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Old 02-11-2011, 06:12 PM   #1
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One Piece Windshield Wiper Arms

We have encountered a problem with our windshield wiper arms. The female part that attaches to the male part mounted on the front of the coach has stripped. We are told it is because the female part is made of pot metal (a soft metal, apparently) while the male part is steel. Due to the heavy weight of these very large windshield wipers, the meshing gears there have stripped.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? And, if you did, how did you fix the problem? I think I have found a source for new arms, but if they will just end up the same way, that won't be a very good solution.

Engineer Mike, or any of you other engineer types out there, do you have any ideas about how this can be strengthened to avoid the problem? Can that female core be replaced?

Thanks in advance for help!!
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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I had one do the same thing in the boondocks of Montana. I was able to switch the broken one on the driver's side with the unbroken one on the passenger side. They are interchangble.The rubber inserts are available from many Camping World stores. I had a rough time finding the metal arm. I finally had to get Newmar to overnight two. The freight cost as much as the parts. I now carry a new back-up in storage bay. Most dealers carry these in stock.
I was told the nut holding the metal arm down should be properly torqued. Too tight or too loose allows the "pot" metal to strip loose.
Dave
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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IIWM I would consider putting a pin or bolt through the arm and shaft.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:14 AM   #4
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The knurled insert is replaceable and should be available from Diesel Equipment Company. They have a detailed breakdown drawing on their web site. Click on "Wipers" on their Web site.

Diesel Equipment-Distributors of fuel injection products & repair services

I have had this happen and carry a spare.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:30 AM   #5
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Thanks, everybody! Now that I've seen the name, I realize that I ordered wiper blades from Diesel Equipment a few years ago. The folks at the dealership here in Las Vegas where we just had our windshield replaced had no clue where to get the arms. You have all been very helpful, and I'll see what I can find at DE's website...and I searched for my original posting at the end of 2008 and found a phone number and the name of the guy who helped me then...if all else fails, I'll call him again.

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Old 02-16-2011, 09:27 PM   #6
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OK, my friends, here's the scoop for our big windshield wipers for the one piece windshields. This is directly from the manufacturer, Diesel Equipment... there is no knurled insert in these big guys like the smaller ones used for the divided windshield. It's a non-replaceable soft piece of metal that gets its groves when it is torqued down. So, Neenie's (the DE rep) advice was to take a stiff brush to both the male and female connection, then align the wiper arm properly and torque to 20 to 25 pounds (I have no idea what that means, but then I'm a girl), wait 30 minutes and then torque again. If that doesn't work, new arms are only $32 apiece. I was expecting it to be a whole lot more expensive. The arm part number is 66732.

So we are going to give the torque stuff a try, and I'll let you know if it works. Plan B, the purchase of new arms, will probably happen concurrently so we have a backup plan. I kind of expect this to be an ongoing problem...every few years or so. Although, we could wear it out just in Alaska this summer if it's rainy. Normally, we don't use our washers very much, being a resident of the Southwest.

Contact phone for Diesel Equipment and Neenie (I guess that's how her name is spelled) is 877-307-7059. Thank you, Dan, for leading me to her! She is quite knowledgeable.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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I would presume that is inch pound torque and not foot pound torque. 12 inch pounds equal 1 foot pound
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVhauler View Post
I would presume that is inch pound torque and not foot pound torque. 12 inch pounds equal 1 foot pound
Actually, Neenie said "foot pound", which my hubby seems to think sounds right.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:30 PM   #9
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Gail- looking at the arms-assembly drawing provided by Diesel Equipment, the (1) arm has a cup on the pivot end, to which a (2) piece w/some topography attaches, then a (3) jamb nut & (4 & 5) two washers, then inside the coach cowling there is a (6) metal strap, then a (7) serrated lock washer, (8) jamb nut and then the (9) drive axle. (numbering for convenient reference to parts)
So does a $32 arm include the odd shaped piece #2?

BTW the mfgr's drawing shows 20-30 ft-lbs torque for the jamb nuts which sandwich the flat metal strap reinforcing piece (so you are not just bolting inside-to-outside to the coach's fiberglass). The nylock type lock nut on the end of wiper arm shows 33-38 ft-lbs, and to torque a second time after 30 minutes.

IIWM and the piece had stripped out within the cup on the pivot-end of the wiper arm, I'd take the insert out, wire brush it, clean out the inside of the arm's end cup, douse the stripped piece in J-BWeld, and insert into arm socket w/slight clamp pressure and let cure. Then I'd assemble it onto the coach. If the down side is to order another @ $32, then why not try a permanent insert where the silly thing strips?
I wouldn't put it on wet and torque down, as some J-B squeeze-out might weld the thing to the axle and make for a real difficult repair later.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:35 AM   #10
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EMike, I don't really know the details, but Neenie said the arm comes with everything but the hardware (nuts, bolts, washers, I presume). That would seem to indicate that it does include #2, but I wouldn't want to swear to anything.

As for your last paragraph, I'll let John talk that over with our RV tech, and if they need to ask you a question, I'll let you know. That's all "Greek" to me. But, as always, thank you for your thoughts!!
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #11
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It would probably help to have the use of a good torque wrench. Hopefully somebody near you will have one you can use. Guessing like I often do is not a good idea here.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
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