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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#11
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JuanS
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More pictures of that wire bunch. Orange wire seems to come from some place underneath the car. I followed the wire to the inside of the car and it’s plugged into the ignition. Attached is also a picture of this from the underside view

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jpeg  9416227D-1C99-40CF-882C-ACE1AD616D91.jpeg (2,395.05 KB)
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jpeg  2C6582E9-9850-439F-9471-E3F0FD50A356.jpeg (2,999.34 KB)
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jpeg  BC870206-1B62-4CFD-81E2-1E105A987C94.jpeg (670.09 KB)
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Posted on: 8/3 17:38
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#12
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JuanS
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Okay looking at it better, the cable in question comes from a big wire underneath the car. It then splits into two. One is the cable in question and the other goes to a wire bunch underneath the regulator. Attached is a photo of the second end that goes to the regulator

Attach file:



jpeg  4CD39012-506A-413D-A0D5-36B4AD8A897F.jpeg (864.75 KB)
225042_6109cca8b0463.jpeg 1575X2100 px

Posted on: 8/3 18:09
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#13
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PackardDon
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1954 used vinyl-sheathed wires while the one in question appears to be cloth-covered so I am sure it is not stock. I know my two 1954 Patricians do not have a wire that large near the starter. so just trace it to the other end to see what it's connected to.

Posted on: 8/3 18:26
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#14
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HH56
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It appears a portion of the loom that went to the solenoid area was removed for whatever reason and someone made replacement wiring with any type wire at hand. Here is a photo of a 52 with the portion of loom that is missing. 52 had some differences in actual wire and component connections but virtually the same cable and loom layout in that area as your 54. One of the black wires on the BAT terminal of your solenoid appears to be replacing the red power wire in the loom that would normally go to the solenoid.

I see a portion of the brown starter wire still coming off the start terminal of the ignition switch and the end of the large blueish cable that has the excess held by the tie wrap is also on that same terminal. One possibility is the neutral start switch that screws into the transmission is not functional and someone bypassed it with the blueish wire. On my computer the disconnected wire in question you identify as red looks more like a brown wire. If that is correct and the engine does start in any gear as Ross surmised then just remember that fact so you don't accidentally drive the car into something when it starts if the lever was accidentally bumped into or left in a gear position.

The only wires under the engine/trans area of the car would normally be two brown wires going to the neutral start switch on Ultramatic equipped cars or three wires if the car is equipped with a standard trans with overdrive. Any others would most likely be something aftermarket so no telling what they could be. As Don mentioned, almost all Packard wires in 54 were vinyl insulated and wrapped in a black tape like loom wrap.

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jpg  firewall.jpg (342.55 KB)
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jpg  Ultra wire.jpg (358.04 KB)
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Posted on: 8/3 19:19
Howard
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#15
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JuanS
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yes. Looking at the wires they are brown rather than red. So the wire should be connected to the transmission if it’s an ultramatic? But as you mentioned it appears that it was bypassed at some point. So based on all the information… should I just leave it as it is? The car drives and shifts no problem. And it doesn’t appear to relate to the charging issue I’m having based on what you’ve told me. It would be nice to one day have everything fixed and wired the way it was originally. Thanks for the information and time folks.

Posted on: 8/3 19:48
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#16
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JeromeSolberg
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In my car someone had wired up a separate starting switch that was hidden under the dash, perhaps if you trace it you will find an unconnected wire for a switch that's no longer there, or a switch that is still there you just cannot see. In my case that was for a 1953 with the 'push the pedal down to start' mechanism, which can be flaky. You still had to have the key turned to 'run', but then instead of pushing the pedal down you could push the button.

Posted on: 8/3 19:57
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#17
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HH56
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Just as a matter of overall safety you might check to see if the neutral switch is functional or if connected. Maybe the wiring was damaged and replaced with the bluish wire rather than repaired. The safety switch screws into the rear drivers side of the trans.

On the charging problem there could be several reasons or symptoms and it will take some tests to determine what is going on. What exactly seems to be the issue that indicates a charging problem. Have you tried to repolarize the generator? That sometimes helps if the car has sat for a long time and Packard says repolarizing is needed if the generator or regulator is replaced or repaired.

If you replaced the regulator then assuming it is adjusted properly and if after repolarizing the problem persists, that might tend to steer the problem toward the generator. Worn brushes is a good possibility. There is a crude test you can do that can narrow a problem down to generator or regulator but it needs a voltmeter and some quick attention to what happens when a wire is momentarily grounded. More specific tests require specialized equipment.

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jpg  regulator.jpg (144.59 KB)
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Posted on: 8/3 20:15
Howard
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#18
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JuanS
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I was going to start another post for this but since you asked I’ll specify. The car worked fine when the gentleman test drove it. It was slow to turn on but it drove fine. The 30 miles to my home was also no problem. after 2 weeks of driving it around I left the car idle for 5 to 10 minutes and it simply turned off. It refused to turn back on and needed to be jump started. As soon as the jumper cables were disconnected from battery, the lights dimmed again and after just 2 minutes of sitting it died again. This was in some random parking lot so the second time it was jump started I wasted no time to rush it home. (Note that when the jumper cables were connected all the lights went bright and the turn signals were incredibly fast) When I braked the lights headlights would become dim and the car wanted to turn off. I figured the problem was the old Duracell inflated battery so I bought a new 6 volt battery with the specifications for the car and put it the right way (positive ground.) this solved the issue for another two weeks until it shut off again when driving. It again needed to be jump started. At this point I take attention to the old and rusty regulator. I cleaned the contact points with sandpaper and put everything back together the way it was and polarize it. This made my turn signals faster and more responsive and the car no longer shut off. There was still one issue however. The car simply had a hard time starting. I drained my new battery trying to turn over the starter. It really was a 50-50 gamble. I ordered a brand new regulator labeled as specifically made for the Packard. I put it in, polarized it and the problem is still there. The more I turn it on, the slower my turn signals are to turn on. They don’t turn on at all when the car headlights are on. I’m now focusing my attention on the generator. I don’t have any idea of how to service it or test it and there’s no local shops around where I live. Any insight would be helpful.

Posted on: 8/4 20:11
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#19
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HH56
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The basic test you can do without specialized equipment only needs a voltmeter.

First step would be to attach the probes across the battery and measure the battery only voltage with everything off. The standing voltage should be 6.3v. If that is low and since it is a new battery but maybe undercharged due to the issues it would be a good idea to get a battery charger and bring the battery to spec before going farther.

Next step would be to start the engine and have it going at a fast idle while you measure the voltage again. If the regulator is adjusted properly and the generator/regulator is working that voltage should be around 7.4v. If it is, the charging system is at least putting out the voltage however the amperage out could be low and checking that would require specialized equipment or maybe an aftermarket ammeter gauge capable of reading at least 50 amps placed inline. Most home type volt-ohm meters have a maximum capacity of 10 amps so would not be able to do that check. If you do not at least have the 7.4 volts the next step is needed and also where it requires some speed and attention to detail.

If you do not have the 7.4 volts it could be regulator adjustment or the generator or regulator is not working. To check you need to briefly ground the FIELD terminal at the regulator while you measure the voltage at the battery again. Be sure it is the FIELD terminal you are grounding. Since this test should cause the generator to go to maximum voltage output -- probably somewhere in the teens -- also make sure no lights or accessories are on to prevent burning anything out. To keep any component stress down, do the reading quickly and remove the ground as soon as possible. If grounding does drive the voltage high, the regulator is not working or is adjusted incorrectly. If voltage does not change then the problem is the generator or field wire to the generator. To rule out the wire you can ground the FIELD terminal on the generator and repeat the test. If it still does not go to max voltage then the generator is at fault and will need to be taken or sent to an auto electric shop.

If you have no local shops there are several who advertise in Hemmings or you might get a good reference from someone on the forum. Napa might even be an option as they sometimes have a working relationship with various trades shops.

Posted on: 8/4 21:37
Howard
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Re: Unconnected cable in my starter area. 1954 patrician
#20
Not too shy to talk
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JuanS
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Thank you so much Howard and everyone else who gave so much valuable information on my car. I shall perform these tests tomorrow. I’m 16 and I’m really invested in this thing. Once again thanks to all!

Posted on: 8/4 22:32
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