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55PackardGuy

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Everything posted by 55PackardGuy

  1. Thanks for the compliments on the pics--just think if I'd have rubbed out the paint first! It really was a beautiful car. That color combination of yours sounds interesting. I'm thinking the blue would be the hood and the gray would be the top, trunk, and "swoop" on the side, right? One interesting thing about these Clippers, they're hard cars to id because they're one color coming at you, another color going away, and two colors when they go by! What a great getaway car... "Officer, I saw the robbers arrive at the U-Pull-It yard in a dark blue car and then drive off at a high rate of speed in a similar car, but it was gray."
  2. Cutting off the juice from under the hood is not a good idea if you've got an underhood fire going! BUT, the underhood switch can help keep a fire from starting when the vehicle is unatteneded. Sparks, shorts, and what-not electrical "events" can happen even with the ignition off. I've never put in a switch, but regularly disconnect the battery when a car sits, especially if there has been recent or ongoing wrenching going on with underhood parts.
  3. Hot Bakelite gives off a harsh "burnt electrical" smell. Consider a switch. Possibly even the TL switch. You mentioned earlier that the TL is sometimes balky after a stop. There's an override switch that shuts off the TL when braking to prevent engaging it because of a "nose-down" position during long, hard braking. Maybe it's sticking and building up heat somewhere. Just a guess. Couple of more thoughts: That "pull" or "surge' sounds like either slippage in the drivetrain (How's the trans fluid look and smell?) or fuel starvation like maybe a weak pump or partially plugged filter. BTW, your earlier discussion of colors included talk about gray. The first incarnation of our '55 400 was gunmetal gray metallic all around. It really looked nice. The original 2-tone looks better on Clippers, I think, and it's hard to beat the dark blue over light blue. Just replace your greens with blues and you have a correct color. Even all faded and dusty, a pretty nice look: A blue on blue Clipper Custom was the family hauler bought new in '55, pictured circa 1991. One re-paint in original colors--do not know the numbers.
  4. Bill, Thank you for posting this interesting historical info. I, for one, have thought of the late '50s Studebakers as partners in grief with Packard, sharing many of the same woes of being independents. In spite of all the second-guessing about who might have "saved" whom, in the end none of the independents survived. I also want to thank you very much for finally giving my memory a jolt about SASCO! My father bought many '55 Packard NOS parts, including trim and body parts, from a South Bend company in the '70s, and I could just never remember the name of that outfit. We had the (very detailed) catalogs, but I think they went with the cars when he sold them, along with the NOS parts.
  5. Packard 400, The P225/75R might be just a bit on the skinny and "short" side. They would be equivalent in width to the 760-15 rather than the standard 800-15 bias size. About 1/2" narrower and also less height, as the radial tires' "75" is the ratio of width to height. The sidewall of any 75 series tire will be 75% of the tire width. A narrower tire of the same series will always also be "shorter" or lower overall diameter. So, while it should certainly give no clearance problems a P225/75R will cause higher speedometer readings and may sacrifice some handling and aesthetics as well. I really liked the idea Albert had to give some good used radials a try first to see how they look and fit. Remember, though, that a very worn tire will have a lower sidewall and more clearance around the edges.
  6. I believe Mr. Moskowitz mentioned Oldsmobile spending a lot of time, money and effort on their car names. I wonder how much they spent on Achieva? That always struck me as strange. Then there's the Chevy Citation... why not just call it the Chevy Traffic Ticket? I bet quite a few cops made some choice remarks when writing up those. The Ford Aspire was pretty strange, too. Might as well have a bumper sticker that said "some day I'll have a bigger car."
  7. These cars are kind of where you find them. There's a web sit called Kaiser Frazer Nut or just KF Nut with a lot of nice pics and history, including a '51 living in Scandinavia. The real treat in '51 was the Vagabond. Arguably the first real "hatchback." My father had one for a work/hunting car for years. Back seat folded down for a huge flat bed, almost as big as a short-box pickup. The trunk and back window were both hinged and opened up a big entry. Always was a good-looking early-50's car. Underpowered and underbraked, though. The "Henry J" 2-doors looked quite similar in front and were rodded quite a bit. That chocolate-colored one on the Initial Post is a real beauty. Just goes to show what kind of neat products they could come up with when there was such a thing as independent manufacturers. Here you go: http://public.fotki.com/kfnut/the_frazer_fraternity/
  8. HH56 We used to run bias L78 15 on a Packard 400, which is 820 x 15 according to White Walls Plus handy little chart: http://www.whitewallsplus.com/cross.htm L78-15 = 8.20-15 Radial equivalents are listed as: P235/75R15 P255/70R15 A 70 series radial might be a bit "fat" for the clearances. P235/75R15 should give you lots of choices in brands. They didn't list any radial equivalents to the exact 8.00 x 15 that Mark mentioned as standard standard bias size prior to letter codes.\
  9. JT, I tried looking at the U-Tube Chrysler Pushbutton Automatic commercial but it had been deleted due to "misuse of content" or something. A little OT here, but I searched on Packard and found this nice film from the 2005 Packard Meet. Not sure of the location for the shots, but it's a Packard-spotters dream. I believe there are 48 different cars, some tricky cuts right at the end make it a little hard to say. Anybody care to take a shot at naming all the years and models in order of appearance??
  10. Hey John and all. Long summer, not much fun really. I miss the give-and-take of this forum, but just don't seem to have the energy to get into the fray. Lots of interesting new threads. Nice to see this one is still generating some "views." Never thought it would grow like it did way back when it started. I think that it might even have a little historical value, bringing together some Packard highlights to read that might otherwise have been missed by Packard-lovers. Also, maybe some "history in the making" as we question some of the accepted Packard lore and find some new possible "firsts." Packard Enthusiast, You may well have something there with the "wedge," but I'm not sure who would be able to come up with the verification. I do believe that Packard continued with the wedge head concept in the V8 of '55 and '56. At least the engineering drawings sure look like a wedge-shaped combustion chamber. I believe the piston was flat, though. Any V12 afficianados out there care to comment?
  11. Packard8, Are you out there? Long time since I visited here. Just wore out on the tussles, I guess. Last time I checked, 6 months ago, this thread had 11K "Views." Now it has almost 13K, but no additional replies. Did I say something discouraging? Or is it just fun to read rather than reply to? Hope everyone is doing OK! Take care,
  12. Well folks, personal experience. Darn old '61 runabout in my back yard right now with counter-rotating single Ford 292 inboard engine. Why do they do that? Well, I believe a "right-hand" rotating prop is preferred in a single-screw setup with fixed prop (see below), and if you want the engine to be sitting facing "forward" in the boat, it HAS to rotate in reverse to turn the prop in a RH direction (as you face the prop from the rear). Another engine arrangement sometimes used to get RH rotation: turn the engine "backward" in the boat and take power off what ordinarily would be the front of the engine. Now exactly WHY RH rotation is preferred, I can only speculate, but I think it has to do with ease of handling for the cap'n. He or she is sitting to the right side of the boat, and the torque will tend to LIFT this seat up--better visibility and easier navigation on takeoff, and, to me, it just feels natural that the captain gets to feel that nice upward surge. You're supposed to be on top of things. EASY WAY TO TELL WHICH WAY THE ENGINE IS SUPPOSED TO TURN ON YOUR BOAT: look at the markings on the prop sleeve that fits over the shaft. It'll be stamped with something like: 11-13 RH (which happens to be exactly what mine says. It means 11" prop on a 13" pitch (see below) Right-Hand rotation. Pitch means that, if the prop was an actual "screw" in a solid bore, it would travel 13" forward for every ONE rotation of the prop. That's a steep pitch! (Old Trojan Ski Bee 17' water-ski tow is what my boat is. And it runs! Not Packard power, though). More than you wanted to know, and perhaps a lot you already knew, but I believe the facts are all square. Happy boating! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
  13. Neat Ferrari/Packard story, Bill. I dunno if qualified automotive historians will give it a 100% bonafide pass, though. We'll see. I also read a story somewhere that Enzo's passion for the V12 was not the looks so much as what it SOUNDED like. It was apparently very important to him that his cars had just the right distinctive snarl to go with the rest of their mystique--and nothing did it like twleve cylinders. Heck, he didn't even care if it was a "V", so long as it sang the right tune! CONGRATS Turbo. I believe you are correct, sir. Although I looked it up quite a while ago and don't want to dig out the book. Any seconds to the motion for Touch Button Ultramatic? Are there any hyphens involved? Packard8, Thanks for the hopeful outlook on the side-marker lights (and don't forget wraparound front signal lenses). This might be another '55 Packard First, (maybe two) but I guess it's best to be cautious until more parties are heard from. ALSO, anyone find out any more on the door lock control? The flame does keep burning next to this thread, thanks to all the readers and contributors, but I notice the stars are going out again. I think there's at least one multiple-avatar funster out there who likes to sandbag it. But to each his own, although it looks kinda funny--it must be the only thread on AACA with over 11K views and a paltry two stars. That would seem to indicate that lots of people are just droppin by for disappointment's sake. No worries, though. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
  14. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I will post my findings at a later date.</div></div> Whenever you get around to it is fine. I don't think there are any deadlines here. Quite a bit of discussion on the pushbutton thing, so feel free to add or subtract. It's nice that people check in when they've got a chance, and all of us have lots of venues to choose from. To each his (or her) own. <span style="font-weight: bold">BUT</span>, I <span style="font-style: italic">did</span> kind of expect some "yays or nays" about the side marker lights. What say you all? And yet another possibility: Power door lock switches that control all four electric locks from the front seat on 4-door models, as a safety feature. Kimes mentions that this feature was introduced on the '56 models, and to quote: "...it wasn't given much publicity, however, and a lot of other companies 'invented' it later." (pg 606). So, was Packard the first to offer 4-door lock controls? P.S. John S. Re your comment on fading interest earlier. Not that it's a contest or anything, but The "Packard Firsts" thread was in the high 9000's of hits last time I checked in a few weeks ago. Now it's pushing 11K. Your post on push-button transmissions received 5 replies before mine. <span style="font-style: italic">Somebody</span> must be interested. But, once again, it's not a contest... it's just nice to know that some folks are enjoying the Packard talk. A lot are just reading, and it would be nice to hear from them, but that's their choice.
  15. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">... the Edsel pushbutton is an Autolite unit identical to the Packard version. Someone once told me (Mr Pushbutton?) that Autolite did all new tooling for it but it was still the same design.</div></div> Randy, According to Kimes, Autolite went and TRASHED the tooling after Packard went out of business, making it, which Studebaker found out when they tried to make a run of parts to service parts units in the field. It's kind of ambiguous, though, whether the tooling was still around in '57, because it states that Studebaker didn't try to make more parts until the early Sixties. But it may be that Autolite had to re-create the tooling for the Edsel unit because Packard's tooling was already gone.
  16. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Guy, Let's see pics of that old boat! </div></div> Aaron, sorry none of them are scanned. I had a whole page worth over at the Trojanboats website, but they scanned them for me and later the site changed and they took away the reader's pics section. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> I'll get busy with the scanner some day and get them on a server, or just link them here. NTX, Have you written an automotive book yet? If not, I sure hope you do and preserve some of that wealth of knowledge. Any luck on finding "nailhead" engineers? I know there are a lot of engineering eggheads and probably even some blockheads, but nailhead engineers must be few and far between.
  17. Norb, That's really neat background. Thanks for posting it. One of the articles linked in an earlier post mentioned problems with piston sleeves that resulted in high production reject rates of finished blocks, and contributing to the early demise of the 215 design. Something too about thin-wall casting making the iron blocks light enough (and of course, dropping 2 cylinders lightened things up even more!) Were you involved in this kind of production planning, or were you on the testing side only? And did you blow up many of those good little engines before you were through? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
  18. Philippe, Thanks for the pics. Y'know, I honestly do not believe either of the 401 engines I had in my '65 Electra had that hose and valve to the passenger side valve cover. I remember the vented cap and rubber grommet being on the driver's side cover, though. But unlike you, I don't have any pictures of it! NTX, As usual, lots of good historical info. I just remember the Ford 352 being considered a "dog" by some back in the day. The 390 was considered the hot ticket when it came out, and the 289 was almost a legend. But prior to those, people really seemed to like the "Y" blocks, unconventional as they were. The 292 in particular seemed to get a lot of respect for reliability. I know the one in my old boat is just a dream. Very quick-starting, very smooth and almost stall-proof at low rpm, all of which are must-haves in a marine application for safe maneuvering. It's just never had a problem in the almost 20 years it's been in my hands.
  19. I think the Chevy 454s in the pickups were true "truck" engines, and not tuned as much for economy. Experience with a '74 "20" 3/4 ton 2wd (manual trans) turned in numbers under 10 mpg on the highways pretty regularly. That was the one my father finally replaced with a Buick 430. Talk about weight difference. The truck sat nosed-down with the 454, the only way to get it <span style="font-style: italic">level</span> again with the 430 was to hang the spare tire and wheel on the front! As far as I know, it's still out there on the job with the engine swap.
  20. The article I linked to above (from John Chapman's original post) gives some of the differences and swap-ability. Here's a brief synopsis: Buick used diffferent piston crown heights and configurations to adjust for compression, and all the heads were the same. The Olds used different combustion chamber sizes and the same pistons for the various compression ratios. The Old heads had 6 bolts per cylinder, the Buick 5. You could bolt a Buick head to an Olds block, but not vice versa (not enough holes!). Interesting, all these little gambits between the divisions to keep their engines unique. One other note, the Pontiac Tempest used the 215, and it was the Olds version. See? Corruption among division engine useage, even in the '60s! Rover began using the 215 in 1967 in a sedan. Subsequent versions of the engine were bored and stroked to 4 litres in the Range Rover and Discovery from about '88 to '95, and compenents are interchangeable with the 215 (hence, lots of parts) until an additionally stroked 4.6 litre version came out in '95, which used cross-bolted main caps and other unique pieces. I don't suppose the external dimensions and mounts were too much different in the big Rover versions, so maybe you could drop one into an original 215 application for extra pep. However, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd be tangling with (shudder) Lucas injection, computers, and other English "electrical" components.
  21. Some of the folks with the 348 in their cars were maybe a little regretful when they went to the gas pumps--pretty notorious "gas hogs." However, the Ford 352, which found its way into cars, wasn't any better from what I've heard. The fuel efficiency of the truck-based "big blocks" seemed to lag behind the purpose-built auto engines. Higher internal parasitic weight perhaps? Cooler operating temps? Getting back to the Buick "nailhead," it's interesting the amount of peak torque these engines produced compared with the big-block Chevy's. Notable is the '65 Chevy 409, which in its hairiest version produced 425 ft lbs or thereabouts, while Buick touted "445" so proudly they put it on the air cleaner cover. Just what was the secret of the high torque output of the Buick? Compression ratio? And back to the question for Philippe, (or whoever would like to tackle it) did early "open" PCV systems use a PCV valve? And, if so, where was it located? The reason I didn't think my '65 vintage 401s had PCV systems was I never heard of servicing any valve.
  22. I guess I see how a system using a breather cap could still have positive crankcase ventilation if no road tube is used. I didn't know that some early "open" systems used breather caps. I suppose they just vented the vapors that ordinarily had exited via the road tube into the intake and allowed the other end to take care of itself. I never heard of them having a PCV valve. I've heard that if all is well with the engine, there should be enough vacuum on the "inlet" side (valve cover oil fill hole or PCV hose) to make a parts tag "stick" to it. I would say that checking it at high engine rpm would indicate whether the vacuum turns into back-pressure. Do you check for blow-by at higher rpm, too? Thanks for the information. What year did they do away with road tubes and change to positive ventilation, and did the early "open" ones use any kind of PCV valve?
  23. I remember hearing something about that "radius link" and its uniqueness, yet I've never seen it on a list of Packard "firsts." Curious. One thing about patents is I suspect they're not international but U.S. patents, and hence there's possibly a need to note "first in U.S." or "U.S. patent." This is encouraging stuff. So, we could possibly add: Steering radius link, patented 1900 Round copper cylinder cooling jacket, 1901 (Patent date to come?) Tilt steering wheel, 1901 (if we can get away with it) <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Fast-forwarding to Packard's latest years, I wonder why these couldn't be included: Wrap-around front direction signal lenses, 1955 Side-marker lamps, 1955 Both of these were on 2-door senior models that year. The centrally located side marker lamps also brightened when the door was opened, so they doubled as courtesy lights. I don't have any documentation on these as being a "first" for Packard, but I can't recall having seen any U.S. cars, at least, with wraparound front signals until late 50's/early 60's, when I think Buick had them. It could also be posted for comments on the AACA General "Firsts" thread. I did replace the Aluminum Crankcase entry on the latest version of the list posted here. Any other thoughts?
  24. That's true, there was no Buick model in the F-body variation. Too bad, I would've been very interested in one back in the '80s and '90s. I was more of a Buick fan than strictly GM. Outside of Buick, I've mostly wandered into Ford and Dodge territory! The suspension was pretty good on the IROC, and the special wheel/tire configuration ws great, but judging by the jitters it could have cornering over bumps, it really could have used sub-frame connectors. Especially true with a T-top or convertible configuration I suspect. OK, so there never was a Buick F-body, but there certainly was a Buick-POWERED F-body, in the Pontiac turbo Trans Am. So, how about somebody out there building them a nice Buick 430-powered F-Body? YaHOO! (BTW, did you know there's very little weight difference between a Buick 430 and a SBC? My reference says 600 vs 575 lbs.)
  25. NTX, I hear ya on the small-block smoking on startup. Lots and lots of folks never fixed this, because the tiny bit of oil leaking past the intake valves into the cylinders at rest didn't even register as any "consumption." The smoking lasted only a few seconds, and I suppose if you were the proud type of Chevy owner, you could just make sure no one was around when you first started it up! Boy, but did the back sides of those intake valves look crusty after a bunch of years of that leakage, though. Thanks for all your great insights. I haven't seen anything in a long time about the old "W" big-block 348 and 409 truck engines. (People tend to forget, they were DESIGNED to be "diesel-beaters" in heavy trucks, not hot car engines.) Regarding the "396", it is true, is it not, that the actual displacement of that engine was 402 ci, but in automotive applications Chevy had sworn off anything more than 400 ci for their midsize cars--hence the "Chevelle 396" for political correctness... maybe insurance purposes, too? The truck version, I believe, was always honestly rated at 402 ci. I hope you get more information from some of those Buick engineers. I'm especially interested in any more reasoning behind the "nailhead" cylinder head design. It's very interesting how they maintained the upright position of the heads and valve covers even on the Buick design of the little 215 V8 engine, which was already a pretty compact unit. I still think there must have been some advantage to that head design beyond keeping the physical engine size narrower...
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