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January 30, 2017

1977 Mark V Rough Idle

Bill -

I purchased a car out of Ohio shortly after it won a primary first at the 2016 Mid-America meet. We drove up to see the car after preliminary negotiations on the phone. I have had the hots for a Mark V for decades. We fell in love with the car immediately. The fact that it is Bright Gold Diamond-Fire and I am a second-generation Georgia Tech fan was probably a contributing factor to my lust.

I did notice that the idle was pretty rough and the owner and I talked about this. He gave me the list of the repairs that he had had made to the car, sang the praises of his garage man, and indicated that their conclusion was that the carburetor needed to be rebuilt. The car was showing 6744 miles when we left Ohio, DMV Data suggests that number is accurate.

We made a leisurely three day trip home, and the rough idle didn't improve a bit during the trip. Since returning home, the following has been accomplished:

The carburetor has been rebuilt, The EGR valve has been replaced, the coil, distributor cap and rotor have been replaced, the spark plugs have been removed cleaned and gapped, The fan clutch has been replaced, the three heat sensitive vacuum valves (ported vacuum switches) and the tubing have been replaced, vacuum supply has been tested at multiple points in the engine bay and has been found to be according to specifications and strong. We discovered that the engine control vacuum tubing was not installed as depicted in the shop manual and have corrected that. Cylinder compression tests have been performed and compression was found to be uniform and strong-135 psi plus or minus a little. The alternator has been found to have two bad diodes and has been rebuilt. We also replaced the voltage regulator.

Throughout all of this, cylinder number six seems to be under performing. When you pull the plug-wire off of number six with the engine running it has less effect on the smoothness of the engine than does any other cylinder. We have changed the wire on number six, swapped spark plugs from 1 to 6 and from 5 to 6 but still number six under-performs.

Someone suggested a broken valve spring on number six so we pulled the valve cover and physically inspected the spring both stationary and while operating and found no fault.

My friend/mechanic is a retired engineer who has been maintaining old Fords for the local TBird club for years. I can't claim much mechanical ability for myself but he understands the engine and he is capable of reading and understanding the shop manual.

We are pretty much out of ideas. Still love the car but when you are standing at a stoplight with your foot on the break, the vibration is disheartening. It smooths out at speed but I am told that the engine has enough torque to overcome or mask the under-performing cylinder at higher RPM.

Any suggestions you might give us?



Hi Martin -

After reading your letter several times to understand what has already been done, you might want to see if the correct firing order has ever been verified. You could also do a engine vacuum test and compare the readings with the shop manual readings. Any out of spec. vacuum readings should be shown in the shop manual and the cause explained.
The car has very low mileage and is 40 years old. That is only 170 miles per year! It would be very helpful to know the history of this issue. For all we know, this engine could have had this problem for 30 years or even at 1000 miles! Do you have any further information on this engine from any other previous owners? Any paper work would also make interesting reading.

Let us know.



Bill -

Thank you very much for your response. We have, in fact, verified the firing order by two independent mechanics. It is now said that the vacuum is not "rock solid" from the cylinder bank containing #6. The conclusion is that there is an internal engine problem (valve, valve guide, cam lobe) on that bank. The hard idle history is sketchy but may have existed for a very long time.

We are now contemplating going into the engine. I have now purchased two cars with major problems that I did not detect prior to purchase.


January 23, 2017

Power Window Advice For ALL Models.... Simple & Effective

Greetings -

The following has been suggested previously on this blog.

As most of us car collectors already know, issues with power windows are common and can be annoying and costly to repair. One of the most common issues that can occur is when the window mechanism becomes "stuck" in the up position when the vehicle is parked and the power windows are unused for a period of time.

While the car is parked and the windows are in the up position (at the up stops), the mechanism remains under stress and pressure. The plastic drive gear parts are then subject to quicker cracking and decomposing. The window regulator arms along with the inner metal door panels can deform slightly adding even more tension to the mechanism. When the window is finally operated, the plastic gear drive parts can fail or at a later date finish disintegrating. The motor will still operate but cannot drive the window down or up.

The above of course does not happen in all cases but is common enough to cause concern. The "tip" here is simply to lower the windows very very slightly at the time of parking and lengthy non use of the car. A slight flick of each p/w switch will drop the glass 1/32" or less. During the period of non use the window mechanisms will not be under stress and will in most cases, operate for you immediately when needed. I have been using this method on all of my cars for many years with excellent results. Of course all power windows are subject to many other problems and the above mentioned parts can still fail from age but they will fail much less when the above suggestion is used.

We have most power window repair parts on hand here at Lincoln Land should you ever need them.



January 11, 2017

"Do it Yourself" Repairing and Maintaining Your Lincoln Tips

Performing some of your own repairs and maintenance on your Lincoln can be rewarding in so many ways. Besides saving labor expense a successful repair gives you a nice sense of accomplishment. Over a period of time and several repairs, you as the owner can really get to know your car and how to go about diagnosing and approaching many of the issues that will confront you as a Lincoln owner.

Before "tearing" into a problem you should do a little research into the issue as it pertains to your vehicle. This can be done with the use of the correct Maintenance Manual and the correct Wiring Diagram for the car. Prior to embarking on a repair or adjustment etc., knowing the answer to such questions as when did the malfunction begin to occur, did it start immediately after another repair was performed or was the car purchased with the problem already happening? Being aware of the answers to these and other questions can really help in the correct diagnosis.

Knowing how to properly read your wiring diagrams is an art form in some cases as many factory publications are very congested and can be difficult to follow. Paying attention to the wire color codes etc. and having patience along with proper diagnostic habits and simple testing equipment can really pay off in the long run and save hours of frustration and unnecessary expense. As an example, consider that a fuse that is continuing to blow occasionally could be protecting other unknown circuits as well as the one that you are trying to repair. Learning this from the wiring diagram before starting a repair may suggest other logical avenues of approach in order to locate the culprit. On the other hand proceeding without this information can many times lead you to wasted hours and/or excess cost.

The above are just a few tips to help owners pinpoint some of the troubling issues that we all must deal with sooner or later. If any of these tips seem to help some of our customers, we will continue to include them occasionally in the Lincoln Land blog.