Overview of a Complete Resoration of a 1994 Continental


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This may be of interest to the owners of 80’s and 90's Continentals that are on this forum. I have recently finished a complete restoration (and some customization) of my 1994 Continental Signature. I will provide a brief overview and some final photos first, and then more restoration details and photos in the remainder of the post.

I bought the Continental new in 1994 (it was all grey then) and have been working to restore it since about 2011. It has always been in Michigan. A As an overview, it has had a multitude of new parts installed including a new powder-coated subframe, body panels, glass, all new air suspension and steering parts and a rebuilt engine and transmission. Also new are the path to mirrors, headlights, taillights, fuel tank and fuel pump. The engine and transmission were rebuilt, and the interior and trunk have been redone, with some unique custom features created and added, such as a real-time LED-array monitor of air suspension operation on a dashboard display. As a 25-year-old Michigan car, the subframe (engine and transmission cradle) needed to be replaced due to rust, which is quite common on this vintage of Continental and Taurus models. There are three photos that show the final restored vehicle.

A 1994 Taurus frame for a 3.8 liter engine (same frame) was found in a Mobile, Alabama salvage yard that was sufficiently far away from the midwest rust belt. It was then sand-blasted and powder coated and was installed using four new frame mounts. The engine was recently (2019) completely rebuilt with almost everything new except the block and heads. That included all new fuel injectors, sensors, starter, alternator, cam, valves, pan and timing cover. (see photo of the final rebuilt engine). Ditto the transmission, with all new sensors (VSS and TSS and others), clutches and three new shift solenoids. There are also two photos that show the rebuilt trans mounted on the new frame, as well as a bottom view showing the frame, trans and engine as installed in the car. The trans as coupled to the engine, then the pair was mounted to the new frame. Finally, the entire unit was raised up into the engine compartment as one piece. The last photo shows a view of the engine compartment after the restoration was completed. The car runs like a new machine.

Also recently installed for the restoration were new front power window motors and a new OEM windshield that took eight weeks for Safelite glass to locate. They finally found one in storage in Portland, Oregon. A new OEM headlamp housing for the driver’s side was quickly obtained and installed, but it took a year of searching to find a new-in-box headlamp housing for the passenger side. It is fairly obvious that a 25-year-old vehicle definitely needs a new windshield and new headlight housings! In addition to the windshield and the passenger headlight, other difficult items to find (but all were eventually found) were new electrochromic rear-view and side mirrors, a new trunk key latch cover, a new A/C control module and new main strut rods.

Eleven sets of new nylon bushings were installed, along with new motor and transmission mounts. All steering parts were replaced with new components, including steering rack, power steering pump and hoses, control arms, strut rods, idler arms, axles and inner and outer tie rods. Similarly, all air suspension components were replaced, with new air struts, solenoids, air compressor and dryer, relay and lines. All new brakes, including new copper-flex brake lines and master cylinder were installed, with new lines being a safety necessity for a 25-year-old Michigan car. New wheel bearings were also pressed in. Other new components include a new fuel pump, fuel line, filter and gasoline tank, with the tank being another necessity for a 25-year-old vehicle. New red carpeting was installed, and the power seats were completely rebuilt. All rust areas of the vehicle were repaired with new body panels, and the car with painted with 2018 Mazda three-stage paint (Soul Red Crystal paint 46 V). If there is interest, in a from subsequent post I will discuss in more detail some aspects of the restoration and customization process.



That is amazing. You really went all out. I have a 95 with the coil and shock conversion from air ride. I need a new AC blower motor computer to make the ac reliable... where did you locate yours and do you have the serial number for it ? Thanks, Greg


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To GBM and Jkeaton. Thanks for the compliments. They are appreciated. I think you mean the AC Control Module that is mounted in the dash. I got it from a salvage yard in Alabama, which was the same place that I got my frame and the transmission that I had rebuilt. I will dig out the serial number and post it tomorrow.


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GBM and Jkeaton: I checked and GBM may indeed be talking about the AC blower motor speed control. That part number is 19E624. No serial number was found on the part. The AC Control module in the dash is part number 18C612. No S/N found. The full Ford part number for the AC Dash Module is F30F-18C612-AB.


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Thanks JYLINCOLN; these were nice machines and it is nice to have one in nearly-new shape. My experience indicates that most owners who are still driving 88 to 94 Continentals have converted the air suspension to coil springs. However, if you restore the air suspension instead of converting it, it is a superior ride. As long as your air suspension electronics in your trunk is still operational, putting in new air bag struts, relay, compressor, dryer and nylon lines is not that difficult or expensive. The three height sensors almost never go bad, as they are Hall-effect units with two magnets that never contact each other. They were often replaced by car dealerships although they were seldom the problem (high-profit replacement). Most of the time it was just some corrosion at the sensor connector. In fact, just replace the relay, compressor, dryer and lines and see how that operates before replacing the air struts or the sensors.