How to start a 1984 Towncar with a cold engine


Asked by Aug 03, 2013 at 10:27 AM about the 1984 Lincoln Town Car

Question type: General

To start a 1984 Towncar with a cold engine, you have to turn the key on and pump the gas pedal. What purpose does pumping the pedal do, set the linkage, set the choke, ?, I'm guessing and curious.
Hello juke24,

Michael Tutty answered your question: "To start a 1984 Towncar with a cold engine, you have to turn the key on and pump the gas pedal. What purpose does pumping the pedal do, set the linkage, set the choke, ?, I'm guessing and curious.".

He wrote:
"There is a better than even chance you have the 2 barrel Variable Venturi carburetor on that car. Depending on where the car was sold new, they either had that or the throttle body fuel injection. Since you do have to pump the gas, that means the carburetor. Pumping the gas does 2 things. First, it 'sets the choke', which means changing the calibration of the venturi flaps on the top of the carburetor. It also activates the accelerator pump, sending a shot of raw fuel into the intake manifold. If the system is working properly, one pump of the throttle is all it needs unless the temperature is a long ways below freezing. Were it my car, and I planned to keep it long term, the first thing I would do is get rid of that VV carburetor. NOBODY really knows how it works, and nobody really knows how to make it work when it malfunctions. I think voodoo was used at the factory. You can replace it with a normal 2 barrel Motorcraft carburetor from a late 70s Thunderbird, and this takes about 10 minutes. Just set it up right, and your mileage will likely improve. The other option is to upgrade to an Edelbrock Performer 4 bbl intake with either the 1401 carburetor body (made by Weber) or the plug and play Performer sequential fuel injection system. This is a much more involved upgrade, but can return unbelievable fuel economy. If you drive a lot, the upgrade will pay for itself, sometimes in as little as 3 years. That is how significant the fuel savings are. I am looking at buying a 1980 Colony Park with the VV carb, and this is precisely what I plan on doing."
Tracy Hooks answered your question: "To start a 1984 Towncar with a cold engine, you have to turn the key on and pump the gas pedal. What purpose does pumping the pedal do, set the linkage, set the choke, ?, I'm guessing and curious.".

He wrote:
"Oh Michael, I can overhaul a VV in my sleep! Ford trained and certified and YES! I do know how a VV works! The sliders react to engine load and demand and move needles that control the flow of fuel through the main jets. They're simple - ask any motorcycle mechanic! You are correct about the upgrade to a 2 barrel paying off in a few years - the diaphragm in a VV only lasts about 2 years and an overhaul is around $300. No Voodoo - just vacuum and variable jets. The hardest part is setting up the choke and that's not very difficult. Don't say No-one. 35 years of experience with Fords, ASE and Ford Master Certified AND I work on a fleet Police Interceptors for a living. (the humor in my VV training was that I learned all about them on a Lazer Disk - remember those big ol' honkin' things? The training system was interactive and I learned all the circuits, adjustments and set up with a light pen.) then I made a bunch of cash flat-rating the things all over the county! :)~"

Thank you very much. I believe I have the throttle body.
Can you tell me more a lot more about the upgrade.
I just had a remote engine start system installed.
It will not start the car when the engine is cold because you need to depress the gas pedal once. The remote system installed does not do this, I don't think any do.

Do you still need to depress the gas pedal with either one of the upgrades. Does the upgrade give more power. Is it compatible with the computer in the car.
What's involved to install it. Can I do it myself or is someone experienced needed.

Thanks very much,

5 Answers


Hi Bob, remote start features will only work on fuel injected vehicles. With a carburetor the gas pedal must be depressed to set the automatic choke, shoot a small charge of gasoline down the intake manifold, and place the engine on fast idle. A carbureted engine will not start cold without first depressing the gas pedal once before cranking it. As far as converting it to fuel injection just to add a remote start feature, don't bother. With the money you'll spend doing it you could buy a much newer vehicle that has factory remote start already in it! HTH. - Jim

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Best Answer

Thank you very much Jim, that's what I was afraid of. I will have the system removed. Wish I had known this before. Bob

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You're welcome Bob. Glad to help. Thank you for the best answer click too. -Jim

Sean Mulvey

The VV also had a problem with the "choke" which was not a choke but a "Fuel Enrichment Solenoid". The problem was the software, which no one can really re-write , was burned into proms with a bad decison, where the Fuel Solenoid was allowed to "close" and the extra fuel was turned OFF at the first stop sign on my street.This caused the car to stall in traffic every day for the first year we had the car. We replaced the Intake Manifold and Carb with an Edlebrock Carb and manifold combination. It worked good. No more scary stalling in traffic.


Long shot to see if someone answers, but....I have a 1982 mark vi Lincoln that will barely start and spews out black smoke. Would the cold enrichment system be what to look at? Choke? It says it's fuel injection on the trunk but it seems to be a electronically controlled carburetor. Car has 30,000 miles and has been garage kept its whole life. Any ideas???

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