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Goforbroke

Help needed on '41 160 fan belt-please!

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I'm a "new" Packard owner and need some help. I have a 1941 160 that recently destroyed it's fan belt. I purchased a new one from John Ulrich in CA (great experience and fast shipping, by the way). It is a very good quality belt, but I'm having difficulty getting it on. The clearance between the crankshaft pulley front and the outlet of the radiator is so tight, I haven't been able to get the belt to go in between them. I obviously must be overlooking something and could use some advice. The car is all original or restored to original. Should I remove the fan to make more room to work in? All advice will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Phil

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Are sure it a 160, and not 120 with 160 engine. you should have that much trouble.

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When I replaced my fan belt, I recall having a problem as well. However, I didn't remove the fan. I think I removed the lower radiator hose, though. Have you tried that?

An old-timer Buick mechanic who had taken a job in a Packard shop after the war once said this about the Packard flat-rate manual:

"I can't make no money on these Packards!"

In other words, he could rarely beat the flat-rate time, which is what is used to charge the customer.

I can certainly feel for him, and you, as nothing, it seems, is easy when trying to replace anything. Too many other things always end up having to be removed before you can get to the main problem.

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It can be difficult to get the fan belt on a 356 if the front motor mount and/or engine stabilizers have deteriorated and allowed the engine to sag at the nose . Best advice is to replace the center motor mount and the side stabilizers, though you might be able to get the belt on by jacking the front of the engine up a bit.

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Customer asked us to replace the fan belt on his '39? Packard so we simply cut off the deteriorated original. . Unbeknownst to us the engine had been replaced with a slightly longer Super 8 and there was absolutely no room for the belt to pass the fan blades/water pump. We had to tilt the grill and radiator forward which of course involved draining the radiator , removing the hoses, removal of the hood, removal of the front bumper and brackets to get at the fender to grill bolts, removal of both front wheels and removal of the headlights. No way could we charge the customer 8 hours labor to replace a fan belt. Live and learn.

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It can be difficult to get the fan belt on a 356 if the front motor mount and/or engine stabilizers have deteriorated and allowed the engine to sag at the nose . Best advice is to replace the center motor mount and the side stabilizers, though you might be able to get the belt on by jacking the front of the engine up a bit.

Dave

The side stabilizer arms attach directly to the cross member with no rubber bushings. There is nothing to deteriorate, except the metal itself, of course. Am I misunderstanding something? Or maybe that's a difference between 1940 and 1941???:confused:

post-33613-143138291166_thumb.jpg

Edited by West Peterson (see edit history)

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Now that I think about it, I may have had the foresight to replace my fan belt before I put the front clip back on. I do know, though, that it's a darn tight spot and a loooong reach to the bottom once the clip is on. Fighting with the lower radiator hose was not a fun project.

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I too had trouble installing John's belt-I instead used a NAPA belt 28522. I have a 47 Super Clipper with the 356 engine. So far no problems that I know about.

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West, the side stabilizers have a vulcanized rubber cushion in them. I"m not speaking of where the front mount yoke bolts to the crossmember as shown in your picture, but to the two stabilizers on the forward SIDES of the engine block. Replacing them on a friends 1941 160 recently gave just enough clearance to fit the fan belt. The front rubber mount did not warrant replacement, apparently.

Edited by Owen_Dyneto (see edit history)

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I appreciate all of the above advice on replacing my belt. My car is a 160 body and has the original engine. An accomplished mechanic is not one of the things on my resume, so I was hopeing for some little time proven trick to getting this thing on. Maybe I'll try that NAPA belt as a temporary measure until time permits me to get more involved and the brusies and cut places on my arm heal up (it's amazing how much torture you can put up with when determined to get your hand down to "that spot")!

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I just went out to look at my '41 180 to see what the situation with the fan belt was on my car. I had no idea that there was so little clearance between the radiator lower outlet and the vibration damper. I can just get my index finger between the two (my front clip is off). I can certainly appreciate your problem. The only thing I can see that might possibly give a little more clearance would be to do as Owen_Dyneto suggests and jack up the front of the engine. I checked the shop manual, Chilton's, and Motor's for some help but had no luck.

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Pictures of old, deteriorated and delaminated front engine stabilizer, and the new left side one installed. Changing these was sufficient for a friend to get a new proper fan belt installed on his 41 160. Front center mount was said to be in acceptable condition but obviously these stabilizers were not.

post-49751-143138292939_thumb.jpg

post-49751-143138292955_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for those pics, Owen_Dyneto. That helps and I can certainly see where worn stabilizers would reduce the clearance. It might be enough since it seems that the new belt is very close to making it through the gap as it is. My car was completely restored about 6-7 years ago according to the previous owner and I verified that with the shop that did the work prior to making the purchase. This is a nationally known restoration shop in Ohio. Though I obviously didn't ask specifically about the stabilizers, from the list of things that I know they touched during the restoration, I can't imagine that they did not replace them then, so is it possible to wear the stabilizers out in such a short time? The car supposedly has only been driven a total of about 700 miles since that restoration.

I have no experience changing these stabilizers. Can you give me a quick run down of what is involved in making the change? Also, what was the source you used to purchase yours? Again, I appreciate your help and the pics.

Thanks,

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Assuming the front motor mount is in good condition, those side stabilizers should last for many tens of thousands of miles. To replace, just jack up the engine a bit with a wood block and jack under the oil pan, unbolt the old ones, and put in the new ones. These are revulcanized so the old steel parts must be supplied to get replacments. Revulcanizing services are not inexpensive, I believe just a set of steel cores is worth about $100. Try Max Merritt.

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Good news.., we have been successful in installing John's belt! I turned the belt inside out. Then, without placing it over the fan and working from the passenger's side, I was able to align one of the cogs on the belt up and turn it parallel with the leading edge of the harmonic balancer. The edge of the balancer was then able to "ride" in the valley of the groove and I succeeded in getting the belt to pass through the pinch point. Once through, I reversed the belt back to smooth side out and proceeded to install by working the belt around the fan. Since the belt is not long enough to go over the fan, I had to slide it over one blade at a time and then turn the fan to the next blade. Once it was over the fan, the belt went on without too much difficulty, though getting it under the harmonic balancer and into the crank pulley would not have been possible without the aid of my sweet wife! As a reward for getting grease on her hands, I let her Super size it when we went out for dinner. Whoo hoo! Thanks for all of the suggestions. The old girl is back on the road again (uh.., that would be the Packard, not my wife). By the way, Owen_Dyneto. I did get a good look at the stabilizers and they appear to be new ones. If I had not succeeded with this method, I was prepared to engage your solution of jacking up the front of the engine just a tad. I feel sure that would have worked as well.

Edited by Goforbroke (see edit history)

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