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Electrical Issue After Washing '54 Patrician
#1
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ShannonP
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Good morning!
In the process of buying a 54 Patrician. Current owner had the car washed prior to my seeing it. After washing the directionals, headlights, and brake lights did not work. Four days later, they now work. Clearly the car wash had something to do with this. That said, I'm not planning on being afraid to drive this car in the rain.
Does anyone have any guidance to offer?
Anything I should be focused on prior to taking possession?

Thanks!

Posted on: 3/12 8:48
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing
#2
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kens53clip
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Perhaps you should check that the wiring connections to the directionals, headlights, and brake lights are tight. Also keep in mind that the original wiring of that era usually used fabric covers rather than the current plastic coating, so that wires could more easily get wet. If the fabric covers on those wires are fraying or entirely off, replacement wiring would probably be advisable. If all the wiring is similarly problematic, a replacement wiring harness would probably be advisable. If the wiring is in good condition it is still possible that the wiring could have gotten wet and shorted out. Also, keep in mind that waters sprayed in car washes are often at high pressure, so that washing the car by hand would probably be advisable. Hope that helps. Ken

Posted on: 3/12 9:57
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing
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ShannonP
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Much appreciated, Ken! That is what the gentleman on the sellers end surmised this morning as well. Hoping to avoid the wiring harness work right off the bat but I'm sure it would be wise to replace once I start to go through it.

Thanks again!

Posted on: 3/12 10:32
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing
#4
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HH56
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Those lights are fed via one wire originating at the battery post on starter solenoid and via a couple of splices feed 3 separate points that ultimately feed the lights listed. If the seller used one of the do it yourself spray wands under the hood it is possible that power wire was affected but if that is the case there should be more items acting up than those listed. Did you notice anything else in the car not working such as interior courtesy lights or dash lights when the problem existed.

Since it corrected itself after apparently drying out another point to consider is a grounding issue. The turn signal and brake light failure could be easily explained by a poor connection to ground at the park and tail light housings. Both are notorious for having poor grounds develop with resulting light failures. The housings are pot metal which corrodes and also get their connections to sheet metal via the attaching screws and nuts which can rust. Rust and corrosion at the attachment points -- particularly the front parking lights since ground has to come thru other grill pieces -- are a well known issue. Some have had to resort to figuring out a way to attach a hard wire ground between sheet metal and the sockets.

A grounding issue with the headlights is not so easy to explain since they already have a dedicated ground wire between the socket and a sheet metal connection to the fender. That connection is at the headlight junction block mounting screws on the front fenders. It might be a good idea to remove the screw at one end of the junction blocks where the wires attach and pull all the ground wires off to clean them thoroughly.

Posted on: 3/12 10:59
Howard
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing '54 Patrician
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PackardDon
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1954 was the first year of all vinyl wiring so no cloth covering to worry about but vinyl wires still can become frayed and add some water, they may ground or partially ground so be sure to check wherever wires pass through or even near a part of the body.

Posted on: 3/12 12:31
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing
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ShannonP
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So much helpful info.
Thank you, Howard!

Posted on: 3/12 13:17
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing '54 Patrician
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ShannonP
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I'm looking forward to getting this car home and checking out the info you and the other respondents have offered.
Thanks Don!

Posted on: 3/12 13:18
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing '54 Patrician
#8
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PackardDon
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I have two 1954 Patricians and maybe (just maybe!) some spare parts so let me know via PM or through my site linked below if you need anything.

Posted on: 3/12 15:16
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing
#9
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Ozstatman
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G'day ShannonP, to PackardInfo.

I invite you to include your '54 Patrician in the Packard Owner's Registry.

Posted on: 3/13 3:04
Mal
/o[]o\
====

Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
"Out of chaos comes order" - Nietzsche.

1938 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

1941 One-Twenty Club Coupe - SOLD

1948 Super Eight Limo, chassis RHD - SOLD

1950 Eight Touring Sedan - SOLD

What's this?
Put your Packard in the Packard Vehicle Registry!
Here's how!
Any questions - PM or email me at ozstatman@gmail.com
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Re: Electrical Issue After Washing
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ShannonP
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When I officially become the owner, I'll do just that!
Thanks!

Posted on: 3/13 4:57
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