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Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#1
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1941Packard
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First off - To the Packard Purists - I apologize in advance for my sacrilegious thoughts and comments

My 41 is a bit of mess, and I'm looking to make the brake/clutch setup as simple as possible. The complicated bracket filled mess that came from the factory hurts my brain.

Just curious if anyone has ran something like this. I would run a cable for the clutch, with a return spring on the other side of the clutch lever. I'd prefer a front disc brake conversion, but I don't see that available from Kanter anymore?

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Posted on: 6/20 23:04
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Re: Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#2
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TxGoat
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The complicated mess provided by the factory fits the car and it works VERY well. If your car is missing parts, it's very likely that they can be obtained.
I would not do anything that requires modifying the frame.
Unlike many pre-war cars, the Model T Ford in particular, the Packards have pretty good brakes.
Packards had differences from year to year and among the various models offered. Information on your car's model and condition would be helpful.

Posted on: 6/21 6:09
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Re: Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#3
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bkazmer
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Disc brakes will resist fade better on multiple hard stops

Stopping distance is more a function of tires, braking surface area, and pad/lining material.
I think conversion kits often oversell effect

This is not a “purist” comment, just a technical one

Posted on: 6/21 9:38
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Re: Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#4
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TxGoat
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Converting to a dual master/disc setup will be expensive and difficult. It will likely reduce the value of the car, if that is a concern. But if you expect to drive Los Angeles freeways on a regular basis, it could be worthwhile.
My choice would be to get the stock clutch and brakes in good order and add an overdrive transmission. That will improve performance on several fronts, including higher speed open road driving, and you can lock out the overdrive in heavy traffic or mountain driving for enhanced engine braking effect. Pre-war Packards, and most other older cars, have relatively low speed, high ratio rear axles gears, around 4.20:1, which enhances engine braking. With the correct overdrive ratio axle, engine braking is substantially increased over the standard axle ratio.

Posted on: 6/21 10:22
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Re: Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#5
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1941Packard
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I am already aware that the setup from the factory functions fine. I wasn't asking that at all. I was asking if anyone has done this conversion before.

I posted this in the modification section of the forum purposefully, in the hopes that it would lessen the amount of "why would you ever modify anything on a Packard? Packards are perfect from the factory" amount of comments. I guess that plan didn't work.

Posted on: 6/21 10:41
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Re: Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#6
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humanpotatohybrid
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Quote:

1941Packard wrote:
I am already aware that the setup from the factory functions fine. I wasn't asking that at all. I was asking if anyone has done this conversion before.


As you have likely gathered, the answer is almost certainly no, and for good reason. Packard was a high end company that not only engineered their products well (as most cars were, honestly) but also had the money and paid attention that every important part had a high quality action. Remember that ALL cars of this time were manual transmission, brakes, steering, rear wheel drive, etc. Packard and other luxury makes had to distinguish themselves in ways different than shoving in power options (as occurred later) or technology (as has been the case since the 80’s).

You should have a thorough understanding of the operation, and any flaws of the current system before you re engineer or replace it. Though limited to the technology of the time, the system in your car was designed by many if not tens of engineers, iterated over a couple decades.

Posted on: 6/21 11:40
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Re: Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#7
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TxGoat
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If anyone here has done the specific mod you are considering, I'm sure they will reply.
When you ask questions here, you will probably get a range of answers and suggestions, which are given in good faith.
They may or may not be useful to you, but you get them for the asking. Responses to questions keep those questions in the current lineup and increases their exposure.

Posted on: 6/21 11:44
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Re: Anyone use a universal brake pedal/clutch kit?
#8
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HH56
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I don't recall seeing photos or remember anyone saying they had done any underfloor pedal setups. Most all of the pedal change discussions on the forum have involved power brakes. A manual master and clutch like you pictured but with a remote fill reservoir should fit but in a power brake setup the typical booster diameter is a tad too large for frame rail depth which would leave some vulnerable parts hanging a bit low. Having said that, there is a prewar running around with the booster/master in the engine compt just above the frame but I only have a photo of the booster and none of the pedal stuff to know what was used or how it is actuated.

There are a few postwar cars with universal or street rod type suspended pedals and assorted modified brand X pedal arrangements for power brake setups but to my recollection only one or two might have involved the clutch. I believe the late Craig Hendrickson was going to use an hydraulic clutch setup on the 56 Panther he was building but don't know if he ever got that far or which transmission he was going to use. IIRC, the other poster was looking at a Wilwood pedal and remote clutch cylinder setup but again, no idea if it was ever done.

I don't believe Craig was going to use a Packard trans so not sure which setup he was thinking of. One issue with the hydraulic clutch would be if it used a separate slave cylinder to actuate the original fork mechanism like the Wilwood of if it is the round type hydraulic cylinder actuator that directly sits behind the bearing in place of the throwout collar. On that type I would wonder if the supplier makes the throwout assy in a diameter that will fit the Packard transmission snout.

Posted on: 6/21 11:45
Howard
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