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December 28, 2011

1961 Charging Issues


I am working on a 1961 Lincoln Continental, and I am having trouble with the charging system.

I have had the generator rebuilt and replaced the voltage regulator with a new unit. At idle the generator light is shining brightly. Once I get the vehicle off idle the light goes out and the generator charges. Is there anything I can do to remedy this problem?

The car has to be close to 1000 rpm before the light will go off which is obviously to high for idle speed. Is there a spec as to how many volts the generator should output at idle? I understand generators do minimal charging at idle, and you can expect the light to flicker at a stop with the headlight or other accessories on - but at idle with a fully charged battery and no loads it should not be on brightly.

Have you ever had this problem?, and if so do you have any recommendations. I have checked the system over multiple times and I cannot find any problems. I am starting to consider finding a smaller pulley to speed up the armature. I am out of ideas otherwise. I would be glad to supply any other information or answer any other questions you have. Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Hello Brian,

I agree with you that the generator light can come on at periods of idle and electrical loads, but should not be brightly lit at the higher RPM's.

If you believe that your charging rate is excessively low at idle and engine speeds above idle according to the generator warning light, you can verify the charging voltage with a volt meter hooked up to the battery terminals. The voltage to the battery as supplied from the charging system must be higher than the battery voltage in order for the battery to charge and that charging voltage must not be excessively high or an overcharging condition will occur.

I am assuming of course that the wiring on your Lincoln is correct and in good operating condition and has not been modified. The battery also must be in good all around condition and able to receive and store a charge, etc. If you feel that the above is correct then your next step is to revisit the regulator and generator. New regulators and generators can and do fail. If your rebuilder is local, he should be happy to verify that the generator and regulator are operating correctly for you on the car. If not, many local parts houses such as Advance or Autozone, etc., also offer this service at no charge.

I hope that the above suggestions help but if you are still having problems with the diagnosis or need parts assistance, please contact us at any time.



December 20, 2011

1979 Mark V New Owner Questions....

Hello Bill -

I just purchased a 79 Mark V with 25,000 original miles. The brake lights were on and the brakes looked a little frozen, so I did a complete brake job (front and rear). I was able to turn the rotors. The brakes were original and rotors had never been turned.

The brakes work perfect but the brake light is still on, I replaced all of the brake fluid and bleed the brakes. This car does have the Sure-Track system. How do I know if this is a Sure-Track system issue? I did notice that the 4 Amp fuse was missing so I replaced that. The brake light is still on. Where do I start looking to trace this problem?

Also, under the dash, just below the radio is a female plug with 14 posts. Nothing is plugged into this. What is it? I cannot seem to locate it in the service manual. Is this a plug for some type of an electronic trouble shooting meter?

Everything on the car works properly, including accessories, radio, power sun roof, power seats, power windows, etc.

Thank you



Hi Nick
I assume that you are speaking of the brake warning light on the dash and not the brake lights at the tail lights. The usual problem with the dash warning light remaining on is caused by the switch in the proportioning valve remaining in the unbalanced position. The brakes must be bled as per the MANUAL as shown in the brake section regarding centering the switch action to turn off the light. To prove that this switch is indeed the problem it is located under the brake master cylinder and can be unplugged to see if the light then turns off. If the light turns off when it is unplugged, the system will need to be bled as described above or the switch is frozen in position and will need to be unfrozen or replaced. After you investigate this issue further, if you need more advice please contact us directly.
We are not sure what your 14 pin electrical connection is or if it is a factory connection but it could be a part of a factory Citizen Band Radio option. The cars of that vintage did not have a diagnostic plug under the dash. If you can send us a photo we could probably identify it positively.



December 6, 2011

66 Convertible Issues

I have a '66 Convertible (C-level, driver-type) in need of some minor repair and possible restoration so I wanted to get your ideas.

First problem is the driver side door handle is broken and the housing/console that holds the electrics has come detached from its mount. John Cashman (the Lincoln guy?) traveled thru Pensacola and worked on this and other issues a few years ago but it's now become totally detached from the door. I assume the entire piece will need replacement and have emailed the parts dept there to get info as well. Is that something a local shop should handle or is it too unique?

Also, I have ongoing battery/power issues and it even stopped while running once. Trouble shooting by my mechanic appears to narrow to electric window problems drawing the power down over time but he's really not sure. Never seemed to do this until over the last year. Any other ideas?

Just to add, I don't drive it that often, mostly on nice weather days and usually 1-2x a month but less now given these problems.

Last question, I'm not looking for show car level but if I really wanted to bring it up to a higher condition, I'm not sure how to go about finding someone, what would you recommend?

I appreciate your input.




Hello Greg -

Welcome to our blog. I understand that John has already spoken to you regarding your armrest issues. Your ongoing electrical power problems should be diagnosed with the use of a correct wiring diagram for your 66. Suspected circuits can then be isolated in a logical sequence in order to "pin down" the faulty component. Popular items in our experience have proven to be.....Faulty battery, alternator, regulator or interior lights remaining on etc.

Your last question can take in as much territory as your personal needs and desires will allow. There are not many limitations as to the amount of time and money that can be spent in restoring an automobile such as a Lincoln Convertible. In your case a good strategy might be to pick out one or two items and bring them up to good operating condition during a period of time. You can then enjoy the vehicle in between these repairs. Or if you reside in a location where the weather is wintery and you wish that the car be left at a repair shop for an extended period of time then you must choose your restoring technician very carefully. He must be acquainted with the luxury aspects of your Lincoln and he must be willing to work with you regarding what your wants and needs are. Please contact us directly at Lincoln Land and ask for Chris or John and we will give you further advice based on your lcation and personal needs are.