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Peterson's 1940 Packard
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West Peterson
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In 2005, I acquired a 1940 Packard 1808 Touring Sedan. It had been sitting for the better part of 45 years in a small wooden-floored museum in west central Minnesota. I first saw the car when I was 7 years old, in 1967. It always intrigued me, because it had factory air conditioning, and was generally an all original car that had never been restored. Through the years it had been maintained regularly. It was quickly repainted and even the front seat was reupholstered at some point. Recorded mileage from 1959 to 2005 was less than 1,000 miles.

The first day I drove the car, it made a LOT of noises. None sounded serious, but certainly noises that needed to be addressed before the car could be used regularly.

This blog will follow my progress, along with some step-by-step procedures. I hope that what I've learned will be of some help to others.

This is a photo of me when I was 7, sitting on the running board of my father's 1940 1806 club sedan.

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Posted on: 2010/2/3 15:15
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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Owen_Dyneto
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West, what a great story and photograph! I look forward to following your progress with it. Here's a picture of my first Packard which I bought when I was 17.

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Posted on: 2010/2/3 15:20
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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West Peterson
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This is my car as I received it in 2005.
Note the mouton carpeting in the back, which animal rights activists are not to pleased about. Also note the completely original plastic dashboard and steering wheel. While cracked somewhat here and there, I have NEVER seen an original dash on a 1940 Packard that looked this good.
There were just 50,000 miles on the odometer what it came off the trailer into my driveway.

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Posted on: 2010/2/3 15:20
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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Don
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Truly beautiful Packard West. You have had a life long experience with Packards haven't you?

Look forward to seeing your progress on the '40. (There can't be much to improve on can there?)

Posted on: 2010/2/3 15:39
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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West Peterson
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Thanks, Don
My dad has not been without a Packard since 1957, when he bought a very nice original and nice running 1941 LeBaron sport brougham for $75. At the time, his other "Classic" was a 1934 Bugatti Stelvio cabriolet that he bought the year before in Paris for $300. A perfectly good running car that he drove all around Europe, shipped to Philly, then drove to Minnesota.

On my car, mostly what needed (needs) to be done is mechanical nuisance-type stuff... front-end rebuilding, generator, radiator, shocks, etc. The worst thing physically is that the right front fender has a pretty sizeable dent in it due to the former owner backing into it with his 1929 Packard. Then, last fall, I had trouble seeing the garage door opening and made it even worse.

Posted on: 2010/2/3 15:52
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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BigKev
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West,

I look forward to seeing the work that your have put into your Touring Sedan!

Posted on: 2010/2/3 16:16
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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West Peterson
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The first thing I wanted to do was change ALL fluids. While up on the hoist, we quickly noticed that the king pins were in need of being replaced, the tie rod ends were a bit loose, and the center steering link was "frozed." This center steering link has a zerk fitting on it, but because Packard was forced to hire a full force of non-Packard trained "technicians" during the war, this point RARELY got greased because no one knew about it. Thus, most are frozen.

Also, in our attempt to remove the oil pan, we noticed that the front engine mount had "sagged" so much, it made it impossible to access the bolts on the front of the pan. In order to "see" what was on the bottom of the pan, we stuck a long welding rod through the oil plug and scraped the bottom of the pan the best we could. It "sounded" very good. In other words, there didn't seem to be a huge amount of sludge on the button, and the rod came out relatively clean.

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Posted on: 2010/2/3 16:35
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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Owen_Dyneto
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Your findings on the front end are in agreement with many, many others. The center-link is a classic, and I'm convinced the Saf-T-Flex suspension, marvelous as it was, was tough on king pins, most everyone I know with that vintage has experienced it.

Posted on: 2010/2/3 16:45
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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BigKev
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What year did Packard move away from that center link arrangement and go to the type of steering arrangement that I find on my '54 (non-power steering)?

I heard someone refer to that center link bearing as a bicycle style bearing before.

Posted on: 2010/2/3 16:52
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Re: Peterson's 1940 Packard
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West Peterson
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I'm not educated on anything postwar (1948-on). But the first picture shows where the center link is located and how it's attached to the tie rods. The second photo shows how nicely the inner tie rod ends cleaned up.

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Posted on: 2010/2/3 17:16
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