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October 31, 2011

1966 Brake Light Issues

Hello Bill,

I bought my 66 Lincoln Continental Convertible about 11 years ago and have been slowly restoring and upgrading it over the years. One problem which has always haunted me is the brake lights. No matter what I do, I am unable to get them to work by depressing the pedal. I initially suspected the brake light switch and electrical issues. I removed the switch, depressed the strike plate, and the brake lights came on. So, fortunately there was not an electrical issue. I had a mechanic install a new booster assembly since I suspected the old one was on it's last leg, but still no change. I did find a minor leak on the rear brake hose and replaced it as well. I conducted a very thorough bleeding of the brakes once this was all done. There is a good solid pedal and good stopping. But still no change in the brake light situation. I have had several different recommendations as to what to do next, but I needed to consult with someone with proper knowledge first. I have been told to find a way to adjust the length of the rod, add an additional booster, etc. My only other remote suspicion is replacing the mess of vacuum lines throughout the car. I have discovered several cracked or split lines and repaired them, but there are many more to go.

Any help or advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Thanks,

Jeremy

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Hi Jeremy -

Your 66 Convertible is a great car to have and is well respected among all of the car collectors. The brake light switch because of its design must be tested for continuity in the installed position with a 12v test light. While testing, the switch and its wiring must NOT be distorted so you may need a helper to depress the brake pedal for you. If the switch worked while you tested it off of the car and will not operate in the installed position the switch may still be faulty or there could be some missing switch installation hardware. A shop manual would be a real asset to you for any repairs if you do not already have one. Please try this test again as described above and call us with the results or for further advice.

Sincerely,

Bill

October 21, 2011

1978 Continental Electrical Gremlins

Hello Bill,
I bought a 78 Lincoln Continental. I noticed that when I turn my key to the on position that my warning lights don't come on such as the engine, alternator, washer fluid, in dash blinkers, etc. I changed my fuses and accidentally got the radio to play. The car sat since 1996. I noticed that every time I start it, something else starts working like the power seats and power antenna. I'm no mechanic but could it be simple enough for me to figure out or should I go to a shop. I stumbled across this site tonight and I'm loving it already.

Thanks,

Daryl

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Daryl -

From your description of electrical issues and the fact that some accessories are starting to operate on their own as you try them it sounds to me like you have a variety of bad electrical contacts. The car has been stored for a lengthy period of time in an unknown atmosphere that seems to have caused this to occur. The only procedure that I can suggest at first glance is to select an non operating item and carefully trace its electrical power path. For instance power from the ignition switch in the run position exits on a red wire with a green tracer and leads to the alt. warning light circuit and fuse number three in the fuse box etc. Testing the electrical circuit should be done in a logical sequence and most definitely with the CORRECT wiring diagram at your side. With the correct 12v test light you or your technician should soon be able to locate and correct any open and or poor contacts that you find. We hope that the above will get you started in the right direction. If you need any further advice etc. please contact us at any time.

Sincerely,

Bill

October 17, 2011

"Rolan! the damn car won't start"

"Rolan! the damn car won't start"

These were the words that myself, my brother and sister heard many times throughout our childhood and into adulthood.

It all started on a January morning in 1972. It was a cold that morning with a bright sun, snow was everywhere but the roads were clean. and in front of Northwest Lincoln-Mercury, in Schaumburg Ill. was a shiny 1969 Lincoln Continental Sedan, ready to come home.

My father was very proud, my mother happy as she just "one upped" her sister who drove a 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham..Mom had the newest car.

As we grew up, moms frustration with the Lincoln grew.. Dad was always at the short end of the stick, with no answers except, "I'll look at it"

You see, the car would start up fine when cold, after being driven a while, then turned off, and tried to re-start.... it would rawr, rawr, rawr and would not start. (slow starter drag) many times with a car full of kids and groceries, we would have to wait the allotted 15-20 minutes until it would start.

Once we got home, dad would get the wrath of mom... It was something we just got used to with the Lincoln over the next 25 plus years.

Fast forward to today - "finchie" has overhauled Engine/transmission/rear end/HVAC and all associated components... and guess what, she still has the same issues..

On my first trip out to Starbucks, and very proud to have car back from the shop, I got the same issue, rawr, rawr, rawr... That old feeling was back...

I could heard the echoes of my mom yelling at my father saying... "Rolan! the damn car won't start", all I could do is laugh, drink my Starbucks coffee and wait my allotted 15-20 minutes before the Lincoln will start... I even called my brother to tell him to guess what I was doing, we had a good laugh....

Bill - So what is it with these Lincolns??? My father is no longer with us, but Mom is and for some strange reason, I'd like to give her the answer that he never could.

Sincerely,

Rolan

P.S. The Lincoln and Cadillac occupy the same driveway space and are happy together....and a huge Thank you for all the technical support, parts sales!

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Rolan -

Are you sure that you want to spoil family tradition by correcting that starting issue? A 15-20 minute wait sounds like "coffee time " to me!

Hot starting issues indicated by "slow starter drag" as you state are usually caused by a high starter draw, a bad or weak battery or poor wiring in the starting circuit. If the car has had this problem since it was new we can probably rule out the battery but a wiring fault and or a bad starter motor could exist though for all of these years since 1969. Some factory defects can survive for the life of a vehicle if they are allowed to go on unaddressed. I assume that the engine timing and the general tune up conditions are in good order as these can and do contribute to hard hot starts. Another item that can cause hard hot cranking can be bad engine bearings. I know this first hand as my 1970 Lincoln suffered with this until I changed the bearings. It is of course well advised to begin by looking at the smaller easier to repair possibilities first as described above. Because this issue existed from when the car was new I would examine the starter circuit wiring very carefully as some wiring faults can be hidden deep within the insulation. Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Bill

October 11, 2011

74 Mark Charging Issues

Good morning i have a 74 Lincoln Mark that won't keep a charge on the battery. I have replaced the battery, the alternator and temporarily bypassed the voltage regulator. At the battery while the car is running, I get about 13 volts unstable. With the replacement of the regulator cause me to get a good full and reliable charge?

Sincerely,

A.J.

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A.J. -

To answer your question simply, replacing the voltage regulator will solve a charging problem ONLY if it is faulty. The alternator, regulator, battery and their related wiring work together to keep the battery in a charged condition. Even though you have installed another battery and alternator the possibility exists that one of them could still be the problem. New parts can be bad. Because of this your charging system along with the battery should be tested using the correct equipment in order to pinpoint the failed part. Many local automobile parts stores offer this service at no charge. They will do these tests on the car or if you remove and bring the parts to them. At the same time I recommend that the battery be tested in order to verify that it can actually receive, hold a charge and be able to withstand a load test. If you are confident that the alternator, battery and the wiring is ok you may opt to install a new regulator as a test.

You don't indicate in your information if your battery is always undercharged, dead overnight or weak after several days etc. so another point to consider is the possibility of a power draw from another area in the vehicle. Many times in the past we have found that items such as courtesy lights, glove box lights, clocks etc. can discharge a battery after a period of time if they are faulty or remain on. We have also found that alternators that perform well with the engine running will draw power after the engine is shut down. I hope that the above helps to resolve your problem. If you need any further advice feel free to contact us at any time.

Sincerely,

Bill

October 10, 2011

New Owner 1966 Continental

Getting a 66 coupe in a trade.. always liked the 66 my dad had several of them when i was a kid and i wish he was still around to ask this question to,... Is there anything outside of the normal stuff that i need to look out for on this car? it has a rebuilt engine that seems to run strong except the carburetor needs a rebuild. it as a little bit of a coolant leak coming from the fitting that is indeed the back of the intake manifold.. looks like it could be a gasket. other than that every thing works.. and the body isn't bad. no rot that i can see anywhere.. . it drives well and stops on a dime. needs exhaust but hell, i would replace that anyway.. the only thing that i think doesn't work right is the AC.. it is all there but there is no freon in it.. (are there any good R-12 replacements out there). i cant think of anything else to tell you.. except it seemed to be running a tad hot when i opened the hood.. but with an engine that size i can see heat would be an issue.. I have never messed with a MEL but i understand some of the differences but not all.. Is there anything i need to look out for or be aware of?

I am getting ready to move to Modesto CA.. and I want to make this car my daily driver so any tips you can give me for reliability i would appreciate it..

Thanks a ton! Glad you guys are here for us morons! lol

Mike
Omaha NE

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Hi Mike -

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your 66 Lincoln purchase. It sounds like it has been looked after and is in real decent shape. You have already uncovered an exhaust problem and a coolant leak so rather than give you a long list of possible other problems I will make a few suggestions since you are moving to another part of the country.

Even though the brakes appear to be in good working order they should be inspected for that long road trip. The steering linkage, suspension and tires should also be checked and all worn parts and tires replaced. If you plan on keeping the car you should consider also purchasing the necessary Ford shop manuals as they can pay for themselves in a short time. The Lincolns are all built with many "state of the art" (for their day) luxury devices that can eventually fail in time. Not all cars have the same parts and systems fail so it is best to get some experience with your car and make a list of issues as they appear. You can then tackle these items one at a time. As I stated above, your car sounds like it was looked after so many of the usual issues may have already been addressed. There is a popular site available on the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club ( LCOC ). It is a website that can easily be found and you can read about the many problems that others have encountered and their repair procedures etc. I think that you will enjoy the reading and gain more knowledge on all years of Lincolns on this forum.

In my opinion there is no real substitute for the r12 refrigerant but there are several refrigerants that have proven to be acceptable to many owners. If you ask twenty people you could get twenty answers. When you are located at your new address you can ask the other owners that visit the many local car shows in your new location. They will be aware of what refrigerant product is acceptable and legal in that State.

We sure hope that the above helps you and if you need any parts or further advice for the 66 you can count on us at Lincoln Land to help you.

Sincerely,

Bill