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1952 Packard not starting
#1
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GBPackards
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Really struggling getting our 52 Packard to show any signs of spark.

Before we even begin, please note the car ran great just a few short years ago then one day it decided not to start, then just sat.

I have replaced the spark plugs, coil, wires, points, condenser, rotor, cap, new 6 volt battery, voltage regulator. It’s in time, the wires are in the right order.

My last thought could be the ignition switch. Nothing powers on when you turn it to the left.

The other thing is, my father used a 12 volt battery and did not realize positive ground meant exactly that. So the cables were reversed. Is there a possibility we just fried everything?

Does the voltage regulator move during startup?

I’ve looked at many YouTube videos and have had help on other groups, but still unsure what I’m doing wrong.

Thanks in advance.

Posted on: 8/19 12:58
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#2
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DavidPackard
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It’s pretty easy to test the ignition switch.

Place a match book cover in the point set, and disconnect the small wire that connects to the starter solenoid. Attach a voltmeter to the ‘hot’ (negative) side of the coil . . . run the leads such that you can see the meter from inside the car. Turn on the ignition key into the normal run position and note the voltage, then rotate the key into the start position and again note the voltage. If all is well the two readings should be battery voltage. If you insulated the points and disconnected the solenoid wire you can repeat the tests as many times as you care to, especially the starting position of the switch.

To answer the question about 12 volts please give us a time-line on events. Was the 12 volt battery introduced after all of the ignition parts replacement?

Posted on: 8/19 13:52
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#3
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HH56
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As to the 12v battery doing damage, that would depend on what was on. If it was just a polarity change with nothing else turned on, nothing in a stock Packard would have been damaged. If you did turn the key on then still no damage from the polarity change but light bulbs such as those illuminating the OIL and GEN idiot lights or any of the courtesy illumination lamps that were on when the door opened could have been burned out with the 12v. Without the engine starting it is doubtful the voltage regulator or generator would have been damaged. About the only things to worry about maybe getting too hot from 12v would be the starter solenoid if you have done a lot of cranking and the coil would not have particularly liked a long on time at 12v. Maybe it or the points could have been damaged so they cannot be ruled out as a reason for no spark.

The coil has its own separate terminal on the ignition switch. If the wiring is stock, turning to either the left or right will power everything coming off the ignition switch such as gauges, radio, heater, turn signals etc but not the coil. The coil will only get power when the key is turned to the right or run direction. While the starter may turn in the key left position the engine will not start unless key is to the right.

If you do the tests others have suggested and still have not found a reason for no spark, since you worked in the distributor check something there. If your distributor is one that has a small probably green or black cloth covered flexible wire connecting the points to the outside terminal have a good look at that wire. Frequently the old fabric insulation is rotten and will fall off if it is disturbed letting the wire short so no signal from the points gets to the coil. Many times the damage is under the contact or advance plate and not easily seen. This has happened to many others when changing the points or condenser. If your wire does need to be replaced be sure to use the ultra flexible wire meant for the job. Ordinary hookup wire is too stiff and will soon break with the motion of the advance plate because of the advance mechanisms continually moving it.

Posted on: 8/19 15:17
Howard
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#4
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Ozstatman
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G'day GBPackards,
to PackardInfo.

I invite you to include your '52 Packard in the Packard Vehicle Registry.

Posted on: 8/19 20:07
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: 1952 Packard not starting
#5
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Fish'n Jim
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I guess we'll have to adapt "gee, my old LaSalle (P) ran great" again...

Not clear what it's doing and not doing?
Is is turning over or not, and is it firing or not, getting gas? Compression?
It is possible to weld contacts, etc. with a 12VDC battery and 6V uses larger gauge battery wires, more current flows, so expect some damage and possible burnt wiring. Keep the old man in the house!
They say if it's getting gas, spark, and compression it'll run, but sometimes a bit more is req'd.
Gee, aren't old cars fun...why old guys don't have hair, they've pulled it all out.
I preach a systems approach to firing up the old iron. Go through each and get it proper and then when all fixed/checked, it'll start. Otherwise, you'll spend weeks on here getting opinions from people that have no knowledge of your car's actual condition - ie educated guessing mostly - include me so no one is slighted.

Posted on: 8/20 12:34
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#6
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GBPackards
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Well, finally got it to run but not very good. It was the points not being adjusted properly. Seems to have a stuck exhaust valve and when it was running my dad had it floored for a couple minutes I believe thinking it would fix itself. This resulted in hurting the threads on the 5th cylinders spark plug since air was being forced through the spark plug hole.. I went to do a compression check and I knew something didn't feel right because it seemed to screw down a bit further. Upon rolling the motor a valve struck the tester and mushroomed it.

This is quite a learning experience and I'm not giving up, but we do have a replacement head and it looks like to soak the valves in marvel mystery oil by squirting a bit in the carb and rolling it every half hour.

Thanks for all the help, much appreciated.

Jon T.

Posted on: 9/27 16:39
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#7
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GBPackards
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Yes, definitely keeping my dad in the house or rest home lol.

I would like to think working on this car would be pleasant and relaxing but has turned into a nightmare.

Posted on: 9/27 16:44
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#8
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PackardDon
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What I did on my 1954 Patrician before starting it after nearly 40 years of inactivity was to remove the plugs and fill the cylinders with oil which I left there for a couple months. The plugs were put back in loosely to keep out dust (the dust at my shop is volcanic and very abrasive), then when ready I took the plugs back out, laid a towel over the top and cranked the starter without any ignition to pump out the oil. It made a mess and really smoked for a while when first started but purrs now.

Of course, you always want to run it with fresh oil and even more importantly with fresh gasoline and flooring it is the last thing you should do when it hasn’t been run for a long time. Good way to seriously damage something.

On yours, is the head actually ruined or can you have a Heli-coil inserted to repair the threads?

Posted on: 9/27 18:09
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#9
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JeromeSolberg
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Sounds like you have some good stories already and you and your Pops will be able to laugh about all this when this is done, it's always a little rough in the beginning of the learning curve but in my experience so far it gets better.

Posted on: 9/27 19:43
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Re: 1952 Packard not starting
#10
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GBPackards
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We have another head, and thanks for the tip on filling it with oil.

Posted on: 9/29 20:13
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