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Vacuum Wiper Motor

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FatFndr, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. FatFndr
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 196


    I'm putting my 1939 Ford coupe back together and the subject of windshield wiper motor has been bugging me. I can get the original vacuum unit rebuilt or go electric.

    Who rebuilds vacuum units to work almost (or as reliable as) an electric unit?


    Who makes an electric unit that fits the stock location of the vacuum unit - and doesn't "show" with a bulge?
  2. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,718


    New Port Engineering
  3. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    To answer one part of your question -- DO NOT go with a vacuum wiper motor.
    First rainstorm going up a hill you will regret it.

  4. FatFndr
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 196


    Mac's leaves a HUGE bulge in the front of the headliner........C&G charges $160 for a rebuilt unit and you need a core to get that price. Ficken charges $99 to rebuild your unit, 3 week turnaround, but I know nothing about them. Newport (electric) is $209 (I'm leaning in that direction) but leaves a slight bulge in the headliner - it will however work with my wiper transmission.Mighty Wiper ($135 won't work with my wiper transmission so I'll need 2 each ($270). I read all the info here (Tech Archives) that I could find. I guess the question is what is the most economical way to have a safe system, realizing that while the car will be used quite a bit going to rod runs, etc., chances of using the wiper system are slight.

    And yes, I do use the search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as the Tech Archives here (1st choice) when looking for answers.

  5. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,506


    Place in New York rebuilds them I did one on a 36 and it worked like a champ. Fricken I think is the name and you can find them in Hemmings. They have lots of trico stuff.
  6. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,360

    from Wa.St.

    The vacuum units are easy to rebuild yourself and if you have a more modern motor than a straight 6 or Flathead it will work fine in the rain going up hill. I have seen vacuum canisters hidden to give more vacuum volume if that makes sence. Saves a ton of money for something else.............
  7. 4dFord/SC
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 837


  8. Why regret it? When they come to a dead stop, you can inspect the condition of the wiper blade from the safety of your drivers seat. :D
  9. 39-2dr
    Joined: Jun 4, 2007
    Posts: 284

    from MISSOURI

    I have a 1939 standard sedan. I chose the Newport Engineering kit for the sedan. The Bosch motor sticks out some. The electric motor kicks. I have experienced driving rain going to Texas several times. The stock towers and linkage work well. There is a radio box with the radio, wiper control and my B & M transmission temperature guage mounted on the ceiling in front of the wiper motor. I recently had a removable fiberglass bulkhead cover made to cover the radio box and wiper motor area. The cover is anchored at the visors and rearview mirror. The car will be going in to finish the interior soon.
  10. 58custom
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 398


    Anybody ever used an electric vacuum pump, like one from a diesel car? I think I salvaged a few from some turbo Volvo model or something for some damn project worth doing but what it was I can't recall right now. Is something like that capable of powering vacuum wipers?
  11. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381


    i thought about using an alternator off of a diesil as they have a vaccum pump on the back, or even just a little electric pump in line somewhere would do the trick nicely,or you could just run a hose through to the cabin for the passenger to suck on, its only up hills right.:D
  12. kls50
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 32


    My 50 ford has the original vacuum motor and it does not work. I have not checked out why yet. If I have to replace the motor I think I'm going with electric. If I get the vacuum motor to work I am going to use Rain-X on the windshield with them first to see how I like it. That stuff works!:
  13. rtp
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 167


    I had a 55 Pontiac v8 with stock fuel pump that had a vacuum pump built in that kept the wipers working at wide open throttle. Don't know if it was the only cars to have that.
  14. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    First take your motor out and take it apart and clean it.. The paddle that makes vacuum has a leather like pad sandwiched in it called blackhide. Coat the paddle with vasoline and put it back together. You should be able to hear it work by moving the arm. It will never be as good as an electric one but will work. PS its free, just a bit of labor.
  15. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381


    that rainex is good for a little while.
  16. cryobug
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 362


    Go with the electric. First bad rain storm you get caught in you will wish you had went with electric instead of the vacuum motor. I still use Rainx on everything
  17. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381


    them fancy lectrical wipers aye.
  18. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,211

    Ned Ludd

    Try a Lucas motor out of a pre-c.1980 British car. Despite being Lucas they're quite reliable. They're simple, easy to rebuild, easy to set up and adjust. Being cable drive they can be mounted wherever is convenient with no bulges etc. They can be had as single-speed or two-speed, but making them intermittent means adding a simple little home-built circuit board which, if assembled with a potentiometer, makes the intermittent period adjustable. And because the basic design dates from the '40s or earlier, it's completely period if it's visible.

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014

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