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Lucky1

1952 250 convertible questions

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Hi,

I just got a 1952 packard 250 convertible - gift - excellent condition, my Dad had it restored in the early 90's. i have three questions:

1.) what temp should it run at? i feel like it is overheating, but i bought a laser temp and the hoses seem to run around 198, and the block is up to 220 degrees. Is this too hot??

2.) The car received a senior first place and had a tag with a number on it - what exactly does this mean?

3.) Also the front right brake is very and i mean very touchy. When i take it down the block and i touch the brakes, it will lock up the front right wheel and jerk the steering wheel and screech the tire. But if i slowley ride the brakes, it will make it more mellow and easier to brake. Any ideas??

Thank you for any help.

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Congratulations on your new "hobby". The temp doesn't sound too bad providing there was no boiling over. What did the gauge read. Normally it should stay around mid scale with the occasional heading toward hot immediately after a run followed by an idle such as at a light. One of the posters at packardinfo mentioned his upper tank runs around 195 although that number was for a different year. Yours seems to fall in line with his.

It sounds as if the car might have been in a show which was designated by category and someone decided being a convertible it deserved senior. Packards were generally classed as junior and senior cars. In the 51-4 years, the shorter 122 wheelbase is considered the junior and consisted in your year of the 200 model. Tail lights were vertical. The seniors were the longer 127 wheelbase and are the 300 and 400 models with the horizontal tail lights. The convertible is a mixed bag. For some reason, upon introduction Packard made the decision to use the junior chassis and styling cues. They soon realized their mistake and after a short time upscaled it with the 250 designation and extra chrome and some senior touches to try and be more competitive. It was still equipped with a fair amount of junior components on the short wheelbase. The 300 is a sort of a hybrid with longer wheelbase and senior taillights but some junior mechanicals. Caribbean came along in 53 to try and be considered more a true senior model convertible but still with some junior touches they were stuck with. They did not really begin to sort this out until 54 when they did everything possible to make the regular convertible be a senior model in name and styling -- although still on the smaller wheelbase.

I invite you to post your brake and any other questions at packardinfo.com. That is a fairly active forum and more geared toward the postwar cars. Many knowledgeable posters and a considerable amount of Packard literature is available for download there as well.

Edited by HH56 (see edit history)

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1) Packards usually run a thermostat which opens at 160/180 degrees. Have you tried the laser temp gun on the radiator top tank?

2) Will let the experts advise on that.

3) Could be a number of things, badly worn brake linings or drums, incorrectly adjusted brakes or the brake isn't working correctly amongst others. Suggest you try the easiest thing first and ensure ALL brakes are correctly adjusted not just the one you think is the problem. If that doesn't fix things then it's time to pull the front drums off and inspect for wear, brake fluid leakage or other problems. Brakes are very important components that you need to make sure are right!

EDIT - Second HH56's suggestion about posting on PackardInfo. And when you do I'll be there, so be warned!

Edited by Ozstatman (see edit history)

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A reading of 195 deg. F in your top radiator tank would be indicative of a good-performing cooling system if you were running a 190 deg. F. thermostat. If your thermostat is a 160, 170 or 180 it may indicate a modest tendency towards overheating. Especially if you live in a warm/not climate, the 190 degree thermostat may not be the best choice; a 180 deg. F. stat would give you a bit more cushion in very hot or aggravating conditions without sacrificing much in engine efficiency.

Your pulling wheel on braking may very well be due to a leaking wheel cylinder. If so, probably all of them plus the master cylinder should be checked.

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We are in upstate NY, and the temps are not too hot, but i will probbaly be using it on the nice days, and in parades when the temps. are up, so I will make sure it is a 180 deg. Plus I pull a wurlitzer band organ on a trailer behind it, so it has some strain on it.

I will have the brakes looked at, it is just hard to find someone that I trus to do the work correctly....Thanks

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Lucky1, The senior first place badge with a number on it may be one awarded at AACA sponsored car shows. If so, it must have been in excellent condition and appearance at that time. I believe you can check on this site for information on judging and awards. It is expected that these badges be affixed to the vehicle and convey with the vehicle when it changes ownership.

(o[]o)

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