1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

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1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby jacko » Tue May 04, 2010 11:13 am

While working as the chief restoration engineer at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum this past summer where we have 39 Packards, I came across a 1934 Packard Eight, 5 passenger sedan that had not been running in a number of years. Examination of the distributor revealed that somone in the past was not able to get the engine into correct time and they tried to remark the distributor attempting to get a different firing order to function. Obviously this did not work and so I dug into it. With the distributor cap removed and number one piston at top dead center, the rotor aligned with number 3 piston instead of number one. This is a dual point/coil system and so the opposite rotor tip was aligning incorrectly as expected also. My initial thought was that the valve timing chain had jumped a tooth due to wear and so proceeded to disassemble the front end but the timing chain was found not to be sufficiently worn to cause our valve timing problem. I also, verified the valve timing by rotating the crank by hand and noting the position of all valves. The problem was therefore narrowed down to only spark timing. At this time I knew that the drive gear on the camshaft was probably not correctly aligned with the distributor drive shaft but to get at this gear means separation of the cylinder casting from the crankcase casting, a non-trivial job! So, here was my solution: First, I verified that the distributor itself was not to blame by comparing it to a NOS unit Fred at Max Merritt sent me. My existing '34 distributor was exactly the same as the NOS unit. Therefore, I began to think of ways to modify the distributor. I heard stories from my Packard Club associates that they had heard of twisting the distributor drive shaft in order to properly align the rotor. Not wanting to do this, I un-pressed the spark advance plate from the internal distributor shaft, rotated it 45 degrees CCW and re-pressed both piece parts back together. This did not affect the opening and closing of the points and when the engine was first cranked over, it fired immediately and ran as smooth as a baby's bottom!

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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby Dave Czirr » Tue May 04, 2010 12:20 pm

Nice post and nice solution, good thinking Jacko. My 34 Eight has the same dual point/dual coil/dual ended rotor distributor (NorthEast #5033450) and I've been thru it and rebuilt a few others for folks. It's really quite obvious how it functions if you're willing to read the service letters and study it a bit, but I can certainly appreciate that some folks unwilling to invest the time to understand it can be confused by it.

Glad you didn't twist the shaft, BAD IDEA!
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby jacko » Tue May 04, 2010 3:33 pm

Dave, Thank you for the positive comments. The day I first fired up the 1934,1100, standard eight sedan there was jubilation in the shop. I tried to attach a photo but the file was bigger than 768 KB so was not able to do it. In any case we now have the 1934 back running again and it is especially gratifying since the '34 is pretty much an original Packard. However, there is a loud growl in second gear which suggests to me one of the countershaft bearings needs replacing. No growl in first and none in third.

Bob
Last edited by jacko on Tue May 04, 2010 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby Dave Czirr » Tue May 04, 2010 4:22 pm

Having an 1100 myself which is also mostly original, I'd love to see pictures of yours. If you can't resize them, you could email them to me and I'd be glad to resize and post for you, just let me know if you want to go this way.

Never been in the trans other than to clean, inspect and add new lubricant. But if you need a bearing I sure hope it's not the Fafnir double roller set - these were unobtainium for decades but I believe someone has had them remanufactured - I believe you can now buy an entire transmission bearing set for less than $1000. Time was when you paid damn near that much just for the Fafnir bearing. Think I've got my facts straight but it's been a while.

Dave
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby jacko » Wed May 05, 2010 3:17 pm

Dave, Tell me about the Fafnir double roller bearing set. I've not been into one of these transmissions so am not familiar. Is this a tapered roller bearing or needle bearings? Where is it located in the transmission?

Bob
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby jacko » Wed May 05, 2010 4:54 pm

Dave, Here are some photos I took during the timing fix of the 1934 1100 series Packard.
DSCN0149.JPG
Attachments
DSCN0198.JPG
DSCN0134-1.JPG
DSCN0133.JPG
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby Dave Czirr » Wed May 05, 2010 5:12 pm

Jacko, here's a (poor) picture of my spare 34 Eight distributor after converting to Chrysler points. I still run a stock distributor with OEM NorthEast points in the car but carry this one in the trunk when on a longer tour. If you need details, let me know.

Tell me more about the 1100 - original paint? What are the colors?

Dave
Attachments
NorthEast internals.jpg
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby Adam » Thu May 06, 2010 12:25 am

Fascinating pictures, Jacko and Dave. Thank you for sharing them. I am confused though; why was it necessary to refit the baseplate 45 degrees away? Was it not possible to simply rearrange the HT leads on the distributor cap to give the correct firing order? I am sure I am missing something, but cannot think what it is. :)

Adam..
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby Dave Czirr » Thu May 06, 2010 5:13 am

Jacko, don't know if I've posted this before, but this may be of some help with your NE distributor. Adam, the distributor is mounted on the cylinder head and driven by a long driveshaft up thru the center of the engine. The top of the shaft is keyed to the distributor such that it will only install in one position. The bottom of the shaft is a square section that drops into a gear driven by the camshaft so it can install in any one of 4 positions. Though an 8 cylinder, the distributor cam only has 4 lobes and uses dual points, one set for each 4 cylinders. And the rotor is double-ended and fires alternatively from first one end, then the other. Each set of points and rotor end has it's own individual coil. Sounds to me like someone installed the driven gear on the cam incorrectly.
Dave
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DualPointSynchroFinal.jpg
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Re: 1934 Packard Out of Time Fix

Postby jacko » Thu May 06, 2010 12:26 pm

Adam, If only it were as easy as switching the HT leads! Someone years ago tried that on this car and it barely ran. so they never drove it. Dave is probably correct when he says that the engine may have been disassembled for overhaul years ago and when placing the cylinder portion of the engine block over the crankcase, the distributor drive gear which is a spiral gear containing a square hole to accept the distributor drive shaft, was not properly aligned with the integral cam shaft gear. My guess is that the distributor driven gear was one tooth off from the correct orientation. The only way to correct this error is to completely remove the cylinder portion (top) of the block from the crankcase portion (lower casting) and re-orient the distributor driven gear correctly with the cam gear teeth. Again, switching HT leads does not fix the spark timing problem when the driven distributor gear, located in the bowels of the engine, is mis-oriented to the cam driving gear with the Packard dual ignition, 4 lobe distributor cam design. In the 1955 Packard V8 engine for example, it is easy to fix the spark timing problem if the distributor driven gear is not in correct mesh with the cam driving gear---simply lift out the distributor and rotate the rotor/dist. shaft until the rotor points directly at number one piston at TDC as the points are just opening after lowering the distributor flush with the engine block.

Bob
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