Michael CPA

Dash Knobs and Switches 1955 Buick Roadmaster (wiper and rear speaker)

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While I am getting my wiper motor rebuilt, I need help understanding how the switch works.  All of my words have faded and I need a new one.  However, there are clearly three things you can do with the wipers / washer.  The bottom one is off / on, the middle button you push for washer fluid, but what does the top on do and what is attached behind it?  Mine currently freely spins.  

 

Also, my rear speaker knob is missing and I really want to stick with OEM style knobs.  

 

Can anyone help?

 

Any 

Wiper Knob.png

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Posted (edited)

I could be totally wrong but if I recall correctly the top switch on the camomatic controls whether you want a wide sweep of the wipers or a faster shorter sweep. The whole switch will be vacuum operated so there should be a vacuum hose dedicated to that specific operation.

 

It will certainly be helpful to you if you buy a workshop manual for the car. You can buy copies off ebay or better yet one of the buick parts sellers will likely sell these. I have one for the 56 and it is invaluable when owning/working on these cars. The net site Hometown Buick also has this info but there is nothing better than paper right in front of you.

 

In regard to the speaker knob you can try the buy/sell forum or there may be a new repro available. Unfortunately, it may involve some investigative shopping (part of the :) funbut then again you may get lucky.

 

Hope this helps some.

Edited by 56 Buick
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I should point out that the workshop manual may not specifically provide info on how to fix the wiper switch but you need the manual. Fixing the switch will likely be trial and error but I suspect moving that top switch arm activates a part of the wiper motor causing its arc to speed up or alternatively have a wider arc. I would ensure the wiper motor and vacuum lines are all in good order before looking at the switch. If it is still not working then you may have to pull it and play with it to see how it operates - once you know how it works then you are more than half way to fixing it.

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Agreed on the manual.  I have one.  It will be interesting.  I was able to research and found a NOS washer motor assembly still in nox.  (Pretty sure the last one in the world).  Once I get the wiper motor fixed, I'm going to try to put it together off car and see if I can understand it.  Once I do, I will report the outcome.   Thanks.  

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BTW the manner in which the vacuum hose lines all connect is quite complicated. Not sure about your car but when I acquired my car the lines were all over the place. Anyway I am sure the workshop manual pictures the layout but failing that the Hometown Buick website has it.

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11 hours ago, Michael CPA said:

wipers / washer.  The bottom one is off / on, the middle button you push for washer fluid, but what does the top on do and what is attached behind it?  Mine currently freely spins.  

 

In my '56, which has the same switch, the top floats freely within it's range of movement.  That is because the tiny diameter hose is yet to be replaced and so it is disconnected at the "T" fitting under the hood. It does control the sweep width and wiper speed.  When you go wide, the wipers will cycle slowly and sweep all the way from the bottom of the window in the center, to the extent of their travel which is to the curvature of the windshield.  When you select fast the wipers will cycle in a narrow range in front of the driver and passenger and will sweep 2X faster than when wide. 

 

I cannot recall where I saw the diagram for the '56 wiper and I am not sure it is the same for the '55.  But I will look for it today

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Here is the diagram for the 1956 Buick Wiper switch vacuum hose routing.  I do not know if it is the same for '55.  I do not know if a '55 diagram exists.  However, I believe they are the same or very similar. 

 

85668228_1956vacuumhosediagram.thumb.JPG.7771694db97936c4a94f12ad0fec64be.JPG

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We had a pretty big discussion about the radio speaker knob on this forum.  We first thought it was an old pointer style radio knob like the one shown here.20180716_154951.thumb.jpg.03ada14b4b140bf6d93ad2b9d9ce49dd.jpgHowever, I visited Mr. Coker's house when his collection of 55 Buick Centurys were being auctioned off.  I was told that Mr Coker was a stickler for correctness and was an expert on these cars.  Fortunately, one of his cars had this rear speaker switch and here is the knob shown on his car.20181103_102323.thumb.jpg.1420da6a9195976ed2e08d732755ade7.jpgTurns out the style of knob used on the rear speaker switch is the same knob used on the AC control panel.  Here is a couple more pictures of the correct knob.20171025_172919.thumb.jpg.69be8cef93d96e0c8a0f01a0f1fc3744.jpg20171025_172944.thumb.jpg.d2098d158d96913e6eaed1a00f604886.jpgI have 2 of these right now, but I still need 1 more.  I will probably have to take a plain knob and modify it with a metal pointer that I would have to template.  These knobs are very hard to find.  I hope this helps Sir.

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I have the knob just like Mr. Cokers.  It just spins freely with no grip.  I know I can use epoxy and make it stick.  However, it would make everything permanently unremovable and that scare me.

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