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Wiper arm tension... #5327058 01/19/20 12:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 139
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Loogie Offline OP
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Posts: 139
I noticed my passenger wiper wasn't clearing well, so I changed the blades.
On a side note, I'm lucky if I can get 6 months out of a set of blades. They simply end up not wiping well.
2009 Impala, 22" blades.
Honestly, I think overall wiping effectiveness of both sides of the windshield has been degrading for some time.

Anyway, the new blade streaked as well... perplexed, I checked the wiper arm tension by lifting them away from the windshield. The passenger side felt like it had a lot less pressure.
I removed the wiper blades, and used a digital gram scale to check tension at the mounting hooks.
Driver's side: 1030g.
Passenger side: 750g.

I don't claim this check to be completely accurate, but it does confirm that there is a substantial difference in tension.

Interestingly, I can't find reliable info regarding proper wiper arm tension. Some sources state 1oz per inch of wiper blade.
However, if this is correct, the wiper arm should have 623g pressure. Again, my measurements may not be accurate, but I don't think they are too far off.
The driver's side is almost exactly 1.5oz/inch. Despite it having more tension than the passenger side, I think it may be weak as well because it wipes ok, but if I'm not diligent about keeping the blade and windshield clean, wiping degrades.

I don't know how much longer I'll have the car, so I ordered some SureWipe springs (which I think adds 200g tension). But, I may just slap some new Dorman wiper arms on later.

Does anyone know the proper wiper arm tension?

Many thanks,
Bob

Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: Loogie] #5327097 01/19/20 01:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 10,040
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bullwinkle Offline
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I've been known to bend wiper arms a little to increase tension somewhat, but I don't know if that would work on an Impala or not.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: bullwinkle] #5327107 01/19/20 01:37 PM
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Loogie Offline OP
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I thought about that as well, but the wiper arms only have a very short section near the hook, maybe 2", that could be bent, so the angle would end up being pretty acute.

Might work, but didn't want to totally trash the arm if it didn't work.

Bob

Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: Loogie] #5327114 01/19/20 02:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 107
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JohnG Offline
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It has been my experience that improper wiper performance has little to do with blades and arms, and much more to do with windshield cleanliness. I've owned a couple of Mercedes cars, which are notorious for poor wiper performance. So much so that my Salesman provides me with a new set of blades with each used car I purchase. At $60.00 per set, this is not a small gesture!

Anyway, my cleaning method, which always fixes the issue is as follows:

Lift blades to access all parts of the windshield.
Using Windex and a new sharp, single edge razor and light pressure, clean the windshield and dry it.
Using Lacquer Thinner, or Acetone, clean the glass using clean paper towels. (do NOT get any of this solvent on the paint) Dry.
Using 90% Isopropyl alcohol, clean the windshield again using clean paper towels. Also use the towels and alcohol to wipe the very edge of the wiper blades.
Clean the windshield one last time with Windex or your favorite glass cleaner.

I try to avoid using RainX or getting spray waxes on my windshield. Even though I like the performance of RainX during very heavy rain and high speed driving, I find it hampers my wiper performance at low speed/normal driving. After doing this, you may find small areas that still do not wipe correctly or chatter, just do that small area again with the solvents and they will usually straighten up.

Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: Loogie] #5327143 01/19/20 02:48 PM
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Kestas Offline
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That's a lot of steps with chemicals. If it gets bad I polish the windshield with cerium oxide. It does everything the chemicals would do plus it takes care of any etched areas. Then I follow with RainX treatment and clean the blades.

If I'm not happy with wiper performance after that, then I need new blades.

Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: Loogie] #5327224 01/19/20 05:17 PM
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Posts: 107
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JohnG Offline
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So where do you buy this Cerium Oxide? I have a friend that has induced surface damage to the glass in her car with some stupid chemical. I discovered today that chrome polish will remove it, but a LOT of elbow grease.

I'm assuming cerium oxide won't scratch the windshield and ruin nighttime vision with "spider web scratches".

Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: Loogie] #5327321 01/19/20 07:12 PM
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Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: Loogie] #5327393 01/19/20 08:38 PM
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GoldDot40 Offline
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Tuff Stuff. Spray it on the windshield and watch it foam up. Let it sit for a good 30 seconds...then spray again and scrape the entire windshield with a razor blade. Rinse everything down with a water hose. Dry the windshield and maybe even follow up with a designated window cleaner.

Find some PPG Aquapel. Never seen any Rain X product that competes with it in terms of longevity. Usually lasts up to a year on my daily driver that is NOT garage kept.


Equal Opportunity Offender
Re: Wiper arm tension... [Re: Loogie] #5330092 01/23/20 08:07 AM
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WyrTwister Offline
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Originally Posted by Loogie
I noticed my passenger wiper wasn't clearing well, so I changed the blades.
On a side note, I'm lucky if I can get 6 months out of a set of blades. They simply end up not wiping well.
2009 Impala, 22" blades.
Honestly, I think overall wiping effectiveness of both sides of the windshield has been degrading for some time.

Anyway, the new blade streaked as well... perplexed, I checked the wiper arm tension by lifting them away from the windshield. The passenger side felt like it had a lot less pressure.
I removed the wiper blades, and used a digital gram scale to check tension at the mounting hooks.
Driver's side: 1030g.
Passenger side: 750g.

I don't claim this check to be completely accurate, but it does confirm that there is a substantial difference in tension.

Interestingly, I can't find reliable info regarding proper wiper arm tension. Some sources state 1oz per inch of wiper blade.
However, if this is correct, the wiper arm should have 623g pressure. Again, my measurements may not be accurate, but I don't think they are too far off.
The driver's side is almost exactly 1.5oz/inch. Despite it having more tension than the passenger side, I think it may be weak as well because it wipes ok, but if I'm not diligent about keeping the blade and windshield clean, wiping degrades.

I don't know how much longer I'll have the car, so I ordered some SureWipe springs (which I think adds 200g tension). But, I may just slap some new Dorman wiper arms on later.

Does anyone know the proper wiper arm tension?

Many thanks,
Bob


Are both sides 22" blades ? A shorter blade may require less tension to achieve the same pressure per inch of blade ?

Also , clean the outside of the glass , VERY well to make sure there is not something on the glass that should not be there .

Then try to clean the blades too , if you can & if they otherwise are still serviceable . Shy away form WW fluid or cleaners that have some magic ingredients .


Wyr
God bless
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