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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wautoma, WI
    Posts
    35

    Question electrical problem with my 1995 Lincoln Continental

    OK, here it is guys, I'm having an electrical problem with my '95 Lincoln Continental. When I get into the car I have power (lights,radio,air compressor, fuel pump work) but when I turn the key I lose all electric (no starter, no dash, no lights, nothing (just completely dead). Now, I've swapped the battery out for the brand new one I use in my '69 caddy (I know for a fact it's good) and get the same results. But when I hook the car to jumper cables I get the starter to turn very slowly (like I am getting very little juice) but it will not start.
    I haven't had many problems with this car since I bought it last year, I'm usually pretty good about troubleshooting, but when it comes to electric I'm clueless (sometimes I wish I could just drive the Caddy full time)..
    I'd appreciate any opinions or pointers you guys might have on this problem..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    881

    Default

    My wife's car would go completely dead when the key was turned. Just once every 3 months or so. It was the battery terminals. For some reason, they would corrode under the terminals (side post GM). So I trained her to remove the terminals, wire brush them, and reattach. Last time it happened, I wiggled the terminal and found that even though the nut was torqued down real good, the terminal wasn't completely compressed against the battery's side post... the lug was bottoming out in side post terminal. So I measured under the terminals with a feeler gauge and found a .005" gap!

    A simple high resistance connection.

    That's what it sounds like in your case. Since jumper cables improve the situation, they must be bypassing the high resistance connection...

    Do you install the red clip to the battery terminal and the black clip to the engine block?

    If so, the high resistance connection is between the negative battery terminal and the car's ground. The jumper cables have bypassed the corroded connection. Suspect places are... where the battery cable bolts to the car's frame, and where the frame is bonded to the engine block.

    Take a voltmeter and measure the voltage from the negative battery terminal to the engine block. It should read zero. Then, crank it. If 8-12 volts appears between the battery terminal and the engine block, you know there is a bad connection between the two. Clean and reattach all battery cables. Not just under the battery terminals, but also at the other end where the cables bolt.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    N.Y.C
    Posts
    164

    Default

    Sounds like the starter or the ignition,go under the car and tap on the starter. When you turn the key to the start position things normally cut off

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Try taking one end of your jumper cable and hooking it to the engine block and the other end to the negative side of the battery(the same color as hooked to the block) and try starting it. This will at least eliminate the ground cable as bodybagger suggested, but might be quicker
    Just a thought
    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wautoma, WI
    Posts
    35

    Default I've tried most of this

    it has the 4.8 V8 300CI engine that was a factory replacement for the mustang 302CI or 5.0L in '95, The starter is on the backside of the engine and is almost impossiable to get to due to the skid plate on the Lincoln Continental. The battery terminals are good, and the starter seems to work, I understand the electronics cut out when starting, but I lose all of them after I've tried to start the car.. The only way I don't is when I hook the car up to jumper cables. I thought that maybe the alternator has a short and is drawing that much juice as to cut my battery out.. maybe I'm wrong, I don't have the proper tester and only about $170.00 to fix it, as I've been out of work for awhile and need a vehicle to start ANY job. Also my door ajar light comes on whenever I try to start the car, could it just be a door sensor that is shorting out and drawing excessive ammounts of battery?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    881

    Default

    There is most definitely a bad connection between your battery and your car. When you turn the key and energize the starter solenoid, several hundred amps needs to get from the battery, through the starter windings, and back to the battery.

    When this current attempts to take this path, a bad connection gets heated and burns out. When corrosion sets up, it allows a small current to get past this bad place which is why you eventually get your electronics back UNTIL you try to start the car.

    Trace the battery cables... start at the battery terminals and follow it to where it bolts onto something. It is broken or the place where it is bolted has gotten rusty. I bet it's bolted to a rusty place.

    The door ajar light might just be malfunctioning indicator lights due to low voltage.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    995

    Default

    Swap in the battery from the other car. You might just have a battery with a bad cell.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Very much possible. He'd know that if he used a voltmeter. If he hasn't figured it out yet, he should take it to a mechanic.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    nc
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Luce View Post
    it has the 4.8 V8 300CI engine that was a factory replacement for the mustang 302CI or 5.0L in '95, The starter is on the backside of the engine and is almost impossiable to get to due to the skid plate on the Lincoln Continental. The battery terminals are good, and the starter seems to work, I understand the electronics cut out when starting, but I lose all of them after I've tried to start the car.. The only way I don't is when I hook the car up to jumper cables. I thought that maybe the alternator has a short and is drawing that much juice as to cut my battery out.. maybe I'm wrong, I don't have the proper tester and only about $170.00 to fix it, as I've been out of work for awhile and need a vehicle to start ANY job. Also my door ajar light comes on whenever I try to start the car, could it just be a door sensor that is shorting out and drawing excessive ammounts of battery?
    Thats a 4.6 liter v8 or 280 cubic inches. I agree with what the other guys posted sounds like a problem on the starter or with one of its components. Does that year still have the solenoid mounted on the fender? If so check it and make sure the cables aren't loose. If thats fine and you cant afford to send it to a mechanic you are gonna have to find a way to jack it up and get to the starter.
    hh 187.:
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    9

    Default 95Continental

    Hello Josh
    It is very difficult to diagnose through this forum.
    With that being said, try pulling the gear select to neutral, and try starting while in neutral If it starts, you might have either an adjustment/bad MLP( Manual Lever Position Switch) concern. . Notorious for issues. If you know how to check for Voltage drop along the start circuit that would help/or check for current draw while starting. If it is above 350amps,that starter is probably the culprit. Smack it with a hammer! If it starts after this, you have your problem! $117.59 + $75.00 core charge from Ford. Online price! Be careful jumping these cars, you can cause damage.
    Contact me if you need additional help
    Also, make sure there is a heat shield on that starter solenoid. The one on the starter. They get broken easily, and are imperitive or the wires get cooked!
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