48 Instrument Panel Removal

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1955Desoto
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:00 pm

48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by 1955Desoto » Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:49 pm

I am trying to replace a defective ignition switch on my 48 Eight. I have the bezel off, the switch pushed back into the dash, but I am unable to get it to hang down far enough to remove the wires. Do I need to remove the Instrument Panel? Any idea how to to that? All help appreciated.

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

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by Howard56 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:12 am

Removing the dash is a huge amount of work and you can generally access the back of the switch by laying in whatever position needed so your head, shoulders and arms are under the dash. In no way is it comfortable to do that but absolutely there is less work and pain involved than removing the dash. For long jobs, some have removed the front seat to be more comfortable, others have used a small cot or box arrangement laying outside the drivers door so as to lay at an angle with feet out that side and others have managed to drape their legs over the front seat back with the head and shoulders on the floor. For short jobs it is usually workable to use a couple of cushions on the side of the hump and go in laying across from the passenger side. Don't forget a light of some type because the switch is in the corner and fairly close to the emergency brake handle bracket so not easy to see.

If you do decide to remove the instrument panel it can be done by removing the interior windshield moulding to access a row of sheet metal screws that are located every few inches along the front instrument panel edge. After that the hood latches, steering column brace and anything else attached to the lower dash edge will need to be loosened or removed before you can take out the final two bolts on the dash corner lower flanges going into the sides of the body. As you can tell that is a huge amount of work and the dash is heavy and bulky enough to almost require two people. For full removal you will also need to disconnect the wiring in the engine compartment so it can be pulled thru. If that is not done then the most you will gain will be maybe tilting the dash bottom out a few degrees. If the wiring is original there is every chance all that movement will crack the old brittle and dry rubber insulation causing chunks to fall off or pulverize in the loom which leads to eventual shorts. Don't forget to protect the shroud on the steering column because unless the column is dropped down a few degrees (more work) the dash can slip and easily damage the finish.

1955Desoto
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by 1955Desoto » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:24 pm

Thanks Howard, I was hoping there was an easier way to just remove the instrument cluster and reach around. I guess not! Removing the entire dash does sound like more than I need to do now. My front seat does not adjust (another project for another day) so room is limited. I may have to remove the seat as you mentioned. I will try to get up in there one way or another. Ed

1955Desoto
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by 1955Desoto » Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:36 pm

Well, I was able to get up behind the dash and reach the ignition switch. I have ordered an on/off universal ignition switch as the prices for the original are ludicrous. My next question concerns the 3 poles on the original switch. It is a 2 position switch; on/off. I am guessing that one terminal is always hot and the other 2 are hot when the switch is on. Is this correct? I haven't removed the wires yet, so as not to forget what goes where until my new switch arrives. Does anyone know if the terminals are labeled? Is there a schematic or diagram available that shows the switch wiring detail? Thanks again for all the help thus far.

Howard56
Posts: 1288
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by Howard56 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:20 am

The 48 wiring diagrams on this site are wrong and are for an earlier year but the 49 drawings, while incomplete, are essentially the same for the ign switch part of the circuit. https://www.packardclub.org/wiring/1949 ... 8cyl-b.JPG If you want a complete and correct 48 drawing you can go to www.packardinfo.com and download the 48-49 22nd series diagram, It is available in the Literature Archive accessed from the left menu, and then the Wire Diagrams and Radio Sheets category on the page that opens. Note that many accessories are not shown on Packard drawings so if your car was well optioned you could have more wires on the old ign switch than the drawings indicate.

The 3 terminals on the Packard switch are labeled AM, GA and COIL. The lettering is molded into the black base material and is quite small but usually readable. GA on most switches is the long terminal. Referring to the new switch, assuming it has standard labeling, AM would correspond to BAT, GA would correspond to ACC, and COIL would be IGN. On the new switch, if it has both a right and left position, BAT would be power in so always hot, ACC would be hot in both directions but IGN is only hot in the right or run position.

1955Desoto
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by 1955Desoto » Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:46 pm

Thanks Howard. VERY helpful.

1955Desoto
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by 1955Desoto » Sat May 08, 2021 1:47 pm

The saga continues..... I decided to spend my life savings on the correct switch. I got the old one out, new one in. Now, how do I get the keyed tumbler assembly out of the old switch and into the new one? On other makes I have worked on you stick a wire in a small hole and turn the key ON and it slides out. I'm not having any luck with this one and don't want to break anything. There is a tiny hole in the side of the housing, but I don't feel anything giving when I try pressing a wire in it. All wisdom appreciated!

Dave Czirr
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Location: New Jersey

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by Dave Czirr » Sun May 09, 2021 5:28 am

Put the key in and turn the switch on (don't forget to disconnect the battery). THEN push a pin or paper clip into the hole and press to release the retainer, wiggle the tumbler and it should come out.

1955Desoto
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: 48 Instrument Panel Removal

Post by 1955Desoto » Sun May 09, 2021 11:25 am

Got it! Thanks Dave.

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