Wash Wipe Heaven!

Discussion in 'How To' started by snotty, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. I've recently been fiddling with my windscreen washing arrangements, and after much faffing it's now wash/wipe nirvana here at chez Snots, I can tell you. Did say I'd write it up, so some hopefully useful stuff below.

    I'd persevered with my stock pneumatic Bay washers for years. If everything's in good shape (which usually means changing all the old hoses and getting the valve airtight) these work pretty well. Fun to demonstrate them to your mates - dangling the ignition keys in one hand and working the washers with the other - but what I could never stand was the washer bottle itself. Hard to fill up, and as you can't see the water level it usually overflowed and filled the front pressing up with water, causing the front of the van to fall off after several years of rot. I'd bought one of those small washer bottles with a pump built in and attached it behind the driver's seat - much easier for filling - but never actually got around to connecting it up. It remained a decoration.

    So...all change. Swedish washer bottle fitted, my trusty Hella delay wipe replaced by a stock VW intermittent relay - you need intermittent wipe - and I now have wiping arrangements just like a real car, not some relic from the 1930s.

    Swedish bottle first. You don't need one of these - a bottle with an electric pump on is fine - but I'd been on the lookout for a while. One came up on eBay and, to my amazement, nobody seemed to want it, so I had it. The Swedes, being a hygienic nation, like to keep their headlights squeaky clean at all times, so had an elaborate (and immensely ugly) headlight washing arrangement on the front overriders. The good thing about this setup was the tank itself, a vast blow-moulded plastic affair that takes up all of the left-hand kick panel space, and most of the room behind it. Its best feature is the filler cap, which is almost vertical and lets you fill the washers up without water gushing all over. You can get your watering can in even with an under dash shelf fitted. Yaay. The thing holds 7.5 litres, so washer-topping fatigue is a thing of the past. If you did fill it right up, the van would probably lean to one side...

    tank in place.jpg

    You'll have to do a few mods to fit one of these beasts. "Torpedo tank" out, and the welded-on left hand bracket has to come off. I ended up (to my distress) sawing it off, as Dremeling off the small seam welds wasn't going anywhere. You'll also need to remove the vertical "U-channel" from the door frame with a few whacks from a sharp chisel, as the tank edge attaches straight to the frame with three large self-tappers. It slots straight in with no additional support.

    Mine came with the pump bracket attached - it slots onto the tank then lives quietly down by the totem pole - but no pump, so I screwed a bit of angle ally on it and fitted a metal Lucas job. Washer hose and wiring went up the same bit of large-bore PVC sleeving and emerged up by the fresh air duct. Easy, peasy. Testing it actually demonstrated how little pressure you get with the pump-up washers: with the jets adjusted for stock operation, firing up the electric pump shot water straight over the cab and onto the middle of the pop top.

    washer pump s.jpg

    tank pump.jpg

    The final flourish was fitting a small Durite non-return valve to the washer line: this made sure the washers worked straight away. Without it, water tends to drain down into the system, leading to a tiresome wait until the pump can get it up to the nozzles again.

    non return.jpg

    You could just operate the pump with a pushbutton, but we want something slightly more hi-tech, don't we ;)...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2015
    Cov1987, tommygoldy and volkswombat like this.
  2. Everybody needs an intermittent wipe function (which was actually an option on some Bays, it seems), but equally useful is an arrangement that fires up the wipers while you're operating the washers. You squirt, the wipers run and keep running for a few strokes after you've let go of the washer button. No more stalk-fiddling.

    For intermittent, I'd used a Hella delay wipe relay mounted under the headlight switch. This works really well, with its little twiddle-it knob, but it won't operate the wipers. An intermittent relay as fitted to early Golfs and the like will, and the later relays allow the delay period to be varied using the intermittent switch. Earlier ones have a fixed delay. I don't know what it is. If you're slick, you can mount the relay in one of the spare positions in the fusebox, as I did.

    All of these fandangos need a few simple mods to the existing wiring. Specifically, you need to chomp through the +12V supply line to the motor "slow" winding (53). You'll then end up with two "new" connections: the end the goes to the wiper switch (53S) and the end that goes to the motor (53M). The reason for this is that you're going to be turning on intermittent operation with the wiper switch is "Off", which means the motor park switch is in charge. The park switch keeps 12V on the motor until it reaches the parked position. It then does two things: it disconnects the motor supply and then shorts the motor winding so that the motor stops quickly. If you don't mod the wiring, dabbing 12V on the motor line would just cause the motor fuse to pop. You'll get through one fuse per wipe. The intermittent units incorporate a changeover relay that disconnects the idle switch, gives the motor a 12V kick, then drops back to normal park operation so that the wipers stop in the right position.

    Wiring's easy enough to find, whatever kind of wiper switch you've got, and the colours don't appear to have changed over the years. On a late Late, look under the column shroud - you might have to bend back the metal tabs supporting the loom - and locate the "53" cable (normally black). You'll also see the black/yellow to the motor fast winding and the black/grey +12V supply to the wipers generally. Cut the "53" line to give you "53S" and "53M" as above, and tap into the black/grey "15" line to give a positive supply for the relay and pump. Easy. Pic below shows the loom mods.

    col wiring.jpg

    You'll need to have a toggle switch somewhere to turn intermittent operation on and off and a push-button to operate the washers. I made up a little panel to go under the headlight switch. I'm so sad that I photoshopped the proper labels for it. I have no life, and I must get out more. It's a tragedy.

    sw panel.jpg

    Wiring and relay stuff comes next...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2015
  3. nice write up Snotty....now you need to find one for the passenger side and fill it with the tipple of your choice....small dispenser on the dash, or a bite valve for drinking on the move....;)
  4. Finnbar would have a field day:D
    Lasty likes this.
  5. Nice
    I did something along those lines but converted the stalk by fitting a switch to it instead of the air switch for the washers and using a time relay to operate the wipers
  6. nice one :thumbsup:
  7. Wiring: a diagram I'd previously done for Other Purposes shows the connections to the delay relay. You'll need to find VW relay "99" or "197", either from the scrapper or from fleaBay. There is a Bosch equivalent. VWH and JK appear to sell the fixed-delay "19" job. With the variable delay, you flip the switch to get the wipers moving, then turn it off, wait a bit, then turn intermittent operation back on again. It magically remembers the delay, at least until you disconnect the power. What could be simpler, eh, I ask you?

    VW Wiper Delay XA.jpg

    The keen-eyed will realise that the pump ends up on the 16A wiper fuse. This isn't ideal, but, hey, let's live life on the edge, dude...

    You could in theory incorporate both switches into the existing wiper switch. The pushbutton would easy. An intermittent wipe position may well involve dismantling the switch and chopping the contacts up. I have no desire to remove my steering wheel again, so it'll stay as is for the time being.

    Get everything connected and give it a quick workout. It's a happy thing. Pic shows a naked relay, which you could cable-tie up under the dash. I stuck mine into the fusebox. Details coming...

    relay out.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2015
    vanorak likes this.
  8. would be useful if @dog or admin could put this all up in a mech tech 'how to' minus my facetious remarks...:thumbsup:
    dog likes this.
  9. VW helpfully provided a couple of spare relay positions under the fusebox. The sockets aren't populated with contacts: you do this, using proper brass crimps, attached using a crimper with "W"-shaped jaws. The crimps have a locking tang on them: get them crimped up, push them into the socket positions and if you've got them the right way round they'll lock into position. Vehicle Wiring Products will sell you some. Useful all over the place, including the multi-way connectors of which I'm a great fan. Much better than the blue crimps much loved by the motor trade.

    Best to take the glove box out to fit the relays. Disconnect the battery -ve, unscrew the fusebox and rotate it so you can see up its bottom. I supported mine with garden wire, as I don't posses three hands. Start at the top left-hand corner and work your way down. Bit of a fiddle, but do-able. The only troublesome fellow was the "I" contact on the relay, which is a 3mm job. It just wouldn't lock into the fusebox moulding. In the end I soldered a thin thin wire on it and poked it through the hole, crimping it to the cable behind. Ah, well.

    Pic shows number 99 in position, next to my horn relay. If you are adding anything in that needs an extra fused supply (like the horns), worth using relays with a built-in fuse holder, so they're all in one place. Note that the fuse only protects the contact side, so the coil side will need fusing from elsewhere.


    That's it. A mod well worth doing, IMHO. I may go outside and play with them right now :).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2015
    matty likes this.
  10. Top job Snotty.....So...start to finish, how long? ...and roughly how much?

    would be an ideal mod for a Techenders weekend.....:thumbsup:
    vdub brvs likes this.
  11. Fantastic stuff old bean, you're clearly far too clever!
  12. About half a day of casual work, if you cable-tie the relay in place and are fitting something like the JK torpedo with a pump in it. The relay cost about £12 used off fleaBay, but likely 50p from the scrapper. The fixed interval ones seem to be about £7 new from VWH and the likes. New "99"s are £50 or something ridiculous :eek:.

    Bit of a thesis above, but I'm dead chuffed with it. I like things that work well :). A mod well worth doing, if only for the wipe-while-you-wash alone.
    Bertiebot and Majorhangover like this.
  13. But I can't reverse a 40ft trailer into a confined space, so you and @poptop2 are well ahead of me ;)...
    volkswombat likes this.
  14. money and time well spent then....
    snotty likes this.
  15. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    Nahh mate. I am still just a ficko.
    volkswombat likes this.
  16. any vids of these working ?
  18. Flakey

    Flakey Sponsor

    I just bought a Swedish bus, much simpler :D
  19. There was me thinking you'd installed a bidet. :rolleyes:

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