HOW TO INSTALL WINDSHIELD WIPERSHow To Install Windshield Wipers
Dan Burrill, 08 July 2009
Making a clean sweep will help make your car an all-weather driver and satisfy some state’s registration requirements
story and photos by Dan Burrill
Now that kit cars and street rods have become so popular, many are being used as daily drivers or for long-distance travel, where in the past they were used mainly for shows, club events, parades, or Sunday drives. Also some states require operating windshield wipers as registration requirements. As such, more and more handcrafted automobiles are being fitted with functional windshield wipers.
There are several aftermarket companies that offer good kits for installing custom wipers and one of the best is the Lucas system offered by Finish Line, Inc.
The motor is a Lucas 14W two-speed wiper motor with a “park” position so that when the switch is shut off the wipers return to their normal resting place. The kit also features clear easy-to-read instructions and complete hardware.
This system features a separate motor (mounted in any number of locations), a pair of wiper transmissions, and a wormdrive cable. Such a system is versatile for a wide variety of project cars since the wiper transmissions can be placed virtually anywhere, and the worm-drive cable and tubes can be altered and routed to fit the application.
The photos here show most of the installation as it was being done. After the holes are drilled in the body, the transmissions (with angle spacer attached) are pushed through the holes from the underside and are held in place by the spacer, a bezel and a nut.
The traditional way to sleeve the worm-drive cable is to use flared 5/16-inch copper or aluminum tubing. We found this to be somewhat noisy, so we employed 5/16-inch truck airbrake line or hose, which made the wipers operate quietly and was easier to install. This is a high-temp Teflon lined hose that is easy to cut and fit.
If you choose to use flared copper, aluminum, or steel tubing to shield the worm-drive cable, care must be taken not to kink or sharply bend the tubing—this could cause friction or erratic operation of the wipers. Also when using the new tubing, lubricate the cable shaft prior to installing it into the tube.
A special thanks goes to Tony Briski for helping with this wiper installation.
Lay out all the parts from the kit.
Remove the cover from the drive motor and take out the drive arm and cog.
The cable hooks onto the gear arm and is fitted into the housing.
The correctly assembled unit looks like this. Next put the cover back on the gear drive.
Take a wiper blade and position in on the windshield. Sweep it back and forth to determine where the mounting hole needs to be drilled.
Use the spacer provided to determine the correct angle and drill a pilot hole. Next drill the full size hole.
Now trial fit the wiper transmission, using the spacer. Next determine the location for the second wiper transmission. Check the sweep of the second wiper so you have overlapping coverage on the windshield. Now you are ready to drill the second hole and mount the second transmission for a trial fit.
Now thread the worm-drive cable through the installed transmissions.
This is a good time to position the electric motor and drill the mounting holes. Temporarily mount the motor. Next measure the distance between the motor and the closest wiper transmission, also measure the distance between the two mounted wiper transmissions.
After carefully determining how much worm drive cable is needed, cut off the excess, leaving enough for a complete cycle of the wipers plus approximately 4 inches.
This article is from the December 2003 issue of Kit Car Builder.
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