6/7 3:26
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#8
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PackardV8
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Picture in post #6 above by HH56:

Approximately what year Packard is that dash panel????
NOTE small cylinder release hole near key hole of ignition switch. Is the cylinder release hole typical of Packard ignition switches in the pre-55 Packards????

Posted on: 2012/6/7 5:46
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#9
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Joel Ray
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The little switch above the starter button looks like the taxi rear window button to me. Maybe your car had another life when it was new. What is your serial number? That will tell us what car exactly you have.

Posted on: 2012/6/7 6:48
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Re: Mysterious Items on my Instrument Panel 46 Clipper
#10
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HH56
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Approximately what year Packard is that dash panel????
NOTE small cylinder release hole near key hole of ignition switch. Is the cylinder release hole typical of Packard ignition switches in the pre-55 Packards????



Those switches are from a 21st series taxi which was mentioned here a few months ago. I just used the picture to illustrate a point in the original question post as to the comment the extra starter switch being possibly original.

Point was, I believe Packard or dealers would normally have done any extra switches sanctioned by the factory neatly in that area. That top row group with the ign switch is factory. The pushbutton was obviously aftermarket and the item labeled "C" -- possibly a hand choke linkage --, most likely so since it isn't styled like the typical Packard knob.

My 47 ign switch does not have the hole. Perhaps that is something special for taxis in case the many drivers walked off with keys too often and cylinders needed a quick change?? Packardtaximan might be able to answer that question.

Posted on: 2012/6/7 9:06
Howard
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