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Wipers problem


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My 1993 Corolla wipers stopped working. The motor is okay. I pulled everything out and the problem was obvious. The links are held in place with plastic clips. There's a ball (looks like a miniature tow bar ball) that's locked in place with a plastic clip.

One of the clips is broken. Consequently the link dropped off and the wipers stopped wiping.

I was pushing my luck to ask for a clip at the local Toyota spares shop, but I had to try. The guy then volunteered that the linkage assembly is no longer manufactured. And there were none in stock. Great!

There's always the wreckers. Sure, but I doubt anything I might get from the there wouldn't be far behind my own that just died.

Has anyone had any luck finding parts? Companies that do repairs - that'd be hoping for too much, I guess.

I found a web site in the Philippines and another in Canada that seemed to have new link assemblies. But will their stuff fit. It might be awkward sending things back if I get the wrong part. I couldn't find anyone in Aust who sold them. There were a few eBay sellers who seem to be selling for way over and above what seemed top dollar and with transport costs that would cover your ticket to a music concert.

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Hi Ron, yes finding those rare and elusive parts will be tough and any you do will be as you said not far behind what you already have. I would be taking the old clip into a good parts store or maybe a Bunnings and looking at what clips are available it may have to be a MacGyver type fix mate making do if the rest of the linkages on the assembly are fine and all that is gone is the clips. If my memory serves me right all they do is hold the ball socket in place so anything that will do the job may be an alternative. I am sure if anyone else has advise they will post.

I also would be very hesitant to buy from overseas as if it arrives in one piece it may not be the right parts and then you have all the hassle starting over your search. I would check wreckers as well as a back up as you never know you may get lucky to get you out of your fix even if it is temporary.

Let us know the outcome mate


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I ordered one of these clips https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/295229103746

I'm not holding out much hope that it'll work.


Not long after ordering it I spotted this: https://wiki.r31skylineclub.com/index.php/Wiper_Linkage_Repair

I'd never heard of a rose joint. Like the guy said, they're reasonably priced. My only concern with this idea is that it looks weighty. It'll last for years except the wiper motor might suffer due to the extra weight it has to push around. It's obviously a lot heavier than the plastic that was fitted originally.


It was while considering that idea I discovered that you can get small ball joints. They may be lighter than the rose joint.


So, if the clip doesn't work I'll try the ball joint idea. I'll have to remove the existing ball. The one in the picture has a plastic cap, but it's threaded and I can probably weld something suitable into the arm. Though, welding a heavy piece of metal (ie. bolt or threaded rod) to the thin pressed steel linkage will be fun.


This one is all metal, which may be more durable: https://www.minibearings.com.au/store/categories/rod+ends/


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There were two of these clips in the pack from ebay. The clip worked, sort of. But not real happy with the setup. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/295229103746

Some photos of the clip in position. (Server error when uploading. I hope they got there.) The blue and red arrows show the poor fit, highlighting the gap between the link arms. That's the gap between the ball and the other link arm. The problem is that the gap between the neck and the link arm is greater, but you can't see that in the photo. The other two pics show the short piece of garden hose in place. That's a piece of the hose at the side.

It was fiddly to fit, being made of spring steel. I hope it's stainless steel. The side of the clip with the narrow slot is underneath the ball. You can't see that in the photo. The other side of the clip fits over the other arm, locks in place, and keeps them together. When fitted it was clear that the clip wasn't going to fall off, which was my concern.

I had hoped the clip would have pulled the ball snug against the clip and taken up the slack. It doesn't. All the clip does is to keep the two link arms together. The trouble with that is that without the original plastic bush in place there's a large gap between the ball on one link and the hole on the other. The pic with the blue and red arrows shows the gap, but it's larger than that because the link wants to run below the ball, at the narrowest part, in the neck. I'd estimate there to have been about a quarter inch free movement in each direction. If you were to fit it to the car like that the slack may have resulted in a noisy wiper mechanism and in moving across the screen the blades would stop before moving back, then stop again before the return wipe. They wouldn't be smooth. The movement may have damaged the clip.

Dirty solution: I cut off a piece of half-inch garden hose (maybe three-eight's of an inch in length) and squeezed it over the ball. (Heavy duty hose I happened to have.) It was a tight fit. Hot water helped. And getting the other link over the hose was also a tight fit. The hose can't be allowed go all the way to the bottom otherwise the clip won't go on. Fiddly.

So, the garden hose became the new bush to stop the slack, and the clip simply held the two links in place.

I didn't apply any lubricant. Not sure if that was a good idea or not. I didn't know what grease would do to the hose, and being exposed I didn't want dust sticking to the grease and wearing out the hose.

The hose being a firm fit everywhere meant there was some resistance, more than I'd like, but it wasn't too bad. The wipers operate smoothly. I'll know when the hose is wearing when the wipers start to clunk on each sweep.

It's worthwhile trying to push some grease into the other bushes. The one I had to disconnect to get the links into place had no grease and the ball was rusty.

If this fails I'll try for the ball joint solution.


A with spacer.JPG

A no spacer2.JPG

A with space at side.JPG

Edited by Ron0z
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