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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone here might have run into this. Let me preface this by saying that I've seen my share of dead dash displays and whatnot on my wife's 99 TJ. I've even had the 4way flashers be a little stubborn due to dust getting into the side saddle switch that they appeared to improve on my 02.

Anyway, my wife complains that the wipers don't work. I go out ..they work. When it rains (I'm naturally not there when it is) ..they don't work. I check it ..they work. I swapped out all the relays and whatnot. No other column/dash oddities are happening.

Anyone else run into this before??
 

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No, but do you use diaeletric grease on the connections? I started doing that a few years ago and alot of my electrical gremlins must have died or moved on.

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Worth a shot. It's so strange. Then again, since it's never happened to me ..my wife could just be going over the edge /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Check to see if any of the wiring from fuse box to wiper motor is pinched or exposed, a pinch that's exposed the copper, and won't ground dry, but grounds off with moisture perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess it's a good thing to try at the next car wash session, LEVE. It surely seems humidity related. One just doesn't usually have 100% reliability 99% of the time ..except when the device is supposed to (needed) function. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

Okay, I've narrowed this down to the relay box under the hood (PCC = power control center /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif). It was dry and all ..but a couple of raps on it and the wipers started working. I just tapped the lid since my wife was in the jeep going somewhere. I actually made her wait until I tried this. She was ready to move on without them.

So ..it does look like the dielectric grease may be in order.
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

[ QUOTE ]
So ..it does look like the dielectric grease may be in order.

[/ QUOTE ]
Don't do it, Gary. Dielectric is insulator. Use a standard white grease.
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

[ QUOTE ]
Use a standard white grease.

[/ QUOTE ]

Or go to an electrical supply house and ask for connector grease. Electricians use it making connections in breaker boxes and the like. Probably better than even white grease, since it's made for the purpose.
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

oops - dielectric tune-up grease is actually an insualtor and not an enhancer? Many, I've been messing up a few things. Why didn't they teach me this in high school? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

The main thing you're trying to avoid is corrosion. Impurities in the metal will eventually cause it to corrode and show some form of oxidation. Keeping it isolated with some type of grease will help to keep nasties at bay.
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

Of course you want to use non conducting or dielectric grease on a mass of contacts in one connector, a conductor would cause signals to bleed from one connector to any other. The dielectric grease sold for that purpose, like Permatex brand, easily allows metal to metal contact, while protecting the metal from moisture and O2.
 
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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

Complicated subject.........

Automotive connectors are actually some of the most sophisticated technology in place.....

The typical connector uses nickel or nickel beryllium contacts. These are only slightly higher than silver in contact resistance, but has almost no oxidation....and oxidation is the main cause of bad connections.

By design, the contacts are typically refered to as 'gas tight' connections...i.e., the solid connection prevents gases (air) from getting in between the contacts and causing oxidation.....but, if a little moisture gets in there....and because it's a DC circuit (think electroplating here), you start to get oxidation.....

So....assuming you buy into the idea that moisture, DC current and the resulting oxidation are the causes of bad connections....then the key is to prevent the moisture from getting in....

To that extent, diaelectric grease is ok....the 'gas tight' connection created when you make the connector pushes the grease out of the way...and the grease prevents the moisture from getting in.........

But the ideal method is to clean the contacts real good, and then apply a little bit of diaelectric grease around the base or seal of the connector. This prevents moisture from getting in.......

Side note....back when Ford fist started using computers...they tested all of the reported 'failed' computers sent back....only 0.1% (1 our of 1000) was actually bad....the rest was just a bad connection....and why did it appear the new computer fixed the problem? When the new one was put in, the connectons were broken and then made....thus cleaning them a bit......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

Sometimes gremlins aren't with the contact itself. We have a dual top and when she had the soft top on ..if you accidently hit the rear window defroster, the light would stay on even when you turned it off. I finally pulled the relay and something had bridged the area under the relay (white tracks ..salt ..whatever). It wouldn't actuate the relay ..but if you gave it the juice it wouldn't let go.
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

Quote: "To that extent, diaelectric grease is ok....the 'gas tight' connection created when you make the connector pushes the grease out of the way...and the grease prevents the moisture from getting in.........

"But the ideal method is to clean the contacts real good, and then apply a little bit of diaelectric grease around the base or seal of the connector. This prevents moisture from getting in......."

OK, please be patient with me, my Mamma always said I was thick! So, if putting my postive cable on my battery, I should make the connection first and then spread the d-grease all over the top to try and keep it dry?
What if I greased the post before putting the cable on - (which is the reason I ratted myself out in the first place!) Should I clean the posts and the cable connectors with some brake cleaner and then start over?

Thanks for the help! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

Every six months, I've always just used a battery post/cable tool to burnish the connector/posts so they're bright metal. Then I simply wipe some wheel bearing grease on the post and the inside of the battery cable connector. I then attach the cable to the post. I tighten it so that I can turn the cable on the post and make a good connection. Then I tighten it down and put more wheel bearing grease on the top of the post/connector.

I guess I've been doing it wrong for the last 40 years. However, for the last 40 years it's worked for me in very extreme conditions. I've yet to have a problem between the post and the cable.
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

Wheel bearing grease I have! Shall re-do this as soon as I get home and before I wheel this weekend - Thanks!

BTW, you gonna post any more picture-puzzles?? (Referring here to "where's leve" last month...)
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

I'd love to post more "Where's LEVE" puzzles, but today's my last day at work, so I'll be working hard to find another job.... till then, my travilin' days are over. But if I do pass by something like that last Jeep, I'll get a picture and have some more fun. The post seemed to be enjoyed by everyone.

I hope others would do the same thing.
 

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Re: TJ wiper gremlins - only when it rains-update

I apply a thin film of the previously mentioned connector grease to the post and terminal, assemble, clamp tight, and then slather petroleum jelly all over it. That's how an oldtimer taught me, except that he used petroleum jelly between the post and clamp too. He ran a garage and seldom did a customer of his have a problem with the battery cables.

One problem with the connector grease is that if you use too much the clamp will just ride up the tapered battery post as you tighten it. Thin film only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: TJ wiper gremlins - finally updated

I finally got annoyed enough with the wipers not working when it rains/snows to pull the cowl and replace the wiper motor. The wiper motor has some exposed wiring that is protected (cough-cough) by a rubber boot that, beyond being a real challenge to remove from the old one and install on the new one (the reman doesn't include this), appears to fail to keep moisture out of the internals ..allowing it to fester.

A tapping of the motor with a hammer, while running, produced a "growling" noise (no-this wasn't "clubbing it to death" - just tapping on it). It was enough to get me to seek a reman ..about $90 w/$35 core.

The reman doesn't come with a connector and requires splicing. The wiper unit (linkage and whatnot) removes as a module with 3 bolts allowing easy access to the motor retaining bolts. The most complicated step was deciphering the electrical connnector. It has a red retaining clip that's easy enough to remove ..but also has some lame barb deal that frustrated me for a few minutes.
 
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