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June 29, 2010

1978 Town Car Issues

Hi Bill,

The other day I barely made it into the driveway after a 25 mile trip with
my 1978 Continental Town Car 400 engine with 40k miles.

A new gas filter proved not to help. Since it had the original plugs, I replaced them and put on the second set of wires, and replaced the cap and rotor. No change. I have checked all vacuum lines and they prove OK. Today, I blew back the gas line
even though the gas was leaking out at the fuel pump when disconnected. I put
pressure on the line from the gas filter to the fuel pump and it was clear.

The fuel pump was replaced about 5k miles ago. The car was not easy to start so I turned up the idle. It runs smooth pretty much at high idle after about 5 minutes, but when putting it in gear, it goes down to a shake if warmed but will stall on choke.

Also I checked the gas cap by removing it and still no change. I have used carb cleaner on all vacuum lines going in and into the carburetor and the carb shows they are clear by increasing the idle. I have also used carb spray directly into the carb with no change. Am I missing something stupid or do I need the carb rebuild?




Greetings Ed -

Sounds like you were lucky to make it back home. A car that had the original plugs and wires still in use after 32 years could also have the untouched original and never serviced carburetor on the engine. It could very well be and likely is that the carburetor is in need of a good cleaning after this amount of time and 40,000 miles even though it may not actually be your problem as described.

Since you have checked part of the fuel delivery system I think that you do need to continue and do a fuel pressure and volume test at the carburetor inlet. This will show that the pump is able to draw fuel from the tank through the screen in the tank through the fuel lines and then pump it to the carburetor. If this test proves ok and the fuel delivery is in good order I would move to the carburetor at this point. You can check to see if the choke is operating properly first. The choke must be closed upon starting a cold engine and then it must open slightly when started and then continue to open fully as the engine warms up. The carburetor inside could be gummed up or the floats and needle valves could be faulty and allowing the engine to flood with fuel (too rich a mixture). Of course other problems can develop inside a dirty carburetor as well. If you agree that the carburetor has never been cleaned, I think that it is overdue for this service.

Another problem that could cause this stalling on your 78 Lincoln is a failing ignition system. Your car has an excellent fully electronic ignition system. Electronic parts can and do fail and the problem may first appear as a stumbling or stalling condition. Some failures may cause the engine to shut off and not start until repaired. Your particular problem could of course possibly be the first scenario.

I would first approach the situation with a complete fuel system check as described above including a carburetor service. After that and if the problem persists I would then check the ignition system. A seasoned tune up mechanic may be able to pick out a problem quickly as he will actually see and hear the engine running. We hope that the above leads to a speedy repair for you and if there are any parts or advice that we can provide, please do not hesitate to contact us at Lincoln Land.



June 18, 2010

Questions Regarding Proper Oil For His Lincoln


I sure enjoy the advice you offer. Your blog has been my go to often. My question this time is about oil weights. I have been told by different people to use a certain weight. My car has about 103,000 miles on it. What weight do you suggest I use. Also a brand of oil, etc.

Thanks so much,

Ogden, Utah



Hi Lincoln -

Nice looking Continental you have there and we are happy that you enjoy the blog. When you ask about oil choices you will get hundreds of different answers so I can only give you my own opinion. Other opinions will also be valid and may also apply.

When asked about oil and oil changes I have a saying "oil is cheap, metal is expensive". I believe in having uncontaminated and clean looking oil in my engines at all times Assuming that the 460 engine in your car is in good shape at 103,000 miles and is not using any oil, or excessive oil. I would use 10-30 weight. If you drive it in winter time around town the engine would appreciate 5-30 during these cold periods. When you embark on a long road trip during a hot summer, 10-40 would be a good choice at that time. I prefer full synthetic oil in all my Lincoln engines from the 54 Capri to the 93 Cartier. They have all been changed to the synthetic product at this time. I always use a premium brand, and I like Ford's Motorcraft brand of oils and filters. I believe that other national brands of oils and filters are also of an excellent quality, but I still believe in the quality of the Ford name.

There is still the question of certain additives being absent in today's modern oils that were necessary to satisfy the needs of the engines in our older cars. For me and in my own personal opinion the jury is still out on this verdict. I have seen no evidence of any lubrication problems caused by oil in any of my engines. The manner in which most collectible older cars are driven of course may be different than a daily heavy use vehicle. This is why I do respect and appreciate others opinions but of course in the end you must make your own choices. I hope that the above helps you to make the correct decisions for your Lincoln.



June 7, 2010

1973 Continental Sedan Concerns

Hi Bill!

I have a '73 Continental 4 door Sedan. The two power windows on the rear don't work. If I turn the switch I can hear the motors working but the windows are not moving. I'm able to push the window glasses down in the door and pull them up by hand. Are my window motor gears worn out or it can be something else? I looked up the plastic gears on eBay, but I wasn't sure which one was for me, 9 or 7 teeth.

I'm also having a problem with the driver side mini-vent window. It doesn't go all the way up, stops about an inch and a half before it suppose to. I adjusted on the 'up stop' and on the 'vent equalizer', but I don't see any more possibility for adjustment in the service manual. Is there more?

I'm also having problem with my fuel gauge. Most of the time it does not work, but if it does it's not accurate. When I gas up it shows that the tank is full, but the needle gets down to the 'E' when the tank is still half full of gas. I appreciate if you could help me, thank you.



Hello Steve,

Welcome to our Blog. If you can raise and lower your windows by hand it sure does sound like the gears have collapsed inside the motor assemblies. We have these parts on hand right here at Lincoln Land as this is a common failure. At the same time as the gears are replaced the moving window parts inside the doors should be cleaned and re-greased. Another problem that I should mention at this time is that many Lincolns of this era suffer from slow operating windows. We have found that this is due to the design of the power window electrical system that allows reduced power to reach the motors. We have in many cases installed relays for the motors on some customer's vehicles so that the windows operate on increased electrical power. The result is a vast improvement in the power window operation. However, this is not a project for the timid, and may be something for you to consider in the future. Your vent window problem sounds like lack of lubrication or possibly a weak motor. It should be re-inspected with this in mind.

The fuel gauge concern in my opinion could be caused by the float that is located on the sending unit in the fuel tank. It is not uncommon for these to leak and sink. The result is a false gauge reading. If that is the case we have them in stock and they are inexpensive. Another common possibility is that the sending unit itself is faulty and requires replacement or overhaul.

When you get further into these above concerns, please contact us for further advice, etc.



June 4, 2010

1991 Town Car Mystery Noise

Hello Bill -

I have a question about my 91 Town Car. When I make a right turn into a driveway apron I hear a "clink" sound on the right rear side just as the right rear wheel reaches the top of the apron. It seems that I have to be going up hill for the sound to occur. I can make a right turn on a generally level area I have no sound.

My mechanic has already had the car up on the hoist but found nothing that would indicate a problem. Is it possible that it might be something in the differential or rear axle housing? The car is reaching 153,000 miles. Thanks for your time and for being there.



Greetings Gregg -

Some of these types of sounds are annoying and can be a cause for concern because they may be possibly announcing an expensive repair in your future. These noises are also hard to describe in a letter to someone else such as myself because one person's clink could be another person's creak etc.

Your 91 has enough time and miles on it now to have several suspension and steering related noises that may require attention at this time. Thinking your problem over I rule out the rear axles and differential (at this time) because that assembly does not know if your right turn includes an incline as you describe but all of the vehicles rubber bushings, suspension and links etc., however do feel this effect.

Before pursuing the rear axle and differential idea I would want the car inspected on a front end machine with the wheels on the ramps holding the car up as it would be while driving. A good front end and suspension technician should road test the car with you beforehand to see if he agrees with me that your noise could be a failed rubber suspension bushing of some sort. He then will inspect all of these bushings front and rear as well as items such as sway bar links, ball joints, spring mounts, body mounts and shock absorber mounts etc. On the other hand a road test by a concerned technician may lead him to another area of concern that only an on site road test and inspection can reveal such as rear brake problems or loose exhaust pipes etc.

As you can see, the above procedure is leading you to a less expensive first approach rather the delving immediately into an expensive rear axle assembly procedure. I hope that the above ideas help you and I hope that it turns out to be something simple such as a loose tailpipe.



June 2, 2010

How Much Is My Car Worth?

Good Morning Bill,

I have a question regarding the sale and realistic price guidelines for a '65 Continental Convertible that would require a restoration. It appears difficult to find price comps that are reliable, I suppose, because every car is different.

This car has an excellent running motor, drive-train, breaking and exhaust system - all in current running order. However the body, interior and electrics need substantial work.

Is it possible for you to give me an idea of a price point to ask for the car? I don't want to overprice it or give it away.

Thanks for any help you can offer.



Greetings Mark -

I can imagine that this can be a real dilemma for you. Restoring a 60's Lincoln 4 door Convertible can fall into a category somewhere between extremely expensive, to over the top and out of reach for most pocket books.

While the complete drive-train and its support systems are very important, the complicated convertible top, and its window mechanisms, along with the unibody construction can be as much as 70-80% of the cost of restoration.

We would find it difficult and unfair to you to estimate a price point without inspecting your Lincoln on site. For this reason we would suggest purchasing the latest Car and Parts Price Guide, as well as Hemmings Motor News. Using the first type of guide can help you choose which condition your car falls into, and project a fair selling price. The latter will allow you to again see what the market is currently at in various areas of the country. In addition I would urge you to check venues such as eBay on-line. I hope that we have been of some help to you in this matter and I am sure that you can understand our position.