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The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#1
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DavidPackard
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Yesterday I went to open the trunk on my '48 Deluxe Eight and the latch handle appears to turn freely in the latch assembly. The handle rotates in a complete circle with almost no effort. Not that it would matter, I did try the key lock in both positions without success in either. My instant diagnosis is that I've lost integrity in the torque path between the handle and the first actuation lever in the latch mechanism. Although I have only assumed that the square hole in the lever is OK.

I suspect I must remove the entire rear seat and the insulating/separator 'cardboard' to investigate any further. Assuming I can gain access to the trunk from the rear seat my first plan is to attempt to rotate the square shaft by turning the interior retaining nut. Assuming that fails another option maybe to loosen the assembly and try to move the latch from the outside with a 'Slim Jim'.

Has anyone have any tips to share?

Posted on: 2016/2/25 10:53
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#2
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HH56
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I don't have any tips other than the parts books say 21-23 series used the same latch assy. If so, here is a 21st assy showing what you have to work with.

The top small square is the key assy. It rotates a cam an amount that looks to be about 180 degrees which blocks or unblocks the handle and latch lever plate assy turning right below the cam.

To unlock, the handle rotates 90 degrees which turns a plate connected to a couple of levers and retracts the latch up into the assy. To lock it rotates the other direction and slides the latch back under the striker plate capturing the plate.

One bulletin I vaguely remember has to do with that large acorn nut on the end of the handle shaft. Some handles had too short a shaft and the nut was not capturing enough threads. The threads could strip so nut would fall off and shaft could back out of the square hole. I wonder if that could have happened on yours.

If your handle rotates so you can access the screw in the plate holding the handle to trunk lid I would remove the screw and see if the handle will pull out. If not, the nut is not the issue so just replace the screw and move to plan two. If it does pull out then try reaching into the latch and turning the square hole with a large screwdriver before resorting to pulling the seat.

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Posted on: 2016/2/25 11:31
Howard
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#3
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Owen_Dyneto
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Assuming nothing in the trunk is in the way, you could make a small opening in the seatback board and link together enough socket extensions and the correct socket to reach the nuts retaining the latch and just unscrew them, this should allow the latch to fall into the trunk compartment.

Posted on: 2016/2/25 11:50
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#4
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BDeB
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You could try removing the Phillips head screw that holds the handle bezel to the trunk lid. If the nut on the inside has fallen off then the handle will pull out of the latch which can then be operated with a screwdriver to open the trunk lid.

Posted on: 2016/2/25 12:39
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#5
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DavidPackard
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Thanks to all for the feedback.
Referring to HH56's photos. My handle rotates 360 degrees in either direction, which I don't see happening with the first lever (that's the one with the larger square hole) and structure in-place. All of that interference is what stops the handle from rotating more than about 90 degrees anti-clockwise. Same down at the latch end, but I suspect we know that the latch isn't going anywhere.
Owen's point is well taken. I might include the fixed portion of the latch in that list of what to loosen.
There is not a lot in the trunk other than a spare tire and two canvas folding chairs. The seatback board however may have to pay the ultimate sacrifice to gain enough room.
I'm still working under the assumption that one or more of these statements must be true:
1. The square hole or the square shaft are now round
2. The square shaft has fallen into the trunk.
3. The handle is having a hard time turning the square shaft because of a failure at the interface, or the square hole in the lever is a now loose swaged assembly.
Items 2 and 3 can be overcome by a wrench or screw driver from the trunk side of the latch. Item 1 looks like a bigger challenge from inside the trunk, but removing the nut and the cylinder spring retainer should do the trick.
Since this thing was working just fine (no lost motion) one day and not the other I'm leaning away from shafts or holes worn round.
On EBay I typed in "Packard Trunk Lock" and a bunch of hits were presented . . . one of which is a '48-50 Packard Trunk Lock UJoint - NOS' . . . any comments ?
I'll need to return to my 'honey do' list, so progress on this repair will be paced by marital bliss. I'll repost as soon as I know more.
Ernie V. has volunteered his 23rd series as a visual aid on understanding what all of the parts look like on a fully functional latch assembly. That should give me a pretty good idea on what is 'do-able' from the back seat. I do have a 'borescope' that I can send in to have a 'look see'.

Posted on: 2016/2/25 17:19
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#6
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BDeB
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The seatback board should be on the trunk side of the x-bracing and is held in place by small spring clips with barbs that pop out when they are pushed through a hole. They can be released by squeezing with a pair of pliers and pushing them back through the hole thus avoiding damage to the board. See photo.

The trunk lock u-joint is inside the lock cylinder and allows for misalignment of the small square shaft that works the lock in the latch.

Also included with the photos is a view of what the latch looks like from inside the trunk lid. It is held in by 4 slotted head screws.

I had forgotten about the lock cylinder in my previous post, so what I recommended won't work since the bezel would still be held in place by the spring clip that retains the cylinder.

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Posted on: 2016/2/25 22:28
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#7
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DavidPackard
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Thanks again.

Since the escutcheon is fixed, I guess a 'U-Joint' in the lock cylinder is to accommodate the vertical adjustment of the latch assembly.

As soon as my 'honey do' items are dispatched I'll remove the rear seat cushions, investigate, and continue the dialog.

dp

Posted on: 2016/2/27 9:31
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#8
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DavidPackard
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Well that was easy! The root cause of the problem was the handle's 5/16 square shaft had disengaged and fell out of the latch mechanism. Once both rear seat cushions and the cardboard separator were removed I found the errant shaft lying on the trunk floor. Re-engaging the shaft allowed the trunk to be opened. From there on the job was just another normal repair. The X brace did not impede the removal of the canvas folding chairs that were locked in the trunk (that was a pleasant surprise).
I've given this latch problem an excessive amount of thought and do have a few suggestions for those owners of 22 and 23 series cars. I'll gather my scattered thoughts & photos and post shortly.

Posted on: 2016/3/29 10:53
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#9
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Ernie Vitucci
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David's 48 Packard is beautiful, however I think that it is 'possessed' by a spirit with an odd sense of humor! Ernie

Posted on: 2016/3/29 13:02
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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Re: The trunk handle has a mind of its own
#10
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HH56
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So which part came loose -- the latch handle shaft or lock cylinder shaft? Here is a bulletin explaining a known problem with the lock cylinder shaft. Does your assy look like this with the nut on the latch handle shaft and did it come apart at the handle end? You said you found the shaft on the trunk floor so am curious how it came apart and what was supposed to keep that from happening. The 47 handle appears one piece or at least shaft is tightly pressed in. Wonder if there should be a pin like in the doorhandles.
http://www.packardinfo.com/xoops/html/downloads/STB/48T-22.pdf

Posted on: 2016/3/29 13:13
Howard
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