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  1. Did Packard Cars come in custom colors...?
  2. Engine Knock Packard Six and 120?
  3. 1937 Packard Heater?
  4. Just what is No Rol?
  5. Transmission pops out of gear and shifter rattling and locks up ?
  6. I need a new fuel tank sending unit what are the differences ?
  7. I Have a few pieces of Packard material - Can I donate them to the Library?
  8. I Have a 55 Packard with torsion bar suspension - how do you check the riding height?
  9. I noticed a new bypass filter system in the Library Store for Sale - Why should I replace the original?
  10. I have lifter noise in my 41 super 8, straight eight - before and after rebuilding the motor?
  11. What causes lifter noise in my V8 Packard at higher speeds - also had it at low speeds?
  12. I have read that Packard  was the first automobile with air conditioning (1940 or 1941).  Did Packard offer it in 1948 - 1950 as an option?
    Working on the response!


Did Packard Cars come in custom colors ?

Answer: The short answer is no! All car companies have what are called paint schemes. Packard was no exception it offered a Standard, Optional and Introductory paint schemes for all their cars.  The best way to understand this is to look at the standard schemes as those colors that Packard Marketing felt were the most likely colors that people might want. Introductory schemes were colors placed on cars during the first several months of production and then later dropped. Optional colors were schemes that a person could select for their car to be painted at an additional cost. Well surely, the custom cars like the Darrin came in custom colors, the answer is still no! Here is an example:   Reference G-419

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Engine Knock Packard Six and 120

Question: I received an email from: Susan, California - "I got a 37 Packard six from my father who passed away recently. I had the engine rebuilt and the mechanic called me over to his garage and told me that there was a noise in the engine that sounded like a "rod knock" and he had checked and rechecked but, found nothing. It seems to drive ok and the noise does not get louder".

Answer: Susan If what you tell me is correct and the technician has made sure that the bearing clearances are correct. I would have him do two things: first have him remove the air cleaner - did the noise go away. Yes! then have him put a rubber grommet between the air cleaner and the brace that goes to the cylinder head. The second thing is to have him check the flywheel cover. If it is a stamped steel cover have him remove it - did the noise go away, yes. Then have him put some felt in between the flywheel housing cover and flywheel housing. Refer to the Packard Service Letters - 1937 - 1940

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1937 Packard Heater

Question: Herb from New Mexico, "I have a 1937 Packard Super 8 and every time I take the car to a car show they tell me that I have the wrong heater in the car. They say it's a 1938 hot water heater and not a 1937. I just bought the car and I'm not up to speed on Packard's. Are they right?

Answer: The picture that you emailed me is a picture of a 1938 - 39 hot water heater. To see what a 37 hot water heater looks like go to Service Letter May 15, 1937, page 4. With all due respect to the judges, they are wrong on this one. 1937 is the only year that you can actually have two different types of hot water heaters. Packard released information that showed how to install a 1938, 39 heater in a 1937 Packard Junior and Senior. See: Service Letter October 1, 1938 page 4 and 5. Also in Service Letter October 15, 1938, page 4 are some pictures of 38 heaters.

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Just What is No Rol

Question: George from, Florida - I was looking at some of the service letters and saw something on "No Rol" in Service Letter Vol. 12 No. 12. I have never seen one, what is it.

Answer: In all my years of dealing with Packard's I have never seen one of these on a car. George I know it has to do with applying brakes when the car is going down or up hill. It holds the car in place when stopped. I will do some research on this and post an update.

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Transmission pops out of gear and shifter rattling!

Question: Bill from - West Virginia I have a 46 Super 8 I just had the transmission replaced because, they told me that it would stop the popping out of gear and the shifter locking up. But, the shifter still rattles and at times locks up.

Answer: Popping out of gear is most definitely a transmission problem, most likely it popped out of second gear right, new syncro's will fix that. But, the real question is what caused it to get that way. If you exclude abuse, then the problem is too much play in the shifter mechanism. Too much play leads to: shifter lock up, and shifter rattles. This is most often overlooked. Make sure that all the slop is removed in the linkages, worn pins and guide holes need to be repaired. Packard wrote a lot of information on this subject. Look in Packard Service literature from 1939 - 45 and download the info and give it to your technician who repaired your car.

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I need a new fuel tank sending unit what are the differences ?

Question: From, Frustrated - in Chicago, I have a 1935, 120 it's been totally restored with the exception of one thing. I can't find a sending unit for the fuel tank. I see 39's 46's etc. These look the same what are the differences.

Answer: Ok! Here's the good News! All Packard sending units are the same, that is if there 6 volt. They all work the same way. You only need to worry about 3 things. First, are the mounting holes the same (where it screws into the tank). I am sure that the mounting holes are the same from 1935 - 1947 and that is for seniors and juniors. Second, is the float drop and the third, is the fuel pick up tube the right length. The next time you go to a Packard swap meet and you see a unit just make sure that the mounting holes are right and it works, right. Then do this, first, refer to the following service letter Vol. 12 No. 15 page 2. Write down the right measurements for your model of car. Either add or cut the pickup tube to the right length, and re-bend or add to or shorten so the float drop is the right measurement and is with-in specs. That's it put in and your done! Caution! These unit are delicate you need to be careful when working on them.

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I Have a few pieces of Packard material - Can I donate them to the Library?

Answer: Yes!, If you have any Packard Literature, one page to a book,  that you would like to donate just send it to the Packard Library address on home page. Please include your Name, etc. Together we can make this the best location to find information about the Packard Automobile. We are starting a donor list so tell me what personal information included or left out.

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How do you measure or check the ride height on a Packard with torsion bar suspension?

 Question: I have a 1955 Packard with torsion bar suspension. I have noticed that when I take my car to a meet or get together with other Packard owners that have a 1955 or 56 and we park them side by side the front ends all seem to be a different height. Many owners I have asked don't really know what the ride height should be. How do you tell if the car is too low in the front and what is the measurement?

Answer: Believe it or not I have been only able to find that specification in one spot. Refer to Studebaker Service Bulletin #320 page 7. It is telling the technicians that the front end height is determined by the distance between the upper rebound bumper and the bottom of the upper control arm.  To quote them," To adjust, install front links of the required length to bring the clearance within approximately 1" at the rebound bumpers plus or minus 3/8". So what Packard is saying is that the optimum distance from the rebound bumper and the control arm is one inch to a maximum of 1 3/8". Anything greater then the links need to be replaced! One thing should be mentioned here and that is that the Packard torsion bar suspension acts like a teeter totter. So increasing the height in the front will cause the back of the car to go lower, because, the system is trying to level the car. You must fix the front end height before adjusting the rear. Adjusting the rear without doing the front first lowers the whole car. Once you fix the height in the front end you can now take a measurement from the bottom of the frame to the ground (take the measurement at the frame located at the rear of the front tire). Now take a measurement from the frame to ground just in front of the rear tire and they should be equal. If the rear of the car is too high or low an adjustment can be made to the rear. Refer to the 1955 - 56 Packard repair manual. Using fixed links that Packard used i.e.: #1 -4 will compensate and get the car level, but , will NOT fix a side to side sag of the torsion bars. For that you will need to order the adjustable links which we now have in stock. (see the Library Store) Note: Explanation assumes vehicle is on a flat surface or drive on lift. And not loaded except with fuel.

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Why should I replace my original oil filter with the spin on type its still a by pass system?

When Packard produced these cars (1939 - 1956) the drop in oil cartridge system was common. In the late 50's Most companies started to use what is called a full flow system meaning that the filter is located in-between the pump and the oil galleries. So all the oil went through the filter. In the by pass system only a portion of the oil is filtered. The oil that was used in those days had an API rating of ML, MM, and MS. Which meant Mostly Light , Mostly Medium, and Mostly Severe Driving. In the sixties the rating was changed to: SA, SB, SC and now these ratings are considered obsolete. Back then oil could be gotten that was either Detergent or Non Detergent. The oils today are highly detergent and contain dispersal agents that help hold the contaminants in suspension and that is done so the filter can remove them. The drop in filter cartridge for the by pass system, if your lucky filtered to 30 -40 microns and the modern full flow filter to 25 to 30 microns. Its clear that the more contaminants that you can remove the better off you are and engine life will be improved by reducing wear. In our spin on filter system the filter cleans down to 5 - 10 microns so it's pretty obvious how efficiently they work. The two biggest excuses that people give are one that it does not look like the original and I show my car. To that I say you can exchange these units in 30 minutes or less and to be frank most judges understand why these types of conversions are made and won't ding the car for having this type of unit. The second is " I don't drive my car much" think about what is being said, a car that is not driven goes through the same deterioration. But, in a different way. Then they say, " Well I start up the car and let it run for awhile" here is a fact, any car that is not brought up to operating temp with deteriorate faster than the one that is driven to operating temp. The biggest killer is condensation builds sludge, and think of the brakes, and seals in the engine and other parts of the car. A good expression of the old car hobby it was said, that we collect Rolling Art Work. Notice the word rolling.

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I have lifter noise in my straight eight

Question: Phil, from Jersey - I had my engine rebuilt in part because of hydraulic lifter noise and after they rebuilt the motor I still have the noise. We have replaced all the engine parts with new parts or rebuilt units the lifters have been taken apart and rebuilt and still I get the lifter noise. Any suggestions!

Answer: Yes, based on what you have told me and assuming that the technicians have replaced the components listed in your email. This lifter noise only starts to happen  when the engine starts to get warm and the noise becomes more regular when it's hot. Check the following service information Vol. 15 No.19 on page three. Make sure your filter is hooked up and fittings are correct.

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What causes lifter noise in my V8 Packard at higher speeds - also had it at low speeds?

Question: My 5672-1074 was a local one owner car with 34K miles when I bought it 8 years ago with all documentation and  E. Grey Smith Nashville Packard dealer work orders.    The pump to shaft wear was .005 inch.   After a series of different attempts, I finally got the shaft clearance to .001 inch and the SEVERE lifter noise has STOPPED for over 12kMiles of use now..     However, it does have a HIGH speed lifter noise that comes in only at 2800 rpm and above but even that lifter noise is only about 10% of noise I had at low speeds before pump fix.   I found that disconnecting the filter stopped the high speed lifter noise completely.    I recently rerouted the filter feed line from back near the oil sending unit and that seems to have cured the problem pending more testing.

Answer: Thinking about this problem, I believe that you have most likely two problems instead of one. Lets discuss the oil filter first. In the case of Packard they used a by pass system the was common in the mid fifties and down. The oil comes out of the cylinder head and the enters the filter and then reenters near oil filler tube. As in any by pass system allowing too much oil to flow through the filter reduces the line pressure. In a V8 Packard that equates too reducing line pressure in the oil gallery. Ergo lifter noise then starts, this is at low speeds and idle. Lets use another example to illustrate this, you put in some sprinklers to help water your lawn. You have ten sprinklers in the system you turn on the system and they work fine. But, some kids come along and remove the insert from the last sprinkler in the system. What will happen, you turn on the sprinklers and you get bubbling or very small spray. That's because when they removed the insert, it now allows too much water too pass through that sprinkler and the others starve. Water like any liquid takes the path of least resistance. So, the first thing you need to do is check the fittings that are located in the left cylinder head, filter housing and block. The orifice or hole in ALL the fittings should not be bigger than No. 47 drill or .0785".  Tip - fill the inside of the fitting with solder and re-drill to correct size!

As for the high speed lifter noise there is only one answer to this problem and that is the pressure relief valve in the oil pump is sticking. When you accelerate the oil pump pressure goes up and then the oil pump relief valve opens or a better description flutters to make sure the oil pressure does not go too high. How this would feel in the car is you are driving fine you accelerate and then reduce speed slightly and there's the lifter noise. You further reduce speed and the noise goes away. The first thing I would try is to put in a can of Sea Foam and see if the condition improves. If not, you unfortunately need to remove the pump and clean the pressure relief valve. I would also at the same time shim the spring to add a little more tension to the spring. Caution has to be used here and it should only be done by a technician who has an understanding of the problem. Too much tension can create other problems.

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