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1963 Continental Starting Issues

Hey Bill!

Thank you for helping all us Lincoln lovers! I'm having issues starting my 63 Continental and was wondering if you had any advice? The car will not crank, fan doesn't move etc. When I turn the key it just makes a nasty sound like someone that doesn't know how to use a clutch. I've replaced the starter, starter cable, and starter solenoid, plus tested the battery (12.6volts). The car still makes the same sound. When I first tried starting it the fan would turn a little then stop and the nasty sound would start. I tried the hammer to the starter trick but that just made it worse. I'm thinking that the starter is not engaging with the flywheel. When I installed the new starter it went in perfectly and I used all the same bolts, washers, etc. Before installing the starter I looked at the flywheel (portion that I could see) and didn't notice any broken teeth etc. The old starter didn't have any damaged teeth either. I just got my car back from my mechanic a few weeks ago and drove it around the block once before parking it in the garage. I haven't been able to start it since! My mechanic specializes in 60's continentals. He just replaced the brake booster, oil pan gasket, rear diff gasket, and motor mounts. He recommended I get my rear main gasket replaced sometime when I can afford it. I don't believe they would've separated the tranny from motor. Any thoughts on getting my car back on the road?

Thank you again,



Greetings Matt -

If your starter electrical circuit including the cables and battery ( there are other battery tests besides voltage) are in good order as you describe I would begin by removing the starter and inspecting the flywheel very carefully. This would involve rotating the crankshaft manually as the flywheel is thoroughly examined for cracks, warping, looseness and damaged teeth. Your Lincoln mechanic will understand what I am suggesting. If all of the above is in good order the starter motor should be tested by the re builder for proper operation in all respects.