Vacuum wipers

ValVal Posts: 729Member
Those of you who still have the vacuum wipers, how often do you lube the motor and what do you use? 

Comments

  • railknightrailknight Posts: 275Expert Adviser
    Here's a YouTube video of someone's 1940 Nash Trico vacuum motor getting a lube job: 
  • ValVal Posts: 729Member
    So I see they use brake fluid I did that last fall and my wipers did not work this spring I just used three in one oil and that got them going I was just wondering what everyone else was using
  • ratlee2ratlee2 Posts: 235Expert Adviser
    I used Neatsfoot oil from my local tractor supply.
  • ValVal Posts: 729Member
    How much do you use and how often do you lubricate it
  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,839Administrator
    edited May 9
    I've never lubricated on a regular basis.  When mine would slow down I would use the vacuum to suck neats foot oil into the chamber until it was filled.  Then I'd let the thing sit for a couple days while the leather seal inside, absorbed the oil.  (You can also find neats foot oil at shoe stores, since it is used to rejuvenate leather.)  There are probably a couple places on the wiper motor to add real oil, I just never bothered to.

    If you take the wiper motor off it's easier to lubricate.  You can then pour some neats foot oil into a small open container, lower the inlet tube (on the motor) into the liquid, and then -- moving the wiper drive lever back and forth -- suck the oil into the chamber.  After moving the lever a few times, you'll see the excess oil coming out the vent hole and then you know the chamber is full of oil.  After a couple days, move the lever back and forth and drain as much excess oil as you can.

    If the motor really slowed down after that lubricating, I used to send it to Ficken's for an overhaul.  However, at one point, they sent the motor back, explaining that the metal had actually warped and the motor was no longer able to keep a seal.  Luckily, at that very moment a NOS wiper motor appeared on Ebay, for a fraction of the cost of rebuilding mine.

    I assume that you realize that vacuum wipers tend to slow down (sometimes to a stop) when you're going up a hill.  So, don't expect too much from them.  However, when you're on a straightaway the wipers should be slap-slapping along and if they aren't, something's wrong.
  • ValVal Posts: 729Member
    Yeah I got caught out in the rain coming back from the crank up at Dr Dougs. I do have rain x on the widshields and it helped out but not having wipers was no fun. But to do as you said I will lube until full and let sit. I wont take the motor out as I have a straw that fits in the tube on the motor I spoke with Rob at Ficken's and he did say that the prewar motors would warp and not be rebuildable. And that he had a NOS for 200 plus shipping. However mine do work after the 3 in 1 so I'll keep at the lube as they are getting better, Also I was told that the info about the warping isn't necessarily true by a reliable source. So while Im no expert at it I know mine now work. and with each lube they get better.    
  • railknightrailknight Posts: 275Expert Adviser
    edited May 10
    Jon B  repeats what the late John Struthers told me some time ago that using Neatsfoot oil is indeed a good way to improve the performance of these Trico vacuum motors. 
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,646Expert Adviser
    Val said:
    Yeah I got caught out in the rain coming back from the crank up at Dr Dougs. I do have rain x on the windshields and it helped out but not having wipers was no fun. But to do as you said I will lube until full and let sit. I wont take the motor out as I have a straw that fits in the tube on the motor I spoke with Rob at Ficken's and he did say that the prewar motors would warp and not be rebuild-able. And that he had a NOS for 200 plus shipping. However mine do work after the 3 in 1 so I'll keep at the lube as they are getting better, Also I was told that the info about the warping isn't necessarily true by a reliable source. So while Im no expert at it I know mine now work. and with each lube they get better.    
    The general plan for my family in the 1950's when Dad was driving cars with vacuum wiper motors was to pull over and let the storm pass.  I adopted that as my  modus operandi for many years.  Recently I installed 6 volt electric wiper motor and this solved the wiper operation program. I was pleased with the wiper operation during a recent trip in my Hudson, which included rainy weather. My cost to accomplish this task was reasonable and definitely not $200.
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