Slow Down your Windshield Wipers

by Hugh D. Spitler
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               Great tip and helpful. Nothing worse than loosing the action on a rainy day. With some of the vacuum wipers, it's sometime hit or miss. You'd probably do better with goggles. If you like this info from Hugh, you may also want to read another tip on pulse-delay wipers by Mike Rowand ~~ Editor

Upgrade to electric wipers ~ but gotta keep them on the arm!

Hugh and his Stovebolt          This is a very simple fix for a problem I had with the windshield wipers on my 1953 Chevy 1/2-ton pickup.  I had converted the wipers from vacuum to electric, using the Newport Engineering kit.  The electric wipers were much more "vigorous" than the old vacuum wipers, and I had problems with the spring clips popping off the wiper actuating arms where they connected to the motor.  The stock spring clips consisted of two round metal washer-type pieces on either end of a spring.  I tried replacing the spring with a stronger spring, but the motor would still throw the ends of the rods that run to the left and right windshield wipers off of the two shaft studs that were on the motor actuating arm, usually in the middle of a torrential downpour, and almost always the driver's side wiper first.

          My solution to this problem turned out to be two C-shaped retaining clips just the right size to snap onto the motor shaft in the little grove provided for the washers on the old shaft retainer clip.  The problem with the stock "two washers and a spring" system was that once one end popped loose, the other would eventually (sometimes immediately) let go too, and no wipers.  By using the two separate C-type spring retaining clips, one on each of the actuating posts on the motor arm, the shafts quit popping loose, even on the "high" speed setting.  If one of these C-clips does let go, I would at least still have one of the wipers working. 

          Since I made this fix, I have not had any problems. The C-type spring clips were found at my local Ace hardware store in their collection of small retainers and fasteners.  These spring retainer clips are used in electrical and mechanical applications where a gear or pulley needs to be held in place.  I have also seem them used to hold the tuner and volume shafts in place in car radios. These C clips would also work on the old vacuum wipers to replace the "two washers and a coil spring" stock clips.

          Thanks for the opportunity to share the idea with other 1948-1953 Chevy pickup owners. I have been helped out by a number of the tips and suggestions found on The Stovebolt Page. I appreciate the effort of the other truck owners to save some of us from the "trial and error" approach to solving the problems that always seem to pop up when you are working on a vintage truck. Hope someone finds this tip useful.

Hugh D. Spitler
Associate Professor
Clemson University

      Be sure to check out our extensive Forums discussions -- from General Truck talk, Electrical Bay, Big Bolts, Panels and Burbs, Engine and Driveline, Paint and Body, Interiors, Tool Chest -- The Stovebolt Collective can help in your quest and walk you through the mire and magic of working with old iron. ~~ Editor .         

v. March 2007

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