Ford Authority

1991 Lincoln Town Car Requires Teardown Over $40 Part: Video

David Long – owner of Omega Auto Clinic in Kansas and purveyor of the YouTube channel Car Wizard – has covered quite a few Blue Oval models and related tech in recent history, a list that includes a 210k-mile 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the Panther platform, and a strange yet serious problem with a customer’s 2016 Ford Explorer. Now, Long is back with yet another interesting and informative video pertaining to a Blue Oval product – this time, a 1991 Lincoln Town Car that requires a heck of a lot of work to replace a rather inexpensive part.

1991 Lincoln Town Car HVAC Actuator Replacement - Interior 001

That part is an HVAC actuator, which has tiny little plastic teeth that tend to strip out over time, which isn’t a huge deal given how easy it is to replace and cheap to purchase. Problem is, on this 1991 Lincoln Town Car, getting to that actuator requires removing the entire dash, which is obvious a huge, time consuming, and somewhat frustrating endeavor.

The other problem is this particular job is billed at 3.8 hours, but Long notes that the entire task will actually take more like 9 or 10 hours given the fact that they don’t want to break anything, and this is an older car with more fragile pieces. Plastic parts that are 35 years old require a bit more finesse than newer stuff, as Long points out. Luckily, this particular car belongs to his friend and fellow YouTuber April Rose, and it isn’t someone’s grandfather’s car, but he still doesn’t want to break anything during this tedious process.

In fact, Long says that he likely wouldn’t even do this job for a regular customer for those very same reasons, coupled with the high cost of labor involved with such a project. If nothing else, this is great information for anyone considering buying something like this 1991 Lincoln Town Car, as they might want to go ahead and set aside some money in the event that this pesky HVAC actuator does eventually go bad, too.

We’ll have more interesting videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Lincoln news, Lincoln Town Car news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Stalkbroker94

    Didn’t even need to read the article to know exactly what the article was going to be about. Still don’t have the patience to do the job on my Crown Vic until the weather is nice enough.

    1. Donny Player

      I recently did mine on a 2011 CV. It’s a nightmare. If you have small hands or can contort then, you can remove them Blend door motor without taking out the dash.

      Just remove the glove box, air bag, and the radio. You can get at the tiny screws in the front with a bay 8mm wrench but the back screw? Nope. You have to get the front 2 off, bend the old blend door motor and break off the tab. Reinstall with 2 screws.

      It’s a major PITA but not impossible. I had some guy on Reddit screaming at me because I didn’t lean the dash for the exact reasons this mechanic didn’t want to. Now my defrost trim panel is broken because it’s sat in the sun for the last 14 years, but I have working HVAC..

    2. Donnie Ross

      I made a tool for replacing the actuator controller many years ago by welding a severely shortened 8 mm socket to a ratcheting wrench turned that into a .5 job compared to 8 hour book on crown Vic cop cars

  2. Donny Player

    Panthers are excellent cars but they’ve been out of production since 2011 and they’re all showing their age now.. plastic trim held in by plastic tabs that break off the first time you remove them.

    These cars are great if you’re a DIY guy but yeah, when the HVAC head unit goes out it’s going to cost $300 for a new one if you don’t know how to replace the O Rings yourself.

    The transmissions are weak as heck too. Sadly Mines due for a rebuild any day now

  3. wjtinfwb

    Mercedes S-class from the W140 generation has the same issue. A minor A/C part buried high and deep under the dash fails. A Mercedes shop will charge over 5k for the repair, 90% of which is labor to R&R the incredibly complex dash and A/C components. Many were scrapped as a repair cost more than the car was worth. My ‘02 Excursion needs a new Body Security module. Unfortunately the part is no longer available, you have to source a used one, have it programmed then R&R half the dash to get to it. PITA.

  4. gdaddy

    Blend door motors aren’t that bad to replace. The dash doesn’t have to come completely out and neither does the evaporator/heater core box. I was a Ford technician and later worked for a city with over 300 Crown Vics.
    Watch a few videos online before even starting.

  5. gdaddy

    Also, charging 8 to 9 hrs labor is ripping off the customer. 3 or 4 hours labor is about right


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