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  • Windshield Wipers

    Hello all, I have a 59 and it still has the original, vacuum, windshield wipers. As you probably know, they don't work all that well.
    My question is this; Is there a way of reworking/rebuilding them so that they work? Right now they work, but just barely. They only go up a few inches and then back down to the starting position. If I leave them on for a while and rev the engine they sometimes get better, but so far they do not work well enough to take a chance of getting caught in a rain storm.
    Anyway, can anyone help?
    TJ
    Thunderbird Registry #7960

  • #2
    get the electric conversion kit.

    Or else do like me and avoid the rain. Apply AquaPel or RainX as needed....
    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...ryNumber=33517

    Comment


    • #3
      If you want to keep your original vacuum wiper you have a couple choices. Some people have had luck sucking brake fluid into the motor. That swells the seals which improves the vacuum effect. If you do a search you can probably find the procedure for doing it. You could also send it away to the wiperman to rebuild it. I think it costs about $80. There's a replacement electric motor that they make but it costs over $200. I did my own electric conversion by using a rear window wiper motor from a late model Buick wagon. Cost me about $30 with the switch.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        Windshield Wipers

        John, I would like to add this conversion you did using the Buick windshield wiper rear motor. Could you put something together for us, including what year Buick wagon(s) to get that motor off of? Also, the installation procedures you went through to replace the OEM vacuum motor and replace it with the electric one. If this can save our fellow Tbird members some cash, I am sure they would like to know how you did this. Many of them probably would replace those vacuum motor for $30 instead of having to pay the $200 I and others have...

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
        "It's Hip To Be Square"
        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          Ray,

          I'll put the procedure together that I used and send it to you.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            Back in the day, electric wiper motors were an extra cost option. Ford knew the vacuum motors were crap, but they came cheap from Trico. OEM brakes are marginal at best, too.

            I have two classic cars with aftermarket electric wiper motors. They are made by New Port Engineering, and they work very well in Michigan, where we get lots of rain (& snow).

            The price stings only a little until the first time you use your wipers. The motor is hidden under your dash so it cannot be detected unless you stand on your head. There is another option that I bought with my new electric motor... interval, slow, fast, washer, park switch ($67) and a knob shaft extension ($20). This switch uses your original dash knob so it looks bone stock. Push it in, and a contact closes to operate (your supplied) washer pump motor. Let go, and the washer stops.

            I bought mine through an authorized dealer, JPL in Aliquippa, PA, because they offer free shipping on orders over $100. I suggest you call the store and see if they can give you a better price break than ordering through their eBay listing. Call them toll free at 724-375-3940.

            Hope this helps. - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

            Comment


            • #7
              Windshield Wipers

              Thanks, John. That will be a good service to our folks on here! If you have any pictures that you might have taken, they would be helpful also. You can email what you put together to me and I will add it to the Windshield Wiper part of the TRL for posterity.

              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
              '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
              "It's Hip To Be Square"
              Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Do the brake fluid thing first TJ. I did it and its free. ( Only if you use the bled brake fluid!)

                Sounds like your wipers were exactly like mine. You'll have them fixed in 48 hrs.
                Mick Egan Vancouver Island Canada
                60 Tbird

                Comment


                • #9
                  Between now and your repair, use lots of RainX, it really helps... and is fun to watch the beads of rain race off around the curved glass.
                  1959 Thunderbird HT

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wipers

                    Again! You guys are a great resource. I will try the Brake Fluid first and then decide what to do if it doesn't work.
                    I use a Rain-X treatment whenever I take it out for a drive and it looks overcast, but usually my Bird just never sees the rain! That's why I don't want to go the electric route, it will be a waste.
                    Hope I can find the instructions for doing the brake fluid treatment.....
                    Thanks to everyone.
                    TJ
                    Thunderbird Registry #7960

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here ya go. It is elsewhere also but this should work.

                      http://ctci.org/gilsgarage/WiperFunc.php
                      Jim
                      Jimz Greenie with a White Hat and Brown Guts (ZE-XG)
                      sigpic

                      CLICK HERE for Jimz web site

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Windshield Wipers

                        Thanks for the link, Jim! I have just added that to the Windshield Wiper & Washer section of the Technical Resource Library. So now it will be easy to find if others want to try this in the future.

                        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                        "It's Hip To Be Square"
                        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My pleasure

                          That is from the guy (Gil Baumgartner) who put together the 55-7 Resto manual. You may want to check out some of his other stuff also in Gil's Garage. He is the "Authenticity Chairman" for CTCI. He's the kinda guy that can tell you what color every screw is in the 55-7 Birds and whether it was Chromate, painted to match something or how many washers it should have.

                          I think it is good that some folks like him and others in ITC and VTCI have gone to such detail. While I am not a real stickler on "Factory" original at least there are some of all the Thinderbirds that will be "original" for posterity.

                          I will also start a thread in the 55-7 forum for some other 55-7 specific resources.
                          Jim
                          Jimz Greenie with a White Hat and Brown Guts (ZE-XG)
                          sigpic

                          CLICK HERE for Jimz web site

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Windshield Wipers

                            Yes, I saw who he was and what he was involved in. We have many to thank for putting together information like this, including our own membership. Alexander Sosiak, our Founder, assisted Alan Tast, and "Fuz" Johnston and the others in putting together the Squarebird Official Factory Specifications for VTCI and the work goes on. Kudu's to them and the others, and we are proud to have them as members of Squarebirds.org.

                            I would suggest while you are visiting Gil Baumgartner's website that you take a good look around it and see the other things he has on it.

                            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                            '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                            "It's Hip To Be Square"
                            Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wipers

                              Originally posted by Jimz Bird View Post
                              Here ya go. It is elsewhere also but this should work.

                              http://ctci.org/gilsgarage/WiperFunc.php
                              Thanks Jimz Bird, you can rest assured that I will be following this procedure in the very near future!

                              Thanks again, to all that posted your input.

                              Juan
                              TJ
                              Thunderbird Registry #7960

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