User 69GTX has one; suggest you PM him for details.
As a minimum he can tell you how, and how not to, change the transmission filter.
I bought my 2002 mint with 22K miles back in 2009. Paid $9K from a small used car lot. Today it has 81K miles and still looks pretty sharp and garaged kept....though it stays outside well-protected. Still doing 6500 miles per year. I figure my car is worth no more than $3K and I doubt I could get that. Figure in the $2K range.
32v Intech 4.6L 275 hp V8 DOHC, some very large timing chains in there....that are not easy to get at. Transverse mounted engine makes maintenance more challenging....more costly if you sub it out. The engines can be pretty reliable. I got 230K on my 1997 after 12 yrs...also bought with super low miles from a senior. The weak link on these is the AX4N trans out of the Taurus V6. You need to ensure the seller has done no less than 3X transmission filter fluid changes by now. 30K is the Ford schedule. It's wise to do them at 20K-25K if you want them to last. My 1997 got 25K intervals and that was an easy driving hiway car...trans was fine at 230K miles. But most of these buy the farm by 100K-150K because people don't do the fluid changes or are rough on their shifts.
I wouldn't pay $2500 for that 115K mile car unless they were aggressive on the maintenance and can prove it...or at least talk a good story. Trans fluid is MerconV. Ford calls for 5w-20....though this engine was designed on 5w-30...which is what my 1997 took. I use the 5w-30. These also have the trans fluid circulating via a side tank in the radiator. Not a great design since they might add more heat than remove it during summers. Mine already leaked at 60k miles and had to put in a new radiator. If I could do that again, I'd probably plug the radiator trans cooling lines and install a separate trans cooler that really does the job. Front wheel drive car - transaxle - no rear differential. Many people install springs in the rear like a Crown Vic to get away from the air suspension. One time the system temp failed and my wife drove the car home on the interstate wit the rear end nearly touching the pavement. I reset the system when it got home and immediately leveled right back up. Has never done it since. Possibly a limit switch got cycled from pot holes.
Has a higher tech air suspension system with air boots in the rear. These are famous for leaking. The system air compressor typically cycles every time you get in the car. Front air struts aren't cheap. My car has been pretty reliable for 16 years old...only the radiator was a major repair.
2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2 1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF 1969 Ply GTX/RRs
I found five 2002 Lincoln Continentals on Autotrader ranging in prices from $2495 to $3897
Most are dreamers. The majority with heavy miles and/or minimal maintenance. Mine is about as nice as you'll find for 80K miles. I'd be tickled pink to get $3500.
2002 was the last year of this line. So now defunct for 16 yrs. interesting highway pull video. I've never had mine over 90-95. They do have a fairly steep gear ratio at 3.56. And first gear is 2.77. I rarely push 1st and 2nd to extend transmission life. Only a mid-15 sec car in the quarter mile. This car has a steeper 1st gear total ratio (nearly 10-1) than my 1999 Camaro SS manual 6 speed.
My dad had three Continentals over the years-98, 99, and 2001. I know the 98 is stick kicking as I still see the guy who bought it from him from time to time. I don't know about the 99, but the 2001 unfortunately was totaled in a parking lot fender bender a year or two back(my dad still owned it at the time).
Stay on top of the maintenance as they are reliable cars. As mentioned, the Intech V8 is the Lincoln-branded 32V DOHC version of the 4.6L modular. It also found its way into the Mark VIII, Aviator, Mercury Marauder, and a few other cars. It's fundamentally a sound engine, although as mentioned access is TERRIBLE in the Continental.
Also, my biggest memories of it are the massive torque steer and the huge turning circle for a car its size.
Still, it was comfy to ride in(not Town Car comfy, but still) and also fun once you could manage to launch it in a straight line without a massive amount of tire chirp. The '97(I think) refresh brought a lot of neat tech that was ahead of its time, and some features that I miss. When you put it in reverse, for example, the side mirrors rotate down so that you can see the parking lines/curb/whatever. They key fobs are linked to the driver, so if you set and save all your seat/steering wheel settings it will automatically go to those on starting depending on which key fob was used to unlock it. I always loved the gauge cluster, which is actually projected from the top of the instrument panel and superimposed onto the area with the needles.
I don't think this is unique to the Continental, but eventually pretty much all of the rear view mirrors(which are self-dimming as standard) will "leak" and leave you with a weird half-dim mirror a big brown spot below it.
I think all 2002s had floor shifters in a center console. That was optional in earlier years, and all three of my dad's had a 3-passenger front bench and column shifter.