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What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#1
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su8overdrive
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The head size for the 356-ci engine's vibration damper bolt, #341404, 1 3/4 inches, is listed as 1 1/8th inches in both pre- and postwar Packard Parts Books. This mistake was never amended because, a rarely changed or addressed part, no Packard serviceman brought it to the attention of the shop foreman, who in turn alerted the zone rep, East Grand Avenue.

Posted on: 2/19 23:58
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#2
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MJG
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Just wrestled my SPI caliper onto it, measures 1.75". While in the shop last night I tried to put a wrench on it after reading your first post.. I didn't want to pester you with what didn't work.. but lets just say everything I have. VERY tight area to swing a wrench..
Mike

Posted on: 2/21 19:08
1948 Custom Eight Victoria Convertible
Others:
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Deluxe Convertible Coupe
1956 Oldsmobile 88 Sedan
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#3
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Packard Don
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It needs to be a thin-walled socked and the one I have was turned down on the end just for the purpose many decades ago.

Posted on: 2/21 20:42
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#4
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MJG
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That is what I thought last night.. probably need to turn a socket down on a lathe. The one I have for a 1/2" drive was not going to work. I tried to estimate how much room I would have even if it did fit and it looked like I would be right up against the radiator. Not that it matters much for me as my clutch is frozen and I'm planning on yanking everything when the time comes anyway.. good learning regardless.

Posted on: 2/21 21:00
1948 Custom Eight Victoria Convertible
Others:
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Deluxe Convertible Coupe
1956 Oldsmobile 88 Sedan
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#5
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BDeB
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Craftsman 1-3/4" 12 point socket, 3/4" drive with S-K 47153 breaker bar needs 4-1/8'' or more clearance to slip in place. Not a lot of room to swing the handle from above but may work OK from below. Was not able to check on my 1948 Custom as it is put away for the winter but have a spare motor for reference.
Plenty of room in the vibration damper for the unaltered socket.

Posted on: 2/21 21:19
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#6
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su8overdrive
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Thank you, gentlemen. Your detailed candor underscore that Packard was indeed "A gentleman's car, built by gentlemen."

Both the 356 bolt #341404 head size 1 3/4" and the junior # 304128 head size 1 1/4", are, other than head size, identical: 3/4-16. The senior bolt's additional 1/2 inch head width allows it to forego a washer since it has more metal against the vibration damper, albeit it being a thinner head than the junior bolt, which calls for a lock washer.

Just discovered my engine has a 1 1/4" vibration damper bolt head. A lifelong Packard wrench tells me it doesn't matter what size bolt head i have. Assume this another case of Packard's over-engineered overkill? The junior vibration damper is a few pounds lighter, but that's the only difference.

Sure, the perfectionist, OCD in me, beloved of factory standard, would like to have the 1 3/4 bolt. But given there's only 2 3/4 inches between the face of the vibration damper and radiator in my '47 Super Clipper, and the car's traveled 16,000 miles since hot tanking, machining, balancing, assembly by my late mechanic's mechanic, who ran motor pools in the War II Pacific, then worked at a Packard dealer before my car left Detroit, then various Hudson dealers setting up winning cars for the Capitol and Sacramento speedways, then a Pontiac dealer before starting his own renowned shop in 1958-59; and given the above's assurance it doesn't matter, i am sorely tempted to live with 1 1/4. What think you?

BDeB's experience using a 3/4" drive doesn't surprise. For those with a 1 3/4" bolt head, you'd think a 1/2-inch drive 1 3/4" socket would fit that cramped space given the 1 3/4" bolt head is thinner than the 1 1/4" junior and doesn't have a washer and lock washer, is recessed in the damper cavity. The 1 1/4" bolt head protrudes slightly.

Meanwhile, MJG, i f it comes to yanking everything out, consider lightening your flywheel. I've heard a Packard maven report doing so to a 356. Wish i'd so done mine when for the sake of an effing $18 pilot bearing which squalling would wake the dead, we had to remove the transmission, so thought i'd replace the F-series Ford truck clutch so many 356 owners use, for a Packard pressure plate rebuilt using the original jig. As long as we were in the neighborhood. But, my flywheel's still stock weight. I bow to others' insight regarding this and don't want to give MJG a bum steer.

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Posted on: 2/22 0:32
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#7
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MJG
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Quote:


Meanwhile, MJG, i f it comes to yanking everything out, consider lightening your flywheel. I've heard a Packard maven report doing so to a 356. Wish i'd so done mine when for the sake of an effing $18 pilot bearing which squalling would wake the dead, we had to remove the transmission, so thought i'd replace the F-series Ford truck clutch so many 356 owners use, for a Packard pressure plate rebuilt using the original jig. As long as we were in the neighborhood. But, my flywheel's still stock weight. I bow to others' insight regarding this and don't want to give MJG a bum steer.



Thank you for the insight, I do plan on pulling everything however, after I take the body off the frame. The car needs/deserves a full pan replacement so I will be putting it on a body dolly and rotisserie. I plan on rebuilding the frame and mechanicals with the body off. I have heard of the Ford clutch swap but haven't researched which will be the best route for me as of yet. My plan is to build a long-distance tour car so there is a good chance I will go that route.

Mike

Posted on: 2/23 7:40
1948 Custom Eight Victoria Convertible
Others:
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Deluxe Convertible Coupe
1956 Oldsmobile 88 Sedan
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#8
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su8overdrive
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MJG, the difference between the Packard and the Long-type Ford F-series truck clutch is the Packard pressure plate has adjustable fingers and softer springs, a Packard maven friend says smoother in operation. But my Ford F-series clutch/pressure plate were just fine and the only reason i replaced them was the transmission was out to replace the effing squalling pilot bearing. I could just as well've put the Ford clutch back in, and my lifelong Packard friend says both equally rugged, probably good for centuries, especially in a distance tour car, which is where 356 Packards on the 127" wb excel.

Am disgusted seeing vintage cars with modern drivetrains, but don't mind things like the Ford truck clutch and 55-amp, positive-ground, bolt-in, no butchering required alternator, Optima battery, synthetic motor oil, and modern black molybdenum/graphite grease; a Texaco or Chevron tech told us back in the late '70s, an order of eight times better than the orange fiber grease in common use from the '40s into the '70s. The black grease was originally developed for massive trucks in the hellish environment of huge stone quarries. Also use a NAPA Wix 87055 air filter which fits like it was made for our big air cleaner/carburetor silencers. Despite recent reports claiming oil bath as good or even a theoretical trace better, i'm sticking with the modern air filter.

Since you're building your overdrive 356 conv. as a distance runner, you might scout up a 3.92 rear axle from a non-overdrive car, or even a 3.54 cog from a '50 Ultramatic Custom Eight, unless you'll be spending much time in serious mountains with a carload of Sumo wrestlers. If your Lake Lanier, dating from three years before my boyhood Charlotte's Lake Norman and even larger--680 vs. 520 miles shoreline-- near the sourthern terminus of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, that'd be a mighty fine maiden cruise. Every bit as gorgeous as New England in autumn. Be glad you're not in undriveable Kaleefornyuh. Oft wish i'd never left my old greater NYC and earlier Charlotte. Huh, Stockholm Syndrome.

I'm just wondering if i'm okay continuing with the 1 1/4" head vibration damper bolt.

Posted on: 2/23 8:55
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Re: What size vibration damper bolt head do you 356 owners have?
#9
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MJG
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Quote:

su8overdrive wrote:
MJG, the difference between the Packard and the Long-type Ford F-series truck clutch is the Packard pressure plate has adjustable fingers and softer springs, a Packard maven friend says smoother in operation. But my Ford F-series clutch/pressure plate were just fine and the only reason i replaced them was the transmission was out to replace the effing squalling pilot bearing. I could just as well've put the Ford clutch back in, and my lifelong Packard friend says both equally rugged, probably good for centuries, especially in a distance tour car, which is where 356 Packards on the 127" wb excel.

Am disgusted seeing vintage cars with modern drivetrains, but don't mind things like the Ford truck clutch and 55-amp, positive-ground, bolt-in, no butchering required alternator, Optima battery, synthetic motor oil, and modern black molybdenum/graphite grease; a Texaco or Chevron tech told us back in the late '70s, an order of eight times better than the orange fiber grease in common use from the '40s into the '70s. The black grease was originally developed for massive trucks in the hellish environment of huge stone quarries. Also use a NAPA Wix 87055 air filter which fits like it was made for our big air cleaner/carburetor silencers. Despite recent reports claiming oil bath as good or even a theoretical trace better, i'm sticking with the modern air filter.

Since you're building your overdrive 356 conv. as a distance runner, you might scout up a 3.92 rear axle from a non-overdrive car, or even a 3.54 cog from a '50 Ultramatic Custom Eight, unless you'll be spending much time in serious mountains with a carload of Sumo wrestlers. If your Lake Lanier, dating from three years before my boyhood Charlotte's Lake Norman and even larger--680 vs. 520 miles shoreline-- near the sourthern terminus of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, that'd be a mighty fine maiden cruise. Every bit as gorgeous as New England in autumn. Be glad you're not in undriveable Kaleefornyuh. Oft wish i'd never left my old greater NYC and earlier Charlotte. Huh, Stockholm Syndrome.

I'm just wondering if i'm okay continuing with the 1 1/4" head vibration damper bolt.


Thank you for all the great insight! I completely agree, I prefer original but modest changes to enhance drivability will be entertained.

You are right, this is a wonderful region for driving. Besides wanting the lake itself, this location was a compromise between commutable to ATL but far enough out to be outside the hustle and bustle of suburbia to enjoy driving. That is changing though, when we bought it was ~half part-time residents around me, almost all are full-time now.

Mike

Posted on: 2/24 8:42
1948 Custom Eight Victoria Convertible
Others:
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Deluxe Convertible Coupe
1956 Oldsmobile 88 Sedan
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