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Windshield wiper mechanisms are junk, parts/upgrade options available?


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#1 KFunk740

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:31 AM

OK, I daily drive my 320, and the windshield wipers are crap. I made sure the electric motor is clean inside and out, everything lubed and tightened, found some rubber bushings to replace the rotted/missing ones where stuff mounts to the firewall, replaced the blades themselves, applied rain-x, etc.

Still, on their best day, they don't work very well, and fail quite often for various reasons. The driver's side blade barely touches the windshield in the center. The whole mechanism just doesn't seem very well designed or built compared to newer cars.

Now the splines where where the wiper arms attach have stripped out, flinging a wiper arm off the other night. I reattached it by putting some thin metal around the shaft as a shim.

I tried looking up wiper part numbers in the 320 parts manual and putting them into nissanparts.cc, but nothing comes up as available.

Anybody have solutions that I don't know about that hold up to daily driving? Maybe better parts from later trucks fit? Any specific wiper arms I should be using, or know of a source for the splined shafts?

Thanks for the help.

#2 erichwaslike

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

the splined shaft is gona be the same as 411,520,521 and 510 casue i know you can swap the arms between those. the blade not touchin is an issue with the tension on the holder or arm.

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#3 datzenmike

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:36 AM

The part that sticks out that the arm attaches to is called the pivot I think. The pivots wear inside and dirt and water get in pst the rubber boots and wash the grease away. My 620 pivots I managed to get out and apart and grease them and there was a big improvement. I don't know if you got that far or not.

I've replaced my 36 amp 620 alternator with a 90 amp output one from a Pymouth Reliant and the extra voltage at low speeds keeps them from slowing down at stops.

Maybe new larger gauge wire to the motor to reduce voltage drop?
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#4 DanielC

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

On this page of my "Ratsun Datsun" thread, I have some details of the wipers on a 521, and the work I did on them.
http://community.rat...1/page__st__160
It may give you some Ideas, and you might see some parts from a 521 truck you could use on your 320.

#5 wayno

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:31 PM

It's kinda a pain in the ass to get out of there, but that yours even functions at all is very good, I was able to R&R my assembly by removing the inside of the glove box, that made it possible to move it sideways once out of the holes and drop it down on the passenger side leg area, I would suggest that yours needs a total lubing of all joints, and specifically the shafts that come out of the cab that the wiper arms connect to.
This is what the assembly looks like removed, not all the parts/screws are there, but it gives you an idea how it is made.
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It is not easy to remove the exterior nuts and hardware holding the shafts in place, so take your time and use products like PB blaster/penetrating oils before you try to loosen things.
I am sorry to say this, but I don't beleave 520/521 wiper hardware is going to work on your 320, it seems to be a differant size, the photos above are from a 65 assembly.
I am not sure what you meant about the splines being stripped, which photo below did your shaft look like when the wiper fell off?

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#6 KFunk740

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for the help, everyone!

Yes, the pivot points are the last part that I haven't had a chance to fully disassemble and lube. I drizzled some lubricating oil into them, but didn't get them out. Just too much of a pain with the dash in the way. I did have to tighten the big 15/16" size nuts to keep them in place better as they seemed to be wiggling too much. Now that they're mounted tighter, the sheetmetal on the cowl even seems to flex whenever the wiper operates, and this truck has all solid metal.

Anyways, maybe I can drop it out the bottom like you say, and disassemble more to help things out.

I really don't think I'm lacking for power from the wiper motor. It seems to move things with a lot of force, but stuff flexes and twists and binds through all the linkages (despite being rust-free, clean, and shiny).

New wiper arms are likely in order if they'll help hold the arms on and push the blades onto the glass. I found a source for new 520 arms online for 77 bucks a pair, but will those fit?
I was trying to avoid buying all new blade assemblies, since I like the shiny original metal ones on mine (only replaced the rubber part itself). But, I think Napa has some 'classic' blade assemblies that look to be metal and the right length.

Wayno: I've got problems with the splines on both of those parts in your last two pictures. The shaft itself, the inside of the collar, the outside of the collar where it meets the arm, and the arm itself.... all looks pretty buggered up on my driver's side wiper, not as bad on my passenger side. For now on my passenger side, I wrapped some thin ribbed metal around the shaft to use as a shim, and some teflon tape around the collar. Not sure how long that'll hold up though, and would rather have nice sold new parts.

#7 wayno

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

The pivot points are the most important, keep them lubed and loose, if the metal around the mounting points is flexing, then the pivots are starting to seize, and that will destroy the pivots eventually.
These parts are hard to find used, so you are going to have save what you have, make your own from something else, or get one of them guys on ebay selling old stuff like what you need, and beg them to look for it, and not complain about how much they want if they can actually find it.
There was a member here that was finding parts that no one else has ever found, but he is gone now, to bad. :crying:
Unfortunately I do beleave that the US likely got most of the L320's made by Japan, as I don't see a lot of 320 projects elsewhere, so it is likely the parts are not available in other countries like the 520/521 parts that were available to us for a while from the member I referred to above.
520/521 wiper arms are not the same as the 320 wiper arms, they have a larger outer splined pivot mount, I don't think the outer splined part from a 520/521 will fit on the small inner shaft of the 320, but I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time I have been wrong, and likely won't be the last time either.

 

 


#8 HOGIE

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:08 AM

Necro thread dig.....

Is it possible to separate the wiper pivot points to just pull out the motor?

#9 KFunk740

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 12:48 PM

Necro thread dig.....

Is it possible to separate the wiper pivot points to just pull out the motor?

 

I haven't separated the pivot points at the wipers, but if you're just wanting the motor out, then its pretty easy to pull the motor out by itself with like 3 bolts.  The whole linkage mechanism is a challenge I still haven't done, but you can reach much of it behind the dash and get some lube to it without pulling dash.

 

As a conclusion I forgot:

to fix my stripped spline problem, I ended up carefully drilling straight through the shaft, and put a cotter pin through them perpendicular.  It doesn't look perfectly stock from the outside, but its not that noticeable, and it does work.  Well, as good as a 320's wipers can work, which isn't great.

I did buy a spare linkage arm set on ebay with pivot points, but the splines weren't great on them either, and one had already been drilled in the same manner I did mine.