Where to get Wiper Switch for '71 Riviera?

Discussion in 'Sparky's corner' started by Tomsriv, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    Hi All,
    Got caught in the rain the other day. The wipers worked but when I went to turn them off they would not turn off. I heard bad ground can cause problem. I did a jumper wire from the batt. ground straight to the motor body and still did not park. Took apart old motor and it had what looked like a crack in the plastic part that parks it.

    Replaced the motor and it is still doing it. Now I want to replace the switch. The headlight switch is a little finicky too, got to pull out and then push in slightly to get the headlights to come on, so I'll do that while I have it apart. But I hate to take things apart if I don't have a replacement part. Does anyone make a wiper switch for this car? I get a few things to come up on NAPA, but they do not look right at all. Any ideas on where to get one?
     
  2. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Have you tried grounding the switch? Try running a ground from the wiper switch attachment to a metal ground. On the Skylark/GS, there is a ground wire from the switch to the headlight switch. When this wire gets disconnected, as they frequently do, the wipers won't park. The wire runs from the switch attachment screw into the plastic dash. The mounting typically breaks there causing the problem.
     
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  3. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    I'll give that a try, thanks!
     
  4. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Tom,
    Here is a wiring diagram from the 1971 Chassis Manual,

    1971BigCarWiperWiring.jpg
    Check the #18 BLACK ground wire from the #4 switch position to the radio mounting bracket
     
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  5. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    Had the same problem the day that I drove my car home from the seller's home back in Sept. 2000. Turn on the wipers. worked fine. turn off the wipers. continue to wipe. Only way to get them to stop was to turn off the ignition with the wiper turned off. Solution was to reconnect the wiper switch ground.
    Something else. Few year down the road, the wipers would not park when turned off (park mechanism had failed). I tried 2 "rebuilt" wiper motors - failed likewise. Purchased a new wiper motor and problem solved.
     
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  6. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    After reviewing the procedure several times in the shop manual and prying on it for 30 minutes I can say the wiper switch doesn’t just pop out like it says. I’m going to remove the dash pad. I’ve done that half a dozen times. I hate messing with the dash on this era car.
    Fifty year old plastic is brittle. Thanks for all the replies so far. I may make my own ground for it if I can’t reach down to the light switch.
     
  7. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    So I checked the ground with an ohm meter and it was good. Then I did a test, Jumped 2&4 to put it in high mode. Then disconnected 2 and connected to 1 to put it in off mode. It didn't stop. I also tried with it direct to ground so 4 to ground should initiate park(see picture). It is still turning. So now I'm thinking maybe it is the "new/rebuilt" motor that has the problem. Am I crazy?
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/772ymgzv45zeyau/wiperground.JPG?dl=0
     
  8. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I've had these switches in and out several times without the need to remove the dash pad. Let me check my stash of parts to see if I have an extra laying around. I used to have a couple NOS ones, but sold them on ebay when that was actually something worth doing LOL
     
  9. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    Thanks I think I ruined my switch taking it apart. I took the vent out to get around to the back of the switch, but a slight pry to the tabs and I broke the plastic that holds it in. I will super glue it later.
     
  10. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    I have two switches, but both look equally crappy. Pretty sure the one on the right is correct for your 71. Not sure about the left one. The action on the right one is funky...going to take it apart and see what is goobered up inside.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

  12. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    Ok Tom,

    I got the switch back to where it needs to be inside. I don't have a way of testing at this point. If you want it, it's yours for the cost of shipping...which is probably around $10.
     
  13. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    PM sent. Thanks Smartin!

    FYI I bench tested the old and new motor. The first time I tested the old one it parked. Tried it 5 more times and it would not park. On the new motor I tried it 6 times and it parked every single time. So I know part of the problem was the motor. But it looks like the switch may be part of the problem as well. I plug in your new one and if it doesn't work then I'll follow your procedure and clean it up. I had trouble getting the light loose from mine and just opened the back to see what it looked like. Well, like your procedure warned, everything fell everywhere. I don't know where the copper sliders for the switch went. Thanks for the life line.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
  14. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    Update: Finally got it working. I hardly have any time to work on my car thanks to Covid. This project was a cluster screw. It wasn't the switch. I used jumpers while it was in the car and it still wouldn't park. So I took it out again and bench checked it. It didn't work anymore. I took off the washer pump to see what it was doing. Now it works. Something in the new replacement washer pump was keeping it from going into park. I took the impeller off, put it back together and now it parks just fine. I was excited to have a working washer pump for the first time, but I'll let that go so I can finally put this project behind me.
     
  15. Tomsriv

    Tomsriv Well-Known Member

    So this is driving me crazy. I put everything back together and it doesn't work again. I figured out it works fine until I hook it up to the shaft with the wipers. Then it will no longer park. I don't know if it needs a stronger spring inside or what? Any ideas?
    I'm going to go the work-around option next. I'll wire the low speed through a toggle button at the bottom of the dash and have the ability to toggle all power off to the wiper motor. Then when I reach my destination I can manually push the blades back down under the cowl.
    This is such a frustrating problem!
     

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