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April 30, 2014

1966 Continental Transmission Questions

Bill,

I have a 1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible that I am the 3rd Owner with low mileage that I had a major restoration done about 2 1/2 years ago. I've recently started having some problems with the automatic transmission delayed shifting into first gear after stopping at a red light or stop sign. In order to get the car moving, I have to accelerate very very gently at an incredibly slow rate until first gear engages and gets up to about 5-7 mph, and then it accelerates and drives well until I get up to about 40 to 45 MPH and then there is a "shuddering" sensation that causes the vehicle to bounce up and down until I get to about 55, and then it seems to run fine again. The issue is particularly pronounced if I am starting from any sort of uphill grade (which frequently causes the engine to die) or am driving up a steep hill, and I seem to have a reduction in power.

I've already had the suspension checked and it is fine, so I'm thinking the "bouncing" may be resolved by having the wheels balanced and aligned, but wanted to see if you had an opinion as to whether it was related to the transmission issue.

I've owned the car for about 8 years now, and the problem seems to be getting increasingly worse. Any suggestions as to the cause or things to look at to help more specifically diagnose the problem? Thanks!

Alex

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Greetings Alex

The transmission problem that you are describing in my opinion does not seem to be related to the shuddering and bouncing at the higher speeds. A personal road test may however prove otherwise. A transmission that is low on fluid can behave this way. If the oil in the transmission is correct as per the dipstick, the unit may require a reseal internally and may even lead to a complete overhaul. A good transmission shop that is familiar with these c6 transmissions should be able to road test the car and give you an honest opinion.

The vibrating and shuddering issues can be caused by several separate and common problems. The age and balance of the tires as well as the drive shaft condition are very important. Old tires can start to decompose, crack and cause all sorts of unwanted vibrations as well as be certainly unsafe to use. I would have them evaluated and if safe have them rebalanced. The drive shaft on your 66 Lincoln has what is known as Double Cardan U-Joints. This is an excellent system that uses two u-joints with a center yoke between them at each end of the drive shaft. The u-joints and the yokes can and do fail. The yokes have a provision for grease to be added to their bearings but many have never been greased. The transmission end of the drive shaft has three special bearings that are inserted into the splines and these must not be miss-handled or lost. I would advise you to have the drive shaft inspected by a mechanic who is competent and knowledgeable with these types of units. Finally, some Lincoln convertibles and even some sedans of this era can be fraught with structural shakes and vibrations if any of the body and under hood braces or brackets that were installed at the factory are removed. They were engineered to provide structural integrity. Convertibles were particularly sensitive in this area and in fact the 66 convertible even had a special tuning weight installed behind each front wheel behind the metal splash shield.

The above suggestions should be done with the easiest first and the car should be road tested after a definite fault is found and corrected before proceeding to the next item. Unibody vehicles that are severely corroded may be a special challenge. Let us know what you find.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 28, 2014

1966 Continental Engine Question

Hello Bill,

I am restoring a 1966 Continental. I have just tore down the engine and everything looks to be in good shape, but I noticed a ridge at the top of the cylinder bore. I am wondering if this ridge is normal or does the block need to be machined? I have included a picture. Please help. I am on a very tight budget but I want to put her back together correctly.
Thank you.

Charlie

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Hello Charlie -

A slight ridge is normal but an excessive ridge will not allow the pistons to be removed easily because of ring interference without reaming out the ridge. I understand that you are on a tight budget but if you re- assemble the engine as it is with new rings and have a problem in that area later how tight will your budget be then? Pistons and rings are in the heart of the engine and back tracking will be difficult and costly at a later date. I do not know the mileage on this engine or its maintenance history. You may well get away with only the installation of new rings but my advice to you is to at least get the on scene opinion of a good known local automotive engine machine shop on your cylinders before you proceed. For a small fee a local engine shop mechanic may be able to drop in where the engine is in order to set your mind at ease.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 24, 2014

1965 Continental Noise At Start Up

I have 65 Lincoln with 430 engine my key gets stuck and I get a click from behind my glove box and a click from the left front engine fender , every time I try to start can you help nail down the problem I have a new battery , starter and starter solenoid. Also it keeps popping out of reverse in to neutral. When I turn the steering wheel. Do you have any suggestions?

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The clicks that you are hearing sounds like they could be the starter solenoid and power window safety relay operating as you turn the key to the start position. These may be normal sounds that you would not hear if the starter motor was working. The problem could be bad battery wiring, solenoid or a bad starter. The starting circuit needs to be diagnosed in a logical sequence beginning at the battery and tracing the power path to the starter. Guessing and replacing parts without proper diagnosing is wasteful. Wiring diagrams and shop manuals are helpful here.

I don't fully understand what you mean by "my key gets stuck " but if it is binding and sticking in the ignition switch, the key, the key cylinder or possibly the switch it self is failing internally. The key and cylinder can be removed and examined easily as per the shop manual but the repair is better left to a good locksmith unless you have experience. If the above cylinder and key is o/k then the switch could be sticking.

The issue with the shift linkage is a known problem and can be dangerous if not dealt with as soon as possible. The main problem is the Lower Steering column bushing becoming useless in maintaining proper linkage tube and shaft alignment and if so it will need replacement. Another bushing or sleeve that fails is at the upper steering column bearing retainer. At the same time all of the linkage and bushings from the transmission to the steering column must be examined and corrected as necessary. The shift quadrant and lever may also have some wear and should also be checked. Your problem could be one or more of the above. Call our office and ask for Al for more details.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 23, 2014

1988 Town Car AC Questions

Dear Bill,

I converted my 1988 Lincoln Town Car from R-12 to R-134a. I took it apart, replaced seals, drained and flushed the oil from the entire system and replaced it with R-134a compatible fluid. I also replaced all the seals, a pressure line and the accumulator. Now, after I evacuated the system for 45 minutes (both high and low pressure sides) and attempted to recharge the system, it would not draw in the R-134a into the system from the low pressure side.

I'm stumped! What am I doing wrong/missing?

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Stephen

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Hello Stephen -

In order for a refrigerant charge to take place the system must have lower pressure than the refrigerant container pressure. Proper a/c gauges are a must along with correct connections and adaptors for the system being charged. I of course cannot see what you have done wrong if anything from here but if there was lower pressure at the Low Pressure port some refrigerant transfer should have taken place. Sometimes the cycling switch plug in needs to be temporarily jumped electrically to hold the a/c clutch on in order to create this lower pressure. It is also possible that your new 134a adaptor ports are incorrect and you may not have proper access to the system.

In any case the correct charge should be weighed in with an appropriate scale and with the use of gauges. If you are at all unsure of your procedures etc. I would advise you to seek professional help in order to avoid damaging your system or causing injury to yourself.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 18, 2014

1978 Continental 400 Cutting Out

Hi Bill -

I have a 1978 Lincoln Continental with a 400 that will start cold, run great for about 1-2 minutes and then cut out immediately. At that point, the engine has no spark. We have replaced the ignition control module, coil, EGR valve, PCV valve, pick up coil for the distributor, spark plugs, wires, cap rotor and are still having the same problem. The engine is getting fuel.

It has to be something simple at this point following all the parts replaced but we are out of ideas.

One thing we noticed is that the power seat clicks when the door opens on the car. We have heard of a secondary ignition switch, and wonder if the power seat relay may be interfering in some way and shorting things out but simply don't know what to think at this point.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve

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Greetings Steve -

As you are finding out some of these electrical issues sure can be a nuisance. If you are actually loosing ignition after 1-2 minutes as you have stated I would want to first determine if the fault is loss of electrical power to the electronic ignition components under the hood from the ignition switch or a further under hood wiring or electronic issue that you could have previously overlooked. To properly diagnose in this manner you will need the correct vehicle wiring diagram and a 12 volt test light. The wiring diagram will show you the correct wire and color under the hood to monitor with the test light for this test with the engine running. When the engine stops due to loss of spark (as you have stated) your test light will either go off or remain lit. If the light remains lit, the problem will be a further under hood fault. If the light goes off, the problem will be somewhere in the wiring towards the ignition switch, any junctions or the switch itself. In this case the wiring diagram can be used for further testing in order to pinpoint the fault. Always keep a lookout for possible wiring modifications by a previous owner. A shop manual would be needed to understand and further test the Duraspark components on the engine side.

I have no knowledge of an actual secondary ignition switch as such but on a two door coupe the click that you hear could be from the automatic seat back release solenoid as the door is opened in order to gain easy entry and exit to the rear seating area.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 11, 2014

1969 Mark III Charging Issues

Hi -

I have a 1969 Lincoln Mark 3 I just recently replaced the alternator because it wasn't properly charging the battery now it is not charging at all what could be my problem it's driving me crazy.

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Greetings -

As I understand it, the alternator was replaced because it was not charging properly and now it is not charging at all. Was it replaced with a rebuilt and tested one or only another one with an unknown condition. An important fact that you should be aware of is that most Mark III's of this era (69- early 70) were unique in that they have a special exterior mounted electronic voltage regulator. Many alternators are replaced without any meaningful diagnosis therefore I would advise you to have the charging system checked out at a local automotive electrical shop to find out if the alternator has any output etc. or if it is indeed correct for your vehicle.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 4, 2014

1968 Continental Power Steering Issues

Hi Bill -

I found your blog and that you've helped so many people, I hope you can help me.

I have a 68 Continental and the power steering fails to assist after the power steering system begins to warm up... maybe after 1 hour of the engine running. It works fine when cold, with no sounds of the pump straining.

I put the car in the air and disconnected the Pittman arm to see if the linkages were causing extra strain on the pump or steering box. Some joints moved freely with just a noticeable amount of tension to a few joints as compared to the rest. Ball joints were free as well. With the front wheels on turntables and the linkages connected without the Pittman arm connected, I can manually move the wheels left and right with slight effort but I'm not straining. Without the Pittman arm connected, I can steer at the steering wheel all day and have no issues with the steering box or pump. I reassembled the Pittman Arm, and put the car back on normal ground surface. I had a friend who is an expert in steering and suspension suggest that I install a pressure gauge between the pump and the steering box, and the readings were unusually high as I steered left and right (pressures that he was not used to seeing in a steering system). PSI reading from 600-800 PSI for normal left and right turns...without hitting the stops. Someone also suggested I get a temperature reading on the components to see which got hotter first or was the hottest...maybe indicating a restriction in the system. By the way, the wiper motor works perfectly. I've done a lot of research and investigating and my guess is to condemn the steering box. I'm thinking that the valving has become worn/ restricted and is sensitive to the slightest strain put on it. Any input on your part would be very helpful.

Sincerely,

Shane

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Hello Shane -

I'm not sure if you have the Factory Service Manual or not but shown in this manual are specific pressure tests for this era of Lincolns. Since you indicate that your steering is fine when cold I am leaning toward a possible pressure drop from the pump that is due to the thinner oil at normal operating temperature. If this is so, the pump may be failing. The correct p/s fluid as specified MUST be used in this system. Incorrect fluid can produce low pressure when hot. Accurate diagnosis is of course very important because of the parts and labor costs of the unnecessary replacing or repairing components that are already in good order. We are including in our reply to you a copy of the shop manual pages for pressure testing Lincoln and other p/s pressures. You can then note the high normal operating pressures needed for the Lincoln p/s system and you can also perform your tests with the fluid cold and hot in order to compare. These crankshaft mounted pumps are well known to require overhauling after all of these years and we do offer this service. If we can be of further service, do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 1, 2014

1962 Continental Lighting Issues

Hi Bill -

My name is Jeremy i have a 1962 Lincoln Continental with a couple electrical problems . The first problem is when the headlights are on with the high beams, the right turn signal indicator comes on solid instead of the high beam indicator. Also if the right turn signal is activated at the same time, the high beam indicator flashes instead of the turn indicator. All outside lamps seem to operate normally, and if the high beams are not on, the inside lamps function normally as well. However if the headlight switch dimmer is turned to full dim, all the dash lights dim, but the right turn indicator comes on full bright .

Thank you,

Jeremy

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Hi Jeremy -

Interesting issue and I like the way that you word your question. It sounds like a trick riddle. Your problem seems to be centered in the instrument cluster area and related as to whether or not the high beams are activated or not. The 62 Lincolns have a printed circuit for these bulbs and for that reason and the symptoms that you describe I think that I would want to start by removing the cluster assembly and examining all electrical paths of the printed circuit board very carefully for "breaks" or other issues. Some of the boards can be repaired easily and some are deteriorated and require replacement. You may even find evidence of a previous repair. While doing this work be sure to ascertain first that the unit and the grounded portion of the printed circuit is in fact grounded as designed during the inspection. A manual with the correct wiring diagram can be a big help in this diagnosis.

Sincerely,

Bill