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1937 Super 8
#1
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Ed Boersma
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I'm getting a '37 Super 8 Club Sedan delivered tomorrow. It is a nicely restored/original that is all Packard.

I'm expecting that it will need some help in the gearing department to be a freeway cruiser.

I'm thinking of three options:

- Packard Overdrive transmission, modified for a cane shifter

- install a Packard center section (with better road gears) into the original housing

- install a complete Packard rear end (with better road gears)

I would appreciate opinions and suggestions on what parts can be used.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2022/10/31 22:12
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#2
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Peter Packard
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I have fitted a few R6 overdrives to 38 Juniors and the 37 Super Eights may be slightly easier to fit, using the 39 Super Eight bell housing. I would fit an R9 or R11 ( R11 would be the best and most reliable). There are a few tutorials about retrofitting the Packard OD boxes to non OD Packards) Easier to fit without the Governor but needs some planning. Also need to sort out Universals and tailshaft.

Posted on: 2022/11/1 2:23
I like people, Packards and old motorbikes
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#3
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Ed Boersma
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The Super Eight was delivered, and enjoyed for a couple of days.

About twenty miles into its first drive, the steel line in the external oil manifold sprung a leak and emptied the crankcase over the road. Took the car to my shop, removed the manifold, welded up a pin hole on the bottom of the line, and refilled 8 quarts of oil. Started and idled fine, good oil pressure, but had a definite knock under any load. Pulled the pan and #8 rod cap, and found the babbit material in the cap in 'crumbles'. I am told this indicates that oil got between the bearing and the cap because of a failed bearing restoration.

While we were under the car checking other rods and mains, antifreeze kept dripping from one of the cylinders. I was told by a local restoration shop that the Super 8 was a good engine, but that it had a reputation for cracked cylinders. Sleeves could be a fix, but machining technique was critical for success.

The engine was rebuilt 5-6 years ago, and according to the work order had 8 new pistons with rings, 6 re-manufactured rods, and 4 sleeves installed. That is not a misprint! According to the daughter of the (deceased) previous owner, the car had less than 20 miles since it was assembled.

I am convinced there was no malice on the sellers part, and that her father would have met the same fate with the car. It is what it is!

I bought the car to be a nice stock Sunday cruiser. It is a very good looking driver with original interior; it is not museum quality.

I do not have the time or money to invest in rebuilding the engine. I plan to replace the complete drivetrain with a V-8 (NON Chev..!), automatic trans, and rear end with highway gears. The conversion will be done such that it can be returned to original without a trace.

I had no intention to do this, but I need it up and running (within my budget) by next spring.

Thanks!

Posted on: 12/4 1:30
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#4
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humanpotatohybrid
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I'm not sure this would be any easier considering you want to change the gearing ratios anyway, but you could probably get a decent replacement engine for only a few hundred dollars from various parts dealers here.

Posted on: 12/4 7:52
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#5
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flackmaster
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My deepest sympathies for your disappointing turn of events.

Authenticity aside, I endorse a re-power to have an enjoyable cruiser. Heck, you may even install some A/C with this effort.

Changing the rear axle to a lower ratio will require a bit of E-brake cable adaptation, but it sounds like you can handle this. You might consider a Ford truck axle with the 5.5" bolt circle drum to allow you to maintain the Packard wheels.

Posted on: 12/4 8:38
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#6
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Wat_Tyler
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Man!!! That just sucks nationwide.

Posted on: 12/4 9:06
If you're not having fun, maybe it's your own damned fault.
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#7
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JWL
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Electric conversion? Probably too expensive. Just a thought.

Posted on: 12/4 12:51
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#8
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Ernie Vitucci
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Good Morning...It is possible that all you need is a head gasket and one rod repoured and boared to match the crank...We find this problem from time to time on engines of lesser automobiles...Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 12/4 13:32
Caretaker of the 1949-288 Deluxe Touring Sedan
'Miss Prudence' and the 1931 Model A Ford Tudor 'Miss Princess'
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#9
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Owen_Dyneto
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Ernie, I'd question repouring a rod, in 1935 these engines changed over from poured bearings to inserts. The picture is clouded however by the OP's reference to babbit.

Posted on: 12/4 16:40
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Re: 1937 Super 8
#10
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Tim Cole
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If I was in the same situation I would put a 288 in it. It won't have the low end, but the engine mounting is the same design and parts are plentiful. Packard was going downhill with everybody else because you could pull one of the earlier cars out of a swamp and they would run. Not as good as low mileage, but they would go down the road if you didn't beat on them.

Of course, I'm not interested in driving those things more than 45-50 mph given every time I read about a celebrity millionaire dying in a car wreck I know they are driving some big dinosaur and not a little Honda Fit.

One of the Banachek cars had a Chrysler flathead in it.

Posted on: 12/4 16:48
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