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1976 Lincoln Town Car - Headlight lids

The vacuum headlight lids won’t go down, and the headlights don’t come on. Only the parking / opera lights, are working.

I would try replacing the head light switch.

Not only does it turn the head lights on and off, but it looks like it also controls vacuum to the head light doors.


Thanks for the reply, my mechanic claims he tried a remanufactured headlight swith but it still did not work. I have read that it is usually that ?, or a relay swith, or a vaccum line issue. Very frustrating ! He also say’s that the diagrams for that system have been copied and pasted so many times, that it is difficult to read and understand. I know that this issue is not impossible to reconcile, so my search continues for another shop that has experience in this period of autos. Coincidentally, this problem did not exist prior to taking it in for other maintenance issues ?

Try googling “classic car restorations” for your area. You may be able to find a shop w/the needed experience that way. You are absolutely correct that this problem can be solved. Yiu just need the right shop working on it.

BTW, you might be able to provide a better copy of the repair procedure to your mechanic by visiting your local public library. They may well have a Mitchells or equivalent repair manual set in their reference section. If so you can copy the applicable pages for your car. I had to do that when I needed to replace the clutches in my same-era Ford truck’s limited slip differential.

Yeah I had the same issue with my Lincoln. There’s the light switch, then the vacuum switch attached to it that operates the lids. Costs more but that’s what Lincolns do.

Well after reading further, you probably have a problem with a vacuum line-supply, off, plugged, leaking, etc). Really it’s not that hard. Use a new guy. Have you just tried a Ford garage? They will have factory service manual for it to diagnose. Apply vacuum to the line see if it moves, then keep tracing back. Just like a wiring problem. The same system was used on LTDs, and some Mercs.

Maybe a vacuum leak further down the chain from the light switch? Rubber ages and is prone to failure anywhere.

Maybe a smoke test would show something.