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1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#1
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
Hello all! I am starting this forum to track a Packard project already underway. I’m done various boat and auto restorations in the past, but never have posted it along the way to a forum. Compared to some of the other projects I’ve done in the past information on Packard’s is a little harder to come by and I think it might be helpful to get feedback on issues as they come up.
This car comes from my wife’s family and lived most of its life up in Rochester NY. I still haven’t verified the VIN number and am not 100% sure what the model type is, but believe it is a 1948 Series 22 produced in 1949. It has a 288 CU Straight 8 under the hood.

This car last drove in the early 1990’s and from that time was stored in a garage. My brother-in-law spent some time trying to get it going again in the early 2010’s to no avail and the car eventually made its way down to Florida for a full refurb.

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Posted on: 1/10 21:33
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#2
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
I initially wanted to get it running before beginning a full breakdown. The car was parked running so I was somewhat confident that this was a simple electrical or fuel issue. After verifying spark, adding some fuel and still no pop and decided to check compression. Sure enough there was a big 0 on a number of the cylinders.

Next step was to pull the motor and transmission out. I was very surprised to find that the only front engine support is a U-bracket mounted to the frame, attached with two bolts to the front of the block holding up an 800lb motor. I also took plenty of pictures of the transmission shift linkage during the disassembly, but this mechanism was pretty unusual and not something I have seen before. I anticipate needing some good reference images when I get back to putting that mechanism back together.

The amount of grease encountered during this removal process was something I have never seen before.

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Posted on: 1/10 21:54
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#3
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
Since the motor rebuild is my favorite part of any project I decided to start there. I stripped the motor down and sent it of to the machine shop. Guy who runs the shop commented that it had been quite a while since he saw one of these motors roll thru his doors.

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Posted on: 1/10 21:57
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#4
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
While the block was off getting machined the next step was to break down the rest of the cab and chassis. Started by removing the front fenders which had a really unusual locking mechanism into the main body that took us a while to figure out how to carefully remove. The cab came off next. The bolts attaching the car in place were so rusted in place that I used a air hammer to shear them off. The amount of underbody rust that rained down was amazing. I have a feeling that I’ll have to figure out some way to replace or repair the bottom panel of the body down the road, but will cross that bridge when I get there.

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Posted on: 1/10 21:59
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#5
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
Once I got the engine block and parts back the rebuild process began. I have never seen pistons with a slit in the side so that was a new one for me. The crank also wasn’t touched by the machine shop. They were amazed that each journal was still at factory tolerance. Only issue I ran into during the rebuild process related to the interference fit head studs. I have never used those in the past and was used to the type that required sealant to seal the stud from the waterjacket. These were a interference fit, where and number of them that came with the rebuild kit where machined oversized. I didn’t know this at the time, and assuming that the force required was normal I ended up breaking one of in the block which was pretty depressing. Instead of sending it back to the machine shop to remove the broken stud I machined a drill jig that allowed me to align a drill guide and drill out the broken stud with a hand drill. This worked well and the threads were saved. After contacting the company they sent me replacement studs to replace the original out of spec ones. Also, have never done a 38-bolt torque pattern before. That was fun.

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Posted on: 1/10 22:04
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#6
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
During this time I broke the chassis down to just the frame and sent it off for sandblasting and powder coating.

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Posted on: 1/10 22:05
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#7
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
I decided to not go into the transmission at this time and simply sandblasted it and repainted it. I remounted the engine and transmission so I could mount the motor to the frame for an initial test fire. I am going to have to send the clutch off to get relined and will have to break the transmission back off in the future to reinstall it.

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Posted on: 1/10 22:07
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#8
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
Video of the motor first running. We only ran it for a short time since I didn’t have a radiator in the loop yet, but the motor fired right up and ran great for the first time. Once I get the chassis back on wheels I plan on hooking up the radiator and doing a complete break-in process.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/ByeA9z-aREk

Posted on: 1/10 22:08
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#9
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

FlippinMastaT
See User information
Current Status: I am in the process of refurbishing the front axle assemblies and the rear axle break drums. After using a rear axle hub puller for the first time, I have everything broken down and am in process of cleaning and prepping for sandblasting.

I am hoping to sandblast the parts in the next week or so and then start painting and reassembly.

There are a number of gaskets and seals that need to be replaced. Anyone that has a good reference for these items on the axles that would be awesome. I've been mainly sourcing parts from Kanter Auto, but have had a hard time ID'ing the part I need to what is listed in their catalog. I can also post each part in question that I need to replace for feedback, but am not sure if that is the best method.

Posted on: 1/10 22:15
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Re: 1949 Packard 288 Full Restoration Project in Florida
#10
Home away from home
Home away from home

humanpotatohybrid
See User information
Very cool to see a full resto on one of these. Pretty rare these days.

As I recall, in some year they changed from machined to rolled head bolts (or vice versa) and the thread OD is different. Sounds like you already fixed this, but I think that's the issue you ran into on the head studs.

Posted on: 1/10 23:12
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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