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Re: Packard shopping: Reyman
#21
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humanpotatohybrid
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Thanks Howard. Totally makes sense. Radio and glovebox are already out, but (and it sounds dumb to say) I forgot to mention that there is an aftermarket A/C evaporator installed under the dash. Looking at the manual, most likely it can be removed easily and rested on the transmission tunnel though.

I think I won't be doing that for a good while then. Dash pad is in nice shape, just a bit sagged. The 56's were worse because they were padded even thicker... 55's are not terribly difficult to ignore.

Posted on: 9/17 21:36
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Packard shopping: Reyman
#22
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humanpotatohybrid
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Updates on the car for today:

- Picked up the car and drove it home. On the trip odo it's 6.6 mi but on Google Maps only 6.3. Most likely due to the tires on it being 235/75R15 instead of 8x15. And probably underinflated too.

- Tried to title/register but I need a "short certificate" from the seller (it's a certificate from the court of who is the executor of the estate). No real reason why besides PA's asinine titling procedures, as the same document must be shown to notarize the title in the first place. Hopefully will have it by Thursday and can do it then. I need to look into regular vs. antique registration. Would like to do antique as it's permanent and the insurance is very cheap.

- Vacuumed out the car. On 3 of the 4 corners of the interior (except front left) the carpet was quite rotted. I removed the rear piece so far, the front is fine enough to stay in for now but eventually I will be getting all new carpet as even though I only plan for this car to be "driver quality" I want the backseat to be nice and no carpet or rotted carpet is not. The carpet color is not offered on Kanter so I'll have to look into what I can do. I'll probably send them an email. That being said, I'm not going to put it in soon anyway. Will be a spring project.

- Went to Walmart and bought various interior/exterior cleaning supplies. Meguiar's Leather and Vinyl Cleaner to clean the leather and very dirty vinyl, Meguiar's Leather Conditioner for the leather, and Mother's VLR for most else vinyl. Meguiar's Ultimate Wash and Wax for the paint. Not sure what to do yet in regards to the fabric. Carpet cleaning machine? Professional clean? Canned cleaner?

And most of all, just enjoying it! Though I completely understand its method of operation, it's still amazing how well the TL swallows the bumps (even speed bumps!) on the road compared to any car of today. After the one ride in the Packard to bring it home + drive my grandmother around the block, it was noticeably annoying to "adjust" back to the road feel of my 2010 Chevy Traverse, my daily driver for the past 6+ years!

P.S. I'm planning on getting a phone tripod and recording some videos on my work on the car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JbKYWGCqHk

Photos:
- In the passenger footwell there was this pink mat which was rotted too. Interesting label on the back.
- Pile of carpet I pulled out the back.
- You can see the back of the seats are quite nice. I think with cleaning and conditioning the seats and interior it will be a very nice driver and even nicer if you are getting chauffeured 😄
- Comparison to the worn carpet, and what was under the door sill.

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Posted on: 9/17 22:33
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: hph's 400
#23
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Wat_Tyler
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*applause*

Posted on: 9/18 5:40
If you're not having fun, maybe it's your own damned fault.
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Re: Packard shopping: Reyman
#24
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humanpotatohybrid
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Progress today:

- Removed the power antenna and converted it to a manual antenna. Will reinstall in the spring.

- Cleaned the rear seat armrests. VERY satisfying as they were previously filthy from cigarette ash (?) ground into them.

- Tried hooking up the radio to my benchtop power supply. Long story short a 50W supply won't power one of these radios so I'll just have to try it in the car later.

- Got the door handle trim polished and attached. I removed the clips and soaked them in Evapo-Rust for about 12h. Then after dry, coated them with Rustoleum Black Stain Protective Enamel so to prevent any "rust smears" from those clips if they get wet. Trim I cleaned with 70% isopropanol then polished with White Diamond.

Photo:
- Left is cleaned/polished, right is original. It's not "show car" perfect but it's a nice shine and it's about the right quality that the (cracking chrome) door handles don't stick out too much in comparison.

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Posted on: 9/18 22:17
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Packard shopping: Reyman
#25
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humanpotatohybrid
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- It was rainy this morning but will be sunny tomorrow so it was a perfect day to give it a nice wash. Believe it or not this was my first time washing a car by hand (insert "when I was your age" / "kids these days" comment here ). Unsurprisingly it cleaned up nicely. First wash since it was painted in late 2016.

- Disassembled the courtesy lights to clean and do the electrical. Replaced the two running lightbulbs (the dim ones). Shined up all the contacts so they should make a good ground when reinstalled. Polished one up. The chrome is bubbly but it's fine enough for now. If I can figure out a good process I'll redo them with paint...

- Hood ornament on.

Photos:
- Before
- After on right; left original
- 55 without the grille = inspiration for 58?

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Posted on: 9/19 21:33
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: hph's 400
#26
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kevinpackard
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Love the car, and it's not in bad shape either. Videos of your progress on the car would always be welcome.

A couple of notes from the last few posts:
1.) Seat cleaning. I took my seats out and dropped them off at a detailer's place (car wasn't running at the time). He was able to steam them and get much of the stain out, but be prepared for underlying stain (in the padding) to get lifted out and into the seat fabric as well. One part of my rear seat had some stain get into the seat from water leaks, and the steam cleaning lifted some of that stain out of the underlying padding and into the fabric. Overall it looked much better, but I'll still need to reupholster everything anyways.

2.) Consider having the seats ozone bombed as well. Mine stunk of mice and filth. If you leave the seats in the car and take the car to the detailer (or find a mobile detailer) they can just put the ozone machine in the cabin and bomb everything at once. It made a massive difference in the smell of my car.

3.) If you are going to replace the carpet, consider putting down some Dynamat (or similar) first. It's a bit of a chore, but it does help cut down on road noise.

4.) With the pitted trim, I don't think that any sort of paint is going to look good at all. I've experimented with a bit of chrome paints and haven't been impressed. I am casually looking at some products that Caswell sells, from either actual chrome plating to something similar and non-toxic. I have a bunch of small parts that I'd like to replate, but I'm not sure I want to go through all that work. Regardless, your trim pieces will look much better with some good polishing, waxing, and leaving them as is. Paint will never shine like chrome will. Even pitted chrome looks better than paint.

Again, really nice car. I appreciate the updates. Keep up the good work!

-Kevin

Posted on: 9/20 18:56
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Re: Packard shopping: Reyman
#27
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humanpotatohybrid
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Thanks a ton for the advice Kevin, I'll have to call around to some upholstery shops and see how much it would be to get the seats cleaned or at least ozoned. What's your thoughts on using a carpet cleaner? Pretty sure someone in the family has one.

For the chrome, I'm going to do the rear ashtrays first as they are rusty and pretty much anything would be an improvement. I've seen a couple pretty convincing chrome painting methods so we'll just have to see how it looks and go from there.

Updates:
- Was thinking the charging system didn't work because the ammeter would never read Charging (actually it would always read Charging, but that's because the car is converted to negative ground without swapping the ammeter wires). Another look under the hood revealed that the alternator on it is wired directly to the battery. Even at idle it reads about 13½V, revved it's 14½, so it should be good. For reasons unknown to anyone, the voltage regulator is still attached even though it is completely disconnected. Plus I got a spare one with the car. I'm guessing the fuel pump (in tank, bypasses factory) requires negative ground so I won't change it back. Plus would have to change the alternator. I was thinking about hooking it thru the ammeter so it reads properly but the ammeter is presumably 30A to match the generator and regulator and that alternator is probably higher than that. I believe he put it in to power the A/C that is installed, though disconnected from the battery at the moment for reasons unknown.

- Cleaned windowsill trim above door cards, other "jet intake" trim on side. I'm having trouble attaching the "jet intakes" as the stud placement is pretty much directly behind metal. Probably will wait until front seat is out.

- Sent a message to "altha1" on eBay asking if he has 1" wide trim clips. I need some. BTW, check out that guy if you have not already. By far the biggest store of trim and upholstery clips I have yet seen. Took some searching to find.

- Took it around the block again today and the engine kept stalling as soon as I shifted it to reverse. Had to press the pedal a bit to keep it at a high idle to keep it from stalling when shifting from P to R. Other than that things seemed fine though. It clearly does not run on all cylinders at all times so I believe a tune-up and new plugs are in order, so it may just be that.

Photo:
- Got the front lettering on.

P.S. That paint is not even waxed... already so shiny
Note to self: add clear coat / protectant

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Posted on: 9/20 21:20
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Packard shopping: Reyman
#28
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PackardDon
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Was the car actually converted to negative ground or the battery just put in backwards?

Posted on: 9/21 1:05
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Re: Packard shopping: Reyman
#29
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humanpotatohybrid
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If you put the battery in backwards pretty much the only side effect is that the charging system stops working, but mine was converted to an alternator anyway so I would say it's converted.

AFAIK the only other side effects are the ammeter reading backwards, and I would think also the power antenna would reverse its operation. But apparently even the radios are nonpolarized so I don't think there's any other effects. Sending gauges seem to work properly.

Posted on: 9/21 6:21
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: hph's 400
#30
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John
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https://www.futurechrome.com/resources/videos/

I'm thinking of trying something like this. Not a paint, but mirror chrome.

Posted on: 9/21 10:08
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