Wipers and Washers


Capt. Mike

Moderator
Windshield wiper BLADES should be at a 90° angle to the windshield to avoid chatter and squeegee properly. Often new blades to not resolve the problem, or do so for only a short period of time.

See the TOOLS forum for a description of this task and making a simple special tool that makes this job easier.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred from other posts to consolidate similar topics.

Windshield Washers

Daycr Junior Member # 1010 posted 06-09-2001 01:34 PM

My front windshield washer reservoir leaks, does any know how you can remove it to replace?? It lokks like it was built into the body. I can't find any good info in the VW Vanagon repair manual for the front tank, back only.

Capt. Mike Moderator Member # 11 posted 06-10-2001 08:41 PM

What year? There is an excellent diagram of the front reservoir on page 92.4 of the Electrical section of the Bentley. You can clearly see the retaining screw.
Be sure your problem is a bad tank before replacing. Most leaks are at the junction of the neck and body. That seal is replaceable and many use some silicone seal to further reinforce it. However, it's not critical as usually they only leak what's been overfilled up into the neck. As soon as that's leaked out, the tank holds quite well as the head pressure on that seal has been eliminated.

Daycr Junior Member # 1010 posted 06-11-2001 12:23 AM

Thank you Capt Mike.

I have the Book, but didn't see the white tank that had been undercoated black....daaaaaa...sorry for the dumb post.
I am excited about heading out fly fishing next week..

It is a '90 Westfalia, I bought last year with 49K miles. I had a '72 that I came up to Washington in '73. Dejvue.

Nick aka Daycr=Day Creek
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
There is a tendency to think more & bigger wiper blades equals better performance. I'm see multiple blades, extra wind dams, and oversize blades.

Warning! Your Westy was designed with a particular size and style of blade. The motor is rated for that particular load. Anything that increases the load leads to risk of a motor overload or electrical failure. That can get expensive! Never mind the physical task of ripping out half your dash to get to it. The original motor sizing will include power for air dams if they came on factory blades, but not others.

So if you're tempted to get those chartreuse extra-length double blades at the discount auto store, don't! Invest in a good premium blade (I'm partial to Bosch Micro-Edge) and change them often. The Bosch blades have easily replaceable fillers at reasonable prices. I change every 15K whether they need it or not. Also, be sure your blades are properly adjusted for sweep & angle (see TIPS forum for homemade tool) and that your windshield is clean and in good condition.

A chipped, cracked or badly dirty windshield will quickly ruin a blade. Also, using wipers on an exceptionally dirty windshield can actually scratch the glass. So can using old and worn blades. Use a good commercial glass cleaner and some elbow grease. Even a brush. Some road films are really tough to get off and may require a solvent or degreaser. (Watch your paint finish.)

Along the same lines, their are a couple of products for 'slick' glass. Rain-X is the most common. I'll be the first to admit they work, but do NOT recommend them. Like any product applied over an entire surface but where the wear is confined to just part, there is build-up. Also, it's been my experience that as it wears, it actually changes over to making things worse. Some friends, with long use, have experienced long-term problems. Clean glass, good windshield washer solvent, and good blades are all that's necessary.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred from another post to consolidate similar topics.

Windshield spray jets

86Syncro Junior Member # 1031 posted 07-13-2001 05:22 PM

I didn't know where to put this, so I hope this is cool as I noticed quite a bit of effort to keep the board organized. But, I thought this could be an exterior problem.
1986 Vanagon GL Syncro

Ok, disclaimer behind me, I get no juice from my driver side jet and can't figure out how to fix this problem. I remove the instrument panel and can get one hand behind the dash and can feel the rear side of the jet- where the hose wraps around the plastic and have found where the the hose splits for each jet. However, I cannot get the jet out or remove either end of the hose. I know the problem is in my reach as it is either the jet, the T-splitter or the hose between them is clogged. My trouble is I can only get one hand in there and my fingers just can't muster the strength to seperate any connections. I would like to remove the jet as that seems the likely culprit and it appears it should twist 90 degrees and is removable? But it doesn't want to move.

Anyone had a successful experience with this? Thanks in advance! Brian

Oh, yea, Bentley doesn't seem to mention anything about this but only gives an assembly diagram - section 92 I believe.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The usual way it to twist, pull and worry it until you bust the damn thing, then put in a new one. However, they mount with plastic retainer fingers and I guess the theory is that you can slide something thin & flat under the nozzle from each side, then while pressing in the tabs -- by feel -- you pull the nozzle with the 3rd hand you grew for that purpose.

Once removed, you do the change of hose, etc. outside the vehicle and then push the nozzle back in. Do expect to find the hose fused to the nozzle from the heat of sitting in the sun for all these years so plan on replacing it as well.

Nozzle aren't that expensive but you can bet your dealer doesn't stock them so you'll have to order.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Update- Being either impatient or determined to not be defeated by a piece of plastic, I went back to work with the sprayjet. I forgot to mention the nice cramp I got in my hand trying to work the jet out from the inside.

I finally just busted the jet out and had no trouble with access then- this is my recommendation! Captain Mike was correct as the hose would not come off so I cut the hose below the clog and then used a blade to split the hose off the jet. I just reattached the hose and the jet is back in action, minus two fingers!

The jet isn't all that loose actually and I may be able to seat it with a peice of tape wrapped around the remaining body or just order a new one.

Have fun with this one- thanks for the quick reply Capt. - you made me laugh! Cheers, Brian
 
G

Guest

Guest
Where do you FILL the front windshield wiper fluid? I have the repair manual, but I do not have an owners manual. The repair manual gives a good blow up diagram of what the apparatus and hoses look like, but it could be attached to the back roof for all I can tell. Seriously, this has stymied me for a few days now.

--Matthew
 

calclimber

New member
When I first got my 87 Westy that puzzled me also. After searching around I found it under the drivers side floor mat.

You should of seen the look on my face when I discovered where the brake master cylinder was hiding.

Gotta luv your VW.

Craig
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred from another post to consolidate same topic.

Windshield wipers

kayaker Junior Member # 1474 posted 10-02-2001 11:17 PM

Hopefully I have directed this to the correct category. On my "85 Westy the wiper arms come to rest below the windshield. Can I undo the securing nuts and reposition the arms, or will I unleash some sort of spring tensioner or...?

Kayaker

Ben Beutler Junior Member # 1240 posted 10-03-2001 12:00 AM

I believe you can just loosen the nut on the wiper arm and lift them off the shaft and then position them where they need to be and put the nut back on. At least this is what I did on another car of mine that I am sure is set up the same way. Kayaker eh? Ever make it to idaho? Going to Oregon in 2 weeks to surf the ocean.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
No; the only spring tension is the blade itself. Remove the cap; loosen (not remove)the nut; fold the wiper away from the windshield as if changing blades; then remove the nut and lift off the splined post. Move the arm one spline at a time, repeating the process until it sweeps as desired. You don't have to retighten the nut all the way until the final position. Be sure rain cap fits tight when finished to prevent water from getting underneath and rusting assembly or leaking.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to combine same topics.

Wiper Jet Hose Connection

Jimmy&Maury Junior Member # 1809 posted 11-12-2001 02:00 PM

I just got a Westy ('76)and am a COMPLETE novice as a mechanic. I got the owner's manual and the Bentley guide and am slowly trying to learn how to work on the westy.
I am wondering where the hose for the wiper jets hooks up to as it comes out of the sterring column. I see the hoses are connected from the resevoir to the steering column, but the hose coming from the column is just hanging there. I can't seem to find any help in the manual. Suggestions?
Thanks
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
On a '76 the washer isn't powered by an electric pump but we've combined all of the wiper & washer topics together.

The '76 uses compressed air by filling the reservoir (front lower firewall) through the little fill hose that has a tire style air fitting on the end. Fill to 40 psi; don't overfill! It fills quick.

The fluid hose runs up to a valve in the wiper switch on the steering column, and then back to the washer jets.

If reconnecting the hoses and charging the washer tank doesn't work, you will probably have to remove the wiper stalk switch, which is in the Bentley Section 4-7.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks for the reply. I have figured out all the twists and turns for the hose except where and how it connects to the jets. I have looked up under the dash and felt around and can't tell what I am looking at or for. Can you please describe for me how the hose connects to the jets once it leaves the steering column?
thanks so much. jimmy
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Per 86Syncro post above, the usual procedure is to release the clips that hold the nozzle in the sheet-metal -- very difficult and must be done blind -- and then pull the nozzle out. The nozzle has expanding fingers for a push in that click into lock position after it passes through the sheet metal. Do the hose change at the nozzle.
 

freakeni

New member
dear fellow Westie lovers,
I am having an annoying time with my 81 vanagon westie.....in particular the view as I drive these icy roads of Europe.
i suspect that the washer tank has frozen up....i had a mix of -22C washer fluid and water.
Up till last week it was working ok, but hen the snows came and it stopped...fair enough.
Now I am in above zero climes and it is still not working.
Whenever I pull the lever, a click sound comes from some relay under the dash near the fuses....everything else is fine, ie the fuse, the wipers etc.
Have I damaged the motor or is it still thawing and the click merely an indicator of a "normal" cut out?
Thanks.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Consult the Bentley wiring diagram 97.17. The washer pump motor does NOT operate through a relay, but the same circuit does operate the wiper/washer intermitent relay -- the one that sweeps the wipers a few times with each wash.

First -- did you check to see if you still have fluid? Could the tank have frozen, ruptured and left you empty?

Power to the washer pump comes off the T-1c connector before going to the relay unless mis-wired by a previous owner. It is between the switch and relay, so operates off the same S10 fuse of the wipers. Test to see if power is reaching the pump with a test light or volt meter. Also check the ground from the pump.

If that tests good, remove the pump and bench test it with a 12v power source. If the pump is good, then you have a blockage or pick-up failure.
 

vwmike78

New member
Hey folks
I'd like to share in this post a rough description of a procedure for replacing the old style washer system (my westy is a '78 and had it, I don't know when the change was) which uses compressed air to shoot the fluid, to a different (notice I didn't say it was necessarily better) system which uses a small electric pump. Basically, I used the same resevoir, mounted in the same place (passenger side firewall), and just cut the hose at just past the middle of the vehicle on the driver's side behind the firewall (figure out where you're going to mount your pump first - read on). You will notice several small holes along the ridge which holds the cardboard piece in place, these are the perfect place to mount the pump. Just find the right size screw, pick up a "windshield washer fluid pump", and mount the pump as suggested (motor on top). Now find yourself a positive lead and fashion a ground wire, and install any type of small switch you like in the dashboard (mine is a metal one that you push and then it turns off when you take your finger off). At first, I thought I had a pump that was too strong b/c at a standstill it will shoot the fluid straight up onto the roof and miss the windscreen completely. But at 40mph and up, it hits it perfectly and I never have to worry about having an air compressor or foot pump handy. Good luck, and happy bussing.
Mike
 

vwmike78

New member
ok folks

Now that I've contributed a little piece about the electric washer installation, I'll ask a question for someone else to help me with. Incidentally, it has to do with my windshield wipers. Everything was going great, the wipers, the washer, everything. Then the storm hit. Yes, I'm talking about that big one that we got this week down here in the southeast (big by our standards anyways). I was driving along on the interstate during the driving snow and suddenly the wipers just quit. I reached my hand out the window and gave them a flick, nothing. Stopped and fiddled with them a bit and even more when I got home, and determined that the motor is still running when I push the lever into either "on" position (I can hear it running), but no movement from the wiper blades. I DO NOT have the Bentley (I know, I really need to get it if I'm involved in this forum) but the Hanes manual has a very good description and diagram of both the motor and of the mechanism which drives the blades (almost like a horizontal stick with bearings on it and whatnot). I haven't pulled the thing apart yet, but figure that its either this mechanism or a gear that is shown in the motor. This is about how far I've gotten in my investigation of the problem, and was wondering if anyone here has had a similar problem or could maybe offer some more insight. Thanks for the help in advance.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Always give year & model -- don't assume readers will search other posts for that info. You're right -- you have to have the Bentley for most tech responses. Support the site AND save a few bucks via the site bookstore.

Common enough in freezing weather and snow is for the blade to freeze or become obstructed. This could lead to the linkage popping off the bell crank (or the bell crank to work loose). The motor runs but it's no longer connected to the wiper linkage. Of course that could also strip the wiper motor drive which requires a new or rebuilt motor.

PS: Keeping the w/shield washer tank charged on my '79 prompted me to buy one of those little DC compressors. After I bought it, I wonder how I ever got along without it before -- I've used it in more 'emergencies' than I ever thought possible. They have gotten so small & efficient, plus many now have a built in gauge, it's a worthwhile part of any camping gear. I still carry it in the newer Vanagon with the electric washer pumps. It's pumped up tires, kids' bikes, soccer balls & whatever dozens of times. I even bought one of those adaptors so I can allegator clip it to a battery when I'm far from a cigarette lighter plug (tractor, car trailer). So though the electric pump may be a solution to one problem, the alternative may solve many.

[ 01-06-2002: Message edited by: Capt. Mike ]
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Wiper blade refill tips

The VW OE wiper blades are excellent in function but you won't often find refills at the Quickie Mart. (OE are Bosch or SWF brand.) Rather than trying to get refills for all lengths -- Vanagons with rear wiper take two different lengths -- Bosch makes a 20" refill that can be trimmed to fit any size blade. Last I bought were Bosch P/N 3 391 014 223.

Bosch also makes a line of Micro-edge wipers that are far more common in the stores. The come with an attachment clip set for most cars, including one that fits VW arms. Although I kept the original blades 'in case of', I find it easier to keep a couple of sets of Micro-edge on hand and just swap out as needed, replacing the inserts at my convenience. Again, inserts are available in 20" (P/N 43 120A) and can then be cut to fit. They even have the 1" increment marks along the blade back and a ruler on the box. The Micro-edge series refills are easier to replace than trying to thread the old metal strips and rubber through the little blade retainers on OE arms.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif A hint on those refilling the older OE style with the metal strips -- put your metal strips in and wrap a piece of masking tape around the end that's opposite of the end you start threading from. Also silicone spray the blade groove. The silicone won't hurt the rubber and makes sliding the blade past the retaining bumps easier. When you are close to the 2nd end, you can then remove the masking tape.

[ 01-06-2002: Message edited by: Capt. Mike ]
 

Top