Step right up boys and girls, the Junkman has another headache saver for ya'.
Here's the scenario. You are experiencing one of two problems. Your windshield wipers don't work at all. Or, your windshield wiper work but when you turn them off, they stop on top of the windshield which blocks your view. Now these two problems are not both a wiper motor problem. The wipers not working is most likely a wiper motor issue but you could have a secondary problem which caused the wiper motor to quit working in the first place. We'll address that later.
The wiper stopping on the windshield when you turn them off is a mechanical problem. It is the understanding of how the wiper assembly work which will help you resolve this issue.
One thing to note for those of you who follow my DIY's. My digital camera broke and I had to take pictures with my movie camera. Thus, the pictures are not as large and crisp as I like them to be but hopefully, you will be able to follow the procedure with the added text to assist you. Some of the pictures I had from another DIY but most of the important ones will be much smaller.
The process of replacing the motor is not hard, but the calibrating of the final setup is a little tricky. One thing that I can warn you about is to NEVER grab the wipers and force them in any direction. This is what throws the wipers out of sync and creates the hardest of the two repairs (the wiper calibration).
This is slightly different from the way the service manual has you do it. The service manual way has you buy 2 different tools, one of which cost $200!
My way bypasses both of these tools and is probably much easier than the manual's way.
With that said, let's do this!
. Open your hood.
. Remove the plastic covers that conceal the nuts that hold the wipers on the car. Soak those nuts with some PB Blaster. This does not assist in removing the bolts, it assist in removing the wiper arms.
. Remove the push pins. Note: Pay attention to which pins come out of which holes. This way you won't have the experience I had when its time to put them back. Basically, they go back easier if you put them back where they came from.
. Now you can remove the seats that the push pins were in (note: these things are probably not called push pins or seats but hey, its a shade tree term). Match them up with their pins and put them to the side. Slightly raising the shroud will make the push pin seats pop right out.
. Disconnect the wiper fluid cables from their post. Simply wiggle and pull the rubber off the post that are connected to the cowl. See pictures below.
. Using a 13mm socket, remove the nuts that hold the wiper arms onto their post.
. Now comes the fun part. You need to remove the wiper arms. The easiest way to do this is to have a tool like this. It is worth however much you had to pay for it. I have seen them for all kinds of different prices but I can tell you, they make the job much easier. Just do a search for wiper arm puller.
This tool is rather useless but if it is all you have, it will somewhat work on at least the passenger's side:
If you don't have either, then you will have to use the "wiggle method" to remove the arms. BE CAREFUL. Don't make a easy fix a hard one by manhandling the arms and breaking them. Grab the wiper arm and gently begin to wiggle the base up and down. Just wiggle and wiggle and wiggle. Wiggle, wiggle, and wiggle some more. DO NOT wiggle in the direction that the wiper motor turns the blade (that might strip the shaft), wiggle gently up and down. Eventually that puppy will wiggle loose and pop right off. I have always had this kind of luck with PB Blaster so if you're using something else, you'll probably be wiggling for a while.
. Once you get the arms off, raise the cowl up slightly and push the post that the wiper fluid cable were connected to, through the cowl. You can then remove the cowl and set it to the side.
Pay close attention to the cowl as you remove it. There are tabs that slide under the windshield and hold the cowl in place. Don't use to much force and bend or break these tabs. If you do it right, the cowl should easily work its way free. Once you've done it a few times, it gets real easy. Once the cowl is removed, you can set the wiper fluid cable out of the way.
For those of you who are having the issue with your blades stopping on the windshield when you turn off the wipers, study the 2 pictures below in detail. If you are replacing the wiper motor, look at the pictures below and continue on to step 9.
The reason why the wipers are stopping on the windshield when you turn them off (as well as pausing at the top of the sweep cycle during the hesitate mode), is because your wiper mechanism is out of whack. Look at the pictures below.
When correctly setup, your mechanism should look as it does in the picture below. Pay no attention to the red circles. Notice the location of the recess.
This is very important! Also, notice that the parking pawl is up against the park stop.
This is very important also!
Let's Calibrate That Configuration
Turn on your key (do not start the motor) and turn your wipers on low (not hesitate, low). Watch the operation of the circular device (it is part of the crank arm so it has no name). It will move in a clockwise direction. Have someone turn the wipers off. At this point, one of two things will happen. It will move momentarily in a clockwise direction but then, move in a counter-clockwise direction. The instant that it begins to move in the counter-clockwise direction, the parking pawl should hit the park stop.
Once the parking pawl hits the park stop, the park pin should be released by the recess and and remain in the squared notched area. The recess on the circular device should end up somewhere in the 5 o'clock position.
If your park pin is not being released, it is most likely that the park stop has been bent and the parking pawl is not hitting it. If you straighten the park stop up, this may resolve your issue. If not, you need to calibrate that circular thing.
To do that, turn the key on (do not start the car). Make sure that the wipers are turned OFF! This is the dangerous part so pay strict attention.
Take a flat head screw driver and manually push the recess in a counter-clockwise direction until you get it as close to looking just like the above picture. You may have to use a second screwdriver to get the park pin out of the recess so that you can turn the circular thing. If you push the recess too far, the wipers will cycle. Thus, be prepared to get out the way!
Even though the wipers are turned off, they will still cycle if you push the recess too far. Your objective is to push the recess to the point just before it cycles again. This will be the park position for the wipers
If your parking paw is damaged and will not catch, then you're going to need new transmission arms. If your park stop is broken, you can buy another bracket that contains the park stop. It is called the windshield wiper transmission support bracket. I highly doubt that yours will ever break. That parking pawl is another story, especially if you're not careful. You'll see once you get to working on this fix.
For those of you with the wipers stopping in the wrong area, you're done once you get everything calibrated. Folks replacing their motor need to proceed to step 9.
. Remove the two 10mm wiper transmission bolts on the driver's side of the car.
. Remove the 1 10mm wiper transmission bolt from middle of the windshield area.
. Remove the 4, T30 Torx screws that connect the transmission arms to the wiper motor.
. Now you will need to get the wiper motor to separate from the transmission arms. The first time I did this, I actually unplugged the wiper motor from its power connector and wiggled the motor and transmission arms out of the car as one piece. What you can do is give the top of the motor a love tap to help free it. Once I got the entire thing out of the car, I tapped the top of the center hole with a flat blade screwdriver (where the center T30 Torx screw was), being careful to use a large enough screwdriver so that it didn't go into the hole and damage the threads.
. Once you get the transmission arms removed, unplug the motor and remove it.
. Remove the bracket from the old motor with a T29 Torx bit. Move the bracket and the rubber water protection flap over to the new motor.
The bracket and flap only go on one way. When you go to put everything back on the car, you'll be back at your computer looking at the pictures again. That's why I post so many.
Now if you are replacing your motor, the most probable reason for doing so is because it got wet and went bad. I've replaced at least 6 of them in my El Camino. They ain't cheap, even for a 1979 rust bucket. I quit washing the engine after the 6th one.
Now the question is, how did it get wet in the first place. The answer is, clogged udders. What's that you ask? Check out the pictures below.
Here the deal. If those udders are clogged, water cannot drain out of that area. It then begins to fill up and submerge the wiper motor which is NOT water proof (hell, they are not all that water resistant if you ask me). Once you submerge that motor, it's just a matter of time before you'll be buying another.
The cool thing is that you don't have to remove the wiper motor to get to the udders. If you open your hood and reach down and under the area where the wiper motor is, you can reach all the udders. You can then "milk" the debris out of them if they are clogged up.
Make sure you read the documentation that comes with your new motor. It will tell you what position your motor shipped in. If it shipped in the park position, when you put everything back together and put the wiper arms on the car, make sure you attach them in the parked position!
In the instructions that came with my motor, it told me to make a straight line down my transmission arm which should align with the center Torx screw hole. As you can see by the picture below, the transmission arm is slightly cocked.
That's pretty much it folks. Put it back together and pat yourself on the back. You just saved anywhere from $300 - $500 smakereens, depending on which dealer was in a bad mood. I'm happy, and it wasn't even my car that I fixed!
The calibrated and repaired setup after I got done.