1956 Clipper Idler Arm Bushing

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larspack
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:21 pm

1956 Clipper Idler Arm Bushing

Post by larspack » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:17 pm

I am working on a 1956 Clipper with standard steering. The Idler arm Bushing was installed some time previous to me, and is incorrectand binds badly unless the nut is backed off slightly, using only the jam nut to hold the main nut from falling off in a few turns of the stering wheel.. The Idler Arm Bushing needs replacing. The new bushing sent to me using the part number in the Packard Parts Book is only a rubber vulcanized into an inner and outer tube, sometines called "pigs in a blanket". The center metal tube is toothed on each end to grip the support bracket and holding nut. The outer metal tube presses into the idler arm. The part number for the support bracket is the same for 1951 through 1956 non-power steering cars, but the bushing part number shanges for this 1956 car. Perjaps I am reading it wrong?

I am used to seeing bearings as in 1930's center links on Junior Packards, or large threaded bushings, as in later Junior Packards Idler Bushings, but not this rigid bulcanized bushing, looking more like a rear leaf spring front bushing. I also am used to seeing grease fittings. There is no provision for that on this unit. There appears to be nothing to hold the Idler Arm from working itself up and down once the vulcanized rubber tears loose during the wide arc of the Idler arm swing.

Has anyone had any experience with non-power steering linkage on 56 Packard? Thanks, Lars.

Dave Czirr
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Location: New Jersey

Re: 1956 Clipper Idler Arm Bushing

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:21 pm

Hi Lars. The rubber bushing was standard by 1954 if not earlier and they did seem to give pretty good service though time has certainly taken it's toll on the rubber. I "repaired" one a few years ago by just using some rubber heater hose and it was serviceable for a while, but certainly wasn't an ideal solution. Some front suspension suppliers offered kits to upgrade the existing parts to utilize a radial ball bearing and grease fitting, and Moog and I believe TRW also offered complete replacement idler arm kits with a greaseable fitting which was really a hardened internally threaded bushing which rode on a similarly threaded arm. You see them often at the larger flea markets and occasionally I've seen them on eBay. I believe Buick used the same bushing though the arm may have been different. Might take a bit of patience but I'm sure you'll find one sooner or later.

Here's a picture of two of the Moog upgrade parts, one is Packard and the other I believe Buick, though I forget for the moment which is which and which was original to the packaging which is marked Moog K-75. When I get a chance I'll dig out my old Moog catalog and see if I can post the correct number for your Packard.
Attachments
Moog idler arm kit.jpg

larspack
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:21 pm

Re: 1956 Clipper Idler Arm Bushing

Post by larspack » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:34 pm

Thanks! I will istall this bushing and later report my experience. Lars

larspack
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:21 pm

Re: 1956 Clipper Idler Arm Bushing

Post by larspack » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:43 pm

Hi Dave,
I successfully installed the original NOS rubber Idler Bushing in the car. It works quite well. I added a washer on each side to keep things in place in case the rubber gives way. The teeth on the inner housing grip the bracket and Cinch Nut along with Jam Nut through the washers. The washers do not interfear with the turning action of the outside housing that is pressed into the Idler Arm. The Parts book only calls for one washer. The vulcanized rubber helps "pull" the steering back to straight, and dampens the road shock a little.

I had never seen one of these on any of my previous non-power steering Packards, as they were very used when I purchased them. They all had the style with the bearings, or threads and lube fitting at the end, like the units you posted. I really appreciate the picutres. They answer my question very well. I was quite confused when the vendor sent the rubber style after we had double-checked to see if it matched the Packard part nymber I ordered. I will be on the look-out for that Moog style. For now, the original type is working well. Thanks again, Lars.

Dads 56
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:23 am

Re: 1956 Clipper Idler Arm Bushing

Post by Dads 56 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:31 am

What is the correct adjustment when installing the new bushing? I can’t find anything in the service manual

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