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TL System on a '55 Caribbean
#1
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Marty or Marston
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Before I crawl underneath or better yet find a lift to look at the TL on the car, I would like to get some hints of things to look for. Just recently the left side of the car is about 1" to 1.5" lower than the right side. When pushed down on either the rear or the front, both right and left side go down and after the ~7 second delay the TL engages and both will go up.

Any hints of what may be the cause or what to look at would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Posted on: 2/23 13:45
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Re: TL System on a '55 Caribbean
#2
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HH56
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I would carefully examine all of the A arm bushings and check condition. Make sure the rubber in the upper bushings is intact and has not deteriorated enough to have big chunks missing allowing metal to metal contact. If the car pushed down equally well on both sides then doubt there is any friction issues caused by a damaged or frozen needle bearing. Condition on those cannot be seen without a teardown but problems have been noted by others.

As someone else mentioned, if there is significant sag on one side then the most likely reason is either the bar has lost some strength or maybe the front load pins need to be unequal in length. It could also be that it was a corrected problem using different pins long ago. Possibly some work was done on the suspension and maybe the pins got swapped. It could be the one on the low side needs to be longer or the high side shorter -- as long as the high side is not sitting close to a rubber cushion too. After the bushings, those would be the next thing to check.

You might also download the tech bulletin 55T-1 which mentions the front pins as well as an issue that was on early cars where one of the compensator bars was incorrectly installed. After all these years it is doubtful the lever orientation is a problem but still worth looking at. One other thing to check would be the condition of the transverse bars. If one has been bent or otherwise damaged so it is significantly shorter than normal the compensator bars might be pulling one side more than the other.

You can also look at the birds eye view of the TL bar and compensator setup at figure 21 in the section on the TL suspension in the SM. Verify all the bars and components in the car are positioned as the photo shows. Check the orientation of the Vee shape on the ball connection at the output of the compensator where the transverse bars attach. The open side of the Vee should be pointing to the passenger side.

Note when checking the 55 load pins. Early ones did not have the notches to indicate length so you will need to measure them and without some work, 55 and 56 pins will not interchange nor will the 56 adjustable pins that someone made work in a 55 without mods.

Posted on: 2/23 14:01
Howard
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Re: TL System on a '55 Caribbean
#3
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Let the ride decide
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When ever you are able to get under the car take pictures and maybe someone might notice an issue.

So previously both sides were the same height?
You measured both sides on a flat surface.
Tires were properly inflated?

Figure 1of the suspension section in the service manual, can you see if both sides appear to be similar?
https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/dow ... 6_Suspension_Steering.pdf

Would shocks influence this at all?

Posted on: 2/23 14:38
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Re: TL System on a '55 Caribbean
#4
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HH56
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Quote:

Let the ride decide wrote:

Would shocks influence this at all?


They could. If an incorrect shock was installed that does not have the proper length stroke, conceivably it could be holding one side. If that were the case I expect there would be other suspension issues that would be very noticeable and would have damaged the shock severely. If a shock is far too hard or heavy duty it would affect the action but in that case, assuming both sides were changed to the same shock, it should be evident on the "good" side too.

Posted on: 2/23 14:50
Howard
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Re: TL System on a '55 Caribbean
#5
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Marty or Marston
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I want to thank everyone for their quick and expert ideas. Now for the mea culpa - when I backed the car out of its parking space I discovered that the left front tire which is hidden by a cabinet was extremely low with only 5 psi in it. Once I inflated it to the correct pressure all was well.

The moral to the story is even during extended lock downs we still need to get our Packards out and drive and service them.

Posted on: 2/23 16:31
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Re: TL System on a '55 Caribbean
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PackardDon
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I read recently in another thread that if certain modern shocks are used, they have too large a piston and cannot return properly so might actually hold one side up or maybe even hold it downdown. The original TL shocks had 1" pistons and you don't want to use anything larger than that.

Posted on: 2/24 0:47
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Re: TL System on a '55 Caribbean
#7
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R H
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1 3/8 DIAMETER HEAVY DUTY, USE WITH HEAVY DUTY TORSION BARS

With gas shocks. The rod goes up. It does not stay down.

Old style shocks that maybe the case. Since they need rebound to move.

Posted on: 2/24 2:00
Riki
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