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p38fighter
04-27-2017, 08:22 AM
I spent my work life in finance so the electrical things can be mysterious. I've reviewed the instructions to convert the vacuum switch to electric. I see that a relay is called for. But I don't know how to select a suitable relay. Do they have an electrical rating that needs to be considered? Are they located between the switch and the pump or between the switch and the voltage source? Is there a part# from a manufacturer that is recommended? I'm using an after market wiring kit and I do have a fused power source designated for the pump.

Thank you for your help...

jopizz
04-27-2017, 11:22 AM
I've never used a relay. Just a fuse between the switch and the power source (ignition switch).

John

Deanj
04-27-2017, 02:57 PM
I installed a 1961-66 Ford washer pump on the inner fender. Since most of the hoses were gone, it took three different hose sizes: 1/4" ID for the supply bag, 3/16" ID for the motor to the tee, and 7/64" or 1/8" ID from the tee to the nozzles. Use a 7.5 amp fuse from your ignition switch if you use a 1961-66 Ford pump.

Dean

simplyconnected
04-27-2017, 03:17 PM
One question that haunts me is, 'what do modern cars use?' Our classic cars have used relays ever since the beginning. They work so well, we take them for granted. They stood the test of time so modern cars use more relays than ever before.

We call big-contact relays, 'contactors'. Our main contactor is your starter motor relay, sometimes called a 'solenoid' or simply, 'starter relay'. The next relay is included with every car with a horn, called your 'horn relay'.

All relays work the same, a small electrical current switches a much larger current through contacts. Yes, they all have contact ratings and this is something you need to consider when sizing your circuit.

Modern cars use a half-dozen relays. Many of them are identical, plug-in and swappable. Why is that important? For ease of maintenance and troubleshooting. If you need to isolate a circuit, simply unplug the relay. Relays use contacts to switch power and they rarely go bad. Did your modern car ever have a relay go bad? Mine neither. But if you suspect one, swap it with another of the same type.

Junk yards throw them away daily, eBay offers them with sockets for very little money and all parts stores carry them. I'm talking about those little black 'ice cube' type relays that normally come with one normally open and one normally closed set of contacts, usually rated for 30-amps. 30-amps is not big enough to carry starter motor current but it is for everything else.

The fun begins when configuring 'sets' of relays for:

Trailer lights: Simply run a fused power wire from your battery and let the contacts carry heavy turn signal and brake currents rather than destroying your turn signal switch in your steering column. Simply connect your existing brake and signal lights to three relay coils (RH stop/signal, LH stop/signal, parking lights).

Convert your rare and expensive Ford power window and seat motors to inexpensive common motors with two wires, by adding two relays (one for up, the other for down).

I use a small limit switch on my brake pedal. This eliminates the pressure switch. Again, a small switch energizes a relay coil and the contacts switch brake light power.

A small temperature switch in your radiator can easily control an electric fan through a relay.

Now, we're asking a tiny 'mouse limit switch' to turn on a squirt motor. No problem when using a relay.
That little switch will last forever. Do relay contacts need to carry 30-amps? No, but they can...

Deanj just mentioned a 7.5-amp pump. Guess what, that exceeded the 5-amp maximum rating of the mouse limit switch. No problem if using a relay to switch motor current. - Dave

sidewalkman
04-27-2017, 03:26 PM
I spent my work life in finance so the electrical things can be mysterious. I've reviewed the instructions to convert the vacuum switch to electric. I see that a relay is called for. But I don't know how to select a suitable relay. Do they have an electrical rating that needs to be considered? Are they located between the switch and the pump or between the switch and the voltage source? Is there a part# from a manufacturer that is recommended? I'm using an after market wiring kit and I do have a fused power source designated for the pump.

Thank you for your help...

I am in the middle of the conversion, I did the same switch as listed in the TRL as I wanted to keep the cool vacuum switch but have it operate an electric pump. I didn't use a relay because the draw the pump has is relatively minor but I did add an inline fuse from the power source.

If you're keeping the vacuum wipers make sure you remove the old vacuum lines that go to the switch and pump, cap them at the wiper motor. Makes a difference in operation.

Tbird1044
04-27-2017, 08:19 PM
I always love to throw a curve ball into the thread. I am still using the vacuum wiper motor, only because the car is rarely driven, and I love the nostalgia of the original parts. The original washer system was a real rube goldberg and almost impossible to find, if you really want to stay original.
I kept the vacuum system and switch on the side of the dash, and then mounted a vacuum/electric switch under the left front fender. The dash switch puts vacuum to the new switch tucked away in the fender and then it closes an electrical circuit to the washer pump located below the fluid bag. What is cool is that when I activate the washer switch, it also turns on the wipers, much like the original. I know this is a stretch, but the Bird is my toy and I like to play.
Oh yeah, the vacuum switch I bought is adjustable, so I could set the point where the switch would close to turn on the pump.
Nyles

sidewalkman
04-28-2017, 12:55 PM
I always love to throw a curve ball into the thread. I am still using the vacuum wiper motor, only because the car is rarely driven, and I love the nostalgia of the original parts. The original washer system was a real rube goldberg and almost impossible to find, if you really want to stay original.
I kept the vacuum system and switch on the side of the dash, and then mounted a vacuum/electric switch under the left front fender. The dash switch puts vacuum to the new switch tucked away in the fender and then it closes an electrical circuit to the washer pump located below the fluid bag. What is cool is that when I activate the washer switch, it also turns on the wipers, much like the original. I know this is a stretch, but the Bird is my toy and I like to play.
Oh yeah, the vacuum switch I bought is adjustable, so I could set the point where the switch would close to turn on the pump.
Nyles

I should have talked to you first, I couldn't figure out a switch to keep the vacuum operation!!

Deanj
04-28-2017, 03:19 PM
My 1960 was converted to electric, already, but the vacuum washer was long gone. I chose the 1961-66 Ford washer pump because it looked very logical and I saw it on a '64 Mustang electrical diagram with a 7.5 amp fuse. (3 amp fuses with blow immediately.) I wanted to convert the vacuum switch, but it looked like a PITA. Choosing a momentary push button switch and mounting it to the lower dash next to the console make it easy to operate-if I ever need it.

The thing I can't get over is the small and delicate wiper blades. I got caught in light rain and that seems about all these might handle. How the then current owners dealt with frost and snow is incomprehensive.

Dean

JohnG
04-29-2017, 06:57 PM
You're definitely right! The wipers look like they got stolen off of a Crosley!

Does anyone know if other mid-late 50's Fords had similarly small wipers?

simplyconnected
04-29-2017, 07:23 PM
Yes John, my '55 Customline has a 'nearly vertical' windshield with ANCO 3112 31-Series; 12", short wipers. In fact, they also fit the early Corvette. - Dave

JohnG
04-30-2017, 06:46 AM
I wonder if the engineers saw the vaccum driven Trico motor as being incapable of moving a larger wiper, which would have both more weight and more drag? Particularly in a snow situation.

Deanj
04-30-2017, 11:30 AM
If this were 1960 with this car, I would replace the arms with something heavy duty. Of course I'd be 7 years old and my dad might object. It's not 1960 and these little blades will do just fine in the sun.

I note the blades are so short and don't overlap that it's impossible for the ends to hang up on each other like my 1980 Corvette did several times until using a little Bon Ami on the glass.

Dean

simplyconnected
04-30-2017, 03:47 PM
Using Trico suited the mechanical engineers and it was easy to buy the package from a well-established vendor.

Vacuum wipers, as we discussed in earlier threads, are useless for folks in northern winters and those who live in mountains. They simply don't work when vacuum is low (upon acceleration or mountain climbing) or when any resistance (like snow) poses a resistance. Rain actually helps lubricate wiper blades. Larger arms add more resistance and is counter-productive.

At home at Ford, politics played a big role between designers because the mechanical guys were deathly afraid their jobs would be 'taken over' by more electrical engineers. We see a slow progression toward electrical advancements which also required larger generators/alternators. I gotta say, they did everything they could using vacuum (like trunk release, e-brake release, etc.) before finally coming to their senses and employing more reliable electrical systems.

Electric wipers were an 'extra cost' option, introduced because the competition offered it. The reasons why the whole industry dropped vacuum wipers are self evident. How long did we use that rubber bulb on the floor for squirts until the electric washer motor took over? I laugh, sitting here thinking about it AND the expensive contraption Squarebirds used. Hey, maybe cheap slot-car motors drove prices down. - Dave

Joe Johnston
04-30-2017, 06:54 PM
and don't forget the Bullet Birds had hydraulic wipers powered by the power steering pump. Worked very well but expensive to manufacture. Lots of interesting changes in the auto industry and the way things were done. Hydraulic windows on some cars, vacuum systems working lots of things as mentioned, early AC with units in the trunk and ducting up through the rear deck, Power steering pumps on the back of generators (GM) and many others. Often said "they don't build them like they used to" is so true!!

simplyconnected
04-30-2017, 07:08 PM
...Often said "they don't build them like they used to" is so true!!...and in most cases I'm glad they don't.

But hey, unless you try who would know the test of time? It's interesting to learn about methods and ideas that went by the wayside and never brought back. Or the other way; Ford started with 6-volt gauges, went to 12-volt in '56, then quickly changed back to 6-volt in '57 with a CVR. So, 1956 came with the ONLY factory 12-volt gauges that Ford ever used.

How long have we used DOT-3? It seems to be the ONLY fluid that hasn't changed and cars still come with it. If a brake system is hydraulic, why didn't they use hydraulic fluid? Instead, DOT-3 is glycol-based and NOT compatible with petroleum-based fluids.

jopizz
04-30-2017, 07:31 PM
and don't forget the Bullet Birds had hydraulic wipers powered by the power steering pump. Worked very well but expensive to manufacture. Lots of interesting changes in the auto industry and the way things were done. Hydraulic windows on some cars, vacuum systems working lots of things as mentioned, early AC with units in the trunk and ducting up through the rear deck, Power steering pumps on the back of generators (GM) and many others. Often said "they don't build them like they used to" is so true!!

Only the '63 Bulletbirds had hydraulic wipers. Most '61 and all '62 Thunderbirds had electric wipers which worked perfectly well. Why Ford decided to change is another mystery.

John

simplyconnected
04-30-2017, 08:16 PM
...Why Ford decided to change is another mystery.I tried to explain this, John. Fluid power is mechanical.

...At home at Ford, politics played a big role between designers because the mechanical guys were deathly afraid their jobs would be 'taken over' by more electrical engineers...You wouldn't believe the pressures and politics involved in the auto industry. Nobody wants to make a mistake so they move cautiously. Lots of 'pretty-boys' are lined-up hoping to be heard by the boss. It took Lee Iacocca, with all his successful Mustang decisions, seven years to get launch approval because he was hated by HFII and his office was kept miles away from world HQ so Henry didn't have to see him every morning.

jopizz
04-30-2017, 08:31 PM
I tried to explain this, John. Fluid power is mechanical.

I guess the old adage was true. "If it ain't broke fix it".

John

Deanj
05-01-2017, 11:31 AM
In this age we trade vehicle tech dollars for fossil fuel dollars. Look at the 8 and 10 speed auto transmissions that have to cost manufacturers and consumer more initially in order to save .5 MPG over the life of the vehicle.

I heard someone at FoMoCo invented intermittent wipers. I recall my brother's 1964 Thunderbird having a delay wiper that was just a slower wipe. How long did that go on? and how does this relate to that engineer?

Dean