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Idle Chat #3?


Kevin AZ
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I noted that the previous Idle Chat disappeared and suspected mischief was afoot. It's a shame that things of that sort had to happen within this wonderful venue.<P>Myron.....congrats on rolling that Packard out! Ask away, as there are many in the know around here.

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Hmmm? is Idle Chat #2 having some gnits combed out? You remember gnits - what you got in your hair from some unclean classmate or playmate. After you got rid of them, your mother told you to stay away from that ragamuffin, just ignore him if he wants to play. Good advice, Mom - then and now.<P>On the having fun side, a fellow walks up to me at a local cruise and says "I had a DeSoto that had push-buttons like that, but they were in the center of the steering wheel." I bit and said "No, only Edsel had them there." <BR>He launched into attack-mode, "No, I remember they were right in the center of the steering wheel!" and started following me. I lifted the trunk lid and rearranged anything in there until he finally left. You think I would have learned my lesson by now, wouldn't you? Why do cars break down when there are so many experts out there?<p>[ 10-03-2001: Message edited by: Randy Berger ]

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Myron: Glad to see that the limo is coming home. Please refresh on the history of the limo. My first question is what firm built the body. Being a custom body is the car on a V12 frame and what wheel base.

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It's even worse here Randy. I had a 56 Packard 400 in front of a friends tire store. The car was for sale and a guy called me up wanting to know how much i wanted for the Pontiac. There was no convincing this twit that it was a Packard and not a Pontiac. So I just caved in and asked him how much he would offer me for the Pontiac.

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Hi all, I have one for you all, when I first got my Packard, 1936 model 1404, I went to Advance Auto looking to see if they had any 6 volt stuff. The kid there asked me what kind of car I had, when I told him, he asked me who made it, or was it an import. <P>Myron: Ask away, I feel that everyone here will try to help you all they can. Also, if you have any photos, I think we would all love to see them.

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Hi guys, My Packard is a 1935 Limousine on a 144" wheelbase. It is a super 8. It has been through the hands of at least three other guys who wanted to restore it, but lost interest. The fellow I purchased it from had all of the running gear rebuilt and was within a few hours of being able to start it when he got the sudden urge to move to Arizona (I'm here in Idaho). He stored it in his parents shop for a time and then moved it outside under a tarp. Consequently, the transmission wicked water down the shift stick and rusted up tight. I haven't pulled the head to see how much water damage was done to the engine. The body is in very good shape, but the structural wood will have to be replaced.<P>I am fortunate to have two friends in the cabinet business as well as a good selection of woodworking tools, so I'm going to attempt the job myself. I was able to find a book written by a fellow in northern Idaho who describes how to do the woodworking, and he says to call him anytime for additional advice.<P>Rich Id lives only about forty miles away, and he is the one who went with me to look at the car before I bought it. He has also offered his assistance and can't wait until I get the beast home so we can look inside the engine.<P>When I get it out of storage, I'll try to get some good pictures and post them.

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For MYRON and for JOHN<P>RE : "Restorations"<P>John, in a previous "post", noted that my own Packard ( a '38 V-12 Formal sedan) is not "restored", and wonders why. I have the utmost admiration for those who have the time and patience to take one of these magnificent engineering masterpieces, and restore it cosmetically to factory-fresh condition. Trouble is, when you do that to a car, common sense tells you that you just cannot take a "hundred pointer" out on the highway in all kinds of weather and thrash the dickens out of it ! John - money isn't the problem - it is a matter of taste..taste in the sence that each of us has our own priorities as to what we got into the old car hobby for. Remember, John, I was "making love" to Packards long before the "nostalgia" thing hit - I loved Packards in general, and the big engined "high class" Packards in particular, for what they were and are as mechanical objects. My own car's original interior is still intact and servicable ( front seat was re-done) and I did re-finish the wood in the correct clear lacqueer, and re-paint & re-chrome it (took it all apart to do it, and used "period" spray equipment and paints) so it would LOOK like a sharp car. My own personal "kick" out of owning a Packard Twelve comes when I tear out across our dirt roads to the highway on a cold, rainy night to go to the grocery store. It would be idiotic to treat a fully restored car the way I use mine. On the other hand, I get rich personal satisfaction when I come screaming off the paved highway, and come tearing across the rutted back roads in complete comfort, knowing that most modern cars would tear their under-pinnings up if they tried to keep up with me. So - John, each to his own !<P>MYRON - about that Super Eight of yours. First thing I would do, if I was you, is drop the oil pan and take a look at the rod bearings. Sadly, many restorers today do not understand why Packard led the industry in '35 in starting to use "insert" type "high speed precision type" connecting rod bearings. Often, you find they have replaced the "insert" rod bearings with poured lead babbit. DONT TRY AND DRIVE IT WITH POURED BABBIT BEARINGS. '35 and later rods, if the area that had an "insert" is simply filled with babbit, WILL loose their rod bearings, and WILL "throw a rod". Guaranteed !. Once you have got the rod bearing issue resolved, think about "gearing up". Pre 1940 cars were typically geared for the highway conditions of that day. Modern car motors spin at about a THIRD to a HALF the engine speed of an old car, at any given road speed. You need to look into either an over-drive, or a "high speed" differential gear set. I owned several "Super Eights" over the years; those 384 cu in. monsters were nice performers PROVIDED you didn't "over rev" them. If you'd like to talk further about this, please feel free to call - I am listed in both Packard diretories, as well as in the Classic Car Club of America.<P>Pete Hartmann<BR>Big Springs, Arizona

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Hi Pete,<BR>Thanks for the advice and the offer of assistance. I am sure I will need plenty of it and I sure am glad that I chose an old car with so many admirers who are willing to share their expertise. The fellow I bought the car from said that it had insert bearings installed, but Rich also warned me that there are many things about old Packards that most machinists aren't aware of. <BR>Thanks again.

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WED 10 Oct 2001<P>IMPORTANT to Myrnow...!<P>Please don't be bashful about calling and asking questions ! There are NO stupid questions ! Please..PLEASE feel free to call if you would like to discuss your restoration efforts. I can think of few things in life that give more satisfaction than a properly set up "big" Packard from the "classic" era. I do have a little background in how to get good service out of these monsters. About the only thing that REALLY "frosts my lizzard" is when I hear of a guy who is disappointed for some reason in the way his car behaves, when a few questions BEFORE-hand would have got him going in the right direction.<P>If you have any trouble finding my phone number, let me know and I will E mail it to you. My E mail address is pfhartmann@aol.com.<P>PFH<P>P.S.<P>And don't let these guys "razz" you about having any particular body style or engine size. There is always someone who has, or "knows someone who has" a bigger, faster or longer one ! ALL Packard owners of Packard products from the "golden years" can be proud of the fact that in each price class, the Packard product was a "best buy", delivering the highest possible quality, performance, and handling, available in that price range.<P>Personally, I LOVE the big closed cars of that era like yours and mine, MORE than the MUCH more valuable open body styles. As John correctly points out, even a dinky little small engined "junior" Packard, if it has a really sharp cosmetic restoration, would be worth MUCH more, if an OPEN body style, than yours or mine slightly tarnished big elegant closed cars. But that is what makes life, and other people's tastes, interesting...... "different stroke for different folk". ! <P>KEEP IN TOUCH !<P> tongue.gif" border="0

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Mr. Hartmann<BR>I am pleased to hear that you are a fan of large Packards. I am too. <BR>I also like dinky, small, insignificant, dirty, original or restored, plain, inexpensive and even JUNIOR Packards. cool.gif" border="0

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For Bill P.<P>You didn't read my "post" carefully ! You would have seen that we are all in here "Packard Lovers" and I made it CLEAR over and over again I am proud to be included in that description. <P><BR>Just as you have a right to expect that I take note of and appreciate what a tremendous value the smaller-engined Packards were within their price class, it is only fair that you respect the fact that Packard DID produce admittedly quite aristocratic (O.K...even "over-bearing arrogant" cars for those who placed much higher demands on their vehicles than a middle-class car could possibly deliver.<P>C'mon, Bill P...just LOOK at the tone of your post....take a deep breath and start LAUGHING - this is kind of FUNNY that we are having "class warfare" in here ! Let's celebrate what Packard was, and what it tried to do, and remember that as car buffs, we are forced to be ACCURATE amatuer historians. Some rich guy had the money to buy a new Packard Twelve in 1938. He probably had one hell of a better time tearing up the highways with a approx. 480 cubic in. V-12, instead of the kind of performance he would have gotten out of a cheaper car. Starting in the early 1950's, a small band of us thought these cars were so remarkable, they should be preserved, and that is how I have one today. Please tell me you are KIDDING; that you recognize that NO-one with their head screwed on straight should take any of this personally !<P>Pete Hartmann tongue.gif" border="0

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Saw these on ebay - anyone need a set?<BR>This is a new NORS set of 4 upper inner control arm bushings for 1952-56 Packard, and for 1952-53 Lincoln. Made in the USA by Moog. (K-320). <P>Packard, Lincoln, 1952-56 Upper C.A. Bushings <BR>Item # 596620877 <BR> <BR>The lower ones rarely ever go bad but these upper ones make a difference in the ride.<p>[ 10-11-2001: Message edited by: Randy Berger ]

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We had the 1942 out Sunday for a short drive. 50 MPH winds here on Friday, so our cruise night was a bust. (I had driven the Packard to work Friday, so at least it got some exercise. WE drove modern to a small show in Carlsbad on Saturday, but didn't pull a car for fear of the winds. It turned out to be a beautiful fall day. I bought a couple of visors for the 1940 Plymouth and will use the best one on her. Thats it for the hobby right now.

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On a totally different note. Am driving down to the Texas Hill Country tomorrow a.m. for a friend's wedding. Should be a lovely drive this time of year. Going to a little town called Fredericksburg. Will look for ophans along the way.

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we had the 42 Packard out to the Cruise night Friday night, beautiful El Paso weather. Took the 29 Chrysler up to 5,750 feet elevation in the mountains Saturday for some photographing, and today, had the Chrysler our twice, the Packard out once, and the 1958 Edsel out for a run. Worked on the 68 Bommeville convt today and took her for a top down. Far less air at 80 mph in the Pontiac than when the Chrysler is running 50. Everybody wants to hear the Chrysler's horn! For once, for a fleeting moment, everything is starting and running.

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Check in on the 53 on tuesday afternoon. the right side of the car is just about complete. Mike put the fenderskirt up into the wheel opening. Boy the fit was right on the money. The work this fellw is doing is first class. I just purchased a complete power steering unit for my Chevelle. Now all I have to do is locate a power brake booster for the Chevelle. This winter it looks like a new water pump, heater core for the Chevelle. Plus istalling the ps unit will keep me busy for awhile

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Spent a few hours this afternoon tooling around town in one of the new TBirds. Benefit of newspaper business. Bright red bird with black soft top. Sunny day in low 70s and slick car to drive. Life is good.

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i find it odd that there are rarely internal engine parts (ESPECIALY FOR THE V8's) on e-bay. Such things as cranks,pistons (recently a set) valves, cams, rods etc rarely show up on e-bay as compared to other items like internal transmission parts.

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This past weekend I had the experience of a life-time. I attended Games 1 & 2 of the World Series in Phoenix. I got very lucky and bought my tickets at the right time from the local triple A box office in Tucson. WOW! What an experience. I finally attended a World Series & my (Arizona's) Diamondbacks won both games. <P>Re: Grace (400), I both an angle grinder recently & started cleaning up the frame....Craig, re: front suspension bushings etc., were you satisfied with Kanter's product?

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Kevin: re: front end parts. I've been driving my 55 Pat around on a Kanter-equipped and refurbished front end for some time now and have no complaints... other than the price. The only thing left is to tighten up the steering box, which I know HOW to do, but have yet to find the TIME to do. Since things are calming down with Sheri, there should be some of the latter soon.

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