ericmac

1962 Lincoln convertible

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I found one of my absolute holy grails, a rock solid '62 Continental convertible.  The back story on this car is lengthy and I will get to it as we go. Fist though the car. It is completely rust free, delivered new in California but later moved to Arizona and later back here to Michigan.

 

 I found the car on Auto Trader Classics. It had been languishingin the back of an old Cadillac dealership on Woodward Avenue for over 10 years. As far as Ican tell the previous owner drove thecar less than 20 miles in the time he owned it.

 

Currently it is doing nothing but giving me a "click" when I turn the key but i have had it running and driving, so I'm thinking I have something minor going on.

 

Here is what I have to work with. The car has the desirable maroon interior, wood grain kit and factory air.

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Beautiful car.  Great find. 

 

Re the click, that is the solenoid attempting to engage the starter circuit.  It is one of three possibilities.  The batter is discharged and too weak to turn the starter; the solenoid itself is defective; or the starter needs rebuilding.  Your solenoid may be part of the starter and is attached to the top of it or may be remote and sitting on a fender.  I would look first at the battery and its connections.  Keep us posted.

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So far i have replaced the battery twice, the solenoid twice, all the battery cables, and the starter. I also added insulators to the solenoid bolts as i thought I may have inadvertently grounded out the solenoid.  So far nothing but a click. You should know this car has the wierd Ford powerbox with all the fuses and the solenoid low on the passenger side of the firewall.  It has to be something simple but i can't figure it out...yet.

 

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I have done everything I know to do with no solution.  Plan B. Off to the shop!

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It's the shifter.

 

Both the top mechanism and the ignition switch on these cars (and Thunderbirds) are tied into the shifter. Put it in neutral and I bet it starts. Or push the shifter up and down while turning the key and I bet you'll find the sweet spot where the circuit is closed and the starter solenoid can be energized. There's a safety switch built into the shifter so that the car can't be started and the top can't be operated without the car in Park. Due to the design of the shifter and the steering column, particularly on cars with swing-away steering columns, the mechanism is prone to coming out of adjustment and causing this exact problem.

 

Sorry I didn't get to this quickly enough that I could save you before you sent it to the shop, but give your mechanic a heads-up before he starts tearing things apart. I am 90% sure it's just that simple.

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Hi Matt and all. I am awareof the lock out switch and tried that...and failed.  I will tell the mechanic about this as i agree, the switch is probably the most likely culprit. Thanks for this and I'll let you know how it goes.

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 To late as well. We had the same problem, and it was the connections in the power box ,passenger side firewall.Great car.

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2 hours ago, old car fan said:

 To late as well. We had the same problem, and it was the connections in the power box ,passenger side firewall.Great car.

So what was wrong with your connections? I'm curious as i has to get in there when i replaced the solenoid.  I'm wondering if I made a mistake in there.

 

Thanks to all of you for the suggestions and the kind compliments about the car.

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Eric,i  believe it was the positive side,out of the box.We spent 3 or 4 weekends just getting the mechanicals in order,top and doors.I do remember it was a brass bolt we replaced, and a bear.to do But .with these cars everything is. How is all your functions on the car?

Edited by old car fan (see edit history)

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Some things on this car work, most do not. I bought the car knowing the top did not work but have a pretty good idea the problem is the relay that drives the pump after the deck is unlatched, which does work. The windows go up and down but the vent windows do not work, and the retractor mechanism on the rear doors does not operate.  The antenna does not work. I've not tried the seat or the air. Oddly the car has every available  option except speed control, though I'd like to add that. I  bought the car mainly because the body was exceptional and the price was beyond belief.  That being the case,  i knew i was going to have to fix some stuff.  I was right!

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So it turned out that the problem was a bad ignition switch.  The car now starts and runs though I decided to hire a carn rebuild too. I am very good at disassembling carburetors and getting them back together,  only to have the car never running  again. I should have the car back just in time to welcome the snow. 

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I finally got the car home. It needed quite a lot of little stuff including a carb rebuild, ignition switch, and a pressure test for the cooling system, but now it runs and drives beautifully.  I have a bunch of things to do now including getting the top and windows working correctly and then I will move to appearance items.  

 

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I just watched an episode of Jay Leno's Garage online where he spent the episode talking to a guy who travels around fixing the electrical system (mainly windows and tops) on '60s Continentals.  You might want to check it out.

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Here is the link to the YouTube Jay Leno's Garage on Continental convertible sedans -

 

 

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I don't see the link but would guess it is John Cashman. He is known as the top and window guru. If i get over my head I may enlist his help but I think I have isolated the relay that is giving me problems. I'll post a photo soon.

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I found the segment and really enjoyed it. John Cashman was indeed the featured expert, and well deserved. I really liked what he had to say about the Lincolns of the 60s.

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A little update.  I have done quite a bit with the car this summer. Several people familiar with these cars suggested a deck lid open relay was the culprit related to my top issue (trunk wouldn't open). They were right. That fixed, I can enjoy open air motoring.  The problem with the power windows? The wiring was not connected to the switches.

I now have to get new resonators and it should be quiet again.  Next will be the sticky choke. Then I will move on to appearance issues.  I think it looks better with the top down. 

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Nice car!  I had a '67 convertible, but car had so many issues I got tired of dealing with them.

 

I have a pair of brand new resonators from that deal, the three pipe contraptions, I believe those are resonators?  I don't know if they interchange with 1962 but I'd sell them cheap if you need them....30 bucks each plus shipping....I have no idea how much they cost new, but just boxing them up would be worth that, they're awkwardly shaped!  David Coco Winchester Va.

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Well cr@%. As I was backing into the garage my oil light came on. I was at low RPM  but briefly revved it and the light stayed on.I have plenty in it but worry a pick up screen is plugged, or plugged oil line...or bad oil pump. In any case i now have another project to add to the list. I am open to other ideas.

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I believe '61 is the first year they went to the dreaded "nylon" timing gear.  What you describe is consistent with when one bites the dust and the chips plug up the intake screen on the oil pump.  

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While my 1939 Studebaker timing gear was in the process of failing, there was a dull thudding knock. Do the failing "nylon" gears make any noise?

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