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(1) 2 »

Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#1
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Redhexagon
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Hello, all. I'm new to the forum. In fact, I am new to Packards. I've admired them for years and finally bought a 1955 Patrician. I've had it a few weeks now and have been ironing out lots of little annoying problems. While I am new to Packards, I am not entirely new to old cars. I have a small collection of 1960's through 1980's American Motors cars, though I understand they are "new" cars by Packard standards...

Anyhow,

My wipers are a problem. I try not to drive in the rain, but it rains every day here this time of year, so sometimes you get caught in a storm.

It will wipe with closed throttle, but stops wiping entirely with even the slightest opening of the throttle. I cannot even maintain a steady speed on a level road and have them keep wiping.

My engine-driven vacuum pump in the crankcase is inoperative. I suspect it's gone entirely since I can blow air into the steel line and hear the air exiting inside the crankcase, unabated. I don't think the line is hooked to anything inside. The oil pan has been off this car before, so it's likely the oil pump has been changed. It has 65,000 miles. I keep the line plugged.

In a "Hail Mary for the End Zone" move, I installed a double-action fuel pump for a 1955 Nash Ambassador with the 320 V8 to give me a fuel pump-mounted vacuum pump like many cars used. Vacuum booster is more like it... The 1955 Nash manual says it's only good for 10 inches of mercury and that's what I measured on mine. It's not enough to make the wipers even budge. Installing it made absolutely no improvement over manifold vacuum alone.

I've looked into installing a 12v electric vacuum pump, but any pump with sufficient capacity would use about 10 amps and this 30-amp generator seems to work hard enough as it is keeping up with my power windows, power seat, dual heaters...

The elevation that I live at makes everything worse. I am 7000 feet above sea level. Engines up here make 16 inches of mercury at idle if you are lucky. All vacuum-operated things work less effectively.

I feel pretty stuck. I don't see any easy solutions here aside from lifting my foot off the throttle every time the windshield needs cleared. I will double-check the wiper motor again to make sure it isn't internally leaking.

Posted on: 2022/8/22 1:35
1955 Patrician. Topaz / White Jade.
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#2
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Packard Don
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Welcome to Packarding and to this site! I can’t help you with the specific problem but on your 1955, please note that is (or should be) positive ground so any electrical devices you might connect need to either match or be polarity insensitive.

For the pump, many seem keen on replacing the original with a kit that allows an Olds pump to be installed and that may have Ben done on yours but you can also obtain have an original pump professionally rebuilt to do the job as-designed. That would be my preference.

Posted on: 2022/8/22 1:54
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#3
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humanpotatohybrid
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Have you replaced the old tubing with new tubing?

If the vacuum motor on the wipers has never been rebuilt I can't imagine it's working very well, but to be fair I've never messed with mine.

If you want to install an electric pump then it may make sense to mount a reed switch to turn the pump on only when the wipers are activated. If that's the case I wouldn't worry about the power usage. All the accessories you listed essentially use no power. Probably the main drain, besides ignition, is your headlights. If the car barely charges while driving, that's another issue.

Again, keep in mind that if you add any accessories, that your car should be positive ground. In fact, I would specifically double check that your battery is connected properly if you are having charging system issues. Likewise check that you are reaching proper charging voltage with the engine revved some (measure the cigarette lighter voltage if you don't have a buddy to rev the engine, else measure the battery voltage).

And oil the generator while you're at it.


Welcome to the forum!

Posted on: 2022/8/22 5:44
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#4
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Ross
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You will be well served by sending your wiper motor off to Ficken Wiper Service for a rebuild. While it is away hoist yourself under the dash and oil the little wheels on the cable tensioners and the wiper bases. Yes its a pain but such things are needed every 67 years or so. Also oil the motor mount shaft where it goes through the firewall, and get some oil up under the stubshafts where the wiper arms mount to the bases.

My 56 would do better than 60 strokes a minute when it was serviced, and the dual stroke feature is handy in driving rain.

Posted on: 2022/8/22 6:22
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#5
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Tim Cole
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I don't where you are, but even here in Michigan we are experiencing drought along with the rest of the country. Part of routine service for the wipers is to oil the motor itself by injecting oil using a squirt oil can and manually working the motor by hand. If that doesn't help you can try Ficken at 631-587-3332 or wiperman.com

Posted on: 2022/8/22 7:00
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#6
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HH56
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I would also suggest having Fickenhttps://rebuildingtricowipers.com rebuild your motor. Once that is done and the other suggestions Ross made are completed I suspect the Nash vacuum pump output will be more than adequate to keep the wipers moving -- but at a slower pace as was typical of other vacuum wiper cars of the era. Also a good suggestion is to check and or replace hoses -- even the one going to the washer vacuum control solenoid. If the balance valve is still installed after the crankcase aux pump was removed make sure the old aux input port on the valve is tightly capped.

If you decide to try the 12v aux pump make sure and check if the pump you select is rated for continuous running. Many are designed to run only for fairly short intervals when brakes are used -- just long enough to replenish the reserve vacuum reservoir. That type could overheat and be damaged if run continuously for a long period as might be needed when wipers are on.

Posted on: 2022/8/22 8:47
Howard
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#7
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JWL
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Some here have replaced their vacuum wiper motors with an electric ones. I don't recall which one was used but it may have been for a 55-57 Chevrolet. Others here may know the answer to which one was used and what was involved in its installation. As I recall, it was a bolt-in swap with only minor work needed to get it wired. I believe the operating cable worked with the electric motor too. This to me would be a better solution than fooling with the vacuum system.

Posted on: 2022/8/22 11:39
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#8
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HH56
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I believe it is the 55-56 Chevy electric wiper motor that is a drop in. The 57 is slightly different and has a switch slide piece that I do not think the Packard switch cable fits as is. As far as I know there are no repros of that motor so you will need to find a used or rebuilt. They are expensive but not much more than the aftermarket Newport electric setup. They are not as irritating as installing a Newport motor and trying to get a stock in dash look with its electric switch. Mounting the Newport switch requires destroying the Packard switch to get a piece to cover a gap in the bezel in order to have a finished stock look.

If your Packard has the windshield washer, you will also need the Chevy screw on bracket to mount the coordinator on the motor. As far as I can tell those were somewhat scarce as that style washer was optional for Chevy. Without the bracket you will need to give up the coordinator and its automatic sync with the washer.

Posted on: 2022/8/22 12:04
Howard
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#9
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Redhexagon
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Thanks for answering.

1. The wiper motor is rebuilt, clean, and greased. It moves very easily and holds vacuum internally. The only slight leak is on the switching valve, which is nylon and seals against aluminum without a gasket. There will always be some leakage on it. I could send it to Ficken, but I doubt he could improve this motor any.

2. The balancing valve is not in use since the internal engine vacuum pump is not in use. I am using a double-acting fuel pump/vacuum pump instead with it's own plumbing and internal check valve.

3. All hoses and connections are new, tight, and sealing, including those under the dash for the variable wiper arc control.

4. The wiper arms move easily by hand and the cable pulleys all turn, but I will try oiling them anyway.

Mostly I'm asking about what is normal for vacuum wipers on a double-acting fuel pump/vacuum pump at this kind of altitude. I know vacuum-operated equipment works less effectively up here, so I wonder if I'm just chasing my tail trying go fix something that cannot be fixed because there just isn't enough air pressure up here to make them work.

Posted on: 2022/8/22 12:18
1955 Patrician. Topaz / White Jade.
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Re: Hello and trying to fix wipers.
#10
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HH56
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I don't know how much performance suffers at altitude but apparently it is a thing because the AMC and Mercury forums have similar questions. It seems odd they would suffer that much loss in performance when the emergency fuel pump vacuum booster you found is only specified capable of 10 inches and the AMC guy was having issues with 16 inches being available.

The Mercury guy solved his issue with an electric vacuum pump but his pump was a NOS 6v Trico pump made for the job. Doing a search I did see a couple of NOS Tricos for sale on ebay but the 12v models I saw were extremely expensive. There are a couple of 12v Dorman pumps at Amazon for less than $100 with what appears to be 1/4" hose connections. They appear to be designed for Air Conditioning vacuum control requirements and might work for wipers if the volume is adequate. I still suggest you verify specs to see if the pump you choose is rated for what could be continuous duty. There might be something published on the Dorman website if you are looking at those.

If you are having fit issues with leaking at the vacuum slider I wonder if it might be warped. You could remove and check with a straightedge. If it is slightly bowed maybe some gentle wet refinishing on fine grade sandpaper laying on a plate of glass would get things in order. Add a bit of shim stock under the retaining bar for a tighter fit to the motor.

The other option would be to go with an electric motor. There are several refubished 55-6 Chevy passenger car motors on ebay at the moment. One looked like it had a slot for the coordinator but vendor did not have a clear enough view to be sure. It was also the most expensive offering. Downside to the Chevy motor is it is rather bulky and heavy. Here is a photo showing a Chevy motor which has the coordinator bracket and a mounted coordinator. Note the cable activated slide bracket is not stock. It was cobbled together because the original was toast and not usable at the time. New Chevy repro slides are now available.

Attach file:



jpg  Chevy wiper motor.jpg (29.54 KB)
209_6303e0b020f28.jpg 563X395 px

Posted on: 2022/8/22 15:03
Howard
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