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1966 Continental Lighting Issues

Question for Bill,

I am in the process of building a 1966 Continental. When I bought the car there were issues with the tail lights and brake lights. I pulled the tail lights and rebuilt all the sockets and re-wired all the lights professionally with new wires, solder and shrink wrap. Finally I got the tail light, and all four turn signals working great. My problem is the brake light. At this point I tested the brake light switch which is powering up the solenoid but still no lights. I pulled the steering wheel and tested all the contact points on the turn switch and the brake light contact has no power. I jumped from the solenoid directly to the brake contact on the turn signal switch. When I press the brake pedal I now have lights. So my question is does the green power wire on the solenoid go directly up the column to that switch. Seems like there is a wiring break. I am going to tear everything out from under the dash at this point to chase it down.

My other question is in the tail lights. I see the original wiring has a resistor wire (pink) that gets pretty warm. Can this be replaced with an inline resistor or even better , just deleted. I do not wanna have a fire from it. Thanks for you help. This is the 1st Lincoln we have done and I may be looking for more.



Greetings John -

Some of these electrical challenges sure can be baffling. To answer your question, the wiring diagram does indeed show a green wire routed from the brake relay to the steering column and the turn signal switch. The t.s. switch will then determine if both left and right brake lights will come on when the brakes are applied or only the left or the right depending on the position of the t.s. lever.

The pink resistor wire that you describe is shrouded into the harness and it is this circuit that is the power to the coil and the points. We have no problems with this design and are not aware of any fires that were caused by it. If you eliminate it, the points will receive too much voltage and will burn out. When the vehicle's engine is cranking during starting this resistor is bypassed and the ignition receives 12 volts for faster starting. While the engine is running the ignition points will receive the necessary less voltage because of this resistor wire. A small number of 1966 Lincolns were equipped with the optional Transistor Ignition option. The above information is for the standard ignition system. The Shop Manual contains all of the above and is a good tool to use when repairing these Lincolns.