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Old 08-13-2011, 10:30 PM   #1
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Wiper problem

So I'm driving up I 81 in a terrible thunder storm and the driver's wiper just stops. Yikes. Passenger wiper still going. I notice a few cycles later the driver's wiper moves a few inches and then nothing at all. Ah ha, I think, it's somehow got loose. It's not dead. Maybe..

I pull under a overpass get out a wrench and tighten up the nut on the end of the shaft. It did feel kinda loose. Get back in and test and yes it's working. Great, pull back into traffic and go 15 minutes and it stops again.

Well maybe I didn't tighten it enough. So I find another underpass to stop and try again. This time I really put my weight into it and it started working again. So off we go again. 5 minutes later the same problem. Only this time it would wipe 4 times, stop, skip a cycle, start again and wipe 3 times then stop, etc. until it just stopped completely.

Gave up on finding another overpass as was an hour from home and just toughed it out without the use of wipers. Not a pleasant experience at all.

So ladies and gentlemen, what do you think this could be caused by? Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:50 AM   #2
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Been there, done that in the pouring rain in Oregon. DH finally removed passenger side wiper and put it on the driver side so he could at least see a little bit, but it was a hairy ride for about another 1 1/2 hours until we got to Coburg. There is a little part called (I know I'm spelling it wrong) a "Neral" that is made out of cheesy pot metal. It has ribbing on it that grips the inside of the wiper arm assembly. Our driver side one not only was rubbed smooth, but it was cracked so fell off as soon as we took the arm off (in the pouring rain!). The passenger side one was barely grooved still, so it worked for the drive in to Coburg. The next morning, we purchased 6 of those ridiculuous parts . . . they were only a few bucks each but we are determined never to have that happen again! As it turned out, we replaced both wiper arm assemblies with newer, stronger versions while the coach was at Oregon Motor Coach. NOT a good time on the freeway in the pouring rain! We really feel your pain!!
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:14 AM   #3
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Here is a post by RV Dude in Quick Tips that may help.
Also buy some Rain-X spray or wiper fluid it will spread rain water on windshield so you can see through it while driving.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:14 AM   #4
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Hi Bill M,
I've also had my driver's side wiper stop. However, it was for another reason. Now that you are home and have the time to disassemble the mechanism, num1dgh's post may have merit. I am not familiar with the Essex wiper system. There have been complaints about the knurl that is to keep the parts from slipping.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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I experienced the same issue several times also. I had my wiper assemblies totally replaced with the new style they use on the lastest models. It was not cheap as new holes have to be made to accomodate them. This required body work and paint to clean up the old holes. Had it done at Newmar. No problems since.

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Old 08-14-2011, 10:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies.

num1dgh:
thanks for that post, I'm going look at that solution first. Sounds very much like my problem.

007:
thanks, I did find that post in my initial search. Actually I keep RV Dude's Quick Tips in my favorites. A great resource.

Just like this whole forum. I check it almost daily.
I'll post the results when known.

Bill
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #7
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Newmar has had problems with loose cone nuts stripping. I carried spares.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:04 PM   #8
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The "problem" here is the correct tightening procedure of the arm nut. Of course, in your situation, the "pot metal" grooves in the arm itself may be all messed up and possibly stripped beyond tightening and you may need a new arm (I'm guessing Nemwar part 010492 at $63).

Anyhow here's the procedure.

Because your arm slipped on the spindle this step is necessary
Remove the arm completely off the spindle as you'll need to get a pick and clean off the grooves on the spindle. The spindle is harder metal and etches into the softer arm metal. To remove swing the arm completely out and remove the 17mm nut. Wiggle off the arm being ultra careful NOT to allow the spring to spring, so to speak as that will really smart. You may need a cheap old style battery terminal puller to get it off the spindle or careful use of a pickle fork. Use a pointed pick and clean all the spindle grooves completely of the soft metal. Reinstall the arm.

The tightening procedure is as follow (again, this is the 17mm Nylock spindle nut)
Tighten to 35 ft lbs. Come back in a half hour or so and tighten again to 35 ft lbs. The specs say doing this twice is enough, I tend to do it 4 or 5 times over the course of a couple days if I remove an arm. The "set" time is critical to allow the spindle to regroove the arm and then the arm settles down further on the spindle. Hence the requirement to re-torque.

I also try to do a 35ft lbs tighten a couple times a year, especially before rainy season. I have never had a problem when I do this.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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You can easily adjust the "parked position" of the arms from underneath the cowl (applies to the 05-08 or so model year EX and maybe MA if they are the same setup).

Loosen (as in a a half turn or so) the 1/2in bolts (2 for driver side arm / 4 for passenger side arm) on the overlapping flat'ish wiper mechanism arms. Note there is a slide/slip groove which the bolts holds together - thus allowing adjusting their length. Grab the arm from the outside and move to the desired parked position. Tighten these bolts, snug is fine.

Finally, something that is really simple.
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