May 23, 2017

1979 Continental Sedan Battery Drain

Bill -

I have a 1979 Lincoln Continental Sedan and this last year it seems to be draining its battery while it is sitting. I put a meter on the battery and it reads 12.7 as soon as I turn off the car. While it is running it is 13.8. I know newer cars the alternator produces 14.3, but not 100% sure on this one. It seems to take about an hour to drain it down to 12.2 where at this point the starter will only click, which I expect. If I boost it at this point, it fires right back up. I should notice observations at this point. A new behaviour is; I can wind down the windows and use the radio with the key off as well as pop the trunk & run the heater blower. My guesses at this point are: a relay somewhere or the alternator regulator is bad. I can continue to drive the car and I just uncouple the negative when I stop for any period of time. Any thoughts or advise would be appreciated as I'm grasping at directions to search.



Hi Tom -

If your readings are correct, 12.2 volts at the posts of a good battery is more than enough to crank and start that engine. After turning off the engine it is not abnormal for the voltage to drop somewhat from 12.7. I suspect that the battery is aged or faulty and therefore a load test at an automotive electrical shop would be necessary to verify the battery condition. If you suspect the alternator or a regulator, they alone could be disconnected during a period of non use to prove or disprove an internal electrical draw. Of course, all other cable connections must be correct and in good order.

After the above electrical draw is corrected and the newer accessory power problem that you have described still exists you will need to trace that circuit with the use of the proper manual and wiring diagrams. This type of diagnosis is best done in a logical sequence by a technician with this type of electrical experience.



May 16, 2017

1967 Continental Coupe Running Issues & Update

Hi Bill,

I drive my Lincoln around for about 10 minutes with no problems, then eventually the accelerator starts to give up and when I press the accelerator it makes a whining sound. When its on idle it doesn't make the whining sound, only when I accelerate. I have to pull over and let it rest for 10 minutes in order to drive it again for 10 minutes and encounter the same problem. Any ideas on what can cause this? I have an electric ignition source too wondering if that's the reason... please help.



Greetings Alex -

The description of your issue really provides me with very little information to even guess what your problem could be. The fact that you also offer no information on what has been already checked or inspected by yourself or your mechanic also adds to my problem in diagnosing.

What does " eventually the accelerator starts to give up" mean?

Whining and squealing suggests something as easy as a loose drive belt or a noisy electric fuel pump (if you have had one installed). If the engine simply stops running after 10 minutes you could be experiencing a plugging fuel filter, a failing fuel pump, old fuel from a contaminated fuel tank etc etc. For all that I know your Lincoln may have been sitting unused and untuned for many years.

Can you supply us with more and helpful information that may lead to some better suggestions for you.

We probably can't help with your after market electronic ignition without having the vehicle here to do our own testing.




Yeah sorry,

Ok so I start my 1967 Lincoln Continental Coupe and it starts up fine. As I get 10 minutes or so into driving normally, when I step on the accelerator it hesitates and very little power is given into the throttle. Also at the same time is makes this weird whining noise only when I press the accelerator. It can idle fine no problem no noise.

If I park it for 10 minute and let it rest then fire it back up it runs and drives fine again for 10 minute or so.

When I step on the accelerator it seems like it rubs on something and makes this whining noise and also shakes sometimes. This all happens after 10 minutes of driving. Before that it drives smooth and accelerator works fine.

I did have the power steering pump and transmission box repaired because of a leak.

How do you think I should start to diagnose this problem.

Thanks -



Alex -

I would start by having your mechanic open the hood and inspect the complete accelerator linkage for some sort of interference. You should be aware that some of the linkage on this model is located under the floor at the accelerator pedal. It has a flexible bellows attached to prevent moisture intrusion. The linkage and structure at this location is known to corrode, seize and subsequently cause problems.
Then the accessory engine drive belts should be checked for condition and looseness. This type of problem may require some on scene diagnosis by only an experienced technician in order to pinpoint the issue quickly and correctly. For the next step, the engine should be running and the whining noise should be in the audible stage for you to try to locate the cause during the diagnosis. Your issue could even prove to be a carburetor problem. The above suggestions and my previous reply are the best that I can supply at this point based on the information that you have provided. I also assume that your engine and related engine parts are stock and in good order. Be sure to use extra caution and safety measures around a running engine. Let us know if anything is found during the inspections.



April 20, 2017

1969 Mark III Electrical Issues

Hi Bill,

I appreciate all you do to support Lincoln owners! I have a problem with my '69 Mark III. I purchased the car four years ago. A previous owner had disconnected the passenger side window motor from the original wiring and installed his own toggle switch and wiring. He installed it the dash ashtray where the lighter used to be. Pretty crazy but it worked!
I recently had a need to replace the front passenger side glass and decided to try to get the power window functioning with the original wiring and switches. I reconnected the motor to the original wiring. Not to surprising to see that the window would not operate with the door switches. I started pushing and pulling on various connectors. Low and behold, when I squeezed the window motor connector the motor worked using the door switches (driver and passenger switches). I unplugged the connected and adjusted the make and female connectors to improve the connection. Without squeezing the connector the window continued to function.

Once I had everything back together it no longer worked. I removed the metal trim from the door pad and wiggled the switch wires and the switch connector. Window was once again working!

Now I occasionally have a condition when it stops working. The drivers side window is also acting up but not as often. When I operate the power window switches (when the motors are not working) I do hear a click and I are the interior lights dim. I am wondering if this could all be related to a bad relay or a bad ground some where? When working, the motors raise and lower the windows quickly so they appear to be good.

Any ideas?




Hi Brent -

There are many things that can go wrong with power windows. You have already identified one of them. Why not repair all of those bad connections first instead of wiggling wires and hoping.

We have the wiring diagram available to you at no charge. Sign in as a 1969 Mark III once you're on our Website, go to the REFERENCE - TECH INFORMATION & PARTS DIAGRAMS section and Click on the Wiring Diagram.

Then you can move on to the switches and the other problems one at a time. It does seem from your description of the previous work that you will find much more to discover and repair.



April 17, 2017

1979 Mark V Free Play In Steering

Hi Bill,

I bought a 1979 Mark V December 2016.It has an excessive amount steering wheel free play. After I bought new tiers I had the front end aligned. The only worn part was the left tie rod end, and they replaced both sides. Is there a steering box adjustment to adjust the free play? Driving down a straight road is not good because of the free play. I also have a 1957 Ford Sunliner that has an adjustment screw on top of steering box to adjust the free play. Dose my Lincoln have an an adjustment like that? I haven't been able to find one.You have a great web site.

Thanks for any help,



Greetings Lyle,

You post that the only worn part was a tie rod end and then you state that there is free play in the steering box. Free play in the box can also be caused by worn internal parts. The adjustment on the box will not remove play that is caused by worn bushings etc. within the steering box. In my opinion you will need to visit another front end shop and explain the situation to them. The technician will then inspect your steering box very carefully after a road test and advise you. If you were at our shop at Lincoln Land we would lift your Mark and examine your steering system after road testing. The poor steering is usually caused by the sum of all of the worn parts and looseness. The initial road test by the technician is very important in order to perform correct and complete diagnosis.



1959 Will Not Restart When Hot - New Engine Rebuild


Restoring a 59 Mark IV. Had the engine professionally rebuilt, preformed break in on motor, but as the car gets warmed up, when I turn the car off - it will not crank back up until the car cools down for 15 minutes. We have replaced coil, points, condensor, temp sending switch was also replace at rebuild.


pulling my hair out



When this happens ALL of the general tune up items need to be verified. As well as the items that you have already tested, checked or replaced this will include battery and all starter and ground cables, starter, spark plugs, carburetor and choke etc. Other possibilities are engine severely overheating or the crankshaft vibration damper slipping and subsequently causing you an incorrect timing reading. If all of the above is in good order it may be time to contact your rebuilder. Good rebuilders will immediately become involved in these situations.



April 10, 2017

1978 Mark V High Beam Question

Hi Bill -

Is there a way to manually control the high beams with the switch on the floor in a 1978 Lincoln Mark V? I turn the auto dimmer to off and press the dip switch with my foot and nothing seems to happen. At other times all 4 head lights light up. I do not seem to be able to consistently control them. Alternatively, is there a simple way/fix way to keep them on all the time? I have to drive through some dark streets to get home and do not want to hit a deer.

Thanks in advance,



Hello Dean -

You are correct. If you rotate the H/L dimmer rheostat to the extreme position into the auto dim "off " detent position, the system should then be in the manual mode. This will be shown in the owners manual as well as the maintenance manual. There is also a 4 amp in line fuse under the dash that can be pulled as an additional test. If this does not work, the system will need to be diagnosed as per the maintenance manual. I would probably start the testing at the foot switch. We do have owners manuals and shop manuals available for shipping.



March 31, 2017

1969 Thunderbird Climate Control Question


My 1969 T-bird has only 62k original miles and only blows air through the defroster. How can I repair this problem? The blower motor works great; I just need to control the air, either through the vents, floor defroster, etc. If I need to replace a part, could you let me know which part? Thank you for your advice.



John -

The 68-71 Thunderbird ATC (Automatic Temperature Control) has the exact same system and parts as the 69-71 Mark III. We have parts in stock, and we can also rebuild the servo assembly and ATC Box. You can repair yours with correct diagnosing as per the Shop Manual. Loss of vacuum supply to the controls is a very good possibility from your description. Loss of vacuum on that system will cause the unit to default to the Defrost and Heat in all settings except Off. This could be an easy fix for you.



1977 Town Car New Owner With "Burning Belts"

Hey Bill -

My issue is i just bought a 77 Town Car with the 460 engine, it runs good but keeps burning belts. I get about 4 or 5 miles and it starts burning. I have checked alignment and replaced alternator with the belt. I have tried different types of belts (solid and notched belts), but same results. The only thing I can think of was the crank pulley has a burr. I will clean the pulley, but after that have no where to go if it doesn't work please help.



Hello Anthony -

This is the first time that I have heard of a belt burning every 4 or 5 miles with no apparent reason. I do have some ideas but because I cannot view the engine area, I need to ask some questions. Did you recently purchase this Lincoln in this condition from the seller? Did you speak to the seller about this problem? Do you know any history of any repairs to the engine at all? With this information I may be able to suggest some possible suspect areas for you to examine.



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.




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.



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.




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.



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