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1978 Mark V Starting Issues

Hello Bill -

We have a 1978 Continental Mark V having some starting problems. It has the 400 engine.

Sometimes both when cold and also when it is warm we only hear a relay when we turn the key, we have tried both in park and in neutral but not any difference.

Other times when we just have stopped and shall start again, the engine crank, but it will not ignite at all until we have tried several times , but when we release the key quickly back it seems that the engine is about to start .

Spark plugs look almost like new .

Have also tried starting gas, but it did not ignite with that either.

Other times it start by only showing the keys J

Do you know anything about this ?

Best regards



Greetings -

Your first problem with the "relay click only" when the key is rotated to the start position sounds like it could be a simple cable problem from the battery to ground, to the starter relay, or the starter relay itself on the right side near the battery, the cable from that relay to the starter or the starter itself. On site diagnosis will be required in order to pinpoint or eliminate these suspects.

The second issue of "crank but no start" can be due to ignition or fuel delivery problems. Again, proper diagnosis as per the shop manual will be required. The ignition system is electronic and contains modules inside of the distributor and one on the left fender shield under the hood that can easily fail or become intermittent and are well known to cause these kinds of symptoms. The shop manual explains the operation and the diagnostic procedures. I have no knowledge of the condition of your ignition or fuel delivery system or tune up maintenance, but I do know without some sort of meaningful diagnosing you will be stuck with guessing. You may get lucky with guessing or it could become expensive and time consuming.

Your third and last description of "other times it start by showing the keys" makes no real sense to me. Let us know if you need any parts as we stock many items at Lincoln Land that will correct your issues.