Heater Core on 89 Town Car with Automatic Temperature Control

Anyone have any tips, shortcuts on replacing the heater core on a 89 Town car with ATC. How in the heck does one get to the two bottom threaded studs with nuts on them I can bearly see the one toward the center of the fire
wall and the other I can't even see or get my hand to so I can feel for it. Is this as big a pain in the butt as it seems or are there some tips or shortcuts that help? Thanks, Bob
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Do a Google search on this newsgroup for heater core and you should find some TC, CV or GM posts. Jim

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Robert L. Wells wrote:

Hi Robert, You may have to remove the wiper housing to gain access to those fasteners. I'm pretty sure you will have to move or remove (actually easier) the instrument panel. For a positive answer go to www.lincolnsonline.com. Lots of tech articles and great model specific Lincoln forums.
            Tom Adkins             1984 Mark VII
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Well I found all the stuff I could find on the web and weighed the pros and cons of replacing the core and decided to just bypass the darn thing.
Pros 1. The heating would work. 2. No problems on high humidity situations.
Cons 1. I live in the desert of AZ and it rarely gets below 35 in the winter and I only use it on 20 minute trips. 2. I have a backup car, a 77 Suburban whose 28 year old core is just fine! 3. Some people say I will end up having to evac the refrigerant(r12 expensive). 4. In this hellish heat, plastic connectors and assemblies (vacuum and electric) get very brittle, break easy and are hard to get replacements for. 5. There isn't crap for room to get to the plenum studs & nuts. This momma has hoses and rigid harnesses everywhere. Some people talk about having to cut or melt the plastic evap cover to get to them. GREAT CEASAR'S GHOST!
Anyway thank you for the inputs. Maybe sometime in the future I will give it a whack if I get in touch with someone who has done a few of these. Bob

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Hmmm seems that I somehow missed this thread http://www.lincolnsonline.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f &t0184 on the www.lincolnsonline.com forum you mentioned Tom. This may just be the info that makes me foolish enough to tackle the task! Thank You Again, Bob

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Robert L. Wells wrote:

http://www.lincolnsonline.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f &t0184
I've done a lot of instrument panel removals for heater cores, evaporator cores, electrical work, etc. It seems daunting because you are removing a large chunk of your car. It's really not a bad job, just time consuming. If you take your time and pay attention and have some mechanical ability you could do your heater core in a weekend. I'm not trying to talk you into fixing yours, just letting you know that it's doable if you decide to. As far as the AC, your Towncar is an excellent candidate for R134A conversion. You can also do this yourself except for recovery evacuation and recharging. (Interestingly enough, I hear the price of R12 is actually coming down a bit.) If your Towncar is a keeper, and you want to work on it, I would suggest investing in a factory shop manual. The original is still in print through Helm at $70 for just the service manual. They turn up on Ebay quite often for $20-50 for the set of 3 (Service, EVTM, emissions). The Chilton, Mitchell,etc manuals are barely worth the paper they are printed on for serious repairs.             Good luck, Tom
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I read this one with interest: I replaced the heater core on my '82 Mark VI a few months ago. It was painful- it's kind of like doing a C-section on a car! You have to pull on the bottom of the dash so hard you think you're going to break it. You end up with a lot of little shreds of plastic on the floor of the car, from scraping the plenum against the metal on the bottom of the dash. Also, there's no way to drain the heater core with it in the plenum, so you spill the coolant on the carpet when you turn the plenum to get it out from under the dash. (I guess you could plug it somehow.)
What I really hate is the ATC system in the first place. If I could get my hands on the bonehead that designed that thing...in the winter, after the car warms up, it decides to cool the heater down, then it won't warm back up for the rest of the day!!!! Yes, I've replaced the ATC sensor in the dash. Anyway...I'd love to experiment with a vacuum valve out of a newer Grand Marquis or Crown Vic with manual heating to disconnect the auto system.
Chris '97 Grand Marquis '82 Mark VI '99 E-350
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Chris Nagorka wrote:

Chris, When you replaced the sensor did you put in a new one? These things were prone to failure after a few years and the chance of getting a bad used sensor is really good.
I agree, what a stupid system. The damn thing breaks after only 20+ years!! What a piece of crap. ;) Tom
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Remove the metal strip, it comes off.

Yup, corks in the tubes after you remove the hoses.

No can do. Late model use a electric motor. But you can make the ATC manual by removing the actuator and installing a manual cable.

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Hello All:
1. Yes, the ATC sensor was brand new from the the L-M dealer. It made no difference, once it cools down it doesn't warm back up. Here's the acid test: on an incredibly cold day, let the ATC start to cool down the output air, then open the passenger side door and leave it open. The sensor inlet is right by the glove box door; one would think freezing cold air going into it would make it warm the heater back up, but it doesn't.
2. I didn't see that the metal brace on the bottom of the dash came off; it disappeared behind the radio, etc.
3. I thought about the cable idea to make it manual but just never got to the point of doing it. I figured it would be tricky to work out the geometry so the temp control slide moved (reasonably) its full amount to work the temp blend door. But, since a newer one won't work (I didn't know it was an electric motor) I'll go back to the drawing board. BTW, is the same plenum used in Crown Vics and Marquis of the era? If so, a salvaged cable assembly might be the way to go.
Chris
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Chris Nagorka wrote:

Hey Chris, The Lincoln ATC systen is really pretty simple. If you want to try to fix it, Check out the Tech articles at www.lincolnsonline.com . There's a good rundown of the ATC self-test and code descriptions. Also, post your problem on the Forum. You will get some good input, there's a pretty good bunch of guys over there. The way you describe it I would suspect the ATC controller. A problem with the blend door actuator will "usually" cause something like only cold or only hot air, or only somewhere in between. It will usually set a code in the controller (A hard fault will cause flashing lights on the display). Much easier to fix it right than to modify the system.                 Tom
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Hello:
Remember that in 1982, the ATC system was totally vacuum/mechanical- there wasn't anything electronic in it. I had a '94 Town Car with ATC, and it worked much better. If you turned the temperature on the digital display up or down all the way, it locked out, so to speak, so you could manually override the system. Thanks for the tips, though- I'll go over there and take a look at the postings.
Chris
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Chris Nagorka wrote:

Oh Yea, I remember that system. I had forgotten about that one. I thought it was like the system in my 84 MK VII. Darn, now I've got to research the details of this system to satisfy my curiousity. Hope to see you on LOL.                 Tom
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