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Jack_Vines

1955-56 Packard factory air conditioning

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I build my own mount for 1967 Mustang back in College. it should be that difficult. If you borrow an original, you cast one fairly easy too.

I have all the parts for 42 limo AC unit except the rear deck vent see attached. anyone having I appreciated a lead.

Packards42@yahoo.com

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For 1955 Packard still used the trunk-mounted unit. Although there may have been a few very late '55s with it, really 1956 was the first year of in-dash A/C for Packard.

I have a nearly complete unit from a '56 Executive Sedan but am missings lots of small parts as the guy who removed it for the eBay seller just hacked out the parts, cut wires, lost brackets and other hardware! Although I'm not working on I yet, when the time comes it would be great to have found a source for these things, or at least samples fr reproduction. I am also curious if anyone has found a source for rebuilding the "cardboard" dash unit who could possibly make an authentic reproduction or supply a set of detailed drawings. Any ideas? Thanks!

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Not sure about the late 55 part since the dash AC is detailed in the 55 operator manual. There were a couple of Patrician parts cars with AC locally and I know one was fairly early. I transferred that system into a 56 many years ago. The other system I saved and put in my current car. It was fine until a mechanic who had no idea how a hot gas bypass system worked destroyed it. I remember buying some 56 mufflers and hoses from Patrician Industries in the early 80's when transferring that one.

I can probably help with photos and details of the missing pieces. As to new parts, not sure what you need but the parts I needed to get my current 56 operational appear to be extinct. Compressor valves and valve plate gaskets in particular. The modulator valve also appears to be NLA -- or at least none of the usual vendors and AC suspects admitted to having any. I gave up trying after awhile and just left it not working. Finally decided to make my own duplicate looking system using modern components with a cycling clutch. Finished it last year. Except for the Sanden compressor, parts you can see look pretty much like the old. The original unit is on a shelf and I can take photos and measurements of almost all. If I ever sell the car, it will go with it and maybe the next owner will have better luck or perseverance finding parts.

The only cardboard piece I had was the single large defroster duct. Is that the one you mean? The air ducts are some kind of a closed cell foam rubber. I made the defroster duct out of thin ABS sheet and used Smooth-On urethane skin forming casting foam to do the air ducts. Unfortunately my molds were a one time thing. The way I built them they had to be destroyed to get the finished pieces free. I chose ABS for the defroster duct because I couldn't press and form the cardboard satisfactorily and didn't like the smell of fiberglass when hot air hits it. ABS was able to be heated and formed over a mold.

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My good friend Virgil provide with a complete set of AC the components for a 53, does anyone have the part manual or installation section of the manual. It Vee style compressor with clutch

Edited by packards42 (see edit history)

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My good friend Virgil provide with a complete set of AC the components for a 53, does anyone have the part manual or installation section of the manual. It Vee style compressor with clutch

For the original 53-54 factory AC units, you can download the air conditioning section of the service manual from the literature section at Packardinfo.com. It is virtually the same information as was in the service training manual and is about all Packard offered. If your friends system has a Vee type compressor with clutch, it's not original to a factory 53-4. The 53-4 compressor which Packard used was a large round unit of GM (Frigidaire) design and had no clutch. The Packard trunk unit, with the exception of cosmetics and the compressor, was identical in function to the Cadillac unit. The actual round compressor was the same but difference was Cadillac had a large solenoid on top to activate a clutch on their compressor version while Packard just had a direct all the time on connect. GM usually did pretty well in literature so finding a Cadillac book may give more insight to the 53-4 construction and operation.

Packard didn't use a Vee type compressor until 55 and those were Lehigh units with 12v clutches. If your friends AC is one of those later units, again there is information in the 55-6 service manual on the factory indash units which can be downloaded. There is also a factory install manual for adding an indash unit to cars already in the field. That manual gives much more detailed information on how the various pieces are configured, built and mounted.

As Packard Don mentioned earlier, the aftermarket ARA trunk units were available in 55-6 and probably were available for earlier cars also. They could have been installed and called factory or dealer sold units. There is also the unit branded as Studebaker-Packard but built by Novi which some dealers carried. A couple of other aftermarkets also had Packard versions. Many photos of various units would seem to indicate many brands and types of compressors were used with those aftermarket units. For literature on those, the actual identity would have to be known.

Edited by HH56 (see edit history)

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