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#1 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 06:56 PM
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Front wiper linkage bushing fix?

Hi all,

2010 RAV4 Limited, 4WD, 4 cylinder.

Yesterday the front wipers stopped working, but I could hear the wiper motor running, and the linkage was clicking.

I removed the plastic cowling, and noted that one of the plastic bushings on the wiper linkage (wiper transmission) had popped off the stem on the motor arm. I reinserted it, but it is loose and will pop off again soon.

I went to the local Toyota dealer and they advised that you can't buy the bushings, so I would have to buy the whole linkage assembly for $270!!!

This seems excessive when the issue is caused by one small plastic part - I have searched here, and the internet but could not find any fixes, but I am determined to try.

Any advice?? Thanks,
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 01:57 PM
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I had the same thing happen to me, though on my Scion xB, but only the passenger side was not working. The dealer & local scrap yard wanted $200+ for parts alone. I went to eBay motors & found one for $40 shipped.

They are correct, you cannot replace just the bushings you have to replace the whole wiper transmission. Its pretty easy to swap out and took me maybe an hour or so.
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishmanRAV4 View Post
Hi all,

2010 RAV4 Limited, 4WD, 4 cylinder.

Yesterday the front wipers stopped working, but I could hear the wiper motor running, and the linkage was clicking.

I removed the plastic cowling, and noted that one of the plastic bushings on the wiper linkage (wiper transmission) had popped off the stem on the motor arm. I reinserted it, but it is loose and will pop off again soon.

I went to the local Toyota dealer and they advised that you can't buy the bushings, so I would have to buy the whole linkage assembly for $270!!!

This seems excessive when the issue is caused by one small plastic part - I have searched here, and the internet but could not find any fixes, but I am determined to try.

Any advice?? Thanks,
Is that problem not covered by the factory warranty?

Jim
2011 Upgraded Base V6 4WD
2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
2002 Craftsman LT1000 V2

Jesus is Lord
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 03:24 PM
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Is that problem not covered by the factory warranty?
My thought too, as long as he's within the 3yr/36mo part.
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ravenuer View Post
My thought too, as long as he's within the 3yr/36mo part.
I think most people who buy a relatively new vehicle are acutely aware of their warranty and think of it quickly when something goes wrong. Determination to stubbornly do things the far more complicated way isn't typical.

This leads me to think that the OP may not have a warranty. Is the mileage too high? Is it a US-market vehicle that he imported to Canada and the local dealer won't honour the warranty? Is it a written-off fixer-upper?

At any rate, I'd also suggest trying for a used part. Wiper motors probably don't suffer too badly on their way to a wrecking yard - a used one might do the trick for not too much money.

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#6 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CroMath View Post
I think most people who buy a relatively new vehicle are acutely aware of their warranty and think of it quickly when something goes wrong. Determination to stubbornly do things the far more complicated way isn't typical.

This leads me to think that the OP may not have a warranty. Is the mileage too high? Is it a US-market vehicle that he imported to Canada and the local dealer won't honour the warranty? Is it a written-off fixer-upper?

At any rate, I'd also suggest trying for a used part. Wiper motors probably don't suffer too badly on their way to a wrecking yard - a used one might do the trick for not too much money.
Thanks for your message - yes, I am very much aware of the warranty; my RAV4 has 70,000 KM, so the repair is not covered by warranty here in Canada (3 yr / 60,000 KM is the standard warranty).

I don't need the wiper motor, just a bushing on one of the linkages is loose. I still can't believe that I have to buy the entire wiper linkage assembly (wiper transmission) because of one small plastic part

Yes, I will look for a used part. I also read (in another forum) that it is possible to re-form (tighten) the bushing after heating it up with a heat-gun, so I'm going to try that over the weekend.
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 11:20 PM
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I stand corrected - I knew you didn't need the actual motor.

It would be interesting to see how well the heated and repaired bushing would hold up to daily service. Good luck and welcome to R4W!

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#8 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 02:44 PM
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Just had this happen to me also after only 50k km.
$280 for a new linkage consisting of 4 or more metal bars when the only thing that failed is a $.20 piece of plastic!
Let me know how the re-heat and re-form goes?
I may have to get creative as I surely will not be paying that much for the new part to do the same thing in a short time.
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyRav View Post
Just had this happen to me also after only 50k km.
$280 for a new linkage consisting of 4 or more metal bars when the only thing that failed is a $.20 piece of plastic!
Let me know how the re-heat and re-form goes?
I may have to get creative as I surely will not be paying that much for the new part to do the same thing in a short time.
Hi CrazyRav,

A few days ago I did reheat and reshape the failed (loose) plastic bushing, and it seems to be working well so far. Here is how I did it:

First I removed the cowling and extracted the metal bar with the worn bushing, which was the bushing that connected to the wiper motor arm. To get the other end of the bar off I had to pry the bushing away from the ball-joint using a pry-bar.

I inspected the worn bushing, and noted that the inside ridge of the bushing cup was worn on one side, thereby causing the loose condition - see attached image(s).

I then cleaned out the excess grease from the worn bushing cup and GENTLY heated the bushing using a heat gun on low heat.

I applied heat until the bushing became somewhat soft. Then I used a pair of channel-locks to gently reform (tighten) the bushing by squeezing the outside edge (ring) toward the center on the side where the looseness was noted to be - see attached image of the re-formed (not pretty) bushing. It is important not to squeeze the outside ring inwards too far - the intent was to just tighten the bushing somewhat.

I waited for the bushing to cool, and I test-fitted the bushing back onto the ball-joint and noted that force was required to snap the re-formed bushing back onto the ball-joint - no force was required to disconnect the bushing before the reforming .

The arm was then removed once more and a liberal amount of grease was sprayed into the bushing cup, and the linkage arm was installed.

So far the linkage is holding together but I plan to inspect the repair again in a few weeks, before the snow flys!!

It is really too bad that replacement bushings are not available

Hope this helps,

T
Attached Images
File Type: jpg before heat.JPG (246.3 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg after heat.JPG (277.0 KB, 42 views)
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 11:39 PM
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Great write-up and use of your ingenuity!

Jim
2011 Upgraded Base V6 4WD
2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
2002 Craftsman LT1000 V2

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