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1940 Packard 120 5th shock location question

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  • Frame/Springs: 1940 Packard 120 5th shock location question

    Not Strictly Studebaker of course, but I figured the answer would be readily available here.
    Lots of online ( where else?) literature, even the sales brochures, mentions the 5th shock being mounted transversely somewhere on the chassis. Maybe part of the rear suspension is my tentative conclusion.

    I bet some folks here KNOW for sure, and even have pictures.


    Dan T

  • #2
    You would be better served on the site, but the short story is this. In the days of relatively tall stacks of relatively long narrow spring leaves such as Packard and others used through '50, it was a good idea to have a panhard rod to control sideways movement of the rear axle under cornering forces. Packard mounted the frame end of the panhard rod to the lever of a Houdaille type lever shock (the 5th shock) through 1941 and incorporated an airplane type shock into the panhard rod on later cars through 1950. This was to minimize sideways jerking on really bad roads.

    The need for all of this was mostly eliminated by going to much wider spring leaves in the 51 models--I think Stude also did this about the same time. The wider leaves could better resist side thrust and had the additional benefit that they were torsionally more rigid and thus added to roll stiffness at the rear without need of adding a sway bar. Should point out that the panhard rod did not add roll stiffness, only lateral location. Packard did keep a simplified panhard rod with rubber grommets on both ends on the heavier cars through 54. The torsion level cars of 55-56 had a high class watts linkage for lateral location with the additional benefit of being able to place the roll center where desired.