This is how I put delay wipers with washers on my 1964 Ford Ranchero. I got the idea from another page I stumbled across when searching the internet for ideas. After reading that and searching some more, I found another page - this one with more pictures - describing the same swap. Based on that information, I bought the parts I needed and then did the swap. Naturally, I took lots of pictures so I could post them here and help more folks out. The other pages were great and helpful, but I post tech info on every project I do and try to make it as complete as possible. I also have a more general delay wiper conversion page that I'm always looking for ways to improve, and doing this swap allowed me to fill in a few more details there. This seems a bit daunting until you read through it. I've made the instructions really complete and included lots of extra notes to make it as surprise-free as possible once you get into the middle of the work.
As usual, the information on this page is based solely on my experience - your mileage, vehicle specifics, and mechanical/electrical skills may vary. Use common sense and don't do anything that you don't think is safe and/or that you don't fully understand. It's not my fault if you screw up your car - I'm just telling you about what I learned, not telling you that you have to do exactly these things to your car. If this information helps you enjoy delay wipers on your classic ride, awesome. If you think this page is in error somewhere or could be improved, please let me know.
Here are step by step instructions for the conversion once you have the required parts in hand.
Here's what you need to go and do this yourself.
Your local salvage yard should be a great source for the wiper motor. Get the motor/arm assembly attached to it's bracket, and the entire wiring harness for the wiper motor. Grab as much of the washer wiring harness as you can at the same time - make sure you get the connector that goes to the switch. The easier way is to disconnect the wiring and remove it form any wiring clips it is in, then unbolt the wiper motor bracket form the cowl, and then disconnect the linkage for the arm on the wiper motor.
The delay style switch and control box can usually be found on eBay on any given day at a reasonable price, so bid away. If you find one in the salvage yard, grab it. Make sure it's the right style switch - the connector needs to have the "blade" style electrical contacts, not the "pin" style electrical contacts.
Your local auto parts store or hardware store is a great source for the washers to go over the mounting threads on the switch - just take the switch with you and see what fits. Grab a few so you have them and can space the new switch out properly to match your original switch. I could only find washers that were a bit too big or a bit too small, so I bought the "too small" washers and drilled out the center hole to be an exact fit around the switch threads so nothing would be able to rattle around behind the dash later on.
For the wiper motor, you can buy a remanufactured unit if desired, but you will still need to get some parts from a donor vehicle such as the wiring connector at the wiper switch and possibly the wiring as well depending on what the remanufacturer did. I did some hunting about on RockAuto, and it's A1 Cardone part #40258 and it seems to fit 1966-1979 F-Series pickups, as well as 1966-1970 Falcons. I'm sure it fits other cars as well, but those were the ones I stumbled across while poking through the catalog. There is a $10 core charge listed for this part on RockAuto, so you really should have the junkyard wiper motor as a core if you plan to go this route.
This section contains all of the pictures I took while doing this conversion on my Ranchero. I was doing a bunch of other work at the same time, and all of the wiring was removed, along with the glove box, and radio. This is not needed to do the conversion, but it certainly makes things easier to get at and it makes the pictures a bit easier to take and to understand.
Here is a comparison of the donor and original wiper motors in their respective brackets. The donor motor is on the left and the original motor is on the right. The "front" of the brackets (as mounted in the vehicle) would be to the left in this picture. You can see the brackets are clearly different and that the donor motor has an attached wiring harness. You can also see how that mounting points are rotated slightly between the two brackets and that the "arm" on the donor motor is mounted 180 degrees off from the arm on the original motor.
Here is a close-up picture of the donor motor and mounting bracket as I purchased them from a local wrecking yard. The truck was an early '70's Ford full-size pickup - I don't recall specifically what year. They're all the same as far as the wiper motor goes - the bracket is not important to the conversion, but it's faster to just grab it as-is and deal with it once you get it all home. See the parts list for details on acceptable years for the donor.
Here is a close-up picture of the original motor and mounting bracket as I removed them from the Ranchero. A bit grimy, but not too bad. I'd guess the wiper motor had been replaced at some point in the past, plus the vehicle was almost always garaged as far as I can tell, so it led a lucky/charmed life.
Here are some comparison pictures of the arm on each wiper motor. The arm from the donor motor is on left and the arm from the original motor is on the right. As you can see, it is very important to use the correct one - the one that matches the wiper linkage in your original vehicle. If you used the longer arm with your original linkage, the "throw" would be too great for the original linkage to handle and the wiper arms would sweep to far on each stroke - possibly off the windshield or far enough to bend/break the original linkage. The way that the linkage is held onto the arm is also different. In short: use the original arm that matches the wiper linkage already in your vehicle.
Note that there is a flat washer and a small "wave" washer that go between the arm and the wiper motor. They were the same on each motor in my case, and I re-used the ones from my original motor after cleaning and lightly greasing them with some heavy assembly lube.
There is also a small washer that goes between the linkage and the linkage clip that is shown in the first picture. This washer makes sure the linkage doesn't try to push the clip off as the linkage rotates. It tends to pop off and get lost in the carpet when removing the linkage, and is hard to get back on again when you reassemble stuff. It may be a bit of a pain, but it's there for a reason - don't lose it and make sure it goes back on again.
Here are some pictures of the donor motor mounting in it's original bracket, and a picture of the attaching hardware for the donor motor in the donor bracket. Having a picture of this will be very useful for reference later - the bushings and mounting hardware is a bit different and when you mount the donor motor on your original bracket, you will use a mix of the original and donor hardware.
Here is a picture of the original motor mounting in it's original bracket and a picture of the attaching hardware for the original motor in the original bracket. Having a picture of this will be very useful for reference later - the bushings and mounting hardware is a bit different and when you mount the donor motor on your original bracket, you will use a mix of the original and donor hardware.
Here is a comparison of the original and donor mounting hardware. The donor motor + hardware is on the left and the original motor + hardware is on the right. Having a picture of this will be very useful for reference later - the bushings and mounting hardware are a bit different and when you mount the donor motor on your original bracket, you will use a mix of these pieces.
Here is the original bracket with the original wiper motor removed from it. Still a bit grimy, but otherwise in good shape. You can see which three holes were used for mounting the wiper motor based on the patterns in the grime from the rubber mounting grommets.
Here is the original bracket after a simple cleaning with some warm water and soap. Now you can see the "R" and "S" that were stamped to each set of three mounting holes. I have no idea what the "S" holes were for - both the original and donor motor ended up using the "R" holes. Also, you can see the small bit of surface rust that had formed at one place on the bracket. I was lazy and decided to leave it alone for now.
Here are the mounting details for putting the donor motor in the original bracket using the original arm. The specific pieces you use will be dependant on your original bracket and mounting details for the original motor, but they should be pretty similar in all cases.
Here's what I used from the donor parts pile:
Here's what I used from the original parts pile:
Note that there is an error in the first picture - the wave washer is shown between the arm and the mounting nut, when in fact it goes between the flat washer and the arm. This means that when installing the arm, you put the flat washer on the motor first, then the wave washer, then the arm, and then the nut. Got it? Good - there will be a test. It happens when you turn on your new wipers for the first time. :-)
Here is a close-up shot of the new hole I hard to drill in the original bracket for the grounding strap on the donor motor. I used the original screw. The original motor was grounded through the switch and had no need for additional grounding at the motor. The donor motor is internally grounded, and because of the rubber mounting bushings, it needs this external grounding strap to be run from one of the mounting bolts to the bracket. The "accordion folds" in the bracket allow the grounding strap to flex slightly and helps to not transmit vibrations and noise to the mounting bracket. Just to be safe, I connected the grounding strap to the same bolt as was used on the original mounting and I ran an extra grounding wire from there - I will connect that to the factory grounding point behind the instrument cluster after everything is installed.
I decided to unwrap and re-tape the short harness that goes from the wiper motor to the switch. The tape was kind of old, and starting to come undone, plus the original harness tape started a good ways away from the wiper motor, leaving the wires a bit too exposed for my tastes. I also made sure to wrap a bit of the power lead into the harness tape so it had some support and wasn't putting pressure on the plastic wiring connector as it got yanked around while working on the wiring.
If you do this, don't use regular sticky electrical tape, get the proper non-adhesive harness tape to do the job with. Eastwood sells it as item #25000 for $9.99 for two 1" wide rolls - this is enough to last most folks forever, so go order some and toss in your toolbox for when you need it.
Here are some pictures of the donor wiper motor installed in the car using the original bracket. The wiper motor wiring harness routes up and over the braces that are behind the instrument cluster - be sure to keep the wiring away from the wiper linkage because it moves a good bit when the wipers are on. The new ground wire will come up between the two braces and then go to the grounding screw. In these pictures the extra grounding wire is not yet attached to the grounding screw.
Here are some pictures comparing the two switches - the one with the wire coming off of it is the delay switch. In the first two pictures, I'm giving an overall comparison of the two with the exception of the washer which is shown to help indicate where they will be installed at in relation to everything else. In the third picture of just the switches themselves, I've highlighted the area where the thread length differs with a red line above each one. This is why you need to add the washers. The next two show the switch, washers (on the delay switch), hat, bezel, and nut how they will be assembled - the dash gets sandwiched between the hat and the bezel. The final picture shows the order of assembly for the delay switch with both washers I needed.
Readers who are paying attention will note that the final picture is flipped left to right (look at it and see if you can notice it, once you spot the important detail, it's annoying obvious) - I accidentally took it with the pieces laid out "backwards" from the other pictures and didn't notice until after I had put the switch into the car. So, I opted to flip the photo to keep things consistent with the other photos.
Here are some pictures of the delay style switch and the delay control box that I collected off eBay while I was researching this conversion. I neglected to take a picture of the actual unit I purchased, but they're all pretty much the same. This is an incredibly "user friendly" piece of wiring and it is impossible to hook it up backwards. All of the plugs are arranged such that things fit together in exactly one place - once you have all of the parts there, it will be blindly obvious what goes to what. The delay box has a Y-shaped harness coming out of it - one arm of the "Y" has a female plug on it that looks identical to the plug on the switch - this plug connects to the wiper motor wiring harness and to the washer wiring harness. The other arm of the "Y" has a male plug on it that looks the same as the two wiring harness connectors (wiper motor and washer) held up together and it connects to the delay style switch. The only possible source of confusion is the way the plugs fit together - they are basically round, but only fit one way, so you might have to stare at it for a bit to figure it out the first time, but it's pretty simple one you look at how they fit together.
Note that there are different mounting styles for the delay box - this was very specific to the year/model it went into. The electrical portion was the same, so you just have to figure out a way to mount it in your vehicle. It's not that heavy, and the bracket can be a simple sheet metal piece.
Here is the switch installed in the dash and the wiring connected. The extra ground wire from the motor is connected as well. The delay box is not yet mounted, and the yellow wire is the temporary power wire I used to test the wipers with.
Here is a short movie of the new delay wipers in action using the shortest delay setting. It's pretty cool to see this work with all Ford parts, and best of all it only took me a couple of hours to do the work of swapping the wiper motors around and installing the switch. Removing the instrument cluster was probably the hardest thing I did here.
Taking all of the pictures about doubled the time it took to get the work done - it's surprising how much time it takes to prepare for each picture and make sure you got all the pictures you needed. For example, I had to re-shoot the "mixed mounting hardware details" picture because I got it totally wrong the first time, and ever after that I still managed to get it slightly wrong. (See the text in that section above if you want to know the exact error.) And if you forget one, you need to go back and re-create the circumstances for it, then take the picture again. If it's wrong, you either need to go re-shoot it, or decide to live with it. In the case of stuff already being assembled and working, taking it out of the car and apart just to shoot a picture again is no fun.
NOTE: The movie is in QuickTime format because that's what my crappy DiMAGE Z2 digital camera records movies in and I can't find a free tool to convert them to mpg format. Sorry, but you'll have to infect your machine with Apple's QuickTime before you can view it.
Ford washers are a pretty simple affair - one lead to the switch for washer power, one lead out to power the pump when the washers are active, and a lead from the motor back to ground. For some reason Ford decided the ground for the washer motor needed to be back inside the vehicle on many vehicles, leading to an extra wire through the firewall just for this. I'm not sure why, but that's how they did it. For retro-fit applications, you really only need one wire through the firewall and you can ground the washer pump somewhere out in the engine compartment - directly to one of the mounting brackets for the fluid reservoir is a popular and easy option. Make sure the feed wire that goes to the switch is connected to a fused power source. Having the right connector at the switch is helpful as well.
The pump is mounted in the bottom of the washer reservoir with an electrical and a hose connection for the pressurized water outlet from the pump to the nozzles. Reservoir styles differed between various years and models. The early units were basically a vinyl bag, later units were a transparent plastic piece. Both mounted to the inner fender. They all perform the same basic function, so if you want to add washers to your earlier model car, keep an eye out when scrounging through the junkyards for something on another year Ford that will work and fit into the space you have available on your vehicle. I think the basic washer design stayed the same well into the '80s and any Ford vehicle is a plausible donor car.
Assorted Wiring Details
As I was preparing to do this conversion, I collected a fair number of wiring diagrams and descriptions for various years of Ford and Mercury vehicles.
A good general description of the early single speed wipers, how to test them, and how the wiring works. It also contains a description and some details on the optional 2-speed wipers from that era. Looking at them, it would appear that that option is what evolved into the Mustang/Cougar standard 2 speed wipers in later years - note the square 4-wire plug coming out of the motor and compare to the later systems.
The first diagram is just the optional two-speed wipers, and the second is the basic interior wiring diagram and includes the single speed wipers. This is helpful to illustrate the actual wiring schematics and associated details that are described on the 1963 wiring above.
This shows the later evolution of the Ford/Mercury wiper systems, plus some details on the strange vacuum/electric intermittent wiper system Mercury had in these years. These all show the square 4-connector plug at the wiper motor on these diagrams and they are labeled as "Ford" and "Mercury", which seems to indicate that the Mustang/Cougar wiper motor wiring was similar to the full size Ford/Mercury vehicles. Based on what I can see here and what I know works for this conversion, I would speculate that Falcon/Comet and the F-Series trucks went with a different wiring arrangement than the rest of the Ford/Mercury passenger car lineup.
As a side note, I researched a bit about the early "intermittent" vacuum-electric wiper system available as an option on some of the Mercury models - they are out there, but are definitely not something you want unless you are doing a perfect restoration of a vehicle that came with that option. The later delay wiper setups are much, much better. Don't get too excited just because you see the word "intermittent" mentioned in the manuals. Ignore it and move on to using the later F-Series trucks as a much better donor vehicle for a delay wiper conversion on the earlier models.
This shows the 1969 Cougar wiper system, including the delay option. You can see that the wiper motor is now accessible from the engine side of the firewall, and that the delay control box mounts in the engine compartment - instead of placing both under the dash like the early Falcon/Mustang and F-Series truck systems do. This is what makes the later Mustang/Cougar systems unappealing as a donor car for the delay wiper conversion.
Note that on the other pages that detailed this conversion for 1964 Falcons - one page said the the original wiper motor used the other three mounting holes and you had to switch to the three holes my motor was already using, and the other page seemed to say you could re-use the original mounting holes. Since the brackets were dual-drilled in every photo I found and on my Ranchero, I can only assume that some earlier model wiper mounts were different - perhaps the vacuum wiper motors had a different mounting pattern? Or maybe it was a two speed vs. single speed wiper difference? I did notice that on the page that said the mounting was different, the picture of the original wiper motor showed it with a short harness coming out of it, which the original single speed wiper motors did not have - so maybe it was a two speed wiper setup in that car. I did a search on RockAuto of the various wiper motors available remanufactured for various years of Falcon and the F-Series pickups, and the part numbers returned didn't turn up anything interesting or useful for the mounting brackets - based on the parts numbers and the pictures I found, it looks like every single electric wiper motor Ford used in this era used the same mounting pattern. That would make sense, but differs from the information on that other website, so I'm really not sure what's up. If you have information about this, or a picture of a wiper motor from that era Falcon that shows the other mounting style, please let me know.
As far as what swaps with what, the part numbers I dug up on RockAuto say that any 1966-1979 Ford F-Series truck used the same two speed wiper motor - A1 Cardone #40265. They also say that any 1965-1966 F-Series trucks with a single speed wiper motor used the same part number as the 1963-1965 Falcon single speed wiper motor - A1 Cardone #40211. Note the overlap for the 1966 F-Series trucks - that would indicate the mounts are the same. My experience in actually performing the swap seems to confirm this. It's also interesting to note that the wiper motor needed for this swap has pretty broad interchangeability and thus will likely be available for a long time - it's definitely not a "rare" part.
My research shows that Ford first offered delay wipers as an option in 1969 on some models and the delay option was a simply plug-in affair on all models. You need to match the switch style (rotary in my case) to the existing one in your vehicle. If replacing the wiper model on early model vehicles (as I am here), you also need to make sure the wiring connection on the wiper motor that bolts up to your bracket matches the switch you pick. If you have a later-model vehicle and want to swap on delay wipers, just look for a control box and harness that matches your existing plug - see notes below on the switch styles I've run into. The wiper switch you use must match your wiper motor if you intend to use the wiring, which makes the whole swap much easier to do and is very much recommended. Pretty much any application should be able to be covered by matching the right combination of parts from later model vehicles.
As for switch styles, Ford seemed to really like the rotary wiper switches in the 60's and early 70's on many models. However, the Mustang apparently used a linear style switch starting in 1967 running through at least 1968, and may have changed back to a rotary style at some point. I think the Mustang II era (1974-1978) used a linear style switch. Also, I believe the full size vans used a linear style switch as well during the 70's, while the pickup trucks did not. Some full-size Ford's in the late 60's and through the 70's used a linear style switch. I believe the linear style switches are electrically identical to the rotary style switches.
For the plugs on the back of the switches, be aware that not all rotary switches use the same plug design. Starting in the early 70's, some models changed from a switch with flat blades for each connection to smaller pins for each connection. They are visually and electrically similar, but do not interchange - if buying via eBay, be sure to verify the style and application before bidding. I bid on and purchased a useless-to-me pin-style delay setup because I did not understand this and the picture on the auction was not very clear. I have no idea about the plugs on the linear style switches and how/if they interchange, so caveat empor - "buyer beware".
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Page last updated 12/27/2011 10:23:21 AM