Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

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PatrickM
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:31 pm

Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

Post by PatrickM » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:24 pm

I sent my 55 Patrician's torsion control unit to Snoqualmie, WA for conversion to solid state electronics. My mechanic has put it back into car but informs me that when the three wires are plugged into the proper sockets for a 1955 the system is dead. The contol unit has extra poles apparently for the 1956 models. My mechanic says that it appears to him that the 1956 arrangement calls for the use of as many as six wires. Also, when he plugs the three wires from
the wiring harness to control unit into some of these other poles the system is hot and partially operates to adjust the level of the car. What I am wondering
is whether the rebuilder in Snoqualmie may have rewired the control unit for a 1956 Packard even though my transmittal letter clearly indicated that the
car was a 1955. I would appreciate any advice and help on this problem.

PatrickM
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

Post by PatrickM » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:47 am

Here are some additional facts to add to this puzzle. Our car is an end of the model year car, which my
father and I picked up in Chicago when the 1956's were already on the showroom floor. I have reason
to believe, then, that the control unit for our car's torsion bar system was a 1956 control unit which the
factory cobbled to take the wiring from the 1955 harness (When my mechanic recently pulled the
control unit off of the car, he found that the three wires coming out of the unit were differently
colored than the three wires coming to the unit from the harness). My surmise, then, is that the
control unit on 1956's is wired differently than a 1955's control unit. So that when I told Snoqualmie that I
had a 1955 Packard, they naturally gave me back a solid state 1955 unit instead of the 1956
that I possible needed because of the aforemenitioned end of the model year swap at the
factory. If this is true, then, is it possible for me to hook up the three wires from the wiring
harness to a 1956 control unit? As I noted in the original comment, the motor is coming on
and moving the short torsion bars when the three wires are run to other terminals in the
unit than the three terminals to which they were hooked when the unit was taken out
of the car. I am thinking this problem might all go away if I obtain another control unit
from a salvaged car, send it to Snoqualmie and have them re-wire the unit to be a
1956 solid state unit, and, then, hook it up as the original unit was hooked up when
it came off of the car. [Remember, my mechanic says that he read the shop manual
and that it says that the 1956's have as many as six wires from the harness to the control
unit].

Dave Czirr
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Re: Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

Post by Dave Czirr » Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:20 am

Patrick - I think it is extremely unlikely, I might even say impossible, that a 55 Packard left the factory with a 56 TL control unit. But I seem to recall a later service letter or bulletin that advised the steps necessary to adapt a 56 unit to a 55 car, so it's possible that change took place later in the car's life; some wiring harness changes would be required as well as there are differences in the wiring on the limit switches. As I recall a jumper harness is required for the change-over. It's easy to determine which year controller you have, they are quite different in appearance. Check the unit you have against the photo below, and then let us know which unit it is that you have on the car, and we can go from there. In the meantime I'll try to locate that reference to the change-over. Also, note that solid state devices are often polarity-sensitive, and the 55 cars were 12 volt but positive ground, and 56 was 12 volt, negative ground. Have you maintained the correct battery polarity?

EDITING: See excerpt from 1956 Service Counselor on the adaptation of the 1956 controller to 1955 cars, enclosed.
Attachments
TL relays.jpg
TL Controller conversion.jpg

PatrickM
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

Post by PatrickM » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:28 am

Dave,

Thanks so much! I have forwarded a link to your comments and and the pic to
my mechanic.

Patrick

PatrickM
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

Post by PatrickM » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:49 pm

Guys, my mechanic got the leveler going with all of your great input. He tells me that I need to replace
the torsion cut off switch under the left side of the dashboard and also the stoplight switch under the battery
on the left frame member. Does anyone have a suggested part supplier source for these items. Snopack
indicated to me that he sells the adapter for the stoplight switch.

Dave Czirr
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:21 pm

You can still occasionally find the original Wagner stop light switches, FC-22052, but they are uncommon and expensive. They seem to be particularly prone to short life by silicone brake fluid. One alternative is to use a modern 3-prong VW switch and little jumper harness from blade to bayonet connectors from Dwight Heinmuller. He advertises regularly in PAC publications or call (410)-329-3022. There may be other alternatives as well, those are the ones I'm familiar with.

The switch under the left-side dash is a simple toggle switch, about $5 or less at your local hardware store or Radio Shack for a functionally equivalent one, but not exactly the same style.

jacko
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Re: Torsion control unit solid state conversion not working out

Post by jacko » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:24 pm

The stop light switch for the 1955 torsion system can be obtained from Max Merritt in Franklin, IN. They advertise in Hemmings, The Cormorant and other sources. I have replaced this switch and obtained it from Fred or JD at Max Merritt's. There phone number is 317-736-6233.

Bob Jacko

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