Lincoln Forum: 1970 Lincoln Continenetal MARK III
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01-22-2014, 12:55 PM #1
1970 Lincoln Continenetal MARK III
I took delivery of my new 1970 Lincoln Continental MARK III in mid-November 1969. It was my present to myself after serving in the US Army for two years–got caught in a very bad draft! From my 43 years of ownership I can say, if you’re thinking of buying this model, DON'T !!!
The first thing to fail within one month, was an exhaust manifold, I think it was the left side but many years have past. I called the President of Lincoln, Mr. Bidwell at the time. The Dealership told me it would take several months for a replacement part to arrive. Mr. Bidwell had one flown in the next day. From that day on, the Dealership handled any problems differently.
Since my 1970 was an early example, it had several 1969 parts on it. The rear deck lid had glued on lettering, the backup lenses were the third type used for 1969, the Sure Tac rear brakes had their sensors mounts on the outer ends of the axles.
Windows: The door glass is too heavy for the window motors. AND there were no access holes to remove the bolts holding the window motors on the tracks. You had to drill 3 holes in the door panel. The motor gears usually fail and must be replaced. The roof and rear quarter windows were adapted from an earlier ThunderBird. To service these windows you must remove the rear interior seat, drop the headliner and remove the side panels. Then you find the window assembly. The window slides into this assembly/cover. This window’s motor has a gear attached with rubber that cracks and fails. New gears are VERY hard to find. The 1969 models used 3 or 4 different type of driver’s window switches with none interchangeable.
Ventilation System: These cars had a flow thru system. The air would exit via the rear package shelf and out a vent. The vent had rubber drainage hoses at the bottom of the outside vent to remove rain/car wash water. These rubber drain hoses appear on the left and right side of the spare tire in the trunk. Over time these rubber hoses fail, flooding the trunk and rear seat area.
Sound Proofing: A paper/cardboard material in a plastic sleeve were mounted in the quarter panel wheel wells. Now you know why the quarter panels rot out! The plastic sleeve fails over time, gets wets and the quarter panels are kept wet, rotting away.
Fuel/Gas Tank: The 1969 and 1970 models had the tank’s seam on the bottom. That area collected any water in the fuel and the tank rotted out. I replaced mine several time. The 1971 model addressed this issue as the seam was relocated a few inches higher. The last tank I put in my car was from a 1971–slightly different. I have to remove the rear shock absorbers to drop the rear end several more inches. Then the 1971 tank went in–you’ll also need the straps and filler tube from the 71.
I had the locking rear end posi gears. Every several thousand miles the bearings would fail. The Dealership kept replacing them until 1980 when I put in a different set of non locking gears.
The HVAC system is fun as many do not know how it works or have access to the parts. A maze of relays, vacuum hoses, valves and controls.
Seats: Over the years, the foam under the leather covering will start to disintegrate. You'll notice a white powder on the seat tracks. This will jam the tracks preventing the seat's movement. Easy repair if you do it before the spring eat through the leather. Remove seats from car, take apart removing the cushions from the frame--sounds so easy! I had a local shop replace the foam with a better product. Then put everything back together.
My Biggest Error: In 1982, this car was hit while in garage storage by an uninsured D.W.I. with no assets. I started to purchased any 69-71 MARK III I could find, ending up with 75 of them-not all at once! I also purchased NOS parts–whatever I could get via a friendly Lincoln Parts Manager. I rebuilt my car–after the doors, everything was replaced with NOS panels at the factory seams, trunk lid, etc. All chrome was show chromed and 12 coats of lacquer paint–it looked great until the paint cracked 15 years latter. I sold the car in 2012 and am selling off any remaining parts I have.
01-22-2014, 02:38 PM #2
That is a very interesting read. I had no idea of the repairs/maintenance required. Do you have a picture of your old car that you can post?
01-22-2014, 05:14 PM #3
Hi Art I have photos but can't seem to attach them. I'll work on it--might be resolution issue.
Additional issues with the 69-71 MARK III
1. At approximately 50,000 miles, the outer grill shell will develop stress cracks in the upper corners. These can NOT be repaired--anyone who claims they can, just can't.
2. The C, D, E grille bars tend to break at the leading edge.
3. The right rear bumper end cap tends to fill up with junk and rots out first.
4. The license plate frame trim can't be rechromed if it's pitted unless you can fill the pits.
5. There are 4 universal joints on the car's driveshaft but I seem to remember 8. Too long ago!
6. Only the 1969 has a crankshaft driven power steering pump. FoMoCo was the only one I found that can really rebuild this pump and the turnaround was several months.
7. The 1969 was the only year that could have a right hand outside mirror. The issue with it is the adjustment cable is not long--it installs on the leading edge of the passenger armrest where that plastic plug can be found. FYI the left and right hand outside mirrors are the same. The only difference is the mirror is turned for the right hand usage via a screw that is viewed inside when the assembly is turned over.
8. The 1969 used 3 different type of backup lenses.
9. The 1970 used #3 of the 69s backup lenses, then had one with full projection after mid December 1969 until the end of the 1971 production.
10. Only the 1969 could have a factory deleted covered roofing. Only a handful were made with a finished/painted roof. The holes for attaching the trim where the roof covering met the body were NOT made on these cars. There are some painted roof cars 'out there' but their holes were filled--fakes.
11. The factory covered roofing was installed before any trim or glass was installed. A costly project to re-install correctly.
12. Some--with no reason, have an internal voltage regulator. Mine didn't but one built several weeks latter had it--same equipment on vehicle.
13. The factory tire size was 225R-15. I hate to tell you how many had tread separation as I feel the tire could not handle the weight of the vehicle. I got tired of the failures as I replaced all tires once the 235R-15 tires became available.
14. The remote opening rear deck lid---great design on the 69 & 70. A cable is run from the vacuum control to the lock. Over time, that cable breaks and replacements will also fail. I fixed mine with a metal wire. The 1971 models went to an electric opener.
Last edited by mark95man; 01-23-2014 at 01:56 PM.
01-23-2014, 09:33 PM #4
15: The early 1971s had high back seats that really blocked R/R vision. One of the reasons the R/R quarter panels sold out first. Around December 1970, they went back to the 1970 style of seats.
03-21-2014, 04:38 PM #5
03-21-2014, 05:58 PM #6
I hope the 66 continental was made better than that one. From the looks of it, it seems like a nice car. I especially like the black leather.
03-21-2014, 07:31 PM #7
Unless you know this model or have contact with someone who does, I recommend being careful. Most FoMoCo Dealership workers who had the experience on this car, are gone. There are special shops that sells parts on the Internet but very costly for a reason. What is that reason? Money tied up for many years with no return on the investment. This was the worse car that I ever purchased new. I owned it for over 43 years before getting rid of it. The last thing that you might not want: someone working on your car while learning all about it. Errors will be made.