There was a recall on your vehicle with regards to your specific problem. Information follows:
1997 Lincoln TOWN-CAR Recall Item Affected: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:LEVER AND LINKAGE:COLUMN SHIFT Date Announced: 10/16/1999
Description of Recall: INCORRECT BOLTS WERE USED IN THE TRANSMISSION LINKAGE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM. CONSEQUENCE OF DEFECT: THE TRANSMISSION GEAR SHIFT SELECTOR LEVER ON THE STEERING COLUMN WOULD BE ON THE WRONG TRANSMISSION FUNCTION. SHOULD THIS OCCUR, THE DRIVER WOULD FIND THEIR CAR IN A GEAR OTHER THAN THE ONE INDICATED BY SHIFT LEVER INDICATOR. THIS COULD CAUSE AN ACCIDENT IF THE CAR IS LEFT UNATTENDED.
Action Needed To Fix It: REPLACE THE SHIFT LINKAGE TRUNNION, GROMMET AND ADJUSTMENT BOLT.