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Comprehensive wiper modification, upgrade & maintenance

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Pic intensive. 


I just performed all of this work over the past couple of hours and took lots of pictures.  So I thought why not share my work for those interested in the topic.  I do acknowledge that others have touched on these subject areas but I hadn't seen a guy do these upgrades/mods/repairs all at the same time--and with pictures. 


If I'm wrong and this is viewed as redundant, then moderators can delete with my apologies.  


So here's what I did:

1.  Replaced wiper linkage bushings--common wear items as these trucks age.  Worn bushings make your wipers fly all over the place--they sometimes bang up against the windshield trim and they won't stay oriented and move around too much.  Also could cause general looseness and noise.

2.  Upgraded to 97+ wiper arms.  They have a different terminating angle but more importantly, they have the J-hook instead of the side-pin.  Many would agree that the J-hook is superior and holds the wiper blade with more stability, which may cut down on chatter and noise.  

3.  Added an additional ground wire for the wiper motor (Cruiser54's suggestion)

4.  Cleaned out old, hardened grease inside the wiper assembly body, and repacked with moly grease (Cruiser54's suggestion).


HERE GOES:  Remove your wiper arms.  If you're not familiar, grab a flat head screwdriver and pry that little tab over on the wiper arm body.  It's close to the post coming out of your truck.  Just stick it in between the wiper arm body and the tab itself  and twist,  moving it outbound as you lift your wiper from the windshield.  This will lock it in an upwards position.  Then pull your wiper arms up and off.  If you'd not had them off in a while, they may be a booger.  Gently pry and wiggle if necessary.  Now, remove your wiper arm grill and interior cover.




Next grab a T30 and remove the four (4) bolts that are nearest the two wiper posts that your arms were attached to. 



You can ziptie your passenger side washer tube to possibly save you from some future fishing of this thing later.



There's a 10mm bolt holding the wiper motor body too.  It's down in that sump area.  Get him.



Now this next step can be a pain.  pull the detached motor assembly to the driver's side and try all kinds of turning, rotating and light manipulating until you successfully remove it from the sump area.  Disconnect your wiring harness and bench it.  



This is what it looks like with the rubber protective cover pulled back, exposing the gear housing.



The motor gear housing has four bolts holding the cover on.  I think it's probably an 8mm bolt, but I had a 9/32 socket handy at the time, and it worked well for me.  There's a gasket under this cover plate that you're removing, so try not to bugger it up.




So, here's what mine looked like inside...lots of hardened grease.  I used some screwdrivers, Q-tips and small shots of WD40 to loosen and remove that crap. I followed up with a very quick shot of carb spray followed with immediate air circulation so that I didnt melt those plastic gears.  It was a risk, but I was quick at it and there appears to have been no damage done.  It really worked well.  Don't forget to clean those contacts on the inside of the lid. 



By the way, do you see that fourth contact that all alone by himself, pointing in the opposite direction?  That's your ground.  That contact is fed by the BLACK wire going to the wiring harness.  **NOTE THIS WIRE AS CRUISER54 suggests adding an additional ground wire to it**




Add an additional ground wire to your black wire.  I ran about 12-18".  The goal is to gain a second, more closely located ground source.  I just attached my end to the body (You'll see later where I chose).   The pic below doesn't show where I tied into the existing wiper black wire ground.  I recommend soldering and sealing her up real nice.  



Cleaned up.


I repacked my gear housing with a molyB grease.  Using a Q-tip, I worked it into the teeth of the gears as best I could.  Clean up your mating surfaces, reuse your gasket if you think it's still good.  I did, and I also used a tiny bit of RTV just to ensure it sealed up well.




Next job is to replace your worn bushings.  Buy this kit.  It'll have a bunch of stuff inside that you won't need.  You just need 3 specific ones.  




Locate the three (3) bushings on your linkages that are to be replaced.  Mine on my 89 were black.  One near the center and two on the driver's side of the assembly.



Grab you a flat-tip screwdriver and pop them off.  It's essentially a ball joint.  The old bushings can be easily removed by using a socket to cover the top and a set of channel locks to squeeze them off your linkages.  Installing the new ones are reverse process.  




Notice that your channel locks are pressing the bushing inside the large socket you've placed there.  Works like a charm.



Again, installation is reverse of removal.  Out with the old and in with the new.



I chose to lube up the ball joint with some molyB grease, but perhaps you wouldn't have to.  Use your channel locks to reinstall you linkages back together.



Check the tightness of your three motor bolts!!!   Why are mine so shiny and new looking?  Last year, I had to replace mine because they became loose and some even popped out. I think I even had to retap one or all of them.  That sucked.   I'd recommend you remove, lock-tite and reinstall your bolts so they won't be a problem later.



Once you're done with new bushing and reinstalling your linkages back, I'd strongly recommend popping your hood and removing the two brackets within that sump that will absolutely drive you crazy if you don't.  There's two and both have two integral 11mm bolts with nuts accessible under the hood on the firewall.  The lower bracket is where that 10mm bolt you removed earlier sits.  It is attached through the firewall and also mounts your MAP sensor housing.  The second bracket is to the right of it.  This one is simply a mounting bracket for you wiper grill.  Get them suckers out of the way.  You'll need to in order to get your wiper motor.linkage assembly back in the sump with minimal cursing.  




Drop your motor/linkage assembly back into the sump.  Reconnect your harness.  I used di-electric grease just along the connector interior to help prevent moisure issues. 



Get your four T30 bolts tightened, with one having your new ground wire.  I sanded to shiny metal here, then added OxGuard before final tightening.  



Reinstall your two sump brackets and reinstall the firewall bolts under your hood.  Button down the rest, like your inner and outer wiper grill.  


I bought 1997+ wiper arms off of Ebay.  I didn't pay much, maybe $20-25 for the pair.  You can get them new on Amazon, eBay or Rock Auto.  So here's the comparison.  New style on the right.


The curviture is very different and downward pressure is a bit more aggressive too.  The big difference is the J-hook end.  



I cleaned my new eBay 97+ arms and shot them with black bedliner spray.  Popped new wipers on and then installed them on the truck and tried them out.   Zero noise and I'm back in business like a gangsta.  


They do look a little different on the truck.  Not necessarily good, bad or better, just different in my eyes.  I'm happy.   



All this work should pay off in the long run by not causing an unexpected loss of wipers at a most inconvenient time.  I expect longer life and better performance with this work behind me now.   




New bushings.jpg

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awesome work!  I'll add it to the master list.  :L: 

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Nice write up. I can't say i have ever thought of doing something like this. can't say i have had any issues with my wipers other then junk blades. I can see wesr and tear being a good reason for the maintenance or replacement of bushings. My wipers work so when they don't ill reference this. Lol 

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7 hours ago, MiNi Beast said:

Nice write up. I can't say i have ever thought of doing something like this. can't say i have had any issues with my wipers other then junk blades. I can see wesr and tear being a good reason for the maintenance or replacement of bushings. My wipers work so when they don't ill reference this. Lol 


Mine were horrible before doing these mods.  The blades would never consistently line up on the windshield and no matter how i adjusted them, they'd usually always slide off onto the windshield trim, making noise.  The bushings were the culprit to this issue.  


I especially like the upgraded 97+ wiper arms with the J-hooks over the stock pin-type arms.  The design just makes so much more sense.  


Also, upgrading the grounds--across the entire truck, is always a need on our MJs. 

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