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1969 Mark III Starting Issues

Hello Bill,

Having just purchased (Two Days Ago) a 1969 Mark III (first Model Version), and my first ever Lincoln!, I came across your website while doing some searches for parts & issues. This website seems like a great resource for information and Parts. Unfortunately, I am in not anywhere near your shop...otherwise I would just bring it in (I am in Santa Fe, New Mexico...if you know of any Mark III Mechanics)...but back to my query...the car has 46,000 miles on it, runs great. The odd thing is 1. to start the car I have to lift the Gear Selector above Park in order to engage the starter (won't do anything if I try to start without doing this)...the person I bought the car from said this is what he was told to do as well. 2. When I engage the starter by using the aforementioned method the starter will only crank one short burst...then stop. (it will not keep cranking). When the engine is cold it starts right up...using this method. When I have been driving and then stop and try to re-s tart, 90 % of the time I have to engage the starter 4-5 times before the car starts, each time in one short burst (and lifting the gear selector above park). Is this normal? Does not seem like it)....if not what parts might I need to repair this issue. Thanks Much. Your website is a great resource, I plan to keep using for upgrades on my new Lincoln.




Hello Jordan -

Nice ride, We know them well! The adjustment for your neutral safety switch is shown and explained starting on page 07-01-09 of the five volume factory shop manual set. These switches were only used for two years I believe on Lincolns and the adjustment while easy to us can be a complicated procedure to the uninitiated. The problem is that if the gear shift lever tang and /or the PRNDL detents or any other pivots are severely worn or loose in the steering column the adjustments to the N/S switch that you made will be erased when the shifter is again pushed far up into the loose Park portion area again. This switch was explained to us when these vehicles were introduced as a safety device to ensure that the engine cannot ever be started in drive or reverse even if the switch was maladjusted.

Your second problem could be a whole laundry list of one or more electrical issues such as starter motor, wiring including grounds, tune up specs such as timing , or battery etc. When you get the neutral safety switch repaired and if the slow cranking problem still exists ( which I think it will ) you will need to inspect the starter circuit components and repair as necessary. The starting/cranking circuit is also shown in the shop manuals. Let us know what you find . If you do need any of the necessary Factory Shop Manuals we have those available here at Lincoln Land.