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What to replace and keep when Restoring?


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Hi All,

This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time. When restoring a Packard, should you keep all the old nuts and bolts and just clean them up and reuse them, or buy new and replace as you go along. Along with other parts should you replace or repair and keep the orignal. ( Eample; I have a brake cylinder that is pitted and leaks. Honing will not help so do I buy a NOS if I can find one or save the money and buy a like unit off the shelf, if I can find one. Or keep the orignal and have it re-sleeve, which would probably be the most expensive.)

I'm looking for words of WISDOM!

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Keep the old nuts and bolts and use them, unless they're absolutely too rusty or deformed. Newer hardware is NOT the same, most of the older nuts were what they now call "heavy" nuts, different dimensions entirely. Also, prewar cars would not have bolts on them with grade markings, the system for marking bolts was being developed pre-war, but it was only during WWII that it became an active system.

Correct early hardware is getting harder to find. In fact, even regular slotted screws are becoming harder to locate, as everyone goes to Philips.....which isn't correct on cars pre 1938, I believe is the date....

As for the brake system, if you can find NOS that matches, that's fine, if you can't, sleeving is an option, although not without occasional problems.........

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Thanks, for the information so far. As to what I'm working on, is a pair of 47 Custom Super Clippers. The first one needs a new paint job, it was repainted back in the 60's and now it coming off in big flakes. The engine also needs a little work. My other is in need of major repair, and I am trying to get it road worthy and work on fixing it up later.

I was just wondering because I had read an article in Hemmings Motor News about how one of the staff members said that he always picks up new nuts and bolts for a project car. Maybe this is for newer projects?

Well thanks again, and any help is better than no help. Plus I have come to realize that one day I will have to sell these cars and I would like for them to be in the correct condition and not have someone tell me that this or that degrades the car.

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I agree with David Coco completely. Using original harware is always the best if you can save it. Well done restorations will have original or hardware that duplicates original. Some Packard bolts are marked "B 2" or "W" some have no markings but are high head. Modern marked bolts will not look good.

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I think most of us here at the board fall into the keep-it-original-so-long-as-it-doesn't-make-the-car-unsafe-or-become-prohibitively-expensive camp, on the theory that the more of our cars that are original parts, the more we are driving old cars and not new cars that look like old cars.

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Thanks for all the input, one never knows until you ask. I got one Packard from my Dad, before he died he told me he was just trying to get it to a point where it wouldn't get any worse. Now I find myself looking at correcting many incorrect fixes. I would like to beable to take the car all the way back down and start over on it, but as we know that takes time and money. So for now I am just trying to get this one back on the road and than get my other Packard ready for show.

So thanks again. Wes

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  • 2 weeks later...

you can get the wheel cylinder sleeved, but check on the Packard info site, as you may be able to buy new, my 54's rear wheel cylinders are the same ones that are use on some of the Ford trucks,, so easy to get at Napa or the likes and better then NOS parts with 30 + year old rubbers..

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Yes, that would be easier and cheaper, but that brings me back to the question as to how orginal do the parts need to be. I need to get more involed in car shows and see what the judges are looking for. Because I know with my knowledge of the 1947 Custom Super Clipper, that I can spot simple things like a wrong carb. and a few other small details, but thats about it.

Thanks for the advice.

Wes

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my thought are wheel clyinders are unseen, and I bet even if you buy there from some of the major Packard dealers you be getting replacements from more modern cars. I learned a lot about brakes when we put a 4BT turbocharge diesel in my sone off raos jeep, with Dana axles front tand rear. Realized the wheel clyinders were the sam as the 42 Packard.

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What about lock washers? The split lock washers from the pre-war era (and perhaps later) are quite different in appearance and design from modern lock washers. However, these are big contributors to safety. So, is it safe to re-use old lock washers? What about the very large nuts on the cable brake backing plates?

Is there anywhere, for safety, where you absolutely should NOT use old hardware?

Thanks,

Tom

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