So I'm just about done with vacuum wipers. I mean you can only go so far before you can't see anything at highway speeds and need to pull over or take the back roads in excess of an extra hour out of your way. Last Saturday was the local Model A swap meet and it was a downpour the entire morning. Other than the show being a complete waste of time, it demonstrated that these vacuum wipers just aren't up to the task for modern traffic driving. To be fair, they work great around town. I had them professionally rebuilt and have never had an issue before. But now that I'm going off to a University 5 hours away, where 2.5 hours is in the rainforest and and mountain pass and the other 2.5 hours is open desert plains, that's 2.5 hours coming home to visit with terrible wiper system. Simply put, they just do not wipe fast enough and even worse, they slow and sometimes stop on acceleration and uphill climes (which will be TERRIBLE for going over the pass). So here's what I've done so far...
I purchased a Newport wiper kit. Pricey, but at least I'll know it'll bolt in. I gave a lot of thought to the 55 Chev motor I have and I would spend at least $20 on getting the right control slider, and then have to hope for the correct bowden cable base to hook up the vacuum coordinator to work the washer pump correctly, which would include either spending the money on that or buying a new washer pump lid. Then I would also have to remove and cap a bunch of lines under the dash, too, to avoid a vacuum leak. The Newport wiper is the best route, in my opinion, for ease of installation. The con: it doesn't look as cool as the bulky 55 wiper motor.
I also purchased a mid 50s Cadillac/Packard/Lincoln/Mercury wiper jar lid that has an electric solenoid for the wash check valve, making it an electric system. This was the other problem. With the Newport wiper, unless you put an electric pump inside the old jar (nothing fits without mods, again you'd have to get crafty...) the washer jar is now unusuable. The electric solenoid valve will work with the electric switch that comes with the Newport kit. So it fits, no fiddling, just a rewire and good to go.
I ALSO purchased (or salvaged) a wiper switch off of a 55 Special at my favorite junkyard. The bowden worm gear was broken, so I just pulled the switch and bezel out. It's a 1/4" shaft, which is the same as the supplied switch. The rotation of the 55 switch is the same as the switch supplied, so now I'm set. The only set back is that I need to find a way to remove the wiper switch needle from the washer button.
Everything should be here next week, so I'm looking forward to strapping it all in. I'm hoping that it may be here by Friday, but I won't hold my breath.