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Windshield Wiper Motor Failure / Help

Mr. Chuck

Well-known member
Jan 19, 2005
Southern California
1981 Two tone silver / dr grey
Windshield wiper was sticking / sluggist, acted like it linkage needed clean / lubing; did this, no improvement. Shortly motor stopped working in any run position; could only get it to run in mist position. wiper stopped working all together, removed motor assy, opened it up, lubbed the worm gear and gear wheel, also opened motor found some commutator segment blacking from arcing, suspected caused by slow operation. Installed remanufactured motor assy, wipers still don't run at all in any controller position, do hear a relay clicking somewhere (unknown location). Checked both 7.5 & 25 amp fuses (both good). Pulled controller, clean connector contacts, still no wiper operation. Need help if anyone has done trouble shooting of wiper controller & related circuit / system. Anyone have any ideas!!!!

6/18/2005, Trouble shooting up-date: After almost giving up, deceided to go back to the basic trouble shooting rule: i.e. never assum anything, until you verify it is working correctly. So I went back to my shop manual Body & Chassis Electrical trouble shooting section and began to touch and feel every component in the windshield system. Finally got down to the component identified as the controller assembly location "Jack Storage Box". After removing the storage tray / bin, I found that the Controller Assy had fallen out of it holder housing ( a small plastic open end box mouted on the forward wall of the jack storage compartment). The controller was still connected electrically,was laying with solder side of it's PCB face up and the metal jack handle was laying on top of the PCB. The handle was shorting across various solder connections, mading the wipe system in-operative. Upon removal of the handle, the wiper motor began to operate, initial conclusion are that basic operation has returned; some possiblity exist that the "Wiper Park" function may be gone, further testing is required as time permits. The bottom line is that original motor was not defective; I was lucky that the Kragen Auto store where I had purchased the remanufactured motor still had my old motor. They allowed me to return the new one and to get the old motor back, which I have re-installed.
A though and reminder to us all, when dealing with old cars, things wear out or come un-attached from were ever they were mounted. I found the only way to keep it in was to resort to the old tried and true method, i.e., if all else fails duct tape it in place. I also found that a post manufacturing design change added a heat sink to one of the pwr transistors on the controller PCB with a mickey mouse spring clip, which had dislodged when it fell and it's heat transfer compound had dried out. I replenished the compound and re-installed the heat sink. I am sure if those out there are not into or been in the electronic manufactuing business all this detail is of no interest.
Bottom line is that malfunctions can be caused by events other than component failure, so look hard and well before you jump and start buying replacement parts.

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