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Discussion Starter #1
My front windshield wiper's don't work. The fuse is good and I changed the motor (probably premature, but I did it). The rear wipers work just fine off the same switch arm. What else might it be? Could it be a relay? Anyone ever have to tackle that :? I got 221,000 miles on this baby and want to keep it alive. I'm overdue for need an inspection sticker.
 

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I presume you got the motor with the reduction gearbox on the end, that has electrical contacts in it for the 'parking function'? I ask that because in my 92 and 94 Escort LS's I had to open up that gearbox and clean out the old hardened grease, clean corrosion off the contact 'fingers' inside, and re-lube and reassemble. Both times I had to also clean up the metal mounting legs. The motor seems to get its 'ground' connection by way of the bolts holding the motor to the bracket that bolts to the car. There are 3 bolts that go into the aluminum casting, and three more bolts that hold the steel bracket to the cowling. After sanding away some rust, down to shiny metal - then the motor worked again. I had to do this on both of my Escorts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mounting Bracket

Thank you for your reply.

I checked my mounting and there appear to be rubber bushings that separate the motor-mounting bracket from the body. I just pulled it apart again this afternoon. Still no luck.

I've got power coming to the blue wire on the wider 3-wire plug. The ground for the motor seems OK when I checked with a multimeter, ie the motor body works as ground when mounted. The rear wipers, fluid pump and front wiper fluid pump work well from the same switch arm. Could it be that the front wiper function on the switch arm is messed?

Any other suggestions for diagnosing this? I am frustrated by this.
 

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For sure the wiper contacts inside that mult-function switch get a lot more use than do the contacts that control the rear wiper and washer. So it makes sense the front wipers would wear out first.
Depending on the year of your car, you may or may not be able to buy just the wiper portion of the multi-function switch. Buying the entire multi-function switch is going to be expensive. Its one of the parts I have on my list of things to get from a salvage yard. The last jy I went into, most of the 2nd gen. Escorts no longer had that switch in them. You have to pull the steering wheel to replace the whole multi-function switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Model

I've got a 92 LX wagon wtih almost 225,000 miles on it. I'm pushing to keep it going wo dumping beaucoup $$$ into it. I'm pretty good at fixing things and have had the steering wheel off once before to change the ignition switch.

Guess I'll start the bone yard hunt. Thank you for your reply
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wire Voltages

I could use some guidance to measure the voltages at the ends of the two wire plugs that gointo the wiper motor to verify if the switch is channeling power correctly. Can someone help me with this, please?
 

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I can help a little. The motor assembly is the motor itself and the reduction gear case at the lower end of it. The metal casing of the motor is how the windings in it are grounded, and from there to the case of the reduction gear. The motor has two windings inside, one for low speed, the other for high speed. Both of the wires in the two wire connector to the motor carry 12 volts (more or less) to the motor, depending on what speed the stalk on the steering column is set to. So you should see about 12 volts on one wire or the other anytime the motor is moving the wiper arms. Because the motor uses permanent magnets, you would also see some inducted voltage on the other wire - anytime the motor was moving the wipers. I dont know how much it would be, but it hardly matters what it is. Just dont expect it to be zero or a constant value.

For the wires going to the connector on the side of the reducation gear: One of those wires would have 12 volts going to it anytime the ignition was on. (Its Dark Blue on my 91 *). Thats to allow the wiper motor to 'park' the wiper arms after you move the stalk on the column to 'off'.
The other 3 wires (DB with Yellow tracer, Red, & DB with White tracer - on my 91 *) would each get 12 volts to them at different times, depending on whether you had selected the low speed, the high speed, or the 'interval' from the stalk. The real mystery is what the solid state "Interval Governor' for the wipers is doing. Its hidden up behind the dashboard, somewhere above the fuse box on the left kick panel.
Based on what I see in the forums, that governor seems to be fairly reliable.

If/When my 'interval governor" gives me trouble, I would unbolt the drivers seat, put a sheet of plywood down, and lie on my back looking straight up between the steering column framing and the fuse panel harness, to find the interval governor.
The interval governor is controlled by the stalk on the steering column, and gets its voltage from the same 20 amp fuse labelled 'wiper'.


* Just because the wiring manual for my 91 LX shows the color I listed above, doesnt mean the colors would be the same for all 2nd gen Escorts.
And depending on the year of your LX, the way the stalk works, the wiring to the interval governor and the interval governor itself will be different. On early cars you turn the end of the stalk, on later ones you move the stalk up and down to control the wipers.

I hope you will post feedback on what you find to be the problem; because whatever it is will eventually happen to other people.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you...

...for your suggestions. I will check the wiring at the motor for voltages while running and in different switch positions. The motor body seems to be grounded based on a continuity check to the car body and negative battery post with a voltmeter.

What I have already tried:

At the motor, the dk blue wire in the 3-wire plug measured 12+ volts so I can assume power from the ww fuse is making it to the motor? What does that say about the govenor at this point?
and
I also disconnected and lowered that relay assembly with the 5 or so relays. I hear a slight clicking when I pull down the wiper arm setting and when I click it from off to on. I suppose voltage measurements off the relay wire would be the best way to figure that out. Can you help me identifiy which is the wiper relay?
 

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Having 12 volts at the Dark Blue wire going to the wiper assembly doesnt say anthing about the interval timer, since that wire comes from the fusebox, without going into the interval timer. The interval timer gets its voltage from the same fuse, by way of a splice in the wires somewhere.
I have had no luck finding where splices are located in wiring harnesses on the Escort, since they are usually well buried in a harness you cant get both hands on anyway.
Sorry to say I dont know how to tell the 'interval governor' from any of the other little boxes, or anything about its insides. I only know where it is (on my 91) from the diagram in the Electrical & Vacuum Trouble- Shooting Manual. This is the manual that accompanies the Ford Service Manual for the Escorts/Tracers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Voltage Measurements

OK, I unplugged both connectors to the wiper motor. Each connector has 3 wires. With the ignition turned on, I measured the voltage on both plugs. Only the blue wire on one plug measured any voltage - ~ 12volts. The others were zippo at all switch settings (twist switch: intermittent, low and high).

Do you think the govenor is suspect? What does that govenor look like? Is it a part of that assembly holding the relays?

What a bummer this is. I've tackled every other problem but this one has me tripped up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
denisond3

so suddenly my wipers started working one day when I tried. I scurried down for an inspection sticker while they were working. I was told that the brake lights do not work now ! All 3 lights are out, bulbs are good, fuse is good, I'm perplexed....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I ended up checking the brake switch: switch plug had 12 volts so I changed the switch. That fixed the brake lights and the wipers continue to work well. I passed my inspection the other day and am good to go for now. Not quite sure why the wipers weren't working after swapping out the motor twice and then suddenly, one cold morning, they started to work again...without interuption at this point....go figure.
 
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