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Thread: Wiper Restoration/Defrost.

  1. #1

    Wiper Restoration/Defrost.

    Well, I've been away for a while due to traveling for work, but some of you know I had some interesting things going on with my defroster for my 55 Wagon. Well it gets more interesting. As I intend for this to be my year round every day driver, I clearly want to get everything working as best as possible, so I was investigating how to properly fix the defroster when I found that when they changed the wipers to electric motors, they mounted these motors (1 for each wiper) up against and touching where the hose should connect to the dash for the defrost.
    So my question is this, What is the chance/cost of reverting back to the original cable and pulley wiper system? The only part of the system I still have is the vacuum motor under the hood (which I will likely change to the electric motor upgrade I have seen on here). I have seen the pulleys for sale but they require a core that I don't have.
    Or, is there some other option that I am not seeing here?

    Thanks for the help

    VTWilly

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Welcome back VTW! I bet LarrBeard has some help here. I think he has figured these defroster/heater/wiper issues in the past.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Heaters and Defrosters

    One of the major changes that happened between 1948 when my truck was built and 1955 when your wagon was built was the improvement in heaters and defrosters.

    In 1948, Willys-Overland offered a heater as a dealer installed or factory option. But, you could also install your own heater and take pot luck with whatever defroster system you could rig up. The truck has a couple of vents up under the dash (tucked in behind those pulleys, stainless steel cables and tensioners) but it was pretty well up to you to rig your defroster.

    The heater in the truck came out of a wagon (another once upon a time story) and it has two flex hoses (like dryer hoses –only a lot smaller) that run up to the vents. The fan motor in the heater is also the defrost motor and your defrost air is as much provided by warm air rising as from the heater fan. You can choose cab heat or defrost and not much in between. You close the cab heat doors to force air up the hoses. It’s not that great of a defroster – but then it’s 70+ years old….

    As for a set of pulleys, tensioners and brackets – I’d suggest the various Willys For Sale, e-Willys and other bulletin boards. I have heard that The Jeep Ranch is still in business, but I can’t say factually – he usually had just about everything if he could get through the snow to find it.

    https://montanaoverland.com/

    The good news is that the various trucks, wagons and sedan-delivery vehicles probably used the same system, so they are not terribly rare if someone is parting out a hulk – and they are probably in pretty low demand.

    I don’t know of any options other than just finding a set of stuff to replace the missing parts.

    Good luck – especially fitting up under that dash!
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    Last edited by LarrBeard; 12-26-2021 at 10:28 AM.

  4. #4
    So, I was finally able to get a semi decent picture of the wiper issue under the dash. As you can see, the electric motor (shiny black cylinder) is touching where the hose for the defrost should connect (the part with some tape around it).
    The only solution I really can see is going back to the old pulley system if I can get the parts. It's either that, or maybe modify the vent so I can get a hose attached.
    As a side note, I am not super thrilled with the electric wipers so a different style might be okay too.

    Anyone have any thoughts or does it look like I am going to have to revert to OEM wiper set up?

    Also attached is a quick photo of my heater, it is aftermarket NAPA heater, but same idea as the original as far as I can see.

    Thanks

    VTWilly
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Our wagon has a single electric motor that mounts to the firewall in place of the vacuum motor. The pulley and cables are in tackt under the dash with the defroster hoses. Kaisers sells the electric motor, but would have to dig around for the pulleys and cable.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    I'm not upside down under your dash, but this is a strange looking setup. Generally the motor is in the engine bay on the firewall with the pulleys and tensioners inside the cab up in the area that this motor is mounted.

    Was there a major change in wiper setup and linkages sometime between 1950 and 1955?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    No, my '63 runs the pulleys and cable, just like the earlier models. Mine had the delete done on the vacuum motor, and an electric motor scabbed in. What we are seeing above is a CJ style wiper motor run through the original wiper arm locations in the cowl. Since the motors eat up too much real estate, the ducts for the defrost were cut. As a fix for the current configuration, I would run new tubing under the motors, if there is enough room for the hose to make the radius. My recollection is that there isn't a hard tube coming out of the top of the heater, then it comes up to the ducts . I'm not sure how much airflow you might lose running all those radiuses, but there would be some reaching the windshield.
    Last edited by gmwillys; 01-30-2022 at 07:19 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    OK - now I see; one wiper, one motor through the original hole for the shaft - times two. Ok, I guess??

    On the '48, the heater has two holes in the top, one for each vent - driver and passenger. It looks like that heater is a one-holer.

    If I remember correctly, the ducts come loose fairly easily. Maybe do some metal cutting and rerouting?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    I'd have to pull the box down that contains all the heater for the wagon, because it's been a while since I pulled it all out. My concern with having two motors running the wipers is that one would have to turn clockwise, then the other counterclockwise for it to look right, or have the park set at the other end of the throw? That would take some looking into, now that I think about it... The heater shown above is an aftermarket cab heater addition, where my later model wagon is quite large coming through the firewall, and covering the firewall to just past the transmission shifter. The second set of pictures are hard to see without blowing them up. The first set are of the windshield wiper single motor , and of the pulleys/cable.
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    Last edited by gmwillys; 01-31-2022 at 02:13 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LarrBeard View Post
    I'm not upside down under your dash, but this is a strange looking setup. Generally the motor is in the engine bay on the firewall with the pulleys and tensioners inside the cab up in the area that this motor is mounted.

    Was there a major change in wiper setup and linkages sometime between 1950 and 1955?
    This setup is not stock. I still have the vacuum motor under the hood. I have 1 motor per wiper arm and they are not synchronized at all, there is a 2 position switch on the dash, one click for driver side only, two clicks for both wipers (I have gotten pretty good at shutting them off one at a time in the down position)
    This is why I was thinking of going back to the pulley system.

    Question: if I can, in fact, find the parts to revert to the pulley system, and choose to switch to the electric motor (replacing the stock vacuum one) are there any complaints or problems with this system? Would you choose a different workaround/upgrade for your wipers? I basically have to redo them anyway.

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