I guess the original vacuum windshield wipers that my '49 Chevy came equipped with from the factory could be termed two-speed-if you count "slow" and "off" as speeds! Anyone who has experienced vacuum wipers knows that they slow down when you need them the most-that is, when the engine is under load, such as accelerating or ascending a grade. While I rarely have the need for wipers living in sunny SoCal, the Chevy hasn't always lived in such a hospitable climate, and many's the time I cursed those vacuum wipers when I drove the car back in rain-swept England.
While the thought of installing wipers (or even fitting wiper arms and blades to working systems!) seems an almost alien process if the cars I see at local shows are anything to go by, I intend to cover some serious miles in the Chevy, hopefully this summer, with many of them out of state. So a decent two-speed wiper motor was on my "to-do" list. Things got even better once I'd contacted New Port Engineering. Not only do they offer their Clean Wipe wiper drive that bolts in place of the original, but an optional upgrade to the basic two-speed kit features a delay unit that provides high and low speeds, plus intermittent and delay options. It also operates a windshield washer from the same single switch! Plus, the 3/16-inch-diameter shaft means the original Chevy dash knob can be reused.
While there's no need to remove the actuating arms if you're just swapping the vacuum moto
As the delay unit is larger than the two-speed, in this instance a shaft extension (also an optional upgrade) is required for the unit to clear the dashboard, though it's not required in some other applications. In fact, the extension may actually cause interference with other components if it's not required, so speak with the folks at New Port Engineering about your specific application.
We've all experienced parts that are supposed to fit straight out of the box, but usually require some modification, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find that the New Port Engineering motor quite literally does bolt straight up to the two mounting holes as per the original. Once the rubber grommets in the ends of the actuating arms are replaced with the nylon bushes supplied, and affixed using C-clips, the original arms, spindles and wiper towers can be re-used. But-and there's always a but-I had squeezed a Vintage Air Gen IV A/C evaporator under the Chevy's dash, and though I'd mounted it to clear the actuating arms and the old vacuum motor, it took up part of the space where the new motor was mounted. New Port Engineering states that the motor will clear an A/C unit, but the Vintage Air Gen IV is larger than most units, so I guess I should have seen the clash coming. A little ingenuity saw the motor fitted without modifying the New Port Engineering bracketry, and thus not affecting the warranty, making the installation relatively, if not completely, painless. Guess I won't need the bottle of rain repellent in the trunk any longer ...
Here are the old and the new for comparison. Though they mount in the same location, and t
The original sprung clip is easy to remove...
...enabling the actuating arms to be released from the stock motor.
Again for comparison with the stock arm and rubber grommet on the left and the now painted
Once I'd treated the rust under the dash and brushed on rust-inhibiting paint, the new mot
I ran out of time to apply the top coat on the cowl (you'll have to wait and see what it'l