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Vacuum wiper motor rebuild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 50flathead, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. 50flathead
    Joined: Mar 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,106

    50flathead
    Member
    from Iowa, USA

    It looks like the vacuum wiper motor on my 37 is going to need some help. What does an rebuild amount to and where are the parts available? I know I'll at least need the main body gasket. Maybe the rest just amounts to a good cleaning. Anybody have a NOS trico laying around?
     
  2. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    David Ficken is the best known Trico Wiper guy. He rebuilds yours ... and also has NOS ones for sale. But he does NOT sell rebuild kits ... :)

    Go here

    http://www.wiperman.com/
     
  3. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,740

    Dooley
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

  4. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    I hear that automatic transmission fluid works wonders in cleaning and lubing them.
     

  5. Shadetree
    Joined: Feb 7, 2003
    Posts: 243

    Shadetree
    Member
    from Va USA

    It does!!!!
    It made mine work like new.
    Just rook the hose loose, from the manifold, and stuck it in a trans fluid bottle, and worked the wiper arms back and forth a few times, and it did the trick!!
     
  6. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418

    DrJ
    Member

    I've taken a few of them apart.
    Not much to them.
    Just a big "flag" that gets sucked back and forth because it's hooked up to a valve mechanism that reverses the air flow at each end of the sweep.
    Most of the ones I've looked into had a leather or fiber sealing gasket that dries out and wears down and lets the air leak past instead of moving the flag.
    Like bad rotor seals on a Wankle rotary engine.
    On the leather ones I just soak them with Neetsfoot oil, the same stuff I put on my baseball glove and leather bicycle seats to soften it up.
    That works purty good.
    It's not unlike trans fluid though so that would work as well I guess.
    The ones with the fiber seals got "lost" in the spare parts box....
     
  7. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    I believe the Mac's kit is for the basic Model A--early V8 type, smaller than your '37.
    There really does not seem to be a parts source other than random fleamarket finds for most models!
    There are at least 3 or 4 basic sizes with totally different flapper and gasket sizes...
    As DrJ says, you can USUALLY revive them by simple cleaning everything you have, "Fluffing" the edges of the paddle, and lubing. Loosen screws, let the thing soak for a while, and try to get gaskets out intact...they have lots of tiny notches and holes and making new ones will wear out your eyeballs and about 3 Xacto blades.
    Make a drawing of all the little flip-flap thingies in the valve chamber. The design there is practically surreal, and you'll never figure it out without records! The function is visible up top...little holes under a slide to valve the vac to each side.
    The fuzzy in the middle, a tube of felt, is actually a STOP. Once it is packed down, valve flip flop will go too far and so not get vacuum for the return trip. Rotate and fluff that part...some people replace it with a bit of rubber tubing.
    Another thing...gauge WIDTH of main chamber by cutting a chunk of wood to basic width...sometimes walls warp or wear to wavy, and you are screwed. I suspect a rare one could be massaged back to sem-flat by body work techniques...the stuff is soft.
    If you can save gaskets, soak them in oil and use the old Holley trick of putting chapstick on the metal surfaces so they don't stick.
     
  8. 50flathead
    Joined: Mar 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,106

    50flathead
    Member
    from Iowa, USA

    ***Update*** Very good news. I spent a good share of Saturday removing everything necessary in order to remove the wiper motor. Since I didn't have any ATF, I flushed the motor with hydraulic power steering fluid as a substitute. I forced the stuff into the motor with a squeeze bottle then hooked it up to a vacuum source and pulled more fluid through the motor from the air intake side. I applied a little petroleum jelly to the external mechanism and put the outer cover back on. It now runs like a well oiled machine-no pun intended. The vacuum regulator actually works as it should and varies the wiper speed. This was all accomplished without disassembling the wiper motor. These vacuum motors really make sense. They are light, compact, and simple devices. All the same reasons that air tools are often favored over their electric counterparts.
     
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,491

    squirrel
    Member

    They work great, until you have to pass or go up a hill :)

    Good to hear you got it going again, hamb pulls thru again
     
  10. 4dFord/SC
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 837

    4dFord/SC
    Member

    Just don't get caught in heavy rain on a long hill :)
     
    Truck64 likes this.
  11. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    wonder if there would be a way to modify one internally to use an electric motor and still retain the look of the Vac. unit?
    that would be a cool mod.
     
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,491

    squirrel
    Member

    There is probably not enough room inside for a motor/gearbox powerful enough to run the wipers.
     
  13. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage


    good point..i thought about it after i typed that...kinda came to the same conclusion..
    oh well its fun to dream:D
     
  14. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    A vacuum can can HELP these problems. It WILL NOT cure them but it will help.

    [​IMG]

    I used one off a 1990 Beretta on my 1940 Ford coupe. It is actually only about the size of a 12 oz soda can.
     
  15. 50flathead
    Joined: Mar 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,106

    50flathead
    Member
    from Iowa, USA

    The problem today with anything built up to 1939 is the same one Henry faced in the 30's-very tight space. We'll see how this works as the spring rains come. My 37 has a SBC so hopefully ample vacuum is not a problem. I installed a Newport electric conversion in a 40 a few years ago. It works great and there is ample space under the cowl. I think they just came out with a kit for a 37 that will fit under the header panel.
     
  16. nevrDUN51'
    Joined: Feb 9, 2016
    Posts: 152

    nevrDUN51'
    Member
    from Nashua, NH

    I'm glad I found this super old thread. Why wipers on my '51 don't work very well at all. Between a tired flathead with a little less vacuum than it should have and being a 65 year old wiper motor, it barey works. I plan on cleaning it and seeing how it goes.

    BUT, since NOONE mentioned it in the thread, I was curious, does anyone have any experience with the dual diaphragm fuel pumps for powering the wipers? Are they effective at all?
     
  17. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,161

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    " I was curious, does anyone have any experience with the dual diaphragm fuel pumps for powering the wipers? Are they effective at all?"

    Yes, they work great, at least the one I've had on my '37 Chevy coupe has for the last 20-years. No annoying hesitation or stopping of the blades when accelerating.
     
  18. 40two
    Joined: Feb 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,900

    40two
    Member

    i have my double action pump rebuilt and a NOS-Trico-Wiper, which i dismantled, cleaned and polished inside to make the "piston" go easy from left to right and back, it works not perfect, but really well even in little bit harder rain.... cool technique from yesteryear for sure.
     
  19. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Trico long ago made an electric vac pump that hooked into the hose and switched on when vac went below a usable value. Rare, but fortunately GM made a reasonable substitute in near modern times. Think about X car era. Four cylinder shitboxes and Corvettes had an equivalent hooked into the power brake system. The devices are hidden, so follow the hoses to where the things lurk, places like under the battery tray.
     
  20. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 120

    tomic
    Member

    found this old thread while getting my (vacuum) wipers going for HRPT. i hear it rains east of here?

    i had an old dual-action fuel/vaccum booster pump i'd rebuilt probably 10 yrs back, had it on the car with the fuel side blocked. it failed on a recent 600 mile trip (500 mi of rain). decided to do something better.

    given the time frame i bought a vacuum reservoir and a vacuum pump. in the mean time i pulled the wiper motor, it was sluggish anyway, found i'd used too much and too heavy oil. got is spotless and lubed with synthetic DOT3 brake fluid. seems perfect, i'm hoping it's less hygroscopic than non-synth.

    i installed the reservoir, but not the pump. i usually make basic stuff like this but between time, the fact it came with fittings and brackets, and a vacuum check valve, for $40, no regrets.

    the reservoir "helps". i put a vacuum gauge on it to test, check for leak down, etc. if i pinch the manifold side or turn off the engine, the wipers run for maybe two seconds. so its no cure-all but it helps. IMG_20180530_181216.jpg

    i ran the wiper motor on the bench with the vacuum pump (from Summit, $220). OK THAT WORKS. it's not a continuous duty pump, also it's not silent so you wouldn't want to anyway. it has a vacuum switch and relay to run when less than 20 in Hg or something. i think the trick setup would be to plumb the switch on the wiper side of the reservoir so the pump sucks the reservoir empty, a little more buffer.

    "would" because i'm gonna return it. it's big, noisy, and i'll just throttle-up to "fill" the reservoir, save money noise and engine compartment clutter.

    also my wiper motor, when off, leaks a tiny bit. very small amount; no affect on the engine, but it leaks the reservoir down in 30 seconds. i have no idea if new, wiper motors ever leaked "zero", no leak. anyone know that? it's a sliding rubber valve, it doesn't look like it would seal well even new.
     
  21. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,087

    Joe H
    Member

  22. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,662

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've got a friend with 2 Fords with vacuum wipers. After doing the sucking up of a paddle lube he removed the blades and arms and let's them run all the time when he uses the cars during the summer. Now they work perfect. Ones an early 40's and the other a 56 with the fuel pump assist. Most problems are from lack of use.
     
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  23. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 120

    tomic
    Member

    CFM is the thing, and the only way to judge besides "size" is to test... i'd bought one of the little common $60 pumps that Ford F750's use, but it has a 3/32" hose fitting and was useless. i returned it. i got this thing from Jegs, $229.99, i just returned it today, but it sure did work! but i didn't want that boatanchor under the hood, didn't want all the plumbing, noise, complexity, etc. (instead i'll crash in the rain due to vanity).

    IMG_20180530_125528.jpg

    that's good idea. yeah, i think they don't like sitting.
     
  24. Cycon82
    Joined: Dec 13, 2018
    Posts: 1

    Cycon82

    I know this thread is ancient, but is helped out quite a bit.
    I'm an Automotive Vocational instructor and we are working on a 1938 chevrolet truck. We were able to 3d print a replacement rocker home. So far it is working well!
     

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  25. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,423

    oldsman41
    Member

    Take it apart make sure the leather isn’t ripped then massage some atf on the leather to make it soft again clean everything up and put it back together make sure you use new hose for vacuuming and you should be good to go.
     

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