1998-02 Lincoln Continental Coolant change Procedure

Lincoln Continental

  1. Svets96

    Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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    I thought I would document how to do a coolant change on the Continental. It is a PITA to bleed the air out of the 32V. Lets take it step by step.

    Step 1: Make sure you can get the factory bypass tube cap off!!!! Might need a butane torch to heat up just below the cap in order to get it off, once you throw heat at the old cap its useless the heat deteriorated the rubber. You need a 1/4 drive ratchet to do this...you must have the old cap off first and the new cap in possession more than anything. Contact 98Mark8lsc he makes these:

    2015-09-28%2014.29.51_zpsymqkcuqw.jpg

    Step 2: Get antifreeze, this is up to you which brand you use. I use Napa 50/50 pre-diluted green coolant:

    IMG_0516_zpszv6a95nd.jpg

    Step 3: Take off the lower radiator air deflector, has 3 screws up front, and a bunch of push pins in the back of the piece:

    2015-03-04%2013.22.20_zpshj2smevw.jpg

    Step 4: You now have access to the drain plug. Spray some WD-40 on the plug, so that it doesn't bind or break. Be careful with it as its plastic, and has a rubber O-ring that needs to be lubed before you place it back into the radiator. Unscrew and Pull out the plug, make sure the bypass tube cap is off and the recovery tank cap is off. Coolant will pour out very fast make sure you have aluminium food trays or something to catch the antifreeze:

    Make sure you put drain plug back into radiator!! Make sure its snug fit, don't over tighten!!!

    IMG_0515_zpsgdqsd2hm.jpg

    Step 5: This is optional I took out my recovery tank to clean it to get all the sediment out. Here is what you need to take it out: (I circled the bolts/fasteners that need to come off for your viewing so its easier)
    1. Top recovery tank bolt 10 mm nut.
    2. Top tank side bolt into fender well is 8 mm nut.
    3. Power Steering Tank bolts both 8 mm , get a bungee cord to tie it out of the way so you can have easier access.
    4. Washer bottle neck 2 bolts in center of brace both 8 mm.
    5. 2 Fender brace (black bar up front) bolts both 10 mm or so.
    6. Unplug the low coolant sensor. (Make sure you cover the connectors with electrical tape so they wont corrode when you wash the tank)
    7. Optional: I replaced the snap hose clamp with a small radiator clamp with flat head screwdriver nut.
    *8. Slide small hose clamp off of the tiny return line on top of the recovery tank, then pull hose off.

    fdd205ed-3bc0-45f7-9d1b-5056551bfda1_zpso6pcki7y.jpg

    All Clean:

    IMG_0518_zpsxutvw7l0.jpg

    View with tank removed:

    IMG_0520_zpsw8s9hyqi.jpg

    Replaced old snap clamp with screw type:

    IMG_0521_zpsoyc7oiao.jpg

    All put back together again:

    IMG_0522_zpsvwjuj0cj.jpg

    Step 6: There should be around 2 gallons of coolant that drained out. Measure what you took out, so that you have an idea of what should go back in. Start to pour coolant in the small bypass tube using a funnel. I had to tape mine to the bypass tube so it would not fall down. It will work. Pour the coolant so that the radiator will get full, you will start to see coolant enter the recovery tank at the bottom. Fill coolant up to the middle of the black and white plastic as they meet.

    Now comes the fun part bleeding the system. Like I said my second time doing this I had problems and need some help on here to figure out what I did wrong.

    For starters close the reservoir recovery tank cap, leave the small coolant bypass tube vent open, put funnel on top of it. Start the car, turn your heat and blower fan to MAX. Coolant will spew everywhere and go flying, mine did, when the temp goes up, until it levels out when no bubbles can be observed turn engine off and close the bypass tube:

    Venting and steam coming out, heat was medium to hot out the vents inside if car:

    IMG_0528_zpswedzcjr4.jpg

    Inside temp where it should be:

    IMG_0527_zpsm1sikzyd.jpg

    Bubbles can't be seen so the air is out of the system:

    IMG_0529_zpsxtnxrw3v.jpg

    Once no bubbles can be observed turn engine off and close the bypass tube vent.

    **If during this process there is no coolant that can be seen in bypass tube vent add more.

    **When the engine cools down add coolant up to the max cool level on the recovery tank, as to make sure there is no more air: **open the recovery tank and let it run for 15-30 minutes, then close the tank, turn engine off and let it cool down.

    IMG_0531_zpse2hjk2ik.jpg




    I'll post on my trouble I'm having so far separately from this original post..
     
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    • Svets96

      Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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      After doing this procedure the low coolant level message came up on the message center. The next day I added more coolant to the recovery tank through the bypass tube. There was coolant only about a 1/4 of the way up from the bottom, so I poured it all the way to get it in the middle of the white and black plastic meet. Capped the bypass tube vent, opened the recovery tank cap to vent it. So then I started the car, put heat and blower settings to MAX the heat was medium hot, the radiator fans came on and stayed on the whole time, coolant was gushing out of the recovery tank....WHY?? was there still air in the system?? To much coolant added?? couple hours later I checked the recovery tank, and now it looks like this:

      IMG_0531_zpse2hjk2ik.jpg

      What do I do? add more coolant to the recovery tank? or add through the bypass tube up to the middle of the white and black plastic? Run the car again for 15 mins or so?? or just run the car for 15 mins with out adding more coolant?

      Any help thanks!!
       
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      • Svets96

        Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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        ***Attention**** Let me add by stating that burping the system through the recovery tank is **Optional**.

        I uncapped the bypass tube coolant pipe filled the coolant through there as it filled the recovery tank up to the white line . Then I had drove the car on the highway and around town for the day with the heat and blower settings to the Max. Heat was hot, I checked on the recovery tank and everything was cool. The smell of coolant that I noticed was all the spatter of when the cooling system was bleeding, it was burning off when the engine was heated up. There are no leaks and things are good.

        Follow this procedure and your good to go.

        Hope this procedure helps everyone.
         
      • BILLBOATS

        BILLBOATS Dedicated LVC Member

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        Thanks for the real way to do this. I have hesitated as I figured this was going to be not as simple as my other cars. The cars now have bleeder valves because there is so much air trapped in the engine when changing to new coolant.Takes too long now to "burp" the system. Thus bleeder valves
         
      • Svets96

        Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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        Not a problem at all. Took me awhile to actually think about this, then do it. I've done a lot of research on this, also with a lot of help from lincolnelite.
         
      • FlaOkie

        FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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        Svets thanks for posting this.
        I haven’t done mine yet – I have all new hoses, thermostat and water pump, but I’m too lazy to do it.
        I’ve read many different writeups on the internet on how to fill a
        DOHC 4.6 L.
        One thing that seems to reappear in some of these writeups, is once you fill up the recovery tank put the cap on and do all the fluid adding through the crossover opening, and don’t rely on the recovery tank to indicate coolant level, and always check the level at the crossover opening.
        Another common remark is it may take many heat/cool cycles to get all the air out.
        One of these days I just might take mine to my mechanic and let him pull his hair out.
         
      • Svets96

        Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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        I hear ya on how many different attempts there are to actually do it. Lincolnelite really helped me with mine, he did a write-up and I followed his instructions to the T. I had nothing but good come out of my experience. Sometimes it had gone a little off key but good came out of it.

        If you can swing it with a mechanic, I would do that if I were you. Money spent the right way always is a win, and your car is like new condition.
         
      • FlaOkie

        FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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        Svets

        After re-reading all this I realized I have everything I will need except a new crossover plug.
        Where do I find this 98Mark8lsc fellow you bought yours from?
        I tried a member search here and got nothing.
         
      • Svets96

        Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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        FlaOkie: His screen name is 98marklsc I had the wrong spelling. Sorry about that. If you type in this name in your people you follow section on your user profile it will give you contact info. I believe he resides in S.C.

        Let me know if you can get through.
         
      • Firebrian

        Firebrian Active LVC Member

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        Good write up. Just did this on my 2001 and everything went fast and easy, and no coolant spilled out of the funnel on the bypass tube....as I suffered all the pain 3 yrs ago when I did this for the first time on my previous Lincoln.

        The bypass plug my first time around took me a couple days to figure out. It was fused in there. And it didn't help that the last gorilla had butchered the square cavity making a tight grip with a tool much harder. I bought a 4 pc. socket wrench adapter set ($5) at Harbor Freight. Those come in handy for lots of jobs. The smallest size (3/8-1/4") fit cleanly in the bypass plug fitting. None of the Allen Keys I had fit as well...and they won't allow you as much torque. Ensure you apply even torque on both sides of the socket wrench...or ideally use a "T" bar if you have one. Not stripping the plug fitting will ensure you won't need to buy a new one. I usually tap the socket extension with a hammer to ensure it's snug in the cavity. When tightening these now I put a tiny bit of anti-seize on the threads and just to slightly snug. I doubt it's more than 8-15 ft-lbs.

        Probably the hardest part (after a stuck bypass plug) is ensuring you get a tygon hose securely attached at the radiator drain - sideways barbed hose connection. And there's very little space in there to work....not to mentioned the sharp 90 deg bend on your hose (5/16"?) that keeps trying to push it off. If not firmly attached, it will make a mess with lots of coolant getting on the floor....been there, done that. I made up a partial funnel and a hose last time around so they were ready to go this time. Used a 3 ft x 2 ft catch pan to ensure I caught whatever leaked by.

        When venting the system I read that raising the front end of the car is a big help. Doing this on level ground or even nose slightly down makes the job harder. So now I do it on rhino ramps to ensure that air bubbles get out faster. I use several wraps of black electrical tape to secure the funnel to the bypass pipe. The tape won't melt but it will stay soft. If it leaks, wrap some more around. I put a rag under the pipe to catch some drips that will probably occur...rather than having them end up on the Serpentine Belt. Use a large funnel to give you plenty of reserve capacity as the system heats back up.

        Besides running your heater I also do some ramped up engine revs up to 2000 rpm once the thermostat has opened up. If you start out low in the funnel you shouldn't have any bubbling or spillage. I try to start with level just barely filling the bypass tube. When the system heats up it can rise a few inches. And upon cool down, if you still have some coolant in the funnel above the bypass tube plug, you'll have to siphon it out. It's easier just to keep level low in that funnel. It also helps to burp the upper and lower hoses during this evolution. Just firm and slow squeezes so you don't gurgle fluid out of the funnel. I wait until the engine is off to squeeze the lower hose safely. Level will tend to drop a bit after these squeezes. Just add a little to keep level low in the funnel. If you're doing multiple drains with distilled water, then give your engine enough cool down time before adding cold water back into the radiator and/or engine block to prevent thermal shock.

        Once the fluid is back down in the bypass pipe, then add small amounts to keep it close to full. I only check the level in the reservoir after the system is cooled down, filled at the bypass pipe, and plug inserted. If your bypass pipe is full and the system mostly cooled down, your reservoir level should be around normal.

        First time I ever did this I performed 5-6 flushes with store bought distilled water ($1/gall) as I wasn't sure what coolant was in the old system. It came out pretty clear after using 10-12 gallons. You can also remove/replace the thermostat and engine drain plug(s) to get most everything out on one drain. The placement of the thermostat in the Lincoln Continental cooling system only allows less about 1/2 of the system capacity (1-3/4 gallons) to drain out.
         
        Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
      • Svets96

        Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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        Nice report Firebrian. Learned a couple new things myself reading your write up.
         
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        • Firebrian

          Firebrian Active LVC Member

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          Thanks Svet. I figured if it helps just one person when doing this next time around, it was worth the effort. I did a lot of things wrong the first time I did it on my 2002. And one of them was adding "universal" coolant that was supposedly "ok" for mixing in with anything...including "old green." I got sucked in by the advertising on the bottle (ie good for all makes/models). After reading on line what was really in those "universal" coolants I decided to drain out my first fill and go fully clean again. Some of those universals claim to work with Dex, old green, and even G05 (HOAT, OAT, IAT, etc.) all at the same time. It doesn't make sense that a universal can work 100% fine with all styles/types of coolants or OEMs would use that instead. The only universal coolant I know of is "H2O."

          In the end I had a clean system in my 2002 and then went with G05 since it would give less precipitate dropout/silica and a 5 yr life. Ford was using the G05 in newer vehicles. I stayed with the "old green" in this latest 2001 Lincoln only because the fluid looked good coming out and it was the factory fill. It worked fine for 18 yrs. And doing a near 100% system flush to change coolant types didn't seem worth the effort yet. A better time would be when it's time to change all the hoses/thermostat and/or radiator.
           
          Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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          • FlaOkie

            FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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            Nice write up Firebrian.
             
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