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Wiper Repair


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Thanks to ggzilla for archiving the old NWDE threads!! I was able to go back and recreate the how-to on my site. Sorry...I don't think I'm going to recreate it here...just put up a link to the info on my site. Let me know if I missed anything. I did this how-to back in 2006?



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  • 3 years later...

I know this is digging up an old assed thread, but I just did mine and had a couple things to add.

I took the electric motor apart to clean up the brushes and commutator(the part the brushes ride on), I used 600 grit wet dry to do this. When you take the armature out of the can the brushes and springs pop out and there's a ball bearing that rides in the bottom of the armature. To reinstall, put a dab of grease on the bearing and push it into the recess in the bottom of the armature. One at a time, install the brush springs and brushes into their housings and wrap the brushes wire around the back of their housings. When all 3 are secured you can reinsert the armature into the gear box and pop the brush wires off their housings so the brushes now contact the commutator. Rotate the armature a few times to marry the brushes to the commutator. Holding the worm gear on the gearbox side to hold the armature in place, slide the can back on and secure the two bolts. I cleaned all the old grease from the gearbox and packed it with new grease. The rest of the way, I followed the writeup above. It's amazing how much more speed and power my wipers have, I was able to drive at freeway speeds in a mid-grade shower with the wipers on low. I really wish I'd have taken pics, but it's pretty straight forward.

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If the commutator is "chocolate" in color you should not "clean" it with any abrasive except soapstone. Better yet leave the damned thing alone! The dark color is a copper / carbon intermetalic and is essential to low loss current passage. The old rule of thumb was leave it alone except when the copper segments are worn to the point that the Mica insulation strips between the copper segments are flush with the copper. Then [and this is the tedious part] you cut the protruding Mica with a fine toothed saw until the Mica is below the copper segments surface. Emery is electrically conductive, so if there are wear stripes on the copper, then soapstone and a good electric drill are your best bets to smooth out the gross groves. Better yet! contract the job out! Lots of luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it still works just fine. I don't ''contract out'' simple things like this that I learned in shop class 20 years ago. It's basically an overgrown R/C motor and I've been cleaning/reconditioning them for years. There was no ''chocolate'' color, just glazed/oxidized copper, not scored at all. The brushes are like pencil lead graphite, I'm pretty sure some containment got into the works and gummed up the comm. Just a few turns to break the glaze, wipe down with alcohol and reinstall.

After this, I figured out why the motor wouldn't park, one of the wires on the park feature was loose like the solder just popped off the tab. Resoldered it and now have perfect working wipers.


Thanks to mklotz for the write up.

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