by Ed Esslinger in the February 2002 RootesReview
After 35 years some things need attention, even if the maintenance manual indicates otherwise. Your windshield wipers NEED to be serviced if you value your safety and the safety of others.
If you are blowing fuses, your wipers are moving slowly or have a lot of backlash they need servicing. Remember the grease in the wiper gearing and rack is 35 years old and is dried out by now.
Other causes can be lack of lubricant in the rack tubing and wheel housings and in the wiper pinion housing itself.
To service your wiper assembly is not a difficult job if you follow this procedure.
- Identify mark and disconnect the wires on the wiper motor.
- Using a suitable tool, lift the retaining clip on the wiper arms and remove them from the serrated spindles.
- Assuming they are in the normal parked position, place an identifying mark at the 12 o’clock point on the spindles.
- Apply a few drops of oil on the spindle shafts.
- Inside the car, loosen the tubing-securing nut on the wiper assembly and slide it away from the gearbox.
- Remove the gear box mounting bolts and carefully slide the rack from the tubing with the gearbox and motor still attached, take care not to contaminate the rack with dirt. (The spindles should tum easily as the rack is removed.)
- Place the assembly on a clean work area.
- Identify and mark the position of the domed limit switch cover. (For later assembly)
- Remove the cover screws.
- Note the position of the limit switch contact and remove the horseshoe clip holding it and the connecting rod.
- Lift the connecting rod off the crank pin; don’t lose any spacing washers.
- The rack can now be removed for cleaning. Carefully remove the old grease from the gearbox.
- Disassemble as necessary to insure that the points identified by the arrows are well lubricated with engine oil before re-assembly.
- Lubricate the gears with chassis lube and re-assemble.
- On the outside of the car note the marks you placed on the spindles.
- Rotate the spindles 180 deg from where they are at this time. (This places the spindle gear to an area with less wear)
- After lubricating the rack, carefully feed it into the tube.
- Reattach the wiper assembly to the car and tighten the tube-securing nut.
- Connect the wires to the motor. Tum the ignition switch on. Tum the wiper switch on and let it run for a short time.
- Tum the wiper switch off. The motor should continue to run until it reaches its parked position. Turn ignition switch off.
- Replace your wiper arms.
Note: Never run your wiper blades on a dry windshield. Always turn off your wipers so they can return to the parked position BEFORE you turn off your ignition switch.
Editors note: Be sure the wires are correctly connected to the motor. If you hook them up backwards you may burn the park contacts. The colors of the fabric wires can become so faded you may not be able to tell the difference under the dash when you are hooking them up.