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cooling water
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hi, where is the best place to drain the coolant on the 8 cylinder from 1937?
Greetings Mike

Posted on: 6/22 15:05
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Re: cooling water
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Two places -- radiator drain petcock and a plug midway on left side of block near the starter motor.

Attach file:

jpg  37 eng.jpg (118.21 KB)
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jpg  40 engine.jpg (71.13 KB)
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Posted on: 6/22 15:19
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Re: cooling water
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The hitch(es) above are that unless your car exposed to a hard freeze--two consecutive nights 30 or below -- or has air conditioning even in Phoenix in August, avoid antifreeze like the plague.

And according to an article by a Chrysler engineer member of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Club in their newsletter some years ago, soluble oil is a long outmoded, inadvisable practice, like antifreeze leaving heat transfer inhibiting film on cooling system passages. Neither do you require "water pump lubricant." As a patent-generating industrial chemist friend who worked on cars when young pointed out, "water itself is a good lubricant," in such situation.

You're best served by using reverse osmosis water (read the label, do not buy unless you see that phrase), which is also available for 49 cents a gallon at any Whole Foods, with a good rust/corrosion inhibitor. I like No-Rosion Coolant Corrosion Inhibitor, originally produced to protect titanically expensive industrial cooling towers from their internal hellish conditions, but Red Line's Water Wetter is also good. For all the info you need on cooling system preservation, see the tech info link on

As No-Rosion explains, never use distilled water.

There's a wealth of information on your car, Mike, via the provided search box on the upper right corner of this site's homepage, as well as the provided Literature Archive and Factory Service Index tabs under Main Menu to the left.

There are several sources of inexpensive reproductions of your '37's shop manual, the most important automotive book you can have.

As a longtime friend who's owned 70+ Packards, junior and senior, since he in high school, i upon trike, reminds, the goal should always be "factory standard."

Packard never built a better car at any price than your One Twenty.

Posted on: 6/22 15:51
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Re: cooling water
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The '37 120 cooling system is handicapped by reason of having an atmospheric, non-pressurized cooling system and a relatively crude water pump using bushings and soft packing instead of ball bearings and a mechanical seal.

Lack of pressurization limits operating temperature and allows atmospheric oxygen continual access to the system, and the soft packing is prone to leaking coolant out and allowing air to be sucked in. The bushings will wear, causing shaft mis-alignment, and worn bushings make keeping the packing water and air tight very difficult.

A pump with this type packing will benefit from a good water pump lubricant.

Use of modern antifreeze (the green stuff) provides some lubricity, raises the coolant boiling point, serves as a wetting agent, and prevents oxygenation of the water, foaming, and corrosion. It works best at a 50/50 mix with clean water.

A car running with a slightly worn or loose water pump seal will suck air into the coolant at higher engine speeds, which is a very bad situation.

It promotes corrosion, dramatically reduces the cooling ability of the coolant, and can mimic boilover by increasing the volume of the coolant, thus forcing coolant out the radiator overflow.

It doesn't take much of this to cause actual severe overheating, with a high risk of steam pockets and cracked valve seats.

A very beneficial modification for a 120 or any car with a non-pressurized cooling system and a rag seal, plain-bushed water pump would be a radiator that was designed to run with at least some pressure and a ball or roller bearing water pump with a mechanical seal.

Posted on: 6/23 7:30
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