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Packard instrument board servicing.
#1
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Rscott77x
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It appears from several postings on here that the instrument board was designed by Packard to be serviced while installed.

I need to install an ammeter on my 1947 clipper and am not sure how to get the new one in. I can pull the old one but putting in a new one would be very difficult as one must get under the dash with your head resting on the brake and clutch pedals and carefully put in the screws securing the ammeter to prevent cross threading them. Also, changing bulbs is not easy. Not many men my age can even do this (I have doing yoga for many years).
What is the method Packard technicians used to service the instruments?
Looking forward to responses!!

Posted on: 2020/2/4 15:15
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Re: Packard instrument board servicing.
#2
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HH56
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I don't think there are any special tricks other than a pillow and good light to make it easier when working under the dash so I always went under the assumption that either the older mechanics of that time were made of sterner stuff and just resigned themselves to doing unpleasant jobs or else they had young flexible trainees to supervise while "training" them to do the dirty work.

As to removing the ammeter, it is mounted on a plate along with the gas gauge and the plate needs to come out as a unit. After disconnecting the wires from the gauges the plate is held by a screw on each corner (red circles, first photo). Once the 4 screws are off the plate will be free but you may need to slide and/or rotate the plate slightly to get the gauge faces to clear the opening in the cluster as you pull it out. Take care not to slide the gauge faces over or catch the needles on an edge of the opening.

Once the plate is out of the car, the ammeter is held by nuts threaded onto the terminal stems. The stems pass thru a couple of ceramic bushings which provide the support and isolation from the metal plate (third photo). Since almost all of the electrical current in the car goes thru the ammeter make sure the ceramic bushings are in good condition and take note of how all the nuts and washers are placed so you get them back in the correct order. The bushings have shoulders which pass thru holes in the metal to locate them in position so make sure the shoulders are seated in the holes properly before tightening the nuts. If one of the ceramic pieces is broken or cracked am not sure how easy it will be to find a replacement. It may require a parts cluster.

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Posted on: 2020/2/4 16:00
Howard
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Re: Packard instrument board servicing.
#3
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Rscott77x
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I agree with you...I think youth was the trick they used!
Great write up... Off to search for an ammeter!!
Thank you Howard!

Posted on: 2020/2/5 10:41
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Re: Packard instrument board servicing.
#4
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JWL
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Removing the front seat cushion may help getting under the instrument panel and getting out. I forget which Packard I was working on, but it was an under the dash job. There I was laying on my back with my feet over the top of the seat and wedged in by the pedals. I got to thinking - this could be real interesting if I am unable to get out of this position, and where is my cell phone? I managed to do the job and exit the car without incident. It was there I decided I was getting too old for this type of work. Good luck and keep your cell phone within reach.

Posted on: 2020/2/5 10:57
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Packard instrument board servicing.
#5
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packard1949
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What is wrong with the ammeter? My ammeter in my 47 is stuck showing fully charge-another solution is a another ammeter wired into the circuit-not great solution when trying to keep orginal. I have seen this done on other cars-the new ammeter is put in a place where it is not noticeable. I will be following your progress.

Posted on: 2020/2/5 11:21
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