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Help wanted! Advice needed..????


1Packard
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Hello fellow Packard lovers. Can I get some advise? This was about my third neighborhood drive. Couple of observations. This 1930 726 sedan is a four speed. Take off in 2nd is smooth, but 2nd & 3rd have a ringing sound. Fourth gear there is no sign of it. I really kind of like the sound, but this is my first pre-war car. Is this a sign of problems or the norm? Shifting is smooth. Also, there is a bit of smoke from the oil filler neck when I shut it down. Enough that it comes through the side hood vent but over in just a few moments. Not heavy either. But looks like a little tea kettle steam. The neck does have a lid no seal cover. Same question? Normal?? Running temp seems fine, and shutters open and close on que.

Edited by 1Packard
Better wording and one typo (see edit history)
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First gear is working, but so low I was not using it. I got so ripped off on this out of State car. I really had a good feeling, foolishly in part that this was a well known Packard guy in WA. I was lured by the ad that boasted in part, "A Master Paclard Mechanic who removed the oil pan did a complete inspection, removed the gas tank and renewed it, rebuilt the carburator, vaccuum tank and set the valves." Also claimed the mileage at 27,400 from new. Statin in the ad that "Our test drive confirmed mileage to be correct as nothing drives better and handles better like a low mileage original car."

Upon delivery I find a cracked and leaking carb, sludgy oil. (As you described DUCKfur). And no anti-freeze. The odometer does not work. The car was in the NE Museum for 38 years. That is confirmed. But these representations is why I bought the car. I suppose it is attorney time. I foolishly paid a premium price. Meanwhile I'll be licking my wounds. Lesson here, just because he is a Packard dealer, it doesn't make him honest!

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The "bit of smoke" is confirmation your engine is worn out ; needs an overhaul...........The "ringing / singing" in 2nd and 3rd gear is normal........

Before going "all the way" to rebuild your engine, which if it extends to bearings would be very costly in your case with a 1930 model 726 which has white metal aka babbitt bearings, check the compression of each cylinder. All cylinders should be about equal in pressure, and if any are down then you'll have a better idea of what you're up against. Another quick check would be to have someone follow you while you're driving the 726 in a hillier area and observe any smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. If it smokes going up hill, it's the piston rings and if it smokes going downhill on the over run it's the valves, could be both. I think I got the uphill/downhill, rings/valves thing right but if not I'm sure someone will correct me.

Concerning noise in the trans, have you checked the oil level in it? If it's been sitting for 28 years could have seeped out drop by drop leaving very little behind. Unless it's full and looks a good colour it wouldn't hurt to change it anyway. And same for the diff! An ounce of prevention can save a pound of cure so goes the old saying. There should be "plugs" on the sides and bottom of trans and diff for filling and draining operations.

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Thanks Mal, you have given me hope. I put the gun back in the closet. ha

I'll first have to buy the new carb and get her running better. Then I'll have to find a hill. I'm in flat territiry. Maybe a parking garage would work. The car drives with no or little smoke showing. Have not been over 35 mph. Little smoke I saw in the garage is more like rich gas smoke, nothing blue. Oil pressure appears strong. Was told all fluids were changed but I cannot believe anything the said at this point so I will take your advise. I suppose a good plug inspection is in order as well. I imagine they should look oily of the the rings are bad. Any idea what a ring/valve job would cost? Does the engine have to come out of the car? Thanks to both you Mal and Duckfur and anyone else that weighs in. I still want to believe all Packard guys are good guys!

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1Packard,

Based on what you have described I would do the following:

  • Drain and replace engine oil, trans oil, and rear axle oil with correct type and weight. Also drain and replace engine coolant.
  • If the pan was dropped you should see evidence of it, if not you should do that before replacing engine oil.
  • Lubricate everything on the chassis including all brake rods, clutch linkage, etc. Also check any grease cups for new grease, if not there they were never touched.
  • Remove front wheels, clean and repack bearings also check brake linings. Remove rear drums and check brakes.
  • Be sure you have a fuel filter installed in the line before it meets the vacuum tank.

This basic service will reveal what was really done or not done and may uncover other problems, if everything checks out OK then you will be sure it was all done right - cheap insurance. Good luck.

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1Packard, before you get too upset here are a couple of general comments:

1) Even a fairly represented car may have sorting issues - especially if it has not seen a lot of use for close to 40 years. It is true that museum cars sometimes (especially from the 60s-70s) did not get the mechanical attention that was given on the cosmetic side, but it is also true better cars tended to be kept by museums - especially closed cars like yours.

2) Not sure how familiar you are with cars of this vintage. The gearing, lack of synchros, and a host of other things will make them feel much different from vehicles even 5 years newer, and what you are experiencing may be perfectly normal.

3) Last - considering the above, you may very well get good advice here, but before you spend big dollars you may not need to, I would recomend you join a local AACA region or PAC region, or ideally, both. Have someone knowledgeable look at the car and if possible, assist you in sorting it. You may not want to rely solely on internet advice - too many variables even though your helpers here are well intentioned. You may be good to go with some minor work, or even if you plan an overhaul realistically it may not need to be done immediately. Consider your budget, how far you want to take any restoration you will be doing and how you want to use the car first. Also, if you are unhappy with your deal, give the dealer a chance to make right but be sure you are educated in your concerns first, and reasonable with a demand to make you whole or get you partially there, anyway.

Hopefully, once sorted, you find your new ride is a lot of fun this coming season. But you can count on one thing - they always seem to need something....

Good luck and keep up posted!

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It takes a certain amount of courage to disagree with DUCKfur, but a couple of wisps of vapor coming from the oil filler tube when shutting down a hot engine is NOT necessarily an indicator of an engine worn out and needing an overhaul.

O-D, Thanks, Those are my sentiments exactly. Not all of us have the wherewithal of a lawyer to finance the rebuild of a 1930 Packard Eight engine on speculation based upon a bit of blowby smoke. My advice is the same as others here to simply drive and enjoy the car after ensuring the oil pan is free of sludge, compression is even and all fluids are changed. Just take it easy and remember the limitations of an 80 year old car. Sounds like it is a lovely car.

Edited by Clipper47 (see edit history)
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I read this thread several days ago, but just noticed that the poster is in Houston, which is where I live. I've owned two '29 Packards, and still have one of them. I'll be happy to come over and have a look and offer any advice. Send me a personal message on how to contact you.

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Gentlemen, and I do mean Gentlemen, allow me to express a warm thanks and sincere admiration to all of you for weighing in on my issues here. What a well rounded display of sound advise all the way around from the glass is 1/2 empty to 1/2 full. I have a restored hope and belief that regardless of this gal's mechanicals, she is worth staying with. Your a great bunch. I'm fortunate to have had the pleasure of your counsel. I'll keep you posted as to the progress. The pan gasket is in a UPS truck headed my way. I will be changing all of the fluids despite being told it was already done. My grandfather worked at Packard from 1908-14. Also, another worthy note here. I researched the fellow that owned the car and donated it to the Nebraska Historical Society upon his death. He was described as the Peanut Butter King of NE. He was born on January 27, 1910. Either irony or coincidence, I grabbed my receipt from the transport company and sure enough, I signed and took delivery on eve of January 27, 2010.

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  • 3 months later...

I have been reading this with much interest. It's so great to see so many help each other out. Hey P1, I have a 1940 160 touring sedan, and I got it May 26th 2000. The date on the engine and exhaust manifiold is May 26th 1940. Wow, I got it excatly 60 years to the build date, haha, that is wierd but cool. Let us know how things go, and we would love a photo if possible. best of luck..

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Just remember the enemy of this model is speed,,,Its not a hi speed turnpike cruser,,,it will like the 600w steam cyl oil in the tranny,,140 will be like penetrating oil for that gearbox,,,Spedo has too much potmetal in it,,,so dont blame the seller,,,More later if I can,,,Ben

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  • 5 months later...

I have a 1923 Packard Single Six which is restored to the point of getting the interior upholstered. Missing parts include Windshield hold open hardware and a removable rim for the spare tire mount. The car has a set of 700x21 tires and a search at Hershey yielded up a 21x41/2 detachable rim. However the latching mechanism prevents it from going on the spare mount and I infer from that that it would also not go on the wheels. What do you have to know to find the right rim if the simple dimensions are not enough for identification? Donald

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