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1978 Town Coupe Electrical Issues, New Owner

Hey Bill,

First of all, I want to comment on how great this website is! I haven't seen anything like it, and I love how thorough it is for navigating problems!
I've read a few similar situations where Lincolns in my year range are running into door lock problems, but please see below:

I recently acquired a 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe (Triple Black ) I have 2 issues with it. Firstly, neither of the door locks are working. There is no noise coming from them at all. I'm confident I found a thread on another forum that may work (pull the door panels off and trace the wires back to the fuse box) but I'm concerned because the keys wont even turn in the cylinder, and if I push the lock button I don't hear anything. I can't force them to lock by pushing the pin down either. Secondly, the one that concerns me most is that the instrument/dash cluster seems to be at half power. The fuel gauge doesn't work, but the tach does -- as do a few of the lights intermittently. Needless to say, this is frustrating because you have to remember how much gas that 460 has burnt thru. The fuses seem to be fine -- I've replaced the questionable ones, but with no luck. I put in a new alternator and battery, and the problem is still there.




Hi Dillon -

The most common problem with this era of Lincoln power door locks is the door lock actuators themselves that are located inside the doors.
The dash light problem could be the dash light rheostat that is located at and is part of the headlight switch itself.

The fuel gauge issue could be the fuel sending unit that is located inside the fuel tank. This a possible and a very popular fail part. However, all of your issues need to be diagnosed in a logical sequence in order to pinpoint any electrical problems correctly in order to avoid replacing parts that are not faulty.

Guessing is not a great method.

The operation and diagnosis is explained in the Factory Maintenance manuals and Wiring Diagrams. Do you have any of these publications? We have these available if you need them and can send them to your address. They are very useful for these and future problems with your recent Lincoln purchase. If needed please call us and ask for George to make arrangements.