31st Jul 2013, 07:13
Wow, what an amazing post! Tons of great info, thank you! Like you, I own a 78 Continental with the 400, and let me tell you, it's a slug beyond words.
I have rust issues on the car as well, but it's mainly the rear window trim where the vinyl top is. Rust literally has eaten away on the right side of the sheet metal underneath the vinyl itself. There's a huge rust hole that goes straight into the trunk! I am planning on repairing it very soon, as I have been slowly repairing other minor rust spots that just pop up on the car, especially on the top aluminized chrome trim on the fenders and doors. Water sits underneath it, and rust starts.
I also agree with you about these cars, there is just something about them that gets you hooked! They are so stately and powerful looking cars that IMO, not even the full size Cadillacs in the 70's could match 70's Lincoln's in its presence. They look like they were sculpted to perfection.
I have owned my 78 for a year now, and so far, it hasn't let me down yet. I did a few repairs on my own, the water pump was one, including the water outlet pipe that cracked due to old age and being aluminum :(. Replaced the outlet with a cast iron one that I am sure will never crack. The 400 is slow as hell, but it runs, and gets going once it's on the freeway. The C6 is bulletproof and heavy duty, this is one of the reasons why I love the older Lincoln's 60's-70's compared to the 80's on up, is because they were overbuilt using strong mechanical components that you didn't have to worry about breaking down, unlike the 80's Town Car's problematic AOD's and even weaker 5.0 engine.
The quality of the exterior trim was excellent on the 77-79 Conti's. Metal is strong and solid. The interior dash is very cheap and poorly fitted tho, but looks nice and honestly that's what matters to me more, because I really don't like the looks of the 77 dash; it's too plain and boring for a luxury car.
I have the base model, which comes with power cloth bench seats that are extremely soft and comfortable! You totally sink into these things. It's funny because as this car gently glides down the road, when going over a bump or high/low roads, while your body is being forced down on the downforce, it pushes your butt into the seat. Since these seats are so soft, it feels like you're driving on a cloud, as the seats act like an extra suspension for the car!
Best riding car I have ever driven hands down, and I've driven quite a few. The body is tight, there are no creaks or rattles, and it's extremely quiet. I did however have to add some rubber foam tape to the door seals to help quiet the ride even more, as I was getting some wind and road noise entering the cabin. You can get this stuff at Home Depot in the Doors section. It's basically the same stuff that you use to seal door gaps in your home. It's cheap and works great. I recommend everyone to do this.
I will take your advice on the mechanical upgrades and apply em to my 78 one at a time. I know changing out the timing gears and camshaft can make worlds of a difference, including replacing the intake manifold with a performance Edelbrock one, and adding a dual exhaust system can really bump up the HP in these slugs.
8th Aug 2013, 23:56
"I read somewhere that due to a fight with the steel unions in the mid-'70s, Detroit decided to buy Japanese steel, which was of inferior quality".
I don't think this is true, as the unions' mafia overlords (who drive big luxoboats) wouldn't allow for such a thing.
The rust just forms near the vinyl top because that's the main area that the workers never rustproofed.