Updating Windshield Wipers
If you have looked through the trade magazines you have noticed the electric
windshield wiper conversions for early cars and trucks that sell for $170 or more.
Here's how to do the same thing for under $50.
Pictured here are the basic components you need. A motor, the mechanism and wiper blades.
The only thing missing is the switch but any universal two speed wiper switch will work.
The motor in this case is a NOS unit from a Ford / Mazda pickup and was purchased on e-bay
for $12. The mechanism is from an AMC Eagle 4wd station wagon and was obtained from my local
wrecking yard for $15. The wipers themselves are from a Dodge Diplomat and were chosen
because they are easy to shorten. More on that later.
When you choose which mechanism to purchase keep two things in mind.
First you need one approximatly the correct width and second the easiest type to
use is a MOPAR unit since they generally use a single nut mounting unlike the three bolt setups
many other manufacturers use.
In the picture above the mechanism is layed out in rough location and a hole has been drilled
for the new passenger side wiper location. This conversion will operate the wipers both
in the same direction at the same time just as modern systems do.
Here you see a close up of the drivers side hole. The mounting is made from a small
piece of pipe or sheet metal and has an appropriate size washer welded to the end. It is inserted
in the hole and welded in place. The wiper mechanism is then inserted through the bottom and
the nut secures it in place. What could be easier?
Here is the finished product. Just a little bondo is needed to fill and smooth
everything out and it looks like it was installed at the factory.
Under the dash a mounting bracket was fabricated and the motor was mounted in
the appropriate location to hook up to the mechanism. In many cases no modifications will
be necessary to the motor and you can just remove the actuator rod and bolt up the one
from the mechanism you're using. A little adjustment here and there and your finished. Total cost
in this case was just under $50. One final comment. It would be wise to obtain the
wiring diagram for the motor you're going to use. This will make figuring out the wiring much easier.
The next update will include installing a tilt steering column and modifying the dash.