I’ve got those wiper motor blues, blue/whites, blue/blacks, etc… - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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I’ve got those wiper motor blues, blue/whites, blue/blacks, etc…

Dear fellow alfisti,

I discovered this forum after a couple of weeks spent bashing my head – sometimes literally – on my 1977 Alfa Spider’s electrical system. My ambitious goal was to get all the electrics working on my Alfa over the winter. Yeah right, I hear you say. How long are winters in Britain? But, I have made a good start, thus far fixing:

1. Boot/trunk light
2. The bonnet/hood light
3. The reversing lights (weird that they are only powered when the lights are on … may have to change that later!)
4. The handbrake warning light
5. The windscreen wiper switch

Of these by far the most challenging has been the wipers. That was where the forum came largely to my rescue, with wiring diagrams that confirmed what I suspected … namely that either I have the wrong handbook/wiring diagram or else there is simply a mistake in the diagram! To spare anybody else the two days of head scratching and electrical probing that it took for me to get the result, and as a thank you for the helpful posts I found on the forum please find attached some supplementary information. Apologies if this is already there and I just couldn’t find it.

Switch Wiring Diagrams

Assuming that your Alfa has a two-speed wiper motor then the switch located on the console will have three states: off, slow and fast. These are shown in the three pictures attached. In each the switch position is shown and the cable to which the power is directed shown highlighted. The switch connectors are numbered on the back of the switch. My first (broken) switch had internal connection between connectors 2,4 and 6 with no external connectors, although on my replacement switch this was not the case and I had to fabricate and install an external jump lead to do this. This is shown in red. The internal connectivity in each switch state is also shown in red between the numbers, e.g. between 3,4 and 7,8 in the OFF state.

In crude terms the two motor speeds are achieved by feeding power to two separate circuits within the motor. Note that the motor itself is earthed locally (in the event of complete failure then this earth should be suspected!) so none of the wires leading from the motor/switch should be earthed. Consider each of the three diagrams in turn:

OFF
The ‘hot’ black/blue cable on pin 5 is isolated. No direct power then to either pin 1 (fast) or pin 3,7 (slow). However, all is not as it seems! The blue/white cable on pin 8 is connected to pin 7 in this state, and this is how the ‘park’ feature of the wiper motor works, i.e. how the wipers, no matter where they were, return to the bottom of the windscreen when OFF is selected. The secret is that the blue/white cable comes from the motor to the switch and also provides +12V, BUT ONLY IF THE WIPER BLADES ARE NOT ALREADY IN THE PARK POSITION. Outside the park position an internal ‘switch’ in the motor is closed, and therefore supplies power via the blue/white cable to the SLOW circuit via the 7,8 connection. Incidentally, that is why a constant power supply is connected to the motor itself via a blue/black cable. So even though the switch is OFF, if the wipers are outside the park position, power is supplied to the SLOW circuit, keeping the wiper blades moving until they reach the PARK position. At that point the internal switch opens, power is removed and the wiper … stops! Very clever indeed. Obvious, no.

SLOW
The ‘park’ blue/white cable on pin 8 is isolated. The constant ‘hot’ power supply is directed to the SLOW circuit via 5,6,4,3. Simple.

FAST
The ‘park’ blue/white cable on pin 8 remains isolated. The constant ‘hot’ power supply is directed to the FAST circuit via 5,6,2,1. Simple.

Some Testing Tips

This can be tested at the switch by direcly injecting 12V into individual cables at the switch and observing the results. The GREY wire should give FAST operation, and the BLUE wire should give SLOW operation. If either fails then the fault will lie elsewhere than the switch. Using a multimeter check for connection between the switch end and motor end of the grey and blue cables. If OK then suspect the motor itself.

If SLOW and FAST both work and the only problem is the failure of the wipers to ‘park’ when switched off then the problem is at the other switch involved in the wiper circuit. Conveniently (not) located beyond the clutch pedal is a foot-operated plunger switch that is both a manual washer pump and override for the FAST wiper mode. If this is disconnected or otherwise broken then not only is it useless it also breaks the PARK circuit. If connected then in its OFF mode, i.e. not pressed, there should be a connection between the two blue/white cables. When pressed, apart from water appearing on your windscreen, that connection is broken and you should get a connection between the other two cables, i.e. +12V to FAST … wash and fast wipe! In extremis, if the footpump is completely buggered (technical term) or missing then just jump the two blue/white connectors 1,2.
Given that only an orangutan ( ) could reach that foot pump I now harbour vague plans to install a powered pump (you can get a replacement bag with integral pump) and a separate push switch on the console.

But first I’m off to the pub to celebrate. Fortunately it’s walking distance.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 03:02 PM
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eugenel
Welcome to the AlfaBB!
Great diagram and a fascinating description of the workings of the wiper circuit.

Alfa Sapiens
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 03:03 PM
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I'll second that!!

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 05:40 PM
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Great post, and thank you. When I get my clutch problems sorted out (see new thread) I'll have another go at my wipers, which only work on Slow from the switch, but will give me Fast from the pump. (Which, by the way, is easy to reach if the little mounting tabs are broken off.)

Ian Cameron, 1980 Spider
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 06:19 PM
 
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Hi Ian,
Welcome to the AlfaBB! You do nice work! Thanks for sharing the diagrams.

I have just noticed that my wipers stopped parking themselves and now have some great info to start working on the opportunity with.

I don't want to remove my foot pump because it is so convenient to use as a intermittant wiper switch. Push down slowly and you can get a wipe when ever you want one. Variable timing intermittant wipers !
Ray Castelhano
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-04-2004, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Foot pump location

If someone could post an image of where their footpump is mounted then I would really appreciate it, as I suspect mine is just too high and far away from the seeking foot.

Eugene
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 06:28 PM
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Here ya go.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2004, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Superstar! Very useful indeed. Thanks. I have removed the beast and am now trying to get inside it to fix the switch. I may also have to renew the pipes as they are rock solid and it is going to be tricky getting them back on. Sigh.

Eugene
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2004, 07:59 AM
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Go up to home depot and get some new vinyl tubing and replumb the whole thing. If the stuff in there is original, it's so rotten as to be unusable. Probably the same for your fuel tank vapor recovery system.

John Stewart
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Good idea

I think that replacing the tubing is a sound idea, although I am not sure that my local UK B&Q would have such stuff. Must be pretty standard automotive product though, I suppose. Presumably access to the squirters is not that nasty, just a couple of screws to release that panel underneath the wipers?

PS. What on earth is a
Quote:
fuel tank vapor recovery system
? Hopefuly this is some sort of US emissions thing, and thus not present on my evil European version???

Eugene
1976 Alfa Spider 2000 Veloce
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 12:31 PM
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Eugene - Yes, it's an emissions thing to prevent gasoline from evaporating into the atmosphere. The fuel tank cap doesn't have a vent in. The tank is vented by a tube up to a small plastic tank which has another tube up to the engine. fuel vapor is then drawn into the intake and burned. Hence, no evaporated gasoline. All cars have sealed fuel tank systems now.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2004, 04:57 AM
 
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Hi Eugene,

I read your posts with interest - I went through exactly the same stuff 12 months ago, but didn't bother writing anything down!

The good news is with a european car, you don't have the fuel vapour separator nonsense to deal with.

The tubes etc. and even very original looking squirters are all available from halfords. The panel they are mounted in comes away just by removing the wiper spindle hardware and pulling the panel from under the windscreen trim.

The foot switch - if you think getting it out is difficult, wait 'til you try to put it back in. The switch on mine was held together with plastic rivets which were cut off and later replaced with small self tapping screws. The fault in the switch itself was to do with the little copper actuator which sits in a plastic slot held in with a spring. I think at some point it had got hot and had actually melted the slot deeper under the pressure of the spring (easy to figure out when it's in bits). Bits of scrap plastic and a soldering iron restored the slot to it's original size and it's been working fine ever since.

Dan.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-14-2004, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Impressed ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeigeAlfa
Hi Eugene,

Bits of scrap plastic and a soldering iron restored the slot to it's original size and it's been working fine ever since.

Dan.
A man after my own heart! Great determination. And thanks for the tip about Halfords. I'm on my way ...

Eugene
1976 Alfa Spider 2000 Veloce
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 03:23 PM
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My wipers won't park and the intermittent circuit doesn't work. I have a series 3 spider (UK spec) so originally converted from left hand drive. Does anyone have a wiring diagram for these cars or know what the fault could be? I have checked the motor and cleaned the contact inside.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-30-2016, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORPS3 View Post
My wipers won't park and the intermittent circuit doesn't work. I have a series 3 spider (UK spec) so originally converted from left hand drive. Does anyone have a wiring diagram for these cars or know what the fault could be? I have checked the motor and cleaned the contact inside.
PM papajam for a wire diagram

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