77 Lincoln Continental Town Car won't start

Asked by Nov 14, 2017 at 09:22 AM about the 1977 Lincoln Continental

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello intelligent life. Just bought a Land
yacht this past weekend and before I
bought it I went and checked it out 4
weeks before. It had been sitting for 7
years and the guy had the battery out and
the vehicle was on E. We put a battery in,
$2 of gas and it fired up.

I had it towed home simply because it's
not registered yet and now it won't start. I
put $15 of gas in the tank took the battery
from my Marquis and all it did was crank. I
took the fuel line loose at the front and
turned it on, the gas shoots out so I know
both my fuel pumps are working. I sprayed
starting fluid in the carb and it would start
for 3 seconds and then cut off. I guess I
repeated this too many times because I
blew my solenoid that mounts to the
wheel well and the car would try to crank
constantly without the key in the ignition.
Now here's where I'm getting frustrated.
I replaced the solenoid so it's no longer
cranking on its own but when I try to start
it now it only cranks for one try, I turn the
key again and it won't do anything until I
wait a while (4-8min). And this process is
just repeated.
My connections seem secure and tight,
the starter seems fine, the battery isn't
dead, and it has enough gas in the tank.
Does anyone think it may be the solenoid,
something connected to the solenoid or
maybe a bad switch. Do I need a stronger
battery. The next thing I'm going to do is
remove the carb. and clean it. Anything
helps. Thanks in advance!!


16 Answers


I would concentrate on the fuel bowl if you can do that without taking the whole carb off , if it sat the gas tank should have been dropped and cleaned , what you're dealing with could be the reason it sat for 7 years , not that it's not worth it but you may have some work ahead of you

1 people found this helpful.

@beatupchevy I don't know much about carbureted engines. When you say fuel bowl is that connected to the carburetor or somewhere on the fuel line.


I agree with beatupchevy, focus on carburetor. If you have mechanical fuel pumps you should be making 7-10 psi, some had electric assist pumps you'll have to check what you have and what psi you should be making. I had an old '75 Elite that ran with just 5 psi at carb. Like you, I could crank all day and nothing, but pour just a tiny capful of gas into carb and it fired right up. In my case fuel bowl would run dry if it sat for any length of time, and accelerator pump diaphragm was shot. So that left carb high and dry when it came time to start. After sitting for so long you need to clean and thoroughly check the carb. Take it easy with the starting fluid. A bit of gas in the carb works better. You can pick up rebuild kits for these carbs, not sure if you have a factory Autolite or a Carter, try to stick with stock carb to keep choke advance in place, some aftermarkets won't do that. Also replace fuel filter. From your descrip it sounds like you have a fuel delivery issue and not a starter issue, other than what was caused by excessive cranking.

@KenF I will consider the rebuild but I will try cleaning it first and see if that helps and of course go ahead and replace the fuel filter. Also how would I check the psi coming from the fuel pump? Is there a gauge or tool for that and where would check at?


the fuel is pumped into the carb into a bowl , a needle valve closes from a float that floats in the gas that's pumped into the bowl , the float may not work if it's plastic , hopefully it's brass , if it doesn't float gas will keep filling the bowl till it's all over the place , if you're not familiar with carbs. then you don't want to mess around with them too much , lot of little details , you can get a rebuild but a good one may cost you a bit and a cheap one may not be worth it , if you get the bowl filled it should idle for 5 - 10 minutes more like 5 , good luck

1 people found this helpful.

There is no intelligent life here. You really think that I was going to read all of what you posted? Get to the point.

Thanks beatupchevy I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

Every detail counts Bob

So guys I replaced the fuel filter and fixed my solenoid problem, there are 2 small wires that go on 2 studs on the solenoid. Problem is they don't screw on so I had to squeeze them with vise grips to where that actually fit. After changing the fuel filter I got better results with it starting I actually got 2 rumbles out of the damn thing. The carb is as Clean as it's gonna get and of But of course it died. Guess I have no choice but to rebuild.


make sure it's getting fuel , you don't want to tear that thing apart to find it wasn't the problem , get a soda bottle with a pin hole in the cap and feed gas into the carb with it see if it'll idle , I don't think rebuilding a carb is for a novice , if you miss one little detail you'll be blaming something and making assumptions , did you check out the fuel bowl and float level ?

@beatupchevy I forgot to check both of those I will definitely try that out and see what I come up with

Update. So I took off the top part of the carb and the fuel bowl was empty and dirty. Cleaned it up wasn't really able to tell if anything is clogged, what am I looking for? Anyway I put gas in the bowl put it back together and it fired up and ran but I guess it died after using all the fuel in the bowl


I guess the fuel pump is on the motor , you can take the pick up line that goes to the tank and put it in a can of gas , then you'll see if the pump is working and it'll warm up , , I still think you should drop the tank and clean it and check the lines , the float should have been in the fuel bowl and it closes the input as it rises , I've used a bulb syringe for babies to move small amounts of fuel around , get it to idle and warm up , first things first

Cancel that update she's purring like a beast. But it seems that my emergency brake is stuck on engage she won't move. I press the brake pedal and it whines like it needs power steering fluid or something


go from D to R to N a couple of times , I'll bet those brakes come loose , you got to pull and check all that hardware anyways , look for loose/ broken vacuum lines for the whine

1 people found this helpful.

Been a minute since I gave an update. Still got the Town car currently getting the transmission rebuilt.The main problem in fact was the carburetor being dirty and clogged but it also had other problems (fuel pump, fuel filter, water pump, Radiator, spark plugs, etc) but I'm getting it all together. I uploaded a video on YouTube titled "Lincoln Continental(460 motor) cold start" if anyone wants to check it out. My channel is Grand Merc. Ill try to upload more videos soon. Thanks for the help.

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