Wiper Motor

Wiper Motor R&R


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Remove and Replace

After a long time with progressively less wiper performance I finally reached the day when the wipers really didn't work anymore.  It was finally time to break down and replace the motor.  This was a little scary because a friend who had it done told me it cost him $500.00!  That was not high on my list of things to do with that kind of money.

So I went to the dealer and priced the motor.  It was about $300 for a brand new one, and about $70 for a rebuilt one.  I decided to go for the rebuilt one only to learn they didn't have them - they were on "national back order".  Sounded ominous so I left the dealer and after work went around the corner to Advance Auto and asked.  They had them for $80 and I could have it in the morning.  Since I was expecting to need it in a few days (rain predicted) I paid and planned to go back the next day to get the motor.

Once home, I took out the repair manual and took a look at what was involved.  The good news is that it does not involve special tools, (philips head screw driver, a couple small metric sockets and a couple rachets.  Take a look at the drawings above.

Basically you remove the wiper arms (easy with releases), screws that hold the cowl cover in place, three screws that hold the wiper assembly in place, the wire connector, then the assembly from the cowl.

Then three bolts to remove the motor from the assembly and one nut to remove the motor shaft from the linkage and you're done, except to save all the pieces including the rubber cover for the motor.

I took my motor apart and found the brushes were down to nothing and the motor was full of crap.  Not too surprising, I expect it is another problem that has it roots in the mudbath (one of the very few) that also claimed my alternator, starter, and a few other odd parts...

I collected all the hardware, removed the rubber cover, plastic cap on the end of the motor shaft housing, put it in a baggie and the next day picked up the rebuilt motor I had ordered at Advance Auto.  Much to my dismay the five wires on the new motor did not have a connector on them.  The "kit" came with five splice clamps that they expected the purchaser to use to affix the connector from the old motor onto the new motor.  Not expecting this I had left the connector on the old motor.

So the counter clerk brought out some honking big shears and I cut the old wire off as far back as the point where the emerged from the motor.  If I had know, I would have unsoldered them in anticipation of soldering them onto the new motor.  As it was, I was going to be needed to have the motor installed by the end of the day so I had to take the low road for now.

Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly.  Let's say that the $500 price tag for having the dealer do it is not worth it unless you REALLY don't like using screw drivers and wrenches for 20 minutes.  Seriously, this is one easy job.

The only hitch came when I was handling the wiper arms.  The spring that loads them is quite strong.  The arms were folded up like you put them to take them off the windshield.  I accidentally flipped the end back and it caught the tip of my right index finger in the hinge, taking a significant chunk of meat out of the side of my finger.  So I let that bleed while I finished putting most of it back together.

Finally it was getting so messy that I took a break and went to get a knuckle bandage.  Then I buttoned up the cowl cover after first checking the connections, testing the motor on all settings, and verifying that the parked position was properly set.  Strangely the wiper arms would not settle down all the way to the windshield.  At first I thought I was going to have to take it apart to find out why but then I realized the clip that holds the wiper arm on the post has to be locked in place for the wiper arm to fully rest on the glass.  That was a relief.

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