Wipers and Washers


crazyswede

New member
Be very carefull when loosening and retightening the exterior securing nuts on your wiper arms! I took mine off to touch up the paint on my 91 westy and over-torqued and snapped one off. It is a rather painfull and time consuming job to pull the wiper motor, wiper assembly etc from the passenger side footwell. The glove compartment and instrument panel must be removed to access the wiper shafts leading to the exterior of the vehicle and the whole assembly must be pulled out, repaired and then re-installed (which is even more fun)
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
;) Acute observation and sound advice!

There is a tendancy to think that the tightness of the nut controls the 'grip' of the arm to the shaft. Not so. The shaft is splined; the arm is fairly soft casting. Although the shaft is tapered and the nut beds the arm to the shaft, it is the splined mating that performs the grip. If you are having trouble with an arm coming loose because the nut is backing off, it's probably because you haven't replaced the spring lock washer underneath the nut EACH time you remove the shaft. You can also use a drop of Loctite. I haven't tried a nylock nut to see if it will fit under the cover cap, but there are other types of lock nuts that should fit. (See "Lock nut" topic in TOOLS forum.)

The splines in the wiper arm are softer than the shaft on purpose -- to prevent replacing the shaft and all of those problems by sacrificing the relatively inexpensive arm. The arm may become distorted by overtightening and 'fuse' to the splined shaft. It must come off with a straight pull, do not twist or pry at an angle. If you must use a pry tool, be sure it is one that puts pressure on both sides of the arm equally and protect your paint-work underneath. There are now some synthetic, notched pry bars on the market specificlally for this type of no-damage application.

You might also check to see if there is an underlying cause. For example, have you changed to an arm that has a bigger spoiler or double blades? The arm to spline is engineered for a particular resistance; increasing this resistance causes additional stress. Of course it also adds excessive load to the wiper motor, a far more expensive item to replace.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Rear wiper washer hose leak.

I pray you never get a hose leak on the rear wiper washer -- I think you have to remove the front bumper to get at the thing!

I did get a leak. I was leaking from the roof area into the rear cargo area. Yesterday, I started the repairs. The hose is a 4mm (5/32") clear with 1mm wall, thinner than the usual generic hose from the auto store.

In my case, the leak was in the booted section that came out of the roof and went into the rear cargo hatch door. I presume this, which is outside the vehicle in the channel around the hinges & weather-strip, gets a lot of flexing and abuse. What it turned out to be was the hose had broken and the water was following the rubber boot back into the roof area.

Having the wife operate the washer while I looked, I pulled the boot from roof and door openings. This confirmed my leak. Trying to push the boot back is difficult and by now, most of the boots are going to be dry-rotted or fragile. Warning: It's also a bear to get back in since it fits like a 2-sided grommet through the sheet-metal's holes.

You will find the hose comes up from the washer tank behind the METAL framing to exit at the roof line. It then joins the control wires and enters a rubber hose guard that takes it into the roof TO the opening for the boot. There is no slack.

The section that runs down into the hatch comes out at the bottom and enters a foam tube over to the washer. This is the only area where you can obtain slack by disconnecting at the nozzle & some working room.

I was lucky (??) in that my break was near the end of the rubber boot. I was able to pull the two ends clear and insert a vacuum hose splice barb. If your leak is elsewhere, or the entire hose is bad, you will have to remove the side panels by the tank and the cargo hatch door panel to use the existing hose as your "pull through" to lead replacement hose, much like fishing wire. You will probably have to do this in 2 directions at the roof boot, because I do not think you can, even with silicone lube, pull hose all the way from the hatch door were you can feed, to the tank. You may have to disconnect the wires and pull them up to the roof boot as well. If at that point, replace the roof boot.

Since the boot is exposed to weathering, I suggest you check it and use a good rubber preservative or silicone. This boot prevents rainwater from entering the roof or cargo hatch door.
 

robbcross

New member
92 Westfalia, removing rear wiper arm

I need to remove the rear wiper arm on my 92 Westfalia in order to work on some rust that is beginning to appear in the area where the wiper column goes through the rear door. I've removed the outer hexnut and washer. Does one 'pry' the wiper arm off the threaded column, or does it turn off? Any hints greatly appreciated!! :confused:
 

robbcross

New member
Thanks for the quick reply, Captain Mike. To be sure that I'm clear: to remove the wiper arm from the splined wiper post, does one simply pry it off the splined shaft? I've tried, and it appears to require more force than I dare apply!
 

Ludwig van

New member
More on converting to an electric washer pump

I've added an electric pump to my 78's washer system, actuated by a switch mounted on the lower edge of the dash, but I had planned to add a microswitch to the wiper switch in place of the (leaking) valve. In the meantime my wiper switch has failed, so I ordered a replacement from California Import Parts. I see that the new one (made by SWF) not only has the original-style valve, but also a spring contact switch that closes when the wiper lever is pulled back. It seems like this could be used to switch power to the pump. Does anyone know if this lever is made for other vehicles in addition to mine, where the extra switch may have controlled an electric pump? The reason I ask is that I'd like to be sure this switch is up to the job - i.e. won't burn out.

One more question. Am I the only who is completely unable to understand why the pressurized reservoir idea made the transition to the vans? In the Beetle, air pressure was supplied by the spare tire which was nearby, but in the van, the spare is nowhere near the reservoir.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
There was an electric pump available on other market models that had headlight washing systems. I presume it worked off that lever switch and now that VW has discontinued stocking, SWF has continued with one that applies to multiple markets.

Lever type switches were also used to do momentary wipe in some VW & Porsche models, or to activate the rear wiper relay (ala Vanagaon) in addition your propose. I would think it capable of handling the limited use of the washer pump motor. OE wiring for that motor when it was installed on the Vanagons was only 20 gause so not expecting a heavy and long use.

As to 'why' VW didn't upgrade with the model, who knows? It did prompt me to get a portable 12vDC air compressor to keep mine pressurized with the heavy use it got in the boonies of AK & NWT. Which turned out to be a good thing, too, for the other uses it's received over the years. Cost? Or the home market didn't really expect it yet? Remember, the Bug was still using the pressurized tank well past the intro of the Bay Window bus.
 
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dwileyprice

New member
clogged washer jet

1983.5 Westfalia: The passenger side windshield washer jet is clogged and I cleaned it with the point of a safety pin (the driver side jet was was successfully cleared and redirected by this procedure). A thick blue/green gunk oozes from the jet each time I activate it, and it remains clogged with the stuff. What is this, and has anyone suggestions for clearing it?
 

pointlomajett

New member
Wiper pump not getting enough current

My 1987 Vanagon front windshield washer pump was not working so I removed the pump and hooked up my volt meter to the leads and noticed that when I activated the switch the volt meter read 12volts. So I assumed that the motor in the pump was bad I replaced the pump and it still didn’t work. I than hooked both the new and old pump directly to a car battery and they both works fine. So the only thing I can think is that the pump is not getting enough current thru the system. Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated.

Ryan
 

jimmy60

New member
Windshield Wiper Size

'87 Westfalia

I've looked everywhere (this site, Bentley, etc.) but can't find out what size windshield wipers I should put on the front window. What is the correct size? (I just bought my '87 and it has an 18 inch on one side and a 16 inch on the other.)
 
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sebastien

New member
I have the same problem with my 1990. Any suggestion?

[Moderator Note: Guideline #8! Your dealer's parts fiche will tell you what is correct. OE was 450mm (~18") front & 400 mm (~16") rear.]
 
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Ludwig van

New member
I had to replace the wiper motor in our '78. Same problem as in VWMIKE78's 2002 post - the gear stripped off the shaft. I was lucky enough to find one in a wrecking yard, and installed it.

Two questions:
I installed the motor with the arm in the position shown in the Bentley, and the wipers wiped the nose panel instead of the windshield. I re-installed the arm at 180 degrees from the recommended position and they wiped normally. Any idea why?

I hear a loud hum when the motor is running but the engine is not. It sounds like too much of the wiper motor noise is being transmitted through the mounting. Did I over-tighten it? I didn't notice any torque figures for the wiper motor in Bentley.

7/26/09: At the time I last posted, the instrument panel was out.with the panel back in place, the wiper motor sounds normal.

I still don't know why I had to install the arm 180 degrees from the recommended position. No point worrying about it if the windshield gets wiped, I guess.

[Moderator note: The one you found at a wrecking yard may not have been an exact OE for your year & model. The wiper has an internal position and park circuit and that one may have been set for another situation. The Bentley acknowledges numerous changes over the model years and the photos may be for another (usually older) model.]
 
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Mike Robinson

New member
Poor performance of whindshield washers

'82 Westy Diesel

I have never had good windshield washers since buying the westy 7 years ago, mostly there is a dripple that somewhat hits the windshield. I am going to be doing some winter driving so I decided to overhaul the system.

Firstly I replaced the washer motor (GoWesty) thinking this would help - alas no, but I now have a spare!

So today I dropped the washer water tank, cleaned it throughly - so much dirt! and filled it with a mixture of floor cleaner, vinegar and water. I cleaned the jet holes out with a saftey pin and cleaned the system out.

After much unplugging and 2 gallons of water/cleaning fluid I have a very functional set of washer jets!

Mike

[Moderator Note: One tends to forget the detergent and anti-freeze agents in commercial washer solution leave a deposit. Methyl alcohol (common ingredient) absorbs water and evaporates both, leaving the gunk of the detergents. Cleaning the tank and flushing the system every so often is a good idea.]
 

Barnie

New member
No power to wiper pump

1991 Westy
All aspects of the windshield washer work, except for the pump. When I pull back on the wiper lever on the steering column the wipers go through their three cycles and stop. Dropped the resovior and checked for power, none to the pump. Of course found this out after buying and installing a new pump. Looking for a little direction and my next step.
thanks
 

TeCo

New member
the front wipers and the fan for the heater stop working on my 86 syncro. Fuses are fine, i change the relay but no difference. Tested fan and wiper motors and both work with direct current. Any suggestions? thank you.....rain started yesterday!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Insufficient information! The wipers & heater blower do not use the same relay. The relay in the wiper system is for the intermittant mode, although the juice for the moter passes through it -- it only activates the relay on the intermittent mode. The rear wiper relay is not related to the front wiper circuits. On the blower, are you getting 12v to the + terminal on the blower switch (Bentley 97.99 circuit 149)? On the wiper control stalk, are you getting 12v to the T terminal (circuit 155)? The feed for both is off the "igntion on" X circuit. Do you have failure of any other ignition-on circuits, such as rear defroster, main headlights or electric windows? Both of the mentioned circuits will only have 12v if the ignition is on. Older Vanagons had a tendency for the ignition-on electricl section of the ignition switch to wear out with old age. This is the plastic part at the very bottom of the key/lock assembly. See "Ignition switch . . ." topic.
 

TeCo

New member
wipers problem

Thank you for ur response Capitan!.I'm new member and hope i put this in the right place....after your comments I will bet that my problem is that the heater fan & wipers are not getting any juice from the ignition switch. Can it be a bad ignition switch? is there a way to test?
THANK you again,
TeCo
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Yes, pick any circuit from your Bentley (required to use site) that is only on when the ignition switch is on and see if power is leaving that fuze. A simple 12v test light is adequate. If none are receiving current, then it is the igntion switch which is covered in that forum. The ignition switch does NOT send current to each item; it sends it to that portion of the fuze box feeder. Thus if it is the ignition switch, it will be all of those items.
 

VanFan

New member
1987 Westfalia 2 wheel drive. Reference Bentley wiring diagrams. Windshield Wiper problem.
After removing dash to replace heater core and fan, I decided to replace the wiper switch also. After the new switch is in place the wipers would not park. When I turned the wipers off they would stop wherever they were on the Windshield. After several frustrating attempts to troubleshoot the problem one of the wires on the connector fell out of the connector. It was supposed to connect to Terminal 53. Bent keeper tab out on wire reinserted in connector. Reconnected to switch. No more problem.
Always, always, always make sure the ends of the wires are firmly inserted in the connectors first.
 

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