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Full Version: How To Repair Juddering / Sticking Wipers
Alfa Romeo 145 - 146 Forum > Technical > FAQ
Fin
Just done this fairly easy and successful job on my car so I wanted to check there wasn't a guide already before I wrote one! I've searched the forum and can't find a FAQ, but just wanted to double check!

If all is good, I'll get writing one later on this afternoon or tonight after work once I've figured out how to upload pics! snap.gif
GialloEvo94
There is something on another forum about fixing the problem permanently (www.alfa155.org I believe) but nothing currently on the forum so feel free to write a "How-to" and post it on here then one of the admins/mods will move it to the "How-to" section smile.gif

I assume by a "fix" you mean actually stripping down the motor and cleaning up the contacts, replacing the grease etc?

Picture upload is easy. When creating a post, there is a panel directly below the text entry box that allows you to browse for and upload pictures (one at a time). Then the dropdown box allows you to select an already uploaded attachment and place it wherever you want within the post text smile.gif
Fin
QUOTE(GialloEvo94 @ 23rd January 2010 12:20) *
I assume by a "fix" you mean actually stripping down the motor and cleaning up the contacts, replacing the grease etc?

Picture upload is easy. When creating a post, there is a panel directly below the text entry box that allows you to browse for and upload pictures (one at a time). Then the dropdown box allows you to select an already uploaded attachment and place it wherever you want within the post text smile.gif


Yeah, a proper strip down and fix. It's not really a difficult job and the repairs to mine seem to have lasted well.

I'll crack on with it later! coolio.gif
Alfa Boxer
Is the problem with the motors just the type of grease they use?

If it is, what type of grease do you use instead?
shammon81
i would like to find out also, and does anyone no the arm size and blade size, my wipers have gone nasty after the snow we had angry.gif
Fin
Yeah... You have to grease bits and dismantle bits. I'll get it on here tomorrow as it's a bit late now! unsure.gif
Fin
Servicing front and rear wiper mechanisms on the Alfa 145 (although it should work on quite a few other cars!)

This problem is mainly caused by two things: corrosion on the mech spindles which makes them harder to turn (which in turn can damage the motor), and dirty or scratched contacts and control plate in the motor housing itself. After a few years and a lack of grease, water/dampness gets into the bushes for the spindles and causes corrosion, which in turn stops the spindles from turning properly. And the motor contacts wear a track in the control plate on the back of the main gear inside the motor.

On the rear wiper mechanism, the spindle is part of the motor but the contacts inside usually seem to be ok as the rear wiper is used less than the front one, so it's usually just the corrosion on the spindle that causes problems.

Luckily, the parts that cause the faults can all be dismantled and repaired/bodged to pretty much sort out the juddering wiper problem. I can't say that the front wipers will be sorted 100% as mine haven't been done long enough, but the rear one has been working properly for over 6 months now! coolio.gif

Oh, and don't think this problem is just Alfa/Fiat related. I've seen this happen on quite a few different cars such as VAGs, GMs and some older Beemas. And when the Mercedes single oscillating wiper mech start seizing (as they do) the damage can run into several hundreds of pounds just for parts, and all because wipers are not listed in the service schedule! rant.gif


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Safetly and disclamer
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Although the motor isn't extremely powerful there is a fair amount of torque involved; if it does suddenly start moving and you trap your fingers in the mechanism, it will hurt, so remove the keys from the ignition before you go anywhere near it. Also if you test the motor and/or mechanism, make sure it is secure. The inertia from the motor will cause it to shake as it starts/stops. All other obvious bits apply like don't put anything on the battery and remove all tools from the area before you test anything, wear eye/hearing protection when using a hammer or drill, don't spray degreaser near your brew etc...

You use the advice here at your own risk and if you aren't sure on any items, ask for advice. If your car ends up on fire after trying to fix your wipers, maybe leave the tools alone and have a go at knitting instead! blink.gif

Other things: make notes of parts you take off, use a parts tray (I use Fray Bentos metal pie cans), take pictures and most importantly, there will be several different washers that need to go back in the right order!



Tools and bits you will need:

Hammer and bench vise (a workmate bench may do)
Nail punch (or an old screwdriver)
A few decent screwdrivers and some long nosed pliers
10mm + 13mm socket and ring spanner and 4mm + 6mm allen driver
T15 (I think) torx driver
A blunt stanley knife (or a scriber)
A power drill (a pillar one will make it easier)
Some wet and dry paper (600 + 1000 grade)
Some grease (I used Molybdenum for the spindles and mech and a lighter CL grease for the inside of the motor)
Some rubber O-rings (2x 10mm and 1x 7mm)
A parts tray or two
Some old rags and degreaser, switch cleaner or brake and clutch cleaner
Some Tea or Coffee



Part 1 - The front wipers

Start by removing the bonnet and the plastic scuttle panel cover. There are 3x torx screws at the bottom of the cover and some clips at the top under the windscreen. Gently but firmly pull where the clips are and it should come away.

[attachment=9369:PB240009.JPG] Note the keys well out the way of the ignition!

Don't bother disconnecting the spray system, just move the two halves of panel out the way. Next, mark where the wipers park on the screen and remove them. If your wipers are totally stuck and won't return to the park position, leave this bit out! Undo the 4x nuts/bolts that hold the mech frame in place (remembering which washers and bits go where) unplug the motor, and remove the mech from the car.

Now, it's time to remove the motor. Scratch a mark on the motor shaft and the bit of the mechanism it drives (motor drive bit), so you can put it back together properly! Undo the 13mm nut on the motor shaft and undo the 3x 10mm headed bolts holding the motor onto the mechanism. Put a flat blade screwdriver between the mech and the drive bit and very gently tap the motor shaft while levering the drive bit off. If this doesn't work, try two flat bladed screwdrivers one each side of the drive bit or tap a bit harder! Once the motor is seperated, put it to one side.

[attachment=9373:PB240012.JPG] Motor and drive bit and nut

The next bit is to remove the wiper shafts and clean them up. Push the circlip off the shaft using the long nose pliers. (To avoid pinging it across the workshop, use a rag to catch it!) Remove the washer and the rubber O-ring under it and and remove the shaft from the mech frame. The shaft should come out without force, chances are it has corroded inside, so you will need to hammer it out of the bush from the front. Place the mech over the vise or if that isn't possible(depending on the vise) use a few blocks of wood to support the mechanism. Repeat this with the other wiper shaft. Next, turn the mech part over (so the shaft is facing away from you) and using a nail punch and holding it loosely in the vice, hammer the shaft out from the shaft drive bit. This is an interference fit so it may need a bit of a clout to remove it!

[attachment=9370:PB240014.JPG] Shafts removed

Now you can clean the shafts, grease and re-assemble the mech. Take a shaft and clamp it in your drill by the thread (not too hard so you don't damage it) and use the wet&dry to clean it up while spinning it. Start with 600 then use the fine to finish it. Don't spend too long polishing as you are only removing metal but try to get rid of most of the rust! Oh and mind your fingers!

[attachment=9371:PB240018.JPG] Spot the difference!

Once you have done both shafts, hammer them back into the shaft drive bits (you will feel/hear when it is all the way home), replace the O-rings, apply some grease and fit the mech back together noting the correct location of the washers! It's also a good idea at this point to grease all the mech ball joints before re-attaching the motor.

On to the motor now. The motor should be slightly easier to service as the main shaft should be free of any corrosion. Start by removing the protective black cover, then turn it over and carefully unclip the gearbox/control plate cover. Remove the shaft circlip and washers and push the shaft out of the motor housing. Wipe away the old grease and clean with some degreaser, then gently clean the surface of the control plate on the back of the plastic gear with fine wet&dry. You don't need to go mad with it, just lightly polish the surface where the contacts have left marks. Once you have done this, give the contacts themselves a polish, then re-fit the shaft and washers, pack some grease in the gearbox and put the cover back on.

[attachment=9372:PB240023.JPG] Left to right - Gearbox housing, gear wheel/shaft/control plate, cover with contacts

You might wish to connect the motor up to test it is working at this point. If you do, place the motor somewhere where it can't fall and damage the connector or anything else. Other than that, replace everything you removed/dismantled in reverse order, have a brew and open the boot lid for part 2! rolleyes.gif
Fin
QUOTE(Bored with Mercs @ 25th January 2010 02:46) *
Snippety snip snip

I'm back after not being on for a while and a bit of a name change! 2 questions for you:

1 - Did anyone try this and how has it worked out for you?
2 - Where did the second bit with the rear wiper go? Any ideas?

I think I had a notepad version somewhere on my laptop so I'll try and find it in the next few days if I can...

I've even formulated a fix for headlight adjusters that involves 2 worth of parts and very small amount of epoxy resin, but I'll have to try it first! rolleyes.gif
GialloEvo94
I've only just noticed your write-up so thanks for doing that. Now moved to the FAQs section so it can be easily found smile.gif
old146
Great post... Very helpful... but!

Now my wipers sometimes start when I start the car. They only run for about 5 wipes then stop. Even the rear wiper is going. It only happens about 1 in 4 times that I start the car.

It's not a great worry, but a little annoying smile.gif
Fin
QUOTE(old146 @ 22nd April 2010 08:06) *
Now my wipers sometimes start when I start the car. They only run for about 5 wipes then stop. Even the rear wiper is going. It only happens about 1 in 4 times that I start the car.


That sounds like the motor is starting off on the wash wipe cycle when you turn it on. They do go all the way over the screen and park in the correct place don't they?
old146
QUOTE(Fin @ 22nd April 2010 07:37) *
That sounds like the motor is starting off on the wash wipe cycle when you turn it on. They do go all the way over the screen and park in the correct place don't they?


Ahhh, yes. Generally.
It happened to me again today. I drove the car 4 times, and it happened once. I had just ducked into a shop, it was day-time, no lights on, not raining, and I hadn't used my wipers at all today.

Ignition to on - nothing unusual. Warning lights as they should on the dash.
Ignition to start - nothing unusual. Engine started! (well, it's not that unusual wink.gif
release ignition key - wipers went 5 times on high speed. The rear only went 3 times, and after it parked the front ones juddered slightly then returned to the park. The front ones go at high speed, I'm thinking that's why they sweep more times than the rear, which only has the one speed.

This evening on the way home, no problem. A few minutes after I got home, I had to swap cars around for the morning, and again, no problem.

It's just strange...
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