In my last post, I mentioned that the convertible top was stuck in the down position. For this era Lincoln Continental, that means it was locked in the trunk (“trunk” is probably the wrong word since there is no room for anything but the top in the huge cavern at the rear of the car), which is hinged at the rear so the top can easily retract into it. In my attempt to try and get things going, I first checked for a standard mechanical lock thinking I’d just open the trunk and see what was going on. I then looked for remote mechanical and electrical releases around the dashboard. Unfortunately, such logical accommodations don’t exist.
After scouring the shop manual for some guidance, I found a page that briefly described how to unlock the trunk lid and get the top moving. In a process best described as ridiculous one has to place a complex jumper on the contacts of the Deck Unlock Relay then the Deck Open Relay (see below). The page also described how to make the jumper cable required, but did very little to point out the exact location of the relays themselves.
The cursory description pointed to the trunk as the location, but that made no sense since the truck was, well, locked. Scouring the manual once again, I found another image of the location of the relays. Unfortunately, it was as confusing as the first one (note the Deck Open Relay and Deck Unlock Relay labeled below).
The only other way in that I could think of was through the back seat which I removed. Hint: you need to remove the seat base first by just pulling up on the front of it then the entire frame will slide out. The back is held with a few bolts that are located at the bottom of the seat back, hidden by the seat base. There is no need to remove any of the trim at the top of the seat. As it turned out, removing the seat was rather easy since, now unsurprisingly, it was missing about half of its fasteners.
This exposes the two relays in question (see the labels in blue masking tape in the upper left corner of the photo).
I jumped the Deck Unlock Relay first, heard a loud click and saw the deck lid move a bit. I tried to wedge my fingers underneath the deck to lift it, but by the time I could get there, the deck was re-locked. This was also the case when I tried to jumper the Deck Open Relay immediately after putting the jumper on the Deck Unlock Relay. The deck remained locked because the deck was sliding back into its locked position as soon as I removed the jumper for the Deck Unlock Relay. By the way, the jumper overheated and what I mean by overheated is that it it got hot enough to burn my fingers. Remember to make the jumper out of the appropriate gauge wire. The manual says 12 gauge, I’d probably use 10 gauge wire the next time.
I got it to work by having someone else man the switch for the top at the dashboard. As soon as I heard the deck unlock after jumping the Deck Unlock Relay, I told my assistant to start closing the top. That did it. The top started doing its complicated closing dance.
Why was the deck locked in the first place and why didn’t the switch at the dash unlock it? I have no idea, but I’m sure I’ll have to come back to it. In the mean time, I’m making sure that the top isn’t quite closed all the way, avoiding it getting into that locked position again.
Another thing I’ll have to come back to is the gurgling in the hydraulic lines. Hopefully, the hydraulic pump that operates the rams that raise/lower the top just needs some fluid. My fear is that it needs fluid because it’s leaking. Put it on the list.
A bigger item for the list is that the top will not close all the way. The front edge of the top stops when it’s near the header of the windshield. Everything stops working just inches away from completing the cycle. This is getting depressing.
Finally for today, I realize that the weatherstripping around the trunk and, in fact, everywhere on the car, totally sucks. There is not a reasonable seal anywhere on the vehicle. A quick internet search shows that weatherstripping is incredibly expensive, when it can even be found. Custom molds probably have to be made. Grrrr.