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(1) 2 »

Safe Highway Speed
#1
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

glentre
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My new to me 1935 four door convertible sedan model 1205 has a 1936 super eight engine rebuilt in 2013. Odometer not working so true mileage is unknown but I feel confident from other information that it is under 50K miles on this engine. I will be touring with the car and would like some input about safe highway speeds. While interstates will be avoided whenever possible, there will be instances where I will have to get on them. Can this engine tolerate a 65 mph steady speed for an hour or so? It does not have overdrive. All other mechanicals on the car seem fine as I know the previous owner maintained it well.

Glen

Posted on: 7/31 13:35
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#2
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Cli55er
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I have a 120 that I rebuilt a few years back. 4.56 rear gears and no OD. I run that speed all the time on the highway...for over an hour even. is it physically safe...hell no......will your motor be okay...idk...mine seems to tolerate it fine.

Posted on: 7/31 13:42
1937 Packard 138-CD Deluxe Touring Limousine
Maroon/Black 1090-1021
[url=http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/registry/View.php?ID=232]1955 Packard
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#3
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Owen_Dyneto
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I suggest being equally concerned with things like tires, tubes, wheels, suspension, steering and brakes. But if your car has one of the numerically higher rear axle ratios like 4.69 or 4.41, that plus the long 5" stroke of the engine leads me to suggest that a steady sustained speed more in the range of 55 would be more adviseable if prolonged engine life is a priority.

My 1934 Eight has the 4.69 rear, no overdrive, and also a 5" stroke, comfortable sustained speed is about 50 - 55. Of course I've got poured bearings and you got inserts, slight advantage to you in that department.

Posted on: 7/31 14:38
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#4
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Tim Cole
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Let's take a look at some numbers.

At 60 miles per hour with the standard 4.41 rear axle that motor is turning around 2900 rpm which is really cranking.

But that's not the whole story. The wear index for that motor (which takes into account piston speed) is around 70.

For comparison a full size modern car has an index in the high twenties. That is one reason these modern cars can go 500,000 miles.

Thus, for any high speed use an overdrive is a necessity. Those crankshafts have seen a lot of work over the years and they can crack and bend.

The safety aspects of speed in that car are not that much different than a modern car. Above 65-70 mph all the modern safety devices are mostly going to result in a slow death. I don't get any arguments like "I crashed my truck at 90 and am doing great."

Posted on: 7/31 15:37
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#5
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point
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listen to what Owen and Tim Cole stated,there right,u are looking at alot of expense and headaches down the road, i have a 41 and im replacing the rear with a 3.55 gear, i have seen a older packard with the gear vendors installed in it

Posted on: 7/31 22:17
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#6
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Peter Packard
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It depends how much you want to be perceived as "Driving Miss Daisy". Driving poured bearing Packards over 55 is an accelerated bearing death without some form of OD or diff ratio change. I have a 1907 Triumph motorbike which is road registered and an absolute death trap to ride. It is fixed belt drive and has no clutch, no gearbox, negligible brakes and goes to 55 mph. A real adventure on the road. I have survived a few near fatal's on this beast. I also have a 533 with a 4.38 ( was 4.69 but fitted a 4.38). I don't take these vehicles on single lane roads anymore where you have a BMW X5 up your ass (Maybe 3 metres?). They don't care.

Posted on: 8/1 3:38
I like people, Packards and old motorbikes
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#7
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Tim Cole
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Despite the fact that I can buy a Norton 850 Interstate for way less than a Harley, my biker days are gone.

Recently rented a truck and moved a heavy load squeezing 11 mpg out of the thing by running the minimum allowed freeway speed of 55 mph. At $160 per tankful that speed limitation cost me about 75 minutes of drive time but saved about $55 in gas. That works out to $44 per hour in fuel savings so screw those tailgaters.

Logic like that is why my employers always hated me.

Posted on: 8/1 11:42
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#8
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Wat_Tyler
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Logic like that is why Wat digs him some logic.


Wat likes taller gears, too, for lotsa reasons.

Posted on: 8/1 15:17
If you're not having fun, maybe it's your own damned fault.
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#9
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su8overdrive
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Glentre, the above gents give you terrific, knowing advice. Gear Vendors and others offer aftermarket overdrives with anvil strength used in monstrously powerful rods and the like long used by many with big luxe barouches of the '30s.
No one can whine about "originality" unless they've nothing better to do than crawl beneath your car looking for sin.

If you change to a taller rear axle, and/or add overdrive, remember, it is hard to "over-gear" a Packard or most vintage cars. Bear in mind they were often first sold to drivers who came of age when Dobbin was still common or principal transport, and third gear flexibility seen as the mark of refinement, and luxury.

Remember, the expression "going like 60" was still in popular use into the '40s, and the first modern, limited-access, divided highway was 1940's 160-mile Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Even in a newer Packard than yours with taller rear axle and overdrive like my '47 or its kin, with 1941-42 Buick Century/Roadmasters, the only cars available off a showroom floor in the '40s able to best the ton (100 mph), I envy your bucolic Virginia surrounds, where you have some lovely undulating two-lane "blue highways," because i prefer a leisurely pace. You rediscover your car at 40-50, or slower; what the English used to call "pottering."

Something right nice about murmuring along at 40-45. As you probably know, one of the most beautiful drives in the nation is the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, with its 45-mph speed limit and not one sign or billboard allowed.

Relax and enjoy the ride. Don't let those in Kleenex cars cow you.

Your 384-ci eight is a magnificent, strong engine. I prefer it over the Twelve even as Maurice Hendry liked the Pierce 384 inline eight over their 12.
You've got as nice a Packard as East Grand ever built.

Posted on: 8/1 16:04
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Re: Safe Highway Speed
#10
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wjames
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I have a 36 120 with overdrive and at speeds approaching 65 air gets under it an it starts to float, especially when there is a windy condition on the road. That said, I just came back from a trip to DC on 95, did 60 for 2 hours, people passed me, slowed to see the car ( shouting with their thumbs ) and it was all good. I find that most of the people are doing 75 or 80. I would not recommend a Model T on an interstate but the Packard did not seem to be a problem, probably at 50+ Mph
Good luck with it
W

Posted on: 8/2 13:35
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