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Re: Rear axle enhancements to tolerate higher engine power output
#11
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greybeard
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Many thanks for your reply, I really appreciate the background information. I am very much interested in improving engine performance, and have no real appetite for an engine/drivetrain swap. I am intrigued by your mention of multiple carbs, and it had crossed my mind before I contemplated a replacement engine, but I have to confess ignorance as to where I might acquire replacement carburetors for an 85 year old engine. Not to mention the required manifold mods to embrace them. Twin or triple carbs would also be ideal for the look I want. Can you point me in the right direction to an outfit that sells this kind of thing?

Posted on: 7/1 17:55
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Re: Rear axle enhancements to tolerate higher engine power output
#12
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flackmaster
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Everyday local usage, fine, but you are only going to go so fast with a factory 4.36 rear end. My 115c's are 50-55mph cars. 4 lane usage will require gearing, horsepower, brakes and confidence in everything else. Many options, your choice. Ask any 115 owner and they'll concur.

Never has there been any aftermarket manifold/multi-carb options for the Packard six. I've seen two hack jobs, but that still did not address the other elements.

Posted on: 7/1 18:39
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Re: Rear axle enhancements to tolerate higher engine power output
#13
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BigKev
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My 115 with a 200hp Jag motor goes really fast to 50mph, then promptly runs put of gear with the original transmission and rear end gears.

Posted on: 7/1 19:08
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Rear axle enhancements to tolerate higher engine power output
#14
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greybeard
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Well, this discussion has certainly shown the way forward. Thanks to all who have shared their knowledge and experience. To paraphrase Clint Eastwood, "A man has got to know his (car's) limitations". Or something like that.

Posted on: 7/2 14:28
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Re: Rear axle enhancements to tolerate higher engine power output
#15
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su8overdrive
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GB -- The twin--and even triple-- carb set ups on 245-ci Packard sixes we've seen were not "hack jobs." Edmunds and others sold such in the back pages of Motor Trend and other popular magazines in the early '50s. Surprised we haven't heard from anyone on this Modification forum so running. You w i l l hear from knowledgeable souls on www.jalopyjournal.com , a site brimming with both rod/custom contingent and those who appreciate tweaked stock. Lotta stock & "tuned" but original Packard guys on there.

If your six is healthy as is, just switch to full synthetic 10W/30, flows better, less drag. But if it's due for an overhaul or rebuild, do the previous. With overdrive, you'll be able to cruise 70-75 mph, even easier if your car has the slightly taller non-overdrive rear axle. You didn't say if your car OD or not. If no OD, find a late '48 through '54 R-11. They are slightly simplified over the 1940-early '48 R-9, more plentiful, so cost less. Jeff Adkins, Moose Motors, Penngrove (Petaluma, CA in the North Bay), a lifelong Packard wrench who now sells mechanical and electrical 1935-56 Packard parts, rebuilds components for same, supplies drum brake parts for everything Auburn through Zephyr, has some R-11s and the bits you'll require. (707) 792-9985, packardguy54@sbcglobal.net Tell him Mike, '47 Super Clipper, Walnut Creek referred you. Jeff knows every lock washer and bolt on your '39.

If adding OD, avoid a rear axle taller than 3.9, or if you live in the flatlands, 3.54, because you still want some low speed snap. Otherwise, unless you're pulling a trailer in the Rockies, it's hard to over-gear a Packard.

Avoid rush hour, drive off-peak hours. In Chris Crafts, your Packard six routinely churned a prolonged 3,000 rpm. You won't be doing that with overdrive, depending on rear cog, until 85 mph or so.

Look at any place you can lose weight. Most old car folk i know, from Cords to Cads, use Optima Red Top 800 cold cranking amp 6 volt batteries. Only 18 lbs. Spins my nine-main-bearinged 356-ci just fine, got nearly a decade each from my last two, know of a '41 Cad that got 14 years from his Optima.

Consider a bolt-in, no butchering/alteration required positive-ground, 55-amp alternator from Jim's Battery Mfg., Youngstown, OH (800) 426-5780. Easier starting, faster batter recovery, brighter head and tail lights at dusk and night when stopped or creeping along in first gear. Spray the inside of your tail light housing with gloss white, works better than aluminum foil, which a friend used in his Cords. Make sure your battery cable's double aught (00), solid copper, ends both crimped and soldered, available at any big rig supply house. "Heavy duty" from the local auto parts store in today's 12-volt world still too skimpy. A friend in British Columbia and i put such alternators in our 356-engined cars. Tell Jim that Mike '47 Super Clipper, Walnut Creek, CA and Hans Edwards, BC referred you.

Avoid 12-volt conversions. Good grounds and the above, you'll be fine. Skip Petronix ignition. With points you can always get home. Keep it simple. Weight is the enemy. 25 lbs. here, 25 lbs. there, it adds up. Bentley even encouraged 1952-on Continental owners to skip radio. Do you really need or use a heater in your jaunty coupe, assuming it has one? Less is more.

One more: Some of these fellows telling you to change brakes, engines, all this, are used to modern two-pedal golf carts. Part of the charm of an old car that can still get you a serious speeding ticket is d r i v i n g the blighter, being "one" with it. Think zen and the art of Packard maintenance/driving. In lightly traveled areas with visible intersections, make "California stops;" down to a walking pace in second gear, but keep moving. Stop and go, stop and go is what wears any car. Incorporate fluidity with safety and common sense. Our cars were built when national population was a third today's 350 million. Why should those of us having only "one or none," or adopting, suffer?

Even tho' my essentially stock '47 can cruise 85, do the ton, as can a friend's '40 180 Darrin and '42 160 drophead, we like best burbling along at 40 to 50. Knowing we can double that pace is enough. Paint and chrome are muy expensivo these days.

1939 Packards higher quality than 1940's lines with their reduced prices, if we're splitting hairs.

You can thank our multi-day 100-degree heat for this seminar.

--SB

Posted on: 7/2 15:21
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Re: Rear axle enhancements to tolerate higher engine power output
#16
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

greybeard
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Much appreciation for the insight you have shared. The more I dig into possible alterations and modifications, the more I warm to the notion of making the best use of what Uncle Packard provided as a foundation, instead of trying to re-engine and re-engineer what is a well made machine to begin with.

Posted on: 7/15 14:39
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