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Old 10-04-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
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More problems with the rain...This time it's the wipers

So, while driving in the rain, I had to flip the wipers to high speed; it was really coming down. The driver's wiper bottomed the windshield horizontally so I know that the wiper was lined up. When it rotated to the top, the wiper would travel past the vertical edge of the windshield so far that the arm was slightly over the glass. After a couple of minutes, the wiper jammed in the top position. I had to pull over and pull the wiper back onto the windshield so it would work again. When sitting on the side of the highway, it didn't hyper extend quite so far, but it was still going pretty far.

After a couple of episodes of this, I took a look behind the front cap. First, there are no ajustments for anything. The linkages between the motor and wiper arms are not adjustable. The mounts on the motor and wiper arms are not ajustable. When the motor is running and the wipers are at the top of their movements, the lever on the driver wiper arm is virtually parallel with the arm linkage. In this postition, when the motor pulls the linkage, the lever on the arm is in the one position where it can stop the motor from turning. I called Winnie and they tell me that the wipers belong to them, not Freightliner.

Has anyone ever encountered this? Without any adjustments, I am at a bit of a loss how to get this fixed. Since the coach is 3 years old, it's hard to believe that it has been like this since it's new. Any ideas?
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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Hi mrschwarz
I recently turned my wipers on high while spraying the windshield with the water hose to somewhat clean the bug guts off while at a campground. The drivers wiper went to far down and slapped the top of the hood. I quickly grabbed the wiper arm and kept it from continuing and held for my wife to turn them off. It seems that both wipers where lower at the stopped position than they should have been. I realigned the wipers by drilling out the lock rivets on the linkage which allowed me to loosen the adjustment screws and lengthen the linkage on each side to set the wiper stop position correctly. Then I re-drilled and reinstalled rivets. In your case I would remove the nut that holds the wiper arm and inspect the splines on the shaft and in the wiper arms. They may have worked loose and stripped. If so the stripped part can be replaced. You may be able to tighten the nut and have it hold.

Jesse



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Originally Posted by mrschwarz View Post
So, while driving in the rain, I had to flip the wipers to high speed; it was really coming down. The driver's wiper bottomed the windshield horizontally so I know that the wiper was lined up. When it rotated to the top, the wiper would travel past the vertical edge of the windshield so far that the arm was slightly over the glass. After a couple of minutes, the wiper jammed in the top position. I had to pull over and pull the wiper back onto the windshield so it would work again. When sitting on the side of the highway, it didn't hyper extend quite so far, but it was still going pretty far.

After a couple of episodes of this, I took a look behind the front cap. First, there are no ajustments for anything. The linkages between the motor and wiper arms are not adjustable. The mounts on the motor and wiper arms are not ajustable. When the motor is running and the wipers are at the top of their movements, the lever on the driver wiper arm is virtually parallel with the arm linkage. In this postition, when the motor pulls the linkage, the lever on the arm is in the one position where it can stop the motor from turning. I called Winnie and they tell me that the wipers belong to them, not Freightliner.

Has anyone ever encountered this? Without any adjustments, I am at a bit of a loss how to get this fixed. Since the coach is 3 years old, it's hard to believe that it has been like this since it's new. Any ideas?
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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I have taken mine apart and cannot find any worn parts. I'm on my way to Tampa to get this and other items taken care of at the dealer. It rained out yesterday and I attempted to use the wipers without success. I managed to get a few photos of the problem. The passenger side linkage appears to be a problem since the lever is virtually horizontal when extended all the way. It's like trying to pedal a bike when the the pedal is at the very top of its travel. The drivers side also extended way to far past the windshield. This only happens during moderate to heavy rain while driving at highway speeds. When stopped or in lighter rain, the top of the wiper is about 6 inches inside the windshield, where I would expect it to be.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
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Here is a drawing of what the linkage should look like in the park position. Sounds like something moved.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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We had similar problems with the wipers on the 1999 Dutch Star which was on a Ford chassis. When they went to the left they came off the windshield and onto the front cowling. As stated since the coach builds the front cap it's usually the coach builder who also builds the wipers. I had to completely rebuild the wipers with different linkages so I could adjust the throw of each arm. It was not an easy task. I actually built adjustable linkages so I could change the throw until I had it the way I wanted it. Once I got it adjusted correctly I made the linkage lengths permanent.

Newmar did send me a different crank which is what is bolted to the wiper motor and controls the length of the throw. It helped some but still required changing the length of the arm that connects the two sides.

As far as having some way to make adjustments you won't find any. I have never seen any on any vehicle I have ever worked on.

Best of luck with the dealer. I hope they can solve the problem.

TeJay
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. Someone else with an Itasca that was the same model year had a very similar problem. When he was at the factory, they replaced both linkage arms. The passenger arm was adjustable.

At rest the wipers look a lot like the drawing. If you look at the passenger linkage at the other end of travel, the crank at the wiper end is virtually parallel to the linkage. When it's that extended, when it's time to go the other way, if it doesn't jam the motor, you can flip a coin to see whether the wiper will stay on the windshield or flip down on the cowling. I don't think this is a service problem. I think it may be a design problem.

I am not sure about the driver side. The difference in travel from dry with no wind to wet and highway wind is about 8-10 inches at the top of the wiper blade. That seems like a lot of slop to me.

The passenger side linkage is simply too long. It should never get with 15-20 degrees of horizontal. Both of these statements are my opinion.

I'll know more tomorrow.
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
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Your comment on it being a design problem is absolutely correct. If they installed an adjustable arm they did what I did. Once the system is installed it is having the ability to adjust the linkage to gain some throw control is an obvious answer. That's something that they should have done in the first place. Why not give the local repair facility (or the owner) some ability to correct what their engineers couldn't design correctly.

Because I had to do what i did 20 years ago to get mine to work I'm interested in what they finally come up with. Please keep us posted.

Thanks,
TeJay
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