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Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: BritCars ()
Date: June 28, 2014 05:26PM

Driving my '66 Monza on the mainland in a light rain I noticed that turning the knob did not automatically activate the wipers. I seemed to have to fiddle with turning the knob slightly, and then it would activate the wipers on slow or fast speed. Then suddenly they would only work on fast speed, and then not at all. Fortunately the rain had become a drizzle and then stopped. Unfortunately, so did the wipers.

When I brought the car back to the island the wipers won't activate at all at either speed. However, pushing in the washer button will activate the washer pump and the wipers.

Turning the switch knob feels imprecise, as if something gave way inside the switch. Just in case I ordered a NOS switch and removal tool from Clarks.

Any advice as to what's happening? Any advice on successfully removing the old switch and replacing it, if necessary?

Thanks,

Jeff

Jeff Aronson
Vinalhaven, Maine 04863
'66 Corvair Monza Coupe 110 hp 4-speed
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" SW
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" HT
'80 Triumph TR-7 Spider
'80 Triumph Spitfire
[www.landroverwriter.com]
[www.dirgocorvairs.com]
[roversmagazine.com]

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: June 28, 2014 05:28PM

Set screw holds knob on.... bezel nut comes off and it falls back..

They can be dismantled and cleaned...but sounds like yours needs repair..





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: steve c goodman ()
Date: June 28, 2014 08:42PM

Jeff: Many times the bakelite back of the switch where the contacts are becomes loose from the metal switch. You will see two or three crimp marks in the metal holding the bakelite in place. Generally a simply recrimping of those places will make the switch work again. Be sure to tighten the switch in the dashboard and hopefully there will be a large star washer between the switch and the metal dash. (NOT the instrument panel but the structural dash board). The switch is a ground so it is imperative that the contact be good.

best wishes, Steve
Rear Engine Spec. Inc. Golden, Colo.

1962 spyder 3.0L turbo 1965 Crown V8
1967 monza 110/4 1968 monza 110/4
1971 amante gt 110/4
CORSA/RMC/PPCC

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: BritCars ()
Date: June 29, 2014 04:49AM

Thanks, Matt and Steve.

Matt, is the set screw on the dash side or behind the dashboard?

Steve, I had noticed your comment on another wiper thread and will certainly check that connection.

Jeff

Jeff Aronson
Vinalhaven, Maine 04863
'66 Corvair Monza Coupe 110 hp 4-speed
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" SW
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" HT
'80 Triumph TR-7 Spider
'80 Triumph Spitfire
[www.landroverwriter.com]
[www.dirgocorvairs.com]
[roversmagazine.com]

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: June 29, 2014 07:36AM

The set screw (small) is on the wiper switch knob (shoulder) - usually the knob is positioned so that the screw is facing down, but it could be in any direction.

Loosen it and slide / pull the knob off; remove the bezel; remove the lock nut holding the switch to the dash...

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: June 29, 2014 09:01AM

O.K. if you "push" on the knob and the wipers work it could just be a bad ground.

Before you take the switch out and apart see if you can tighten the bezel that holds it in - not too much!

It would take a paragraph to explain, but the wiper switch grounds either the low or high speed "hot" wires from the wiper motor to the back of the dash board via the switch. A bezel pulling the switch frame against a star washer cuts into the metal dash board to provide a ground to the wiper switch frame. The switch can get loose, or more likely the bare metal dash has gotten corroded (rusty). Very common problem in 40+ year old Corvairs.

BTW - some attach a ground wire to the wiper switch frame and connect the wire to a good ground point.

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: BritCars ()
Date: June 30, 2014 04:02AM

66vairman, what I meant was that when I push on the washer button that's part of the knob, the wipers work as the washer pump operates. Turning the knob does not get any wiper operation at all; I've wiggled it in every direction to no avail.

Jeff

Jeff Aronson
Vinalhaven, Maine 04863
'66 Corvair Monza Coupe 110 hp 4-speed
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" SW
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" HT
'80 Triumph TR-7 Spider
'80 Triumph Spitfire
[www.landroverwriter.com]
[www.dirgocorvairs.com]
[roversmagazine.com]

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: 4carbcorvair ()
Date: June 30, 2014 04:44AM

The inside of the switch is very simple. Rotary contacts. They could be dirty or plain ole worn out/broken. Fairly simple to take apart and check. Remove switch. Bend over the three spots that hold it together, pull apart. On reassembly, make sure the pinch spots are tight.

--------------------------------
Ronnie
Southern Maine.
[www.dirigocorvairs.com]
66 Corsa Convertible, 140, 4sp.
65 Monza Convertible, 110, PG.




It doesn't leak, it's marking it's territory.

A mirror is a reflection of the miles travelled.

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: June 30, 2014 08:42AM

So the wipers ONLY work while you push the washer button?

As far as I know, and I could be wrong, the button just mechanically turns the knob, same as if you do it by hand. The button does electrically engages the pump solenoid, but the the knob must rotate via the button to make the wiper motor run.

The "ground" issue is typically described as "when I push the button or knob (with it turned on) the wipers will work". Pushing on the button or knob causes the switch to make contact with the dash metal. The wiper motor has an internal "park" switch so even if the wiper switch is intermittent once the wiper motor starts it will continue to run until the washer cycle ends and the wiper arms reach the "park" position.

So try turning the knob on and then push against it without pushing the center button. If it still doesn't work then it's time to take the switch out and take it apart. If you do that you should inspect the back of the dashboard to make sure the ground contact is good - and DON'T loose the serrated washer on the switch while removing it.

Good luck.

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: steve c goodman ()
Date: June 30, 2014 09:48AM

Jeff just turn the wiper switch to slow position and reach under the dash and touch the back of the switch. If the wipers work do what I said in my first post and tighten the crimp.

best wishes, Steve
Rear Engine Spec. Inc. Golden, Colo.

1962 spyder 3.0L turbo 1965 Crown V8
1967 monza 110/4 1968 monza 110/4
1971 amante gt 110/4
CORSA/RMC/PPCC

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: BritCars ()
Date: June 30, 2014 04:40PM

Ronnie, Steve and 66VairMan, you were all correct. The center knob operated the wiper so I reached behind the dash and wiggled the connection. The wipers worked on both speeds.

Thanks!

Jeff

Jeff Aronson
Vinalhaven, Maine 04863
'66 Corvair Monza Coupe 110 hp 4-speed
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" SW
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" HT
'80 Triumph TR-7 Spider
'80 Triumph Spitfire
[www.landroverwriter.com]
[www.dirgocorvairs.com]
[roversmagazine.com]

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: BritCars ()
Date: July 01, 2014 04:54AM

The NOS switch and extraction tool arrived from Clarks so I might just change the switch out anyway. I thought this photo might help others understand the recommendations made here.

Jeff

Jeff Aronson
Vinalhaven, Maine 04863
'66 Corvair Monza Coupe 110 hp 4-speed
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" SW
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" HT
'80 Triumph TR-7 Spider
'80 Triumph Spitfire
[www.landroverwriter.com]
[www.dirgocorvairs.com]
[roversmagazine.com]

Attachments:
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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: 4carbcorvair ()
Date: July 01, 2014 05:48AM

Jeff, I would be happy to take it apart and clean it for you so you will have a spare.

--------------------------------
Ronnie
Southern Maine.
[www.dirigocorvairs.com]
66 Corsa Convertible, 140, 4sp.
65 Monza Convertible, 110, PG.




It doesn't leak, it's marking it's territory.

A mirror is a reflection of the miles travelled.

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: BritCars ()
Date: July 02, 2014 04:14AM

Ronnie, that's great. I won't be able to tackle the replacement until this weekend but I'll get the part to you. I'll be down in southern Maine a few times during July and early August.

Jeff

Jeff Aronson
Vinalhaven, Maine 04863
'66 Corvair Monza Coupe 110 hp 4-speed
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" SW
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" HT
'80 Triumph TR-7 Spider
'80 Triumph Spitfire
[www.landroverwriter.com]
[www.dirgocorvairs.com]
[roversmagazine.com]

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: July 02, 2014 08:51AM

Glad you found the problem.

Sometimes a bad ground connection either at the switch, or inside the switch, will cause the wipers to "Run slow".

Folks sometimes needlessly replace the wiper motor and find no improvement.

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: BritCars ()
Date: July 05, 2014 05:48AM

I fiddled with the connections a couple of times and found the wiper operation to be too funky for regular use. So I used all your recommendations on removing the old switch and installing the new one.

The set screw for the knob was where it was supposed to be and it came out easily. The two-pronged tool from Clarks [$11.00] used a 3/4" wrench to loosen the inner bezel. Behind all that was a 1/2" lock nut that held the unit into the dash itself. Once the unit was removed, I found that the connectors were actually firmly attached to each spade. So the problem I was confronting must have been inside the switch itself; the bakelite portion was firmly attached.

Installing the NOS switch from Clarks took about 10 minutes and the wipers worked without incident.

One interesting realization of this experience is that the Corvair switches were really well made. The construction of the NOS switch is impressive in its strength and quality of material. It "clicks" into position with authority and every metal piece fits beautifully.

This is of great interest in comparison of the plastic rocker switch in my '80 Triumph Spitfire. When my recently-purchased Spitfire's headlight switch failed, I ordered a replacement one. It's all plastic except for the connectors and feels so flimsy in comparison.

Jeff

Jeff Aronson
Vinalhaven, Maine 04863
'66 Corvair Monza Coupe 110 hp 4-speed
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" SW
'66 Land Rover Series II-A 88" HT
'80 Triumph TR-7 Spider
'80 Triumph Spitfire
[www.landroverwriter.com]
[www.dirgocorvairs.com]
[roversmagazine.com]

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: July 05, 2014 09:54AM

After 40+ years the switches get dry inside then wear or jamb and break.

I've pulled apart headlamp switches that were really crusty then cleaned and lube them using a small amount of di-electric grease. It's amazing how smooth and positive the switch is after I assemble it.

Some preventive maintenance can keep an original switch going a long time. However it's not fun removing wiper and headlamp switches.

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: timor19 ()
Date: June 16, 2017 09:39AM

Hi,

I would like to remove my wiper swich to clean or replace it. Actually my wiper don't work when I turn switch on. But if I push the button for windshield washer, they will work until I removed my finger from the button. I suspect the switch to be dirty, bad ground or broken.

Do I need to removed the dashboard to take that switch apart, or is there a way to remove the button and the switch without dismantle the car lol.

My car is a monza 1962.

Thanks a lot

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Re: Windshield Wiper Sudden Failure
Posted by: Ed Dowds ()
Date: June 16, 2017 04:00PM

I believe there is a set screw holding the knob on.
After the knob is off you unscrew the bezel behind it and the switch drops out behind the dash.
The switch grounds thru the bezel so clean the rust off the dash where the bezel goes.

Ed
Hillsborough, NJ
66 500 rear 4.3 V6 Corvair
69 350/350 TH Camaro was RS
30 Model A Ford Streetrod 350/400 TH
88 Celebrity Wagon (Daily Driver)

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