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Thread: Washer issues

  1. #1
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    Washer issues

    I have a 1987 4wd cargo on which the front windshield washers had not worked since I bought the van a few months ago. When the button was depressed you could hear the pump working but no juice to the windshield.

    Today i decided to pull the access panel and figure out what the problem was. Once I had access, I pulled the whole reservoir out. There are two pumps at the bottom of the tank- one for the front washers and one for the rear. The pump for the rear washers appears to make an uninterrupted shot to the rear squirter. The front one, however, detours and goes through something that the van manual refers to as the washer change valve which sits on top of the tank along with a relay. The manual has inspection procedures for both of these items. My relay was working to spec, but the washer change valve was not opening properly which in turn does not allow fluid to get from the pump to the windshield.

    I decided to try bypassing the valve since the pump works perfectly on it's own. It was as simple as unplugging both lines from the valve and then plugging those two lines together. The fittings are such that I didn't even need to add or remove any
    bits. Presto! Front squirters firing!

    The valve is still available new for something like $50. As far as I can tell, it's soul purpose is to keep fluid from draining out of the lines and back into the tank. I would guess this would make the response time a little quicker (although it doesn't take more than a a second or two for the fluid to travel the length of the van) and
    would save a little wear and tear on the pump. Am I missing something? Unless there is a bigger reason for this valve, I am inclined to leave it the way it is and save myself $50.

  2. #2
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Washer issues

    I did exactly the same thing on mine. I don't use that squirter very often anyhow so waiting a few extra seconds is no big deal. The irony of the whole thing is that valve probably wouldn't get stuck if you used the sprayers all the time. Sitting over time without use can cause the soap to dry on the little check valve there and it gets stuck in the closed position. Blowing compressed air through it will sometimes be enough to get it unstuck, but then it's prone to stick again. Here's what I think about $50 for that part: . Tim

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    Re: Washer issues

    Thanks Tim. Glad to hear I won't miss it.

    I left the wiring connected to the relay and the valve. Did you leave yours that way as well? I figured it wouldn't hurt anything for the relay to continue to open and close even if it isn't doing anything useful.

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    Re: Washer issues

    It was a long time ago, but I think I left it hooked up. Aside from the fluid taking a few seconds, it also dribbles out for a few seconds after I use it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Washer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    ...Aside from the fluid taking a few seconds, it also dribbles out for a few seconds after I use it.
    I've heard that can happen as one gets along in years...

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    Re: Washer issues

    Yeah, it's a pretty long hose so there's lot's of fluid still in there even after I'm done .

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    Re: Washer issues

    I rebuilt my check solenoid. It has a steel piston in it bonded to a rubber seal. When not energized the spring pressure keeps the valve closed. The plating on the steel starts to flake/rust and the seal gets all crusty over time. I cut a piece of bicycle inner tube the size of the piston (about the diameter of a dime) and glued it on with 3m weatherstrip adhesive. I put everything back together and it has been working fine for about a year now.

  8. #8
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    Re: Washer issues

    Yeah, mine had the same problem. I don't have a rear washer so I only had one pump. At first it looked like it was clogged cause it was sitting a while. So I disconnected the tubing and put some pressurized air through it, and it squirted fine. So I did like you said and it does take a second, but squirts ok. But only out of one nozzle and on that nozzzle out of one hole. Pretty weak...

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    Re: Washer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by NEC View Post
    I rebuilt my check solenoid. It has a steel piston in it bonded to a rubber seal. When not energized the spring pressure keeps the valve closed. The plating on the steel starts to flake/rust and the seal gets all crusty over time. I cut a piece of bicycle inner tube the size of the piston (about the diameter of a dime) and glued it on with 3m weatherstrip adhesive. I put everything back together and it has been working fine for about a year now.
    I will give that a try. Something about having a non-functioning part just hanging out in my van bugs me. And I sure don't want any of Tim's dribble issues.

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    Re: Washer issues

    Well I don't know, as far as I know my valve is working fine yet it takes three or four squirts to get anything out, and then sometimes it just keeps squirting when you want it to stop - think that's maybe the button on the lever getting stuck pushed in.

  11. #11
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    Re: Washer issues

    Hey ARP, put some beer in there then drop in one of your viagra tablets. That will get her going .


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    Re: Washer issues

    Thanks Tim, I'll give it a try

  13. #13
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    Unhappy Re: Washer issues

    And now for something embarrasing.......... While doing a bit of welding on the body at the rear of the van I never gave a thought to the washer fluid bottle.

    I can only fill the bottle up half way now.

    Just saying.
    Arghhh. Har Har Har. It's a pirate's life for me!

    86 2wd cargo
    89 4wd

  14. #14
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    Re: Washer issues

    Well I was installing some new interior panels I made and pre drilling some holes for mounting screws when some mysterious blue liquid started spewing out. Doh! Out came the reservoir again. 2 part plastic epoxy sealed the hole just fine and while I had it all apart again I decided to take a shot at repairing the Change valve.

    The bicycle inner tube trick works quite nicely! It took me a while to figure out that what opens the valve is an electromagnet. I tested two different valves (that i had opened up) by directly connecting them to the battery and expected to see some sort of mechanical plunger action. I thought I had two bad valves until one I was testing ended up in the vicinity of a loose screw. Cool!

    No wait time for the squirters!

    The only questionable part is re crimping the top back onto the valve. Mine looks a little iffy- hope it holds.

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    Re: Washer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by wayoffline View Post
    I have a 1987 4wd cargo on which the front windshield washers had not worked since I bought the van a few months ago. When the button was depressed you could hear the pump working but no juice to the windshield.

    Today i decided to pull the access panel and figure out what the problem was. Once I had access, I pulled the whole reservoir out. There are two pumps at the bottom of the tank- one for the front washers and one for the rear. The pump for the rear washers appears to make an uninterrupted shot to the rear squirter. The front one, however, detours and goes through something that the van manual refers to as the washer change valve which sits on top of the tank along with a relay. The manual has inspection procedures for both of these items. My relay was working to spec, but the washer change valve was not opening properly which in turn does not allow fluid to get from the pump to the windshield.

    I decided to try bypassing the valve since the pump works perfectly on it's own. It was as simple as unplugging both lines from the valve and then plugging those two lines together. The fittings are such that I didn't even need to add or remove any
    bits. Presto! Front squirters firing!

    The valve is still available new for something like $50. As far as I can tell, it's soul purpose is to keep fluid from draining out of the lines and back into the tank. I would guess this would make the response time a little quicker (although it doesn't take more than a a second or two for the fluid to travel the length of the van) and
    would save a little wear and tear on the pump. Am I missing something? Unless there is a bigger reason for this valve, I am inclined to leave it the way it is and save myself $50.


    How do you gain access to this? Which access panel?

    I think I have the same problem. I hear the pump working but nothing comes out.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Re: Washer issues

    I just did the quick fix, here's a video of what to switch



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVjaYEc0OKk

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    Re: Washer issues

    Sorry for hi-jacking. First time posting...hope I'm doing this right. I'm stripping the van down for paint. All was well until I got to the front windshield washer nozzles. Anyone know how to remove these suckers without breaking? Or am I going to have to dig through the dash ?

  19. #19
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    Re: Washer issues

    Yeah, they suck. There's a clip on the backside that needs to be removed in order to get them off. And be careful........because these parts are NLA (No Longer Available). Tim

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    Re: Washer issues

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    Yeah, they suck. There's a clip on the backside that needs to be removed in order to get them off. And be careful........because these parts are NLA (No Longer Available). Tim
    ... thank you Sir, now I'm going back into the garage to cry before taking the dash apart.

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