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Thread: How To Pull Windshield Wiper Arms

  1. #1
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    How To Pull Windshield Wiper Arms

    And The FreakyVan Windshield Frame Prep/Windshield Install

    One of the items on the 2019 spring ďTo DoĒ list for the FreakyVan was the windshield replacement. Since Macís Auto Glass does not do cross country service calls, weíre forced to find a local guy. The plan was to get the other ďmake it a daily driverĒ items done first. If they turned out well, then we move onto the windshield. Some items took much longer than anticipated but they did finally get done. So on to the windshield removal and preparing the frame. The plan was to sand, repair, prime and paint around the frame so that the surface was ready for the install, then deliver the van to the glass shop. We were going to reinstall the old rubber and hold it in with tape for the drive to the glass shop, avoiding sudden stops. As we all know too well, the windshield frame is a major spot for rust and rot. There are plenty of VCV window frames that rust, then rot out, requiring much effort to properly repair. Hard to obtain donor pieces can be used if available. On this windshield frame, there were no obvious external signs of rot but one can never really tell until itís out with the rubber removed. Certainly, the glass guy wasnít going to wait around while we prepped the frame, so thatís why we decided on this approach.
    The old rubber strip was cut just enough to remove the cracked glass. I must now apologize for the images I am about to present. The apology goes out to all those who have labored so long and hard to repair their windshield frame. CAUTION: Some images may be disturbing to certain viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. ;>)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pic 2065
    First a quick ďHow ToĒ on the windshield wiper arms. Itís pretty easy as long as you take some care.
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    This is my technique. Use a backing plate to spread out the force on the prying screwdriver or brake spoon. If you have a nice paint job then wrap the backing plate with soft cloth. Donít let the prying instrument in too far under the lip of the arm.
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    THIS IS THE WRONG WAY. The screwdriver is too far toward the shaft.
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    PIC 2069
    THIS IS ALSO THE WRONG WAY. But it shows the correct hand position while prying. In this pic, I did not have the screwdriver backing plate in place. This can cause hard to repair damage. I took this pic to show correct hand position. I couldnít balance the screwdriver, backing plate, with one hand on the wiper arm and the other hand holding the camera.
    The way that has worked best for me is holding the arm out with my left hand while prying gently with the right hand.
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    This pic shows two things. Why you donít want the prying instrument too far towards the shaft. It will catch the shaft which will possibly cause you to apply too much prying force and damage the sheet metal. Also be aware that the left hand rocking on the arm can generate excessive force on the arm. Be gentle. Done correctly, they come off without damage. I suppose a tool could be made that looked kind of like a bent screwdriver but with a half round edge and a spacer that allowed it to be put under the arm at the correct distance from the shaft . The tool could also include a wide area that would contact the sheet metal and allow for the prying force to be well spread out. Iíve had good results with my technique but Iíve also had plenty of VCVans to practice on in the boneyards.
    The other thing this pic shows is what a thumbnail looks like two weeks after you hit it with a hammer doing leaf spring bushing removal.

    Now back to the windshield frame.
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    Pic 2094
    Hereís what I had available. The most aggressive of course is the knotted wire wheel and the least aggressive is the orange wheel. Most of the work was done with the two Black and Decker wire wheels.
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    Pic 2074
    Before any cleaning.
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    Pic 2076
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    Pic 2079
    This is actually the best 1st gen windshield frame Iíve ever seen. It was even better after some cleanup.
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    Pic 2119
    The entire frame was awesome and came out looking like shiny silver metal after just a few hours of careful work with a wire wheel. I think Iíll let Bill finish off this job.
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    Pic 2117
    Just some minor rust on the edges of the dash.
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    Pic 2116
    And some minor rust around the defroster vent openings.
    For the VCVanners back East that have labored for hours on these spots, these pics must be tough to look at, but I did warn yíall. ;>)

    Bill came by and finished the windshield prep, prime and paint. He also painted the part of the dash that could be seen from the front. We lightly blasted the vents and he painted them as well. I must say that Billís experience as a body and paint man (in a previous life) was clearly evident to me even in this small job.
    Bill had other obligations the next day so my youngest son and I tried to do a temporary install of the old windshield. This was just to get the van the 10 miles across town to the glass shop. This attempted temporary install was a waste of time. Long story short, we put the old cracked windshield in the back of the van and decided to drive the van to the glass shop without a windshield. I was worried about a moving violation and points on my commercial drivers license. Donít get me wrong, I am willing to risk a lot of things for VCVs but a commercial drivers license in California with all the endorsements is a precious commodity to me. Iíve been working really hard to get this sweet 66 roadable but Iím not sure I want to risk a violation like this. So, I got to thinking about possible solutions. If it is going to be driven without a windshield, across the river, down a major surface street in broad daylight and Iím not feeling like taking the risk, whatís the solution? Hmmm. Maybe the answer is right in front of me. How about a young driver that has aspirations to have his own VCV? (And no CDL to risk!) ďHey son, what are you doing tomorrow morning? Not working until 10 am huh? Cool! How would you feel about some time behind the wheel of this sweet Freaky 66? Itíll help out a fellow VCVanner and your fatherĒ. Personally, Iím not willing to admit if I was building up points with the angel on my right shoulder or the one on my left shoulder that has those horns sticking out but the offer was out there. ďSure dad!Ē Ah! A budding VCVanner who will one day be a fully patched member. Iím practically picking out which of my vans heíll be gifted.
    The drive to the glass shop was uneventful. My son did a stellar job of driving the FreakyVan. He has had plenty of experience with the 69 WedgieVan. I followed in his car and when we arrived at the glass shop, he took off in his car. I know from experience that when you wait for service, the shop automatically puts a little higher priority on the job. This van is my current #1 priority, so here I wait. Iíve got the windshield in the back; Iíve got the gasket and Iím making the time to wait for the job to get done. I showed up at 0700, the owner showed up at 0730. The first snag is when the owner says ďI didnít know you were going to wait for it. Iím short staffed today. ďI have a guy that can give you a ride home.Ē Iím thinking, no thanks! (Youíre not gonna pick me up when itís done.) ďIíll just camp out and wait for it, thanks anyway.Ē He offered the ride twice and I refused twice. The first report came back at 1200. Owner says ďI cracked the glass on the install. Itís going to be a while longer.Ē I said ďSure, no problem, stuff happens.Ē A quick call to Macís Doghouse (our resident VCV expert on auto glass) and I was assured that stuff like that does happen even for experienced installers since occasionally, windshield installs can be a bitch. Well, Iím glad it wasnít me that tried to install that glass. Another couple hours later and the fully tinted windshield is installed and looks awesome!
    108VanGuyÖ
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  2. #2
    VCVC Member Russell's Avatar
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    I use these paint stripping wheels they work really well on paint and rust.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    1966 Sportvan Deluxe 230 3 on tree (work in progress) Now 283 small block
    1965 Sportvan Deluxe 250 powerglide (Sold)
    1965 Chevy Van Panel (Project)

  3. #3
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    Awesome. Do you have a brand or other description?
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  4. #4
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    Body Paint Stripper

    Quote Originally Posted by 108VanGuy View Post
    Awesome. Do you have a brand or other description?
    108VanGuy...
    Polycarbide Abrasive Wheel
    I get them at Harbor Freight
    Gary
    1965 Display

  5. #5
    VCVC Member jrinaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108VanGuy View Post
    I suppose a tool could be made that looked kind of like a bent screwdriver but with a half round edge and a spacer that allowed it to be put under the arm at the correct distance from the shaft .
    108VanGuyÖ
    something similar to this? I made this for removing springs but found many other uses for it, including wiper arm removal.Click image for larger version. 

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    '64 chevy, 292 40 over, 206/526 cam, 2004r trans. 9.75:1, dual webbers, Langdon cast headers, 1.94 valves

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    That would work well. Just have a wide putty knife or similar to place between the tool and sheet metal.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  7. #7
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    1st Gen Van Porn....



    Here in the "Rust Belt" seeing nice windshield metal like that,is just not as common place as what you left coast guys have to work with...
    Very pretty steel & spot welds.
    Informative write up....
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

  8. #8
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    How To Pull Windshield Wiper Arms - Tool

    Gary
    1965 Display

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