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Discussion Starter #1
Little talk about replacing the windshield wiper motor out there in the forum. Fortunately I don't need to replace, but need to repair as mine appears to be loose causing the driver side wiper to wobble around. Before I dig into it, I thought I'd check in to get some advice. Is it as simple as removing the plastic cover/panel that runs across the bottom length of the windshield and tightening bolts holding the motor in place? Doesn't appear to be many screws holding it on the panel, so hopefully it's that simple.

Thanks for any help!
Jay
 

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If all it is is to tighten the screws then yes, it might be that simple. Only word of warning - careful with that black molding under the windshield. It is hooked with clips under the glass and they are known to break off mighty easily. I glued one of mine back in place, never found the other (when replacing cabin fan motor). You have to carefully lift the engine side of the panel to clear the firewall and then gently slide it out from underneath the glass. Your wipers need to be off before that, some say the might be tricky to take off if they have been on the car for long time. Common suggestion is to use a gear puller on them. Mine came off easily so I didn't have that issue. Other than that, it's fairly straight forward from there :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Walmark....Good to know about those little clips! I'm sure my lack of patients would've broken them off! It's funny yo umention the wipers as mine are on there pretty solid and I wasn't able to remove them last night. Maybe I'll find a gear puller and try that.

You know it figures.......the windshield was replaced by a local auto glass shop a few months before and now I have a wiper motor issue. Coincidence?

Thanks for the help,
Jay
 

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Removing black cowl is easy but not obvious.....

I removed mine this summer to access the blower motor to replace it. The necessary steps are:
  1. Remove the wiper arms. These sit on a conical splined shaft and only need to be loosed an 1/8-iinch or so before they are completely free of the shaft. Your problem may be as simple as just a loose nut securing the wiper arm to the splined shaft.
  2. Remove the center 80% of the black rubber weatherstrip that separates the engine compartment from the cowl. Don't mess with the two ends! The ends are secured by tiny fragile nylon clips. The middle portion is simple pressed onto a vertical hem in the sheetmetal. Pull the rubber strip off the raised hem, then gently drape it forward over the engine to keep it out of your way.
  3. Remove the two screws, one at each end, which secure the cowl to the body.
  4. Gently slide the cowl piece forward towards the engine, the hood latch cable will need to be routed free of the cowl, this frees the hidden nylon clips from the windshield glass.
  5. Slide the cowl piece rearwards over the top of the windshield, raising the leading edge just enough so that the nylon clips don't go under the windshield again, then remove the cowl completely from the car once it has reached the top of the windshield.
  6. Your wiper assembly with its four mounting bolts will be fully exposed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is great info gentlemen! Unfortuantely it's more that a loose nut holding on the wiper, so I am going in to see what the deal is. I hope it's only a loose mounting bolt and not a broken shaft :eek: !!! There's a lot of excess movement at the pivot point, in fact, it pushes the cowl away from the windshield at times. I'll see what's going on tonight so thanks again for the info! You guys have saved me many headaches!

Jay
 

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The wiper transmission ( from the earlier post) is prone to breakage. it is 118 at thesaabsite. Easy to replace with the instructions above ( or repair as Josdek shows in the link)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
FWIW - It ended up being a broken rod on the wiper transmission like Josdek, MI-Roger and Jssab suspected. I was able to fix just like Josdek explained on his link, but ended up using a 4" piece of metal elctrical conduit (3/4") and thru bolting 2-1.5" 5mm bolts w/lock nuts. The Electrical conduit was a nice tight fit over the existing rod but a little bigger than the broken post, so I crammed the conduit full of JB Weld before inserting what was left of the post for additional security. It seems like a solid fix, but guess I'll see how it does against the ice & snow :roll: .

The hardest part of the job was by far removing the wiper arms from the car! I tried everything and ended up getting it done w/a pair of borrowed gear pullers. Still took a bit of finess with the hood causing clearance issues though.

Is there anything I can put on the splined shafts to prevent the arms from seizing to it in the future? I was going to use a bit of grease but thought I'd check with you all first.

Thanks again to everyone who posted.....your direction and info made it an easy DIY & hopefully saved me some $$$.

Jay
 

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Thanks guys for posting this information!

My 1999 Saab 9-5 wipers started making the same sound as described. With the help of the previous post I was able to remove the assembly and it was broken in the exact same manner. Europarts.com had the assembly for $57.99 so I ordered it prior to pulling out the unit to save time. Everything went well with the exception of replacing the Wiper motor and mounting it on the new assembly. That part went smooth, but I failed to mark the position of the arm that drives the assembly. When I reinstalled the unit, the wipers would move down, before going up and cleaning the windshield.

I spent another 3 hours making the adjustment so it would work right. If anyone is going to swap the assembly make sure you mark the position of the arm on the old motor. You will save yourself a tremendous headache.
 

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Is there anything I can put on the splined shafts to prevent the arms from seizing to it in the future? I was going to use a bit of grease but thought I'd check with you all first.

Thanks again to everyone who posted.....your direction and info made it an easy DIY & hopefully saved me some $$$.

Jay
I use a "never seize" type product on lots of bolts with great success. Especially on my Cat-Midpipe connection on my exhaust. Just had to seperate my Stainless Steel bolts which were on for 2 yrs and they came right off. I even reapplied the never seize and reused the bolts. It should work on your wiper arms. Any automotive store has it.

http://www.neverseezproducts.com/antiseize.htm
 

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everyone always seems to suggest the "gear puller" but i suppose they have never used one so maybe that's why they call it that. i mean, it kinda looks like it could pull gears, but what you really need is something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-54150-Battery-Terminal-Puller/dp/B000I14RY6

this is a combination battery terminal and windshield wiper arm puller, and they do have also specific tools just for the wipers, but this type of tool works best in my book.

i got mine from napa, and this link is from amazon, but you can source them from various places.
 

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Thought I'd stress marking the positions of the wiper linkage.. I had to replace the motor on my wiper and after dismantling and rebuilding found out I'd not done this accurately .. the wipers would finish their cycle and then return some up the windscreen!! I felt a little stupid and had to do it all over again in the rain.. Fair punishment I guess!
 

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There's even another version of a wiper arm/battery post puller that I think works even better than that Lisle product. Someone else on SaabCentral had mentioned the OTC 6676 heavy duty wiper arm puller, which is very similar to the Performance Tool W83025 tie rod puller that you can get pretty cheaply at O'Reilly's. I have one of those, and it pops wiper arms off like they were nothing. I used it at Pick-n-Pull to get a pair of arms off when I needed to get a new cowling. Being able to use a ratchet on it is worth its weight in gold.
 
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