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1961 Continental Transmission Concerns

Hello Bill,

I have owned my 1961 Continental Sedan for 13 years. Since purchase, the transmission slips severely when selecting reverse once the car is fully warmed up. 'Drive' always engages smartly when cold or hot. The transmission operates normally at all times in forward gears. When cold or slightly warm, reverse engages properly and crisply as well. Only when fully warm, reverse does not engage normally. It feels like it is trying to engage but slips and, if lucky, very slowly moves the car backwards. The fluid and filter have been changed and the local transmission shop simply wants to tear the transmission apart. Any possible solutions without pulling out the transmission? I do have the original 1961 shop manual. It talks about adjusting the rear transmission band but before i get into that i thought i'd reach out to the experts.

Thank you,

Carl

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Carl -

After all of this time ( 13 years ) has passed you do not indicate (at all) any transmission MAINTENANCE or SERVICE on that unit during that long period of time or if it ever worked properly in your possession . It may have been serviced 14 years ago but who knows. In my opinion and from your information supplied it now needs at this time some "proper" ASSESSMENT that may lead to complete SERVICE and O/H from a local COMPETENT transmission technician.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for your reply. This car is in very fine condition with 53,000 original miles. It has been extensively service since my ownership of 13 years. The transmission was serviced by a competent transmission shop however and there was no improvement to the condition. I have to question how much experience they have, if any, on 58 year old Lincolns. I was merely wondering whether you have seen this issue before (slipping in reverse when warm) and whether you'd had any luck with a repair other than pulling the transmission.

Regards,

Carl

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Hi Carl -

Here is a list of some items for you to check first before removing the transmission.

1) Try to confirm that a transmission fluid compatible to the original fluid was used during any maintenance.

2) That you have the correct dipstick and the proper amount of ATF.

3) That any of the transmission linkage is not worn out and sloppy and is actually in the correct centered adjustment for reverse when reverse is selected.

4) If your Lincoln has a factory installed transmission fluid cooler with cooling lines routed to the radiator, check to determine that it is not clogged and is operating as designed.

5) Remove the transmission oil pan to examine any debris etc. that may be deposited there and to find out the condition of the screen.

The above suggestions are some of the main checks that you or your mechanic can look at before removing the transmission for repair. Good luck.

Sincerely,

Bill