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TECH - Electric Wipers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flat Ernie, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    PART 1

    I've been working on my 1936 Ford Pickup and hope to bring it to the UK with me sometime later this year. And while I can get by with the abysmal vacuum wiper setup and some rain-x here in the sunny southwest US where it hardly ever rains, that just won't cut it in Ol' Blighty!

    Here's what we're starting with:

    [​IMG]

    I had used a Newport Engineering setup on my '40, but nobody made a similar bolt-in setup for the mid-'30s cars/trucks. I could use one of those oval motors, but they'd stick out of the header panel and I've used two of those in the past and didn't like them (self-park often failed to...well...park!)

    I was scouring eBay for some other '36 stuff and found a seller with a kit to put wipers in these early cars. I did a little research and a few companies do, but they all had one thing in common - expensive. However, while looking at the pics, it looked like something I'd seen in the UK. I was also inspired by this thread:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=308043

    And I also recalled some of the UK rodders using the early Mini wiper setup on some of their rods and set out researching again (NSRA UK!). It looked like it should work well for what I was trying to do and so I hit eBay again and scored this:

    [​IMG]

    This is the wiper assembly from a 1979 MG Midget. It is common to many British cars and is a Lucas system. The motor on this one works - apparently, the smoke is still all inside where it's supposed to be. ;)

    This is everything disconnected so you can see how it all works:

    [​IMG]

    Basically, the motor turns a wheel with an offset pin that pushes/pulls a cable through the metal tubes. Around the cable is a coarse heavier gauge wire (almost like a spring) that serves as a rack, if you will, to actuate gears in the wiper transmissions.

    Here's a pic of the wiper transmission:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of the motor with the gearbox exposed:

    [​IMG]

    I didn't feel like fabricating metal tubes specific to my application as it seemed quite a lot of work. I also didn't want the cable going back and forth inside the A-pillar (besides, the wipers wouldn't work), so I got this:

    [​IMG]


    This is just plastic tubing used to run small water lines like to the ice-maker on your fridge. It should have less friction than metal tubes as well. I'll use the metal tubes cut off about an inch or so and the plastic tube can slip over and clamp to them.


    [​IMG]

    Standby for Part 2
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  2. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    PART 2

    Next, I wanted to see if my cable was long enough. These actuator cables come in several lengths and while it should be easy to shorten them, it looks near impossible to lengthen them. I cut a piece of the plastic tubing the length of my cable from where it comes out of the wiper motor to the end. I then snaked this up through the A-pillar and it's just barely long enough:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I still have enough hanging down in the A-pillar area to be able to mount the motor high up on the kick panel and under the dash:

    [​IMG]

    The transmissions have this sheath and escutcheon for how they mount to the MG cowl:

    [​IMG]

    These slip off and I will double-nut these or fab a spacer to mount through the roof of the truck.

    [​IMG]

    First, I have to drill a hole for the passenger side wiper and enlarge the hole for the drivers side wiper. I enlarged the existing hole very carefully with a 5/8" drill bit (size of the wiper transmission shafts), but used this to make the new hole:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These rotabroach tools are awesome for cutting clean holes in sheet metal.

    Standby for Part 3
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  3. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    PART 3

    I slightly mis-measured and the passenger side is about 1/16" higher than the drivers side, but damn hard to tell (this pic looks like driver's side is higher, but it's not):

    [​IMG]

    I used some temporary PVC spacers to mock up the transmissions:

    [​IMG]

    The motor mounts with a large adel clamp-type bracket in stock configuration. I fabricated this out of some scrap and it sits in the pinch line:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I didn't show it, but I cut a slot under the channel and ran a large hose clamp around the channel and motor to secure it to the bracket.

    Then it's a matter of installing the tube stubs on the transmissions and motor, mounting the transmissions, cutting the plastic tube to length, snaking the cable up through the tubes, and mounting the motor.

    [​IMG]

    When I tried to use that plastic tubing, I found that despite it being listed as 1/4" ID, the same as the metal tubes, the cable wouldn't move through it. I was looking for some similar 5/16" ID tubing, but couldn't find anything locally (and didn't want to order 100'), so used 5/16" ID vinyl tubing instead:

    [​IMG]

    Standby for Part 4
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  4. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    PART 4

    Got it all in & tested out - works well, but I need a slightly longer piece of tubing in the A-pillar and I need to put some clamps on the tubing over the metal stubs. Here's a shot of what a completed section looks like:

    [​IMG]

    I used MG wiper arms and the stock 10" blades should work well, but I haven't got any yet. I like the brushed stainless arms and they're about the right length:

    [​IMG]

    Wiring is not too hard. I asked over on the NSRA UK site and was directed to this great website:

    http://spriteclub.com/tech/wipers.htm

    It shows how to wire up both speeds and self-park feature with a simple cube relay.

    So there it is - I still need to take it all apart and grease the cable, re-do the tubing, wire it up to a two-speed switch, and find or make some rubber washers for under the exterior mounting nuts to keep the water out.

    This was super easy and will work in any of the top-mounted wiper setups found in mid-'30s Fords and most other makes. It's a helluva lot cheaper than the kits sold by Specialty, Auto-Loc, and others. I think I paid about $15 for the wiper setup on eBay, a few bucks for the plastic line, and that's about it - I'll bet I've got less than $40 total in it (including eBay shipping).

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009

  5. rusty48
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 467

    rusty48
    Member

  6. 41 C28
    Joined: Dec 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,772

    41 C28
    Member

    Great tech. Thanks
     
  7. Good tech Ernie. Saving money and having a good result are always nice to share.
     
  8. reefer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2001
    Posts: 745

    reefer
    Member

    Nice one Ernie....I did the same swap on my old 36 3 window.I used copper tube up the A post(tight fit) and the drive cable just reached the first gear driven box on the drivers side.I lengthened the drive cable by adding an extra length of cable by silver soldering it into a piece of copper tube after it left the first box(about half way between the two wipers)it did not need to run in any conduit for the short trip from box to box.You can also dial in the sweep of the arms by fitting different gear wheels in the motor, there is a selection available....I got virtualy a sweep from top to top of the frame, about 130deg. a selection of gears are available from SVC.

    I wish I`d thought of the plastic hose idea....good tech tip.

    http://www.s-v-c.co.uk/prod_wipers.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  9. GlenC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 757

    GlenC
    Member

    One of the few electrical bits Lucas actually got right! And you'll find them under the hoods of almost any English car, the bigger the car usually the longer the cable. 60's cars are single speed, my 1970 Triumph sedan was two speed, and the top speed was fast enough to clear floodwater off the windscreen (well almost anyway).

    Great tech.

    Cheers, Glen.
     
  10. these systems are also great for an application were the wiper arms 'clap hands' rather than moving as a pair. Simply mount one of the wiper boxes up the other way. :cool:
     
  11. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,488

    Pir8Darryl
    Member

  12. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,702

    swifty
    Member

    Great tech Ernie! I'm just about up to the stage of doing the wipers on my 32 and although I'd heard about these from Minis, Morris 1100 and Austin 1800 I'd never seen one out in the open. Also didn't realise that they came on other cars too.

    Now that I've got the fitting instructions complete with pics I better take a trip to the wrecking yard and see what I can find to do the job.

    Thanks for the info.

    swifty
     
  13. cool tech! what a money saver.
     
  14. Used the same type on My Pontiac. they work a treat.
    I used 5/16 steel tube on mine
     
  15. mow too much
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 906

    mow too much
    Member

    Erine, great job and very well illustrated, I need to search evil ebay now.
     
  16. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    I was told the Jags had the longest cables, but the MG with their 3 wipers seemed longer than the loose cables I saw for sale various suppliers...
     
  17. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 2,001

    Artiki
    Member
    from Brum...

    Five stars from me for that, Ernie. Top tech.
     
  18. 60srailjob
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    60srailjob
    Member
    from nowhere

    good tech nice job........
     
  19. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,629

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Excellent !! great idea!!
     
  20. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Very nice! I like it!
     
  21. LIMEY
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 1,986

    LIMEY
    Member

    There you go again Ernie modifying stuff, nothing wrong with old vac system...... when you're coming down hill & its not raining :)
     
  22. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    Nope, nothing wrong here in Albuquerque where it almost never rains. :D

    Did I tell you it almost never rains here? :D

    Imagine I'll be needing them wipers in the UK - despite the fact you seem to do OK w/o ANY wipers!:D
     
  23. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,120

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Nice tech, thanks for taking the time to share it with us.
     
  24. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    Well, no pics, but I found that garden hose washers, the kind that go inside to seal the hose to the faucet, fit the shaft of the transmissions perfectly. They're a tiny bit thick, so if you wanted, you could cut them down with a razor or something, but I'll run mine as-is.

    They even come in colors other than black!:rolleyes:
     
  25. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,193

    Roothawg
    Member

    Good tech. Thanks for posting.
     
  26. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    Update - finally got some wiper blades that fit. That plastic hose isn't going to work - it has too much give in it. Worked fine when there was no drag on the system (no blades), but with the drag caused by the blades, the hose wants to flop around some.

    Looks like I'm going to have to fish some 3/8" copper tube up through my A-pillar...maybe tomorrow. Will update as I do..
     
  27. 36tbird
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 1,083

    36tbird
    Member

    FE,
    I gave you the info about the plastic tubing. Sorry it did not work for you. I can run my wipers dragging against a dry, dirty windshield (lots of drag) and the plastic tubing works fine. I see it moving and flexing a bit, but everything operates great.

    I used the Specialty kit as I was not smart enough to know about the low buck pieces you found, but it all looks the same. My motor is in the right kick panel with the plastic tubing running from it to the right wiper tower. I used the aluminum tubing between the towers because I could access that OK. There was no way to get the aluminum tube to run up the right A-pillar. The plastic tubing I used was fairly stiff and fit very snugly over the aluminum tubing where I made a stub coming out of the motor.
     
  28. 18n57
    Joined: Jun 29, 2007
    Posts: 577

    18n57
    Member

    The only thing I remember about Lucas electric stuff was a headlight switch on my buddy's '65 Triumph motorcycle .....three positions on it .. DIM, FLICKER and OFF. Good Luck:)
     
    nunattax and Frankie47 like this.
  29. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    Member
    from Benton AR

    On a similar install I used vinyl truck air line in place of the steel tubing.

    It was a good compromise. It is flexible but firm enough to hold its shape and will not stretch, is difficult to kink when used with reasonable care, and should wear very, very well.


    Years ago I bought a kit for my 39, it used all of this MG stuff. I knew the kit was an adaptation of one sort or another but I had no idea from what....

    The cat is out of the bag now...
     
  30. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    Member
    from Benton AR


    If you go to NAPA and get the right size black Vinyl air line used on comercial trucks it WILL work... I know this for sure.

    The tubing ends will fit tight in the hose.

    The type of hose is used with compression fittings, it is perfect for this application. Trust me on this one.
     

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