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Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#1
Quite a regular
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Packardfan
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Hey guys I purchased the Packard in the link below for $8,800 and that is including shipping. I am having it shipped from Washington to my house and should be arriving Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Thank you to everyone who chimed in on my original thread "should I make the trade". Thank god I became a member on here and bugged you guys before trading the 57' Chevy truck for the first Packard I looked at. Who knows I might really regret this purchase since I havent seen it in person or driven it but I had the owner take allot of pics. The last owner said he....
- rebuilt the wheel cylinders
-new master brake cylinder
- changed the coolant
- cleaned the gas tank(no new liner)
-new fuel pump
- Has installed a carb that was rebuilt a long time ago so he thinks the accelerator pump is going bad since it had been sitting for so long. He is sending the original carb with rebuild kit that he was planning on doing.
- color sanded
- installed electric wipers

After driving it off the carrier I am planning on doing the following...

-flushing radiator (any tips would be appreciated, I have never done this before)

-Change oil and Filter (should I change the pan gasket as well?)

- Change transmission fluid and drop pan and clean out (any tips? I have never done this before )

- Leaky power steering any tips on how to handle this?

- Check all gauges, knobs etc.

-Check Torsion level


Any advice would be much appreciated!
This is just the first of may posts from me. I will post a ton of pics once she shows up!

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/754038732285248/

Posted on: 6/9 16:24
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#2
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humanpotatohybrid
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Looks nice! Very promising project.

Handy Ultramatic threads:
https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=3267
https://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7994

Power steering is leaking from where? Hopefully just a bad hose or connection.

Don't forget to (carefully) pull off the floor mats at least to check out the floor. Sometimes moisture collects under there.

Posted on: 6/10 8:25
Owner of '55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#3
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Packardfan
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Quote:


Power steering is leaking from where? Hopefully just a bad hose or connection.


I am not sure and he supposedly didn't know either. We will see.


Don't forget to (carefully) pull off the floor mats at least to check out the floor. Sometimes moisture collects under there.[/quote]

This is my biggest concern, bad floor boards. He said everything was good but you never know....Thanks for the info!


Posted on: 6/10 8:32
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#4
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JWL
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You may find the "build sheet" under the front carpet in the center where the transmission hump is. I found one there for my 55 Clipper.

Posted on: 6/10 11:10
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#5
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humanpotatohybrid
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What do you mean "build sheet"?

Yeah the first ad was pretty funny "this may be the only chance to get a Packard at this price!!" yeah no.

Posted on: 6/10 13:11
Owner of '55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#6
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Packardfan
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Quote:

JWL wrote:
You may find the "build sheet" under the front carpet in the center where the transmission hump is. I found one there for my 55 Clipper.


Ya the last owner found the build sheet around the glove box when he took that out to try and fix the radio.

Posted on: 6/10 14:10
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#7
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Leeedy
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[quote]
Packardfan wrote:
Hey guys I purchased the Packard in the link below for $8,800 and that is including shipping. I am having it shipped from Washington to my house and should be arriving Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Thank you to everyone who chimed in on my original thread [quote]


I believe this 1955 Four Hundred was in the collection of Harold LeMay at least since the 1970s. Mr. LeMay passed many years ago.

For those who don't know who Mr. LeMay was, he had probably the largest privately-owned collection of vintage collector cars and trucks in the world. I counted over 3500 many years ago when I was doing some volunteer work at the family's museum. (By the way, there are two LeMay museums in Washington: one large fancy one with bequeathed cars in Tacoma...and the family's personal, more informal but fabulous museum in Spanaway).

This 1955 Four Hundred looks to be in quite good condition, except for minor cosmetics. These ought to easily be spotted in. The original nitrocellulose lacquer looks good enough to take a good detailing and shine. A set of wide-whitewall tires ought to put it back into spectacular visual appearance.

It is unlikely that this Packard saw any harsh weather because I believe it was stored indoors in one of Mr. LeMay's numerous buildings. I would be surprised if there was any serious rust in this Packard. I would also not be surprised if the mileage shown on the odometer is actual and not rolled over.

RE: power steering leak... These most often occur in the ram seal after extended years of sitting. Like with convertible top rams, people jump into such a car after sitting for extended periods and right away begin racking the steering without lubing the seal or cleaning the shiny ram rod. First result: torn seal. Easily addressed here and of course in hoses. Look for a little dangling drip of power steering fluid at the ram under the front end.

Word to the wise: don't kneel on the front seat for any reason. Your upholstery will appreciate it and give you years of beautiful appearance.

Good luck with this nice Four Hundred.

Posted on: 6/11 9:38
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#8
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JWL
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Quote:

humanpotatohybrid wrote:
What do you mean "build sheet"?

Yeah the first ad was pretty funny "this may be the only chance to get a Packard at this price!!" yeah no.


The "build sheet" is a teletype printed out which identifies the equipment and color of the car. It may also identify the dealer to which it is to be delivered. The equipment and color scheme are in a two letter code. Valuable to have as it states how the car was built; hence, build sheet.

Posted on: 6/11 12:04
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#9
Quite a regular
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Packardfan
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Hey guys I got my Packard last night! Thank god I was having a birthday party at my house when it showed up. She was at the top of the car carrier like you see in the pic and I ended up having to back it off from up there while Ed the truck driver and Mike my uncle pushed me down. She would start but not idle so we had to manually get her down. Luckily I live in a hilly area, I just used the hill to glide down my street after I got to the driveway I had 6 men in the family push me into its resting spot. Luckily I got to take a real good look at the under sidev while it was on the carrier, man she is pretty damn clean of rust of course some surface stuff but nothing serious. It looked like there is a coating on the underside. I messed with the carb today and turned the idle screw almost all the way in, she will start and idle now but the accelerator pump is shot, if I hit the gas pedal it dies out I have to slowly ease into it. The only thing I am pretty bummed about is the cracked windshield and drivers side window glass. I never asked if there were cracks in the glass I didn't see anything in the pics that looked like there was a crack, oh well lesson learned. Heres my plan of attack...

1. Rebuild Rochester 4 jet carb and tune. I have never rebuilt or tuned a car carb only 70's Harleys. Any tips would be awesome!

2. Fix exaust leak. There is no exaust coming out of the left tail pipe. I am pretty sure it is where it connects to header that is leaking. Any tips?

3. Clean out Tranny and add new fluid. Any tips?

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Posted on: 6/12 22:18
1955 Packard 400
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Re: Mike P 1955 400 Slow Resto Thread!
#10
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kevinpackard
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Congrats!! Car looks GREAT! I'm amazed at how good the interior is. The seats, headliner, and door panels are exceptional. A little cleaning here and there, and eventually replace the carpet. But you won't have to do much to the inside at all. So nice.

Going to your plan of attack:
1.) I never rebuilt a carb until I did it on my Packard. It's not as hard as I thought. It's intimidating, but I just took pictures of everything as I disassembled it, and labeled and bagged all the parts. I also picked up a Motors manual of Ebay that covers my year, and the information in there was very helpful in setting the carb back up when I rebuilt it. I highly recommend getting a manual for your year. Rebuilding the carb will teach you a ton about the car and give you much more confidence in it.

2.) Classic Exhaust makes complete replacement systems for our cars. I purchased my system through Kanter, who gets it from Classic Exhaust. The whole thing was about $400. I had a local shop install it for $150 and it's fantastic. Alternatively you could have an exhaust shop look at what you have now and see if they can patch up what you have. Obviously you'll need to get the car running first.

3.) If you can get the car on jack stands, I would drain the trans fluid first, then drop the pan and inspect/clean it out. You'll need a new gasket when you reinstall. Olson's gaskets is a good place, or any of the Packard distributors will have it. I'm not sure on the 55's, but the Ultramatics before that use Type F trans fluid.

A note about the glass. The side glass shouldn't be too bad to replace and is readily available from multiple sources. My driver's window is cracked, but I drive 99% of the time with my windows down so I haven't bothered to replace it. The Service Manual for 55-56 does a great job at showing the whole process for glass replacement including the windshield. The windshield will be a bit tougher to find, but should be much more common than what I had to deal with. It is a pain replacing it, especially with putting the trim back in. You'll need a new gasket for that as well. Steele has them (get it through Max Merritt), plan on about $300 for the gasket. I recommend getting in with a local car club. You'll probably find a guy there that has experience with replacing curved glass like this. Have him come over and give you a hand when the time comes. Honestly, I would just drive it like it is right, even with the cracked glass. Eventually you'll want that windshield replaced, but don't let that keep you from getting the car up and running.

You have a fantastic car to start with. And with an interior like that you'll be saving $15-20K by not having to replace it.

-Kevin


***BTW, this thread would be best located in the Project Blogs area of the forum. It'll get lost in the V-8 section. Maybe BigKev can move it?

Posted on: 6/12 23:35
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