87 TC anti theft system

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This sub-forum is for discussion of very general discussion of 1980-89 Town Cars that is not suitable to the other specific sub-forums asking for advice.

87 TC anti theft system

Postby wasagachris » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:09 pm

My 87 TC has recently sprouted a problem with the anti theft system. The car is locked like usual and that activates the anti theft sytem. Two days ago the alarm sounded for no apparent reason. No one had attempted entry and all the doors will still locked. Once I unlocked the driver's door the alarm deactivated like it should and I was able to start the engine like normal. However once I shut off the car and the alarm light started to flash like it should and then I locked the car the alarm light did not shut off after a few seconds like it was designed to. The light stays on all the time when the doors are locked. If you unlock the doors the light shuts off (deactivating the alarm) and the car will start. This morning once again for no apparent reason the alarm sounded. Same thing, unlocking the doors shut off the alarm and deactivated the system allowing the car to start.
Does anyone have a diagnostics for the alarm system or a wiring diagram or possibly any suggestions as wher to start looking for faults?
1961 Lincoln Continental 4 Dr Sedan,
1973 Lincoln Continental Town Car 4 Dr,
1987 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series Stars & Stripes Edition
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Re: 87 TC anti theft system

Postby onedollarbob » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:08 pm

I had the same issue a few years ago on my '83. It was the door jamb button (the forward one that relays the interior lights, not the back one that registers the door ajar warning on the dash).

Somehow the button had lodged too far into the jamb and was just barely contacting when the door shut: resulting in eventual "detection" of an opened door by the alarm. If your alarm light is at constant lit, it means it does not think the doors are all shut, which closes the circuit for arming the system. I ruled out the bad jamb button by unplugging one door at a time until the alarm would quit going off for no reason. Of course it turned out to be the driver door. I remounted the button a full notch outward to encourage full contact with the shut door; if you look at how it is placed in the base, it has thread-like adjustment ridges that you can snap it further in or out. My issue was immediately resolved, and I've never experienced a ghost alarm since.

Hopefully that's all your issue is. If not, I can scan the diagrams and troubleshooting section I have from my 1983 EVTM, which might help with your '87, but component placement and relays involved probably are a bit different.
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1983 Mark VI Signature Series coupe -- R.I.P.
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Re: 87 TC anti theft system

Postby Gerald F. Chase » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:51 pm

I have experienced erratic performance of the anti-theft system in my '88 TC. I finally found out somewhere that to disconnect the irritating system, that I must disconnect a couple of wires right above the glovebox, behind the dash. I'll do that come Spring.
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Re: 87 TC anti theft system

Postby TonyC » Fri May 13, 2016 7:49 am

That's precisely why I refer to them as "cry-wolf" systems. I have an alarm next to my bed, I don't need my car to wake me and the rest of the neighborhood for no reason at all.

But it's cool that Gerald discovered a simple yet effective solution to the problem. I advocate that. Cry-wolf systems are the most useless device installed in cars--even more so than the lighted bunion in the rear window.

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Re: 87 TC anti theft system

Postby onedollarbob » Fri May 13, 2016 10:43 am

If you don't like the option, unhook it. If you want to repair it, there are some simple things you can look at before giving up. I think it's neat that there was a factory optioned alarm for stodgy '80s Panther Lincolns. The one nice thing about this option is it disarms the ignition, so as much as it "cries wolf", it will prevent at least an amateur car thief from hot wiring it. As far as crying wolf, other than the system itself having issues as described above, people bumping into your car or nearby vibrations will not set off this alarm as it's just sensors for the door jamb button and trunk lock cylinder.

This option is unusual on the Mark VI as it operates the vacuum headlight covers, creating a flap-flap-flap action as the headlights blink on and off. Kinda funny to watch.
1979 Mark V Collector's Series -- Sold
1983 Mark VI Signature Series coupe -- R.I.P.
1989 Mark VII LSC

"After the final No there comes a Yes / And on that Yes the future of the world hangs." --Wallace Stevens
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Re: 87 TC anti theft system

Postby Gerald F. Chase » Wed May 25, 2016 4:59 pm

TonyC wrote:
But it's cool that Gerald discovered a simple yet effective solution to the problem.---Tony



Actually, Tony, I simply read about this "solution" somewhere----maybe here? Tnks
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