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April 29, 2016

1963 Continental New Owner Questions - Vapor Lock, Hard To Crank, Tail Lights....

Bill -

I recently inherited a 1963 Lincoln Continental (majority all original). Just had the transmission re-built (would not go into reverse) and had a tune up. The car would run, but when I turned it off it would not start again. During the tune up they adjusted the timing (was running fast) and they said it should fix the vapor lock issue. The car had been running great, I took the car for a 30 minute drive on the highway and when heading back to the house the car shut off and would not restart. Had some friends push it back to the house and went out the next morning and the car started. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Second issue: it takes the car 10-15 cranks for the car to start, any thoughts or suggestions?

Third Issue: the taillights are on and won't turn off, draining the battery. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Thanks

Casey

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Hi Casey -

Some of these issues can be annoying to collector vehicle owners who have others perform maintenance on their cars. These 60's Lincolns have fuel and ignition systems that are not familiar to most of today's technicians. The engine can stall in the manner that you describe if it looses ignition as designed or proper fuel supply. The reason ( loss of fuel or ignition ) must be determined in order to proceed with a repair. Your mechanic may need to road test the car and revisit his tune up adjustments and the new parts that he has installed etc. according to specifications in the Shop Manual. New correctly adjusted points and a new condenser are a must in any tune up maintenance. If the engine has stalled from loss of fuel to the carburetor he may need to perform a fuel volume and pressure test as well as inspect the fuel filter ( including the one at the fuel pick up in the fuel tank ) and the fuel lines and hoses. If the car has not been used in a while and or the history is unknown to you, the fuel pump or its pushrod could be failing or debris in the form of rust can be drawn slowly over time from the fuel tank to the carburetor. This debris is well known to clog filters and deposit fine particles inside the carburetor resulting in an upset fuel mixture. Once you get the issue identified and corrected you will be good to go.

Your third issue of the "tail lights won't turn off" actually sounds like the brake lights are in fact staying on and not the tail lights. If this is so, it is almost always caused by a faulty Brake Light Switch. If this is true it must be replaced a.s.a.p. as they are known to cause a fire if brake fluid is leaking into their electrical cavity, These brake lights can also stay on because of a hydraulic fault causing some pressure to remain in the brake lines without the brake pedal being pressed. As mentioned above though the brake switch itself is the first item to suspect. Unplug a wire at this switch ( located at or near the brake master cylinder ) to prove if that is indeed your problem. They are available new at Lincoln Land and are relatively inexpensive. I recommend replacing them as a safety precaution if they appear old because of the above mentioned fire hazard. Let us know what you discover.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 11, 2016

1976 Town Coupe ATC Blower Issue & Follow Up Replies

Hi Bill,

1976 Lincoln Town Coupe ATC blower problems. Hope you guys are well. May I tap into your vast knowledge of my Lincoln ATC system again please? Ever since I got the car there has been a intermittent fault with the system in that the blower fails to operate in both Low and Vent positions only, rest OK., very sporadic, usually after start up after a run, not normally after an overnight start up. Since fitting the ATC box from your good selves, the problem seemed to go away, (more than likely a coincidence) with the system performing faultlessly. Unfortunately, whilst driving home from friends on a particularly cold Saturday night a week or so ago, the system, which is normally left on Low all the time, did not start up when the engine warmed as normal. (The outward journey was trouble free with the usual sumptuous warm environment) The system (blower??) would work as normal in High, Defog and Defrost, but not in Low or Vent. Usually, when this occurs, the system "repairs itself" overnight and all is well the next day. Not this time however. It does seem to be the blower switching system, as you can hear the vacuum system and doors operating as normal. I even seemed yesterday to get a very gentle waft on both Low and Vent, which then seemed to stop all together. All the wiring and connections behind the control unit seem to be sound. Would a relay or the blower resistor cause such a problem? Must admit some of the wiring at the resistor connector block does look a little fried!! Have not had a chance to check it out properly due to the inclement weather. Boy what a wimp!! Any ideas you have to solve this problem would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Kind regards to all,

Jim

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Greetings Jim -

Yes, loss of the LOW operation can certainly be caused by a fault at the blower motor resistor pack or a relay on the firewall. If you have spotted a possible bad connection at the resistor connector as you have stated, that is where you should begin. The resistor should be removed and the coils inspected carefully for breaks etc. and the individual pins at the connector cleaned as well as the female ends removed and tightened one at a time. A badly damaged connector plug or wire contact pin would need to be replaced. If repairing that connection does not correct the problem, the Range Relay on the engine side of the firewall should be properly tested next. The wire colors and internal contacts are shown in the Factory Shop Manual wiring diagram. The other relay in this circuit is the High Blower Relay but I would suspect the Range Relay first in your case. These relays are very popular fail items and we offer a rebuild service for them or replacements if they are too far gone. These first inspections should reveal the issue. If not, email us back and we will go to the next steps. A further good practice after the repair is to perform a blower motor draw test with an ammeter to be sure that the blower motor is not drawing excessive amperage which could cause future wiring problems. Let us know what you find Jim and we will be ready with any necessary parts that you may need.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Thank you for the fast response. I will check out the items you mention as soon as I can, and let you know the outcome. You guys are life savers, especially for us overseas with no such thing as "Lincoln-Mercury" dealers.

Take care,

Jim

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Bill -

On 7th March 2016

I have done a little investigation as per your suggestions on the blog.

Firstly blower resistor connector: This has proved impossible to separate from the resistor module, and not wishing to do any damage (without replacement parts in my back pocket), I removed the resistor pack with the connector still in situ. The actual resistor module seems in excellent order. All the coils are present, without any breakages or signs of touching, overheating, scorching or general deterioration. In fact it looks brand new! However, the wire which I mentioned as looking somewhat fried in my first blog enquiry is actually terminal number 6, orange with black stripe. (All the other wires look fine from the outside) The insulation at the connector end is quite badly deteriorated for about 1/4 inch from the connector. I am unable to ascertain whether the actual male and female connectors within the units are damaged or corroded.

However, when I fitted the bits back together, horror upon horrors, the High auto function had also stopped working, but not the two demist functions, no doubt due to me messing around with the orange and black wire. Before I put the car away, I sprayed WD 40 all over the connector block in the hope of loosening the connector from the resistor module for the next attempt. When I reached the car storage facility, I tried the High function, and it worked fine. This will need to be check out of course, but I am reluctant to do too much work without any necessary replacement parts, fearing being without heating. Which leads me onto a question as to whether or not you can supply new connectors ready wired up to splice/ join into the wiring harness and push into the resistor module?

Secondly, the range relay. Not easy for me to check out due to lack of facilities. I am tempted to risk buying one to try it, as I feel that it is the most likely contender. Do you have these in stock?

On 10th March 2016

The High auto feature is still working great, and reduces the blower speed to quite low speeds when the temperatures are balanced. Tried again today to separate the connector from the resistor module, without success. The unit is in a difficult place for this old guy to get a good grip onto the connector, to apply sufficient force to separate the two, but if I could remove the whole assembly from the car, it may well be much easier. However, this would of course need the seven wires to be severed!! Oh dear. This is really frustrating. Oh for the hands and strength of youth. (And other things!)

To clarify: Please let me know the cost of: 1) replacement blower resistor connector with fitted wires, if these are available, or would it be feasible to cut the wires close to the actual connector, remove the assembly, separate the connector and resistor module, fit new female connectors to each wire, and re assemble. What would you do? I am afraid I don't know what bits are available. 2) replacement blower resistor--just in case. 3) replacement range relay.

I can then decide how to proceed, and have the parts with me before getting "stuck in". Hope all that made sense. Thanks again for all the help and advice. Very much appreciated.

Look forward to your reply,

Kind regards to all,

Jim

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Hello Jim -

Sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time with that resistor connector. A bad contact here has obviously heated and fused some elements together. If you are certain that a forced separation will destroy the connector plug and resistor pack we should be able to find and send you an undamaged connector and resistor with a length of the original wires attached and ready to splice. You could try to cut or saw your connector apart at the melted location in order to save some or most of the original wiring and attach them to the new connector and new resistor. You may then only need to splice one or two wires ( the ones that have the burnt connections ). These wires can be removed separately and one at a time as necessary from the connector by tripping a built in locking tab pin at the connector with the connector unplugged. This way you will be able to choose the correct path for the situation at the time of repair and have all necessary wiring at the ready.

As for the relay it would be easier I believe to send it to us for testing in order to verify a fault and then rebuilding as and only if required. I strongly advise to send in the blower high speed relay as well for testing here. We then could send them back to you with the above mentioned replacement wires, replacement resistor and replacement connector plug. I could even advise the color of wires to temporarily jump to lock the system on " low range " blower speeds. That way the car can still be used with the climate control mostly operating operating. Let us know what would be best for you or if you have further questions.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Hi Guys,

Well we've done it! I managed to fit the refurbished parts on Good Friday without any problems. The main help was me seeing, from the resistor connector you sent, that there was a second clip fastener which is hidden from view when fitted in the car, and even with the resistor pack removed from the heater housing, not easy to see, without removing it from the car. When I discovered this, and released both clips, guess what, yes, the connector was easily removed from the resistor pack. Talk about feeling a fool!! Anyway the true extent of the damage was now easy to see, and it was a wonder the system had been able to function at all.

It seems that the male connector for number 6 connection, Orange and Black wire, had rusted through from the inside, (possibly due to the car not seeing much use during the 10 years prior to me buying it), and indeed there was little left protruding through the fibre/plastic casing of the resistor, the resultant resistance at the connection, and subsequent heat generation, causing the plastic connector (housing the female connector), to melt away, together with a substantial amount of sleeving from the wire. Evidence of sparking too. What a mess!!

As the connector was now separated from the resistor pack, I was able to fit the original 5 wires into the "new" connector, as per your suggestion, and leave the 2 heavy duty cables/wires you supplied in situ, with these spliced into the wiring harness. Job done. Of course the relays were a doddle to fit, and I am pleased I now have these refurbished too. Can only help the situation.

All wired up, and hey presto, the unit functions a treat. What a result. Splendid! A nice warm cabin environment, achieved in near silence. It's funny, when you manage to repair such problems, the system, whatever it might be, always seem to work much better than it before. Not hard to believe in this case!

Unfortunately I ran out of time to do a current draw test on the blower, but will do that ASAP. Just wished the weather would warm up a bit.

It only remains for me to thank you guys for all your time and trouble. I am sure you know how much it is appreciated.

Take care, and best wishes to all,

Jim

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Hi Jim -

Congratulations on the repair! We love to hear customer success stories. The blower draw test is good to do in the near future to ensure that the blower will not damage the wiring again if it is in fact over drawing. If it is within specifications, the connection that caused the burnt wiring plug was faulty for some time. Enjoy your Lincoln Jim.

Erik, George and Bill

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Hi Bill,

Managed to do a blower draw test, at last, on Friday. Yippee, within tolerance, at 22 amps on high blower speed. So all is now well. I know you guys would appreciate knowing the results. Seems it was the corroded terminal in the resistor module causing the trouble.

Take care,

Jim

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Hi Jim -

Excellent results on that test Jim. Case now closed, time too enjoy that nice Lincoln.

Sincerely,

Bill

April 4, 2016

1963 Continental Transmission Shifting Questions & Follow Up

Hi Bill,

When I accelerate the transmission changes up through the gears correctly and smoothly, if I'm in third and take my foot off the accelerator then press down on it slowly the trans will always change down a gear no matter whether I'm doing 30mph or 60mph. I've adjusted the kickdown and manual linkages as per the maintenance manual but still no joy. I have also checked the vacuum unit for leaks and it seems fine. Any ideas?

Thanks a lot -

Aaron

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Greetings Aaron -

After reading your issue and what you have checked so far, there is one important item that we can think of. The transmission kickdown linkage and calibrated spring must perform as designed. There is a very important spring near the carburetor at the linkage that governs the downshift kickdown linkage. I say governs because that spring is calibrated to a special rate in order to allow the bellcrank to activate the transmission kickdown linkage only during specific throttle movements. A drawing of the linkage and spring is shown in your service manual. Could an incorrect spring be installed on your car? Did the transmission previously perform o/k? If the problem suddenly began without the spring being changed, there could of course be an internal transmission issue. Let us know what you find.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Hi Bill,

The transmission was operating correctly with the original springs that you spoke about. The problem just started out of the blue. I bought new springs from you guys hoping that would fix the issue but unfortunately it didn't. Because a lot of things are vacuum operated on this car does that mean if even one hose is off, even if its not transmission related, that will effect the trans operation?

Thanks

Aaron

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Hi Aaron -

A small vacuum leak from another component will not noticeably affect the vacuum to and the operation of the transmission modulator valve. Vacuum to that valve can be tested with a vacuum gauge tee'd into the vacuum line that routes down to the inlet port of the valve. You should also check that uninterrupted vacuum is actually available all the way down to that port. It couldn't hurt to remove the valve to inspect for internal fluid leaks and that the actuator pin is present and intact. A bench check of the valve for movement with vacuum could also be done. Since you have been changing springs and adjusting the linkages I am assuming that they are correct and adjusted properly as you have stated. A good test to find out if the kickdown linkage is maladjusted or causing a problem is to disconnect the rod at the bellcrank temporarily and tie it away from other parts to a nearby bracket on the engine. It must be tied in the no kickdown throttle off position. The transmission will then receive no instruction from the linkage to downshift. Road test the car to find out if the issue still exists. If the problem goes away, the linkage and spring adjustments etc. need to be revisited. If the transmission was fine prior to this downshift issue and no adjustments or modifications to anything that could affect the shifting was performed then you may need to have a technician at a transmission shop familiar with this type of transmission road test the vehicle in order to evaluate the situation.

Sincerely,

Bill