March 27, 2017

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.

Thanks!

Dillon

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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.

Sincerely,

Bill

March 9, 2017

1969 Continental Sedan Rear Light Questions

Hello Bill,

First, thank you for providing information to everyone. It's much appreciated.

I was wondering how to get access to the rear tail lights on my 69 Continental 4 Door Sedan. The old sockets are pretty bad and they don't have the spring back action to them so I can't turn in a new light bulb. I have the replacement sockets but I am having a difficult time getting to the old ones.

Also on the rear tail lights on the 69 Continental, there is a clear lens and then a small red lens directly underneath it. I know the clear lens is for the reverse light but what are the small red lenses directly underneath the reverse ones for? I changed bulbs but they still don't turn on. I would assume they're for brakes but not too sure. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Juann

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Greetings Juann -

The small red lights on the rear quarter panels are not brake lights. They are side marker lights that are powered by the running lamp circuit. Side marker lamps were mandated to all of our automakers starting around 1968. With this feature (front and rear) the vehicle can be seen easier from the side at night. Some are of a simple design and some (as your Lincoln is) were more of a pleasing ornate design.

To service the tail light socket assemblies in the bumper you will need to remove the rear bumper in order to comfortably remove the two lamp bodies that each house the three sockets. Be sure to first disconnect and free up the wiring to the light assemblies, including the license plate illumination light to avoid tearing apart the wires. This is probably the best way to deal with these sockets if you need to somehow repair or replace them properly.

Sincerely,

Bill

March 6, 2017

1979 Mark V Rear View Mirror

Bill -

My rear view mirror has become unglued from the windshield. Any thoughts on how to fix?

Thanks,

Gerry

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Hi Gerry -

If your mirror has become detached from the windshield and is not broken, the first thought that jumps out at me is to reattach it. You can have this done quickly at a local well known automotive glass shop of your choice. They are experienced with this occurrence and should have the latest and best commercial product available for the task. If you wish to do it yourself, many glass adhesive kits are widely available for the job at local auto parts stores such as NAPA, Advance and O'Reilly's, etc. However, the directions must be followed carefully. We cannot recommend any one brand over the other though or any particular store. A missing mirror makes driving uncomfortable and less safe therefore we wish you a speedy repair.

Sincerely,

Bill

February 28, 2017

THE TOP SIX - VACUUM OPERATED HEADLAMP COVER PROBLEMS

1. System Check Valve (internal leak)
2. Servo Motor(s) (leak)
3. Headlight Switch (leak)
4. Vacuum Hoses and Tubes (leaks)
5. Vehicles equipped with Auto Lamp option - Solenoid Valve (internal vacuum leak)
6. Previous Owner or Mechanic has unknowingly disabled the System.


NOTE: A correct Vacuum Diagram and a Hand Held Vacuum Pump are strongly advised for diagnosis.

February 16, 2017

1969 Mark III Headlight Door Issues

Bill -

Good Morning and thank you for this site. I have been troubleshooting the vacuum system for a headlight door problem. I can hear vacuum hissing when the headlight switch is in the ON position. Is this designed to dump vacuum when the car is running in order to keep the lights open?

Greg

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Greetings Greg -

Several threads have been posted previously on this blog that are related to this subject. They can be located and read also. The short answer to your question is yes, there will be a short vacuum sound when the headlamp covers are repositioning to the open or closed mode. However, the system is not designed to constantly "dump" vacuum.

In a proper operating vacuum headlamp system on your Mark III, vacuum flow should be heard for a few seconds only when the Headlight switch is moved to the H/lamps On or Off position. When the switch is moved to either position (with the vacuum system charged and maintaining engine vacuum) vacuum is reversed to the opposite side of the dual port Headlamp Vacuum Servos located at the the H/L doors. During this vacuum reversal and subsequent repositioning of the headlamp doors a vacuum sound will be detected from the vacuum portion of the switch for only approximately 3-5 seconds as the vacuum is reversing . If you are still hearing a vacuum "leaking" sound from this system after the doors are repositioned, a leak must exist somewhere in the vacuum system. If this is so, the leak will continue when he engine is turned Off and the h/l doors will open in a short time period until the engine is started again.

To diagnose and locate a leak, a good vacuum diagram and some knowledge of how the system operates will be a great help to you. Remember though that the h/l switch can be cracked and leaking BUT with only a leaking sound at the switch does not prove for sure that the switch is faulty. With a large leak elsewhere, the sound that you are hearing could possibly be the vacuum rushing through the switch towards the large leak. If a leak is strongly suspected at the switch, it should be removed and the vacuum portion bench tested. The above are only possibilities that we have encountered in the past. The system consists of many connections and hoses that can cause leaks. Many times we find multiple leaks in some vehicles. Accurate diagnosis and patience is required to pinpoint the culprit. At Lincoln Land we stock many parts to repair these systems.

Sincerely,

Bill

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Bill -

Thank you. I did find a cracked hose going to the firewall. One of the vacuum cans has a "built in" check valve. Do you know the best way to test that? I have been from the bumper to firewall, checked vac motors for leaks, lines for leaks, check valves for operation, cans for leaks, and I am now inside the dash looking at the vac motors on the climate control system. My climate system is not follwing the troubleshooting flow chart (in the black repair manual) by changing air flow through the dash outlets when it should. I think I can hear hissing in that area, but my years of race cars and loud music is hurting the diagnosis. Your information is very helpful and I thank you! This year I am determined to find the problem.

Greg

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Greg -

The vacuum check valves which are located in the rubber hose lines or integral with a reservoir are a simple device. They allow engine vacuum to flow into the vacuum system that they serve but when a period of low engine vacuum occurs or the engine is shut off, the vacuum is sealed in the system at the valve so that it is not lost back to the engine. When vacuum resumes at the check valve from the engine, the vacuum will now flow again as necessary through the valve as designed.

We like to use a hand held vacuum pump to diagnose and verify the integrity and operation of any suspect components such as the check valves. Good luck with your diagnosis and repair.

Sincerely,

Bill

February 7, 2017

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,

Matt

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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.

Sincerely,

Bill

February 3, 2017

1976 Mark IV Blower Only Working On Maximum Setting

Bill-

I have a 76 Mark IV Lipstick Edition with 15k actual miles. I have worked on Lincolns for the last 25 years, and enjoy the challenge. The blower will only work on maximum. All vents work, defog, vacuum open and close as they should. I ordered a blower relay from Lincoln Land, fitted it just the same. The terminals are like new and clean. Like most low miles cars, I do not know weather to use it more and see if it springs back into life, or investigate more. The car is like new all original everywhere you look. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Kind regards,

Dave in the United Kingdom

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Hi Dave -

Some of these electrical problems can be challenging at times. The function of the blower relay is to connect the blower motor directly to the battery through a fuse link only when Max Blower is selected. When you select a Lower speed the relay is de-energized and another connection is made between two wires within the relay for all other speeds. These two wires can be temporarily jumped together ( with the relay disconnected ) as a test for proper continuity inside the relay. The wire colors to jump should be, The large gauge Orange with a Black tracer and Light Green with a White tracer. Unplug the relay and jump these two wires together temporarily as a test. Turn the key to the on position with the blower switch on a lower speed. If the blower motor now begins to operate with these two wires jumped but is non operative when the plug is again attached to the relay, you could have faulty relays. If the blower still does not start you will need to trace the blower circuit as per the wiring diagram. In either event please contact us so that we can correct a possible faulty relay for you or help you proceed to the next diagnostic step. Do you have a proper wiring diagram for the HVAC system for your Mark IV ?

Sincerely,

Bill

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Bill -

Unplugged the replacement relay, crossed the two wires, black and orange. Green white, turned ignition on, nothing, not a flicker. Still no low or high.

Regards,

Dave

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Hi Dave -

It sounds like you have jumped the correct wires The first wire actually should be orange with a black stripe though. On the Lower speed setting the green wire with a white stripe should have power from the system unless the engine is cold and the ATC is calling for heat. Check for power at that wire with a warm engine and the control set on the lower speed. If there is power at that green/white wire try the jump test again. There should be two 20 amp fuses in the fuse box for the climate control that can be checked with a 12 v test light. If still no power at the green / white wire (with a warm engine running and the control set on a lower speed range), a wiring diagram will be necessary for you to trace the power path properly. As an added test, the relays can easily be bench tested with the use of "continuity tester" applied to the two pins on the relay that the above two previously jumped wires attach to on the relay. Do you have a correct wiring diagram to aid you in further testing?
Sincerely,

Bill

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Bill -

Problem sorted. Bad connection at the back of blower switch. Pushed it well home ,and working great on all settings. Thanks for your help and assistance.

Regards,

Dave

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Hi Dave -

We are happy that you have found and corrected your problem. Your next step would have been to trace the power path on the green/white wire from the high blower relay plug using the wiring diagram. The loose connection at the switch would have been found during the diagnosis. Good work and perseverance on your part proved to be successful in correcting this issue. We were glad to assist.

Sincerely,

Bill

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?


Martin


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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

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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.

Martin

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.

Sincerely,

Bill

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.

Sincerely,

Bill

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