ignition switch removal for 1941 160

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studeranch
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:49 pm

ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by studeranch » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:11 am

I don't have a key for a recently purchased 1941 160. If I could get the switch out, a local locksmith could make one. I put a vice grip on the outer bezel and tried to turn it, but trying not to use too much force, it didn't move. any help would be appreciated, or any other way to get a key. Is there a data base on keys and serial #s so I could have one made without removing switch? Or can I remove a door latch, and have a key made that way? thanks David

Dave Czirr
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Re: ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:10 pm

No one ever recorded the key numbers?

One easy way without taking anything apart if you have a good number of Packard owners in your area. Packard only used 250 different keys, B&S P1251-P1500, and used the same keys every year from 1935 thru 1956. So call your Packard buddies over and have them bring their keys. Many of us older Packard guys and gals have had many Packards over the years and have keys from them all, so your chances could be quite good.

Otherwise, its removal of the lock.

Howard56
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Re: ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by Howard56 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:16 pm

On your question of a door key working the ignition switch, the door lock would be keyed the same if the car is stock. Unfortunately unless there is prior owner history you have no way of knowing if either of the locks might have been replaced. If a lock was not rekeyed and just replaced there is a possibility of needing the use of a third key.

I believe there are a few who have reported finding key numbers written on the back of the patent plate. Chances are slim you will find anything but maybe worth a look.

Dave Czirr
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Re: ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:30 pm

IIRC the factory practice of recording key numbers on the back of the patent plate was discontinued in 1935. I suppose there is always a chance a dealer did it, its a very long shot but as Howard says, only takes a minute or two to check.

Another very long shot, I have copies of some 1941 original delivery tickets which have key numbers recorded. Give me the theft-proof number and I'll look, but don't get too hopeful.

Howard56
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Re: ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by Howard56 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:54 am

Have you figured out how to get the switch out? If not, a couple of thoughts. Can't find any decent dash photos of a 160 but looking at a 120 the bezel appears to be a chrome ring about 3/8 thick with barely rounded edges -- almost looks like a chromed thick walled piece of pipe with a hole for the key in the center. If that is what is on a 160 and the bezel has a round depression or two on the side then it should screw off. Clipper uses that type bezel and the ign switch has a very fine thread of about 1" diameter which the bezel screws onto. There is nothing else on the Clipper bezel but there is a chance a setscrew might be in use so good to check. The round depressions on the side of the Clipper bezel are for the use of a spanner wrench similar to the one in the photo.

Packard went to a different mount using a tapered bezel at some point. I think the earliest use of that bezel was 49 so probably not applicable but just in case, if the bezel is fairly thin and more of a smooth taper with a thin edge at the dash tapering out to a thick center for the ign cylinder opening then the switch is held by spring tension. Those switches push toward the dash from the rear and when pressure is released from the spring pulling on the bezel, the bezel can be turned 90 degrees so an internal opening lines up with slots on the switch and can release.

If there is no bezel at all and just a round opening on the dash then the switch must be held by some kind of bracket behind the dash.
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studeranch
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Re: ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by studeranch » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:24 pm

thanks everyone. I figured out how to get the bezel off. Used a little penetrating oil, a little time, and the vice grips. It did have the hole, so it was designed for the spanner wrench, but I didn't see it until the bezel was off. I wouldn't have had the spanner wrench anyway. Then I worked to get the switch out of the dash. the wires were short enough so that they had to be removed in order to move the switch very far,,so remove the seat to lay on my back, remove nuts holding the wires, being sure to drop one behind my head somewhere, and then to discover that the switch is hooked to the coil by what looks like a speedometer cable. I was not able to release the tumblers by putting a wire into a little hole in the switch. It looks like they were designed to stay married. There is a plate on the firewall that maybe the switch would go through. so rest a bit, and my son came up with the idea of using another Packard key and hoping it would fit. A long shot- we have 2. Amazingly enough the 54 ignition key worked. so I re-installed the switch and will install the seat after I weld some cracks.
So now the question is; if your coil goes out, do you have to buy a new ignition switch along with the coil?
or would you just put in an ordinary coil and a wire from the ignition?
Could that be the reason that the key fits the ign only and not the doors?
To get keys for the doors, do I disassemble the inner door and remove the handle and take that to a locksmith?

Thanks everyone, and I think the key numbers were probably lost along with the title. Getting the title is probably easier than getting a key, although I understand Montana is making that tougher also.

Dave Czirr
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Re: ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:41 am

The wire feeding the coil within the armored steel conduit was a form of theft-prevention to eliminate the possibility of "hot wiring". As these cars have gotten to 50+ years of age, a common failure is the wire within the armored cable from the ignition switch to the coil and you should think about replacing it. With age, the insulation will fail and crumble off and then the wire can form a short circuit within the steel outer housing. There are various ways of replacing the wire, but doing it and preserving the original configuration is difficult as it required removal of the conduit from both the switch and the coil. Some folks just don't attempt it and install a modern coil, others carefully remove the housing ends at the coil and switch, replace the wire, and reinstall. In any case, if it hasn't been done already, it's a failure waiting to leave you on the roadside at some point in the future.

Howard56
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Re: ignition switch removal for 1941 160

Post by Howard56 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:58 am

The coils and switches are sold separately and depending on whether it is Autolite or Delco, the cup at the end of the armored cable will either twist to remove from the coil base or need to have 4 small tabs bent straight to release it. Once released there is a terminal on the end of the coil where the wire is connected. Max Merritt lists the old coils but they are expensive. Kanter might have them and possibly Flackmaster too. Some are offered as rebuilt and others are NOS. Being almost 80 years old I am not sure how long a NOS coil probably with old dry insulation would function and no definition of what is included in a rebuild. Unless you are a purist and want to stay with the authentic look I thick I would opt for a modern universal coil and figure out how to mount it and bring out the wire in the armored cable for a proper connection.

As Dave said, the insulation on the old wire in the cable is an issue. Am presuming the 41 switch is similar to the 47 and if so, there is no easy way to change the wire. The armored cable end is crimped into the switch casting and even if that is removed the wire is soldered to a terminal visible thru a small hole in the casting where the wire enters but not accessible with any kind of soldering tool. The armored cable inner diameter is not large enough for much bulk in a splice plus the thickness of insulation material such as heat shrink that would be needed to cover it. If you attempt a wire change with the armor you need to be very neat and very careful and hope the insulation is not damaged sliding the armor back over it. Obviously you could leave the armor off if you opt for a modern coil but if you went back to a stock coil then the armor and particularly the cup at the coil end is needed for appearance and mechanical support for the cable.

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