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November 30, 2009

78 Mark Keeps Breaking Alternator Belts

Greetings Bill,

I have a simple but odd problem which I'm wondering if you've run into.

I've gone through three alternator belts in the last month. I drive the car for about two weeks then I start getting a squeal. By then it's too late and I break yet another belt. I'm following all the necessary precautions and putting the belt on correctly. I make sure there is ¼ inch give on the belt so it's plenty tight and it doesn't seem to loosen over time. I'm wondering if maybe I have some cheap after market alternator that is creating the problem or something else. Have you ever heard of such an issue? I've worked on plenty of vehicles and I know that I'm putting the belt on correctly so I figured this might be a Ford thing??




Justin -

That sure sounds like a real fun time. Assuming that you are using a good quality automotive belt and not an F.H.P. (Fractional Horsepower Belt) and you have already checked the pulley alignment and any other obstructions etc. I would do the following. After driving the car for 10-20 miles with another new belt I would remove it and spin all of the pulleys by hand that this belt operates on. You will be checking for seizing bearing components during this test. Also very important is to NOT over tighten any belt. Let us know the results.



November 23, 2009

New 1973 Owner Questions About Fuel

Hi Bill!

I bought a 1973 Lincoln Continental 3 months ago and I have a question about the fuel I should be using. I heard that they stared making cars with different valve seats to run on unleaded fuel in about 1973. I was just wondering... on the air filter housing it says "regular gasoline" but no where does it say "unleaded" not even under the gas cap, or on the door. I mean back then in '73 cars running on unleaded fuel was a new thing. That's why I think that my '73 Lincoln should run on leaded gas, but I could be wrong. Do you know it for sure if it runs on leaded or unleaded.




Hi Steve -

Your 73 will do just fine with today's unleaded regular fuel. Ford started installing case hardened valve seats in 1972 on all cars in North America in order to use the new unleaded offerings. If you search the archives here you will find a previous post on the subject. Congrats on your 73 and welcome to the world of Lincoln. You can count on Lincoln Land for any advice or products that you may need in the future.



November 18, 2009

1978 Mark V Issues

Hello Bill,

I have a 78 Lincoln Mark V with a trunk leak. The leak appears to be coming from the topside upper left but I just can't seem to pinpoint the leak. My Uncle said it was the left drain plug but I replaced that and it did no good. I also tried caulking the left side window. The trunk seal seems to be in great shape. Someone told me to climb in the trunk with a flashlight to find the leak but that was useless as well. My Dad also mentioned some drain tube on the older models but I don't know where to look for this. Any suggestions would be great.

Also my "Miles to Empty" digital reader is working intermittently. Is this difficult to replace? Where would I track this part down and can I repair myself?

Finally where can I locate a cheap factory manual for the car or where is the cheapest source. I love my new Lincoln and want to take good care of her.

Oh and one other question. I bought this Lincoln with 116K miles. Should there be any necessary routine maintenance I should perform at this stage?

Thanks man and have a great one.




Hi Justin,

Tracing water leaks on cars can be time consuming and disappointing at times. Water can enter a car at one point and show up several feet away. Some leaks show up only after the car wash and others only appear after a light but steady rain. The best way to diagnose is to apply water to the suspected area from the bottom and working up. A popular and possible leak on your car could be at the rear window area. To trace a leak in this area, water can be applied to the rear window (lightly) with the trunk open. Excess water will drain out at the trunk gutters during this test as designed while someone in the trunk watches for the leak to appear inside the trunk. This whole procedure requires patience. This is why many owners take their cars to a body shop for this problem.

The Miles to Empty modules are not repairable apparently. We have used ones available, but have found that they can be unreliable in many cases. Furthermore - the problem may be in other items - such as the Fuel Sending Unit itself. In the future we may have a good but fix for this problem but at this moment we cannot offer you anything that would be acceptable to you, or us. I hope you appreciate our honesty in this matter.

We only recommend and sell the proper FoMoCo manuals for your car. We find that anything less does not measure up to our standards. These of course are not the cheapest, but the money spent can easily be recovered during the first repair in many cases. The necessary maintenance schedules are show in the Shop Manuals and the Owners manuals. Please contact us further for any manuals or parts that you may require.



November 12, 2009

1982 Continental Concerns

Hi Bill,

I was hoping you could offer me some advice!

I recently acquired a 1982 Continental. It was hard starting when cold, however started fine after warm up. I took it in to a mechanic, who rebuilt the carb and reinstalled it, but now it seems to idle high and is running rich, and it still starts hard! Not as bad as before, but still a hard start just the same.

In addition, the tranny now seems to not shift when it should. Did the mechanic miss or overlook and adjustment? Thanks in advance!



Hello Jeannie,

Maintaining a car can sometimes be super frustrating. Have you spoken to your mechanic about the possibility of some further carburetor adjustments or if any transmission controls are not connected under the hood? Since you have only recently acquired your car you probably do not know its maintenance history. For this reason I would also check and replace if necessary the basic tune up items such as spark plugs and wires The proper operation of these parts are important for good starting and running of the engine and for transmission shifting. If these parts are already in good working order, then the diagnosis becomes a hands on procedure and I would strongly recommend a shop manual for this. On your car there are many electronic and vacuum control parts that manage the engine and emission operation and for this reason I cannot suggest to you the failure of any one component. A good well versed technician will have the correct manual and equipment at his side and should be able to correct the problem. If you do need a shop manual set or any further advice etc., please do not hesitate to contact us. In any event please let us know the results.



November 11, 2009

1970 Mark Wiper Issues

Bill -

I have just purchased a 1970 Mark III Lincoln Continental and the hydraulic wipers only go halfway then stop.

Are there any tricks I should know? Are there any recommended operating pressures out of the pump that I could check etc.?




Hi Mark -

That wiper system is an excellent system. It is silent and powerful but can be a pain when they fail. Because you have recently purchased your Mark and have no history on the wipers I think that you should check the cable adjustment first. This easy adjustment is located behind the access panel at the firewall hydraulic inlet and outlet. Removing the screws and sliding the panel down the lines (no need to undo the hydraulics) should reveal the cable adjustment. Adjust it so that the cable is moving the operating lever to its extreme speed position when the control on the dash is turned to high. There certainly can be other problems but this is a good, easy and inexpensive place to start. Please let us know how it works out or contact us for further information.

Wishing you good luck.....


November 9, 2009

Mark III Window Motors

Hi Bill,

It's Gregg again with the 1970 Mark III. I have a couple of questions about the window motors for this car. I've just taken apart the right front door in order to replace the window motor. I did this on the left front and everything works fine there. I was wondering are these two motors interchangeable right door to left door and can they be rebuilt? I'm going to have to do work on the rear windows as well and I'm wondering if the rear motor units would be interchangeable as well. Thanks for the info on the headlight doors; I have a tech manual for 69 to 71 Mark III and am getting ready to run vacuum checks.

Appreciate you being there.



Hey Gregg -

Glad to hear that you are "en route" with the vacuum headlamp door problem. On your Mark, unfortunately the window motor assemblies are not interchangeable as the "Gear Ends" are symmetrically opposite (left and right). You can take yours apart if you like and service them etc. We do not offer this service at Lincoln Land at this time because we have new assemblies available at very reasonable prices. Except for the rear quarter windows, our new ones are complete with new gears as well. It is a real pleasure to have the electric windows working nicely and I wish you "easy fixes". Contact us at any time for further information and prices.

Sincerely -


November 5, 2009

1963 With No Defrost

Hello Bill,

I just purchased a 1963 continental. When I go to engage the defrosting vent I get no air coming through the front windshield vents. The heater works fine...vents to the floor and the center vents. Any idea why this is not working? Any ideas would help!




Hi Robert -

The first item that we would inspect is the ducting to the defrost outlets. If all of that is intact then the vacuum circuit for the heat/ac needs to be checked for cracked or missing hoses etc. and for correct operation of the vacuum control switch. All vacuum parts have given us problems in the past and we usually do not proceed without the shop manual at our side. The shop manual in this case outlines the necessary vacuum flows for your 63. We very highly recommend that you have this manual in your possession. Even if you don't do your own repairs, your mechanic will be happy to have it available and you will probably recover the cost of the manual on the first repair in time and labor. We have these manuals available and ready to ship at the moment. Please don't hesitate to contact us for any further advice.


Bill and the Gals and Guys at Lincoln Land