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Push button then & now
#1
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Dads 56
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1956 Packard then

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe now

Interesting

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Posted on: 9/20 12:11
1956 Packard Executive 2 door hard top (5677A)
1956 Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan (5622)(parts car)
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Re: Push button then & now
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JWL
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My 2020 Honda Ridgeline also has push buttons for the transmission; although, they are located on the center console. Much prefer a lever to select gears.

Posted on: 9/20 12:43
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Push button then & now
#3
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HH56
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It is interesting to see how mfgs implemented their various designs and methods of pushbutton or assisted transmission control systems.

I am thinking Hudson or maybe it was Graham that had a system which was an early precursor of things to come. A small push lever was an electrically controlled but vacuum operated system and was probably the first "finger controlled" shifting method.

I believe Packard was the first to employ a full electric motor system followed a year or so later by Edsel. Since Autolite built them both it might be interesting to know how much of that almost identical system was of Packard engineering design and how much was Autolite. The other PB controls of the 50s and early 60s were all strictly mechanical cable operations.

I believe the last full electric factory production system not reliant on a microprocessor was introduced by Rolls Royce. Their electric motor and relay actuator portion is very similar in operation to the Packard PB unit but RR has a regular looking lever that moves to activate individual microswitches instead of using PBs.

While others use their various modern PBs, knobs and levers wasn't it the Chrysler/Jeep rotating knob that got almost all the bad publicity for confusing operation.

There is an aftermarket PB system made by MoonEyes PCS. They have different actuators for several modern trans units but the PB control unit for the various actuators is about the same design. Operation is via microprocessor. As I understand it the positioning stops are somewhat programmable. It might be interesting to see what could be done with modifying the PB module and fitting it in the Packard pod if changing to a GM trans in a PB 56.

Posted on: 9/20 13:29
Howard
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Re: Push button then & now
#4
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humanpotatohybrid
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I know RR had a actuated system for quite some time and maybe they still do. What's funny is they still had a lever, they just added it so that the shifter had a ridiculously light touch. But really though, how else could you make an ultra-luxury car?

I understand why they were popular in the 50's / 60's when the trend was towards pushbutton/power everything, not just in cars but also appliances, etc. But RR did that at least thru the 90's IIRC.

Posted on: 9/20 13:35
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Push button then & now
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PackardDon
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Imperial, of course, also had push button starting in 1957 but it was mechanical. Oddly, when they decided to go back to column shift in 1965, they continued to use the same actuator that was used previously.

Posted on: 9/20 14:44
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Re: Push button then & now
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R H
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This h.

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Posted on: 9/20 15:01
Riki
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Re: Push button then & now
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su8overdrive
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Good connection, HH56. It was called "Electric Hand," a Bendix pre-select shift optional in 1935-36 Hudsons, came with a plug in the floor and shift lever clipped to the firewall under the dash, just in case. 1936-37 Cord 810/812s used the same Bendix unit, albeit with four speeds, 4th an overdrive ratio.

Off subject, but oft wondered why more vintage cars didn't have an overdrive within their transmission, as Cords and the 200 1938-39 (a few titled as '40) Bentley MX. Certainly easier for most motorists to use. The extra cost might've been offset by simplified inventory, production.

1936-38 Pierce-Arrows had the usual bolt-on overdrive of the era, but at least it was standard equipment on both the 8 & 12. Had Pierce been guided since the teens by ex-Burroughs cash register and Hudson executives as Packard was, they might've had the wherewithal to launch their proposed 25,000 juniors for 1938 at their higher than One Twenty's price point of $1,200.
There was suggestion the junior Pierces would've used Pierce's existing 384-ci eight monobloc with hydraulic lifters, a better engine, if we're splitting hairs, than Packard's or Chrysler's 384 eights.
If the junior Pierce retained overdrive, what a car. Since Pierce folded, some of us with 1940-on 356s w/overdrive console ourselves we've the next best thing.

Were Packard's Brigg bodies better than the Reo Flying Cloud/Graham Cavalier Hayes bodies the junior Pierce intended to use? Briggs bodies not as finely wrought as Fisher, if strong. Skip the wood veneer and cowhide--are the Pressed Steel bodies (Cowley near Oxford, supplied much of the English auto industry per Briggs, Murray in the States) used in the postwar Rolls-Royce and Bentley better than Packard's Briggs? Anyone have hands-on comparison experience?
As mentioned, in the years preceding War II, Rolls-Royce was annually disassembling a new Buick Limited to glean the latest Detroit production tips.


Still further afield, pardon, Pierce's plant, same size as Packards, designed, built at the same time by Albert Kahn also using his brother Julius's patented Trussed Concrete Steel Company construction fully survives, repurposed.
Buffalo, like Pittsburgh, was long down at the heels, but managed the renaissance Detroit couldn't.

Back to false economy, think it was Bob Lutz who suggested it was folly not to put your best upholstery in all your lines. That's what sells cars. My '47 Super came with the same hogs hair carpet as the junior 8s (which were nonetheless terrific cars, more sensible than locomotives like mine). Many Packards were drab within to the point of looking like ordnance vehicles, or they went the other nervous extreme like the 1946-47 Custom Supers, as if that sort of nonsense would make shoppers forget the '30s seniors or that there was no HydraMatic.

Really, how much more to plate the parking brake handle in all '40s Packards? The ex-GM big B-O-Ppers recruited to cost the 120 really were running the show. Until inspired by Darrin's proposal, which he was never paid for, the best Packard could do enroute to the Clipper, their sole non-postwar sellers' market success of the '40s, was graft 1940's new narrowed grille on a Buick in their styling studio.

Posted on: 9/20 15:53
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Re: Push button then & now
#8
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HH56
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Quote:

R H wrote:
This h.

Rik, I screwed up. It is PCS, not MoonEyes. That Classic Instruments module on the Moon site appears to be something to work one of Classic's gauges that has lights or some transmission range indicator on it and is not an actuator control. Moon did have a real actuator though. There was a customizing guy from SoCal with a TV show some years back. One of the shows featured the Moon unit being installed on one of his hot rods but that setup has apparently been discontinued.

The pushbutton setup I was thinking of was actually made by PCS Was thinking if the square control module could have the button and indicator lettering turned 90 degrees it might fit in the Packard pod.

Probably the easiest and least expensive solution on a GM trans conversion would be to use the RR actuator -- if they are not becoming obsolete and there is room to mount it with the X frame member being so close. As I mentioned, the wiring and operation in the RR actuator appears to be surprisingly similar to the Packard unit and could probably be adapted to use the stock pushbuttons rather easily.

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Posted on: 9/20 16:00
Howard
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Re: Push button then & now
#9
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Peter Packard
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Apart from the column lever on the early R-R Shadow (on my 66 Silver Shadow anyway), should the shift motor fail, there is a small fitting on the inner LH cabin transmission tunnel to enable a lever from the toolkit to be inserted to manually shift the transmission. There is also a manual reset button on the back of the fuse box to reset triggered relays. I have not had to use either of these items yet (fingers crossed).

Posted on: 9/20 17:38
I like people, Packards and old motorbikes
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Re: Push button then & now
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Fish'n Jim
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I always ascribed push button shifting to the Chrysler torq-flites. Those were the first ones, I remember, but never researched this.
It's hard to get people to change habits, so if they were accustom to shifting levers then that's what they'll prefer.
Cutting edge only applies to the "early adopters" who are looking for such and willing to take the risk of purchase and likely higher cost. More common is "wait and see" people and there's the entrenched hard cores, that won't budge.
Some innovations are necessarily self inflicted shots to the foot. Similarly, the pedal start was such a "non-starter" so to speak.
Of course, the Govt had something to say...
https://www.curbsideclassic.com/automo ... -a-government-conspiracy/

Posted on: 9/21 9:46
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