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Old 11-30-2009, 06:15 PM
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,297 posts, read 22,110,095 times
Reputation: 5449


Some of you know I am in the market for a 1990-1994 Lincoln Town Car. I know I have often seen some of these smoking from the tailpipe, especially like if its pulling out after a short idle... I am told its because they had premature wearing valve seals, which is nothing major, but requires a good deal of work to repair.

I know that the 1990 Town Car has the 5.0L and the 1991-94 has the 4.6L. I was unsure which engine did this, but someone said that the 1990 with the 5.0L really didnt have that problem and the ones smoking were probably 1991-94 models with the 4.6L, which makes sense, since the late 80s Crown Vics, some Mustangs and Town Cars have the 5.0L and you really dont see them smoking from the tailpipe, but not sure if the 1990's 5.0L was changed and was more like the 4.6L from 1991-on.

The 1995 Town Car also had the 4.6L, which even still looks identical to the engine in the 1994, but seems like I have never seen the 1995-97 models smoking from the tailpipe, so I am ALSO wondering if they were somehow modified to stop this problem for 1995?

Mainly concerned though if I were to buy one of these, should I seek out a 1990 Town Car with the 5.0L or take a chance with a 1991-94 with the 4.6L?

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Old 11-30-2009, 06:25 PM
1,732 posts, read 4,665,721 times
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I'm thinking I heard that the problem was fixed. My uncle has had a ton of Town Cars from that time and I think only one needed new valve seals.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:03 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
12,687 posts, read 40,913,565 times
Reputation: 10264
For whatever it's worth, since you are a handy guy, if you have access to an air compressor or want to use this as an excuse to buy one, you can definitely do the valve stem seals yourself, on the car, it's not that big a job. And/or, first, try some of the Castrol "High Mileage" oil, I have had good luck with it swelling seals enough to get them to work, or, if the car emits a puff of smoke on cold start - so who cares?

I guess my point is I would suggest buying the best, most unhit, unrusted car you can find, without worrying much about which engine you get.

Buddy of mine has a Cougar with a 4.6, it's been trouble-free for him.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:05 PM
1,088 posts, read 2,187,818 times
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My mother put 140,000 miles on a 1989 Crown Victoria with the 5.0L. Only major repair I believe was that she had the fuel injectors replaced. I drove it to 150,000 miles, and never noticed any unusual tailpipe smoke.

Since we're talking 15-20 year old cars, the 1990 TC with the 5.0 might be a little rare and hard to find in decent condition, so you might end up with a 4.6 anyway. Either way it's still a good car IMO.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:58 PM
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,297 posts, read 22,110,095 times
Reputation: 5449
Thanks. Well I have found a 1990 Town Car... about 100 miles from here with 91K miles. Looks excellent. Its the base model, with cloth interior, but it has the optional digital instruments, alloy wheels and keyless entry, all of which I prefer. Even the colors I want! It was originally $2500 (and I was very interested), but after I had emailed with a couple of questions... the ad was updated and price changed to $3900! I dont like games like that. I may still yet look into it, but I really dont have room for another car at this point and would probably have to sell my Mercedes. Time will tell.

I found another 1992 Town Car... 145K, for $1500. Very local car. I have not seen it yet, but it belongs to a older lady, wanting a smaller car. He said she had ALL of the air springs replaced with new ones, so thats a big plus.

Then there is another local 1992 Town Car... base Executive model.. cloth interior, but it dont have the digital speedometer option, or any options for that matter (but still loaded being a Town Car), but it has hubcaps, no keyless entry, etc, but it does have the passenger airbag, which the 1990 lacks. It has 94K and I can get it for about $1500.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:17 AM
Location: Great Plains
25,587 posts, read 29,339,708 times
Reputation: 22713
Sounds like you are well on your way. I had a 93 and 95 F150 with the 5.0. Its a good engine. The 4.6 is another good engine. My 98 has it and I love it. The folks' first towncar and 88 had the 5.0 and was an excellent engine. The 92, 00, 02, 07 all had the 4.6 and were all trouble free engines. Honestly it comes down to preference.
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