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January 29, 2010

How Many Pumps On The Pedal Is Too Many?

HI Bill,

I have a 1979 Mark V Collector's Series, starts and runs great. A year ago after sitting a week it took 12 gas pedal pumps to start. This year, when it sits for a week, it takes up to 25 pumps and then starts and runs great. I can live with this, but it sounds like a problem in the making. What do you think?




Hi John -

Yikes,... if they all started like that we would all have sore right ankles. Not knowing your car, it sounds like the basic tune up items should be examined first.

Without starting the engine, begin with a cold engine and the air cleaner top off and observe if the choke butterfly closes completely and with a definite action on the FIRST pump of the accelerator. Then look inside the carburetor while pumping the linkage and observe the underside of the choke for fuel spraying into the lower part of the carburetor. I trust that your fuel is fresh. If you have poor fuel delivery you must consider the condition of the fuel filter and fuel pump, etc. Repair any items that prove faulty during the above tests.

If all of the above is satisfactory then you may need to examine the spark plugs and wiring as well as possibly the complete ignition system. Because we at Lincoln Land don't know the condition of your engine or its history of repairs and maintenance, only the technician on scene with your car can determine the exact correct path to take. By the sound of your description though it does sound to me without being there that it is only a simple sticking choke problem. In this business however we have learned that - "It ain't over till it's over". Good Luck on a real speedy repair.


Bill, Chris and all of the Guys and Gals at Lincoln Land

January 21, 2010

1969 Mark III Heater Issues

Bill -

I have a 1969 Mark III, the air conditioner works okay but when I attempt to change the temperature I get absolutely no heat or temperature change. The system works in defrost also but with no heat at all. The water valve to the heater core stays open when I call for heat. Any ideas?



Greetings R.J.,

Assuming that your car has the more popular Automatic Temperature Control option I can tell you that it is a great system but can be complicated to diagnose and repair without the proper Manuals.

The most likely cause of your problem is a failure that is located inside of the ATC box that has caused the system to drive to the full cooling mode and remain in this mode regardless of the position of your control. A less likely failure could be the sensor string (these are sensors that are in a series circuit with the driver's control that send temperature information to the ATC box so that it can react to deliver the correct air temperature, etc. to the car's interior as selected). A broken wire in this string will send the system into the full Heat but a shorted wire or sensor will send it into the full Cooling position.

Other easier to check possibilities are as follows....Heater core bypassed due to coolant leak at core, Heater core completely plugged, water valve plugged on the inside or water valve incorrect. The main control switches can also be at fault but their failure is rare. Another thought to consider if you do not have much history on the car is the possibility that a previous owner or his technician may have tried some unknown ill advised repair and has altered the system in an unknown manner. This can and does happen.

It may be of interest to know that when these systems were new it proved to be a challenge for the FoMoCo and the dealer technicians such as myself to learn the diagnostic and repair techniques. Proper diagnosis is half the battle. Now forty years later we are learning something new almost every day at Lincoln Land when it comes to repairing the earlier electronic systems such as this is.

The real good news is that we at Lincoln Land have all of the parts and supplies to repair your ATC as well as the ability to rebuild your ATC box and Servo. If you are doing your own repairs, we can supply you with the very necessary and highly recommended shop manuals for your Mark III. We wish you a quick and easy repair.


Bill and the Lincoln Land staff

January 19, 2010

1970 Mark Inoperable Fuel Gauge

Hi Bill,

I have a 1970 Mark III with an inoperable fuel gauge. The needle always sits on empty no mater what quantity of fuel is in the tank. What do I need to do to diagnose and fix this problem?




Hello Patrick -

If the Temperature and Oil Pressure gauges are working, the best and easiest place to start is at the Fuel Tank gauge electrical plug.

With the key on probe the three female pins on the plug with a grounded test light. One pin will have continuous power, one will be flashing and one will have no power. Have someone watch the Instrument Panel Fuel Gauge as you momentarily ground the flashing pin to the car body. The gauge needle should rise quickly to full. DO NOT leave this pin grounded - if you do, you run the chance of burning out the gauge.

If the gauge does not rise or you do not have flashing power at one of the female pins, you will need to repair the fuel gauge circuit or the gauge itself as per the shop manual.

If the gauge at the dash does rise then you need to repair the Sending Unit in the tank or its ground wire (which is the female pin at the above plug) that has no power with the key on.

Most problems are in the tank Sending Unit or its float. Lincoln Land does offer repair service for these and the other components in this circuit. Good Luck and let us know how the repair goes.



January 18, 2010

1978 Continental Concerns

Greetings Bill,

I currently live in Seattle and drive my Lincoln at least once a day. The engine has 116K actual miles and runs like a champ. In the mornings, or when it is cold the engine fires with one turn of the ignition no problem, starts every time. Upon warming the vehicle up it smokes a slight bit. It isn't burning off coolant, so I don't think it's the head gasket and the smoke doesn't smell burnt either and typically burns off after a couple of minutes and then nothing.

Also after I drive the vehicle for awhile and the engine is up to temp if I start the engine it takes a while to turn over but only when it's hot not cold which doesn't make sense to me. You figure it would be the opposite.

I have a few questions:

1) What do you think is generating the smoke?
2) Why does my engine start better cold then warm?

As always thank you for your help.




Hi Justin -

Your engine condition and tune up situation should be evaluated by a competent technician. Some engines at 116,000 miles are like new, and others may have worn engine parts depending on their previous use and maintenance. Your problems may only be caused by simple maladjusted components or possibly worn engine parts (valve seals, rings etc.). Only a person on scene with your car can determine this. I would approach each problem separately and with the proper manuals at my side.

Good Luck....


January 11, 2010

1976 Continental Coupe Rear Window Water Intrusion

Hi Bill -

I have a 1976 Continental Coupe with a Half Vinyl Roof. I have a problem with water collecting under the vinyl at the bottom of the rear window.



Greetings Wayne -

Water leaks in general can be annoying to car owners as well as damaging to the car. It also seems that no two are exactly alike.

If your car has the bright metal moldings that meet the glass they should be removed completely using the proper tools and methods. This will allow you or your body man to examine the areas under the moldings in order to determine the path of the water as it would drain off of the car. If there are any areas that look like they would allow water to intrude between the body and the vinyl, these areas should be cleaned and caulked as necessary with the appropriate window sealer. The moldings can then be reinstalled before the sealer completely sets.

If your car has no moldings that meet the glass but has the vinyl treatment that is instead wrapped into itself then you should look for breaches in the clear silicone sealer around the entire glass. These would then need to be caulked as necessary.

If your vinyl roof is surface cracked in any area or if there is any problem with the seal at the front of the 1/2 top finish area, these should be considered as well. You can see from the above suggestions that a successful repair is a real "hands on" experience and depends on proper examination and diagnosis. We hope that the above will be helpful to you and or your mechanic.



January 7, 2010

1978 Mark V Questions

Hi Bill -

I have a 78' Continental Mark V Bill Blass Edition with the 400ci Engine.

1) Is this engine a "Cleveland V8" similar but bigger ci to 351 Ford V8's of the 70's?

2) Does it take the same oil filter cartridge as other Fords.(In Australia we call this "Z9")

3) I can't find the oil pressure sender switch, where is it located??

Gold Coast, Qld.Australia.


Hi Chris -

Congrats on your Bill Blass...... nice car.

The 400 engine in that car is usually associated with the 351 M engine as discussed in the shop manual. We don't compare it with the Cleveland style engine. Specialty engine shops may have more explicit info. available for you in that regard.

The oil pressure switch should be located to the rear of the carburetor, on top of the engine - and slightly to the right (White with Red Stripe single wire female connector).

The oil filter is the same as the other engines of that era and that would be the popular Motorcraft Part Number FL1 style. We only use this quality Ford brand at Lincoln Land. This filter type is also available from many other suppliers under other brand names and qualities.

If you need any other information, etc., please don't hesitate to contact us and in the meantime enjoy your Mark.