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January 29, 2016

1977 Mark V Lighting Issues

Hi Bill,

Just bought a 1977 Continental Mark V a couple months ago with only 51,000 original miles on it. It needs a little work, but I drive it to work and back every day and I LOVE it!! I'm looking for a fresh air intake hose for it, however, and cannot seem to find one anywhere. It's the black, flexible one that connects to the end of the air cleaner and to the air intake at the front of the car, rectangular in shape. I have the 400 engine. Also, when I got it the lights worked fine, but now every time I drive it for about 20 minutes with the headlights on, the dash lights start to flash off and on. The autolamp feature is turned to off, as well as the dimmer feature. Is it possible I need to change the headlight switch, and if so do you carry that part? I have the 1977 Ford manuals on cd that I bought recently, and I'm slowly reading my way through them. So I have that to assist me when I'm ready to do the work. I'm also making my way through the archives here, as there is a TON of useful info! You guys are doing an outstanding job helping people, it's not too common these days from what I've seen.

Patrick

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Greetings Patrick -

At this time we do not have a source for air inlet hoses for your MK V. We will continue to look for a source as there are others that also need these parts.

I will also need to ask you a question as we need further information on your lighting issue. With the lights on and the dash lights flashing as you describe could you have a close look at "all" of the exterior lighting and let me know if any of those are malfunctioning as well. It is also important to know if the dash lights are actually flashing or would flickering better describe the issue?

Sincerely,

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Wow, thanks for the quick response! No, the exterior lights are all functioning normally. The dash lights will go on and off, they go off for maybe 3-5 seconds and then come back on for 3-5 seconds. This happens for a while, then it stops for a couple minutes. Then it starts again. No flickering though, just off and on. I read most of the archived posts on the autolamp issues as well, so I tried turning that feature on when it happened, then off, as well as the auto dimmer switch (each one was tried separately), and the issue continued whether those additional features were on or off - it didn't seem to make any difference. I suspect, after reading the archived posts, that maybe the breaker inside the headlight switch is fatigued.

Patrick

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Patrick -

If only the instrument lights are blinking and your exterior park lights are stable the issue may be a faulty rheostat or rheostat contact at the headlight switch. A breaker inside the switch operates the park lights and the dash lights. A fuse down line in the fuse box also protects only the dash lights. This fuse can develop a poor contact and can be faulty but should not cause any blinking. If you rotate the h/l switch knob immediately when this outage occurs the dash lights should quickly reappear if the rheostat is an issue. If this is so, the switch would then need to be removed, checked and then repaired or replaced. We do offer a repair service or a new replacement. George will make arrangements for you if it appears that the switch is indeed the culprit.

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Ok, on my way home tonight I took the streets instead of the freeway. When it started happening I pulled over and got out to check all the lights just to make sure it was just the dash lights. CRAP! It's the exterior lights too! Glad I double checked (and thank you for having me check, I thought I did before but now I'm not so sure). The headlights work properly , the interior courtesy lighting works properly, the radio is ok, the turn signals work, but the taillights, marker lights and front turn signal lights all flash on and off. Help!

Patrick

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Patrick -

Your second important reply changes the situation somewhat. If the exterior lights as well as the dash lights are flashing, a breaker within the switch has fatigued or a plug in contact at the switch is bad and has overheated the breaker. If the contact is ok, the switch will need rebuilding. I am of course assuming that no extra lights etc. have ever been added to that circuit to cause the breaker to fail. Contact our office and George will make arrangements to rebuild your switch.

Bill

January 28, 2016

1971 Mark III Sure Track Question

Bill,

Thanks for the great blogs. I have owned a 79 Collector's Series Mark V for the past five years, and have gotten a lot of good info here. I just picked up a 71 Mark III with the sure track. Is it possible to find parts and get that ABS in working order? The brake system functions normally without it, correct? I was thinking of putting rear discs on mine and just getting rid of the sure track.

Thanks,

Matt

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Greetings Matt -

The original brakes on your 71 Mark III are great working brakes if they are serviced properly and well maintained. We find that installing rear disc brakes will not improve the braking performance to any great degree if at all. For that reason we cannot recommend the expense of doing that conversion.

The Sure Track system was a nice working feature when these cars were new but now the units are mostly aged and not operable. New parts are not available and the used parts that we remove from parts cars are not reliable or even tested. The most important reason that we do not offer service for these items is that there is very minimal interest from our customers in that regard. Again, if you maintain your original brakes to factory standards, your brakes will be excellent and serve you well.

Sincerely,

Bill

January 18, 2016

1988 Town Car Cruise Control Surging

Bill -

I have given this question to 3 forums so far and out of dozens of views, I have gotten zero relies. It can't be that hard. I am hoping you can help. My 88 TC cruise is drifting then surging about 2 mph up and down. It's like it goes to the set point, then backs off the throttle then accelerates and overshoots. I have replaced the servo but no change. Hoses look fine, check valve is fine, vac level at 22, no issues with the heater, the cable to the throttle from the servo is as tight as I can make it. The OFF button had started acting like the COAST button during all this, but I don't know if they are related or not. I don't think the control module is the culprit since it is trying to maintain speed, but I don't know where to go from here. Can the steering wheel switches or the clock spring cause this erratic behavior. I can't logically see ow but since I am writing this, I admit I do not know. Your opinion is appreciated and I do thank you!

Sincerely,

Roger

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Hello Roger -

A new 1986 Cartier Town Car that I purchased in 1986 had the same exact issue of surging. Replacing the servo or anything else under warranty did not correct this condition. Finally I took the servo apart and did a modification that permanently corrected it. Although I would prefer to have the vehicle available here for road testing I would be willing to perform this same modification to yours if you would like to send your servo it to us.

Sincerely,

Bill

1978 Mark V New Owner Window Motor Questions

Hey Bill,

I recently purchased a 78 Continental Mark V, and the driver window (with mini vent) does not budge. The switch is getting power but I do not hear/see any movement from the window or motor. When researching for a new motor, I am unclear about which motor to purchase (7 tooth gear, or 9 tooth gear). Can you advise on which specific motor is needed for the driver side with vent window? Before I disassemble the door, can you provide any insight or advice on what the issue could be (or typical issue with your experience)?

Thank you,

Ryan

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Greetings Ryan -

We would first determine if the motor was trying to operate by observing the courtesy lights while trying the switch. If the light dims with the switch activated the motor could be trying to move the glass but it is bound up. This sometimes happens from lack of use. The use of a good strong battery charger and tapping at the bottom of the door can sometimes start it working again. If not the trim panel will need to be disassembled and the cause determined. With the vent window option the issue could be more difficult and complicated to repair.

Sincerely,

Bill

January 14, 2016

1971 Mark III Transmission Fluid - To Change Or Not To Change

Bill -

The Transmission Fluid has never been changed in my Mark. Should this be done? Vehicle has approximately 45,000 miles on it.

Thanks,

Bob

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Hello Bob -

You have a 1971 Mark III with only 45000 miles on it that sounds like a real nice collector car and a keeper. You haven't stated if the transmission is leak free, shifts nicely or if the transmission fluid is clean and odor free ( not contaminated or burnt smelling ). I assume that at that mileage it still shifts perfectly and is good in all respects. If that is so and if it was my Mark, I would remove and clean the oil pan as well as drain the oil in the converter. All of the oil is then replaced with a fresh new fill of fluid. This is called " good preventative maintenance". If the transmission fluid in your car is burnt and/or the unit is not operating very well an overhaul may be in your future sooner or later anyway. You could still change the fluid to possibly improve performance or delay an overhaul. Many would advise that if the fluid at 45 years old was never changed you will only cause the transmission to fail faster if you change it at this time. I do not personally believe in that rational at all. If you own a real nice and worthy collector vehicle that you are proud of and want to maintain it in optimum driving condition the oil should be changed. If the transmission is in such bad shape that a fresh oil change will only quicken a failure I would like to know that on my vehicle and expose such a problem. If the transmission would then need an overhaul then I would have it done. This is all part of the old car hobby. You could also consider visiting a few good and trusted local transmission shops and have them assess the situation up close for an on scene opinion.

All of the above is of course only my own personal opinion from experience with several C6 transmissions that I have owned and serviced for many years. If you visit the internet you can find many forums regarding this matter with hundreds of other opinions on that subject as well on types of oil to use. To sum up it seems to me that only cars with transmissions that have been abused and/or that are already needing an overhaul because of age and mileage are the ones that are affected after fresh fluid is introduced into their system. We wish you good luck with your 71 Mark.

Sincerely,

Bill