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May 28, 2014

1970 Mark III New Owner Questions

Hi Bill -

Love your blog, been reading it a lot since it's packed with helpful info about the Mark III and Lincolns in general.

Info on the Mark III is, as you probably know, limited; and more so is appropriate documentation in regards to operating all the car's controls. Luckily, I've figured out most of them, but there's one that still confuses me; the headlamps.

When I turn the headlamps on (the flaps open and the headlamps are revealed) all four lights are on; is that the high beam and the low beam on at the same time? Or is that how they work on the Mark III? Either way, I've no idea how to turn the high beams on or off; all I see for the headlamp control is the knob on the left-hand side, but that's about it...

Any help/tips would be highly appreciated!

Octavian

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Greetings Octavian -

The headlamp dimmer switch is located at the floor pan rise area about 5 inches to the left of the power brake pedal. It is foot operated by your left foot. With the headlamps on push it once to change the headlamps from high beam to low beam. Push it again to revert back to high beam. They can of course become inoperative if they are faulty but this is how they operate normally. If you have the Automatic Headlamp Dimmer option, see your owners manual for the additional features of this device.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 27, 2014

1979 Continental Turn Signal Issues

Dear Bill -

I recently acquired a 1979 Continental Collector's Series Sedan and having a great deal of fun with it. Several months ago, I replaced the turn signal switch (I have the tip wheel). The switch was generic, and I had to add a brass screw in order to activate the cornering lights. All worked fine, and with a little bit of patience and some solder, I was able to make the repair without having to pull the wheel cover. When finished, the turn signal worked as it was supposed to and both of the cornering lights worked correctly.

Last night, I noticed both of the cornering lights were non-functional. I checked the bulbs and they were both good. I then checked the fuse box and discovered the fuse had blown. I replace the fuse and now the passenger side works as it is supposed to, but the driver's side will not come on. I switched bulbs, and the problem is not with them. I took a volt meter and there is power to the passenger light when activated, but no power to the driver's side.

Any suggestions?

Could the problem be in the switch?

Thank you for your help.

Alan

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Hello Alan -

Yes, it does sound likely that the wire to the left cornering light is shorting. You will need to trace it from the steering column to the bulb. The wire color from the turn signal sw. should be pink with a yellow tracer (pk/y). Make the tests with a 12v test light and the left turn signal on to activate that cornering light circuit. The problem is probably at the t.s. switch as you suspect.

Sincerely,

Bill

1979 Continental Coupe Electrical Questions

Hi Bill,

I have a 1979 Lincoln Continental Coupe and when you open the door the interior lights do not come on and the seat latches do not engage. The little round spotlights don't work at all and the rear seat courtesy lights don't work when you use the individual switches. The dome and courtesy lights do come on when you use the headlight switch at the full clockwise position and the seat latches open as well. I checked the fuse in position #8 along with power on both sides of the post and there is power. I pulled a door jamb switch and don't have power there. Is there a relay that operates the jamb switch function or is there somewhere else I should check next?

Thanks!

Bill

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Hello Bill -

According to the wiring diagram fuse 8 supplies power to many switches for the interior courtesy lights, the illuminated entry module and the glove box light switch. The color of that wire is light green with a yellow tracer (LT GRN/Y). That wire is shown at the door jamb switches and must have power from fuse 8. If you do not have power at this wire at the door jamb switches (as you have indicated) using a 12v test light you will need to trace the above mentioned wire from the source to the jamb switches. Because fuse 8 feeds to many areas as I have mentioned this diagnosing will be difficult without the correct diagram.

Sincerely,

Bill

1966 Continental Convertible Questions

Bill,

I recently purchased a 66 Cont. Convertible and it has been fantastic. I have had it for about two months and drive it quite often. I haven't had any issues with it until lately. I don't know if they are major or not except the newest one which prompted me to email you.

Sometimes when I put the top up or down, it doesn't go all the way in the direction I am intending it to. So I will put it back to the last place it was in and drive around or fiddle with it back and forth. All of a sudden it works again. The most common looks to be the front passenger side does not grasp it all the way, but when putting it up, it just stops once the top is in place and the trunk stays open...

The big problem is it wont start. I drove it up the coast of FL about for about 100 miles, not the whole time. Really no more then 20-40 miles at a time with plenty of time in between. Continued to check my fluids and all was well. Then the power steering fluid was low so I added some and drove it back home. Never really felt anything in the steering though, but the dipstick showed pretty low, not even half. I filled it up to full. Got back home, went to drive it down the street for a wash. It started right back up as usual and died on a small slope up hill. I haven't been able to get it started since. Just keeps turning and never goes all the way.

I have never tried turning the wheel while trying to start, but when I do the wheel feels spotty. Not sure if this is normal and the only thing I have done differently since having it is add the power steering fluid.

The gas gauge doesn't work and one time it sounded the same, but I just put fuel in it 40 miles ago... There is no way it is low. I haven't tried spraying starting fluid in it yet. When I take the filter cover off the carbs, when turning the key it sounds very airy...

Please suggest something? I hope you can help.

Thanks,

Travis

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Travis -

Congratulations on your 66 convertible purchase. They are beautiful cars. Unfortunately though when problems occur they can be a nightmare for an owner if a competent technician is not working on them. Are you at all capable of diagnosis and repairs yourself or do you have a mechanic at the ready to service your Lincoln? Have you or anyone qualified made an attempt to do any actual diagnosis towards pinpointing any of these problems. If not, I would advise you to find such a shop because your newly purchased Lincoln will possibly need hours of diagnosis and repair. If I was to try to correctly address each of the issues that you are describing without at least some prior diagnosis information on your part I could be writing several chapters of a book as some of your issues could be caused by any one of many component failures. Some of these repairs will be simple and easy but some will be involved and costly. Do you have a Shop Manual for this Lincoln?

Your so called "big problem" of the engine suddenly shutting down and not starting again is likely due to an ignition problem, lack of fuel delivery to the carburetor or that the timing chain has slipped a tooth or two. This can only be determined with common tune up diagnosis that can be done in a short period of time for you by an experienced local shop if you are unable to. All of the tune up specs are shown in the shop manual.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 22, 2014

1977 Town Car Questions

Hi Bill,

I recently purchased a 77 Town Car. It sat for many years prior to my purchase, but with only a new battery, fluids and fuel filter it has been running like a top! Odd happening the other day... I started the car and the fuel gauge showed empty (with red fuel light also on) even though the tank was half-full. At the same time, the windows did not work, and the blinkers did not work. I drove for a bit and shut the car off. When I started it again, everything was fine - gas gauge read true, windows and blinkers worked. Any thoughts? I'm just worried the issue may resurface again or get worse if I don't catch/fix it.

Thanks!

Paul

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Greetings Paul -

You are correct, the issue could surface again. Vehicles that are stored for long periods of time are subject to developing poor electrical connections and corrosion problems due to moisture, atmosphere and heat etc. inside switches and relays. Rodent chews of any wiring are also a concern in many cases. Your problem could be a poor connection or sticking a condition in the ignition switch that has now been successfully corrected by using the car since you have owned it. If the power outage returns however someone with the "correct" wiring diagram and the ability to read it will need to trace the power path of these circuits in a logical sequence with a 12v test light in order to pinpoint the exact cause.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 21, 2014

1962 Continental Bogging Down


Hi Bill -

This could be a long story.... I own a 62 Lincoln Continental that I have just imported to England from Nevada.

First the car sounded fine at tick over but had no power when driving so I stripped the heads off and found years of old oil clogging nearly every oil way. I cleaned them out and had the heads skimmed and valves ground. Now its back together and I still have a knocking noise, but only when putting the car under load. Above 2000 rpm the engine revs perfectly, no unusual noises when parked. I'm thinking it could be transmission related but would really appreciate some advice.

Thanks,

Shaun

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Shaun -

We're sorry to hear that you are experiencing such problems with your newly imported Lincoln. Your description of that engine so far indicates to me a very high mileage and very poorly maintained engine with few oil changes in its life of fifty two years. It is also almost impossible for anyone to pinpoint or even guess where or what is causing your noise issue without being on site with your car. One person's knocking description could be another person's description of a tapping or clicking sound etc. You do not indicate whether or not oil is lubricating properly to the extreme upper areas of the engine including the hydraulic lifters. A noise under load above 2000 rpm as you have stated could simply be engine knocking or pinging due to poor octane fuel and or improperly adjusted ignition timing. Easy to do tuning adjustments may correct this. I think though that you should also perform an engine oil pressure test just to be on the safe side. For this test the engine MUST be at FULL operating temperature for a final reading. This could be done by yourself if you have the necessary equipment or a technician at a trusted engine shop in your area. That mechanic will also be able to discuss your noise concerns and to road test the car if necessary. By the way Shaun, what do you mean by " the car sounded fine at tick over"?

Sincerely,

Bill

May 20, 2014

1979 Mark V Vacuum Modulator Valve

Hello Bill,

I have an Lincoln Continental Mark V 1979. On the the ignition module (dura spark II) is a valve (vacuum modulator) mounted and controlled by the ignition module. What is the function of this?

Best regards

Rolf

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Rolf -

The vacuum unit that is attached to the side of the ignition module was installed by the factory on certain vehicles. It's function was to automatically adjust the ignition timing in response to altitude changes in order to prevent engine detonation and possibly to also maintain control of certain emissions. Keep in mind that this device was tailored to the fuel of the day. I do not believe that the exact new parts are available today. Your vehicle should run fine without this feature and with the ignition timing set to the fuels that we are compelled to use in our engines today. We should have such an ignition module available for you to use if yours is suspected to be defective. The two systems are shown and described in detail starting on page 23-01-02 of the 1979 FoMoCo Shop Manual.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 14, 2014

1964 Continental Engine Questions

Hi Bill -

I live in South Africa and have recently bought a 1964 Lincoln. The car was creating pressure in the cooling system. When I removed the cylinder heads to check if it had blown a head gasket, there were shims with the head gaskets.

Did they come like that? The engine had been overhauled as there are 030" pistons in the block. The car would also detonate once she got hot and it was almost impossible to turn her off.

Would you by any chance have the recommended head thickness for the 430ci. When I removed the heads, there didn't seem to be any evidence that they had blown.

Any advice would be a great help.

Regards,

Brad

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Brad -

As far as I know there were no head shims from the factory and Ford did not adjust compression ratio with the use of shims or different thickness of gasket. The compression ratio was fixed and adjusted in the design of the engine according to the quality and octane of the fuel of the day. Without knowing the history of your engine it seems that someone may have added something to your engine to lower the compression possibly because of the lack of high octane fuel availability or some undiagnosed and unrepaired overheating issue etc . These engines are really no different than most engines of that era and many so called mechanics tinkered with them in many ways for unknown reasons. Did you remove the heads before diagnosing the problem that you describe? Could your engine have been overheating and building up pressure because of a plugged radiator or seized thermostat/ Do you have a 1964 Lincoln Shop Manual?

Sincerely,

Bill

May 12, 2014

1969 AC Issues


Hey Bill,

I have a 1969 Continental that when you have the a/c on, the air does not blow out the vents. No matter what setting you have it on, it won`t come out the vents. I have vacuum to the a/c controller(not sure what its called)but no vacuum out to the vent diaphragm at the controller. Also there is no control of the temperature. you can rotate the knob but nothing happens to the air temperature coming out. I have voltage to the a/c controller compared to the 68 I have here but I am not sure what I need to see from the temperature control.

Also on the 68 2 door, we are going to need a drivers front door power vent motor and a power bench seat motor. Are these available or do you rebuild these?

Any insight would be great so we can get these parts from you.

Thanks,

Dan

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Hello Dan -

Your description does not tell us if you are working on a vehicle with the Automatic Climate Control or Manual a/c heat. Since most had the Automatic option I will address it as automatic. You state that there is no air out the vents and that you have no temperature control but you do not say where the air IS discharging from now (defrost or floor etc.) In any case if you have proper vacuum and 12v power correctly to the system, it does sound like your main issue is in the climate control box. Back in the day these boxes were replaced with new ones when they were proven to be faulty. We now are able to successfully overhaul them for you to an as new condition. If you are not sure if yours is faulty we can offer to test it for you and advise. Before you send it to us you could run the continuity tests on your control switch and any other tests if you are able to. These excellent diagnostic tests are shown in the Shop Manual.

We should also be able to help you with the Vent window motor and the power seat motor as well. One of our staff will contact you regarding all of the above with details.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 5, 2014

1988 Town Car Heat / AC Problems

Hey Bill,

I have a 1988 Lincoln Town Car that I'm having heater/ac problems with. All of the speeds for the blower work(hi, low, auto) and the vent, floor, defroster, etc work fine, but whether the temperature is on cold or hot it's still about room temperature. I pulled the glove box down and saw a gold colored cylinder with a vacuum line plugged into it, I pulled the vacuum line off and then either side of the temperature it was on it was hot. I would like to fix this, please let me know if you can help.

Andrew

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Greetings Andrew -

From your description it sounds like you have no heating OR cooling. The vacuum line that you pulled off sounds like it is from the Blend Door Servo Motor. It receives more or less vacuum from the Sensor unit above the glove box. With no vacuum, the system will be on max heat and with full vacuum applied it will be in the full cooling mode. If you have no cooling with full vacuum applied your refrigeration unit must also have an issue or issues. The sensor unit is operated by a control cable from the dash control. If the unit has the cable hooked up properly, this sensor is possibly faulty and this is a very common problem. We have new sensors available if necessary. In any case and as usual, proper diagnosis by a knowledgeable owner or technician is a must. Anything less is foolish and wasteful and even after repairing many of these Automatic Climate Control systems I never proceed without the factory Shop Manual close by. As it is with many a/c, heat systems, multiple faults may be found.

Sincerely,

Bill

1966 Continental Lighting Issues

Question for Bill,

I am in the process of building a 1966 Continental. When I bought the car there were issues with the tail lights and brake lights. I pulled the tail lights and rebuilt all the sockets and re-wired all the lights professionally with new wires, solder and shrink wrap. Finally I got the tail light, and all four turn signals working great. My problem is the brake light. At this point I tested the brake light switch which is powering up the solenoid but still no lights. I pulled the steering wheel and tested all the contact points on the turn switch and the brake light contact has no power. I jumped from the solenoid directly to the brake contact on the turn signal switch. When I press the brake pedal I now have lights. So my question is does the green power wire on the solenoid go directly up the column to that switch. Seems like there is a wiring break. I am going to tear everything out from under the dash at this point to chase it down.

My other question is in the tail lights. I see the original wiring has a resistor wire (pink) that gets pretty warm. Can this be replaced with an inline resistor or even better , just deleted. I do not wanna have a fire from it. Thanks for you help. This is the 1st Lincoln we have done and I may be looking for more.

John

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Greetings John -

Some of these electrical challenges sure can be baffling. To answer your question, the wiring diagram does indeed show a green wire routed from the brake relay to the steering column and the turn signal switch. The t.s. switch will then determine if both left and right brake lights will come on when the brakes are applied or only the left or the right depending on the position of the t.s. lever.

The pink resistor wire that you describe is shrouded into the harness and it is this circuit that is the power to the coil and the points. We have no problems with this design and are not aware of any fires that were caused by it. If you eliminate it, the points will receive too much voltage and will burn out. When the vehicle's engine is cranking during starting this resistor is bypassed and the ignition receives 12 volts for faster starting. While the engine is running the ignition points will receive the necessary less voltage because of this resistor wire. A small number of 1966 Lincolns were equipped with the optional Transistor Ignition option. The above information is for the standard ignition system. The Shop Manual contains all of the above and is a good tool to use when repairing these Lincolns.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 2, 2014

1979 Mark Cutting Out & Update

Hello Bill,

I have a Lincoln Continental Mark V 400 cu.in, collectors series 1979. After about an hour of driving the engine stops and I have to wait about 5 to 10 minutes and then start the engine again. I have cleaned the carburetor, blown clean fuel pipe to the tank and cleaned the fuel tank.

On the electrical side, I have changed the ignition coil and inspected the spark plugs and distributor cap and rotor. I have found a ground fault on the cable from the negative battery terminal and ground. This cable is now replaced but the problem remains. There must be some component that fails when it gets hot. Do you have any suggestions how I should proceed?

Best regards

Rolf

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Hello Rolf -

Your stalling when hot issue is not uncommon and it sure sounds like the Duraspark ignition is at fault. There is a pick up module in the distributor that can fail but your problem sounds more like the Ignition Module under the hood is at fault. It is located on the drivers side and mounted on the fender splash shield above the l.f.wheel. We usually substitute new or good known units as a test. The ignition components are shown and described in the Shop Manual.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Hello again Bill,

Thanks for a quick reply, Is it possible to replace the ignition system "Duraspark" with a conventional breaker system? I tried with a distributor from Ford Galaxy and it fit on my Lincoln. After the change so ended the stops but the engine was not running so purely as before.

If the quality is not so good on the electronic ignition system you can maybe shift to a system with breaker contact? If it is possible do I need to including replace the ignition coil and spark plugs?

Best regards

Rolf

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Rolf -

Sorry, but we have no experience with downgrading the Duraspark ignition system to the earlier points and condenser ignition. I'm sure that someone somewhere has done this though. Again, sorry that that we couldn't help you in this regard.

Sincerely,

Bill