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December 27, 2013

1964 Charging Questions


I purchased a 64 Continental a couple months ago. We put new battery in it and drove home but noticed that the ammeter registered discharging and bounce from slight discharge to pretty heavy discharge. I had it tested at a local car parts store and as suggested i replaced the voltage regulator. I replaced it with a new style regulator and the bounce was eliminated but it still was prone to slightly discharge often.

I later dropped off the car for transmission fluid replacement/service and when they did their final test drive the car stopped on them. The headlights and ignition where completely dead. I disconnected and reconnected a few things including the voltage regulator. I got power back on and lost it again a couple times.

I read a bit on a Lincoln forum that indicated that my problem was likely either the ammeter or the constant voltage regulator. I pulled some of the instrument panel and from the front of the ammeter I could see significant blue green corrosion falling down from the ammeter. I pulled it out and the leads to it are clean but I suspect it is bad and think it should be replaced but I'd like to at least test it to feel confident that it is the problem, not just part of it. Can you give me a procedure to test the ammeter ?

Do you have new ammeters for this car? I know a lot of folks bridge them out but I don't want to do that. Is there a newer type of amp gauge that would maintain the stock appearance? Ant other alternatives?

Best regards,



Hi Mike -

We are referring you to a previous post regarding these ammeters and charging systems. The use of a proper wiring diagram and manual is of the utmost importance in order to perform the correct diagnosis and repair.

The sudden loss of headlamp and ignition function also requires the use of a wiring diagram to trace and find faulty connections. Anything less is guess work and usually a waste of time and money.



"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."

December 17, 2013

Tip: Fuel Pump Options....

At Lincoln Land we believe that restoring and maintaining the original fuel supply and delivery system is the best way to go with any vehicle. Adding a backup electric pump to a good operating fuel system for priming and emergency use only in the event that the mechanical pump fails, is a sensible addition for many owners. Earlier Lincolns operating under extreme heat and slow traffic situations using today's low quality ethanol laced fuel sometimes experience vapor lock. When this happens activating the electric fuel pump can get you quickly underway.


December 16, 2013

1966 Continental Dies Out

Hello Bill,

First things first. Thank you so much for your Bills corner blog. It has become my first spot to look look for solutions to my problems.

This one it getting on my nerves and I would love some advice.

I have a 66 Continental running everything stock. The car starts great and runs perfect until i let it sit for a while then it starts but soon dies.

Most of the time the situation is like this. I dive a bunch of miles then I stop for a short time up to a few hours. I hope back in fire it up and with in the first 5-10 minutes it will sputter like its running out of gas and stall out. I have been able to just restart it and its good again for the rest of the drive. Yesterday was different.

I went to a local car show/ toy drive about 30 miles from my house. The car drove perfect. I spend about 4 hours at the show and when I went to leave the car fired up but was sputtering and stalled then it would not start it would just hiccup like it had a few drops of gas . Since I was at a show a bunch of guys wanted to help out. ( Thank God ) Everyone agreed that it sounded like it was out of gas so we pulled the hose off of the fuel pump and turned it over. At first it had almost no gas So we removed the small metal attached to the fuel pump and made sure it was clear. After blowing it out and getting a few specks of crude I was able to blow through it and reattached it. I turned the motor over and it was pumping and seems good to go. We put it back together again and before attaching the last hose tried it again. Again no fuel. At this point I put it back together and was about to call AAA but i figured what the hell let me try one more time. Sure enough it started and all was right with the world again. I checked it out at different rpms for about five minutes before I set off for home. It made it all the way back but three times along the way it sputtered and I thought it was going to stall out, twice while slowing down for a traffic light and once while coasting on the freeway.

I have read about using an electric fuel pump, Adding lead additives to the gas. i don't know what the cause is or the correct solution might be. i just want make sure that what ever it do that it is the right thing

Thank you for any help or ideas that you might have.



Hi Ken -

We are glad that you are enjoying the blog. The excellent description of your problem makes me believe that the basic tune up components on your 66 are in order and that your problem lies solely with fuel delivery to the carburetor. You should have the fuel pump pressure and flow volume tested as per the Shop Manual. The fuel pump could be failing at this time or the very popular fuel pump push rod could be warn to a point that it is causing the fuel pump to fail the above mentioned test. A small break in any of the fuel supply lines or hoses from the fuel tank can also cause air being introduced into the fuel and not appear as a leak. There is one short fuel hose hidden behind the left front splash shield that is often overlooked during inspection of the fuel hoses. After the problem is resolved I would replace the fuel filter even if the present one was cleaned. Then I would keep the old one as a spare. We will have the necessary repair parts available for you as well as the pump test specifications if you do not have the Shop Manual.



December 13, 2013

1979 Lincoln Continental Sedan Vanity Mirror Light

Bill -
The Drivers side vanity mirror lights do not operate. Passenger side works good. Swapped bulbs all are good. Researched and found out that there are 2 fuses, one 15 amp for garage door opener and drivers side vanity mirror lights, one 2 amp fuse for the drivers side vanity mirror lights. This is from the book : "NOTE-vanity mirror light is on the same circuit as the garage door opener option, however in the driver's visor there is a 2 amp fuse for the vanity mirror lamp. The vanity mirror is protected by a 15-amp fuse and a 2 amp fuse, the garage door opener is protected by a 15 amp fuse only." Located 15 amp fuse #7 on diagram - but can not locate the 2 amp fuse not on fuse box diagrams. Question where is this 2 amp fuse ? And any info on replacing it would be helpful if other things need to come apart.



Hi Don -

We find that the 2 amp fuses are located within the vanity mirror assembly itself. You should be able to gain access to it by carefully prying the lenses off and then removing the screws. The complete circuit, fuse and switches will then be revealed for you to diagnose and service. Caution!! Some of these parts are now brittle and subject to breaking easily. We do have parts available if any are needed.



December 9, 2013

1978 Mark V Diamond Jubilee Questions


I am a new Lincoln owner. A few weeks ago I bought a very well preserved 1978 Lincoln Mark V Diamond Jubilee. The car is great and almost every power option works except for drivers door window, autolamp, and the Cartier clock.

But what is making me upset is a leak under the passenger seat. Every time I get the car for a small ride around the block, when I park it, some radiator fluid starts to leak under the passenger seat and the air outlets of the dash starts to let of steam with a strong smell. If I use the A/C, it blows cold, but the smell also comes with the cold air.

The 460 engine runs very smoothly with some white smoke if I floor the gas. I noticed in the trunk a kind of compressor and checking your site I noticed that part should be in the engine and it is connected to two hoses that are connected to the car's A/C system.

Is my problem related to the absence of this compressor in the engine?

Thanks in advance.

Best Regards,



Greetings Fred -

Congratulations on becoming a Lincoln owner. They are great cars. The problem that you are describing is a classic heater core leak and is not compressor related. This is not an uncommon failure and can occur with many vehicles as they age. The core will need to be replaced, however as a test the leak can be stopped by disconnecting the heater supply and return hoses under the hood from the heater core and connecting them together with a tube. You will have no heater though during this time. Any local shop can do this for you. We should be able to supply you with a new core or any other necessary parts.



December 3, 2013

1971 Mark III Questions and Follow Up....


This summer I purchased a '71 Mark III with 90,000 miles on it from the original owners. About seven years and 700 miles ago, they performed quite a few tune-up items, including points/condenser, plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor, as well as other maintenance unrelated to my current issue including fuel filter, brakes, radiator, transmission and power steering flush service, carburetor rebuild, A/C and fuel pump . It has run well, but sometimes takes some cranking and pumping to get it to start if it sits for several days and seems to run a bit rich. It occasionally runs on after I shut if off; running the A/C all the time seems to put enough load on the engine to stop it.

I'm in the process of putting everything back to original, including a few items from Lincoln Land, cleaning up the engine compartment by installing a new battery and correct battery cables, correctly routing vacuum hoses, and replacing some that are in bad shape During the process, one of the plug wires came apart from the boot at the distributor cap. So, I proactively replaced all the plug wires, and replaced the cap an rotor with higher quality parts. When I reassembled everything, and routed the wiring, I also adjusted the path of the small coil wires to reduce tension on them. When I tried to start the engine, it turned but wouldn't fire. So I fiddled with the yellow inline connector on the red wire between the coil terminal and wiring harness. It started right up and ran great. I noticed that yellow inline connector seemed to be all rubber, and could barely identify any copper inside of it. It doesn't really snap into place, but seems to go all the way in a stays put. Later on, after a little more work, it wouldn't start again. Then after a little fiddling with those coil wires, it started once. Now it won't start at all with only an occasion attempt at firing. I tried adjusting those wires again, but no luck at all.

Does this sound like the coil took this opportunity to fail? And what about that wimpy-looking inline connector? I'm stuck having to tow the car to a mechanic if I can't figure it out.

Also, regarding towing, what do I need to be aware of when towing this car?

Thanks for any advice.



Hi Bradley -

Your first paragraph lists several tune up items that were replaced or rebuilt on your engine according to the previous owners. You then describe starting difficulties as well as a " run on" issue. From your description it sounds to me that the adjustments and operation of these components should be revisited at this time. This should include points adjustment and condition, carburetor choke operation and adjustment, fuel filter condition, fuel pump pressure and spark plug condition and adjustment. The engine " run on" problems are many times proven to be caused by an engine that has too fast of an idle speed adjustment when at operating temperature.

In your second paragraph you describe an engine non start issue that is temporarily corrected by "fiddling" with certain wires. The problem returns shortly after and is again corrected by " fiddling" with these same wires. If this is correct as you have stated then the wiring problem obviously needs to be identified and corrected. A visit to a good tune up technician however may be necessary. If you suspect that the coil may be failing I would advise substituting a good known coil as a test as diagnosing an intermittent coil operation would be difficult. New coils are usually not very expensive. As an another test a suggestion would be to bypass the coil mounted condenser and its wiring by connecting the coil feed wire directly to the coil. That coil mounted condenser is only used as a radio noise suppressor and could possibly be the problem as you describe. Proper diagnosis is critical in order to isolate and repair the faulty wire or component. A wiring diagram would be very helpful for you.





Following up on your advice below, I have good news. I got the car started, but it took a while to identify the problem. Because I could not get current to the coil, I researched replacing the resistance wire in my shop manuals. That involves running a new resistance wire between the ignition inside the car and the harness connector just outside the fire wall. But then I determined I was getting current to that harness connector on the engine side of the firewall, so I knew my problems was farther along the wire inside the engine compartment. It turns out that the little soft rubber yellow 90-degree connector in front of the carburetor that joins its red with green/grey-stripe wire from the wiring harness to the 3" long red with blue/green-stripe coil wire was the culprit. I've attached a couple of pictures so you can see the connector I'm talking about. The soft rubber yellow male connector on the harness side is bad, and requires a very specific amount of pressure and position for the wiring inside of it to make contact so that current can reach its terminal. I have it positioned perfectly with a zip-tie so that it starts and runs, but obviously that is not a permanent solution.

Since it appears that this one connector broken, my question is this: Do you know if there is any current-adjusting operation taking place inside that little connector, or is it strictly a pass-through connector? If pass-through, I should be able to simply cut the connectors off, and replace them with a different kind. I'd prefer to keep the connectors original, but finding that specific type of connector is proving difficult. If that connector performs some electrical adjustment, I've got another challenge on my hands.



Bradley -

Good that you found the problem! That wiring connector that you are holding in your second photo is the one that I mentioned that can be eliminated as a test. These wire connectors do not regulate current, they are only means to splice in the radio noise suppressor condenser. If you would need another one along with the attached condenser and wiring we should have a good used one available. Contact George at our office and he will provide you with the details.