Question about 1999 Ford Escort

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Do you need any special tool to replace the wiper arm linkage.

The wiper arm linkage that supplies movement to the passenger side wiper popped off and i've ordered a replacement but i'm not sure if you need any special tool

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  • vconfused Apr 20, 2009

    where did you order the part?  My driver's side linkage arm keeps popping off as well.

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  • Ford Master
  • 21,932 Answers

No special tool needed

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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Unless there's something wrong with the linkages; which I can't imagine...
It almost has to be the nut is loose on the passenger side.

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According to what you say, the driver's wiper is in the correct "parked" position.
On the passenger side wiper arm, pop off the plastic cover at the pivot point of the arm.
Underneath, there is a nut. Loosen the nut a little. Wiggle the arm while pushing the arm down. Hold arm in place and tighten the nut. Replace cover.

If that doesn't take care of it, you may have to remove the arm completely and check the tapered spline underneath. Either the arm or the post spline may be stripped. Maybe try a new arm, as the post will be more difficult to replace.

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Sounds like you have a part of your linkage that popped off the pivot. Open the hood remove the 2 small esthetic caps on the wiper baldes. Remove the 2- 13mm nuts. Use a little wiper puller and pull the arms off the linkage. Remove the plastic tray starting by first removing the 4 screws on the passenger side to remove the pollen filter cover, then removing the outer edge pieces then slowly pulling up on the ends to disengage the tray. The tray is just pushed in, no clips or screws. You can then see the wiper linkage. Do not put your hands there while the ignition is on. I'd suggest even removing the battery terminals so the wipers don't accidently come on. Check you must have a pivot arm that came off. Check to see if it's damaged and what part you'll need. The linkage can be removed with the motor with 3 small 10mm bolts.

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You don't have 2 motors; only 1. ...well, 1 front, 1 back, if equipped. From the wiper motor, the wiper linkage attaches to both wiper arms. If one side is working, then that indicates that your motor is working, and the linkage to at least 1 wiper arm is working.

What's left? The linkage to the other arm, and the connection of the arm to the pivot shaft assembly. Let's find out:

1. Remove the inoperative wiper arm. You will expose the shaft that the wiper arm attaches to. It will have a head on it that looks like a small peanut butter cup, with shallow ridges or splines all the way around it. This can be formed on the end of the shaft, or it can be a separate piece that is removable. If you don't see it, it may have come off with the wiper arm, so look for it to be still embedded in the wiper arm hole. Once you find it, how do those splines look? Are they stripped? If so, they may be rotating within the arm instead of rotating the arm itself.

2. Run the wipers again. Is the shaft rotating? If it is, then the arm and/or splines were the problem, and you need to replace withever component had the stripped splines, whether the arm or that p-nut butter cup splined part. (Or both, if you want to be extra safe and not have to mess with it again for a while.) If you're lucky, it'll be a separate piece that you can replace easily. If not, it'll be formed as part of the wiper linkage, and you'll have to replace the whole linkage. If it's just the arm that's stripped, replace the arm. Easy.

3. If the shaft does NOT rotate with the arm removed, then the linkage is broken, usually at the connection where the wiper shaft connects to the long arm that hooks both wiper shafts together. The bushings are often plastic, and they wear out. If it's plastic, you can get a replacement at the dealer, which will be nice, new plastic to last however long this one did. But if the linkage is metal all the way along, you'll have to do more work than with the easily replaceable plastic connection.

For those who who have neither wiper working and were hoping this would cover it, you're in luck. If neither wiper is working, here's how to test the system:

1. Turn the key to ON.
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3. Listen for the sound of the wiper motor. LIsten in the cab, but also in the engine compartment as well. If you hear it but have no wiper movement, your motor is fine and the linkage is the issue.
3b. If you do not hear any motor sounds in the cab or the engine comartment, it's either the motor or the switch (I assume you've checked the fuse already).
4. Check the wiper motor: Does it have a connector for the wires, or just one wire. If it has one wire, remove that wire and check it for voltage with a multi-meter or test-light. If you have a connector, you'll need to know what wire is which. Maybe. Most of the time, the motor is grounded thru the body, so if you remove the bolts and move the motor away from the body, you can check for voltage between the motor and body.
5. If you have no voltage, then it's the switch or wiring, or possibly the resistor, if equipped. If you DO have voltage at the motor, but no motor movement, the motor is bad and must be replaced.

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1 Answer

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