1989 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 302 V8 from North America


Fuel pump inertia switch: replaced with a salvaged one.

Transmission oil cooler had ruptured inside the radiator before I bought it, causing loss of transmission fluid: replaced with an external oil cooler.

Oil pressure sending unit gave a false low oil pressure warning while driving. Converted to a mechanical oil pressure gauge.

Replaced thermostat.

Replaced power steering pump/hoses.

Vacuum lines under upper intake manifold were cracked and causing poor idle. Removed upper intake and put on all new lines and gasket. Also replaced idle air control valve.

PCV valve screen was clogged. The valve and especially the screen under it is almost impossible to get to unless you remove the upper intake manifold. This will cause oil leaks if the system is neglected.

Air conditioning quit working; did not bother to get it repaired. Automatic temperature control is not functional.

Driver's door trim panel fell apart.

Ignition switch started smoking while driving! (easily fixed though by replacing the ignition switch)

Headlamp switch relay circuit/auto dimmer quit working, headlights flickered off and on.

Alternator quit working (knew about it as I installed a voltmeter along with oil pressure/temperature gauges).

Gear shift indicator not working.

Replaced usual maintenance items like tires, hoses, belts, battery.

General Comments:

I bought this car at an auction for $260. I always have liked the old Lincolns and Mercuries.

When I first was able to get the engine started, the car would not move. Found out it had almost no transmission fluid in it as the cooler inside the radiator had ruptured. I converted to an aftermarket external cooler only and it worked great, even in 110 degree Texas summers.

It already had the brass throttle valve grommet on it for the transmission. If you own or are looking at one of these cars, make sure it has this modification (search on Ford AOD TV grommet or TV Cable).

The factory grommet is plastic and it will end up falling apart, and will destroy the transmission if it does. The brass part will help prevent this.

The engine on this car is still in great shape, has 55 PSI oil pressure while driving cold, and 45 driving/22 idle when hot. The engine cooling system works great, it barely goes over 200 degrees even in the hottest weather.

The multi-port fuel injection gives it a good amount of power. Transmission still shifts smoothly. The car is extremely quiet inside.

Unfortunately this car has had a ton of electrical problems. I completely rewired the headlight system with all new switches/relays/circuit breakers/heavy gauge wire bypassing the factory system. There are a lot of components in the car's automatic headlamp/auto dimmer circuit which can go bad. I put in an aftermarket mechanical gauge panel for temperature/voltage/oil pressure to help give me better instrumentation after the OIL warning light gave a false warning while driving.

It will start and run great even in cold weather after the repairs I have made.

Still has good gas mileage for such a big car, about 19 MPG. It probably could get even better with a little more tune-up work. I feel like I have gotten almost all of the problems caused by age and previous owner neglect corrected, and the car has been very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2013

20th Oct 2013, 08:50

Fantastic review, filled with useful information. I agree these are very good cars, even in decrepitude like yours. I've had a few, but they were a bit less challenging as they were low mileage 'well cared for' examples, but they cost nearly ten times as much to buy. Your review shows me I could have kept them longer instead of selling them at 120k-150k miles. Thanks for the great review.

1989 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 302 V8 from North America


Buy one


Replaced driver's side door panel ($100) after purchase.

New driver's side rear door latch ($25 part).

Replaced belt at 217,878 miles.

New master cylinder and brake booster at about 218,000 miles.

Water pump replaced at 224,228 miles.

Oil pressure switch at 227,166 miles.

Rear brakes and power steering pump at 228,600 miles.

Ignition control module, full tune-up, front brakes, and new tires at 230,016 miles.

A/C recharge at 231,021 miles.

General Comments:

I bought this car in October 2010 for $2,000. It had 215k miles, but was in very good shape. I drove it for almost two years in high school, and to and from work. I still drive it in college.

Being the Signature Series, it has a lot of options: power seats, velour seats, auto-dimming headlights, power heated mirrors, trunk closer, keypad, illuminated entry, turbine wheels, true-dual exhaust, carriage roof option, and whitewall tires.

This was the first car I've owned, and it drives very well. I've had no problems passing cars on the freeway or driving down country roads. It's not terribly difficult to drive, and gets comparable gas mileage to the Honda Odyssey van I was driving earlier.

This car gets looks and compliments from many people, and I highly recommend it. Despite the repairs I have listed above, it isn't expensive to fix at all compared to new car payments or expensive computers malfunctioning on newer cars. Parts are very easy to find for this car, considering that about 828,000 of these 80's Town Cars were produced.

The Town Car still runs very strong, despite needing new valve cover gaskets. I have absolutely no plans of selling it, and if anything breaks, I will just fix it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2012

16th Sep 2012, 09:33

My grandparents bought an '89 Town Car in 1993. It was a very nice car. I was pretty young when they had it, but I remember that boat like ride and always loved the styling of that generation (way better than the '99 they bought after). I wish they still made cars like that; now you can't even buy a true full-sized car.