1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

If you're starting a project, large or small, please share your progress with us in pictures and words.
User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:32 am

I’m back working on my Packard Club Sedan after laying off during the summer. After a long hot drive back from a show in late April, I decided to make this a 4-season car by adding air conditioning. It’s a crime to have to let the car sit all summer when it’s still possible to drive but very uncomfortable in the Florida heat and humidity. To accomplish this, it needs to be upgraded to 12 volts. I’ve been collecting parts since May and am now ready to start with the conversion. The car was already be rewired with 6 volt and a fuse panel so there will be some rewiring but will not have to start from scratch.

The car never was meant to be totally original, just a safe comfortable driver that is kept as close to original as physically and economically possible. The bill so far for just the parts less the AC system is about $900. I have to wait on the AC system to decide which Vintage Air system will fit. I’ve ordered a plastic mock-up unit to test fit before ordering the system. The biggest issue with adding AC to a Series 23 is how to mount and drive the compressor.

Here are some pictures of all the parts I have collected so far. I’ll keep posting the progress as the project moves along.

12V_1.jpg
These are all the new 12V bulbs including 1157 HD for the taillights and amber 1157 for the front turn signals.
12V_2.jpg
Gas Tank sender unit and oil pressure sender for the new gauges. 12V horn relay, 12V flasher and a couple of 12V 30A relays.
12V_3.jpg
GPS module and antenna to drive the electronic speedometer. Couldn't find a Hall Effect pulse generator for the transmission.
12V_4.jpg
Pertronix 12V coil and distributor modual. 12V Carter fuel pump.
12V_5.jpg
Newport electric windshield wiper motor, direct fit.
12V_6.jpg
125 amp alternator and 12V to 6V converter for OD. This unit also serves as the OD relay.
Dash_1.jpg
New gauges mocked-up in an old dash I have.
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:52 am

Continuing with the 12 volt conversion project.

Removed the kick panels and the rear view mirror and windshield molding to allow the dash to tilt back to access the wires. Most of the wires had disconnect plugs and others were terminals held with nuts on studs. detached all the wires and and removed the lower dash bolts and removed the dash from the car. Then removed the gauge pack from the dash. It will be replaced with the new gauges. The wires will be tagged and the necessary modifications made.
12V_8.jpg
Dash came out without cutting any wires.
12V_7.jpg
Not as bad as it looks.
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:49 am

Continuing with the 12 volt conversion.

All the dash wires have been ID'd and tagged. With the heater duct removed, a larger panel was made to move the existing terminal block wiring. It's mounted against the firewall and adds additional space for a couple of 12V relays for the AC and a place to mount the control module for the GPS speedometer drive. Working on the new gauges and switches to incorporate their connection into the existing wire harness making any changes that might be necessary.
12V_10.jpg
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:26 pm

Before I get too far into the re-wire/AC project, I have to decide which AC type to install. Vintage Air has two units that will possibly fit, both install against the firewall behind the dash and will be out of sight. Both include AC, heat and defrost. The smaller unit, the Mini, is meant for smaller cars and pickup trucks and will certainly fit. The larger unit, the Compac, is sized for sedans, it's fit is questionable. I obtained plastic mock-ups of both units from Vintage Air. They are the exact size and include the mounting points and mounting brackets for both. The Mini fits well but the Compac is better suited for the size of the car. I need to re-install the dash before making a final decision. In either case, I'm going to have to give up a portion of the glove box.
AC_1.jpg
Compac on top, Mini on the bottom.
AC_2.jpg
Compac has a larger blower and evaporator core.
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

Adam
Posts: 1083
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:15 am
Location: lincolnshire, uk

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Adam » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:22 am

Hi Joe

Fascinating work as always. I love the look of the new gauges! It will be interesting to see how the A/C fitment works. Not that that is a high priority here. A good heater and demister might be more relevant!

I will be following your progress with great interest, please keep us posted.
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:29 am

12 Volt Conversion/AC Project:

Finished pre-wiring the gauges and indicator LED lights and installed the gauges in dash bezel and panel. The gauges are a vintage style and fit well in the original bezel and don't totally disrupt the originally like gauges mounted under the dash. In the place of the original gauges are 6 LED indicator lights for the left and right turn signals, high beam indicator and lights for the overdrive engagement, electric fuel pump and electric fan. Now working on the wiring for the switches. The fuse panel I added originally has only has 7 circuits. A supplemental 4-fuse panel is going to be added to serve the AC. The wiring is pretty straight forward except for the Packard courtesy lights!
12V_11.jpg
12V_12.jpg
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:57 pm

I'm still working the re-wiring for the AC but before I can finish with the switches, I need to make a place for the AC controls. I've been buying the AC parts as needed and I purchased the control unit from Vintage Air so it can be installed with the rest of the wiring. I was lucky with the new gauges fitting nicely in the place of the originals and found that the AC control unit will fit equally as nice in the radio block-off plate. A hole had to be cut into the original block-off plate using the template from the instructions. When the car was originally rebuilt, the block-off plate didn't fit exactly right, different parts from different cars, so it was fixed in place with 3M panel bonding cement and was not coming out. The hole had to be cut with block-off plate installed in the switch and radio grille dash panel. A drill and 3" die grinder were to remove the piece for the controls. It was probably good the the block-off plate was firmly installed in the other part because once the hole was cut there wasn't much left but the top and bottom. Still need to do some final fitting to install the control panel. Here's some pictures.
AC_3.jpg
Using the template and Dykem, the section to be removed was scribed and small hole drilled in each corner.
ac_4.jpg
The chrome dash piece was masked to prevent any damage while the hole was cut. The white card is the template, the piece that was removed is in the middle and an original block-off plate on the right (my spare,just in case).
ac_5.jpg
Close-up of the AC control panel.
ac_6.jpg
Here's the part unmasked showing the hole and the back of the control panel.
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

Howard56
Posts: 1220
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Howard56 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:19 pm

Nice. Are you going to keep the ashtray or fit one of the vents in that location or are you just going with the hang ons under the dash? In some cars Vintage also adapts their controls to use original heater or vent knobs and levers. Wonder if they could have done something using the existing Packard setup with the 3 knobs under the dash.

User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:39 am

The ash tray and original switch knobs stay. The side AC vents will be mounted in the ends of the dash. Since the heater/defrost knobs are gone from the original location, the center AC vent can be mounted under the switches or possibly behind the speaker grille. Vintage Air makes modified original controls for mid-50s Chevys and possibly others. The originals in those cars were slide controls which can be easily modified for the electronic components. The Packard mechanical controls in the Series 23 are rotary which would not be feasible to modify. The fresh air control cables and knobs will be moved to the outside ends of the dash. May try to use the same original twist-type controls.

To give you an idea of the wiring required to make the all-electronic AC, heater and defroster work with this unit, here is the wiring diagram:
VA Wiring.jpg
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

User avatar
Tinman_70
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: 1949 Packard 8 Club Sedan

Post by Tinman_70 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:47 am

After the rough cut of the radio block-off plate, it took some hand filing to finish fitting the AC control panel. It turns out that the panel is an exact fit between the upper and lower chrome bars of the dash radio grille, could not have been any closer. The installation is a good fit to the original dash.
AC_7.jpg
AC_8.jpg
These are the AC vents that will be added to each side of the dash. Requires a 2 5/8" hole drilled in the dash. They are flush with the surface of the dash only protruding about 3/8". There will be a center vent but haven't decided whether it will go behind the radio grille or below the switches where the former heater controls were located.
AC_9.jpg
Dare to be Different - Buy and Build Packards!
Member:
Packard Automobile Classics
packardclub.org
packardinfo.com
Series 22/23 Packard Group on Facebook

Post Reply