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Need a Crying Towel


its a V-12
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I took my '48 "Connie", V-12 into the shop because of a radiator leak. The radiator was repaired and I decided to have the mechanic check the plugs, for they had'nt been changed in awhile. He called to tell me the plugs were in the worst shape he ever saw. He decided to run a compression check and found one dead cylinder, another going bad and 40#s compression, in all the others. Said it should be 100# pressure. Said I need to rebuild the engine at a cost of $8K-$10K. I'm starting to get tired of the cost of our noble hobby and maybe now is the time to either get out or drop a 350 chevy in the old "Connie". I am clearly having a bad day.

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PUT SOME NEW PLUGS IN..GET IT HOME....DONT DECIDE UNDER DURESS......

WHEN IT IS BACK IN YOUR GARAGE, LOOK AT THE BEAUTY, READ ABOUT EDSEL AND REMEMBER THE EXCLUSIVE CLUB YOU BELONG TO

AS AN OWNER OF THE COOLEST CAR MADE. THE ONLY POST WAR AMERICAN CAR WITH A V-12.

DECIDE, IS IT A DRIVER..REBUILD THE ENGINE..IS IT A GARAGE QUEEN..JUST KEEP PUTTING AROUND....JUST NO CHEVY..CHEVYS ARE NICE, JUST NO CHE-LINCOLNS.

I'D SAY MORE LIKE $5K FOR ENGINE....MIGHT AS WELL RECORE THE RADIATOR SAME TIME...GO FOR IT....IT WILL BE AN ADVENTURE..

JB

oHIo

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I agree whole heartedly with Jeff, and will add that you don't have to go first class on everything and spend a fortune, putting a C or any other OHV V-8 will pretty well kill the value of the car, and turn it in to a "used car", an ignoble fate for your stately Connie. The last V-12 I had in my last Lincoln had about the same readings as yours, and it ran decently, had oil pressure, had fair power, did not smoke excessively, and I would have been happy with it like that for years to come, a rod out of the present radiator will probally fix that part of it. The new owner of my old car is going through that engine, and I am sure it will be superb, but for the thousands of $'s involved, I would be glad to settle, and put any extra $'s in to the body and upholstery, just one mans opinion, good luck

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There must be a lot of things you can do short of a total rebuild that would improve performance. Perhaps the valves aren't sitting correctly or the rings need to be replaced? I would get some advise from the experts here. Also, was the performance bothering you beforehand? If not, unless there is some problem that needs to be fixed before it leads to more major problems, I think I'd sit back and enjoy the car wink.gif

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Unless you felt a skip in the engine I would be suspect of the dead cylinder. With a compression test it is more important the difference between the highest and lowest readings. The better test is a cylinder leakage test. That will tell you if the low compression is from rings or valves.

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My '41 Dodge had the same problem, with compression. What my mechanic did was that he carefully oiled and tapped the cylinder and got it up and running, it takes alot of patience but it will save you money. My mechanic was an older guy in his late 70's and he knew that it did not need rebuilding and he saved me thousands. I drive the car almost everyday on the crowded s. CA fwys. at 65mph. with the original engine and running components. My 1948 Lincoln Continental that was my dad's dad's I found 15 years after he sold it, it has a late 40's or early 50's Merc V-8 engine in it and it runs perfect. The eng. dates back to before my grandfather bought it in the mid 1970's. I would have liked to have had the orig. eng. but it was changed long before my time. How many classic cars these days has the orig. eng.?

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I'd run a few more tests before I pulled the engine. My old mechanic buddies tell me to squirt a little oil in the cylinder and try the compression check again. This will give you an idea of is the problem with the valves or with the rings. Also, was the engine hot or cold when checked? May be OK when warm. If you overheated, might just have a head gasket problem. The cylinder heads just unbolt, and you can check the cylinder wall wear while you're there. Also look at the vacuum with a gage. Should be steady, if not may have valve problems. Also, don't overlook possible ignition problems. Ford and Lincoln flathead engines are pretty forgiving.

Surely you can do better than a Chevy. The Chevrolet engine and transmission won't bolt to the torque tube, so you'd need new motor mounts, new drive shaft, rear end, suspension, and a lot of extra costs to adapt that could be put into engine refurbishment.

Abe

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  • 2 months later...

I'm new here and new to the 12 cylinder Lincoln.. Hope you do not give up. I'm sure you got in for the same reson as me because the cars back then had and have history, style and personality and in the case of lincoln, at least to me, beauty. I own several classic cars but still mass produced in the thousands.. seems to me you a real bad day if you even think of droping one of those in...... but in either case hope things work out

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4 years ago, it was $4800 for my 36, including R&R, and a re-cored radiator. New pistons, rings, lifters, guides, valves, bearings, cam gears, oil pump. (re-used the cam, straightened and re-furbished the rods) surfaced the decks and heads. New points & set up distributor. Rebuilt waterpumps. (I did some of the work, but not much) $8-10K seems pretty high!

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I took Zeffer1940 advise and after having the radiator repaired, put a cover on her and just "took a time out" I fired her up yeaterday, for the first time in 2 months, it was a beautiful day in NE Ohio and actually took her for a spin. Certainly, I have changed my mind regarding swaping out the V-12. I did have a new set of plugs put in and I don't feel any hesitation. She responds very well,no knocks and when I give her gas she picks up and goes. Little Lincoln smoke between 1st and 2nd but clears up immediately in 3rd. Putting her in storage for the winter and will look into a rebuild in early spring. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. You guys are great!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Back when this car was new, many motors needed a ring and valve job every 30,000 miles or so. They did not need a full rebuild, just hone the cylinders install new rings and grind the valves.

Much cheaper than a rebuild.

They even made special rings for motors with .010 cylinder taper - that today's mechanics will tell you have to be rebored.

In the old days they would have knurled the pistons, or added skirt expanders and put on the "10 up" rings.

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