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  2. How to repair wiper pivots and replace pivot bushings

When recently reworking and repairing the wiper arm bushings on my 86 Omni L-body car I noticed something that was probably the root cause of one of the transmission arms popping off to begin with.

I noticed that the pivot assembly that the windshield wiper arm attaches to was pretty stiff and not that easy to turn. After disconnecting the other wiper arm, I also noticed that it was even harder to move. And I don't mean a little stiff, it was very hard to make it move back and forth.

Apparently over time, these pivots get stiff and that is not only going to make the motor work harder but also cause the bushings to have to withstand additional force to move the arms and I speculate that the wipers are going to be much more prone to chatter. All this extra torque and force is probably what causes the bushings to fail prematurely. I think they do also fail from wear and perhaps the wear comes from them not being permanently well lubricated. But at least in this case, I think my root cause was the pivots both being darn hard to turn.

To fix them, I simply removed them from the car, making note that there is a (R) and a (L) side, the left one having a longer arm. Then soaking them in penetrating oil, first with CRC Freeze Off (which I love!) and then with a bit of PBBlaster and exercising the little arms round and round till they were very easy to turn again. Then a few drops of 3M oil.

Just in case you need the numbers for the bushings:

HELP! part number is: 49447 (arm bushing) 2 REQUIRED
DORMAN part number is: 49439 (motor/crank bushing)

These numbers were from the AutoZone catalog however I checked O'Riley, Advance Auto Parts, and Amazon and they all list it under the same number.

NOTE: The crank bushing is not that easy to change. It takes a bit of effort and you have to be very careful to make note of the exact position of the crank before you remove it! Get it wrong and the arm timing will be off. You should mark the parts well before you take it apart to change the crank bushing.

You can also disassemble the pivot assembly

Problem fixed, good speed again, completely eliminated the blade chatter that wouldn't stop. I'm happy, it's good. Here are some pics of the pivot disassembled. I used a simple punch to press the arm off the pivot shaft, cleaned the shaft with a wire wheel, lubed with some synthetic wheel bearing grease and reassembled.


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