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Vacuum wiper system behaving erratically
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Mark Buckley
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Hi, all,

We get a lot of rain in Seattle, so I use my wipers on my 1950 Standard Eight a lot. The past few months have been a struggle because the wiper motor seems to work perfectly, work terribly, or not work at all.

Sometimes the wiper system behaves itself.

At other times it behaves like a maniac--the wipers move with such speed and vigor that it seems like the system is set to self-destruct. When it does that I dial back the knob on the steering column and try to find the correct setting so the system doesn't alarm me.

Then there are times when the wipers refuse to work at all. Occasionally this happens when the wipers are fully extended--the opposite of the "resting" position. It's as if they go all the way out and get stuck there. But other times the wipers just quit in mid-stroke.

When this happens I turn the system off, wait a moment, and then turn it on again. This seems to clear up the problem, at least for awhile.

Does anyone know if there is a manual for the windshield wiper system? I've never seen one, but would like to get my hands on one.

Thanks much

Mark in Seattle

Posted on: 2012/4/11 12:48
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Re: Vacuum wiper system behaving erratically
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Forum Ambassador

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Assuming the problem isn't mechanical with friction that comes and goes in the cables and/or sheaves, I'd be looking for a stray vacuum leak that can come and go, and then I'd check the vacuum booster pump. Take it apart and of course check the diaphram and it's action, but pay particular attention to the pair of one-way valves.

Posted on: 2012/4/11 13:38
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Re: Vacuum wiper system behaving erratically
Home away from home
Home away from home

Joseph Earl
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In the Packard Service Index, there is an article in a newsletter about servicing the wipers. Check it out.

Posted on: 2012/4/11 14:31


"If chrome got me home, I'd for sure still be stuck somewhere."

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Re: Vacuum wiper system behaving erratically
Home away from home
Home away from home

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I had a lot fun rebuilding the wiper moter ,,have you done this? it might solve your issu ,what happens is there is a paddle that swings back and forth inside of that little 1/2 pie aluminum housing slung down and a little shuttlecock thingo that applies vacum to one side of the paddle in the chamber then the other pulling it back and forth ,flip flop flip flop ,the packard loans it some extra vacumb from the fuel pump in addition to manifold vacumb ,lines o.k.?

the problem is the grease inside it ,if original ,its ancient and gets hard ,itl make the pump awrnery and work erratically ,there are rebuild kits that mostly are the gasket,you can send them off to some guys to have rebuilt ,but if it rains alot its you verses nature...
u could take it apart and use permatx liquid gasket which I dont think they had in 1950 ,use silicone grease to replace the ancient hard grease and dont forget to grease up the top of the paddle as well as the bottom ,the pump comes out by 2 screws at either side of the housing and doesnt disturb the bizarre and difficult to set up cables under the dash ,
and pops right back in after the fix .dont loose the little teeny parts of the back and forth mechanism and remember how they came out ,maby take a pic with your phone before taking it apart .i dont think they could do this in 1950 either
,its a easy fun rebuild and after you get 2 speeds and a park feature to gloat over while you can sing the "I can see clearly now" song

Posted on: 2012/4/15 19:22
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