Repaired My Wiper Motor

RalphF

New Member
I wrote before about getting caught in a horrible storm (on the road) with no top and no wipers. I installed the top, but still need to adjust the fit, but the wipers were another story. I just had the little posts for the arms attach. I searched through the extra stuff that the previous owner (PO) gave me and found the arms and blades. New problem: the wiper motor doesn't run...

All this was done with the battery disconnected, by the way.
I started with the switch- mainly because I wasn't sure if PO had butchered that wiring. I had to disassemble it and clean the contacts because both those two brass bars looked nasty. Aside from that, and a couple of extra wires that were tacked on, the switch checked out OK. The wiring was also all there and the right colors. It didn't help the motor issue though.

I moved to the motor. I would do anything to avoid removing that sucker. I did a little testing by applying 12V directly to the two outer terminals. The schematic shows the motor winding connected directly to them. Nothing happened. A few phone calls to Cap'n John gave me some pointers on removing it. Out came the glove box, off came the instrument panel. This was not simple because of PO's non-standard wiring and especially because of the female quick coupling for an air hose that runs off the on-board air compressor. Down came the steering column and wheel. In went my arms, one in each opening. Cap'n John said I would be hugging the car. I didn't realize I loved her THAT much though.

Hint: Go buy an assortment of metric wrenches with one open end and one ratchet end. Home Depot had a set of 10 that I liked. 2 of the nuts holding the motor in are 9mm and that size is not easy to find. You also need a 14 mm for the shaft nut. I forgot the size for the clamp.

I removed the two 9 mm nuts one click at a time on the gear-wrench (of course I lost one). Then I tackled the clamp, again one click at a time. and finally got it to wiggle off. Now the 14 mm nut and its shoulder washer. After only one bleeding arm (the right one) I finally got the motor out after going one click at a time on the gear-wrench. I honestly can't believe I got it out! There are some insulating rubber or plastic washers that stayed stuck in the holes. I think they may just be vibration absorbers but I can't be sure. I guess it could have to do with positive/negative ground stuff.

Powered up the motor via the 2 outer terminals. Got one revolution out of it, then nothing. So I got brave and released the bail that holds the back cover on. I was hoping that motor guts wouldn't fall out. Piece of cake, there were the brushes and the rest of the innards. I could see the problem immediately. There was apparently a spring that was supposed to hold them together. I checked around for spring residue and none was found. I did find a tiny little round fiber washer with a triangle cut out of the center. Of course I immediately lost it! Another call to Cap'n John, who told me that the washer was to keep the spring from shorting the 2 brush feeds together, which would not be a good thing. Checked on the price for a rebuilt motor and saw that GI has them on special til the 5th. For $189.00 I figured I would see what I could do. Cap'n said he found a spring at ACE, so I set out to do that. Had to go to an ACE 55 miles away before I found one that stocked springs. They have a board with about 100 different ones on it and drawers with them arranged by numbers. Got one that looked like it would work. Also looked for fiber washers. Ended up getting a nylon one.

In a few minutes I had the spring and washer installed and had a working motor! I noticed a lot of sparks on one brush so I removed a couple of turns of the spring and that tightened her right up. I didn't open the other end because I didn't want to mess with the grease and the motion of the motor was silent and smooth. I wired it back up in the car and everything was good, the park feature even worked!

Tomorrow I will put the motor back in and see what kind of other surprises this 55 year old girl has for me. I expect a lot of fun getting the linkage and parking to work properly.

Photos:

Broken Wiper Motor as opened

wiper motor as opened.jpg

Testing Spring for fit
wiper motor spring testing fit.jpg


With shortened spring and washer

wiper motor finished.jpg


And this is just a picture of how to correctly wire it back up

wiper motor wiring.jpg


The Spring (made by Hillman) and the washer

Wiper motor spring.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Wiper motor spring and washer.jpg
    Wiper motor spring and washer.jpg
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jfriese

Active Member
That little motor with all it's gears can put out enough force to bend the sheet metal and break the paint on the passenger side pivot if not adjusted correctly. Some years ago I did a write up on how to do it. It's not terribly hard but it is important to have it right. It's just adjusting the arm lengths correctly. I'm afraid I don't remember the details now but you might find it if you do a search of this web site.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

RalphF

New Member
That little motor with all it's gears can put out enough force to bend the sheet metal and break the paint on the passenger side pivot if not adjusted correctly. Some years ago I did a write up on how to do it. It's not terribly hard but it is important to have it right. It's just adjusting the arm lengths correctly. I'm afraid I don't remember the details now but you might find it if you do a search of this web site.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red


Your write-up is here. https://amphicar770.com/threads/windshield-wipers-stuck.7191/#post-20558
 

LSolheim

Member
I recall many years ago describing the wiper motor as the part around which the entire Amphicar was built! "Fond" memories of the 1st time: laying in the trunck working on a human pretzel imitation!
 

RalphF

New Member
Here's a follow-up. I found an even better stocked Ace Hardware that had the fiber washers. So here is a photo of the finished motor with that washer.
IMG_20201008_165733.jpg
 

RalphF

New Member
I received my new wiper blades yesterday. After putting all the wiper parts, motor, etc back in I flipped the arms out so they wouldn't contact the windshield. Keeping John Friese's earlier message in mind I gingerly turned on the wipers and observed their movement. When they parked they parked with the blades in the wrong place. I knew I hadn't messed with the parking part of the motor nor with the arm linkage.

After some discussion with Cap'n John I decided that I must have put the piece on the motor shaft 180 degrees off. After contorting around again I finally got it off, rotated, and back on without having to remove the motor again. This time they ran perfectly, wiped away the jug of water I poured on the windshield, and properly parked in the right place.

Thanks for the help, those who offered it! I am learning more about this machine every day.

Ralph
65 red
 
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