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Inspection problem

I have a 1998 Lincoln Continental. The service engine soon light is on. The dealer did the diagnosis and it shows I need an input manifold runner control valve and a control unit. The dealer searched all his contacts and could not find the parts needed.I searched all the parts houses on the internet and also junkyards without success. The car looks and runs beautifully, the parts are not needed for operation.However it is soon due for inspection and will not pass inspection with the service engine soon light on. The light cannot be removed or bypassed since the inspection calls for a test of it. Without passing inspection, the car cannot be on the road in my state (New York). It can only be junked for parts. It breaks my heart that this wonderful car I have had for 15 years and still runs great has to go to the junkyard. Any thoughts?

Thew worse that can happen is that you have to shell out $450 “for repair”. Then you may be able to take advantage of Section 79.25 of the NYS DMV inspection requirements,
which basically state that if one sinks 450 bucks into a repair, and the MIL light remains on, you’re good to go. (The $450 would have to be adjusted for inflation, so you would have to pay more than that to satisfy the “repaired in good faith” requirement).

I would definitely NOT junk the car for that. Just think, when it’s 25 years old, all you will need is a safety inspection. Too bad your car is not three years older, and has OBD II. It would have only needed a low enhanced emissions inspection, where they check PCV, EGR valves, and the CAT for being present.

It takes some clever work to do this but…Remove the feed voltage that’s causing the CEL to light…Transfer or just tap into the feed to the BAT / ALT light which comes on with the ignition and goes off when the engine starts, just like a properly working CEL…The inspector will now see what he wants to see…This is not as easy as it sounds, you will have to remove the instrument cluster to make the circuit adjustments…

Thanks Tom,

I have downloaded section 79.25 of the NYS inspections. Adjusted for inflation, the amount in July (when my inspection is due) is $559.80. I have already spent $125 for the diagnostic test. What isn’t clear is just what repairs I have to pay for before I can get the waiver. Since they cannot find the parts to fix the problem where do I spend the repair money?


What you’re proposing is interesting . . . and it seems to meet the definition of tampering

However, in my state, any current code which requires the check engine light to be lit results in failure, whether the check engine light is on or not

And what you’re proposing would not get rid of the code, OR the condition which is causing the code

So in my state you’d still fail, but maybe not in other states?

Now maybe if the inspector only looks for the correct operation of the check engine light, but is NOT required to hook up to the dlc . . .

It all depends on what the specific test procedure entails


If new parts are not available you will have to buy used parts. You will need to visit self-serve auto salvage yards (Pick-A-Part) and search for the parts you need, salvage yards are not going to go out and look for a $20 part for someone on the phone who may never show up.

It may take several months of searching before the right vehicle arrives at one of your junk yards, if you want the parts now look on Craigs list. There is a 1998 Continental for sale in New Hyde Park for $900, if everything is in good working order it should have the parts you need.

Don’t tamper with the check engine light or you may get another fault code; P0650.

Looked like autozone sells what you need.

Using the internet, you can do a nationwide parts search, for the parts you need…Several such services are offered. There will be yards that specialize in Lincolns and other similar Ford models that may share the same parts. Do you have the Ford part numbers? If so, enter them into Googles and eBays search windows and see what pops up…This link might help you…

Here is a whole page full of Ford IMRC 's

I’ve never looked for that particular part myself. But a 98 Lincoln isn’t that old of vehicle, and there were probably quite a few of them sold, so it seems like it should be possible to find that part from a recycled vehicle. It just may not be located where you live is all. You’ll have to go to the used auto parts recycler place and ask them to do a search on their nation-wide network. I’d be surprised if that method didn’t turn up the part you need. Try to make it as easy as possible for the used parts place, either by removing it from the car & taking the part you need with you so they can see what it looks like, or at least bring a shop manual diagram what it looks like.

Another idea, it may be possible to fix yours. It may be that the control unit is the problem & it has a broken solder joint is all. You could remove it, and if it is configured as a simple pcb circuit board, you could carefully look at it with a magnifying glass, checking for cracked solder joints and traces, might discover the problem that way. Sometimes shops will just re-solder all the joints on the circuit board, and that fixes the problem.

Yet another idea, I recently fixed a license plate light bulb wiring problem on an older vehicle, also a Ford, and the bulb still didn’t light after I fixed the wiring. Bulb checked out ok, low ohms. Turned out there was a little corrosion on the bulb and bulb socket. Cleaned that off, voila. So you may have some simple problem like that, just a crusty control unit connector.

Yeah, I have a hard time believing this part wasn’t used on a lot of Fords and would be unavailable. For used you can go to and do a nation-wide search. Not for that particular part but maybe for an engine or something else to see who has a 98 Lincoln on their lot and give them a call.
I once had to track down an air shock kit that the shop couldn’t locate. NAPA had it but you had to have a look through the catalog to find it. $5.

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Used engine is a good idea too. I think that part the OP is looking for might have to do with how some hi-end cars turn off engine cylinders when they are not needed to improve mpg. So it might not be common to most Ford engines.

Definitely a frustrating problem. You got a car you like, runs fine, but the damn check engine light prevents you from driving it. Here in Calif we run into that problem too, and there’s a state agency that provides a referee service. So if the problem isn’t contributing to air pollution, you can appeal to the referee based on that, & sometimes they’ll let you skate by.

IMRC . . . intake manifold runner control

variable intake, short for hp, long for torque

nothing to do with cylinder shutoff

The closest I have come is a used engine with 77k miles for 41000. I also contacted a site which supplies remanufactured engines and asked if they could lead me to a parts house. No reply. I also contacted Dorman who makes a lot of the IMRC’s to see if they might have one laying around. No reply. Next I will talk to the dealer and see if I can get a picture from the repair manual.I have the OEM part numbers but they don’t show up anywhere. I have until july to solve this so will keep on truckin for a solution. It’s hard to believe these parts don’t exist somewhere.

Autozone has something called an idle air control valve. Would that be the same as the IMRC by a different name?

Another source on new engine & new parts replacement to try is Ford Racing, and there’s a place named Summit Racing too. They tend to sell to the hot rod community, but the might have something that works for your problem too.

The idle air control valve is probably not what you are looking for. That’s something else, used to control idle speed at start up.

While at the dealership ask if they have a program where you pay a small fee for limited-time access to their online factory service manual.

No, unfortunately that’s something else entirely

Have you tried looking on ebay for a used part?

If you google that particular part name, it comes up under Summit Racing, Ebay and others but it appears to be for different Ford models than the Lincoln. Evidently is a part that is in the intake with a butterfly that opens and closes with the heat to reduce emissions. Might be it could be rebuilt with a new vacuum device or something. Did you google the actual part number? You can also get the diagrams on-line from Ford dealers.

Having rigged the light to appear to function properly will do no good in NY State. The mechanic doing the test does not decide if the car passes emissions. The OBDII port is connected to the state required machine that connects to the states computer by phone that reads the vin number, codes and state of readiness of all systems.

In NY you can have one system not ready to be read and not pass inspection. two systems for a 1996 car.

The station that used to inspect my cars didn’t know that you could have a system not ready because all they knew was that the state told them the car passed or failed.

What I am not clear on is if the service engine soon light is a check engine light. If it is not, it is meaningless as far as state inspection.

Also in NY you can have a ABS light on and pass inspection but the station has to tell you it is on and what it means.

Yes, it is

The service engine soon light IS the check engine light

check engine light, mil, ses, service engine soon and the orange engine symbol are all the same thing

This might be a very low production high performance engine, a 4.6L, common enough, but not a 4.6 DOHC 4 valves…Those are very uncommon…

"The 4-valve DOHC version of the Modular engine was introduced in the 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII as the 4.6 L Four-Cam V8. Lincoln marketed the engine under the name InTech after 1995.[8]

The 1993–1998 4-valve engines featured cylinder heads with two intake ports per cylinder (split-port) and variable runner length intake manifolds with either vacuum or electrically activated intake manifold runner controls (IMRC) depending on application. The engine was revised for 1999 with new cylinder heads featuring tumble-style intake ports (one intake port feeding two intake valves), new camshaft profiles, and fixed runner-length intake manifolds. These changes resulted in more power, torque and a broader power-band when compared to the earlier 4-valve engines.[7]"

Soooo… It looks like the design was used from '93 until '98 with some using a vacuum control and some using an electrically activated IMRC…