Thursday, May 19, 2011

Success with the Lincoln

Last Thursday I was bemoaning the fact that Helen's Lincoln was ailing in the air conditioning department. This is quite the serious problem here in Florida where A/C is vital, and I'm not saying that frivolously. Many times over the years I have fixed A/C systems and although I do not have a license, I have acquired a good number of tools for diagnosing and fixing A/C problems.

The single most popular problems is always a lack of freon caused by some kind of leak, and I was sure that I would find the same thing here. I attached my Freon 134 gauges and found that the pressure was fine, no leaks. I was a bit elated because the problem is often a leak that requires the complete dismantling of the dashboard, a daunting and miserable job for a fatty like me. I started the engine and found that the A/C was functioning as far as the cooling system was concerned, but the climate control was going to the full hot condition. In the Lincoln, you set the temperature you want and the controller maintains that temperature by mixing hot and cold air to give just what you want. Full hot might be nice in Minnesota in the winter but certainly is not suitable for Florida at any time of the year. I checked on line and found that the problem might be beyond my ability. Realizing that the car was useless without the A/C, I took it to the local Ford dealer first thing Saturday morning. An hour and $75.00 later I had the diagnosis. The problem was definitely in the climate control unit. Ford no longer has such an item, but the last time it was available it was more than $700.00. OUCH!!!

The service rep said that they could PROBABLY get one from a scrap yard and I asked him how much a scrap unit might cost. Since they are no longer available from the factory and the yards know the situation, the price would still be over $700.00. OUCH, AGAIN!!! I hemmed and hawed, but I did realize that the Lincoln would not be usable until winter, so I told him to see what he could find. He said it would have to wait until Monday. OK.

At home, I was back on the computer, and found SEVERAL climate controls for the Lincoln. It also fits the Mercury Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria. There were several options,including sending mine away to be repaired for $75.00 plus shipping, bot ways, and just ordering one for $109.00 plus shipping with the unit guaranteed. So for $122.00 and some change the unit arrived here this afternoon and it actually took me less than 15 minutes to put it in. It works!!

The only thing is that it is not an EXACT replacement. Helen couldn't tell the difference until I pointed them out. It certainly looks good and it works very well. My friend Sam told me about playing with the air lines, but the people at Ford said that it was an electrical problem and I didn't think there were air lines connected to the unit. Sam was correct and it would have been possible to play with the air hoses to get the cold air for the summer. The two controls are below.

The picture above is the original control unit after I took it out.

This is the replacement. It fits and it works. What did I ever do before the internet?

The only question that I have now is that if I was able to get any number of these controllers for $109.00, why would the Ford service rep quote me a $700.00 cost for a salvaged replacement??? Do they really have to mark things up that much?


  1. Hey Paul you did the right thing and the price didn't hurt to bad, I always check the net for car and computer parts, like my dell laptop docking station with power supply for $25.It would have been a hassle to change the vacuum line each summer and fall or rig a switch. You did a great fix, What a team we'd make. be safe out there. hope to see you again some day. Sam & Donna.

  2. Ya did good....
    Have fun & Travel safe