Front end hit today on my 2002 Lincoln Continental - time to move on?

Lincoln Continental

  1. Firebrian

    Firebrian Active LVC Member

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    Moving on...to another Lincoln Continental....lol.

    When the 43K mile car in Central NJ fell apart because seller couldn't discount for original tires I focused on a clean 2006 Grand Marquis with 44K miles at $4800. Problem was, that seller never got back to me...as I likely would have bought the car by Wednesday. Turns out my CL emails dumped into their spam account. When they finally got back to me Thursday, the 2nd Continental had just popped up only 35 miles from me. Talk about fate. I called the owner about 8 hrs after the ad broke and arranged for a viewing the next morning. I had a feeling that the car wouldn't last long if it was clean/solid. While it has some cosmetic warts, it's pretty clean and attractive. It didn't hurt that it had an extensive "conservative" service history on the Carfax...and that the original dealership was well known in the Connecticut area. And the fact that I have yet to find any fluid leaks is a nice plus.

    My old car had a couple oil leaks dripping on to the serpentine belt making a mess of everything...probably were there from the 24K mile point when I bought it. Good thing I held off on all that work (drive belt, valve cover gaskets, PS pump hp fitting/hose leak, idler pulley, spark plugs and wires, etc.) as it saved me a nice chunk of change. It wasn't absolutely needed so the best course was to wait until it was. In the end...fate seems to have intervened. Nice to have a working cruise control again after 3-4 yrs. Only luxo drawback is no CD in this car. I'd happily trade the moon roof for one.

    Cleaned out the trunk and found the spare donut at around 10-15 psi. Even more odd, the 4 other tires were at around 45 psi. I adjusted everything where they should be. The PS fluid reservoir was full to the brim when hot. No wonder it was moist on top of the reservoir. Now back to center of control range. Still amazed that the heavily dry rotted rear factory tires passed anyone's safety inspection. One of those has a 1/2" cut in the sidewall showing the inner braid/belt. Maintenance is not what it used to be.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  2. Firebrian

    Firebrian Active LVC Member

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    I followed Svets96 KBB link above. They sure don't give much value for low mileage....which is really BS. Typical private party value for a 2000 Continental is $2600....tops out in the lower $3's. All I can say is go find one. If the dealers have it...they will be $4500-$6500. Since KBB is this low, it gives sellers some "comfort" that they are getting fair value for their car. I'd bet if you put in a 10K mile car it would only come up around $4K tops. Yeah right. For every one priced like that...there are dozens priced higher and with 5X to 10X the mileage. KBB is just bogus on low mileage cream puffs. It has my 1999 Camaro SS M6 w/19K miles at around $8K. I could flip that car tomorrow for $11K...and maybe even $12.5K if I waited.
     
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    • FlaOkie

      FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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      It should ride better without 45 psi in the tires.

      I have seen the CD changers on ebay and as I recall they were not very expensive.
      It might be plug and play - I would think there is a good chance all the wiring/connectors are in the console somewhere.

      I quit checking KBB and NADA years ago. Waste of time.
       
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Unlike my other car, no console in this one. Just 2 rotating arm rests with a slight bit of storage. But there might be some connectors in the entertainment panel on the dash (?). KBB and NADA are ok for cars under 10 yrs old and with typical mileage for their age. They fall apart on scarcer options, scarcer colors, and significantly low mileage.
       
    • Svets96

      Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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      Nice looking car. Believe me it scrubbed up very well. For the bumpers you ran into the problem that I did, you would have to get them repainted. If you do, follow the repair manual on how to take off the bumpers and take them in to get them redone. Less chance the body shop will get over spray and or tape line marks on other parts. They take the easy route every time I hate that. No one has pride anymore. I got mine repainted and it looks amazing, you'll be glad you did. Its up to you though. Your car. It is the same color as mine it's called Ivory Parchment Metallic, look at the drivers side door sticker it will tell you the paint code: HC
      Once you polish this color out it shines like a diamond in the sun. You'll see what I mean.

      I would say the same thing about the tires, get the others to match the current ones that are newer.

      For the interior seats, I had used Mr. Clean magic eraser, very softly to dissolve all that ground in dirt. Came out pretty well. Another good cleaning product that you 'll need for the leather, I use Zaino leather in a bottle and Zaino leather cleaner. Take the cleaner and scrub it with a soft bristle brush then wipe it off after a couple cleanings, then use the leather in a bottle to revive the leather. Take a look at these products at zainobros.com Good company.

      The spare tires need to be checked every so often for proper air pressure. Mine was at 10 psi. lol all good now. If it looks to be in bad shape replace that as well. Discount tire and tire rack have good deals on the spare.

      X10,000 on KBB and NADA "F those sites.

      Congrats on the new purchase. You'll like it a lot.
       
    • Svets96

      Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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      If you do get a CD player you can get the factory model, or get an aftermarket one. MooJohn had placed a screen in his when he still had his Continental, it had the newer Lincoln welcoming software in it when you open the door. Its pretty straight forward to install and plug and play.
       
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Thanks for the info Svets96. We already looked on line for home leather cleaning remedies and spent about an hour on the seats using vinegar and water via a green scouring pad. I was surprised how much of that 18 year old grime came off. I didn't hold out much hope when I first saw the car. The front seat tops cleaned up around 80% so far. Craig's List before photos in the ad link below. Used coconut oil to put some conditioning and shine back into them.

      2001 Lincoln Continental 39k Miles!!!!

      Spent another hour on the trunk area, down to cleaning up all the paint under the deck lid. Looks great now. Same for the doors which needed TLC. This car could have shown much better by the seller with 1 full day of detailing...could have netted them considerably more money imo. About 6 hours into so far on my end. I thought it would take a week or two. Cleaned up fast. The Mrs. did the the carpets. She still wants to go back at them one more time though. Now the car looks like 40K miles and not the 80-100K miles it did when I first saw it. Interesting to watch as I'm sure the previous owners probably never cleaned anything on this car...except maybe an occasional vacuuming of the carpets.

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    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      It's also sort of neat that there's an original and usable Ivory Parchment Pearl / "HC" paint touch up bottle in the glove box. And I'll use it on the simpler scars and stone chips. Warranty booklet and maintenance requirement books with the car from the selling dealership...though no owner's manual....no window sticker. No problem, I have copies of 1997 and 2002. The door security code was buried in there too. Key Fobs were lost along the way...only came with a single valet key. Will have to consult a dealership to make some more keys.

      I'll give Svets96 idea of redoing the bumper some consideration. With the other bumper removed off my other Lincoln, I have an excellent idea on how it goes back on (and come off). If I decide to do it in place, I would tape off the bumper very carefully and not leave that risk to gorillas. The grille/bumper assembly is not all that bullet-proof. It wouldn't be hard envisioning a sloppy body dropping it and cracking the grille bars or something similar. They can't hurt it if it stays on the car.

      Battery is taking a strong 8 amp charge for the past 40 minutes. I don't think that's because I had the doors open so long. I'll check the date on it later today. If necessary I'll swap batteries with my other car which has 6 months left under 42 month warranty. Interesting that both of my cars experience this heavy 6-8 amp draw when initially charging. My other car eventually gets to 4 amps after 30 minutes...and no lower. I trouble shot deep into my other car including alternator ac and dc, rectifier/diodes, all battery leads, all grounds, all loads...etc....and couldn't find why there was a steady 4 amp draw no matter what. Yet for 3 yrs that battery started the car fine...every time.
       
      Last edited: May 13, 2018
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Long day. 7 hours. Waxing and windows. Cabin air filter cleaned up. Battery charge did complete to fully charged after 2 hrs. AAA maintenance free battery installed when the previous owners were in Florida...could have been 2-6 yrs ago. I prefer batteries where you can add DI water and inspect the upper cells. I'll keep this one. Last photo are dueling Lincolns. There can only be one thought. About 10 hrs total into the detailing. Can't wait to get it registered + tires and get it on the road.

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    • Svets96

      Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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      Dude bravo job on the detailing. Car looks like a stunna.
       
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Thanks Svets96. Iced my back twice today to keep things going...lol.

      Just ordered a key Fob pair Memory 1/2 via Ebay thanks to your older post on how to do this inexpensively.....and until I ran across your old post tonight I was planning on going to the dealership and fork over who knows how much $$ for such a set. Was tempted to keep my old Key Fobs but that isn't really right. Thanks Svets96. Will look into a factory style CD too but really don't want to spend over $100 or so...been without one in the other car for over a year since that flamed out.

      Need a couple door/ignition keys too as it only came with a single valet key...that doesn't work/or even fit into the trunk/glove box locks. Local Ford dealership says they don't keep these codes anymore....call a locksmith. Found one that said around $35 if I bring the car to him. Seems like a dying art for automotive locksmithing...many are no longer doing it. Local hardware store can make me another ignition key.

      Ordered a pair of Cooper Starfire RS-C-2.0 98V tires to match the front ones. Lucky to find them on sale at Pepboys for $56/tire...which Town Fair matched. Punch list is getting short.
       
      Last edited: May 15, 2018
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Local hardware store wanted $79 to duplicate my ignition/transponder key. Seems like a lot. The actual key blanks are only $4-$15 each. Checking into more sources. Maybe not so bad though. One on line site quoted $72 net after a one time discount. If you have a pair of transponder keys you can program them yourself. If just one, you're out of luck and have to visit a store, locksmith, or dealer.
       
      Last edited: May 16, 2018
    • FlaOkie

      FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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      Well done – looks ready for the road.

      Most good locksmiths do auto work and can program the remotes and keys.
      Some will even come to your house.
      Having working remotes and spare keys is a one time charge that is worth every penny.
       
    • FlaOkie

      FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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      Looking at Firebrian’s pics of his sparkling interior reminded me that I made a slight modification to the inside of rear doors a while back.
      Lincoln used a very nice wood trim in the front – not too much - just the right amount.
      In the rear they left a large expanse of gray plastic – that to me just did not look right for a luxury car.
      So I added a small amount of wood “trim” they left off.

      The match with the front trim is not exact but it is very close, and since it is in the back, not right next to the factory trim the difference is hard to notice, and it does break up the expanse of gray plastic. The nice part is if I get tired of it – I just peel it off.
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    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      That rear door "wood trim" looks nice. Good idea FlaOkie.

      Title to the old car sent to the insurance company. Now just waiting on tow/salvage to come and get the 2002. Once out of the driveway I'll have more room to do a few mechanical things on the new 2001....put in a complete and working front air dam, change oil and filter after running fuel system cleaner through for a tankful (2500 miles on oil), change brake fluid, get the new rear tires on Monday. Then I'll check the air and fuel filters more closely to see if they've ever been changed. They should have been done at 30K miles and the original owner was pretty fastidious about scheduled maintenance to around 32K miles...assuming at over 90 yrs old they could keep it all straight.

      Car feels a bit "klunky" going over bumps and driveway lips. Could be ball joints, tie rods, or something. In reviewing my old maintenance records on the 2002, it had its ball joints replaced at 24K miles/7yrs just after I purchased the car. Sort of odd they can fail that early. Will likely take the car in for a suspension check assuming the tire guys on Monday can't tell me what's up. When doing brake fluid I can shake the wheels and check too.
       
      Last edited: May 17, 2018
    • FlaOkie

      FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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      As far as ball joints at 24K – that seems to me to be unusual.

      I just went back and checked the carfax for my ’02.
      A lot of brake/rotor work was done over the years and miles, but no mention of any suspension work.
      The previous owner was 71 when he bought the car and 83 when he got rid of it.

      While quite possible, I do have to wonder how hard someone in their 80s or 90s would be on the suspension in just 39K.

      It could be the years have taken a toll on the bushings, grommets, etc.
       
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      My 1997 Lincoln Cont. to the best of my knowledge went 232K miles with zero suspension work...or at least none I could recall...definitely no air suspension parts were replaced. So much time passed I could have just forgotten. On my 2002 at 82K miles zero suspension parts of any kind replaced after those ball joints were done at 24K miles. When I first test drove that car it felt like it was wandering back and forth. My mechanic said it was the ball joints. My higher mileage car should be in worse shape than this 2001 with 39K miles. My 2002 has some of that same klunkiness....and different than when I got it 9 yrs ago.

      Well I poked around under the front suspension and jacked the car up on each side. Zero movement in the wheel at 6/12 o'clock. A very small amount at 3/9 o'clock on both sides such that it might be normal. This has a lower ball joint but no upper one. I guess the stabilizer link/bar + strut control the same function as an upper ball joint? It looks pretty fresh under there and I can't see anything looks out of place like a torn boot or cut/displaced bushing/mount. This Lincoln went through CarMax full safety check back in January. While that sounds good...they also passed 18 year old dry-rotted tires with a hunk missing out of one sidewall exposing the belts.

      Yeah, maybe 17 yrs of aging on those rubber suspension components have taken their toll. Fwiw I think back to my 1969 SuperBee which I owned from 1996-1997 with 51K miles...on original suspension parts other than shocks. It rode like a dream on radial tires with 27 yr old rubber bushings on that dual torsion bar suspension. And today the OEM's make rubber to last a lot longer than in the 1960's.
       
      Last edited: May 17, 2018
    • Svets96

      Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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      That rear trim looks really good. I always wanted to do something like that when I get the time. Just didn't know how to go about doing it. Now I know.
       
    • Svets96

      Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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      I checked my records for this type of symptom you have. My tie rod end links where replaced around 56K miles. They were the outer links, they were loose. Then an alignment had been completed after wards. I would assume your car might want to check over all suspension components due to age condition. I think you should be good after that.
       
    • Svets96

      Svets96 Well-Known LVC Member

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      Did a quick search on Amazon for your ignition key concerns:

      https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_...=Key+blanks+for+1998-2002+Lincoln+Continental

      You probably already went to this site, but thought I'd post it. Companies can come out and program them for you. Or you can follow your instructions in your owners manual. The PATS system from Ford and Lincoln is still a highly sophisticated program to this day, hence the reason for some programming difficulty when looking at it. Hopefully the videos below can help you.

      Here are a couple videos on Youtube on how to program:



      Programming transponder keys 1998-02 Lincoln Continental - YouTube

      Hope this helps!
       
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Yeah, I did do a lot research already via google, checking out Ebay, calling locksmiths, calling the dealership, going to my local ACE hardware, etc. Must have seen a dozen videos. Thing is, unless you have 2 working, non-slave keys, you can't program your 3rd ignition key by yourself in the car. You need outside help that has the programming tools. And even when I get my Valet key copied, it will be a duplicate slave of the Valet. Those 2 together can't program a 3rd ignition key.

      So in any event someone has to cut and program a key for me. I plan to end up with 2 Valet keys, a separate pair of keys to do glove box and trunk ($35 at locksmith), and a pair of programmed Fobs with Memory 1 and 2. I'll have full function...but not on a single key as Lincoln originally provided. Getting a proper factory pair of ignition keys (that can program a 3rd key) would likely be a LOT more money. Costs go up another $75-$150 if you have the locksmith come to you. I'm bringing the car to them and save a bit. Ignition key at ACE will run $79+tax.
       
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Ignition key and personalized settings. Just discovered this Continental doesn't have the Driver 1/2 ID Select system like my last 2 cars had. Just assumed it was a standard feature of all 1996-2002 Continentals as it's always been there for me.
       
      Last edited: May 19, 2018 at 10:47 PM
    • FlaOkie

      FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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      I never programmed my remotes as I’m the only one that drives my car.
      I also disabled all the other features that make things happen by themselves.
      I don’t like things happening without me making them happen.

      I checked my ’02 owners manual - I could find no mention of using the master key in order to program the memory profile for the remotes.
      But it may just be possible that the memory profile programming is disabled by the computer when it sees the valet key.
      I think it is worth the cost to get the correct master keys.
      It may/will be painfully expensive, but it is a one time expense that will give you the correct keying for the car, and the ability to program more keys yourself.
       
    • Firebrian

      Firebrian Active LVC Member

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      Thanks for the reply FlaOkie. I had just edited my previous post as you posted. Turns out I don't have option in the car for 2 driver settings. So the Mem 1/2 Key Fobs I just ordered for twice the price don't give any added benefit over the cheaper single memory key Fobs. And it was all in the owners manual. I'll just return these and get the cheaper ones.

      Without the two driver coding feature, having a pair of expensive factory ignition keys is of less value to me. The odds of losing both ignition keys is very slim. And you have always have the Fobs and door key pad to get into the car. Cost for a single ignition key copy ($79) is not that big a deal if one should ever get misplaced. You could do that several times and not exceed the cost of a factory key set. Haven't lost a single ignition key in the past 20+ years. And if I did have a factory key set made, losing one of those ignition keys would put me right back in the situation I'm in now...not being able to program extra keys.
       
      Last edited: May 19, 2018 at 10:57 PM
    • FlaOkie

      FlaOkie Active LVC Member

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      “Just assumed it was a standard feature of all 1996-2002 Continentals as it's always been there for me.”

      I completely forgot that the driver 1/2 select was an option.

      I found that out awhile back when I was looking for a replacement seat adjusting switch.
      Even though I rarely use it, my seat back recline function sometimes sticks, so I bought a replacement switch to have on hand.
      What I found was there are different switches for the memory function, and the non-memory setup.
      The door driver module (computer that controls all these type functions) is also different for the driver 1/2 select system.
       

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