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Dream car to nightmare 1947 Continental Coupe need help!


krag4201

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A little background I bought a 1947 Lincoln Continental coupe with it's original V12 3spd with a hefty down payment and a J.J. Best Banc loan when I returned from Afghanistan. I paid roughly 26K for the car and was assured that it was a good "driver quality" car that needed little and could be enjoyed as is eeehhhh no... I've driven the car successfully only three times in six months every other time it's come home on the back of a wrecker the car is a nightmare! Currently the shifter has failed I cannot get the car into 2nd or 3rd it will only shift into 1st and R. It started doing this when the shifter locked up in the middle of rush hour traffic on Sahara BLVD while driving it home after having the rusty fuel tank relined (ever tried to load a car on a roll back with the rear wheels locked up?) Hauled it to a friends shop banged and cussed until 1st/R came back. I fought with it all day today I tore the shifter down and carefully reassembled it but I just cannot get the forward shift arm on the column to move the arms on the transmission move freely I am so disgusted and frustrated with this car I have spent thousands just to make it useable without success.

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Mmmm, sounds familiar but not uncommon. Maybe one should not expect to NOT have any issues with a 67 yr old car. Your expectations were of the previous owners honesty. The tone of your disgust and frustration suggests you may not be ready for the challenges of maintaining an antique classic. I hope I am wrong and that you can get past the first stage of aquisition which is to bring it up to expectations, then enjoy it. ...TJ

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It sounds like the shift linkage is mis aligned or not installed correctly. Often when pulling the transmissions no thought is given to the linkage geometry. Try getting the car on a lift and observe the movement from below. I would imagine something is installed wrong or has come loose.

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How did all the Buick guys end up in the Lincoln section? I thought I was the only one snooping around here.

On the shifter, there should be a plate that looks like half a butterfly with a semi-square hole the column linkage arms are moved with. Check the hole for squareness at the edge. If it has wear the resistance of the transmission arms can cause it to pop out, leaving a shift lever that just flops around. Build the worn edge up and file it nice and square. Then consciously follow the H pattern when you shift and avoid what you might call a K pattern. This is the voice of experience, not Lincoln specific, but column shifter related.

If it pops out sometimes you car get one wheel up on a curb and reach under to move the lever out of low and into neutral. Following the H pattern should get you home. Be sure to block the wheel when you reach under. It might roll and get you.

Bringing the car up to a level of reliability where you can toss your wife the keys and let her run into town for a gallon of milk, from what I read, is about $4,000 away, IF you don't have to pay an inexperienced mechanic extra to learn about your car.

Join your local Lincoln Club and use all the resources available the clubs are great at that. If you don't have an active chapter join the Ford V8 Club. There will be help there.

Good luck and always remember, after an uphill battle to get the car running good THAT is the time to think about selling it.

Bernie

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Mmmm, sounds familiar but not uncommon. Maybe one should not expect to NOT have any issues with a 67 yr old car. Your expectations were of the previous owners honesty. The tone of your disgust and frustration suggests you may not be ready for the challenges of maintaining an antique classic. I hope I am wrong and that you can get past the first stage of aquisition which is to bring it up to expectations, then enjoy it. ...TJ

My daily driver is a 1940 Mercury Eight fordor equipped with its stock 239 V8 and transmission. I am disgusted and frustrated because no one likes taking it in the shorts but I guess "caveat emptor" I've never even owned a modern car and have had issues with vintage tin in the past but it's only the "classics" I've ever wanted to punch! One thing after another! Ironic really I bought a 1926 Imperial E-80 five passenger, DISASTER! I had a 1931 Packard eight, DISASTER! Now I have a 1947 Lincoln continental coupe kicking my ass whereas my 40 just goes and goes. I guess there is a reason why just about all of these are sporting SBC's, Olds, Hemi's, or Merc V8's.

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The levers on the transmission seem to move normally I just can't seem to get the forward shift lever to function it just sits there and kinda wiggles. 1st and reverse are the only gears that will engage.

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Krag, I'm sorry I mistook you for a newcomer to the hobby. The cause of your disappointment is clear now. No one likes to take a hit to the wallet like that. I would have expected fewer problems also under those conditions. The anger will subside. (Hopefully). TJ55

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I read this a couple of times and by "forward" shift levers I think you are referring to the 2 levers on the steering column? It's possible that something is messed up in the column shift lever mechanism. there should be a spring that keeps the gear shift lever under the steering wheel in the 2nd-Hi ( away from the wheel) position. When in neutral the two shift levers should be aligned horizontally. If not then the connecting control rods to the transmission need to be adjusted. The gearshift lever should move freely( in the neutral position) up and down between the low reverse position and the 2nd-Hi position.

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There is a grease fitting on the shifter forks under the hood..chassis grease, then wipe up excess..shift and work it in..

car looks to be unmolested.Most of these cars have spent more time sittin then runnin..everything gums and sticks..

or, was not put together correctly , which is why it sat...

I have had many other makes of car, and my Lincoln has kicked my but, but when it works ..it is a joy to operate..

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At the end of the shifter column there is a wire with two loops in it. This wire is connected to a spring inside the shifter column. There is a cone shaped piece that looks like a thimble that is supposed to hook into a loop in the wire. Sometimes the spring breaks, or some one puts things back together wrong, or just doesn't put them together at all and the shifter does not engage the arms that are connected to the shift rods. Look at your 1940 Mercury and see if the Lincoln shifter is put together the same way. They are supposed to be the same.

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At the end of the shifter column there is a wire with two loops in it. This wire is connected to a spring inside the shifter column. There is a cone shaped piece that looks like a thimble that is supposed to hook into a loop in the wire. Sometimes the spring breaks, or some one puts things back together wrong, or just doesn't put them together at all and the shifter does not engage the arms that are connected to the shift rods. Look at your 1940 Mercury and see if the Lincoln shifter is put together the same way. They are supposed to be the same.

I bought my car in 2008. A 1948 Continental coupe. I have not finished yet. I suppose I will always have something that needs to be improved. I am trying very hard keep it as original as possible. And yes, I have been discouraged a time or two. I think

that in the long run having that work or art in my garage is a real kick. The car you have is worth all of the frustration. The hunt for parts and getting to know the guys in the LZOC is also a neat experience. Don't lose patience--it will be worth it. Glenn Lorei

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  • 2 months later...
A little background I bought a 1947 Lincoln Continental coupe with it's original V12 3spd with a hefty down payment and a J.J. Best Banc loan when I returned from Afghanistan. I paid roughly 26K for the car and was assured that it was a good "driver quality" car that needed little and could be enjoyed as is eeehhhh no... I've driven the car successfully only three times in six months every other time it's come home on the back of a wrecker the car is a nightmare! Currently the shifter has failed I cannot get the car into 2nd or 3rd it will only shift into 1st and R. It started doing this when the shifter locked up in the middle of rush hour traffic on Sahara BLVD while driving it home after having the rusty fuel tank relined (ever tried to load a car on a roll back with the rear wheels locked up?) Hauled it to a friends shop banged and cussed until 1st/R came back. I fought with it all day today I tore the shifter down and carefully reassembled it but I just cannot get the forward shift arm on the column to move the arms on the transmission move freely I am so disgusted and frustrated with this car I have spent thousands just to make it useable without success.

I had problem as well and discovered this issue in my 1946 LC coupe. Don´t know where to find parts to get it repaired. Any of you guys who knows where to find one?

Thanks

Michael, Sweden

post-73113-143142516037_thumb.jpg

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Well, if there is a shifting problem, it could be that the shifting column is not locked in with that little "C" clip. Or is the "cup" worn badly where the column comes through? I have that "cup" in my spare parts box if you need it.

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Well, if there is a shifting problem, it could be that the shifting column is not locked in with that little "C" clip. Or is the "cup" worn badly where the column comes through? I have that "cup" in my spare parts box if you need it.

I do need it and like to buy. What price is it and will you ship to Sweden zip 30239 Halmstad?

Thanks

Michael

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Shift levers should be in the same plane in neutral, If one is higher (or lower) needs adjustment. Might try un-hooking linkage and shifting levers on the transmission to make sure trannie shifts OK. Did you check trans and overdrive fluid levels?

Abe

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