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1956 Patrican revival.
#1
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Ian Gabriele
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Hi all,

This is my project blog on a properly derelict but special Packard. I was very fortunate enough to purchase my 1941 Packard 160 convertible sedan deluxe 3 very long years ago and while I’ve made minimal progress on that car I have been thoroughly bitten by the Packard bug and love every moment of working on these cars. The subject car of this project blog however is my 1956 patrician. Peggy, as she is now so named is serial number 4760, and has been spoken about on this forum in the past. Seemingly she is the 15th to last car to leave the Detroit plant. I’ve got long term family history on the car and love the story and the impact that she’s had on the people around her.
She’s far from perfect but after many months of not getting to it yesterday evening I was able to finally spin some wrenches on her.

I was told by the pervious owner that the key switch was bad. I sort of cross referenced the ignition with the general 4 pole divided switch that GM(?) seemingly used for forever. So I got her cranking last night. For the immediate future before my local radiator shop can boil my tank, subject to inspection, I’m going to try and run her on a boat gas tank.

I do have some questions, I am getting zero life from my torsion bar suspension. Is there a typical smoking gun? As in something simple I’m missing? I know about the toggle switch on the underside of the dash… Also I’m getting nothing from my power windows. I am getting gauges, radio and headlights.

I also still need to do a full brake rebuild and I’m a touch nervous about the ultramatic. I don’t have a push button. Are there any immediate ‘hey do this thing!’ pitfalls or other tips? (Besides fluid changes)

I should also perhaps provide a disclaimer. I’m not in a position to “restore” this car. What I want to do is make this car useable. I want to be able to throw a bunch of friends in it and enjoy and old car, something that’s becoming way too foreign for people of my generation. (Peggy is 43 years my senior) As we all know it would be prohibitively expensive “restore” her and too many cars are getting parted out. I know some may need to die in order to preserve others but my bandwidth for what’s savable is different than others. If you’re here for a restoration blog please look elsewhere. I will be rehabilitating component systems in order to get her back on the road. That’s my goal. Nothing more nothing less.

Thank you all in advance for your help and guidance and I look forward to updating you all again soon,

Ian

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Posted on: 8/3 21:49
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#2
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HH56
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The ignition switch is the standard 4 terminal electrical design but the switch itself is unique to Packard in the way it mounts to the dash bezel. The switches and bezels are starting to get hard to find and expensive but if you want to stay stock and need a new switch finding an original type will be the option.

There are two inline fuses for the torsion level circuit connected to the solenoids in the space next to the cowl under the left fender. The 30 amp is for the entire system and a 7 1/2 amp which is fed off the 30 is for the brake lights and torsion level control switch. If you have power on the purple wire at the brake switch located on the frame rail under the battery and vent tube then when brakes are relaxed check to see if there is voltage going out on the light green wire which feeds the under dash switch and control switch. The original 3 terminal brake switch is a known failure item and frequently the cause of no TL. If you are getting voltage out then assuming the dash switch and wiring to control switch is good the problem could be oxidized contacts in the control switch.

The windows are fed voltage straight from the battery terminal at the starter solenoid via a red wire which goes thru a circuit breaker to a relay located on the engine side of cowl ledge in front of the driver. When the ign key is turned on the relay is energized to supply power to the window switches. If all windows and switches are inoperative I would first look to see if voltage is present and the relay is turning on. On a Patrician there may be a second relay in that location also fed off the window circuit breaker. It is for the optional electric door locks if those were installed. The relays look the same but are different electrically.

The window and door lock diagram is in the service manual but here is a complete drawing of the TL circuit showing all the relay and switch contacts not seen in the TL wiring diagram in the service manual. The drawing needs a touchup though because of the way the two limit switches could be interpreted. They are in fact both normally closed. The red 1 and 2 refer to the contacts in the photo of a control switch. If you have voltage on the light green wire at the switch I would use a contact burnisher and CAREFULLY clean all contacts in the switch including the relays. Pay attention the burnisher does not catch or damage one of the thin wires to the bimetal heaters when doing contacts 2. If the switch has never been opened you will need to drill out the rivets to remove the cover. Replace with small screws and nuts. If cleaning does not cure the issue then more troubleshooting will be needed.

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Posted on: 8/3 22:38
Howard
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#3
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Ian Gabriele
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Hi,

That’s all incredibly helpful!

I’m going to see what it would take to repair the old ignition if possible. I may try and cast a new bezel that is threaded to work with the new style switch. I did also notice that the accessory pole is longer on the Packard switch with the AC wire on top. I left it disconnected for the moment. The current ignition is to just see what can happen with her.

Is it wise to sort out the brake system before trying to fully diagnose the ‘TL’ system? I’ll check fuses as well thanks for their location.

Also very interesting on the power window situation. The battery cables are a bit tired and are on the list for the next round of things at the auto parts. Are there any other indicators of the power lock system?

Posted on: 8/3 23:06
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#4
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HH56
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Definitely look to the brakes before driving. Even if one end of the car is hanging low, not being able to stop is more of an important thing to fix than a smooth level ride.

Without removing the upholstered door panel and visually looking inside the doors for the solenoids, the relay and a chrome push button under each end of the dash will be the only other items that are visible. Pushing the button locks all the doors at once but you must manually lift a rear lock button or move a front door handle to unlock each door.

Posted on: 8/3 23:16
Howard
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#5
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Ian Gabriele
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The brakes are completely non functional, but being that the TL ties into the brake switch I’m assuming that the brakes need to be fully functional for the torsion bar compensator to actuate?

Which in effect could be why it’s not self leveling? I’m getting absolutely nothing from the peddle.

Posted on: 8/3 23:57
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#6
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Ross
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The brakes do not have to function for the leveler to work. The control circuit for the leveler does take its power from the brake light switch but that is only so to turn the leveler off while the brakes are applied.

You will need to take some time with a test light and the TL diagram from the shop manual to make sure you have power where it is supposed to be. If the brake light switch itself has failed the TL control system will not be powered up.

The other circuit is the power circuit that actually runs the motor. There is a fuse holder near the solenoids on the back edge of the inner fender. Check that the bus bar that feeds the solenoids is hot.

You can manually level the car by grounding the small terminal on the solenoid. The upper solenoid makes the car go up. Don't do more than level the car as with this method you are bypassing the limit switches. Its great fun to get the back of the car way up in the air but a lot less fun when you realize you just ripped your leveler loose from the frame by going too far.

Posted on: 8/4 6:39
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#7
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ECAnthony
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Your car, #5682-4760 is the 15th-from-the-last Patrician for 1956, but not the 15th-from-the-last Packard for 1956.

As of close-of-business on Thursday, June 21, 1956, there were 162 cars to be built before the Conner Avenue plant shut down, which was on Monday, June 25. These cars were built on Friday, June 22 and on Monday, June 25. Here is the list of cars to be built:

19 - Clipper Deluxe sedan 5622
36 - Clipper Super sedan 5642
29 - Clipper Super hardtop 5647
26 - Executive sedan 5672A
10 - Executive hardtop 5677A
11 - Patrician sedan 5682
27 - Four Hundred hardtop
4 - Caribbean convertible 5699

60 Clippers and 60 Packards were built on Friday, while 24 Clippers and 18 Packards were built on Monday. So, your car was, no doubt, built on Thursday, June 21, 1956.

Posted on: 8/4 9:02
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#8
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Ian Gabriele
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Ross, thanks so much! It sounds like I'll be spending plenty of quality time with my test light on this project. Step one is basically insuring that all of the appropriate wiring is hot and then diagnosing potential faults in the components. How long will it typically stay raised up after jumping the torsion bar motor?

ECAnthony, Wow what neat information! I had been under this beleif because the car was subject of a few posts under the "Various CL Clippings" section. (Post #4215).

Posted on: 8/4 16:26
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Re: 1956 Patrican revival.
#9
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Ross
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The leveler will hold its position indefinitely as it has a worm drive that is not possible to back-drive no matter how much force you put on it.

The car will settle a bit after you level it the first time. Simply readjust as needed.

Posted on: 8/4 21:03
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Re: 1956 Patrican Touring Sedan
#10
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Ozstatman
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G'day Ian,
Remiss of me not to have bade you to PackardInfo sooner. But, better late than never!
And for including your '56 Patrician Touring Sedan in the Packard Vehicle Registry.

Posted on: 10/2 22:36
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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