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July 19, 2012

1978 Mark Blowing White Smoke

Hey Bill,

You answered a previous question for me and I was hoping you could help me out again. I have a 78 Lincoln Continental Mark V (the diamond jubilee edition) with the 7.5L 460, and I am having an issue where the car is blowing white smoke. I know that most people would assume head gasket, but when I checked the oil everything looked fine. Also, its very odd because when I start the car up I can leave it running in park for a very long time and there is no smoke present. I step on the accelerator while in park and no smoke either. When I put the car into drive and start driving there is no smoke, but once I step on the brakes and the car comes to a stop, pillows of white smoke are emitted from under the car around the front wheel on the driver side. The car is garage kept and there is nothing leaking on the concrete. When I looked underneath I did notice that there is an exhaust leak around the catalytic converter and/or the flange exhaust pipe and I was wondering could this be the cause. I keep hearing that white smoke is a sign of coolant, but someone else said that since there is a leak that there can be condensation in the pipe and once the car is driving that its causing it to steam and blow out from the leak. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks again.



Hello Jimmy -

From your description and symptoms it is clear to me that someone would need to be there with the vehicle to find out exactly where the white smoke is originating from. We cannot determine from here if it is actualy billowing from the left front wheel and brakes or from under the car somewhere. We would need to road test your car and then drive it to a safe area when it smokes to open the hood in order to pinpoint the problem. A good mechanic should have no problem finding the exact cause with no guessing.



July 17, 2012

1988 Town Car AC Issues


I'm hoping for some advice, maybe this is a vac leak I am overlooking, or something else. I am trying to gather information before getting deep into this car, dash pulled to get to the heater box, etc.


It's a 1988 TC.

Issue is, switching from VENT to Floor, HI-LO, or Defrost, only 25% or so of the air is directed from the vent to either the floor or the windscreen. The other 75% of the air still flows through the normal vents.

The thermostat works fine. Cold air, hot air when I want it. A/C works fine.

It seemed to me to be a vac leak. However, there does not appear to be a vac leak.

Another person's opinion is that it could be a twig in the heater box, or some sort of other debris. He is recommending taking the dash apart more to explore further....

I'm still thinking it's a vac leak, since it is directing some air to the windscreen when I want it, and some to the floor when I want it.

Anything come to mind?




Hi Richard -

The ac/heat control system on your 88 town car is vacuum controlled as you know and is designed to default towards Defrost in the event of loss of vacuum. If you have 75% of the air flowing out of the a/c Vent ducts when no air should flow from these dash vents then I would advise you to first inspect the vacuum lines for correct routing and attachments to the correct vacuum motors under the dash. At this time the individual vacuum motor operation and their attachments can be inspected as well. If you have recently purchased the car or do not know the repair history, there may be many other possibilities such as previously misassembled components etc. but the above is easy to do from under the dash without removing the heater plenum assembly. To diagnose the system properly though I strongly advise to do so with the correct Shop manual or A/C manual at your side. If the above does not help please contact us for further advise. We can of course also arrange a shop manual or any necessary parts to be shipped to your address.



1969 Continental General Questions

Bill -

I was lucky enough to find this car in great condition, running, with only a small amount of things to fix. I bought the 5 volume 1,500 page shop manual, I'm waiting on the original owners manual, and an "original shop manual additional book with the vacuum line diagrams". I'm also waiting on a "1969 car preliminary shop manual" I'm not a mechanic, but I've always performed my own regular maintenance and installed my stereo systems, alarms etc. I cannot even find the fuse box on this car & I don't want to damage any of the original interior trying to find it. This car has been sitting since 2005 and was not prepped for storage. Although it does start & run I'm going to do the following: change oil &filter, new air filter, new fuel filter(drain tank & blow out the main fuel line if needed), flush radiator, new failsafe thermostat & gasket, install a gauge cluster(oil pressure, water temp, volts), have the transmission flushed, new shocks(front & rear), new 850cca battery, new tires, lube & new gasket/seal for the rear differential gear, new break pads(drum & disc), flush brake lines/new brake fluid, install a new pertronix electronic ignition3 & flamethrower3 coil, eventually plan to put a new carburetor on, and have the complete AC system replaced.

The spark plugs, wires & distributor cap all look brand new. The c6 transmission had a complete rebuild in 2000, rebuilt carb(at Holly), new steering gear box in 2005, new master cylinder, new water pump, new intake in 1999.

I haven't driven it since I bought it, and don't plan to until I get a few more things checked off my list. If you have any additional manuals or diagrams available that I need, I'm willing to purchase them. My goal is to restore this car the right way and not mess anything up along the way. After finding your forum online and reading your posts, you are definitely the right knowledgeable guy to seek advice from. Any advice, tips, or general knowledge you can pass along would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance Bill...!




Hi Ben -

Congratulations on your recent 69 Lincoln purchase. They are really a good choice for a well built quality car. The fuse box is located to the right of and configured to the same padded shape as the glovebox. It unsnaps from the top and pivots open on a hinge (piano hinge) as does the glove box. If you have any specific questions regarding any other areas please contact us. If you would like to purchase other information please call and ask for George and he will advise you what we have available.



July 12, 2012

1969 Mark AC Issues

Hi Bill,

I am seeking consultation once again from you wealth of knowledge. I've also attached a picture to help describe what I "think" is the issue.

I recently repaired an AC leak which happened to be the large nut on top of the compressor that holds the suction manifold to compressor body. Leak Fixed. I pulled a vacuum on the system for 30 minutes and it held for 15 minutes so I went ahead and charged the system. I put 2-12 ounce cans of R-12 in and with the system set on MAX (ATC lever at HIGH and temp lever at 65) and a thermometer in the register, it was blowing at 40 degrees F. AWESOME!!!
So I shut everything down and put my equipment away. About 10 minutes later I started it up and it was still Ice cold, however after driving it less than a mile it started to get warmer and the air temperature held at a steady 60 degrees.
I figured it was low on charge as the shop manual states the system charge at 3 pounds, 3-12 ounce cans should be just under that requirement. I started with two cans as I didn't want to overfill, but went ahead and put a third can in with no change in temperature.

My initial thoughts were temp door control servo but then realized it was cold with two cans initially and how can it change so quickly? So I decided to take a peek under the hood and saw the expansion valve (evaporator side) is caked in ice and the hose side is just cold. Does this indicate some sort of obstruction in the valve? I imagine it shouldn't get that built up?
I should also mention that there is a lot of hot air running through the HVAC system even with it off... I'll get sudden burst of hot air on my legs when driving once the car is warmed up. What would cause this?

Sorry for the lengthy e-mail but I appreciate any help you can give!



Hi Dan -

From the looks of your photo It would appear to me that the expansion valve is indeed shutting down or that your de-icing switch is not cycling as required. To diagnose properly, a knowledgeable a/c technician will attach proper gauges on the High and Low side valves of the system in order to pin the problem down. The de-icing switch will cycle the compressor to avoid "icing up" the evaporator. The cycling times will vary in response to the blower speed and the ambient temperature as the sw. will act as necessary to avoid icing the evaporator. Another item that may contribute to poor cooling and incorrect system pressures can be a plugged Receiver/ Dryer unit. This dryer contains a filter which can plug up or partially plug up. A new expansion valve and receiver/dryer combination repair is not uncommon.

As for the hot air entering the car with the system turned off experience tells me that it can be mainly due to seals and air valves that are made of foam or rubber that have crumbled due to age. I also remember though that we had some complaints regarding warm air entering some vehicles on hot days with the a/c off even when the cars were new. The only way to avoid this may be to use all available ventilation features of the car or use the a/c if it is functional. It seems that the vehicles built with Automatic Climate Control were meant to be used continuously as designed.

So Dan, it would seem that accurate diagnosis is the key for your refrigeration issue. If the expansion valve proves to be the culprit I would recommend replacing the receiver dryer as well as a measure of good practice. If you do need any further advice or any repair parts please do not hesitate to call on us.



1997 Town Car Air Ride Issues

Hi Bill -

I'm reaching out once again to Lincoln Land since I had so much luck with getting a new intake manifold from you guys in the past. Hoping you can help with the always present air suspension problems. The "check suspension" dash light on my 1997 Town Car (70,000) is on. I've been conversing with Lincolns On Line but wondering if you can offer an opinion as back up?. The car has been to two different dealers. First said I needed a new control module at a cost of $500 (parts/labor). Second dealer said module was ok but that I needed a new height sensor (same replacement cost of $500). Seems all the dealers know is getting customers to part with a minimum of $500. I paid my diagnostic fee at both dealers and left.

So, I've installed "salvage" control modules and height sensors myself since they don't require tools and take only seconds/minutes to do. The donor vehicles were checked to make sure their air shocks were holding air before removing. I've checked all fuses, relays, door courtesy lights, compressor, and shut off switch in trunk (to make sure its on). Everything seem to be working when being tested. Second dealer connected to the test port in the trunk to diagnose. They said the only problem the diagnose test brought up was an intermittent code 68 (the height sensor) however, they still kept getting a intermittent clear on the test device but not clearing on the dash warning light. Have installed two different salvage height sensors. These are so simple I don't know how they could go bad without corrosion. The original height sensor in my car (from new) was cleaner than most 3 year old cars (its 14 years old). I live on the west coast so the weather is very mild....salt air can be a problem with surface corrosion (the rear axle shows this) but my car is kept extremely clean (top/bottom and inside) all the time.

Don't know what I'm missing. Don't know if you are familiar with Dereck at Lincolns On Line but he also helped me with an A/C problem involving the bad soldering points on my EATC unit. This was after 3 different mechanics charged me $1K for diagnostics/repairs I didn't need and still didn't have working A/C! Turned out to be the simple solder connection! Anyway, I'm grasping for help from everyone. I have health issues so I'm limited on sight/strength but want to try and fix as much by myself as possible.

Are there any well know quirks that I'm missing here by chance? With all the major components and fuse/relays checked and no visible damaged wiring I don't know where to go.

Thanks so much for any help!




Hello Bob -

These electronically controlled devices are sure nice to have and most of them work real well for years but as time goes by and the vehicles go out of warranty and newer models appear the chances of an easy inexpensive repair to them evaporates.

As far as your issue is concerned, you seemed to have replaced the major items (some of them twice) as suggested by some of the mechanics. You do not state if the "check suspension" light is on at all times or if the system works sometime or if it ever worked for you. In any case because of the nature of your experience we at Lincoln Land would need to approach the problem by trying to pull the diagnostic codes as per the Shop Manual as you indicate has already been done in your location. Experience in repairing this system is a real plus for an accurate diagnosis. The technician that works on it now after your ordeal with the problem should keep in mind that a certain Code may not mean that the indicated coded part is faulty but that a bad connection on an electrical pin within a multi connector that services the coded part may be the culprit here. Intermittent electrical connections at ANY critical point could possibly trigger the warning light to illuminate. An issue such as you describe can be a real challenge to the best of mechanics. I hope that the above information helps to lead you or your technician to the correct and final repair for your problem.