Windscreen wiper weirdness [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Windscreen wiper weirdness


emilysöderberg
15-05-07, 11:53 AM
I was on the way to the airport in heavy rain and something rather strange happened: The left (driver's side) windscreen wiper stopped working completely, but the right one continued working. Luckily this happened about 50m before the airport parking, so I managed to catch my plane!

I've not had the time to do any investigation beyond noticing that the broken wiper now can be moved, as if it is not connected any more.

Considering the unpredictable weather we're having, I don't want to risk having to drive back in the rain without the driver's wiper working... Can any of you give me any ideas about what to check/what I could possibly do when I get back so that I can drive home safely?

Thanks!!!!

Emily

Jim Mesthene
15-05-07, 12:08 PM
When the left wiper fails, it's usually a broken cable in the wiper rack (check the nut on the wiper arm anyway).
Sometimes the cable just falls off; replace it anyway, the old one will fail again.

DanF.
15-05-07, 12:18 PM
same thing happened to me on the interstate in new jersey last summer.

pop the hood and look/feel for the cam/pulley looking thing that should be on the end of the driver's wiper arm. its a PITA to deal with, at first. I'm still using all the original parts that, uh, originally broke, so it can be done. but i'd go with Jim's advice and replace the cable.

you'll have to undo the bolts (4 i think) holding the wiper motor and transmission to the firewall. that way you can service it.


best of luck

grif900
15-05-07, 12:29 PM
if you are really stuck you can always take off the right wiper arm and the reattach it about 10 degrees above where it was. it will then reach a little farther into the left side. strictly a roadside repair, but its a little better than nothing.:cool:

emilysöderberg
15-05-07, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the tips! I'll have to do the more complex stuff when I get home, but the roadside repair is something I should be able to in the airport car park to get me there!

If things carry on this way, I'll end up knowing how to repair my own car!!! :o:o:o

Em :)

Gabby
15-05-07, 02:07 PM
If things carry on this way, I'll end up knowing how to repair my own car!!! :o:o:o

Drive an old Saab long enough, given mechanical inclination, and it is probably inevitable!!:cheesy:

16saabs
15-05-07, 04:30 PM
if you have a metal coat hanger you will probably be able to unwrap it and then make a wire that attaches to both and the good one will work the other. never tried it but have seen a car with it. just make sure you have no rough edges facing the screen to stop scratches.
or the other desparate measure if you are struggling is to take the whole arm off and do it by hand? yes you will get a bit wet but keep the screen reasonable,
or just fasten the coathanger to the arm and do it manually??

li Arc
15-05-07, 05:54 PM
This actually happened to me a while back as well. However, it wasn't anything to do with the rack, it was that the shaft that the wiper arm screws onto has come off the splined pulley-like end, which in turn is wrapped by a length of cable that drives it. This pulley-like end (whatever it's called) is secured onto the shaft by friction, and over the years I guess it just slipped off. Not that good a design, if you ask me, but at any rate, somehow I for the pieces back together, got an F-clamp, fitted it between the pulley-like end and the firewall as an "anvil", and smacked the shaft back into the pulley with a rubber mallot. This worked then, and continues to work now! :cheesy:

As a quick warning, the hardest part isn't shoving the shaft back in against the pulley, but wrapping the cable around the pulley in the right position again...it was quite a tedious bit of work I must say! :(

li Arc

grif900
15-05-07, 06:34 PM
yup thats how they work, the turny thing is a cam. the weak link there is the puny little cable. they usually break when the wiper-blades are frozen to the front glass.

li Arc
15-05-07, 07:38 PM
Yea, I meant to say that the cable was fine, that the cam fell off the splined shaft, so that's what happened to my wiper arm. I'd be more worried if the cable was busted because it seems like it'd be hard to find a replacement for it...

li Arc

grif900
15-05-07, 07:41 PM
yeah they do seem to be interestingly cobbled together.

Matthew
16-05-07, 05:40 AM
This is further persuasive evidence that Saab designed the 900 to be LHD, not RHD.

On a LHD car, the driver's wiper is direct drive. If the chain breaks or falls off, then only passenger's wiper fails and the driver will still have a clear windscreen

Of course you could always rigorously use RainX and forget the wipers. Products like RainX actually give a much much clearer windscreen than wipers, especially as the rain gets heavier (which is when you need it most).

grif900
16-05-07, 07:10 AM
On a LHD car, the driver's wiper is direct drive. If the chain breaks or falls off, then only passenger's wiper fails and the driver will still have a clear windscreen

\

us models have a direct drive passenger side and cable driven driver side, thats how i came up with the goofy roadside repair i recomended.

Matthew
16-05-07, 07:30 AM
Oh! So do RHD cars have direct-drive driver's sides? I am sure the chain broke on Alex's car, leaving the passenger wiper working and the driver's side stationary.

philjohnhb
16-05-07, 10:03 AM
The bar that connects the two wipers has press-on universal joint connectors, it's possible that one of these has just popped off.

grif900
16-05-07, 10:04 AM
right you are sir. i just checked the epc, looks like rhd and lhd models have "mirror image" asemblys, in either case leaving the driver at a dissadvantage when the cable breaks.

jglavin
16-05-07, 10:38 AM
This same thing happened to me as well, the driver's wiper failed and the pass side continued working. I believe it was the cable, luckily I had a parts car back home. The thing I find most strange is that the driver's wiper has to travel so much farther (~180 degrees vs. ~120) and thus wears out sooner. What does Saab have against the driver's ability to see? Then again, I rode in my friend's Viggen and those wipers seemed strange to me after being used to mine.

Also, a mechanic noted that to avoid similar situations in the future I could try shorter blades to reduce stress on the assembly. I was using 18" (I think) blades, which just brush the top and sides of the windshield, and swapped them for 16's which are about an inch off the top but still perfectly fine. Those wore out and I got a set of 17" Bosch Icons (those ones you see on newer cars, with no metal rocker thingies) which is a nice compromise - and a great blade in my opinion.

emilysöderberg
16-05-07, 10:40 AM
Well, thanks for all the tips... I'm off for the airport soon and will have fun trying to fix this either at the airport (probably the roadside fix), if it is raining heavily, or at home if I can make it safely!

Fingers crossed! :)

Em

grif900
16-05-07, 12:18 PM
youll need a 13 mm wrench to remove the arm, pry up the little cover at the end of the arm,its hinged, and remove the nut . you may have to tap on the base of the arm to get it to release. and can brobably go higher than 10 degrees.

Matthew
16-05-07, 01:49 PM
Loosen the nut but leave it place. Avoids you falling over and looking silly when the wiper arm suddenly comes off the spindle :lol:

Same applies when removing the steering wheel, but instead that saves you from a broken nose.

There are (cheap) wiper arm pullers for when the arm won't come off. The spindle's steel and the arm fitting is aluminium. They seize together. Ditto the wiper arms.

emilysöderberg
18-05-07, 11:59 AM
Well, it turns out it was pretty simple... The cam fell from the back of the driver's windscreen wiper. The cable looks good... I think I just need to work out how to get the cam back onto the back of the wiper with the cable in the right position...

I'll be trying that tomorrow! :)

Thanks everyone!!!!

Em

li Arc
18-05-07, 01:58 PM
Emily, this is the exact problem I had! It was a b**** trying to get the cam back on, because you need something to rest the cam against so that you can smack the shaft back into it. Just make sure the splines are lined up when you do this...I took an F-clamp, removed the "f" portion of it so I end up with an "L" shaped device, and bascially wedged the end of the "L" up behind the cam and held it there and took a mallot to it. It was pretty easy after that, but re-wrapping the cable over the cam might take some doing because you need it tight, and keeping it in place while working the shaft back into the cam can certainly be tricky! Just know that there is a screw that fixes the cable to the linkage at the end of the rod, if you need some slack adjust here. But make sure when it goes back in, you tighten it good, or it'll either just slip back out of place or the cable won't drive the cam.

li Arc

grif900
18-05-07, 02:27 PM
ive replaced the cable with the wiper asembly in the car, once. now i take whole thing out and fix them on the workbench. you only have to undo the wiper arms, three bolts and the electrical connector and its out.

emilysöderberg
30-05-07, 06:07 AM
Help! I've spent 6 hours, three nails and two screwdrivers trying to fix this problem. All I need to do is loop that tiny cable around the cam and make it stay there, but I simply cannot do it!

How should one do this? I've loosened the nut on the cable to the maximum and I still can't loop it over the cam. I've tried doing this with the wipers in just about every position imaginable, all to no avail. I've even tried taking the wiper mechanism out, but there's simply no way to remove it from the engine bay without removing components which are far too advanced for me to play with.

Before I give up and take the car to a mechanic, can someone please tell me how to do this???

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Em

li Arc
30-05-07, 12:18 PM
This was one of my most hated procedures, besides the first slave cylinder change (the second clutch operation went smooth as butter!) :), and I remember I had to wrestle with it for a few days before I finally got it in...it's very frustrating.

If I understand you correctly, the loop isn't big enough to fit the cam into at the moment, even if you loosen the screw at the end? There should be a rail with a lip on either end that the cam fits into where the cable sits, which I would assume the cam should fit into first before trying to wrap the rest of the cable around it. Do note that the cam's position isn't random: because it's not circular, you need to be able to determine at what position the cam needs to be on the cable. There is a cable guide in the cam that you will need to look at to determine this: I can't remember how I figured it out. But the screw at the end should loosen it enough for you to loop the cable around the cam. After that, you simply tighten the cable (ensuring the cam doesn't pop back out of the loop, which is the most tricky part of this operation! :x) enough so that the cam won't fall out but is still able to move along the cable.

I'm not sure if I'm repeating stuff you already knew, but I certainly hope it helps, because I remember I hated working with this! :evil:

li Arc

cdaly
30-05-07, 01:40 PM
there's simply no way to remove it from the engine bay without removing components which are far too advanced for me to play with.
I just had a look and there isn't really anything in the way of taking the assembley out. Unless you have aircon that is. If you take off the wipers and the rubber boots around the spindles, you should be able to get enough wiggle room to get the assembley out.

If you have aircon, there's a compressor in the way along with its belt and idler pulley. There's also the pipework to the evaporator (in the air intake). In that case, you might have to hand it over...

Even if you cannot get the assembley out of the car, can you move it around enough that you can get at all the bits? I presume you took off the wiper arms already.

li Arc
30-05-07, 01:47 PM
Ah yes, for room, I should mention that I removed the rubber boots around the wiper shafts, or at least popped them out so that I can see what I'm doing. I have AC as well, but I don't think you'd need to remove that...the wiper motor assembly is on the other side of the car, away from the AC.

li Arc

philbert
30-05-07, 05:38 PM
Even though it's tight, you can get the wiper motor out with the a/c compressor in place. The belt really needs to come off though.

You can get the cable on the cam without loosening the stop on the cable too. There's a "sweet spot" where you twist the cable onto the cam at the same time you rotate the cam into place. Start by having the cam facing the wrong direction, start the cable around the cam, and rotate the cam correctly. It slides right on.

To keep in from falling off again, drill and pin the cam onto the shaft.

emilysöderberg
01-06-07, 08:05 AM
Thanks everyone for your help with this. I'll return home tonight and will give this another go tomorrow. I do hope that I manage to get this fixed!!!!!

Regards,

Em

emilysöderberg
03-06-07, 02:41 PM
Thanks everyone for your help! I finally made it! What a relief!

In the end, I think I was trying things the difficult way, with the cam already mounted. Taking it out, twisting it into place, tightening the cable and only then mounting it was the trick. It took three or four attempts, and then I found I needed help to hold the screw as I tightened the nut on the cable, but it's finally done now!

Thanks everyone!!!!

Em

16saabs
04-06-07, 02:26 PM
good, they are a right ******** glad i have a spare in the garage just incase. i did have to repair one once as same thing had happened to mine. a doddle next time:nono; what next time:D

mbedford
21-04-08, 08:16 AM
good, they are a right ******** glad i have a spare in the garage just incase. i did have to repair one once as same thing had happened to mine. a doddle next time:nono; what next time:D

Speaking of spares, I have just this problem except the CAM fell of at 90 mph on the M1, if it is wedged somewhere on the car I can't find it, does anyone know a source for this part. I'm in the UK but will pay to import if there is no other way.

The only part list I have seen look like it is included in the main bracket which will be expensive and a B**** to fit.

Thanks in advance

Martyn

P.S. helpful answers rewarded with pictures of my much loved 900

Matthew
21-04-08, 08:25 AM
Welcome to SaabCentral :cool:

The cam is not available as a spare part. It's only available with the main bracket (part number 8558124). Saab charge £164.35 +VAT :o

Best bet is a spare from a donor car.

mbedford
21-04-08, 08:28 AM
Welcome to SaabCentral :cool:

The cam is not available as a spare part. It's only available with the main bracket (part number 8558124). Saab charge £164.35 +VAT :o

Best bet is a spare from a donor car.

Matthew

Thanks for this, I had a suspision that would be the answer. Know any good SAAB breakers in the north of england?

Martyn

Matthew
21-04-08, 08:41 AM
Not in the North, no.

I suspect that most breakers would be unwilling to sell the cam on its own, as that leaves them with a largely useless wiper mechanism (apart from the motor).

In London there's Two Stroke to Turbo who do mail-order.

Best bet may be to get one from an individual rather than a trader. "Si" on these forums is breaking a 900 IIRC.
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/member.php?u=2281

Now, let's be seeing those pictures of your 900 :cool: :cheesy:

ianrobbo
21-04-08, 09:10 AM
Matthew

Thanks for this, I had a suspision that would be the answer. Know any good SAAB breakers in the north of england?

Martyn

Martin,

In your area, you could try Saabtec af Padfield near Glossop, 01457 867878, which may be local to you?
But I don't think they do mail order.

Or John Wood at JG Motors in Huddersfield, I know John definitely does do mail order if you need it, 01484 518118.

Ian