97 Mark Viii Give Up or Not?

Lincoln Mark VIII

  1. HopefulAcres

    HopefulAcres New LVC Member

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    I am quickly becoming defeated with this car. The car has 200,000+ miles and code reader says cylinder 3 and 6 are misfiring so I figured might as well change all the spark plugs and COPs since they have never been replaced and clean the fuel injectors. I found a lot of oil in the spark plug wells and on the COPs so I checked with a mechanic and was told to either get a new engine because the pistons are most likely shot or junk the whole car. Neither is an option as this is my only vehicle and I'm a single mom on a fixed income. In past two weeks I have only driven it four times and the last time there was a ton of smoke coming out the exhaust so I know it's really bad. I am fairly handy and try to do all my own mechanic work but this has me overwhelmed. What should I do?
     
  2. Sonny Day Out

    Sonny Day Out Active LVC Member

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  3. Sonny Day Out

    Sonny Day Out Active LVC Member

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    Start with replacing two coils on 3 and 6 ! If that works , you can decide if you want to spend more on maintenance and repair !

    Good Luck, Sonny
     
  4. amarine1

    amarine1 LVC Member

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    That's not going to be easy since it is a daily driver (and the engine needs to be taken apart and it will need a rebuild kit - which costs about $600 + labor). I suspect you don't rebuild engines, so then you would probably need to find a decent used engine, connect with a mechanic (do you know one who can help you?), and swap it out with a lower mileage engine. I just checked everywhere for you (except local junk yards as I don't know where in NM you are) and although there are a few available with free shipping - I wouldn't trust those used engine websites to save my life (most have terrible ratings from their customers and lousy BBB ratings also).

    Given that reality, I can tell you that it will probably be cheaper to find another Mark VIII. I've looked close by you via craigslist, and see nothing in a low price range).... since you are on a fixed income (I feel ya, I am on a fixed income also).

    So, here is a Mark VIII close to you in Alamogordo, New Mexico for $2,999 (116k miles) and they also do financing: 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC found on Carsforsale.comĀ® Maybe you could get it with a low down payment/low monthly payment (and then sell your car to someone needing parts for at least $750 - $1,500).... or maybe more if your car looks very nice.

    Here is also one in Colorado for $1,500 (160k miles)... but it is their "cash" special (I'd wonder if there was anything amiss): You could always take good parts off your car and put them on this one (as long as the transmission / engine / brakes were OK, you could always move your tires - if they are good) to the other one. Think of it this way, it has 40,000 miles less than yours, isn't smoking due to your piston rings and runs/drives, and you could always sell yours for parts when you are done (to recoup the $1,500 cost) and surely you can get at least $1,000 for yours. If you post pics of your car, we could tell you if your car is in good enough condition to part out. In the interim, I'd call them first to find out what issues it has (if any).

    1994 Lincoln Mark VIII found on Carsforsale.comĀ®
    Massa Auto Sales - 1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
    1994 Lincoln Mark VIII

    Remember to get a free VIN check (here is a link to help)... especially the National Insurance Crime Bureau website.
    https://clark.com/cars/free-vin-report/

    I hope the above helps you look at what options you have.
     
  5. HopefulAcres

    HopefulAcres New LVC Member

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    Thankfully I have a job that lets me work from home so the car has been sitting for the last two weeks, aside from the four trips. Alamogordo and Colorado aren't an option but thank you so much for going the extra mile.
    I'm confident I can replace the coils and plugs but is it also possible that the valve cover gasket and o rings are the problem? I probably can fix those with some guidance.

    The more I think about it I honestly don't think the pistons have been affected, mechanic most likely didn't want to work on it so brushed me off which is fine. I no longer trust any mechanic with this car after losing money to four different scammers that did no work and left me with more problems.
     
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    • xtriggerman

      xtriggerman Active LVC Member

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      The best way to "know" if your chasing money down a rabbit hole is pull all the plugs and with a full charge in the battery, compression test each cylinder. You may be able to rent the compression tester from Auto Zone for the day. The main thing is a consistent compression across all 8 cylinders. The condition of your starter and battery is a factor in how high it may be. 150 psi out to 200 is what folks can expect. If your blowing blue ish smoke out the exhaust, you'v got oil getting in the cylinder or cylinders. If its more a white smoke, it could be a head gasket leaking coolant into the cylinder or best case, a bad injector. All in all, a compression test will tell you if its still some what drivable or not. Heres a how to on a 4.6
       
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      • Scallywag

        Scallywag Well-Known LVC Member

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        +1 on the compression test. It's free since you'll get your money back once you return the equipment.

        How long have you had the Mark? I don't suggest throwing money at vehicles but I always do a complete tune-up when I purchase my Marks and might be required if you haven't done so already since acquiring your Mark VIII.

        In case you don't know, here's what you'll need with ballpark prices(Rockauto/Summit Racing & local vendors).
        1. 8 spark plugs - $20-24 (Autolite 104s/764s*, Champion, MOTORCRAFT SP433s)
        2. 8 Coil on Plugs- $200-400 (DENSO or MOTORCRAFT*) or just the boots $10-15
        3. 1 PCV Valve - $2-5 (BWD or MOTORCRAFT*)
        4. 1 Fuel Filter - $8-15 (Wix or MOTORCRAFT*)
        5. 1 Air Filter - $10-16 (FRAM or MOTORCRAFT*)
        6. 1 Oil Filter - $3-10 (MOTORCRAFT FL-820S*)
        7. Oil Change $25-60 **(insist that they use your MC oil filter) or change your own
        • 5 Quarts Synthetic Blend 5W-30 - $20-45 (Castrol GTX / Mobil 1 / MOTORCRAFT)
        • *It may be cheaper to get a 5qt gallon rather than individual quarts
        But first, before buying parts, check if infact it is the ignition coils by unplugging COPs 3 & 6 to notice any changes(or lack thereof) in the engine, or swap 3 & 6 with other cylinders to see if the code scanner follows the change. As noted, a set of 8 COPs can be quite costly($200-400), so maybe you can get away with just changing the boots & coils($10-15) on all 8 Plugs to get rid of the "butter"(some call it ear-wax) that builds up on the coils inside the boots from oil saturation.

        Check out this cat. His Continental sports a FWD version of the DOHC Intech and so his theory can be applied to the Mark VIII.


        In my experience, Oil in the spark plug-wells is usually an indication that the tube-seals have expanded or contracted beyond their OE specification which will then allow oil to seep in. When you change the plugs, or have time & feel inclined, take a look at the top of the plug-wells to see if you notice any grey or black seals being offset(slightly exposed into the tube or pushed in) where the valve covers meet the wells.

        Random pic with bad tube seal, notice the black grommet is not symetrical.
        11745-damn-spark-plug-tube-grommets-help-please-20130904_004412_zpsc051f1b7.jpg

        This is usually remedied by purchasing a new set of valve cover gaskets($30-50 Rockauto FEL-PRO*, a bit more at local vendor) which they often come with 8 new tube-seals.

        As for difficulty on the valve cover gaskets; You'll go into the job looking like youthful Private Ryan but will end up like old Ryan by the time you're finished with the driver's side valve cover.
        giphy.gif

        So if you decide to tackle it, Google "lincoln mark viii valve cover removal". The first few results should be from LVC and other similar sites where people have expressed their disapproval of FORD's engineering with this valve cover and added their own write-ups. Maybe you can do the passenger side and have the shop do the driver side...

        Though the shop may insist that, "In order to ensure a job well done(of ripping you off), it's best that we do both sides(and charge you more than than you wish to spend). Otherwise, we can't do it." Let's not forget that they'll use the same gasket set you can get for 30-60 and want to charge you 75-100, not for the set but per gasket at that.
         
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        • Scallywag

          Scallywag Well-Known LVC Member

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          A side note: How many wells have oil in them?

          Hopefully not all 8. In any case, it's best to not let the burnt oil from the wells get into the cylinders, so before removing each plug, grab several rags and insert the spark plug fitting(magnetic is best) into the wells & take it out. You'll see that the fitting carries lots of oil out of the well that you can soak up with your rags. Keep doing that until the fitting picks up little to no oil out of the well and then proceed to remove the spark plug. A bit tedious perhaps but better than letting a well half full of burnt oil to get into the cylinders.

          You could also try seafoaming the vehicle to see if that can clear up some of the performance issues.
           
        • germansheperd

          germansheperd Active LVC Member

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          Oil in the plug wells usually indicate bad valve cover gaskets as stated above.
          BTW my car takes 6.5qts of oil at an oil change with filter just a note from another above post.
           
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          • HopefulAcres

            HopefulAcres New LVC Member

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            Thank y'all for your help I have tried other groups and y'all are by far the kindest and quickest to go beyond run of the mill tips. Due to work I had to let the car sit for a couple days. I started it twice yesterday letting it idle for around 20 minutes once and then did a quick two mile test drive. For the first time I could smell hot oil in the engine bay and there was also a fair amount of white smoke from the exhaust and it clearly smelled of coolant. As much as I wanted to fix things and get a few more months out of it I think it's time to be honest and let it go. I am looking at a few cars this weekend and then will most likely start parting out the Mark viii. Even though it was a money pit I am glad to have had the experience because I learned so much, especially swapping out the rear air bags for coils. I will let y'all know when I am ready to sell parts.
             
          • Scallywag

            Scallywag Well-Known LVC Member

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            Oof!! White coolant smelling smoke is a big No-No!! Although plenty factors can contribute to the white smoke, it usually implies bad head gaskets which are quite the job to undertake or pay to have done.

            Say it ain't so! :(
             
          • amarine1

            amarine1 LVC Member

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            Any word?
             
          • HopefulAcres

            HopefulAcres New LVC Member

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            Sorry not yet. The car is stuck in limbo right now. I have had this car for five years but when the previous owner found out it wasn't working she threw a huge fit that I still own her money for it and now she can't resell it (um yeah because you don't own it lady!!). Huge mess so it sits waiting for a legal resolution. Car buying tip; NEVER buy from a "friend" :mad:
             
          • amarine1

            amarine1 LVC Member

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            Wow, that sucks. Don't you have both the Title and Registration? Or has she been holding out after you were done paying her? If you have had registration this entire time, you could possibly go to the DMV and state your case... to get it titled in your name.
             
          • PHIL ANDERSON

            PHIL ANDERSON Well-Known LVC Member

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            Change your cam and also crank sensor, use only the ford sensors.the leaking plug tubes pull the plugs wipe em out till clean with a rag and solvent and wipe some oil resistant silicone around the rubber rings and let it dry. I chased the coil pack circus and found it was the crank sensor.
            Haven't checked in here in a while because my mark is long gone but I stop by sometimes to check things out.
             
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            • HopefulAcres

              HopefulAcres New LVC Member

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              Thankfully the car is completely mine, paid for and titled in my name so she had no leg to stand on. She is on some pretty strong pain meds and has possible mental health issues but that mess is cleared up now.
              On the positive side for what ever reason the car is doing much better. I had it parked because of the legal junk and was able to find an affordable F150 to bump around in. When I started to Mark two weeks ago it ran great and is still running great. The head gasket is looking just fine and now there is no signs or smells of coolant coming from the tail pipes. I guess it needed a serious vacation so I will be switching between vehicles while I change plugs, coils and convert the front air suspension.
              These cars are divas and clearly not meant for country life.
               

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