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1960 Mark Convertible Overheating

Bill –
I have just purchased this wonderful car but unfortunately it overheats very badly after about 20 minutes running. I have removed the main thermostat but that did not help. When I start the engine with the radiator cap removed water erupts from the filler neck. I have been told this maybe a cylinder head gasket problem but there is no sign of water in the oil or oil in the water. Would the 2 block thermostats or missing water diverters cause this type of effect on starting please. I am trying to avoid removing the engine as it’s very heavy!!
Thank you and best regards.
Greetings David –
Yes, those 58/60 Lincolns are very special cars. They create excitement with car lovers wherever they are shown.
We cannot seem to locate your customer number here at Lincoln Land or the information and sheets on the sale of the car (if you purchased it from us). Would you please send us that information along with any helpful maintenance history etc.
Did the coolant erupt from the filler neck area before you removed the thermostat? Removing the thermostat is never the way to correct an overheating engine of course. A sixty year old car can have several cooling system issues depending on the quality of the maintenance performed by its owners since the car was new. Yes, we do recommend eliminating the block thermostats and servicing the diverters. However, the easy to check items should be examined first. What was the actual indication to you that your engine was overheating? Was it the Temperature gauge reading only or loss of coolant etc.? The previous owner should be able to supply some important information to you regarding this cooling system issue.
Dear Bill,
Many thanks for your swift reply and my very tardy response!!
The car came from the US to the UK in around 1988 and stayed there for 10 years or so. It then was exported to Spain and eventually to Tenerife in 2002. I purchased it from the Spanish owner a few months ago and he owned it since 2002. Unfortunately it was a distressed sale on the owners behalf and he refuses to discuss the overheating issue now as he did not tell me about it when we were negotiating. The car will remain in Tenerife so there will be no future rust issues!!
I am unsure if the filler neck fountain was present before I removed the thermostat but the first indication before this was coolant overflowing from the overflow pipe in the radiator onto the road. The gauge eventually moves to the far right and you can hear ‘bubbling’ in the radiator and also in the head I think after 15 to 20 minutes.
I am thinking it may be a head gasket issue and intend to make a spark plug with a drilled hole and try a little air pressure to each cylinder in turn to see if there is any bubbling in the radiator.
The parts book also shows a fan shroud on the 5 bladed, air conditioned cars and my car definitely does not have one fitted, I am sure this doesn’t help the situation but is not the total answer I am sure.
I do need some parts so will contact your sales department for those.
If you have any other thoughts or suggestions they would be very welcome.
Best regards,
Hello David –
After you do the air pressure test in the cylinders and are satisfied that all is well at that point I would look at the radiator. If it is original and/or up to specs for an a/c car I would have a radiator shop examine it and to rod it out to clean it properly. After all of these years and depending on the vehicle maintenance, regular flushing will not dislodge the sludge that has built up over time. The rad cap should be tested of course to be sure that it is within specs. Water pumps on these engines are also known to suffer from damaged impellers. Next, the block thermostats should be discarded and the diverters serviced as you have no information on their condition. The fan shroud is an important feature to have ” if ” one was factory installed on yours. If some type of work was performed on your Lincoln at some point in time and the “wrong” radiator installed they may have left the shroud off because it did not fit. We have no knowledge of a fan shroud factory installed however on this era of Lincoln in the USA. Keep us posted on your progress with the overheating situation.

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