Bringing my 2002 Lincoln continental back to life

Lincoln Continental

  1. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I figured I would make a write up of all the progress I have made with my 02 Continental.

    Just a little history before I get started... I was searching for a 99-02 Continental or 03+ Town Car when I came across my first 97 Mark VIII about 4 years ago. I have owned 3 other 97 Mark VIIIs since then and don't regret any of them. The Mark VIII is a very unique and special car but my desire to reach my goal has never changed. On December 18, 2015 I became the proud owner of a 2006 Lincoln Town Car. Even though I am very happy with my Town Car, I was still very attracted to the Continentals. I wanted a red Continental with wood steering wheel, heated seats, & chrome wheels in decent shape with decent mileage... Well on April 4, 2017 I found her. She has every option available for 2002 minus the CE package. The seller was asking $2200 but I talked him down to $1800. I did a full inspection of the car during the test drive and knew it needed at least 1k in parts (struts, front suspension rebuild, transmission code (TCC code) and some other misc things) so I went ahead and brought her home.

    I have done a lot to the car in this short period of time so I am going to make separate posts of each "project" I have done so far and will continue to update this thread in the future.
     
  2. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    This is the night we brought her home. She seems clean in the pictures but she was in massive need of a detail and polish. The previous owner had three kids and a busy work Schedule and it diffidently showed in the condition of the car when we got it. 19686395_1610173492388070_1465594776_o.jpg 19686420_1610175362387883_1480262165_o.jpg 19686430_1610175032387916_520921071_o.jpg 19686555_1610175189054567_128219647_o.jpg 19688447_1610174882387931_748973513_o.jpg
     
  3. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    I never owned a Ford product before, much less a Lincoln.
    When I started looking, I found I was also “attracted” to the Continental, more so than the Town Car.

    The RWD setup of the Town Cars would have been nice, but it wasn’t a must have for me.

    And I must say, I do like your choice of Autumn Red Metallic.

    I look forward to reading, and learning from your “projects”.
     
  4. Svets96

    Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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    Very nice car. It really looks good, you have a clean rust free California car I wish they all were like that. I really like the color and also it being a console shift. I wish mine had console shift.

    I'll be following your thread keep us posted with your progress.
     
  5. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    Thanks guys. The car is really starting to grow on me. I got it for my wife (it's also what she wanted) to give me time to work on my Mark VIII without being on a rush and have a deadline.

    As I mentioned before, the car was VERY dirty inside. I have a few pictures of the interior before my wife spent a day and a half detailing the inside and shampooing the carpet while I polished/waxed the exterior.

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  6. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    Sorry guys I accidently sent the first post....butter fingers lol

    The day after we brought the car home, we got to work. As you can see, the back seat area was the worst. Crayon marks all over, food smears, mud...it was pretty bad.

    The wheels took about 25 minutes a piece to polish.

    Before I polished the car, the paint was very dull. You could barely see the Matallic in the paint. I have polished about 5 other cars in the past and none of them made as big of a difference as this. I used mequiars clay bar and used a DA polsiher for the mequiars correction polish, Adams finishing polish and applied the Adams wax by hand and finished off with Adams detail spray.
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  7. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    The one thing I look for when buying a used car is pride of ownership.

    If one can’t take the time to keep the interior where they sit in decent condition, one can only imagine how well they treated (or ignored) the things they can’t see.
    The important thing is nothing inside was damaged.
    Dirt and scum can always be cleaned up.

    That’s a nicely equipped car you got for a good price.
    Hopefully with some proper attention, you won’t have any major problems.

    (My ’02 has the drivers select package, but not the appearance package.
    It does have the added on carriage top which many folks don’t like because of rust issues. But being a garage kept Florida car rust is not a problem. The one thing I'm not sure about is why my front seat backs have "Limited" on them as opposed to the Lincoln emblem.)
     
  8. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    Ye

    Yep I agree about pride of owner ship. I made an exception this time because the owner was very honest and straight forward with me and even told me over the phone about the transmission code and in person told me the transmission will act funny when on the freeway. He also told me I could take the car for as long as a test drive desired as long as I left him my I.D. After being around the car around 30 minutes it was pretty evident it was all cosmetic issues with typical mechanical problems for having 155k on the clock. I respected the honesty and had a good overall vibe from the guy.
     
  9. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    19814294_1612749342130485_1865533258_o.jpg 19686376_1610174759054610_1675456148_o.jpg 19718484_1612749525463800_1349186147_o.jpg 19718592_1612749492130470_1373537071_o.jpg 19749428_1612749552130464_453591455_o.jpg 19749761_1612749452130474_1114443555_o.jpg 19814294_1612749342130485_1865533258_o.jpg 19686376_1610174759054610_1675456148_o.jpg 19718484_1612749525463800_1349186147_o.jpg 19718592_1612749492130470_1373537071_o.jpg 19749428_1612749552130464_453591455_o.jpg 19749761_1612749452130474_1114443555_o.jpg Here are the after pictures of the interior. (I took them today because I forgot to take them back in April) Posting all this on the forum is a project within itself lol especially on a 4th of July weekend.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  10. Svets96

    Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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    You did a fantastic job in cleaning all the nooks and crannies. The paint looks great too, I wish I had a DA I thought of getting one but still doing some research.

    This shade of red is my favorite on this model.

    If the interior smells rather odd, put vinegar in a cup and place it in the cup holder. This will rid of any "bad smells" especially cigarette smoke.

    I have to keep reminding myself that you live in California. Your car has 155K on it and looks brand new! I'm used to the rust belt out here.
     
  11. Svets96

    Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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    FlaOkie you have the "Limited Edition" package which started in the 2001 model year. It came with Limited scripture on seats, two toned, wood steering wheel, 6 disc cd changer, 16" spoke aluminum wheels. For select markets this package was marketed as the Greenbrier Limited Edition package.


    Sorry Chappyviii didn't mean to get off topic on your thread.
     
  12. FlaOkie

    FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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    Chappyviii –
    Well done. Quite an improvement.
    Now it won’t be hard to keep it looking like new.
     
  13. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    Thanks! I am using a porter cable. It was about $100 but HF has one for about $60 I think. I got back in 2015 and it still works like new. I wanted a DA because its very hard to damage your paint VS a regular orbital polisher.

    I will try that vinegar tip in my Town car. It is my daily and working in metal fabrication makes it hard to stay clean and smell good. The continental has smelled good inside since day one. I hope it stays like that haha

    Yeah I love this red. I wish my town car was the same color but black will do for now. I like this red much more than my Mark VIII(toreador red)

    Yes being a cali car helps alot....but the car is far from perfect. The bumpers are in pretty rough shape so I think it will be the perfect opportunity to try out my new devilbiss paint gun.
     
  14. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    No problem! the packaging with these cars always confused me so the input is encouraged
     
  15. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    Thanks! I agree
     
  16. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    Just a couple weeks after getting the car (may 7th according to my phone) I did a full tune up (plugs, fuel filter, torque bar[the engine mount on top of the engine]PCV valve) And also replaced the oil pan gasket and engine oil/filter along with new up stream O2 sensors, dropped the transmission pan and put in new filter/oil, coolant flush, new CHEAP thermostat and cleaned up the reservoir and thermostat housing.

    Everything went very smoothly. I was worried about the plugs because I heard it was a pain but it honestly only took 30 minutes. Dropping the exhaust and replacing the gasket was also easy but putting the exhaust back up was tricky. I had to jack up the engine a bit and lift the exhaust straight up. The torque rod came bare metal so I painted it along with my transmission pan (I will be replacing it with a dorman 265-816 so I can have a drain plug)

    The main issue with this project was the thermostat. I bought a cheap gates thermostat from rock auto. After burping the coolant system three times, The car kept trying to over heat after driving 15 or so minutes. After some research I figured it was the thermostat so I got one from a place called Termi-stat. They use stant thermostats who also make motorcraft thermostats. What makes them different than the others is they are true 170 degree thermostats. Most lower temperature T-stats just have a weaker spring but these have a true 170 degree "motor" so they start to open much sooner. After installing this thermostat my issues went away and now the cars temp gauge stays at the O. Since i had to drain the coolant again, I went ahead and put in a new temp sensor. My wife agrees with me that there was a decent improvement in power and MPG after doing the full tune up. The car felt very sluggish at lower RPMs before and now it feels much more peppy through out the RPM range. Let me know if you have any questions!

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    this was the color of the gas that came out of the old fuel filter
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  17. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    The next project took place May 29th. The front struts are blown so the car sits an inch or so too high in the front so I was able to see how ugly the fender liners were. I found new ones on Rock auto for pretty cheap so I went ahead and replaced them. They are not as well built as OEM so I saved the originals just in case I feel like restoring them one day. Since I was in there I went ahead and removed the intake resonator and drilled holes at the bottom of the intake box. I did this mostly for sound and I have to say it sounds much better. Also, it bothered me the intake opening is much smaller than the the MAF opening (80mm). No difference in power, and even if there was an improvement I wouldn't be able to feel it.

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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  18. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    I had an evap engine light code on. I figured 19650403_1610170309055055_681232653_o.jpg it was the evap hose that went to the throttle body so went ahead and replaced it along with the PCV breather hose with some braided line I had laying around. The light went away after doing this so another project went according to plan.
     
  19. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    As we all know, the transmission in these cars are the weak point. I was hoping just changing the transmission fluid and adding some trans tune by seafoam in the transmission would fix my transmission problem. It helped, the "check transmission" light took much longer to pop up as compared to before but it still kept happening. The TCC code basically comes up when the computer thinks the torque converter is slipping too much at lock up. This can either be a Torque converter issue or a TCC solenoid going bad. I noticed it only did it after the transmission would get up to temp and when you were on the freeway or going at a constant speed in OD. Through some research and talking with a friend who used to own a few Taurus SHO's, I decided to add a transmission cooler. After looking under the car I noticed the factory cooler was mounted on the radiator support. I wanted to use the factory mount location and have a fan come on when transmission oil temps reached 170 degrees.

    The OEM cooler is shared with the power steering. I wanted it to be as symmetrical as possible (yes...I know no one will ever see it but....I have OCD -___-). After looking at multiple Hayden coolers I decided to go with two Hayden 678s. It is the perfect width and height for two to fit in the factory location.

    After talking with another friend, I ordered my fan relay and temp sensor. This is the set up he used in his new edge mustang GT. He swapped in a Mark VIII engine and used a Mark VIII fan hooked up to the same relay and thermostat I used. Overkill...I know...but it was the same price as a generic universal kit on ebay.

    My original plan was to hook the thermostat probe onto the transmission cooler but the horn location complicated the install. Originally, I was going to put the transmission cooler and fan on the driver side but there was not enough room between the fan and horn. At one point I was going to connect the two coolers for the transmission and get a smaller cooler for the power steering but I felt it would of made things more cluttered. I ended up just making the passenger cooler for the transmission but....the line for the probe was not long enough. I ended up just putting the probe on top of the radiator. This way the transmission oil still had time to heat up to operation temp before the fan came on. Eventually I am either going to find a way to extend the probe wire OR just make the whole cooler assembly for the transmission and add a smaller cooler for the power steering. I will update you guys on what I end up doing. It has been about 2 weeks and the transmission code has not came on....but the car has only been in city driving.

    The frame for the cooler assembly was made at my work. The original plan was to use 2 1/2 flat bar through out but after cutting the pieces getting ready to weld I noticed the flat bar would cover up most of the coolers so I cut them down using my torch CNC machine at work to allow more air flow and less overall weight/mass.


    During the install of the cooler assembly, I used threaded rivets for all the mounting screws to make removing everything easier (the thermostat needs to be removed when removing the air box). The screws for the OEM cooler assembly were too short I just ended up drilling out the holes for threaded rivets...well... I applied too much pressure and drilled a hole into my radiator...... This isnt a huge deal...I am 99.99% sure it was the oem radiator at 160K miles and I was tempted to replace it back when I did the thermostat. Tip for everyone out there wanting to do this install...dont drink and drill lol

    The radiator replacement wasnt bad, for those who dont know the radiator has to come out through the bottom. While I was in there I replaced the upper radiator hose and the aftermarket alternator with a low mileage OEM unit I got from a friend. The aftermarket unit that came with car was giving me issues especially at idle for along period of time.
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    The alternator replacement was very easy. It took about 15 minutes.

    This was a big project so I left out a few details. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

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  20. Svets96

    Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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    You have done a lot of work since you got the car. What an amazing transformation new clean parts make! I've noticed you got an aftermarket coolant bypass tube cap. It makes things a lot easier when you need to attend the cooling system.

    I thought of trying the home made ram air intake duct that some say really wakes up these cars. It would be made from black PVC pipe. It's something to think about for the future.

    I had looked up that Dorman part number for the trans pan and it says it does not fit the Continental. Then I looked closer and I saw why, on the top it does not have that rounded part like the one for Continental stock. I would definitely be interested too if they make one with a drain plug.

    Keep up the great work dude!
     
  21. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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  22. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    oem radiator and transmission/power steering cooler

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  23. Svets96

    Svets96 Dedicated LVC Member

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    Cool set-up for the fans and cooler. You have some very intelligent skill in fab by getting the bracket constructed. We have some very talented people on LVC.

    The route for the wiring is very neatly done. I love OCD people I'm one of them too! Least I know I'm not alone. lol
     
  24. chappyviii

    chappyviii Active LVC Member

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    To be be honest I never cared for the wheels my continental came with. I think it was a combination of the front siting higher than normal due to bad struts and the tires on the wheels not being the best looking. I decided to put on some wheels from my Mark VIII. After a week or so of having them on...they grew on me. When I decided to keep them on the continental, I put on some almost new tires for the rear. While I had the rears tires off I went ahead and replaced the rear bags. Its hard to believe the oem bags did not leak at all even after the car sat for multiple days in a row with the battery disconnected. While the wheels were off I put on chrome center caps (originally I had on gold CE hub caps) and I did a quick polish and added some Shine to the tires.

    The rear bags were VERY easy to replace compared to my Mark VIII and Town Car. By far the easiest air ride replacement I have done.

    A good friend of mine gave me a coil cover that was in way better condition than the one that came with the car so I went ahead and put that on. 19650385_1610154409056645_1231091699_o.jpg 19650389_1610152972390122_2131743995_o.jpg 19686604_1610154299056656_1023735853_o.jpg 19747907_1610152902390129_609074702_o.jpg

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    These bags are so small compared to the bags on mark and TC....cute lol
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    • chappyviii

      chappyviii Active LVC Member

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      Yesterday and today I installed a new head unit. Me and my wife wanted a bluetooth touch screen radio. I figured this would be the time to try out a cheap android unit. Its a quad core android radio with android 6 with navigation and a back up camera. I wanted to keep the steering wheel controls so I bought a PAC module. It was a bit harder to get this android unit to work with the steering wheel controls VS a standard pioneer radio (I have a pionner 4100nex in my town car with working steering wheel controls).


      This unit is a little bigger than the average double din so I had to do A LOT of trimming with my "dremel". I had to trim the metra radio kit in multiple places and the opening in the dash. I also added some washers to the HVAC module to make it look more oem. Overall, we are very happy with the way it came out. For only $200 I am still skeptical but I will update in the future of any changes.


      So far everything has worked perfectly. Only complaint is it didn't come with the Lincoln logo for start up and there is a pause in the music when switching through apps.

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