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Thread: 1986 Ram 50 windshield wipers quit.

  1. #1

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    1986 Ram 50 windshield wipers quit.

    Here I go again....

    Hey everyone, here's what happened....I woke up a couple of mornings ago to go to work (4:00 am pst) with ice on my windshield...fired up the truck and let it idle a bit then hit the wipers...they just slid across the ice...so I scraped off the ice and went on my way...a couple of times on the way I used the wipers (2 speed wipers, no intermittent speed) to clear the windshield...then at some point the wipers would not wipe anymore...they just would not turn on again...I thought maybe they froze to the windshield in the off position while driving...not the case. When I got in the truck to go home they still wouldn't work....nothing.

    I have taken apart the wiper motor it appears to be fine, armature looks good..brushes are good, nothing appears to be worn out...the wiper switch feels and operates normally but the wipers don't move...the windshield washer works fine...before I spend 200-300 bucks for the new unit I though I would run this by the guys who know...anyone have any ideas where else to look?

  2. #2

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    wiper relay or fuse and see if its getting power to the wiper motor

  3. #3

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    i agree with maxdsm (& verify the unit is grounded correctly)...its not "typical" behavior for it to stop with no warning. but if all fails i still have this: http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...motor-MB262431
    She's mighty mighty just lettin' it all hang out

  4. #4

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    Thanks gentlemen for the input...will be doing more investigating this weekend...it's supposed to be sunny and warm in So.Cal....I post my findings.

  5. #5



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    The through shaft is needing to be greased. After 30 years the bushings to the wipers get full of dirt. Just be careful taking the big nut off the through shaft. They self destruct because the part is old aluminum and the big nut is steel.
    You might be able to get away with just pulling the arm off and spraying some panther piss on the top and letting it soak through. Also the grease in the motor on the worm gear is like concrete now.
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  6. #6

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    OK...after reading the suggestions on here I gave the wiper arm pivot some lube and nothing changed, it must be said that the common wiper arm manually moves both wipers easily...after spending more time reading and checking around I am beginning to really think this is an electrical problem...so I read other posts and 2 suggestions on this thread suggested a relay....where is the wiper relay located?...the fuse looks good but I am going to replace it anyway tomorrow. Thanks for all the help.

  7. #7

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    are you receiving ~12volts @ the wiper motor (wire feed connector) when wipers are "on"?...maybe (there is a voltage drop in the line &) the voltage is insufficient to power the motor....what is the exact dc voltage?
    She's mighty mighty just lettin' it all hang out

  8. #8

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    UPDATE!!!...got it!!!...it was the fuse...I had checked the fuse and it appeared fine....I had read another post and I think it Camoit or Pennyman who said sometimes fuses will fail but appear fine...subsonic vibration in the fuse block somehow renders them ineffective...but check this out....as I was leaving NAPA with my new package of 15 amp fuses and a working set of windshield wipers...my key won't turn on...it would not rotate in the ignition key lock...I wiggled and jiggled for about 20 mins. and nothing...removed the ignition switch and was able to start the truck but the column locked...eventually it released and I got it home...now how do I remove the ignition lock?...so far I have not been able to get it to release.

  9. #9

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    This is a 'can do' job in the driveway but takes patience. You will need either a dremel/hobby rotary tool with a cutting disc or a hacksaw blade. Get the column cover off and cut slots into the security bolts holding the ignition switch clasp onto the column shaft until you can get a screwdriver into the slots. Due to these bolts being a 'shear off' head design they can't put a lot of torque onto them to get them very tight. Once you got some slots cut it shouldn't take much effort to undo them. I've had to do this a couple of times on different cars. Once you got the locking mechanism out you can figure out why it's not working and have a go at rectifying it.
    p.s. you can replace the security bolts with metric hex key/allen key bolts and spring washers. They fit in nicely and you can lock them up tight. Good luck!

  10. #10



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    It could be that the wheel was holding it tight. You did try and turn the wheel when turning the key, didn't you?
    If it's not that it could be the tumbler needs to be swapped out along with a new key. But then you will need two keys. 1 to open the truck one to start the truck.
    Now if you go in and replace the column lock by cutting the bolts you can use a metric hex bolt to put it back together. But first find all the parts needed before ripping things apart. Or you will be locking the truck by unplugging and removing the hole key switch for a while.
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  11. #11

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    Camoit & Geezer 101....thanks for the input...when I got home from NAPA I lubed the ignition lock it is now not as sticky but it feels like it is just worn out...177,000 miles on the odo....NAPA sells the entire ignition lock assy with the column saddle for about 180.00....rock auto has just the ignition lock w/keys for abt 11.00...I'm going to try to get the ignition lock out without hacking at the entire assy... will cut as a last resort....actually spend 180.00 as a last resort....Thanks again guys...I'll keep you posted

  12. #12

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    The lock is held in with a small pin - and I'd be real cautious about taking the key barrel out of the lock housing. I'm not 100% sure if the tumblers are retained in the turn barrel or if the casing holds them in place. You might be doing a field trip to a junk yard and buying one to do an autopsy on it. Better to find out with a spare than the only one you have. And if it works out you can pull the key barrel out and swap it onto your JY column lock. Good luck with ironing this one out ratesheet

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