Builds 66 Lincoln Continental build thread

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Dec 13, 2002
Knee deep in hookers and gin
I've done a buncha build threads. I like doing it. Keeps me honest. Reminds me to take lots of pics. Potential buyers can just look at a thread. People can follow along if it's something that interests them. Searches get people to maybe get some ideas. But since I've divested myself of Cruisers and 4runners, where should I put a thread? The Lincoln forum is not very restomod friendly. I am not very into s***ty old parts ruining a great car. I like old design and new engineering. See my threads on my pig, my LV, my swb and my skinner.

Theres a whole big group for modified customs, Suicide Slabs, but its on faceballs. Not very build thread friendly. probably. I don't really investigate it. In fact, it's my dogs FB account. And she only goes on that one group and marketplace when she has to.

Cept there's a classic car forum on Mud, cause theres an everything forum on Mud. I don't really care if the forum is populated at all. If nobody except people that care about my stupid project comes to the forum at all, I'm pretty OK with that. It's a great place to store pictures so I can find them again. Gives the pictures some context too. So after moving on from Land Cruisers I'm back posting s*** on Mud.

So, last spring I bought this old, broken down Ford...
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I saw an ad on Craigslist for a 72 Lincoln Continental. It wasn’t the the year I was looking for, but the ad said a retired 88 yo was selling his collection of 40s-70s luxury American cars and would have an open house on the following Saturday. For some reason he would put up a different car each week, but only one of the barn full of cars. My wife and I drove out to see what it was all about.

The gentleman had started collecting cars in the 80s and parking them in a pig barn on his property in Central Michigan. He said he planned on restoring them, but never did. He filled the barn, and a hay barn and then let them sit for the next 35 years. He sold the property and had a year to clear out the barns before they were razed to make room for another acre of farmland.

By the time I saw the ad about half the cars were sold and many of the 40+ cars were moved out. A 62 vert was going to CA. An Imperial was headed to Poland. He still had a 58 conti convertable, an eldo, a 72 Mark III, buncha stuff. The car that interested me was mislabeled as a 64 Continental with a tag of $2500 on it. It was by far the best condition of any of the remaining continentals. The convertibles and many of the other cars had racoons get in the interiors. I don't want to have to do a complete interior.

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The car that I had to have was mislabeled as a 64 Lincoln Continental. $2500. It was pretty rough looking. The vinyl top was trashed. There was 8' of rusty ass quarter panel showing. It had a huge dent in the front. It had 80s era F-150 hubcaps. But it had the right stuff I was looking for.

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The interior on the 66 was nearly perfect. A small rip in the passenger front from the owner putting parts boxes in it was most of the damage. The dash had a crack through the speaker grille but it was amazingly clean inside. Factory black leather. With a dealer installed 8-track player 'cause there's nothing like Peter Frampton fading out in the middle of Do You Feel Like I Do so it can change tracks.

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The car had hit a tree or post and had a big dent in the front facia. The PS quarter paint was very poor. The vinyl top was intact, but very poor. It looked bad, unless you've done a big resto before. All the trim was there. The interior was good. The motor was intact and unmolested. It appeared to be a restorable car without needed all the little things that pile up and cost big money to fix. Most importantly in Michigan it wasn't a rust bucket. More cars get parted out because the bodies rust away than for any other reason. A lot of Lincolns died in demolition derbys too, but rust is just a killer.

I paid a deposit and made arrangements to come back the following weekend to get the car out of the barn and have it picked up. Some of the cars that were sold like the vert were due to get shipped and gotten out of the way. My Tundra had blown a transmission so I called around until I found a tow company to meet us with a flatbed and tow it the 80 miles home. $300. Not worth owning a car hauler anymore without having to drag wheeling trucks across the country.

It took a couple of hours with floor jacks and 4 of us to get the car out of the spot it had sat since 1986. Two tires held air. Two others were replaced with spares. The owner was very happy to trade me the F-150 hubcaps for a nice set of 66 ones. It was pouring rain and my newly finished 1988 4runner struggled to pull the Lincoln through the mud 50 yards to the road as the flatbed would never have gotten up to the barn. The car got it’s first real wash in 40 years in monsoon rains on the way back home. Got a real bath the next day.

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I found the driver floor was mostly gone, the dogleg behind the driver rear door was rusted through and the pristine looking deck lid was rusted under the rear lip. Still it was very clean for an old Michigan car. The car was up against a wall hard on the DS and I missed some stuff, but honestly, nothing that would have made me think twice.

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None of that stuff is gonna work. The Restomod Air is already in. Key fob or phone operated controls. I'll put an underseat amp with bluetooth, aux in and usb. It won't have a speedo cable to drive the speed control. Dakota Digital dash and 4L80. Looks neat though.
I set to seeing if I could get the 462 MEL running. The plan was never to use it. I like old cars that work like new ones. I like fuel injection, OBDII, Working heat and air, power steering and brakes, disc brakes. I don’t like to wonder if I’m going to get to where I need to go. The motor was solid. I pulled the plugs and dumped ATF and acetone down the holes. The next day a breaker bar moved the engine. Shortly after it cranked on it’s own. new plugs went in. I rebuilt the carb. The cheap chinese rebuild kit accelerator pump swelled and puked as soon as it touched fuel. I put the old leather pump diaphragm back in. Changed the oil. cleaned and set the points and drove the oil pump until fresh clean oil came up through the rockers. I didn’t try to pull fuel through the system. I disconnected the fuel pump and ran a can to it. The pump worked enough.

After a couple of days of messing around it fired up. It took a bit to keep it running, but eventually it ran enough to take it for a test drive. The trans fell right into reverse. There was no brakes at all. The master was seized solid. Still it drove around the property just off idle one last time before it went under the knife. I wouldnt expect it to drive again for at least two years.

No engine pics

I need to see if I can upload video files.
The next weekend I went back out to the pig barn to look at a couple of other suicide slabs in a different barn that were buried in junk and racoon s***. While I was in the hay barn looking at two absolute wrecks I found a couple of front bumpers, a front facia from a 66/7, and some other parts that looked like they were intended to fix my 66 including the grille. I took measurements. The next weekend I came back, got all the stuff out of the barn and gave the gentleman $30 for the parts. Both times I had come out I had helped folks getting cars out they had purchased and the guy gave me a fair price. Where else was he going to sell random 1966 Conti parts local? Their condition was fair at best, but way better than what I had.

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The motor and trans came out easily enough. The trans fell off the jack right onto the shift linkage shaft breaking it off of the aluminum case. One working C6 junk. The motor went in the lean to until a gentleman drove up from Ohio to pick it up for free. power washed the engine bay

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While it was on the hoist the front suspension, steering and brakes were all replaced with new. Anything that was to be re-used was sandblasted and powder coated.

The front brakes and suspension is done. I'm working on rear disks for the rear and I need to drop the whole axle, replace the center section with a 9" with better gears for an LS with overdrive. clean the springs and replace the bushings. The drums are OK, but one drum is way bad and folks want stupid money for them.

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The battery tray was gone. The sheet metal under the battery box was bad. The "frame" rail under the battery was holy. I haven't finished the battery tray area because I'm thinking of moving it and if I do, I'll cut the new tray out.

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My two previous projects went up for sale. The 1964 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-45 started life as a complete wreck. The 1988 4Runner was a wheeling truck that had very little rust, but every panel was smashed. Both got engine upgrades. A built LS 6.0 in the Cruiser and a 5VZ in the 4Runner. Friends bought them both and they left on the same day. I kinda wish I kept the 4runner. But I had upgraded the daily from a Tundra to a Lexus LS430 and then a LS600hl. The flagship life got me. I love driving big luxury sedans a lot more than I thought I would.

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The doors came off the Lincoln and I started to do the metal work on them in the paint shop while the rust repair continued on the hoist. The previous owner of my shop had put in a wall to insulate ⅓ of the shop to do a side business in fixing cars. I used it like that for a few years, then moved the hoist to the big side and made the small side a body shop. I don’t use the hoist a lot and mostly it was in the way on the small side. Before it snowed, I moved the car into the body shop and put it on 2x4 Jenga wheel stands.

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