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Wiper issues

Discussion in 'Dakota, 1998-2013 Durango and Aspen' started by Scrounge, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    1992 Dakota. The wipers have about a 3-inch variance when parking, and when operating, the left blade often goes past the edge of the windshield. The windshield was replaced 2 months ago, and the shop set the arm on the pivot so that it parked about 2 inches above the cowl. Over the weekend, I reset them so that they park on the cowl. The problem seems to be in the drive link assembly; where the bars connect nearest the right-side wiper seems loose. Is there a way to tighten it, or will the whole assembly need replacing?

    Also, the intermittent function occasionally doesn't work properly. The wipers will stay on, sometimes just swiping twice, but more often 4 times or more. I'm guessing this is the module (or control unit, or whatever else it might be named), under the dash just to the right of the steering column. But if it might be something else, I'd like to know, as this item doesn't seem to be stocked at the local parts stores.

    After I replaced the blades in May, each has tried to fall off. I was able to snap them back into place before losing them. These are Napa blades, bought at an outlet store. I'd previously been using blades bought at swap meets; they gave me no problems. Not sure if I didn't snap them on right, or the loose drive link is the problem, or the brand isn't right for my application.
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #2 by Bob Lincoln, Jul 11, 2017
  3. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    My Dakota also has a long sweep, so that when it is parked at the cowl, at the top of travel it just barely overshoots the left edge of the windshield. But mine doesn't have the slop that you mention. Maybe the bushings are disintegrating and are allowing this movement? Have you ever replaced them? I did all mine after the passenger side failed and disconnected in heavy rain on the highway. I use the Dorman Help! generic replacements.

    Not sure about the intermittent problem, maybe a ground issue.

    I find that Duralast blades pop off, no matter how careful you are with them. Has happened many times over the years. Have not had good performance with Bosch. Finally tried Trico, found them at Advance Auto Parts, and they snap on with positive action and never come loose.
     
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  4. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    I believe your wiper arm bushings are worn and have excessive play in the actuating arms. Look at this YouTube video of the wiper arm linkage for this 1991 Dakota. Your model will be the same. Fast forward to time interval 7:14.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRquUnwETkA


    Dorman makes the replacement bushings for the wiper arm linkage. These should be available at an auto parts retailer or online.

    Do you mean that when an intermittent delay interval is set such as 20 seconds, when engaged the wipers make 2 - 4 swipes and then stop for the delay interval and then make 2 - 4 swipes and then delay? Expected operation is to make one swipe, delay and then make another swipe, delay, etc?

    There is a PARK switch in the wiper motor gearbox. When the wiper motor is in the home position and parks the wiper arms at the windshield base, the crank arm causes the park switch to provide a ground signal to the intermittent control module under the dash. Make sure the body of the wiper motor has a good ground to the cowl or run a separate ground wire from the wiper motor to the battery negative terminal.

    You might need to open the gearbox and check the park mechanism. Old grease could have solidified and is causing a problem in not letting the park switch close properly or there is hardened grease on the contact points of the switch.
     
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  5. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    I had a garage in Michigan replace the whole assembly more than 2 years ago, when one of the bars broke. I've yet to replace any of the individual bushings.

    I'll try a parts store first. Thanks for the video.

    I used to just replace the rubber portion with blade refills, but those don't seem to exist any more.

    Not always. Sometimes they just swipe once. When they make multiple swipes, sometimes they return to just one swipe after the delay, but other times they'll swipe more than once. I've yet to detect a pattern.

    Yes.

    Thanks, I'll check into it.
     
  6. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    In the video, he finds play in one of the pivots. Mine are both tight. The play is where the bar from the motor connects to the longer link. I bought the Help bushings from O'Reilly's. The counter guy said there's a pretty consistent demand for that part (fits '74 to '98 Mopars). It doesn't look easy to replace while it's on the vehicle, so I'll try to remove the assembly to reach it. I'm guessing that this means removing the pivots; it looks like 3 small bolts hold each in place.

    Regarding the motor, the only FSM recommendations are to replace it, so no illustrations of its innards are provided. The unit is in 2 sections. I'm guessing that the gearbox is in the smaller round section that connects to the firewall, and the motor itself is in the larger cylindrical section. Can I remove the cover to the smaller section while it's bolted on the firewall, or will I have to take the unit off the truck first?
     
  7. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    This is a picture of the wiper motor gearbox drive on my 1991 Dakota. It appears the cover to the gear mechanism is riveted. So you would have to drill out the rivets to open the cover. So that means removing the entire motor drive gearbox from the firewall. You will have to remove the arm from the crank in the cowl area.

    If you open that gearbox cover be careful. There may be springs and contacts that fall out easily.

    Wiper Motor Gearbox 2.gif
     
  8. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Looks similar to mine. Not sure I want to drill out the rivets, but it doesn't look like there's any other way to get inside. Maybe this is why the FSM recommends replacing the entire unit. Is there a way to add grease without opening the unit?

    I see two wires coming from the bottom of the connector, one white, the other black. Is either of these a ground wire? If not, where would the ground be?
     
  9. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    I cannot imagine any way to add grease without opening the gearbox.

    Wiring diagrams do NOT show the white and black wire that enter the motor housing. It is a two speed motor with separate windings for each speed. So one wire is the high speed and one wire is the low speed. The ground is through the housing case and a brass strap from the case to a mounting bolt.

    Wiper Motor Gearbox 2.gif
     
  10. dana44

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    Don't feel bad, they are getting old. My passenger side quit working a little bit ago, have to pull it out and see if the pivot on the inside has come undone and can be gently welded to repair it or whether I am going to have to get a replacement from the junkyard. The arms coming off, yeah, have had that issue a time or two, also, but the same thing happens on the wife's Mini Cooper so it isn't Mopar only issue, it is manufacturer of the wipers themselves. These Dakotas are getting up there in age, things wear out. Oh, and the intermittent, my '88 Dakota used to do that sometimes, too, usually shutting them off and turning them on a couple times would fix that for me, other times, it would be a couple times the wipers were turned on before it would work again.
     
  11. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    On Friday, I removed the linkage to replace the plastic bushings, only to find out there were 4 of them, not just 2. Worse, the other 2 were open ones that had to be ordered at most parts stores. The Dorman 49440 bushings can be found just about everywhere for about $3, but the Dorman 49439 bushings are very rare, and cost about $15. You'd think they'd come in a complete set, but that would be too sensible. Anyway, I lucked into a set at an O'Reilly about 10 miles away. They were a lot harder to install than those that were capped. I probably screwed up the one, so I didn't replace the other, but the pivot rod went into it, and I eventually got it to work. So far, the driver's wiper stays on the windshield, and the intermittent setting only swipes once. I've yet to try it in the rain, as it's been pretty dry here. If I have the time, I'll try to hit one of the junkyards here that reports several Dakotas in its inventory on its web site.
     
  12. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    49447 is the assorted package of 10. Two of the ten are identical and fit Chrysler products. So you buy two packages to get four, for $8 total. To make the one that fits over the motor arm, you simply cut the top off.
     
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  13. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    I saw the assortment, but rejected it because the extra pieces would have been wasteful. The 49440 piece looks slightly smaller in diameter than the 49439, but given that the 49439 was such a pain to install, the 49449 with the end cut off might work. If I need to make that repair again, that's what I'll try.
     
  14. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    For 49449, read 49440.

    Made it home yesterday, though plenty of rain in Michigan & Ohio. The wipers never went off the windshield, and the intermittent setting worked as intended most of the time. My guess is that when I removed the nut that tightens the small metal piece to the motor, I also removed a bit of rust. I'll have to go back in and clean those pieces off a bit better, as that might be a key ground.

    Best answer goes to Bob, though Allan was also quite helpful.
     
  15. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Update to intermittent: when I turn it on, it swipes twice, then functions as it should. If this is as designed, it's working, but if not, I can live with it.

    Also, I bought some Popular Mechanics wiper blades at Ollie's closeout store for $2.99 each. I probably won't install them until next year, unless I need to replace the others earlier. Bob is probably right about the Trico blades being the best, but for that price, I'm willing to experiment.
     

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