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Rear Wiper arm mod

koda2000

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it has been well documented that the rear wiper design on Gen II Explorers sucks. I have tried various mods with limited success. one mod suggested is to cut back the wiper arm stops. doing this allows the arm to move further towards the glass. I've tried to do this before using my die grinder with the arm off the truck and generally made a mess of the arm. yesterday, I had a better idea of how to do this.

1. remove the plastic cover over the rear wiper arm retention nut. this allows the arm to be lifted up further, exposing the stops.

2. using a bungee cord, pull the arm back as far as possible. I hooked one end of the bungee onto the left side of rear glass. doing this held the arm out of my way and completely exposed the arm stops.

3. disconnect the rear washer hose from its nipple and tape it out of your way, so as not to accidently cut through it.

4. using my Dremel tool, with a thin cutting wheel, I was able to cleanly cut about 1/8" off each of the arm stops.

using the above method allowed me to easily cut the stops w/out damaging any part of the arm. I've now made this mod on 2 trucks and it has given me 100% glass coverage. 3 more trucks to do.

the only possible down side to this mod may be that the blade may sometimes get stuck in the gap between the lift-gate and the glass, but i'm sure I can come up with a way to prevent this from happening, if it turns out to be a regular occurrence. i'm thinking a slightly longer blade (1") may do the trick. if not, I have several other possible solutions in mind.
 



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Here is what I did to prevent the arm from sticking in the gap between the lift-gate and glass. I put a spacer between the wiper arm mount and the lift-gate. I did the tab/stop modification and adjusted/bent the arm and I get full coverage and it doesn't get stuck.

photo.jpg
 






yep, that was one thought I also had. I was also thinking about adding material to the ramp-finger thingy (don't know what else to call it) which would accomplish the same thing, in that it would keep the blade away from the joint between the lift-gate and glass until the blade clears the joint. my last thought was to add a spacer to the bottom of the glass in the area of the blade (like a piece of black plastic door-edge guard). i'll try the longer blade first, as it might give the blade a slightly different angle to climb the glass and I need a new blade anyway.
 






Thank you guys for the creative suggestions how to prevent the blade from getting stuck in that gap. Sadly, my bigger problem is that the blade is never perpendicular to the glass, which causes it to skip as it moves, making annoying sounds, and of course, leaving ugly streaks. The source of this problem is that the arm is made of two parts, and the crimp that holds them together is now loose, so the outer part constantly twists a few degrees in one or the other direction. OEM arms are not available anymore, and the aftermarket one that I found on Rockauto was so poorly made that it had to be returned right away. Any suggestions?
 






check out a salvage yard for a good OE arm. usually plenty of Gen II Explorers to be found there.
 






crunchie, I don't understand your picture. Do you have another one standing back a little?
 






crunchie, I don't understand your picture. Do you have another one standing back a little?

There is a piece of treated plywood painted black that I cut the same shape as the bracket that holds the wiper arm when it is in the down position. You can see it right between the lift-gate and the black bracket in the center of the photo. This moves the resting position of the blade out of the gap between the window and lift-gate and prevents it from getting stuck in that gap. Here is a photo of another one I did, just did this one with nuts and washers for a spacer.

IMG_0737-1.jpg
 






I got the revised wiper arm off of eBay. It fixed my wiper wedgie problem (arm sticking between door and glass).

I also have full coverage on window now (adequate wiper contact).
 






I have the same smearing problem. How does a new arm fix it? Mine looks pretty good but looks like it could use more pressure on the glass.
 






I think they revised the geometry. Not exactly sure how. When I compared the new and old they looked very similar.
 






I did buy a new Dorman arm from Amazon too and it did solve the problem. For like... 9-10 months.
Now it stating again to 'miss' a spot in center-top, but nothing like it was before. Maybe is the blade now.
However, I am tempted to try a beam wiper blade for it this time...
 






I've been using the Bosch Icon beam-style blades for a few year now. They are the best wiper blades I've ever purchased. Expensive initially, but worth every penny. I used to buy new blades about every 6 months (the GA sun eats them up). My '01 EB came with a set of the Bosch blades on it. After 2 years I transferred them to one of my Mountaineers and bought a new set for my Explorer. The Mountaineer is parked outdoors year round, and the blades still perform pretty well for being 3+ years old. I haven't tried one on the rear yet, but I will now that the wiper actually works.
 






I've been using the Bosch Evolution beam-style blades for a few year now.

I dropped 20 bucks for one of them today but it is still missing a good chunk of glass. Bent the arm just a little but no difference. Wonder what causes it.
 






I dropped 20 bucks for one of them today but it is still missing a good chunk of glass. Bent the arm just a little but no difference. Wonder what causes it.

that's not the blades fault. the Gen II Explorer rear wiper is just a poor design. have you tried cutting the arm stops?
 






that's not the blades fault. the Gen II Explorer rear wiper is just a poor design. have you tried cutting the arm stops?

No kidding. It is so anemic. Not sure which stops you are talking about. I don't have a problem with the range of motion.
 






No kidding. It is so anemic. Not sure which stops you are talking about. I don't have a problem with the range of motion.

if you pull back the arm as far as it will go and look in the area between the to pieces of the arm you'll see 2 curved fingers. they stop the arm from moving toward the glass. by cutting approximately 1/8" from each stop the arm/blade will move closer to the glass increasing the contact area. I won't go into why the blade fails to remain in contact with the glass in the middle of it's sweep, suffice to say it's a geometry issue.
 






I see. It makes sense but as you said there is more to the story.
 






My '99 misses the first half of the sweep. That is when it wants to work anyways. I'm going to have to look into this a little more to see if I can make the mods you have stated to see if I get the right coverage.
 









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Thanks!!!

I'm glad you guys worked this out. The wiper problem was driving me nuts.
 






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