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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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When I was a teenager in Bellevue, WA with my first Packard, my father always had a large steel can of diesel fuel (the kind of can you would see on the side of a military Jeep) which he added to the gas tank once in a while and I would occasionally use some to clean parts or even my hands. Seems safer to have around than solvents or some of the even more flammable cleaners! It's rural here (even no paved roads) but people have diesel tractors so the local station probably carries it.

Posted on: 5/20 11:47
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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I made some headway today by getting all the u-bolts loose and the rear axle out. The nuts were super-tight and even my impact wrench couldn’t budge them so I tried a nut cracker to no avail. Then I tried drilling into the side of one but the drill wouldn’t even scratch the surface so I realized then that the nuts were hardened!

With some experimentation and groveling around on the concrete while doing it, I learned that using the nut cracker seemed to shake things just barely enough where a long breaker bar and socket turned tight and loose alternately would break it free with a cracking sound. Once that happened, I worked each one back and forth repeatedly favoring the direction to remove it until it was free! It took all afternoon and lots of PBlaster too. After removing three nuts on the driver’s side, I got smart and realized that the car is on a lift so I might as well make use of it! I brought it up where I could stand and work rather than grovel on the dusty floor!

Now that there was a method, the other side was relatively easy by comparison and once it was loose, shackles removed and down I had to break it free of the alignment pins on the springs. The driver’s side had initially dropped down quickly and broke free by itself but the passenger side was stuck and no amount of prying to loosen it would budge it so I brought out the heavy artillery: a 50lb (or that’s what it felt like but probably 35lb) sledge hammer and one hit on the spring knocked it out.

One u-bolt which was especially stubborn on the driver side is slightly bent but I should be able to straighten it fairly easily although on it was a wheel lug nut rather than the proper one so I’ll have to dig around to see if I have one somewhere. The same nut was used on Packard's u-bolts and in other applications on the cars.

Tomorrow I’ll get busy installing the proper one but I may have to somehow lift the rear a little higher to get it in if I want to leave the tires attached. It may clear as it is but I’m not sure.

EDIT: I was able to pick up the ends of the Dana rear end to put the wheeled dollies underneath but no way I could do that with the Henney rear end! Even the drum alone is very, very heavy.

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Posted on: 5/20 21:42
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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As posted earlier near the beginning of this blog, the Dana rear end was put into my other 1951 Henney-Packard Combination by a previous owner and I bought this car for the purpose of replacing it in the other car with the proper one from this one. However, I can’t believe that anyone would have thought that the tiny axle shafts and brakes could power and stop a car that weighs nearly three tons!

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Posted on: 5/21 15:20
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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Got the proper Henney rear end lined up with the tires still attached but would have needed to lift the car at least 5” more for clearance so decided it was easier to take the wheels back off.

Using a floor jack, I walked it up the ramps from one side to the other, blocking the one side so that it wouldn’t go back down and used a long pry bar in the support bracket to keep it more or less level, or at least aimed in the proper direction.

Once up and close to alignment, I used the pry bar to lift the spring and put a 2X4 on edge under it so that the axle was fully resting on the spring, then I used the same pry bar to get it into position until it dropped down onto the alignment pins. Once there, put on the u-bolts, shock and stabilizer brackets and got it all together tightly enough to lift it up for the shackle installation. I did have to stop on the second side to straighten the bent u-bolt and run a thread chaser on it as I had already done on all the others but used the same incorrect lug nut until I can find or buy the proper one.

The incorrect axle not only had many washers under each u-bolt nut but there was also a split half of a galvanized pipe under the top of the u-bolts to compensate for the Dana's small diameter. I have not put any washers back on yet until I look at the parts book to see if it tells me whether flat and lockwasher, just flat or just lockwasher!

After it was up and supported by the shackles, I went back through the u-bolts, loosening them a bit to get the lower brackets better aligned, then re-tightened them all but they are not yet to any particular torque.

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Posted on: 5/21 19:14
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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The shackle bushings are shot but I put it back together with the old ones anyway but may check to see if there are replacements available. That sort of thing is easy to do.

EDIT: The hydraulic jack is holding up the car, not the axle as it appears. The Henney-Packards have special jack points for the purpose at the rear springs' attachment points (the two photos show two different jacks).

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Posted on: 5/21 19:33
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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As far as I can tell, the parts book shows no washers for the u-bolts but I was surprised to see that it lists a different one for 1954 while 23rd series through 1953 Henney-Packards use the same one. This is a 1954 rear end but the car is 1951 and I saw no problem using its u-bolts on the later part!

The parts book also shows the same u-bolt nuts for all 1951 through 1954 Packard so I likely have one somewhere. I was too tired to search much today but didn't readily see any u-bolts with my other suspension parts. They are probably in a box somewhere.

Posted on: 5/21 19:51
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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I forgot to say that I lifted the axle and springs up to install the shackles by using a cheapie transmission jack that I bought a few years ago. This was the first it had been used and worked perfectly!

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Posted on: 5/21 20:07
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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I found my stash of Packard u-bolts today which were right where I looked the other day but somehow missed them! Now the Henney as the proper nut to replace the lug nut but also I discovered that there are indeed lock washers which I have not yet installed. There appears to be a full set of u-bolts so I expect that means also a full set of washers but I haven’t yet checked.

Posted on: 5/22 20:20
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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Incidentally, these are the two cars for which this ambulance was a parts car and the original rear end from it is on the blue 1951 Henney-Packard combination in the background. On the way home from this particular NorCal Packard Club outing, one of the front brake shoes of the blue one became partially disconnected from the web to which it attaches and was dragging causing lots of smoke so the ambulance's front brakes were donated to replace them and it also later got the transmission too.

The 1952 Henney-Packard Nu-3-Way in the foreground was still all-original in this photo but was eventually repainted a dark metallic gray and won First in Class at a PAC national meet. While still original, it also won the Long Distance award after driving from Santa Clara, CA to Freeport, IL for a Professional Car Society meet. Freeport is where the Henneys were built and the meet coincided with a Henney employee reunion. Barreling down Interstate 80 on the way back, we were greeted by the Charlie Daniels Band in the other direction hanging out their bus windows and waving!

Resized Image

Posted on: 5/24 12:54
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Re: Resurrecting a 1951 Henney-Packard Parts Car
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PackardDon
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For the ambulance, the rear stabilizer and shackle grommets are on the way along with a pair of NOS Henney shocks. They are huge, as everything else is, when compared to Packard passenger car parts. (Photo credit: Max Merritt)

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Posted on: 5/24 13:17
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