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« 1 ... 83 84 85 (86) 87 88 89 90 »

Re: Stewart
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Stewart Ballard
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I made some progress today in getting the body aligned correctly. I had loosened all the body mounts and removed the radiator and its frame. I also finished cutting through the trans hump to allow for some movement against the bell housing, picture 1). Hooked the chains up to both sides as seen in picture 2 & 3 and connected the come-along to my truck.
There was a problem in blocking the wheels on that concrete floor but the body moved forward just enough to get the job done. It is not perfect and still needs some tweaking but I think I can make it work. I will try to figure out the rest of it this weekend.

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jpg  FendersInPlace.jpg (883.29 KB)
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Posted on: 9/24 16:07
Stewart Ballard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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Stewart Ballard
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I put the fenders back in place over the weekend.

The left / drivers side is good to go. All the bolt holes align as they should, it is only the right side that is giving me problems.

If I insert only the front bolt everything aligns except the firewall bolt. If I insert the firewall bolt only then nothing else aligns.

I know it is not an exact measurement but I used a tape measure and measured from the firewall to the center of the shock absorber bolt on each side. By that measurement the right side is 1/4“ further back than the left side.

Here is the odd part: I pulled the body forward Friday as far as it is going to go. The body mount holes are pushing against the bolts now. If I remove the bolts I may not get them back into place.

It appears that the whole body is cock-eyed on the frame by ¼” and I’m just not sure it is worth the headache. Worst case, I would have to drill new holes in the inner fender. As long as the fender is not rubbing the brake line or front suspension it should not affect anything else.

I am not permanently mounting the fenders right now. I’m just trying to get them off my body panel stand and the floor for the winter ahead. I want to drag the trunk and fenders out of storage and get those mounted on the stand to work on.

Posted on: 9/27 18:55
Stewart Ballard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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HH56
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No idea what kind of tricks Packard or body shop people might have to fix your particular issue but according to many articles including several memos from James Nance to various production heads the build quality of the 55s were nothing to write home about. I think one of his memos described the quality as "appalling" and apparently went on for quite a while before Connor Ave was mostly sorted out.

Any number of stories in various books about cars being stockpiled and the plant running out of space to hold any more because the cars could not be shipped until someone went thru every one of them and corrected major problems.

There was a memo from him to one of the VPs where he said he was looking at a car and a door jammed and was not able to be opened without a prybar and another that said a door handle pulled off in his hand or fell on the floor when he tried to open it (maybe same car).

Wide and mismatched gaps between panels were too numerous to count and apparently every other car was painted green. If your car was not wrecked and that has caused the problem possibly it was one of those and some kind of magic shim is needed at a bolt location or maybe a purposely bent body bolt or two allowed the body to be shifted to fit. Maybe something like that could be done or maybe a few body holes could be enlarged to provide some extra give to find the 1/4 inch.

Posted on: 9/27 19:26
Howard
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Re: Stewart
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Stewart Ballard
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Thank you Howard.
That makes me feel better about this weirdness.
It also stirred a memory. A few years ago the wife and I were in Tucson AZ and visited Kevin Gillooly and went for a ride in his 400. As we approached his garage he told me that these cars had quality issues. His own car had a couple of places where metal hit metal and rubbed off some paint around the door and corner of the trunk. I had forgotten all about that.

I have a question about the blower fan pictured below. You can see it has been primed. Should it be black or should it be the body color that I intend to paint it?

I received a package from Packard Southwest last night. I requested some replacement windshield wiper pivots. He only had one, driver’s side, for me. The ones that I have need to be re-chromed due to too many years in the south. The one Gerry sent to me was in great shape.
If anyone has an extra one for the passenger side w/ decent chrome that they will sell to me please let me know.

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Posted on: 9/28 18:39
Stewart Ballard
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Re: Stewart
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HH56
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The blower housing and motor are the same semi gloss black as the left side air vent tube, horns and radiator cradle.

One thing I can say is if you have the front sheetmetal behind the grill painted a light color you can see thru the grill and the white and whatever other light color might be present is very clearly seen thru the grill. Very noticeable from a distance and personally I find that very ugly with the other dark colored components blocking areas and making a patchwork effect. I have regretted the white on my car. Do not know if Packard changed it to semi gloss black or perhaps dealers did it but have seen some 56 models painted in a darker color so the view thru the grill is not as glaring and obvious.

Another place I would suggest you paint black -- or at least the same color as the dash top -- is the area between the lower windshield and flat shelf including the slots in the defrost air chamber. When the dash and windshield garnish molding is installed the space where defroster air blows thru to the windshield is fairly wide. A light color calls attention to be area and gap becomes prominent because a light color can be easily seen from the outside looking in.

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Posted on: 9/28 19:00
Howard
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Re: Stewart
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Stewart Ballard
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I got the trunk up on saw horses today and started to clean it up. I am scrapping all that black sound deadening stuff off. It is mostly falling off anyway. What have others used to replace it? Do I even need to replace it?

Here is a part of the 55 Packard that you see mentioned very often (picture 2).
This is what the lower, rear portion of the front fenders bolt to. So why are they on the table and not the car? Way back when I first disassembled my 400, one of the first things I did was replace the rockers on both sides.

Both the front hinge pillars were both rusted out. I had to rebuild them from scratch and had very little to copy from. I was able to save these to put back on the car when the time came. This is one of the reasons I was putting the fenders back on the car at this time. I always assumed that I would just put these back on the car but now I am wondering if it wouldn’t be easier to fabricate something new instead of using these. After all, those hinge pillars are not what they once were so they are not going to just weld right up there.

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Posted on: 9/30 19:19
Stewart Ballard
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Re: Stewart
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HH56
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I tried solvents and paint strippers without much success. Finally had fairly good luck with a fairly powerful heat gun to soften the asphalt based sound deadener and then scraping it off with a putty knife. Did that on surfaces that could stand the heat but not sure I would recommend it if there is a painted surface on the other side of the sheetmetal.

Posted on: 9/30 19:50
Howard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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Stewart Ballard
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I made the mistake of thinking that the truck was going to be easy. I should know better then that.

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jpg  AirHoles.jpg (652.31 KB)
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Posted on: 10/4 16:38
Stewart Ballard
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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Ross
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Any 53-55 non-convertible trunk lid will fit. You would only have to drill a few holes to accommodate your specific trunk ornament. If you were to be passing through Maryland I'd give you one or three.

Posted on: 10/5 6:22
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Re: Stewart's 1955 Packard 400
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Stewart Ballard
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Thank You Ross but it may be easier to just cut out the holes and weld in new metal. You are probably a 10 to 14 hour drive one-way. After all these years of working on this project I am not afraid to cut some holes.

I need someone to post a photo of the front of the dashboard. I am doing a little each day in re-assembling mine but not sure where what switches go where. I took photos years ago but I lost them all.

Also, all my switches and controls are original. Is there anything I need to know or check? Some need cleaning but not sure how deep a cleaning they need.

Posted on: 10/7 18:14
Stewart Ballard
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