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Vacuum windshield wiper motors


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1937 Buick

 

Do you guys just install the retro electric windshield wiper motor instead of relying on the original vacuum ones.  The car will be converted to 12 volt anyway.

I don't even know if my vacuum one works,  haven't hooked up vacuum to it yet.

Actually never seen one work.  I assume at idle or slow speeds the wipers are moving slowly?

 

Any and all comments appreciated.

 

Resurrecting the dead.....

 

 

IMG_20190409_220458_891.jpg

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Don't waste your time fixing vacuum wipers, they never worked well even when they were new.

 

Bob's sells 12 V electric wipers for your year, which work well on 6V cars as well, except they go slower. I did that to my '40 Buick and I got it from Bobs. I kept the car 6V and had no problems.

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Ya,  I see Bob's has them but just thought I'd see what people have to say about it.

The electric control/knob or switch probably has to be mounted somewhere else because the one on the dash was just a mechanical lever that actuated the vacuum switch.  I suppose I will leave it there if there is still room for it after the electric motor is mounted there.

 

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I put the switch down below the fake radio (radio speaker grill with no radio behind it) where nobody  could see it.

 

The big fat electric wire I used was the wire from the cigarette lighter since I don't smoke. That wire has plenty of amps.

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I had vacuum wipers on my '38' Buick.   I was in a trip and ran into some rain so I turned on thevwipers via the rotating knob on the canter of the panel - next to the windshield.    As long as I did not push down on the throttle, the engine created enough vacuum to create an adequate vacuum to keep the windshield reasonable clean.    If I tried to accelerate or climb a small hill,  the vacuum basically went to zero - well very low,    That little episode convinced me to spend the bucks and go electric.   I live in Florida with lots of rain so it was a no brainer.... 

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Sorry to be a contrarian, but the vacuum wipers on my '41 work fine (after I fixed the "dual action" fuel pump).  Before that, my car was as Jim describes.  Without the vacuum assist from the fuel pump, the wipers will indeed fail to work at just the wrong time -- when you're trying to accelerate up a hill.  I just like to keep things stock if they work adequately -- even if not up to "modern" standards.  I can understand why people change to electric, but that's just my personal choice.

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Posted (edited)

All comments and opinions appreciated.

 

Ok I had to Google to see what the vacuum assist fuel pump was.  It looks like a dual diaphragm pump.  Is the bottom diaphragm only to create vacuum for the wipers and ?

 

When I found my 37(40 series) it never had that style fuel pump on it.  And the parts car I found didn't have it on either.  Is it only for the 320 engine and a bit newer?

Edited by 1937McBuick
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I can only speak for my '41.  I don't know when they figured out that they needed a vacuum assist for the wipers, and it may very well be that they didn't have it in '37.  I can certainly see why you would want to convert to electric if you're going to be doing a lot of driving, whatever the weather.  It's easy for me to rely on the vacuum system since I rarely drive in the rain!

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6 hours ago, neil morse said:

I can only speak for my '41.  I don't know when they figured out that they needed a vacuum assist for the wipers, and it may very well be that they didn't have it in '37.  I can certainly see why you would want to convert to electric if you're going to be doing a lot of driving, whatever the weather.  It's easy for me to rely on the vacuum system since I rarely drive in the rain!

 

For interest, all series of 1940 cars had the dbl action pump.

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23 minutes ago, kgreen said:

For interest, all series of 1940 cars had the dbl action pump.

 

7 hours ago, 1937McBuick said:

Ok I had to Google to see what the vacuum assist fuel pump was.  It looks like a dual diaphragm pump.  Is the bottom diaphragm only to create vacuum for the wipers and ?

 

When I found my 37(40 series) it never had that style fuel pump on it.  And the parts car I found didn't have it on either.  Is it only for the 320 engine and a bit newer?

 

 

https://www.teambuick.com/reference/fuel_vacuum_pump.php


 

Quote

 

DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION OF FUEL AND VACUUM PUMP

 a. Description of Pump
The AC type AJ combination fuel and vacuum pump is used on all series engines.

<snip>

The fuel and vacuum sections form two separate, independently operating diaphragm type pumps. They are combined in one assembly for compactness and to permit operation from one eccentric on the engine camshaft.

 

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, kgreen said:

 

For interest, all series of 1940 cars had the dbl action pump.

Hi Bob,   Hills?,   Travel in the  north and northwestern part of the state!    I travel I-75 frequently.     In this situation,  I was on a trip to Tenn. (to Nashville  from Tampa - isn't that Buicks are for ?) and traveling down (?  Up) the Interstate ( I-10 and I-65 ).    My car had the regular intake manifold tap off.       Having a dual diaphragms AND  a vacuum storage tank, the old systems will work nice.   It took GM a while to get it right.    Later (47-53 and somewhat earlier) at least, had the dual dia. fuel pumps.     Engine vacuum went first to the dual dia. fuel pump and then to the windshield vac. wiper motor.   Later systems (other mfg.) had vacuum storage tanks (cheeper add on) the vacuum system worked fine.    It was cheeper than having multi-speed electric systems.   Later systems with electric motors became almost trouble free compared to the old vacuum driven wipers.    So life moves on....  are we having fun ?  

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14 minutes ago, bhemi said:

I believe Bob and other vendor's are reselling New Port Engineering's product. 

https://newportwipers.com/product/1937-38-buick/#wiper-motor

 

I have one and am putting it in my '37 coupe. It looks good in the box but I am 6 month away from driving my car :) 

 

 

I used a New Port Engineering wiper set up in a truck I built, and was very happy with it, though I did change the knob from the cheesy plastic one, but hadn't even thought to see if they offered something for the '37. If this works with the 6volt wiring as Morgan said, i'll go that route as Im missing most of the stock vacuum stuff from this car.

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Some '38 Specials did come with the dual action fuel / vacuum pumps.

 

I'm in Neils camp. I like origi9nal.

I put this in the category of "the charm of an old car". They WERE driven (and tolerated) when they were new.

 

There are lots of things to not like about an old car: steering brakes, lighting, etc.

 

 

Often whe driving in a rainstorm I think " how would this have been in my '18 Buick?"

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Since I had driven my 1937 Special to several meets in the rain without functioning wipers I must say "RAINEX" saved the day for me. Now that I finally have WORKING? wipers (swish, swish, swiiiiish, ssssssswwwwishhhhh, pause - panic brake - swishswishswish ) the RAINEX worked better.

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Has anyone done a technical write up on rebuilding a Vacuum operates wiper? The oil leaked out of my ‘27 wiper and I’m not sure how to proceed w rebuilding it or refilling it,  the car sat untouched for 20-25 or more years but luckily the there was no additional damage when the oil leaked out onto the cowl!

 

if anyone had a write up or video on the rebuild that they’d share I’d greatly appreciate it!

 

thanks

william 

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Hello, I have a 49 Super and used the electric wiper motor from Bobs mounted the on off switch on a angle bracket under dash, as it used the same screws as the vacuum motor, it can be easily changed back to original. Don’t know why other than cost they kept the vacuum setup as long as they did.My 41 Packard and 52 Plymouth had them as factory equipment.

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And nobody at car shows is going to care about your "non-original" electric wiper motor, because they can't see it. The only difference is, the wipers actually work when it rains.

 

Vacuum wipers are garbage.

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Speaking of wipers, I need to rebuild my vacuum wiper motor it I see the nipple pulled out of the housing.  Can someone tell me what holds the nipple that the vacuum line attaches to into the housing?  
 

this is not mine, just a pic for example....
 

 

315C77EC-6CD8-41CF-98EE-5DA3AE485767.jpeg

Edited by Crazyfamily (see edit history)
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Could it just be a pressed fit?  Does the end that came out of the housing actually look jagged and broken or a factory finish?

You said "pulled out",  it's not sheared off flush with the housing is it?

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I believe they were originally just pressed into the die cast material.  In time diecast swells and the tubes come loose.  I've seen a number of they in this condition.  I would just apply some JB Weld to lock it in.

 

Bob Engle

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I’ll stop by the car and take a look, when I was starting the car for the first time since we acquired it I was had a vacuum leak that Hugh helped me isolate to the wiper motor.  Capped off the vacuum line at the wiper motor and noticed the nipple pulled right out of the housing.   It’s been since last Summer that I called off the vacuum line so I’ll have to take a look at the end of the nipple itself.

 

ill report....

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I think the nipple was cast in when the housing is made.

 

No one sells replacement parts, so it is impossible to really rebuild one. If the housing ia warped, nothing will fix it

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I’ll take the wiper motor off the car and disassemble it and see what’s going on.  I don’t have a issue making a new gasket and sealing the nipple back into the housing.  I’m pretty confident I can get it working again.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 41 Century wipers work very well. The key is having a good unit and good vacuum. If yours are slow you likely have poor vacuum due to leaky lines or leaky carb mount gaskets or intake manifold gaskets. Measure your vacuum and if low tighten up the carbs and intake bolts for starters. If its still low and your lines are all fresh including to ignition advance you might need fresh gaskets especially the intake. After replacing mine my wipers went from sluggish to to slapping fast at idle and cruising. When accelerating hard they will slow down of course as vacuum drops. Remember when the glass is wet they move faster then when dragging across a dry surface. Who drives in the rain anyway except for when out on a tour.

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