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1977 Town Car Headlight Door Issues

Saw your response to another post about similar problem they had with a Mark V. The 77 Town Car I have is in Hawaii and no local mechanic seems to be able or want to find that vacuum leak. What’s happened so far is when I got the car a few years ago, the leak was such that doors stayed shut for about 3 days before starting to gradually open. Both would open at the same time and at the same rate. The problem got gradually worse. Upon investigating this, somebody suggested trying to change check valve near fire wall. Did this. No change. Also changed headlight switch as that too was suggested as possible culprit. So car had to go into shop for over a year to get engine changed. When I got car back, doors were worse. Driver side door slow to open and close even when engine on. Passenger side opens and closes quickly like before. But now will fully open if car left parked for even a few minutes. I got a shop to look at it and even got them the large ford pamphlet/ book on the vacuum / electrical system. Unfortunately they are not patient to try to really get to the root of the problem. They just want me to obtain two new door actuators which are hard to find. Oh in addition I disconnected air line to driver side actuator to check hose connection and a significant amount of water came out. So probably the driver side actuator is bad, but not positive on passenger side one. Do you agree actuators are likely cause or how water could get inside driver’s side actuator? Can you suggest parts to tell them to check and if you have these parts you could sell or direct me to where I could find them?
Hello Robert –
Several blog replies have been posted here regarding vacuum leaks and they all have similar information. Vacuum leaks can be located anywhere that the vacuum is routed and the total amount of loss will be the sum of all of the leaks that are found. We only recommend performing proper diagnosis to repair these systems. Without diagnosing you can consider every component that is shown in your shop manual a suspect. The vacuum motors (actuators) can very easily be tested for leaks and determined absolutely without doubt if they are leaking or not but unfortunately you have described the technicians that work on your car as impatient which is incompetence in my opinion. To sum up, I can sit here and type out ALL of the other parts that you have not “tried out” as culprits but that would be only guessing and a disservice to you.
We usually do stock most of the parts needed to repair these vacuum systems. Some components can also be successfully repaired in our shop.
The one possible way that water can be inside the lines etc. is that a sizable vacuum leak or leaks has the outside air entering the components and is condensing on the walls of the interior where the vacuum is routed. This of course is only a theory.
Although the headlamp door actuators are very popular leak areas I do hope that someone will diagnose and qualify them as faulty before you order replacement parts. As our customer we can offer to properly test any parts for you that are sent to us if you are unable to receive that service where you are located. Please check with George before sending us any parts for inspection.

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