November 18, 2014

1968 Continental Interior Lighting Problems

Hello,

I have recently purchased a 68 Continental for a project, and one of the many things bugging me is the interior lights.

The only lights inside that work are the Oil light, Alternator light, Trunk light and High beam light. No lights work on any gauges and I don't know why, all the bulbs are fine and the fuse is fine too.

I'm not very good when it comes to wiring as mostly I'm used to engine work only.

Any thoughts on what might be wrong?

Michael

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Greetings Michael -

The power for the instrument lighting originates at the headlamp switch from the dimmer rheostat and is then directed to the small 6amp fuse in the fuse box. You state that the fuse is ok but are you checking the correct small 6amp fuse for power using a test light with the h/l sw. on? If you have no power in this position, the headlamp sw. may be faulty and need to be tested or the control knob is not rotated to the full brightness position. If the fuse has power you will need to trace for continuity from the fuse to the instrument bulbs. A wiring diagram along with some electrical skills are great assets for tracing and diagnosing electrical circuits.

Sincerely,

Bill

1975 Continental Headlight Issues

Hi Bill -

I own a 1975 Continental. It has 90k original miles on it and I love the car. One little problem though, if I turn on the headlights, the low beams won't work. If I switch to high beams they work but after about 5 minutes, they start flashing on and off. I can hear a relay under the dash on the passenger side, maybe above the glovebox, that clicks on and off with the lights. My tail lights and dash lights also turn off and on repeatedly. Any ideas on what that relay is? Or maybe you know of something else? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated since I am limited to daytime driving only.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Sean

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Hi Sean -

The possibilities are numerous with these types of issues therefore some smart testing will be necessary to pinpoint the problem or problems. You don't tell us if the car is a recent purchase that came with these problems or if you have the AUTOLAMP option or not but if the tail lights, dash lights and license plate light are also flashing on and off with the headlamps it indicates that the circuit breakers in the headlamp switch are tripping off and on. This happens if the headlamp units have been replaced by newer style lights that require more power than the original design of the lighting circuit or if a circuit or circuits somehow have become grounded. In any case the breaker will open the circuit as designed to prevent melting the wires or causing a fire. Vehicles with upgraded headlamp beams may cause the h/l breaker to finally fatigue and will require relays to be added to remove the higher load through the headlamp switch in order to prevent circuit breaker cycling. The headlamp switch may also prove to be worn out and not usable as well. Another possibility is that both low beam filaments in your low beams are burnt out. This is not uncommon. You also could have two separate faults in two locations. The best way to diagnose this system for wiring problems is with the use of the correct wiring diagram and tracing the power path from the headlamp switch with the use of a 12v test light in a logical sequence to the headlamps.

The Autolamp system will be of course more complicated to diagnose if your Lincoln is so equipped. The Autolamp option and its diagnosis are explained in the factory shop manual. It is possible however that a recent repair in some area of your car could have resulted in part of the lighting circuit to accidently become grounded. This happens very often. If you can recall that these lighting issues began soon after a repair procedure was performed on your car ( body work or electrical ) I would look carefully at that area first. Some good automotive detective work along with some electrical skills and the correct wiring diagrams will be needed in order to trace the circuit properly. The above suggestions are based on some the of every day experiences that we have here at Lincoln Land with this type of problem. Keep us posted as to what you find out and if you need more information after some testing let us know.

Sincerely,

Bill

November 6, 2014

1971 Mark III Questions

Bill,

I'm writing again about my Mark III with 91,000 miles. I recently came across one of your letters that discussed replacing a heater core, and you mentioned needing to remove an emissions tube that's located on the rear of the engine. You included a helpful diagram, and I was confused that my engine didn't have what I saw on that diagram. I did find two metal tubes, one on each side of the rear of my engine that had been cut off about six inches from the engine and crimped at the end. I concluded that this tubing was probably connected to the thermactor air pump and check valve system that I couldn't locate on my car. The light bulb finally went on when I realized that the two empty mounting holes above the alternator are where the missing air pump must belong. I'm guessing that the original owner's mechanic removed that system because he either damaged it, or didn't want to work around it when they replaced the heater core at 90,000 miles.

I've read that removing this system is pretty common, and my engine runs fine, but a little loud. However the tube on the driver's side is rather loose and in worse condition than the passenger side tube. I've attached a pictures of both sides, and you can see a hole in the driver's side picture. The tube is delicate enough that the hole that grew larger when I touched it and the debris fell into the tube.

First question: Should I be concerned about the debris making its way into the engine? I haven't started it since the hole in the tube opened up.

Second, I'm not fond of the crimp method that was used to close these tubes. Can these tubes be completely removed and the holes filled with a bolts or freeze plugs? I can't find any details in the shop manual how to remove/install them?

Finally, should I try to replace the missing components if I could even find them? I do have a moderately loud exhaust noise that seems to come from the driver's side, and haven't identified it as a cracked exhaust manifold or pipe seal yet.

Thanks for your input and advice.


Bradley

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Bradley -

Special size frost plugs are available to seal these emission holes. There are two needed for each cylinder head. Another approach is to remove the rear crimped pipes and have them shortened to a stub and an improvised plug welded on to them. Any rotted or loose pipes or frost plugs will result in an exhaust leak. For further information on new press in plugs call our office and ask for Al. I have spoken to Al and he is aware that you may call.

Sincerely,

Bill

November 3, 2014

1970 Mark III Thermactor Pump Questions

Hi Bill,

I have a question about the thermactor pump and the valve. I have a 70 Mark III. What is the purpose of it? I know it has something to do with early emissions. If the pump or valve is bad or going bad what are the symptoms? The reason for the question is my car developed a low roar/humming noise in idle and park mode not noticeable at high speeds. This noise is very annoying I checked all exhaust pipes retightened all bolts on exhaust. It does not sound like a exhaust pipe leak at all but I wanted to rule it out. I have vacuum everything works on vac side of car and does not sound like vac leak either. So the only other thought was this pump/valve? I talked to a older gentlemen who said when the valve went bad it blew out his mufflers on a 71 mark. Can you shed some insight on this bewildering noise? Thanks in advance.

Phil

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Hi Phil -

You are correct, that system is an early attempt to clean up excess tail pipe emissions during the early years of federal gov't pressures concerning automobile pollution. During those years the manufacturers were dealing with different fuels and engine designs and it would be difficult to know how effective these early devices are now with the low quality fuels of today containing ethanol.

Without actually being able to hear these engine noises that you are concerned with it would be difficult to advise you if they are caused by the thermactor unit on your Mark III or not. If you do however suspect the pump you could remove the drive belt to the pump and operate the car normally in order to possibly eliminate or prove the pump as the cause. Many owners have successfully removed this pump along with all of the pipes and valves etc. on these collector cars with no problems whatsoever with performance or local gov't inspections.

When diagnosing annoying sounds such as you are describing keep in mind that the cause could be as simple as a loose or cracked engine accessory bracket etc. Your description of "low roar and humming" suggests to me a cooling fan thermal clutch that has possibly "locked up" causing the radiator cooling fan to operate in the full ENGAGED mode at all times. Let us know what you find and we will post the results.

Sincerely,

Bill

October 28, 2014

1958 Mark Convertible Fuel Delivery Issues

Bill,

I am just getting my '58 convertible back on the road after many years of storage waiting for transmission rebuild. Now that the transmission is okay, I am having issues with the fuel system. I believe what I am experiencing is vapor lock. After the car is driven and the engine is hot, I am finding that I can restart the car but it will soon die. Because the fuel pump is up on top of the engine near the distributor, I can remove the lid of the fuel pump by removing two screws. When I do, I usually find that the fuel pump is emptied out. I can usually prime the pump by adding more fuel and re-installing the lid. The car, after some cranking, will re-start. I know that the fuel pump could stand to be replaced or re-built but would that make this problem go away?

This fuel pump on the '58 has a single hose coming from the fuel tank. I also have a '64 convertible; its fuel pump is located in the same basic spot but it has two lines to and from the fuel tank. It also has the big heat shield attached to the fuel pump. I have not had issues with the '64 running the same 93 octane fuel. This design suggests to me that the Lincoln engineers did have vapor lock issues in the tight confines of early 60's engine compartment.

Is there anything that can be done to both keep the '58 original but restore some reliability?

Thanks for your thoughts,


Dean

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Hi Dean -

If you do in fact have fuel delivery issues then correcting these issues will improve your situation. Before replacing parts you could do a fuel pressure and volume test as described in the manual. You state that the fuel pump could do with a rebuild but you should also consider the very important fuel pump push rod that drives the pump. This very popular item is well known to wear down and loose its ability to drive the pump properly. To check this push rod you need to remove it and measure the length. A new rod is 4 7/8" long. A shorter rod will lessen the capacity of the pump by the amount that is less than the 4 7/8" measurement. If you are able to perform the above pressure and volume tests and find that the results are not up to par you can then perform the tests again after the repairs to realize the improvement. I am assuming that your fuel lines and hoses etc. are in good order. We have the necessary parts available for your fuel system if you need them. If you would need further information on this push rod please call our office and ask for Al.

Sincerely,

Bill

October 24, 2014

1971 Mark III Windshield Washer Issues & Update

Bill,

My 71 Mark III hydraulic wipers seem to work fine, but the washers do not. I cannot hear the washer pump engage at all. I suspect that at least one problem is with the switch. Other than an occasional and barely discernible "click", it hardly moves when I push the knob to activate the washers. If the switch should move farther when pressed, I would like to dissemble it to attempt a repair. The shop manual only instructs one to "remove the knobs". I assume it refers to the primary control knob and the inner knob/bezel against the lens, but it does not explain how to remove them. I've identified a slot at the base of the primary knob, but cannot see any set screw to release the knob. I've attached a picture so that you can see the resting position of the switch.

Do you have any experience that may point me in the direction of a likely problem?

Can you advise me how to remove the knobs to get into the switch?

Finally, can you tell me if these cars had an intermittent option, or just very slow and speed up as the knob is rotated clockwise? If I need to find a replacement switch, do I need to make sure I match the wiper system in my particular Mark III? I sense about eight detents when I rotate the switch clockwise.

Bradley

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Hi Bradley -

Since removing the wiper switch is not a real easy task, why not first test for power at the washer pump when the washer switch is activated . That way you will know if the pump or the switch is faulty. The hydraulic wipers are variable speed design.

Bill

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Bill,

Thank you. I confirmed that no power was making it to the pump, but found the pump to be operational when I bypassed the switch. I was able to figure out how to remove the switch from the housing and found that the piston mechanism that closes the pump switch contacts was pretty gummed up, and therefore wouldn't move when pushed. I loosened it up with solvent and flushed as much of the gunk out as possible. It doesn't move a freely as I'd like, but it does work.

Bradley

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Bradley,

Good work, persistence paid off. The more that you operate that switch now the better it should work. You were probably the first person to operate it in decades.

Bill

October 20, 2014

1966 Continental Possible Fuel Delivery Issues

Hey Bill,

A while back I had a fuel pump issue. The other day I drove her about 12 miles, it was hot/humid here in Miami, but when I went to restart her a couple hours later she died on me. Sounded like she was out of gas. My gas gauge does not work, but I fill up before 100 miles. I put about 5 gallons in from a gas can and she started back up. When I got to the gas station she only took another 10. My book states it should hold 25 gallons...

Any thoughts?

She seems to run fine now and sounds great, just really strange.

Thanks,

Travis

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Travis -

Your question "Any thoughts"? along with the symptoms seems to tell me that some fuel system maintenance is in your future. What have you checked so far? If nothing you will need to give us some sort of meaningful diagnosis information in order to try to pinpoint the cause of your issue. Your car has indicated to you that there probably will be another no start event soon.

From the sound of your email though and the fact that your fuel gauge is inoperative I would first want to remove the sending unit in the tank for inspection. Not only could the electrical parts be faulty on the gauge portion but the pick up tube could be badly corroded so that the tube has broken and is now shortened and what remains can only supply fuel from the top portion of the tank. This of course is only a possibility but someone will need to perform some proper diagnosis as indicated above. When you can supply us with more information or if you repair it keep us posted so that others will benefit.

Sincerely,

Bill

1979 Mark V - Rough Idle, Hard Start....

Hi Bill,

Fantastic site, what a great resource with all your tips and tools!

I have been having a rather difficult problem with my 1979 Mark V with 70K original miles that I am desperate for help on. Long story short, my Lincoln does not seem to hold the adjustments after the carburetor is tuned. It will run like new then after a little while, will revert back to the same problem and we cant figure this out. It seems to do this in a matter or hours and goes back to the rough idle, hard start and will bog when pulling away from a stop sign. It seems this will only happen once the car is hot after stop and go around town driving.

The vacuum system lines have been checked and replaced as there where a leak was found in the engine compartment. I also had the fuel pump and filter changed. No holes in fuel supply lines, but car will behave as if its not getting fuel and/or a vapor lock kind of behavior. I have had the carburetor rebuilt and even bought a re-manufactured carburetor as well, still same issues.

I have the complete set of manuals and bought the extra wiring and vacuum diagrams as well. I supplied them to three different repair shops that have been using them to get this issue resolved to no avail. Plugs and wires have been checked and have no faults. Here is my laundry list of items below that have been repaired/replaced in an effort to solve this issue.

Distributor
Re-torque intake manifold bolts (one was loose on driver side and sucking in air)
Coil
Ignition module
fuel pump (3 times)
fuel filter
Carburetor
EGR valve
Smog pump
Replaced both catalytic converters
New 3 row Radiator (also added electric fans to help with vapor lock symptoms)

Two of the three shops want to push for an electric fuel pump and swear its vapor locking. I know that would just be making the true problem. I have read the Internet till I am blue in the face, I see suggestions for a plugged Evap canister, temp sensor, faulty brake booster, carb float sticking, faulty vacuum switch and faulty timing advance. I am out of options and way over budget on repairs for this beauty.

Any ideas on what would cause a car to tune out great, then loose it?

Signed,

Joseph

AKA Givenchy in Glendale CA

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Hello Joseph -

When you are a car lover, problems such as you are having sure can ruin your day or your summer. Not having your Mark V here for diagnosis I can only make suggestions of course based on what you have checked, repaired or replaced so far and it appears that everything has been replaced or inspected as you state. If the engine runs fine when tuned and then reverts back to bogging and roughness when at full hot engine operating temperature I would immediately suspect carburetor flooding. If the carburetor at that point (hot engine, rough idle and bogging) can then be adjusted back to a smoother idle with the mixture screws it could be flooding.

If you and your technicians suspect a fuel delivery problem or vapor lock, a fuel pressure and flow test must be performed as per the manual. This test must be performed on your engine after the poor engine performance begins. Therefore you must be prepared beforehand to do the test. We in some cases temporarily install a fuel pressure gauge to the engine and observe the gauge as the engine warms up. This type of diagnosis can uncover suspected problems or eliminate them. In your case the gauge would be observed carefully at the exact time when the roughness appears. These tests must be done Safely with the fuel lines properly plumbed and secured. These 400cid engines are not known to suffer from vapor lock but with the poor fuel that we are compelled to use today, vapor lock could be considered as a possibility.

You also report that the plugs and wires were checked and have no faults. Are they original and were they tested hot? If they are old or an off brand product I would replace them.

One other symptom that you mention is hard hot starting. This hard hot start condition can also be caused by a slightly flooded engine as well as a vapor locked fuel system. This makes me again turn towards a possible carburetor problem that delivers a mixture that slowly becomes too rich for the engine and slightly floods when the engine is hot. A cold engine requires a rich fuel mixture to operate properly when cold. This mixture must lean out as designed as the engine warms to operating temperature. A hot engine will run poorly with an over rich mixture. It is the carburetor's responsibility to deliver the correct mixture. If the choke is operating incorrectly or if the float circuit is faulty or maladjusted etc., the carburetor could eventually deliver an excessively rich mixture to a hot engine.

Electronic ignition systems when heated are also known to fail when hot and cause similar rough symptoms to a hot engine but with all of the new ignition components installed on your engine as stated ( interior distributor electronics and ignition module etc.) it is difficult to point a finger towards those items at this time. It is tough to consider that a new ignition part would have the exact same fault as the replaced one but it is not impossible. At Lincoln Land we have the luxury of being able to substitute "good known parts" temporarily for test purposes in some cases. Someone such as myself may also for tough problem situations drive your car daily until it is fully corrected.

To sum up, you appear to have considered and done everything but obviously something is not right. If an item is suspect it should be "properly" tested and proven faulty if possible ( no guessing ) therefore I would backtrack and carefully examine for a fuel issue first, especially from the carburetor with the engine at hot operating temperature. Keep us posted and let us know what you find.

Sincerely,

Bill

October 17, 2014

1964 Continental Sedan Deck Lid Hinge

Dear Bill,

I've been browsing the very educational archives of Bill's Corner and am hoping that you can steer me towards fixing something very annoying about my '64 sedan. When I close the trunk lid the left hinge feels as though it's binding - there's always a small 'thud' sound and a shudder. This never happens when I open the trunk lid. I checked the hinge up close with a LED torch but couldn't see anything out of place, nor could see any way to make adjustments. To my amateur eyes the tension rod/spring seems to be installed correctly.

Stumped in The Netherlands

Reijer

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Hello Reijer,

We can't leave you " stumped in the Netherlands"

If you are sure that the rods are installed correctly we would do exactly as you have done....observe that hinge area movement. We would however do this with the help of an assistant (to make sure that you are not locked inside). While you are inside with a good flashlight you need relax and carefully observe all of the movement at the point of the "thud" sound as the assistant operates the trunk lid in order to identify the exact location. Many times a dab of grease or oil in the exact spot will correct these issues. Other times careful and close inspection may reveal some sort of wear at any pivot point or incorrect rod installation that you will need to address. As a further precaution the use of safety glasses for your eyes is also a good idea when you are near these torsion rods. Note...On some installations a clip is used to Tie the torsion rods together at a point near the center under the rear glass. Let us know what you find out.

Sincerely,

Bill

1963 Continental Powering Steering Pump Questions

Hi Bill,

I have put my second rebuilt power steering pump on my 1963 continental. The first ones default was blamed on improper bleeding. The current one works, but pushes fluid out of the reservoir were fluid is added. Do you think this a bleeding issue or is there a blockage issue?

Thanks,

Jeff

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Greetings Jeff,

You don't tell us the original reason for replacing the pump or if the second replacement was the ONLY one pushing fluid out of the reservoir. If it was dumping fluid on all three pumps I would suspect a blockage somewhere. If you do suspect blockage, the filter in the reservoir, incorrect filter or incorrect filter installation could cause this. If only one pump was dumping out of the reservoir I would then suspect an interior pump problem with that pump. A pump that has an improperly installed seal could be aerating and foaming the fluid. This is not uncommon and can result in the fluid foaming and overflowing at the reservoir without leaking at the pump itself. When replacing these pumps it is difficult to "improperly bleed" them. The worst scenario is to run them dry in any way. Check out the above suggestions and if you need to, email us with further information. Did you speak with the people that overhauled your pump regarding these issues?

Sincerely,

Bill

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