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E30 wiper problem. HELP!

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by JackE30, Aug 10, 2012.

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    The windshield wipers on my E30 are not working right. one of them works fine but the other wiper tries to move with it but just sits there. sometimes when its raining it will move (im guessing the water lubricates the windshield enough for it to move). Maybe a loose linkage? I dont know, ive never done anything with wipers before, i have heard it is a aggravating and time consuming job.
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    You need to pull off the driver's side plastic grill at the base of the windshield, and possibly the passenger side. One side of the grill has spring clips, the other has plastic tabs (sorry, can't remember which end) - removing the grill(s) involves pushing the spring clip end over and prying up that end of the grill (do something to make sure you don't scratch the paint). Getting the driver's side off, or both, will allow you to get a look at the wiping mechanism. You may need an inspection mirror to get a look at parts you can't see. Also, you may need to pull the upper-center cover to take a look and gain access.


    The motor has an arm with a metal ball on the end of the arm, and the wiper mechanism linkage has a plastic socket that snaps onto the ball on the motor arm. Over time, the plastic socket wears out, and won't stay attached to the motor. That's _one_ possibility for what you have going on. If both wiper arms aren't working, that would likely be a motor problem. Since you're saying one works and one doesn't, that sounds like a wiper actuating mechanism that's a problem (could be one of the junction joints of the linkage)

    If you have to do anything that involves removing parts, it's worth replacing the bushings that wear while you're in there (parts 6 & 18 below).


    If you have to pull the motor out, make sure the wipers are in the off position before removing anything. If you have to reinstall the motor, although I'm not sure if it makes a difference, plug it in, run it, and turn it off so you know the motor is at an off point. More importantly, NOTE the position of the linkage when it's off BEFORE you start to remove it. Getting a new linkage back in as I recall was a seemingly impossible hassle - took a lot of trying and shuffling the position of the linkage, as I recall, to get it back in. It seems like the uprights where the wiper arms connect won't go back into place and through the firewall cutouts without something having to be bent - takes patience, eventually you should be able to figure out how to wrangle it back into place without bending or damaging anything. Pay attention to _how_ it comes out to make it easier to get back in. Take some pictures also the help (good ones, not low-resolution cell-phone pics). If the linkage gets shuffled, you won't know the off-position without the reference from before removing the original linkage. Perhaps it may not matter, but getting the motor mounted back and connected is such a hassle, you will _not_ want to have to undo the wiper armature securing bolt(s) (part # 7 & 8 above) to reposition anything. I recall it being tricky getting the wiper mount bolts secured back to the motor - contorted arm position with fingers barely able to get the threads going, and dropping anything looking like a real fall-into-inaccessible-places risk.

    In a pinch one time at a driver's school when the linkage wouldn't stay snapped to the motor, I rigged up the wipers to stay connected to the motor via the linkage with a number of plastic wire ties - which kept them working until I could get home and get the linkage swapped out.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Yeah, what he said!

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