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1965 Continental Charging Issues


Last year I purchased a complete and running 1965 Ivy Gold Lincoln Continental here on Kodiak Island. I have a problem with the charging system that no one can seem to solve. The alternator, voltage regulator, dash gauge and wiring have been gone through or been replaced new but the problem persists. The car will not go from charge to discharge so whenever I drive it the battery gets sucked of charge and the car dies after the battery is dead. The wiring appears to be correct and was even looked at by an auto electrician. But when the car is running if I disconnect the negative cable the car dies instantly. This would be a good indicator that the alternator is not running the ignition but the battery is. What else can I possibly do to fix this. I love this car and want to enjoy it but getting it to be a daily driver with this problem is impossible since I have to carry around two batteries with me at all times. Thanks for your time.



Greetings Al -

The charging system on the 64 and 65 Lincolns are unique to that era as the AMP gauge is very involved in the correct function of the whole electrical system as much of the power travels through this gauge. This amp gauge is also extremely problematic when and if it develops poor connections or short circuits at its connections behind the dash. Many technicians are not aware of this fact as they are familiar with the more common "Shunt" style of charge indicators. Assuming that your alternator,regulator and battery are correct and have been tested to be in "very good" working order and also not knowing the history of your car's electrical system I can offer the following advice. I would obtain the "correct" charging system wiring diagram for the car and using this schematic I would inspect the wiring for bad connections or alterations that a previous owner or technician may have performed to the wiring. You should begin though with a very careful visual inspection of the amp gauge connections behind the dash as it may be disconnected or burnt. If you do uncover a problem in this area the repair needs to be done accurately with the contacts well isolated and tight. If you have more information or require parts for the repair or further assistance please contact us by telephone and refer to this blog post.