I have a 1932 Packard 902 Club Sedan body style 506. I think the odometer is correct at about 53,000 miles. It has 19 Inch wire wheels with modern WW tires. We got it last January and have almost everything working now. We drive it a lot when we go to Packard activities and tours. We trailer it to these events and then drive it in the event usually about 400 miles each time. It has a 4:56 rear so it cant be driven over 60 or so. We have no history on the car nor do we know by who and when it was restored. However it had to be 12 to 15 years ago and it sat most of that time, probably on display.
I am having trouble with shimmy. It will shimmy severely when you hit a RR crossing or large pot hole. It is completely stock and I want to keep it that way, but I do need to fix the shimmy. It is so bad you have to stop the car to get the shimmy to stop. The steering is a little loose (feels like a side ways instantaneous shift once in a while) on modern highways but not bad. But it scares me when on old secondary roads that have dips and bumps. It feels like it might shimmy at any moment and send me into the ditch. The springs don’t look bad and I cant see any play in them but I suspect there may be some. And there is the possibility that the springs need to be re-arched or replaced. How would I tell that? Do you have springs for
this application? I did not find any in your web page for products.
I found very little fluid In the shock absorbers and so filled them with jack oil. They show no signs of leaking so I assume they have been rebuilt. I tried to check them by hand for stiff action but I cant get the bolts out to disconnect them
from the suspension. I need to buy a special very large straight slot screwdriver that fits my rattle wrench!
This car has the old Bijur chassis oiling system and I have cleaned it up and it mostly works! So I have oil on my garage floor all the time, but the springs are getting oil, so I don’t feel like it is likely that there is excessive wear on the
spring shackles and bolts. I should probably remove a few bolts to check for wear. These springs also have a metal cover that is made with several sections that taper the length of the spring from the axle perch to the shackle eye holes at each end. I could probably remove them and install them on a new set of springs.
I am looking for advice on how to cure the shimmy problem and possibly make it drive better. The steering box adjusts well and so there is no plan in it. New springs might make a big difference but I need somebody with experience in this matter to
recommend an effective approach for fixing it. I cant think of anything else I could tell you…
Can you guys please advise me…
Thanks for your help,
P.S. I saw your write up in Hot Rod Magazine Test & Tune, that’s how I found you!
Any shimmy is caused by loose, binding or misaligned parts. I always go for the loose and/or binding parts 1st. You already know you have loose steering, so here is the place to start.
Once that is solved, get those shocks off, they could be binding. If they are binding, the shimmy could be the result of them trying to unbind. The sudden sideways movement could be caused by them starting to bind.
While the shocks are off, take the spring eyes and shackles off and inspect the pins and bushings. If the springs are OK (we will get to them) and the pins and/or bushings show signs of wear, replace them.
Also check the wheel bearings for proper torque. And while you are under the car, check all steering components and all cross members. Look for signs of wear and looseness.
As for the springs, if the car sits well and rides well, short of the shimmy, then the springs are probably alright. If you want to do a complete inspection of them, the covers will have to be removed. Check each leaf for breakage. We have the specs and can make new ones.
I’ll just bet that the springs are not the cause of the shimmy.