80's Wiper technology sux

LateOnTheBrakes

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I wish I could figure out what is going on with my wipers. I only have one speed and it is pretty slow. I've tried the stalk with the delay and without it. Only one speed. Any thoughts on where to start? Is there a motor resistor like the blower?
 

SirRobyn0

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I wish I could figure out what is going on with my wipers. I only have one speed and it is pretty slow. I've tried the stalk with the delay and without it. Only one speed. Any thoughts on where to start? Is there a motor resistor like the blower?
No no motor resistor except what's inside the motor. Go to the motor. Disconnect the wiring. With the switch on the dash off and the ignition on, check each terminal on the wiring harness end with a test light for power. Note any wires that have power. Now switch wipers to low, see which wires have power, then check it on high. I cannot remember if squares have one wire that is always powered or not, so there maybe one always powered. Setting that wire aside. You should see power to one of the wires on low, and on a different wire on high. If you don't get that it's in the switch, wiring or bulk head connector. If you do get that then it is either the motor or the ground. Wiper motors have rubber mounts and a little metal tab for the ground at one of the bolts. Those ground tabs are notorious for not providing a good enough ground even if it looks ok. Don't guess or over look this, because lots of folks think the ground is ok and go after something else. Take a length of wire attach it to the negative battery terminal and to the metal housing of the wiper motor. See if that makes it work properly. If you determine it isn't the motor or the ground then we can work with the rest of the system.
 

LateOnTheBrakes

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Thanks for the detailed reply. It's not the bulkhead connector, I just did a painless wiring harness last year. I don't see where it would ground through a tab. I also don't understand why there are two connectors that go into the wiper motor for a total of five wires.
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Snoots

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IIRC, wiper motors need a ground wire. They (some of them) do not ground to the chassis because they have rubber mounts at the firewall.
 

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delay and low use the same power wire. high uses a different power wire. there is an onboard circuit breaker in the motor that can get week and cause issues. the top plug is for the park switch, if I recall correctly. it can also get out of adjustment. you can get a rebuild motor for about $100 I believe. if you are getting power everywhere. there is a delay module at the base of the steering column. if you unplug either end of the harness you can bypass the module and see if you get low and high. delay obviously won't work with it bypassed.
 

LateOnTheBrakes

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delay and low use the same power wire. high uses a different power wire. there is an onboard circuit breaker in the motor that can get week and cause issues. the top plug is for the park switch, if I recall correctly. it can also get out of adjustment. you can get a rebuild motor for about $100 I believe. if you are getting power everywhere. there is a delay module at the base of the steering column. if you unplug either end of the harness you can bypass the module and see if you get low and high. delay obviously won't work with it bypassed.
Park switch? Like to tell the wipers they are at the bottom? Only one speed works. I don't feel a good click for the high speed function. The mist function also doesn't work. I have to turn the switch off at the right time for the wipers to stop at the bottom of the windshield.

From what I can tell the army truck didn't have the delay function and the current wiper motor is painted green.
 

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gmbellew

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all that stalk does is work the switch that is in the steering column. replacing it requires taking off the steering wheel and getting into the steering column. if your wipers are not parking and only one speed works, I would lean toward needing a new motor unless you see a wiring issue. I'd take off the access panel at the base of the steering column and see if you get power like you should. if all is good there, you probably need a new motor. if all is not good there, you probably need a new switch.
 

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Thanks for the detailed reply. It's not the bulkhead connector, I just did a painless wiring harness last year. I don't see where it would ground through a tab. I also don't understand why there are two connectors that go into the wiper motor for a total of five wires.
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Typically there is a ground tab on one of the three ears. If that is missing or gone you need to make some sort of ground wire. It can run from any of the metal screws to a good ground on the bulk head.

The connector on the left in your picture turns to washer pump on, the one on the right is for the motor it's self.
 

gmbellew

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from the 1990 wiring manual...may be a little different depending on your year, potentially.
 

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AuroraGirl

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Can someone explain to me the gripe about the factory wipers? Mine have all worked great. Period. Maybe they have all had healthy motors and clean grounds, I dunno. But never any complaints here.
I think the infinite more variability of having more speed options makes people less love-hate on the performance because it can be tuned well. Then newer vehicles with much larger windshield need faster sweeps to cover the large area so its more an effect of going from new back to old rather than using the old and being displeased.

The reliability of the electronics and hard parts, could go a bit furhter to like the 90s when that pretty much got better but before it got worse again

Get some vacuum wipers and learn to pulse the throttle LOL
 

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Can someone explain to me the gripe about the factory wipers? Mine have all worked great. Period. Maybe they have all had healthy motors and clean grounds, I dunno. But never any complaints here.

I think the infinite more variability of having more speed options makes people less love-hate on the performance because it can be tuned well. Then newer vehicles with much larger windshield need faster sweeps to cover the large area so its more an effect of going from new back to old rather than using the old and being displeased.

The reliability of the electronics and hard parts, could go a bit furhter to like the 90s when that pretty much got better but before it got worse again

Get some vacuum wipers and learn to pulse the throttle LOL
I think like so many things it's misunderstanding and add in possibly poor quality aftermarket rebuilt units. Higher trim trucks were available with nearly infinite variable delay which is just as good as new rigs with the exception of no rain sensing automatic wipers.

So one thing I hear guys complain about all the time is slow wipers. Yea, my Cadillac has those, it's called a worn out motor, but I've seen rebuilt ones out of the box run slow to. It's kind of interesting to note these motors will sometimes run slow for a long time before completely failing. That little ground tab sometimes if missing, broken or not making a good connection will cause all sorts of odd issues, kind of like trailer lights with a bad ground will cause all sorts of strange things to happen, which a person is likely not to understand the why it's happening unless they have seen it enough times before, which is understandable.

So if you have a wiper problem first thing is to check and make sure the ground tab is good, even if it looks ok clean it up and make sure it's doing what it should. Buy a quality motor, insist on a new motor, no motors are still made. All my local warehouses have been out of stock on the A/C Delco units for a while now, I'm thinking they maybe out of production. WIA, which is South Korean, ya I know, I know they aren't American made, but they make new production wiper motors for these trucks, that are deadringers for the original A/C Delco units. Even more importantly all the ones I've installed have worked correctly out of the box and continue to do so. Autozone stocks them, other parts store maybe able to order them.

The only legitimate complaint I can see is some folks don't like the way the original squirters sort of chucked the fluid onto the windshield out of the tube rather than actually being squired onto the windshield. Some folks think there should be more blade on the windshield, and a good healthy motor will push an 18" beam blade no problem. But the motor itself, provided a quality part is purchased, those are solid and work great. I'd certainly place the GM units above both Ford and Chrysler at the time.
 

LateOnTheBrakes

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I will try to check the grounds and power on the three-wire connector tomorrow assuming I can stop being a **** about the cold weather. I don't think my wiring harness has the top connector for a pump. I have two or three other wires for a standalone bottle with a pump in it. I am pretty sure the top one is the park switch but will have to consult my painless wiring paperwork.
 

SirRobyn0

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I will try to check the grounds and power on the three-wire connector tomorrow assuming I can stop being a **** about the cold weather. I don't think my wiring harness has the top connector for a pump. I have two or three other wires for a standalone bottle with a pump in it. I am pretty sure the top one is the park switch but will have to consult my painless wiring paperwork.
Let us know what you find, and yea I understand about the cold. I live where it is not really all that cold, but start to complain when it gets near freezing.....
 

AuroraGirl

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Let us know what you find, and yea I understand about the cold. I live where it is not really all that cold, but start to complain when it gets near freezing.....
I was outside thursday night using my scan tool on 3 cars for family and it was in the teens and I was bitching when I got inside that I cant handle the cold like I used to

Then they told me it was in the teens and i was like "Oh." I was thinking it was like 40 so I must have been handling it a LITTLE better than I remember lol
 

LateOnTheBrakes

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