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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#11
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Leeedy
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Quote:

CarFreak wrote:
Thank you for the suggestions!!

it looks like I should bleed the brakes and then play with the wiring for the brake lights. By pass the switch by connecting the pink wire to the light green to see if the lights turn on, then pink to dark green to see if the suspension leveling works! If that happens than the switch is bad and it looks like I got a couple options to go with. fantastic thank you!

Looks like I will have to play with the turn signal switch and the head light switch to see if I can get those lights to function. The circular connector was connected when I inspected the underside of the dash. You mentioned the flasher could be incorrect, what would be the correct on? any part store one?

I did see the clips for the fuses were corroded so Ill have to address that as well.

as for the pictures you have Leeedy. Yes the fenders were off for painting. If you want current ones you will have to wait until I can get the car clean... Sitting for a couple years does create a lot of dirt. The top was not changed at all in the past 20 years (maybe more) or so. So if your pictures are within that time frame it is the same top


Okay.

Regarding the top on this Caribbean...one set of picx I have has no snap caps on the beltline connection of the top. Yet in other photos, there are indeed snap caps in the same position. Gotta be two different tops.

As for brake lights and turn signals... I've already talked about the brake light switch. In addition, always, always check to see that you have known good correct type bulbs with both filaments intact and working.

Turn signals and brake lights use the same filament of the two. Also some turn signals won't work with bogus aftermarket or modern replacement flasher units. Too many problems when mixing and matching and modifying and jerry-rigging make-do stuff. Once you start modifying things from factory, it becomes a very slippery slope and the dominoes can begin to fall. Too many complications can multiply just out of doing a presto-chango homegrown make-do. In the end you end of making more work and expense for yourself than if you just take the time to get the right original parts and follow the factory methods.

1956 Caribbeans differ from 1955 in that the electrical system for 1955 is positive ground and all the issues that entails. 1956 Has negative ground. As long as your tail light housings are firmly mounted in place and bulbs proper, sockets clean, wiring undamaged... and a proper, working brake light switch is installed your lights ought to be working.

Newer cars have built-in turn signal and brake trouble indicators that 95% of folks driving cars don't even realize exist (even when such stuff is mentioned in owner's manuals). Engineers build in things in cars that go completely unnoticed. For instance, some old cars will simply display a frozen "ON" illuminated indicator if a bulb in the run signal system has failed. Some Mopars in the 1970s would illuminate the interior light when stepping on the pedal if a brake light has burned out. For many years on most USA-made cars, if a turn signal bulb has failed, the blinker will flash at a quicker rate than normal. Most drivers are oblivious to this system.

And always remember that turn signals are not merely the tail lights but also the bulbs, wiring and grounding in the front turn signals/parking light housings. These factors must be taken into account.

Either way, in the end, you can never go wrong by sticking to the factory parts and specs.

Posted on: 2021/10/22 15:24
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#12
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CarFreak
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So I did a little more digging into this vehicle over the weekend. I know Ross rebuilt the BTV and the individuals installed it and also fixed one brake line. But as I was looking into the reservoir it looked full but could not determine what fluid was in there. So I sucked it out (it looked a little dirty anyway) and bled the system with DOT 5. Well I got the car out of the garage and took it up the street, no more than a mile round trip. Accelerated and stopped fine. Kept the trans in low. I parked it when I got back to the house to move cars around. Before I moved it I checked the fluid and it was half empty... According to Ross the seals he uses are DOT 5 compatible so there has to be a leak somewhere... I did not see one initially so more work is needed there.

I did a little more diagnosing the brake light situation. I was able to confirm the switch was of the two prong type. Well peeling back the electrical tape it revealed that the color wires did not match what the service manual said. Pealing it back further did reveal the dark green and light green wires, but also a violet wire (it should have been pink). I was able to confirm that the green wires went to where they needed to go, but I was not getting power to the violet wire. I dont know how this happened but the 7.5 amp fuse that should be used on this circuit was actually tied into the shifting harness? Dont know why, there is no mention of a fuse there in the service manual. But I did notice a fuse wire not attached to the solenoids (which was red). Well it turns out the violet wire is connected to that red wire. I didnt put in a new switch but I did jump both light and dark green wires. The brake lights activated and I got the suspension to automatically level. Well not as good as the cars do in the youtube videos, but as good as it always did.

Posted on: 2021/11/23 16:55
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#13
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HH56
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It is a purple wire on later harnesses but might have been pink in 55 and early 56. In 55 it was powered from a fuse under the dash along with a lot of other things but for 56 it got the separate 7 1/2 amp fuse and is attached to the solenoid power buss bar. It gets power fed thru the main 30 amp TL fuse first. There was a late bulletin about adding a fuse for the electric shift and that might be there but the fuse supplying TL & brake lites was never attached in any way to the shift circuitry.

For the brake switch, I would advise either getting a premade 2 terminal and relay setup or else building your own. The two green wires should not be together as they are supposed to be active at exactly opposite conditions. The way it is when together the level can operate when brakes are on and car might not be in a normal position. In actuality, it is supposed to be the light green is active at all normal driving so the level can operate. When you apply the brakes the dark green wire gets power for the brake lights and light green power goes away so the system does not try to level when the brakes are on and gravity might have thrown the car nose down.

Posted on: 2021/11/23 17:09
Howard
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#14
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CarFreak
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Oh, so its suppose to be purple... good to know then!

but yes I already got the brake light switch Purchased from packardparts.org, but just didnt have enough time to install it this go around.

Posted on: 2021/11/23 17:13
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#15
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CarFreak
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I got a mechanical switch from the packard parts store and was able to get the brake lights working, but the automatic level feature on the suspension still doesnt work. I also noticed that manual override switch does not work any more, it was working intermittently. I am guessing there is a ground issue with the manual switch that may prevent the whole system from working. I do not know for sure since I do not know how that override switch is wired up.

I checked the fluids in the car and after a couple cranks the car did start up. oil pressure, and temp work well and register as normal on the gauges. I started it in park (which I wasnt able to do) but I also noticed that it would not go into high range when I selected "H". I know the shift motor was rebuilt, and a new harness was installed. I am guessing there is an adjustment issue with the motor.

I still dont feel comfortable driving it, but the decision was made and it will be going to Ross Miller to have him go over the mechanicals and electricals to see what other work needs done. Right now it is just waiting on him and a roll back.

Posted on: 4/11 11:07
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#16
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HH56
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If you decide to get the wiring and switches sorted out per the diagram in post #4 before going to Ross and still the TL does not work automatically there is a good chance the contacts in the control switch have oxidized or a wire has broken where it solders into the terminals at the base of one of the limit switches.

If you still have an original control switch, sometimes it is the main mechanically operated contacts (1) in the photo below that are at fault but since they sort of self wipe, more often it has been the bimetal contacts (2) which have developed a dirty or oxidized insulating layer and need a considerable amount of pressure generated by the bimetal strip before contact is made thru them to bring in the relays. Even NOS switches that have sat on a shelf for 60 years have had this problem. If you have issues sometimes a quick run thru of all contacts with a burnishing strip or ign point file will solve the problem. If the drape of the loom is tight -- particularly to the limit switch nearest the driveshaft -- vibration and wire fatigue at the switch terminal has been an issue.

There is also a small chance water has gotten inside the solenoids and one or both are at fault. Not usually an issue on a 56 since their solenoids are no longer under the car but some have had it happen. IIRC when Randy Berger brought his Caribbean home he said the car suddenly started moving and it became obvious it was not due to the occasional brief touch up movement under the command of the control switch. By the time he got over to the car and pulled the battery cable the TL had moved past the limit switch. After troubleshooting, the issue turned out to be a solenoid had somehow gathered a layer of rust and corrosion inside and the plunger had stuck.

Attach file:



jpg  TL switch contacts.jpg (398.94 KB)
209_6254626a99140.jpg 1010X1273 px

Posted on: 4/11 12:16
Howard
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#17
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CarFreak
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thank you for that explanation Howard. I dont believe I will get time to look at this before it goes to Ross.

isnt this control switch able to be sent out to be converted over to solid state electronics? or am I thinking of another component of the suspension system?

Posted on: 4/11 14:23
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#18
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HH56
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The control switch is available as a solid state replacement and one of those will take care of the bimetal and relay contacts by eliminating them. Presumably during the conversion process they will have cleaned and inspected the mechanical contacts but keep those in mind as they are still there and can have issues.

Posted on: 4/11 14:43
Howard
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#19
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R H
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They don't. Convert yours

.its an exchange.

Which I don't care for. The one I got was heavily pitted (The pot metal) (or aluminum)

And the metal cover.

Some one in Canada does it.
.
And its a 10 second delay.

You can buy 10 second relays.

Posted on: 4/11 14:59
Riki
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Re: 56 Caribbean Convertible Rejuvenation
#20
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CarFreak
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Well the caribbean came back for Ross! He did some great work! I will have to say the suspension never worked that good.

It makes noises I am not use too. I have maybe only driven this car 6 times in my life, so I believe I just need more wheel time to get acquainted with it.

Posted on: 8/8 9:58
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