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August 30, 2010

1979 Town Car Issues

Hello Bill,

I'm having issues with my 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car. 1st the door locks do not work .. It's weird, only one works and it's not very good.. fuses are all good. I don't understand what's wrong with those.

Also my fuel gauge doesn't work. I have got power to the gas tank and its a pulsing power .. on off, on off.. so I'm assuming it's the sending unit in the tank. Do you think I could just pull it out and fix it? Or is this not the problem.

Please Help me Bill!

Joe K.


Hello Joe -

Power door locks are a great convenience.......until they stop. Your PDL problem is very common on all cars as the system ages. If you do have one that works somewhat it tells me that the system is powered up and the failure is probably the door lock motors themselves. Fortunately we have these motor assemblies available new and with a full one year warranty. They come with instructions to adapt them to several years of Lincolns and of course the use of our tech. hotline for further installation advice if necessary. The best ultimate repair is to replace all of these motors and to clean and lubricate the door locks themselves during the replacement. You can and should check for the appropriate power to each of the motors inside your doors before going this route but experience tells me that they have probably failed. We have had little luck in repairing any that have failed. Therefore I think that you should verify the problem in one of the doors first and then be prepared to replace them all. Cleaning and Lubrication of the door locks will also reward you with quick smoother operation with the new motors.

If you have pulsing power at the fuel gauge, connect a 12 v test light to the wire at this pulsed power at the tank with the key in the on position. You should see the gauge on the dash rise. If it does rise and will not move when plugged in with adequate fuel in the tank and the Ground wire at the plug is attached properly to the car body, your tank sending unit has failed or its float has punctured and has sunk ( very common ). This sending unit itself can be tested as per the manual if you are so inclined. We can offer new units or a rebuilding service for your convenience if required. You may however be lucky and need only the inexpensive Float as described above.

I hope that all of the above will get you started on a quick path to the cause of your problems Joe and if you have any further questions or wish to order any parts, please do not hesitate to contact us.



T-Bird Crossover Parts

Hey Bill -

It's Lincoln from Ogden, UT again. I have to say what OUTSTANDING Lincolns you have there. I need to replace the headlight vacuum motor on my 1973 Lincoln. I was wondering if you knew if part number D8SZ-13A167A would work, I know someone with one that's new OEM still in the box. I'm sure glad for all your help you offer.

Ogden, UT


Greetings Lincoln -

Glad that you liked the Lincoln pics. These cars are great drivers and give us a lot of pleasure.

Your posted part number is for a 77-79 T-Bird according to the FORD archives from my contact. The part number needed for your 73 Sedan is DIVY-13A167-A and will fit 70-73. You would need to do a side by side comparison but I don't believe that you could easily adapt it in my opinion. Hope this answers your question and Good Hunting in the future.



1971 Mark III Heater Core Installation Question

Hello Bill,

Seems that you are the guru of these old Lincolns.

I have owned my 71 Mark III for about 25 years though it still only has 89,000 miles on it. I'm essentially the second owner as I bought it from the selling dealer's sister. The dealer had kept it for a few years as a family vacation car before selling it to his sister and her husband. Anyhow, it has all the options offered including the sun roof and is rust free and still has a good original vinyl roof. As you can guess it has seldom sat outside much. A while ago the heater core started leaking a bit evidenced by some steam on the windshield. I looked at my 1969 Ford shop manuals and read the description of how to remove and replace the heater core, assuming that my car would be the same as a 69 Mark III but some things look different.

Do you by chance have a 71 Ford shop manual showing the procedure? Is it the same as the 69? I note just glancing at the engine side that the icing switch is off to one side vs. the center position of the 69. Also looking through the glove box with the liner removed things don't look the same as the drawings suggest in the 69. Somehow, it looks like the whole thing can be done from the engine side or am I just getting my hopes up?

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I sure would appreciate it.

Calgary, Alberta


Greetings Leigh -

These heater cores are a fairly common item and are not as hard to replace as they appear. The only real difference between a 69 and the 70-71 is that the emission tube located at the rear of the engine connecting to each of the heads must be removed on the 70-71 to allow for removal of the heater plenum that the "Core" resides in. See the illustration below:


The 69 does not have this tube. Other obstructions that must be removed or disconnected are the oil pressure switch, the hydraulic wiper motor hoses, and any vacuum hoses, etc. The evaporator front cover should also be removed and that cover also houses the de-icing switch on all three 69-71 Marks. A previous owner may have relocated the de-ice switch on your car (as you indicate) for some reason. When these items are set aside the cover along with the core can be eased out as a unit.

I recommend using a new core as these heater cores are still available new and we sell many of these every year. Do keep your old core on hand though to use as a possible spare for future repair if necessary. I do hope that the above will assist you in your repair and if you do require any further advice or parts please contact us at any time. Calgary is well within easy shipping range for us.



August 25, 2010

By Popular Demand.... Here's Bill's ( at least some of them :) )

By request, here are a few of the fine automobiles owned by our "go to" Lincoln Answer Man, Bill Gray.....

George R. Miller
Webmaster @ Lincoln Land, Inc.

Winnipeg, CN with Bill and Arlene 002.jpg
Bill's spotless 1954 Lincoln Capri earlier this summer, also in the photo is Erik Dalemans, our talented restorer here at Lincoln Land....

Winnipeg, CN with Bill and Arlene 003.jpg
The Interior of the 1954 Capri - the Factory AC will freeze you out of the car

Winnipeg, CN with Bill and Arlene 009.jpg
Bill's 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III, with the rare vinyl roof delete

Winnipeg, CN with Bill and Arlene 055.jpg
Bill's 1970 Lincoln Continental Sedan

We'll post more photos of the other cars in Bill's collection as time allows......

August 24, 2010

A Nice New Car - And A Very Understanding Companion....

Dear Uncle Bill,

Kim and I recently flew from Washington DC to Milwaukee to purchase a
'72 Mark IV, 24,000 original miles, all white with tobacco accents,
spectacular condition.

We drove it home, or almost home to Mt. Lake Park, MD. The car ran
flawlessly until 60 miles or so the other side of Wheeling, WV (130
miles from home). I had run the car until the tank was almost empty
(recall the car had been running perfectly the first 700 or 800 miles)
and stopped and filled up with gas (high test, Amoco). After about 10
miles the car developed a "chugging and surging" feel. I immediately
thought, "clogged fuel filter".... had another one in the glove
compartment, found a shady spot (I had the necessary tools with me....
old cars and all) and changed the fuel filter... while under the hood, I
noticed that the vacuum advance was unhooked, which explained the
higher than normal idle, and a cracked vacuum cap on a manifold port.
Feeling delighted I had made such discoveries and was able to correct
them; we set off, again, for home. The car ran okay for a few miles,
and then it started chugging and surging again. I thought it must be the
fuel filter again and that I had stirred up so much junk in the tank.

So it went... I stopped 3 times for fuel filters, and each time the car
seemed to run fine for a short period and I was totally convinced it
was all fuel delivery issues. By the time we made it to Wheeling, we
had become familiar with several small towns' NAPA auto parts stores.

In Wheeling, I had decided to put an in line filter on the gas feed
line, and THEN hook it up to the regular fuel filter. Now the car would
hardly run and I began the search, on foot, to find someone to flatbed
it to Mt. Lake Park. It was a Thursday afternoon, 102 degrees and I
could only find someone who would do it for about $500. This, of
course, bothered me and I walked back to the car where Kim had been
reading and being the finest sport about the whole thing.... she told
me she had started the car, and it had been idling fine for about 10
minutes.... I said; "let's go!" and on the interstate we went (we enjoy
and had been traveling secondary roads the entire trip with the
exception of Milwaukee to Chicago).

We traveled about 5 miles, and then the car began coughing, backfiring and
soon there-after, quit all together. The highway patrol came (WV
highway patrol are the best!) and recommended a towing company. They
came, towed us to a Lincoln-Mercury dealer that happened to be at the
next exit and we thought; "our troubles are over"..... Nope, they had a
mechanic out with heat stroke, another out sick, and a stack of work
orders and could possibly look at our car middle of next week.

The towing company, a delightful, family owned (back to the 1930's)
came to the rescue. The driver, who was a grandson of the founder,
said he couldn't tow us all the way to Mt. Lake Park with the truck the
car was currently hooked to. So back to their shop, put the car on a
Flatbed and off we went. Kim on the back seat, reading (it was a brand
new International that was very nice), me up front with the driver, and
being glad we were finally going to be home.

We made it to Shaffer Ford in Oakland, MD in about 3 hours and life was
good again ($450. poorer, but good). Shaffer Ford looked and looked
(based on my fuel delivery diagnosis) then went on their own and
discovered the points were burned, the coil shot and the vacuum advance
totally non-functional. And, there was absolutely no problem with the
fuel delivery.

Finally to my question: Could my hooking up the vacuum advance (which
was, and is not functioning properly) have caused the points to burn
and ruin the coil? The car ran perfectly (without the vacuum advance
being hooked up at all) before I "fixed" the vacuum leaks. It is my
opinion that the prior owner (now deceased) was aware the vacuum
advance was bad because it was unhooked. The car runs horribly with it
hooked up, so unhooked it is.

Next problem. A vacuum advance is made for every year on record, but
not 1972. Is my only option to replace the entire distributor (the
rebuilt comes with a new advance)??

Also, where can I find out where all the vacuum hoses go? There are
(3) ports on the thermostat housing, and two others on another valve or
sensor to the left (facing the engine) of the thermostat. Can you tell
me? Is there a diagram available?

This car is so nice and original, I would very much like for it to be
the way it was built, and would like to have all that ugly, but
correct, plumbing back in place.

Also, the receipts that came with the car indicate that the blower was
replaced about 2,000 miles and 20 years ago, as was the heater core.
Now, the heater core is leaking (again) and the blower does not work.
Seems strangely coincidental that they are both not working again.
What are your thoughts? How hard is it to change a heater core on a 72
Mark? What's the best way to check the blower?

Bill, thank you so much for being available to ask all these questions!

All the best and hope to see you soon,

Your favorite nephew,


Mark resize.jpg

Whaddaya think?

I sure would enjoy seeing some pics of your cars, the 70 Sedan in

Thanks Bill!

Hi Carter,

That was quite a ride home for you both. It does sound like it will soon be a real nice car for you. It's a good thing though that Kim was such a sport. I hope that the book she was reading was entitled "How I learned To Understand A Car Buff And The Ways To Convert Him Over To Basket Weaving".

A 1972 Mark with 24000 miles is a real nice find but it also has 38 years of aging as you are already aware of. For all we know these 38 years could be 38 years of short drives and low or no real regular maintenance. The problems that you describe appear to stem from not one but several items that may need your immediate attention. I can tell you that the ignition points did not burn from an inoperative or disconnected vacuum advance in fact they may just be the original factory points. This has happened before to very low mileage vehicles so therefore I believe that a complete tune up is in order at this time and that tune up will include an inspection of the interior of the fuel tank and possibly a carburetor overhaul.

The Blower Motor along with the rest of the Automatic Climate Control system is a fine but complicated system. The blower is located under the dash forward of the glove box and you can check there to see if the blower is receiving power. If there is no power there for the blower with the system switched on you then must trace the electrical circuit. I have repaired many of these systems and to this day I always have the correct manuals at my side. To attempt otherwise is not a good idea.

So Carter the above is based on the present possibilities as they appear to me and the fact that you may not know the cars maintenance history. Get a proper set of manuals and if you need further specific vacuum diagrams etc, we can print these off for you. A set of manuals will pay off in dollars and time saved and if you have a mechanic, he or she will love you for having them available for use. I hope that the above will get you started on a smoother running Mark IV.


Bill -

August 19, 2010

Mildew On 1979 Mark V Vinyl Roof

Hi Bill -

What can I use to get the mildew off my 1979 Mark 5 Cartier top?

Chuck in North Carolina


Hi Chuck -

This type of damage to a vinyl top can really take away some of the beauty from these beautiful cars. You have probably tried some household cleaners already with limited success therefore I think that the best advice for you is as follows. Because we don't know the extent of the penetration of the mildew or mould damage into the actual depth of the vinyl I would show it to an experienced automotive upholsterer in your area. He will have seen such problems before and may be able to recommend an ideal product that works best in the environment that your car was in. Failing that, you can check on line and see if any specialty products are available that may suite your needs. Keep in mind though that you may be able to remedy only a partial portion of the damage or you may possibly find out that a new complete vinyl top will be the only answer. If you could possibly send us some photos we may be able to assess the problem better and render further advice. In any case we wish you good luck and please let us know how this turns out for you.



August 12, 2010

1963 Rear Main Leaking After Rebuild

Hi Bill -

I started working on the 63 Lincoln a little while ago, and I took the engine into the machine shop and had it machined .030 over and had them assemble the rotating assembly. I got it back put it back in, and the rear main was leaking. I took it back in to the machine shop and he replaced the rope seal with a two part rear main. I put it back in and it's leaking again. What is he doing wrong? What can I do when I put it in the third time to do it right?



Greetings Kendall -

Some projects do turn out to be much more problematic than we expect. Your project on your 63 engine appears to be one of these. You ask the question "what is he doing wrong"?. There really is no way for us to know what the machine shop is doing wrong or not doing wrong without us actually examining the engine on site and knowing more specific history details of the engine.

In all fairness to you Kendall what usually happens in a case such as this is that the machine shop is notified by you that the engine still continues to leak after two attempts to seal the leak at the rear main. The owner or service manager of the shop (I assume the shop is reputable) becomes interested and asks that you bring the car to them so that they can observe the leak first hand and diagnose the problem. At this point they may see that it is indeed the rear main then proceed to disassemble and correct it at their shop or they advise you and show you that the leak is actually originating from another location that they cannot be responsible for. All of the above is good and fair business practice and normally results in success and satisfaction for both parties. I do hope that the above helps to resolve the issues on your 63 Lincoln and if we can help you further in the future please be sure to contact us here at Lincoln Land.



August 3, 2010

1963 Possible Vapor Lock Issues

Hello Bill,

I just bought a 63' Lincoln Continental. The only problem is that it runs good for about 20 minutes, then it sputters out and will not restart for some time. I took it to a mechanic and I was told the car is going into vapor lock for some unknown reason. I believe most of the car is original.

Can you please help me... I'm not sure what to do and I don't want to keep taking the car to different mechanics. The next thing I know, I'm going to have other problems when dealing with too many different mechanics; some of them will create different problems so they can fix them. I'm looking for a solution for the vapor lock - no other problems.
So with that said....

What is the correct solution to stop the car from going into a vapor lock? What do I need to replace? I've been told that I may need a new gas pump, and alternator, but will that fix my problem? The mechanics seem clueless as I am, and I don't want to change what is not broken. So please help me to remedy my problem.

Chris in Michigan

Hello Chris,

I can sure agree with you that visiting too many mechanics can cause further problems. Your description of your present problem is not uncommon and can be caused by other failures besides a fuel problem. It can also be caused by loss of ignition spark. For instance a bad condenser in the distributor can fail in 20 minutes and then operate fine again when cool. I don't know how your mechanic concluded that vapor lock was your problem but if he suspected a fuel problem, a fuel flow and pressure test should be performed at the time of the failure in order to be sure.

As you have specifically asked, I will give you some ideas on areas to check on your 63. Firstly your pictures show that the Heat Shield for the fuel pump is missing. It is an item that in theory helps to prevent vapor lock. The fuel lines on these cars includes a return vapor line to the fuel tank, therefore all of the lines to and from the gas tank need to be in order and routed as designed. The mechanical part of the fuel pump operation also includes a pushrod that is known to wear and cause a weak flow of fuel. As well, all of the other usual fuel related items such as fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel pickup strainer, lines and fuel filter need to be in order. I hope that the above helps to lead you to a fast diagnosis to your problem. We usually have the correct parts on hand here at Lincoln Land should you require any specific items.