Windshield Washer - 08/27/2015

Not content to leave something broken, we venture to repair the windshield washer on the wagon too! It never has worked since I've had the car.

The rebuild kit, courtesy of your local AutoZone. I was amazed they still sold these. It was cheaper than replacing the pump with the generic electric one - $4.99 for the kit vs. $9.99 for the electric pump. My experience has been the electric pump aftermarket ones aren't exactly long lived...

Normally aftermarket kit instructions leave a LOT to be desired. In this case, there really isn't much else to be said.

The washer setup. Pretty standard. When you engage the solenoid it doesn't click or attempt to do anything.

Removing the cover shows the little gear and solenoid setup is all misaligned, need to remove pump and find out why.

It's a real Rube-Goldberg contraption, the solenoid on the other side "opens" and "closes" a lever which rotates on the little gear shown above. On the back side there's a mechanical lever that rotates on the wiper motor that engages this clover looking piece with an arm attached that sticks out and it. The little gear and solenoid will allow the clover to rotate or just be bypassed, when rotating it pushes an arm up and down to generate suction. The arm on this one is actually broken so it will never engage, not exactly sure how that happened.

Head to the parts bin and find a "new" pump from the '74 Catalina wagon that isn't broken. Put it on and hear everything engage, but no suction. Time for the kit! The washers and nozzle assembly is removed.

New rubber on right, old setup on left. Practically every GM car made from 1960 until 1985 used this setup (1970-1977 Firebirds excluded oddly enough).

All put back together. I blew all the lines out to ensure no debris or dirt was trapped and preventing things from working.

Fill the reservoir up a bit to make sure it isn't leaking...

And the windshield gets wet like it should! I had to tweak each of the nozzles to get decent spray, the driver's side was spraying about 1/4 of the way up the windshield and the passenger side was spraying the cowl. A TINY bit of bending action goes a long way here.

Yet another satisfaction of a job well done. Now I don't have to carry a bottle of water to dump on the windshield when I get sprayed by dirt and mud.

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Last updated August 27th, 2015