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dean56

1958 continental convertible

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hi just found and bought a 58 that has 64 thousand miles on it has been siting inside a garage for 30 yrs. with top down, he said everything worked on the car, body great shape, glass on dash not cracked (how to prevent it from cracking?) how should i go about getting the top up? let it warn up, and go a little at a time, i dont know what kinda shape the top is going to be in, and i think i will change the oil and check gas tank put a battery in it and see if it will run. and other idea's thanks dean and what is the key switch on the left side of the steering wheels?

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Great find to say the least! being a lover of Lincolns and particularly the land yachts of '58-'60 I'm jealous. Monster cars with a torque monster of an engine!

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Dean, sounds like a great car, show us photos! Regarding the top, you might want to disconnect the hydraulic cylinders, lubricate the top irons and linkage, and very carefully try to raise it manually with someones help. Once you know the frame is not rusted then you can try the hydraulics, although if they haven't moved in 30 years you probably have some work to do...

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That is a very good idea, definitely lube everything and disconnect the hydraulics and try to put it up by hand first. As I recall, Ford top frames were often made with castings that could break when the pivot bolt/pins would stick. Be careful and slow! Todd C

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I think all Ford products had their ign switch on the left of the steering wheel in those years. Good luck with your ride

You must be thinking of the old starter button of the 1940s which was located to the left of the steering wheel. My '58 Mercury has the ignition switch on the right as did '58 Fords and Lincolns. Don't know what he was seeing in that position but I would suspect something like an aftermarket kill switch. I Know the '58 Lincoln Continental Mark III I once owned had no key switch of any nature in that location.

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The ignition switch on my '61 Monterey is on the left side of the steering column....

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the key switch is on the right, and the one on the left turns 360 i think it might be the switch for the top, i will find out more when i get it home saturday, have a roll back going after it, its one mile away from my shop

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The ignition switch on my '61 Monterey is on the left side of the steering column....

Must have been a '59-'63 thing as in '64 ignition switches were back to the right of the steering wheel on everything Ford. Guess they fired the Lefty in the design department.:D;)

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...and what is the key switch on the left side of the steering wheels?

If the car does not have air conditioning, then it's the remote trunk opener which requires a key.

Edited by JD in KC
add'l info (see edit history)

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The idea of the lefty switch was so mechanics could start the cars by simply reaching through the open drivers side window.

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This 57 Ford is customized but the key is still on the left as are Fords up to 59 at least . That is why I thought all Fomoco products were the same

kat186.jpg

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The key is on the right on a 58 ford. Top switch is on the left side of the dash on the very bottom panel, like a toggle switch, moves up and down. Be very careful when raising the top. As was said earlier, lube all the joints and pins before you do anything, yes all the top rails are cast and can break easily. It will be hard to disconect the cylinders, but have 2 helpers to lift the top (one on each side helping to lift it, one running the switch), remember that the back window is solid and slides strait up in tracks, make sure you lube the tracks good. There are lots of relays and mirco switches to cause headaches till they are cleaned and working properly. These Lincolns are a lot of fun at car shows, first because the car is sooooo long and second the way the top works is different than most cars. Good luck.

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I thought Ford ignition switches were on the left from '49-'63. Maybe '58 was different but I distinctly remember my uncle's friend's '61 Fairlane had a left handed switch. They would also only start in neutral, so you had to pull it out of park to start it. My father had a '54 Crestline that was the same. The switch was on the left in the '60-'63 Falcon as well. Left handed ignition pretty much disappeared after '63. There were a couple of exceptions that I remember, one being the '69 Plymouth Fury and the other the mid-60's Pontiac LeMans.

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To dalef52; I don't know where you got your information but the 58 ign switch is on the left like the 57. It is the same dash they just changed the background colors. I couldn't find a good pic of the 58 yesterday but I found this today

723_big1958-ford-fairlane-convertible-52-website-.jpg

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Unraveling the ignition switch location and pinpointing the reason for confusion. First of all everyone who said Ford ignition switches were on the left from 1951 to 1963 would be 100% correct. 1949 and 1950 models had the ignition switch on the right but retained the left side starter button of the '40s.

In 1958 Mercurys, larger Edsels, and Lincolns were designed and produced by what was the MEL Division which opted to place the ignition switch on the right side of the steering wheel. One real oddity is the smaller Edsels produced by Ford Division had their ignition switch on the left side of the steering column.

Robert McNamara who never embraced the idea of two divisions and absolutely hated Edsels became President of Ford in 1960 and summarily killed off the MEL Division and also heralded the return of the ignition switch on all Ford produced products to the left of the steering wheel. McNamara was President of Ford until appointed Secretary of State by JFK.

Enter John Dykstra as Ford President for less than two years and was replaced by Arjay Miller in 1963 who had been among Tex Thornton's "Whiz Kids" hired Henry Ford II following WWII in a desperate attempt to save Ford which was virtually bankrupt.

However it came about, the ignition switches on all Ford produced cars came to be located to the right of the steering wheel from the time Miller would have had influence on design. But I suspect it was Lee Iacocca who was named VP at Ford in 1960. Iacocca was over car and truck operations in the U.S. and would have had design influence on models appearing in 1964/65 the same year the ignition switch moved to the right of the steering wheel on all Ford Products where it appears to have stayed over the next nearly 50 years.

Plain as mud, right?

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My '67 Ford F100 has the switch on the left and this was a new body design.

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JD is correct, it's the remote trunk release, which can be locked with a key. All '58 - '60 Lincoln's had the ignition switch to the right of the column.

Do yourself a huge favor and don't work on the car until you can obtain a factory maintenance manual (they are excellent), and then go buy a lottery ticket -- you're going to need it!

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yes i got it running on sunday and the ignition switch is on the right and trunk key is on the left...... how do i post pics on here, i have tried with no luck thanks

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Do you have your photos posted online elsewhere, like Fotki or Photobucket? Pulling the code from there for posting in forums is the easiest way (for me, at least). I'm sure someone will come along with the standard instructions that get posted from time-to-time.

With regard to your dash lens, yes, Lincoln was aware of the cracking problem and issued a service bulletin. I'll look through mine and see if I can find it and post when I do. It has to do with removing a bracket underneath that they believed stressed the lens. It's possible yours was taken out a long time ago since it hasn't cracked already.

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Do yourself a huge favor and don't work on the car until you can obtain a factory maintenance manual (they are excellent), and then go buy a lottery ticket -- you're going to need it!

He also needs the July, 1958 version of the Mercury Maintenance Manual. For whatever reason the 430 and some of the engineering changes made to it in late 1957 and early 1958 are far better covered than within the Lincoln Maintenance Manual.

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