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May 29, 2015

1983 Continental Vacuum Issues & Follow Up

Hi Bill,

Let me start by saying that I have a 1983 Lincoln Continental Base Sedan. The car has about 70,000 miles and hasn't been driven much in the last 20 years. Recently I replaced the heater core/ac evap core myself, and then took the vehicle to my mechanic to have a complete tune up done. They charged the AC system, replaced valve cover gaskets (they were leaking pretty bad), spark plug wires, new cap and rotor, etc... The car runs beautifully but we are stumped on one issue. When the car is idling the HVAC system works great. Air blows cold when set to AC, and Heat blows hot when set to heat. You can also move between defrost, panel, and floor vents accordingly. The issue is that when you start driving the car, or put the engine under a load vacuum seems to drop and heat just starts blowing out of the defrost vents and floor vents. My mechanic has replaced a host of vacuum lines and check valves in the dash and under the hood, but to no avail the problem keeps happening. They have tested the vacuum canister for leaks also. After speaking with him today he has deduced that the engine is no longer creating enough vacuum due to stuck rings. Could this be possible? The car runs excellent, and is very drivable at this point in the process. I'm having them check into adding an external vacuum pump if possible? I don't see it necessary to tear down my engine at this point. What would your thoughts be on this issue?

Thanks,

Tyler

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Hello Tyler -

Your symptoms are classic undiagnosed loss of vacuum issues within the confines of the ac/heat vacuum control system. For us at Lincoln Land the problem is always corrected when the leak is diagnosed and corrected. We have never heard of an engine being worn out to a point that it cannot produce sufficient vacuum to operate the accessories properly. Such an engine would display other problems such as poor performance, hard starting and heavy oil consumption etc. Still, if your mechanic is a professional and believes this theory he will prove to you and himself that your engine is indeed in this worn out condition by doing the usual specific engine diagnostic tests for this problem such as complete cylinder compression testing. It would be interesting to see a copy of the vacuum diagram that he used to check out the vacuum leak in the ac/heat controls in your 1983 Lincoln.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Bill,

I reiterated your email to my mechanic. He got back at it and found two vacuum leaks. Everything works spectacular now. I just have one more question for you. The vehicle runs great, but at idle when the A/C compressor kicks on, it seems to put a heavier than normal load on the engine and causes the engine to stall at times. The compressor is charged with the correct amount of refrigerant and oil, but the clutches seem to be making almost like a continuous loud clicking noise when the compressor is running. Would you recommend replacing the clutch/pulley assembly, or the whole compressor?

Thanks,

Tyler

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Tyler -

We are glad for you that finally the correct diagnosis and repair corrected your a/c control problem. It is nice to hear that you talked your mechanic into revisiting the vacuum situation for your a/c controls before overhauling your engine. Wouldn't it have been awkward if you paid big dollars for an engine overhaul only to have the same a/c problem. What would the mechanic say at that point.

With regard to your new problem, I cannot begin to answer a refrigeration question of this type without knowing the following information. I would need to know the amount in pounds of refrigerant that was charged into the system, the type of refrigerant used along with any other additives, the high side and low side pressures at an engine idle and also at a high idle and finally the ambient temperature during this test. From your description, the system sounds as if it is under severe stress from some unknown malady that I can't begin to identify without this further information.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 15, 2015

1989 Town Car AC Questions

Hello Bill,

I have a 1989 Lincoln Town car that blows cool air when it wants to. I read the post from Justin in VA ( Permalink) which is pretty close to my situation except my car's AC would turn on randomly, but most likely at start up. Here's the basis for all the following scenario: it is 85 degrees outside (and probably hotter in):

Scenario 1:
If I cold start the car, leave on Park, turn the AC on (setting on Panel) with the temp set to lowest, the compressor will very likely cycle once, maybe twice, (cold air through the vents) then stops cycling (then 85 degree air vent plus some humidity). Switching back to Vent then back to AC/Panel, the compressor won't cycle.

If I redo the scenario 1 by turning the engine off then on, the compressor won't even cycle once.

Scenario 2:
If the car is running and I am at constant speed, and turn on the AC, I get the same scenario as above. The compressor just won't cycle more than twice.

Please note that once, while I was testing scenario 1, going from AC/Panel to Vent on the climate control dash, the car stalled.

I think I must have a vacuum leak, but then, if I did have a leak, wouldn't the compressor keep cycling at least when I am on idle (scenario 1), like Justin in VA?

I have tested the following for leaks:

- Vacuum canister (aka Coffee Can): perfect vacuum seal; holds 25 inHg for minutes...
- Cruise Control servo: bad leak there; have isolated by sealing the hose going from vacuum manifold on the firewall to the latter, re-tested scenario 1 with same results. I will replace the servo anyway but looks like it is not the issue there.
- Hose going to coffee can from firewall: odd seal here. Anything above 5 inHg is immediately lost, then vacuum is held at 5 inHg pretty well: should it be tight at higher vacuum?
- The actual AC freon pressure (134a) is super tight with the right pressure on both High and Low at the end of a compressor cycle

Of course, documentation is hard to come by so anything you can send my way would be greatly appreciated. Here are some questions you may be able to answer:

- Define holding a vacuum: is loosing 1 inHg in 1 minute qualifying as tight?
- I have located one check valve on the AC on the accumulator. Is there another one?
- What actually triggers the compressor to cycle? is there a vacuum servo in charge of that?

Thanks in advance.

Nic

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Nic -

Do you have a set of the correct Factory Shop Manuals, a set of AC gauges and prior refrigeration experience?

Bill

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Hello Bill,

Thanks for responding so fast. To answer your questions:

Q1: no unfortunately I don't have the manuals. I had the car for less than a year now. The previous owner did update from r12 to r134a most of the ac high and low pressure parts. I still have his phone number. I will give him a call. Maybe he has an idea.

Q2: I would say I am intermediate level. I know more than the basics and the equation of perfect gas PV=nRT.

Q3: yes I do have AC gauges with the proper r134a adapters. I can monitor both high and low pressure when that silly compressor is kind enough to run.

Let me know what you have in mind. I can take pictures and/or shout a small movie for better diagnostics. Let me know what works.

Again, thanks so much.

Nic

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Hello Nic -

Thanks for the additional information regarding the a/c on your 1989 Lincoln Town Car. I will advise you that unless you have plenty of time on your hands, you will not get too far without a proper Shop Manual. These manuals contain wiring diagrams and vacuum schematics for the Automatic Climate Control as well as how most of it operates etc. There are two basic sections for the HVAC system. They are a control system and a refrigeration system.

I will answer your questions from your first email to us. Loosing 1in of vacuum 1 minute after engine shut off is not excessive. Loosing 1in per minute however will soon deplete the vacuum which may indicate enough of a leak to cause operating problems at certain acceleration levels. The accumulator tank does not have a vacuum valve on it. The vacuum check valve for the controls is located on the engine side of the firewall at the rear of the engine. The a/c compressor clutch normally cycles on suction pressure according to system refrigerant pressures. This cycling switch is located on or close to the accumulator tank. This sw. also serves as a low pressure cut off sw. and an ambient cut off sw. during cold weather. There is also a Wide Open Throttle relay that will disengage the compressor for certain acceleration demands. I have no idea if your refrigeration system has the correct charge of refrigerant nor do I know the system running pressures. We hope that this information helps you decide to get a hold of a maintenance manual.

Sincerely,

Bill


May 14, 2015

1969 Mark III Cold Start Issue & Updates

Hi Bill -

Have a hard time starting when cold. Butterfly closes, fast idle works etc., but takes forever to start. When warm it starts up with no problem.

Ed

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Greetings Ed -

Some automotive issues are really tough but this one sounds like an easy fix. Since you provide no other information regarding the vehicle maintenance history or if any thing at all was done recently to correct this "hard start cold" condition I can only start by asking you when the last full basic tune up was performed on your Mark? What condition are the points, condenser, wiring and spark plugs in? Maybe all that you need to do is a tune up.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Bill -

Thanks for the response. The car was tuned up last August and runs great and starts great when warmed up.

When I add a small amount of starting fluid in the carb when cold, and starts right up?

Having another mechanic take a look.

Ed

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Hi Ed -

Thanks for the new information. If you need to prime the carburetor when cold for a fast start there are several items for you to check. The choke butterfly should not only be closed when cold but should have enough adjustment to be closed fully while cranking a cold engine as well. If not adjusted correctly the valve can flutter or open slightly while cranking thus supplying a leaner unwanted mixture to the engine. Todays modern fuels that are laced with ethanol evaporate from the carburetor faster therefore the longer that a vehicle sits unused, the longer the engine will crank to refill the carburetor. At this time the fuel flow and pressure to the carburetor could be tested as per the manual. If the flow is low because of a weak fuel pump or a plugged up fuel filter etc. and cannot replenish the fuel bowl fast enough the engine of course will need to crank much longer in order to start. It is also important to remember that old fuel does not ignite as fast as when it was fresh. I am assuming that your plugs are gapped correctly and that your dwell setting and timing were adjusted as per the specifications. These items are very important for a cold engine to fire up easily but lesser important when the engine has been started and warm.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 13, 2015

1970 Mark III, No Spark

Hello Bill,

I have a 70 Mark 3 and have had some starting issues lately. Went through two rebuilt carbs and finally ended up with a new Edelbrock. Installed the new carb and no start. Did many of the usual checks and determined the carb was good to go, but no spark. Ran a jumper wire directly from the battery to the positive side of the new coil and boom, she fired right up. So, that being the case, do I likely have a bad voltage regulator? Alternator? Or ignition switch? Seems the coil is getting no or weak power from its source. If I remove a plug and crank the motor I do get spark, but it seems weak.


Thanks in advance!

Steve

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Hello Steve -

From your description, it does seem that you have no power to the coil from the start/run circuit. When the key is rotated to the Start position power is sent from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid that is mounted on the starter. The solenoid engages the starter and at the same time sends full 12v to the coil for easier starting while cranking. After the engine starts and the key is released to the Run position, power is then sent from the ign. sw. to the coil via a resistor wire which is installed (buried) in the wiring harness under the dash assy. The resistor wire drops the coil voltage to a lesser voltage so that the points do not burn out. Power to the ignition sw. is through a wire that is attached with the battery positive cable that attaches to a connection at the starter. A fuse link is also built into this wire behind the engine from the starter to the ign. sw. You may have an electrical disconnect or burnout somewhere in the circuit or a bad ign. sw. etc. Good places to look for wiring problems are in the harness at the back of the engine to the starter and coil. In any case the power path for this circuit will need to be carefully tested for continuity in order to pinpoint the problem. To do that properly a correct wiring diagram will be very necessary for you or your technician to follow. We stock many parts that you may need for this and other repairs. Let us know what you find.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 12, 2015

1965 Starting Issues & Follow Up

Hey Bill,

Having issue with my 65 Continental. I recently drove it to the gas station, filled up with Shell premium gas. Car ran fine. I drove probably about 30 minutes around town then, park to visit a friend, an hour later started the car put it in reverse from his driveway and it died This went on for about 10 minutes, finally had to tow the car home. After a few hours I pulled and checked the fuel filter, it was clean. Need your help.

Joel -

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Joel -

Trying to diagnose your problem from here and provide suggestions for you is futile without more information. You don't indicate if the car is recently out of storage or newly purchased etc. Was any recent work done on the engine such as a tune up, carburetor work etc.? Was it actually running perfectly before this issue appeared or? You found that the fuel filter was not plugged but the in tank pick up tube screen could be plugging. All that I can determine from the information that you have provided is that you will need to check all of the basic tune up items pertaining to ignition and fuel. However, it does sound like the carburetor air fuel mixture could be upset and causing this condition or a major engine vacuum hose has become disconnected. A competent technician should be able to quickly pinpoint the problem for you.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Hi Bill,

The car was running fine, it had driven for 2 days the problem started. The carb was rebuilt, new plugs, pretty much the whole engine was rebuilt.

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Joel -

The new information that you sent does not tell me very much more or help at all in the diagnosis. I cannot diagnose that kind of problem from here without any real on scene information. All you really are saying is that something is wrong but it can't be wrong because it was already done. You have only checked one item, the fuel filter so far. Sometimes a technician needs to "backtrack" in order to diagnose a problem. Follow the basic tune up advice in my original reply regarding ignition (points, condenser, distributor etc.) carburetor and fuel supply testing as well as the other suggestions that I have stated. Someone knowledgeable will need to do some meaningful on scene diagnosis to pinpoint the problem. One final thought.....Is it possible that you somehow received a bad tank of fuel?

Sincerely,

Bill

May 4, 2015

1966 Continental Exhaust Manifold Questions

Hi Bill -

I have a 66 Continental with a damaged passenger side exhaust manifold gasket that's leaking. I was hoping for some advice on changing the gaskets with the motor still in the car. Thanks.

Dave

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Hi Dave -

The removal and installation of the exhaust manifold can be as easy as it looks or may require removal of the head because of bolt or stud breakage etc. The amount of difficulty could be dependent on the vehicle history and when the manifold was last removed as it could have been over tightened at some point in time. Of course we do not have this history information so you may need to find out by attempting to loosen the parts in order to find out. Every disassembly seems to be different in some way from the last. I would advise using penetrating oil and quality six sided sockets or wrenches that are tight fitting and not worn out. If you determine that the head does indeed need to be removed you may want to, depending on the present overall condition of the engine consider doing a valve job. This should include planing the manifold attaching area. More information can be found on the internet on the subject of exhaust manifold removal as many owners and mechanics have been faced with this problem. We have gaskets and new brass fasteners available at Lincoln Land to make assembly and future disassembly easier for you.

Sincerely,

Bill

May 1, 2015

1965 Continental Gear Shift Issues

Hi Bill,

I enjoy reading through your blog. I have owned this car since 1997 and mostly perform repairs on my own. I have a gear shift issue that I cant seem to diagnose, perhaps you can provide some guidance.

I shifted into R and backed out of garage, then was unable to go forward in any gear (reverse still worked). After about 10 minutes of going through all the shift points I eventually was able to move the car forward back into the garage (not sure which shifter position worked). The trans was serviced several years ago when i had drive shaft repaired - all has worked well since servicing except for Park - the car has difficulty holding park on a surface with any incline. Any advise you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Rob

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Greetings Rob -

The issue that you are describing is not uncommon and is not only inconvenient but is not a safe condition for you to drive with. The transmission can jump out of Park to Reverse if the vehicle is left idling and unattended. To begin someone qualified will need to carefully inspect the shift linkage starting at the transmission levers through to and up the steering column to the shift lever. All of the pivot points and any bushings can be a suspect. It is possible to locate several faults, therefore the total looseness of all of the faults that are found will govern the amount of unwanted movement in the linkage. In addition, this year of Lincoln has a very important bushing in the lower area of the column that may well be worn out and require replacement. This bushing could be a large part of your problem. At this time you would be well advised to inspect your engine and transmission mounts as they help hold the engine and transmission assembly along with the shift linkage to the correct operating position as designed during all engine torque conditions. We have new parts available here at Lincoln Land to correct these issues properly. After your inspection, call our office and ask to speak to Al. He will guide you further if necessary and suggest the correct parts that you need in order to correct this condition.

Sincerely,

Bill