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1960 lincoln continental wont start after working completely fine!


BryanFJ1
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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Everyone! So while I was looking into what to do next I thought about a few things.
First of all, I am 90% sure that I won't be able to take the heads off myself so I'd need to bring it to the shop for that work. 
Thus - since the heads probably would need to go to the machine shop, and probably would need new valves - is it more reasonable just to order new heads and swap them with the old ones? 
I Tried to find it online, but it seems like these are rare! 
 
Second thing is the oil under the valve cover. Right before the accident I changed the oil with the new oil filter (FRAM XG8A), and the new oil filter was a bit smaller than the previous one. Could it be that the new filter is actually the wrong one (Place where I got it was saying it is the right fit), and it's making an oil flow to circulate wrong or even maybe it's stopping the flow at all?
 

The last thing but not least, while all this struggle with trying to start the car i have noticed that the fuel filter is dry. Took the fuel pump off, took it apart and couldn't find anything that was blocking the flow. The rubber gasket inside looks pretty solid but it sucks the gasoline only while the car is running which is weird right?

 
 
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Of all the things you described and showed us that are wrong with that engine, stuck valves, bent push rods. etc., I don't think a dry fuel filter would be at the top of my list of the first things to fix.

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There are a bunch of interchangeable versions of the oil filter used on that car. The traditional Fram number is PH8A, NAPA/WIX is 1515, and many other brands just have some letters and a "1" I think Purolator is V-1A? A lot of store brands are some number involving a "1" because it was the first really common spin-on full-flow oil filter.

 

There are a bunch of different versions that interchange, too. I think a shorter one is Fram PH-17? That may be a shorter length version meant to miss the fan belts on B-engine Chryslers with air conditioning. It is DIRECTLY interchangeable, as are several others.

 

Fix your heads. Exchange heads are almost always a bad idea. When in doubt just say no. I don't know whether you will need valves. That will become clear after the heads are off and you can see if any are bent, and how much "margin" is left. There is no reason you would necessarily need any new valves. That depends on pre-existing wear, and whether any of them were stuck open and hit the pistons and bent. If you will have the heads off, you will probably be having the valves ground though, and possibly some valve guide work. The machine shop will give you all the sordid details.

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8 hours ago, BryanFJ1 said:
is it more reasonable just to order new heads and swap them with the old ones? 
I Tried to find it online, but it seems like these are rare! 

Welcome to the world of low production cars. A big difference between a Lincoln and a Chevrolet or other popular cars are parts availability. The chance of finding any exchange heads would be almost non-existent.  Forget about new parts they haven't been made in 50 years. 

 

Guaranteed you need a fuel pump. The rubber dries out and the newer fuels destroy the older rubber. If you are going to have a shop do the engine work, start looking for a new pump before you need it. Again Lincoln parts are not common. 

 

Have you decided what you are going to do about the fuel tank that started this whole problem? 

It WILL have to be removed to be chemically and maybe physically cleaned. (e.g. sand blast)  Begin looking now for a specialty shop who restores gas tanks. Places that do this work are scarce. (maybe Renu?)

And FYI - NO, nobody makes new or reproduction gas tanks for 1958-60 Lincolns you have to fix your own. 

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22 minutes ago, m-mman said:

Welcome to the world of low production cars. A big difference between a Lincoln and a Chevrolet or other popular cars are parts availability. The chance of finding any exchange heads would be almost non-existent.  Forget about new parts they haven't been made in 50 years. 

 

Guaranteed you need a fuel pump. The rubber dries out and the newer fuels destroy the older rubber. If you are going to have a shop do the engine work, start looking for a new pump before you need it. Again Lincoln parts are not common. 

 

Have you decided what you are going to do about the fuel tank that started this whole problem? 

It WILL have to be removed to be chemically and maybe physically cleaned. (e.g. sand blast)  Begin looking now for a specialty shop who restores gas tanks. Places that do this work are scarce. (maybe Renu?)

And FYI - NO, nobody makes new or reproduction gas tanks for 1958-60 Lincolns you have to fix your own. 

I brought the fuel pump to the discussion because exactly you mentioned - if they are going to fix heads, they can just put that new pump instead of the old one. So yeah, I guess that’s on the shop list. 
 

the valves and heads question is still up in the air. Some places are cheap for this job - but the reviews are horrible. Some places charging like 5000$ For whole rebuild which is a price for a custom brand new engine (yeah quoted that as well), or 3500$ only for the top work. 
So im trying to find a place that will do the job for 1500 - 2000$. Dunno, will see and tell you guys what’s what. 
 

the fuel tank. The bad gas wasn’t in the tank already when this happened. I put full (25 gallons?) of new fuel in the tank that apparently took all the rust from the ceiling and shoot it right to the fuel filter, which caused car to stall in the middle of the road. With stress level being above the roof I grabbed the canister WITH OLD GAS IN IT (still hate myself for doing that) took off the hose that goes in fuel line and just dumped it im. 
You know what happened next…

 

So the tank was sitting for couple months now filled to the top with new gas, which, I thought, I would dump in a big ass canister and just refill tank with another new gas. 

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1 hour ago, BryanFJ1 said:

So the tank was sitting for couple months now filled to the top with new gas, which, I thought, I would dump in a big ass canister and just refill tank with another new gas. 

Hummmm . . . . If  it were only that easy. 

If you were to drain and remove the tank, remove the sending unit and use a strong light to look deep inside you would be very surprised to see what is inside. It wont be pretty.  

Bad gas and rotten tanks are the bane of a car collectors existence. A million dollar car or a $500 junker, they all have the same issues with gas tanks and fuel systems. They can never be too clean. 

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I had the same thing happen to my '56 Cadillac that had been sitting for several years. I got it started and ran the engine for 45 minutes. Shut it down let it cool down then started it up again. It started then stopped with a horrible clatter. Several bent push rods, a broken lifter, and many stuck valves. I pulled the heads, dismantled the valves, cleaned up everything with solvent and wire brushes, then lapped the valves by hand. Re assembled with new parts where needed. The valves were completely gummed up. The engine ran fine for years after this. I don't know if running solvents through the valves would be as effective.

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I’m usually pretty patient and nice, but in this instance…….if you have all that work done and then just put new gas in the tank, thinking the tank fixed itself, you need to find a new hobby.  

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11 hours ago, m-mman said:

Hummmm . . . . If  it were only that easy. 

If you were to drain and remove the tank, remove the sending unit and use a strong light to look deep inside you would be very surprised to see what is inside. It wont be pretty.  

Bad gas and rotten tanks are the bane of a car collectors existence. A million dollar car or a $500 junker, they all have the same issues with gas tanks and fuel systems. They can never be too clean. 

I’ll definitely will take the sending unit and take a look inside, maybe even take a picture. 
i guess the good thing that you can tell by the colour of the gas that there is something wrong with it.

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2 hours ago, BryanFJ1 said:

i guess the good thing that you can tell by the color of the gas that there is something wrong with it.

Decomposed gasoline produces gum and varnish . . . . . . condensation (water) makes rust.

You want your fuel to be as clean and pure as your oil.    Nobody would allow dirty (rusty) oil to circulate in their engine. 

 

Ideally the inside of a gas tank should be as clean and shinny as a new paint job on the fenders.  No rust, no imperfections. 

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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Are you really climbing under that car when it’s supported by only a bumper jack?  😳

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Bryan, I know it sounds like we’re beating up on you, but we’re trying to help, and as mentioned, worried about your safety on that Jack issue….

 

Find a radiator shop and have them clean the tank, or buy a new one, it’s extremely difficult to get the varnish out of a tank…

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47 minutes ago, m-mman said:

Are you really climbing under that car when it’s supported by only a bumper jack?  😳

Nah, just had to jack it a little to take it out.  Im pretty slim guy, i can climb under the car without jack it up at all at the rear 

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27 minutes ago, trimacar said:

Bryan, I know it sounds like we’re beating up on you, but we’re trying to help, and as mentioned, worried about your safety on that Jack issue….

 

Find a radiator shop and have them clean the tank, or buy a new one, it’s extremely difficult to get the varnish out of a tank…

Tried to all some places about sand blasting it. No luck. Tried to look online new tank, no luck as well. 

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Here is a very cool video with some solvents comparing.

As you can see the Methyl ethyl ketone shows the best results for literally dissolving hard pieces of gummed varnish into nothing.

 

People in comments also say that fuel denatured alcohol doing an amazing job with pretty much the same results. 

I'm going to call some radiator shops this week, but while I'm making those calls, the tank is sitting with like 5 quarts of fuel denatured alcohol in it, and I'm planning on tossing and turning the tank every day for like a week? After that I'm going to take a look at what is going to come out and then we will see what happens next.

 

 

 

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Just a reminder. You most likely have TWO issues happening in there.  Gum and varnish yes, but also rust. In the video he was saying that the HCl doesn’t affect the gasoline byproducts but the acid DOES remove the rust.  (But can be quite dangerous) 

 

you seem to like mining the web for information.  Search “Renu gas tanks”

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, m-mman said:

Just a reminder. You most likely have TWO issues happening in there.  Gum and varnish yes, but also rust. In the video he was saying that the HCl doesn’t affect the gasoline byproducts but the acid DOES remove the rust.  (But can be quite dangerous) 

 

you seem to like mining the web for information.  Search “Renu gas tanks”

The rust is what bothers me the most. I can hear some pieces flying around inside, but couldn't shake out any no matter how I tried to get it out from the filler neck. 
Could try the sending unit hole, but not sure if that's going to do any better.
 
Thank you for the gastankrenu reference. I tried to look for them in my area just yesterday, but they are far away from me (I live in Colorado).
BUT the good news is I found a place 10 miles away that can clean and reline gas tank for 250$ tops which is not too shabby. 
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Alright guys. I might have a chance to take these heads off myself. Then hammer these darn valves. The weather has been nice recently and I have some spare time for doing that.
The thing that concerns me the most at this moment is - i can't really reach lower exhaust manifold nuts. I can't even see some of those bastards.
 
So my question is - is it possible to loose those off without taking the engine off the mounts or you have to jack up the engine to take these off?
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The heads are removed with the exhaust manifolds in place. . . . Especially with rusted bolts/studs. 

Disconnect them from the pipes and lift.  Yeah they are heavy, but the intake manifold isn't a feather either.

Since the intake manifold has been removed they "slide" toward the middle for clearance.  

 

FYI you are NOT going to "Hammer" the valves. (unless you want to do more damage)

 

You are going to get a Valve Spring Compressor. You are going to remove the springs from each valve one at a time.

 

https://www.amazon.com/MINGYANG-Compressor-Universal-Automotive-Compression/dp/B086L6VQ53 

 

51DNXuTNSqL._AC_SL1000_.jpg.daf0306110453145bac699f9d3bf4f07.jpg

 

This is the best style of compressor. 

 

You can then tap/drive each valve out of the guide.  Wash the valves in solvent, spray WD40 (or similar) on/in the guides and re-insert each valve, working each one back and forth until it slips very easily in the guide. There should be no perceptible drag.

 

Certainly you are going to look at the valves and seats and if they are burned/worn then you can decide how bad they are.

Your engine looked rather clean inside (recently rebuilt?) and MAYBE it can be reassembled doing nothing more.

Perhaps you want to "lap" the valves just because you are there. 

 

Anything worse and you stop further disassembly and take the heads to a automotive machine shop and have them grind the valves and seats and reassemble them.

You can then confidently reattach them to the block. (yes with the exhaust manifolds attached) and reassemble the engine. 

 

Oh, and since the passenger side head has been removed, this would be an excellent time to lift the engine and remove and replace your starter. It will be as free of obstructions as it will ever be. (without removing the entire engine) 

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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Well, I didn't mean literally hammering valves out. Just as @Bloo explained before what needs to be done, but with the heads off the engine. 
Yeah about these weird clean heads - I'm thinking that I can just run some tests on heads surfaces to make sure it's all clean and even on each side. Pretty sure everything is going to be alright, but you never know. 
 
About the starter - I still don't really understand what happened there that one time with the starter. Stopped working - now it's working again.
My explanation is that when I was trying to start the car right after I got home from driving goo gas valves slowly started to gumming up - thus slowing the starter. So the engine was still warm when I was trying to do so. It was to the point when engine temperature dropped to the point when all that goo froze and kinda seized the engine in one position. Starter started making clicking sounds.
 
Then the next day i put battery positive wire straight to the starter positive cable and i swear i heard barely noticeable metal clank sound, like something snapped (That must the all the push rods went gone hitting walls), and starter was doing it job again, but since all the valves are closed, compression all over the place the engine itself turns over different, made we thought it was a starter problem back then.

 

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Hi everyone! Just a little update on a situation. Got new push rods for 430, got new valve seals. Tomorrow the work is going to happen.

 
Today i took the tank to the radiator shop and poured denatured alcohol fuel which was sitting there for a week. Boy oh boy what a mess that was. From a clean as a water substance it becomes a dirt looking crap. I'm pretty sure all the varnish is gone from the tank, but that rust man.... 
 
Also check out that poor sending unit, which is actually working (half way lol). When the tank was full it was just showing half of it. 
 
image.png.16d6a2427bb90dfb9dde709d5fbd724e.pngimage.png.a76144911245ae595d97fb411f0835e6.pngimage.png.17211f58e90eef303997e787187f442b.png
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It’s so easy to think that “gummed up “ valves can be just gently pushed out with some solvent.

 

Nope.

 

You’ll use heat and a big hammer and drive the valves out of the guides.  New valves are in your future.

 

Been there.  Done that.  In an identical scenario.

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I was able to get mine loose alternating between brake cleaner and penetrating oil, giving it some soak time between rounds, and careful hammering with a BRASS hammer. It was not a quick or easy process. They were so solidly stuck it was as if they were part of the head casting. It should be easier with the heads off. Heat would be a great idea. No steel hammers!. If you bend or mushroom the stems, the valves won't come out of the guides!

 

As for the sending unit, you can look up how many ohms it should be with the float up and the float down for a Ford of that period (Fords of that period are all on the same fuel sender standard for resistance). Check it with an ohmmeter (multimeter set to the ohms scale). That brass float unclips. It fits a zilion Fords and was only discontinued maybe 7 or 8 years ago by Ford. You can probably still get one easily from the aftermarket Ford 60s/70s Mustang/Cougar/Truck or whatever suppliers. It doesn't look too hot. Sink it in hot water and look for bubbles to see if it leaks.

 

If there is no ground wire on the tank or sender, add one when you put the tank back in.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Well, surprisingly the job is half done in only a few hours. Turned out that the torch/vice grip/brake cleaner is a good combination for that kind of a job. 
And more surprisingly that the valve stem seals are PERFECTLY NEW! 
So it looks like the engine was rebuilt right before it was abandoned.
 
Sending unit - the 1960 Tbird sending unit supposedly should be an exact match with the 1960 Lincoln one. Order it and will see if it's actually a match.image.png.eb5e92ce01253145e1326229b942c573.pngimage.png.f0922f304dd3ae6f6004832e1397e319.pngimage.png.804d294732c4db8b9d05f27a3063cace.png
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On 8/4/2022 at 7:11 PM, Bloo said:

I was able to get mine loose alternating between brake cleaner and penetrating oil, giving it some soak time between rounds, and careful hammering with a BRASS hammer. It was not a quick or easy process. They were so solidly stuck it was as if they were part of the head casting. It should be easier with the heads off. Heat would be a great idea. No steel hammers!. If you bend or mushroom the stems, the valves won't come out of the guides!

 

As for the sending unit, you can look up how many ohms it should be with the float up and the float down for a Ford of that period (Fords of that period are all on the same fuel sender standard for resistance). Check it with an ohmmeter (multimeter set to the ohms scale). That brass float unclips. It fits a zilion Fords and was only discontinued maybe 7 or 8 years ago by Ford. You can probably still get one easily from the aftermarket Ford 60s/70s Mustang/Cougar/Truck or whatever suppliers. It doesn't look too hot. Sink it in hot water and look for bubbles to see if it leaks.

 

If there is no ground wire on the tank or sender, add one when you put the tank back in.

 

 

A little update about the sending unit. Just got a new one on my door, and looks like the 1960 Tbird is actually a pretty good match. The lid size is exactly the same. The only thing is different is that the new one is a bit longer and lower than the original one. 

(Which i believe might give more accurate readings?)

But the plus is that it comes with the new gasket and new metal sealing ring which is going to make the gas tank look like 100% brand new after the radiator shop.  ;) 
 
Also new sending unit was only 40 (With delivery) bucks.image.png.2aea2cc0bbbfb3fce1ebbf8e5d6c2f62.png
image.png.34291c4a72bdff4403c74ef2b408b691.png
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I think you want the wire the same length, a longer arm would generally be for a deeper tank, but that is a knee jerk reaction. If you want to know, you need to look up what the "normal" resistance range for a Ford of that period (they are all the same). Then you test it while the tank is out.

 

What you need is as follows:

 

1) The float should hit a stop before it hits the top or the bottom, but should probably get real close to the bottom. If the float bangs on the top or bottom of the tank it will probably develop leaks. First check the unit using a multimeter on "ohms". Check with float all the way up and all the way down, make sure it covers the range it needs to for a 60s Ford! Then, put it in the tank and recheck. With the tank right side up, it should be the same as whatever you saw with the float down. Turn the tank upside down and check again. It should be the same as what you saw with the float up. If there is less range, the float is hitting. You either need to bend the arm, or more likely in this case shorten the arm, because a longer arm needs more headroom (taller tank) to go up and down in before it covers the full range and hits the stops.

 

2) For a working "reserve" (it would have had one originally) check it on the ground with gas. Get two gas cans, at least one of them empty. Get a hand powered transfer pump of some sort that is NOT ELECTRIC. Squeeze bulbs can be good. Cranks can be good. The orange piston pump at harbor freight is useless and wont last long enough to fix one tank. You have been warned. Connect the meter to the sender, and add gas until the reading on the sender changes, You do this so the gauge would be reading slightly above E if it were connected. Do this with the tank level like it would be in the car. Keep wiggling the tank though through the whole process, to overcome any friction in the sender. Suck fuel out through the fuel pickup using your hand pump until you are at the "bottom of the tank" ohms reading. This is E. Move the hose to the empty gas can and continue sucking gas out until you cannot get any more. Whatever is in that second can is your reserve. If you have a gigantic reserve, or no reserve, you may need to bend the arm a little and check everything from the beginning again.

 

3) ALWAYS add a ground wire for the gas tank if it does not have one.

 

Yeah, its a lot of messing around. As for me, there isn't much that annoys me more than having gas in my armpits from pulling a tank out of the same car a second time... or a third! I get it right while the tank is out. Have fun :D.

 

P.S. Your tank probably has a sock filter on the fuel pickup. If so, be sure to change it.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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