Question: [BO] "1/2"
holes drilled but the shafts to go through those holes are .625 or
5/8". Am I missing something or drill them 5/8"?
Where do the conical spring
washers/shims go? What about the flat one?
Most important question; the long
cable that drives the wipers is way too long. Can it simply be cut
with a hacksaw or will it "unravel"?"
Answers and Comments:
[RT] "It's best to start with a smaller
hole since what you need to end up with is an oval. And remember the
wiper shafts come up thru the body and point towards the nose of the
car. I used a rat tail file to get a good fit.
It's been awhile on the washers, but that was answered a short time
ago on another post. Goes in with the drive gear I believe.
The drive cable can be cut, I would cut it a
bit long and flair a short length of tube for the out side of the
driver side wiper box. You need to make sure the cable stays in the
wiper box as it rides back and forth.
I also had to thin down the phanolic spacers
so I could get the tightening nut on the wiper bezels."
[RB] "I left mine extending out the end
tube about 6 inches. When you assemble it all I greased the cable
also. Make sure you cut the aluminum tubing to fit tight. If you
really do use those wipers much the movement of the cable will tend
to loosen the aluminum tubes if you cut them short. Once the tubes
come unhooked the wipers do very strange things right when you need
If I remember right the spring and washers go
inside the gear mechanism where you hook the cable into."
Question: [HK] "I worked on my
wipers over the weekend and have nearly completed the installation,
but I'm not sure which way to make the wipers run (right to left or
left to right. It appears that the wipers might function better on
the drivers side if they go from left to right (viewed from inside
the car). I looked in old Kit Car and Kit Car Illustrated magazines
and saw cars with wipers installed both ways. What seems to work
best for FFR's with FFR supplied parts?
One last question. Is there a way to adjust
the sweep to make it larger or smaller?"
[RB] "I had my wipers park to the left
and sweep water to the right. The idea is to sweep the water away
from me. I see lots of others with the wipers parking on the right
and sweep to the left but I think that is the British right hand
WIPER SETUP FAQ
By John Phillips FFR #3422 and #1152
A lot of people have
contacted me for information about my marine-spec windshield wiper
setup. I thought it’d be better to post all the information here
for future reference. At one time I installed Lucas wipers in my
Roadster but hated the whole system, so tore it out and replaced it on
the driver’s side with this marine motor, arm, and blade sourced
by my buddy Richard Bailey, a boat parts master. All of the parts
are available at West Marine, and I have seen them at other boat
supply shops in this area. This is what you need:
MOTOR: MRV 110 degree sweep, 2 1/2 inch shaft, 12 volt part number
34010, by AFI Inc. About $150 or so, I think. The phone number for
AFI is 707-226-9600 and the fax number is 707-226-9670. They have
other motors, but this one has the biggest sweep, so get it.
2002 UPDATE: I bought a new motor identical to this one from a local
marine shop for about $130. Didn’t write down the name or part #,
sorry. Just get one with 110 degree sweep, 2-speed, self-parking.
Here’s a pic of it: Motor
WIPER ARM: Stainless Steel adjustable-angle 12” by AFI. About $20,
WIPER BLADE: I used a 10” MG blade bayonet mount which fits
perfectly onto the AFI wiper arm. Available from Victoria British,
part # 9-9705 for $8.95. AFI also sells an 11” blade I think would
work fine. In fact, since my MG blade is worn out, I’ll try one
this weekend and report how it works.
2002 UPDATE: I got a gross-looking plastic arm to use until I can
get a pretty S.S. one for my new car…and have used it 4,000+ miles
now! Cost $8. Be sure it fits your wiper arm bayonet end.
TRIM: You need an angled chrome bezel and nut for the top of the
cowl, which holds the motor shaft tight at the proper angle. These
are available from a junk yard from almost any old British car, like
an MG or Triumph. Or, buy new trim pieces from Victoria British (get
“bezel kit” [nut, angled bezel, and gasket] part # 9-613 for
$9.95) You must also put some kind of angled spacer on the motor
shaft UNDER the cowl to position the motor and to meet up with the
underside of the cowl at the same angle as the outer bezel will be.
I don’t know where to find these, except at a junk yard, or just
make one to fit your installation. Use a thick hard rubber tube, 1
1/2” long with an angle cut on the end meeting the cowl leaving
the tube 1” long on the opposite side of the cut. OR…buy an
extra angled trim ring. Make sense?!
2002 UPDATE: Buy two trim bezels from Victoria British or Moss
Motors (Moss part # 145-260 $4.95 ea.) and a rubber gasket (Moss
part # 282-820 $1.25 ea.). Use one outside the cowl and the other
upside down under the cowl, works perfect.
SWITCH: I have no electrical knowledge, lots of switches would
probably work great. Mine came from the marine store, has three
positions (park/off-slow-fast), is round and has a spring-loaded
center to trigger a windshield washer if I ever install one. Ask one
of the electrical gurus about a toggle setup if interested.
UPDATE: On FFR #3422, I used an FFR-type toggle switch I got from
Radio Shack “ON-OFF-ON”, wired one way for high speed, the other
way for low speed. WIRING goes
pretty easy, just use the wiring diagram that comes with the motor,
mock everything up on the workbench or near your car, with wires
running from the battery to the motor and switch, etc. to check
everything out. When it works right, you’re ready to install the
INSTALLATION: For the driver’s side wiper, drill a hole in the
cowl for the motor shaft to stick through. The center of mine is
3” aft of the hood opening, and 11” left of the center line of
my car. Don’t get all anal about this, because the length of the
wiper arm is adjustable! You’ll be able to reach the windshield
easily, and set the angle you like for parking the wiper blade. I
park the blade toward the center of the car; if you want to park it
toward the outside, you may need to figure out a different place to
drill. Then, file the hole so it allows the motor shaft to stick
through at the proper angle to match the trim bezel and the rubber
tube you made for under the cowl.
Trial-fit everything and reassure yourself the wiper arm and blade
fit properly. Next, run your wires for the motor and dash switch per
the instructions that are furnished with the motor, it is totally
easy even for the electrically impaired like me! I used a nylon
pull-apart joint for the wires, so I can just unplug the electrical
connections at the motor if necessary. Then do the final install of
the motor, connect the wires, and anchor the end of the motor to the
top of the footbox. I bolted an aluminum tab to the flange at the
end of the motor, then screwed this tab to the footbox, but I have
an old-style footbox. John Hannaford just ran a long small-diameter
bolt or screw through the motor flange and into the top of his
new-style footbox and it works fine. The point is just to brace the
motor and keep it from rotating at the place where the shaft goes
through the cowl. Install the GREAT wiper arm (compared to the
crappy British arms I tried to use) but don’t tighten the arm’s
set screw yet. Put on your wiper arm, spray some water or windex on
the windshield, then turn the motor on to see how/where the arm
rotates. Take it off the shaft and position it where you want to for
the movement you like, then tighten it down. Set the angle of the
arm, then tighten that. Then go looking for rain!
PASSENGER-SIDE WIPER? Well, I don’t have one, but no reason you
can’t. Put an identical setup on that side, just drill the cowl
hole in a different place depending on where you want the blade to
travel and park, and run some kind of brace from the motor’s tail
flange to the firewall or someplace else you like. FWIW, the hole on
the passenger side of my car from when I installed the Lucas stuff
is 3” aft of the hood opening and 4 ½” to the right f the
car’s center line (right in the middle of my passenger-side white
stripe). Remember: the motors are independent, and cannot by
synchronized. My feeling is: “who cares?” Nobody will ever see
them working while you’re sitting still, ‘cause they’ll be
beautifully parked. The only person who will ever see them operating
is you and your passenger when you’re driving and it’s pouring,
and all you’ll care about is whether they work perfectly, and they
will. Just adjust the travel of both arms to avoid hitting if they
should run out of sequence. My plan if I ever install a passenger
wiper is to have the wipers meet in the center of the windshield
vertically when operating, and park each arm pointing outboard. Or
try something else if that doesn’t work right. I really don’t
think I’ll put in a passenger wiper, as I can see great for all
driving purposes with only the driver wiper operating.
That’s all I know about this subject, all else is
personal-testimonial about how great it works. I’ve been snowed
and sleeted on at Pikes Peak and all over Colorado, goosed by
highwind-driven rain in Missouri and Tennessee coming home from the
Stooges tour, rained on like Noah’s flood in Florida and other
Eastern states, and have always relied on this setup. Through about
45,000 miles in FFR #1152 it never failed to work, never needed
maintenance, and was always almost totally silent…try to match
that record with the Lucas monkey-motion Rube Goldberg setup! Let me
know if any questions. Here are some pics if you’d like to see my
FFR Pics (go to the "Parts on my Roadster" album, or
“Phoenix Part II” album
Go back to the FFR FAQ