Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wiper & heater motor restoration

I'm still waiting for some back order parts from Moss, so I can't take the car to the mechanic for suspension and brake work.

Meanwhile, I made some weekend proyects. I had removed the pedal assembly, wich was all brown colour due to surface rust. I am waiting for a new brake master cylinder, so restoring the pedal assembly was mandatory. I dismantled all the parts, sand blasted them, and painted them with por15. Once dry, I reasemble all the parts and fitted new rubber pedal covers. Now I have a beautifull pedal assembly that looks new. New and shiny bolts will give the final touch to the assembly. Attention to that small details as new, cleand and shiny bolts makes a huge difference to any assembly, specially if the assembly is black colour and bolts are silver, which makes a good contrast.

The other pedal box cover was also sand blasted and painted. Both cover and pedal assembly have a foam gasket to seal the engine fumes, but before fitting them, I thought that sanding and painting the metal structure where they are attached would be a great idea. To do that job I need to remove all cables and parts, so I removed the wiper motor and the heater motor. They both looked to be in good condition but the paint was mostly in poor condition.

First I started with the wiper engine. The wiper engine is the original Lucas DR3A unit, that was fitted on most of British cars those days. There are reconditioned units from many online stores, but at prices between 200-300 eur which makes it incredible expensive. So again, before using my deep pocket, I gave the wiper engine an opportunity ;-) It was all full of dirt and mud. But at least most of the covers are made with aluminum or some non magnetic cast metal. The motor case it´s self is steel so It was very rusty. Stripped all the parts, taking care to note the correct position of all parts, and as always taking plenty of photos.

I had to remove all the old grease, that was mostly solid, cleaned all the parts with degreaser. This part if essencial, because if I clean the parts directly with the sand blast machine I will contaminate all the sand.

After some time with the sand blast machine, the result speaks for it´s self: new and shiny part. The cast parts get a lovely matt finish.

The engine rotor was in good condition, but the brushes had marked the rotor, so I used my lathe and a fine sand paper. A lathe is that kind of tool that you will never think it is usefull, until you get one and start using it. After cleaning all parts with compressed air, I started rebuilding the assembly.

Next project was to restore the heater engine assembly. I did not dismantle from the car the heater matrix, as it has cooling liquid from the cooling system and I did not want to drain it now until the car comes from the mechanic. So I just removed the heater engine. As usual on this British cars, the assembly was made by Smiths, and the shell case was stamped accordingly.

Original situation was not bad as usual, but paint was in poor condition, and metal parts had some surface rust, I noticed that the shell casing was not metal, nor cast. It´s some kind of hard plastic or Bakelite. Disassembly of the heater engine represents no problem, except for the plastic fan. It has a metal collar that holds the fan in the metal motor shaft, but once removed with some small pliers, it wont come off. So I ended using my Bosh heater gun, to heat the fan base and with the aid of 2 spanners, making lever until it came off. Rivets where removed to allow all motor brackets to be cleaned correctly. 

All metal parts where as usual sand blasted, except for the shell housing. This made me some concern, as the motor had stamped with white paint some numbers and references that of course the sand blasting procedure will remove and I will not be able to reproduce it, but this is not a concourse restoration so….. The motor shaft had some surface rust, enough for the plastic fan not to slide correctly. So I connected the motor to a 12volt battery, taking note that the car is positive earth, so I connected the wires accordingly: earth to positive, signal to negative. As the shaft was spinning, I used some fine sand paper to sand the shaft and get a very smooth surface.

All parts where painted with por15, and then I reassembled all the components. I happened to have just the exact rivet size, so it was just the reverse procedure. Nuts and bolt where painted with a zinc paint from CRC what gives a final appearance just the same as the sand blasting

Final result was superb. I fitted all new three rubber mounts that finishes the assemble, ready to fit into the car.

So far so good......

Now it´s time for some holidays with the family, but shortly I will be back with:
-new tyres fitted to the restored wire wheels
-some internat body painting
-pedal assembly installation
-and much, much more!


  1. Paco, estaré esperando ansioso!
    De nuevo, gran trabajo!

  2. Your Work Look great, Any updates.
    I'm currently restoring a 61 Austin Cambridge MKII.
    Trying to source out the wiper motor and Hydarulic Brake light switch
    Any Ideas?



  3. No idea, but I am sure that you can source it locally. Just take a look at, or buy a classic mag such as Classics Monthly or Practical Classics. Not many updates so far. When temp is better, I will install the soft top. Cheers