1964 Ranchero Delay Wipers
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Delay Wipers

This is how I put delay wipers with washers on my 1964 Ford Ranchero. I got the idea from another page I stumbled across when searching the internet for ideas. After reading that and searching some more, I found another page - this one with more pictures - describing the same swap. Based on that information, I bought the parts I needed and then did the swap. Naturally, I took lots of pictures so I could post them here and help more folks out. The other pages were great and helpful, but I post tech info on every project I do and try to make it as complete as possible. I also have a more general delay wiper conversion page that I'm always looking for ways to improve, and doing this swap allowed me to fill in a few more details there. This seems a bit daunting until you read through it. I've made the instructions really complete and included lots of extra notes to make it as surprise-free as possible once you get into the middle of the work.

As usual, the information on this page is based solely on my experience - your mileage, vehicle specifics, and mechanical/electrical skills may vary. Use common sense and don't do anything that you don't think is safe and/or that you don't fully understand. It's not my fault if you screw up your car - I'm just telling you about what I learned, not telling you that you have to do exactly these things to your car. If this information helps you enjoy delay wipers on your classic ride, awesome. If you think this page is in error somewhere or could be improved, please let me know.



Here are step by step instructions for the conversion once you have the required parts in hand.

  •  Test the used parts to ensure they work before installing them. Simply lay the motor assembly arm-side facing up on your radiator support or fender (be sure to use a rag under the motor assembly if you don't want to scratch anything) and make some temporary connections with "alligator clips". You can also connect things to a spare battery if you want to test them out of the car. Basically, you don't want to hassle with taking your vehicle apart until you know you have a working delay wiper setup to install into it.
  1. Connect the switch to the delay box and the delay box to the wiper motor wiring harness.
  2. Connect the ground wire on the wiper switch and the motor bracket to a grounding point on the vehicle - any readily available grounded bracket or negative battery cable connection will do.
  3. Connect the power wire for the wiper switch and the washer power wire to a positive battery connection - the starter solenoid "hot" post is a good place for this. Make sure this wire does not touch anything metal or otherwise ground out.
  4. Turn the switch to Low, High, various delay settings and off as you observe the arm movement. It should spin slowly in Low, faster in High, and make single rotations with a delay between then in the delay mode. It should always stop at the same place when you turn the switch off.
  5. Test the washer functionality by testing for power at the proper leads when the washers are engaged. Also test that the wipers start when the washer is activated with the switch in the off position.
  6. If it passes these tests, you have a good motor and switch assembly. If not, troubleshoot it to see what's bad, and then either get a new or different used piece to replace the bad one, or if appropriate, fix it yourself. Rinse, repeat until you have a proven to work delay wiper setup.
  •  Ensure the wiring attached to the donor motor is suitable for use. Again, you want to make sure the parts are suitable for use before you start removing things from your vehicle.
  1. Inspect the wiring harness attached to the donor motor.
  2. Clean, repair, and re-tape as needed.
  3. Inspect the plastic connector that connects to the delay box harness and ensure it is in good shape and not cracked.
  •  Remove original parts from your vehicle to gain access to the wiper motor, switch, and wiring, and to get the wiper motor and bracket assembly out of the car so you can swap the wiper motors.
  1. Remove the instrument cluster from vehicle and set aside. This is done only to have access to the wiper motor, switch, and wiring.
  2. Optional: Remove the speaker/defroster grill along with the speaker and defroster ducts to gain one more access point and more clearance under the dash.
  3. Disconnect the wiring at wiper motor, ground screw, ground wire to wiper motor, and wiper switch.
  4. Unbolt the wiper motor mounting bracket and pull down to gain access to to the linkage clip. Support the wiper motor assembly and do not let it "hang" from the linkage.
  5. Remove the clip the connects the wiper motor to the linkage. Mine simply slid off with gentle pressure from a screwdriver - your clip style may differ.
  6. Remove the washer under the clip and slide the linkage off of the wiper motor arm.
  7. Remove the wiper motor assembly from the vehicle.
  8. Remove the knob from the wiper switch. Refer to your manual for exact details.
  9. Unscrew the wiper switch mounting nut from the front. A special tool is needed, but in many cases you can substitute small screwdrivers if you are careful and the switch is not mounted too tightly. If you opt to use screwdrivers to do this, make sure not to slip and gouge or damage the mounting nut, bezel, or dash!
  10. Remove the wiper switch and all associated hardware from the vehicle. Don't lose the small metal spacer or any of the other pieces that are behind the dash - you will need all of these to mount the new switch.
  •  Swap donor wiper motor onto original bracket. I recommend doing this all at one time rather than preparing the donor motor beforehand. This is so that you remember what parts go where and don't get confused - they look very similar once you take things apart. I also highly recommend clamping both of the bracket assemblies in a vice when you want to work on them.
  •  Remove donor motor from it's mounting bracket.
  1. Remove arm retaining nut from the donor motor.
  2. Remove the arm, wave washer, and washer from donor motor. The arm may require gentle prying with a screwdriver - it is a very tight fit. Be careful not to damage anything.
  3. Remove the donor motor from it's mounting bracket by removing the three mounting nuts and washers. Do not let the motor fall out - be sure to hold it as you remove the final bolt. Be careful not to loose any washers that are between the motor and the rubber grommets in the bracket.
  4. Remove grounding screw from the grounding strap and remove grounding strap from the bracket.
  5. Carefully clean the motor with dry shop rags - do not immerse in water or spray harsh cleaners onto the motor! If anything gets inside the motor, it will likely ruin it. Remember, the motors are internally lubricated. I used a dry shop rag to carefully wipe the motor down and remove most of the accumulated grime. It doesn't have to be "show clean", just clean enough to work with without making a mess of things. Adventurous souls may wish to purchase a rebuilt wiper motor at this point, or attempt detailed cleaning. If the wiper motor works, use it.
  6. Clean the mounting points on the ground strap to ensure a good connection after you re-assembly things.
  7. Set all removed parts aside so you know they are the "donor" pieces.
  •  Remove original motor from it's mounting bracket
  1. Take note of the position of the arm in the park position - you will need to re-install the arm on the donor motor in the same position.
  2. Remove arm retaining nut from the original motor.
  3. Remove the arm, wave washer, and washer from original motor. The arm may require gentle prying with a screwdriver - it is a very tight fit. Be careful not to damage anything.
  4. Remove the original motor from it's mounting bracket by removing the three mounting nuts and washers. Do not let the motor fall out - be sure to hold it as you remove the final bolt. Be careful not to loose any washers that are between the motor and the rubber grommets in the bracket.
  5. Remove the washers that went between the mounting grommets and the motor - in some cases they are stuck to the motor, in some cases they are stuck to the rubber grommets.
  6. Set all removed parts aside so you know they are the "original" pieces.
  7. Carefully clean the original mounting bracket with mild soap and water.
  8. Check the rubber grommets in the bracket to be sure they fit right and are not falling apart. They should be reusable - if they are not reusable, you will need to find suitable replacements.
  9. If needed, strip and re-paint the entire bracket. If you do this, you will need to carefully remove the grommets and re-install them after the paint is dry.
  •  Install donor motor onto original mounting bracket
  1. Install the original washers (the ones that go between the motor and the rubber grommets) onto the donor motor mounting points.
  2. Carefully push the the donor motor into the original rubber grommets and hand-thread the mounting bolts and washers for the donor motor into the donor motor. Make sure the grounding strap is installed under the washer of one of the mounting bolts.
  3. Carefully tighten the mounting bolts. As you tighten them done, ensure the motor is seated correctly in the rubber grommets.
  4. Rotate the grounding strap to a space where you can drill a new hole for the mounting screw and mark the location.
  5. Drill a new hold for the mounting screw - mine was a 1/8" hole, yours may differ.
  6. Connect the ground strap to the mounting bracket using the hole you just drilled. The sheet metal screw will be a bit tough to install the first time as it cuts threads in the newly drilled hole. Ensure the strap is snug and has a good connection. Optionally connect an extra grounding wire under the head of the sheet metal screw using a ring terminal crimped to a length of 16 gauge black wire. The factory didn't, but bad grounds in older cars can be really annoying to figure out and fix later, so I opted to do this.
  7. Clean, lightly grease, and install the original flat washer that goes under the arm.
  8. Clean, lightly grease, and install the original wave washer that goes under the arm.
  9. Clean and hand install the original arm.
  10. Clean and install the original arm retaining nut, then carefully tighten it until the arm is properly seated and the nut is snug.
  11. Lightly grease the linkage pivot point on the arm.
  •  Install the donor motor and original mounting bracket assembly into the vehicle.
  1. Get the motor assembly under the dash and push the linkage onto the arm. It may require some creative fiddling about to get everything to line up and still have room to get your fingers/hands/arms into the right places.
  2. Install the washer onto the end of the linkage pivot point.
  3. Install the linkage clip onto the end of the linkage pivot point.
  4. Make sure the wiring is routed correctly so it does not interfere with the linkage or anything else under the dash.
  5. Hold the motor assembly in position and hand-install the three wiper motor bracket mounting bolts so the motor assembly is held up in position.
  6. Tighten the three wiper motor mounting bolts.
  7. Route the wiper motor wiring harness through the wiring harness clips on the braces behind the instrument cluster. Be careful so you do not break the clips - they're flexible plastic, but they can break if you pry too hard - especially if the plastic is old and brittle from getting hot a lot in your nice southern rust-free car. :-)
  8. If you added it, route the new wiper motor ground wire between the two instrument cluster braces so it can be grounded at the same time you ground the new wiper switch.
  •  Install the delay wiper switch and control box into the vehicle.
  1. Hold the original and delay switches side-by-side to compare them to decide on how many washers to install. You will likely need to add 2-3 washers between the "hat" and the switch to space the new delay switch back into the dash by the proper amount. Without the washers, the nut will bottom out on the threads before it tightens against the dash.
  2. Also compare the length of the shaft - you may need to trim it by approx 1/8" so that the knob doesn't end up sticking out into the car too far. This depends entirely on the original and donor switches you have, and what you prefer once the knob and switch are installed. It's not a functional thing, merely a cosmetic thing.
  3. Some delay switch shafts may need a flat spot ground onto one side so original knobs with set screws will work properly. Again, this is up to you as to what you do. You could use the knob from the delay setup, or you can adapt the switch to use the knob from your original switch. I prefer to use my original knob so the conversion is completely "stealth" once everything is back together.
  4. Connect the delay box harness to the delay switch. It's much easier to do this before the switch is installed, but can be done afterwards if needed.
  5. Install the delay switch, hat, and washers into the dash using the original mounting nut and bezel.
  6. Tighten the mounting nut, preferably using the correct tool for this. If not, be sure you are very careful to not slip and gouge anything. Be careful that the switch doesn't spin in the dash as you are tightening the mounting nut, and be sure the bezel is positioned correctly - it has a small pin that indexed to a small hole in the dash to ensure the "wiper" text is at the top and centered.
  7. Install the knob onto the switch
  8. Verify the switch does not rotate in the dash when you turn it on and off. If it rotates and the mounting nut is already tight, take it apart and add another washer. It needs to be pretty snug but not "gorilla tight".
  9. Connect the switch ground wire and the wiper motor ground wire (if you added one) to the grounding screw on the brace behind the instrument cluster.
  10. Connect the wiper motor harness to the delay box harness.
  11. Connect the washer harness to the delay box harness. If you already have washers on your vehicle (original or retro-fitted), connect the washer harness bits you grabbed to your existing washer harness by cutting/splicing the proper wires. If you do not have washers on your vehicle, go install at least the under-dash wiring now.
  12. Find a suitable mounting location for the delay box and drill a hole in the under-dash brace to mount it. Each vehicle seems to differ a little bit, so use good judgment and keep it out of the way of things you need to reach up there and work on later like the headlight switch, fuse block (on cars where it is combined with the headlight switch), and the speedometer cable.
  13. Mount the delay box to the under-dash brace with a properly sized sheet metal screw.
  14. Route the wiper motor wiring harness through the wiring harness clips on the braces behind the instrument cluster. Be careful so you do not break the clips - they're flexible plastic, but they can break if you pry too hard - especially if the plastic is old and brittle from getting hot a lot in your nice southern rust-free car. :-)
  15. Test the wipers and washer to be sure they work properly at this point by connecting the wiper power lead to a power source temporarily. All functions should work as expected, even the washers if you have them. If not, stop and fix any problems before you re-assemble the rest of the dash.
  •  Final wiring work.
  1. Hook up the wiper power lead. The original wiper power was a blade-style connector and the delay style used a bullet connector. I would suggest using a small length of wire (about 1" long) as an adaptor - put a female bullet connector on one end and a male 1/4" spade connector on the other, and just plug it into the original wiper power connection.
  2. Deal with the old - and now unused - wiring from the original wiper switch to the original wiper motor. A simple approach is to just tape it to the existing harness so it's out of the way. Since I had my wiring harness out, I opted to un-tape the original harness, remove the wiper wires from it, and re-tape the harness again. This is not required, but it will make things a bit neater and cleaner if you need to work on the under-dash wiring in the future, and I am a bit of a perfectionist about wiring work.
  3. Make sure anything you disconnected to gain access to things is reconnected, and check everything in the vicinity - such as the headlight switch, ignition switch, cigar lighter, and heater blower switch - to be sure you didn't knock a connector loose inadvertently.
  4. Check to be sure the wire to the grounding screw on the brace behind the instrument panel is still attached. The  ground wire that went to the wiper motor can be clipped off or simply left for use as a future grounding wire attaching point. If you leave it in place, tape it to the harness for all but the final few inches of it's length so it doesn't flop around under the dash and cause problems. It would be A Very Bad Thing to have that ground wire contact the "hot" stud on the back of the ignition switch or get tangled in the wiper linkage because it was flopping around.
  •  Re-install anything you removed to gain access to the under-dash area.
  1. Re-install the defroster ducts, speaker and speaker/defroster grill, replacing pieces as needed if they are in need of replacement. The grill can be stripped and re-painted if desired.
  2. If you have the original "idiot light only" style dash like I did, this would be a great time to convert it to a later 66 Mustang "gauges" style dash. :-)
  3. Either way, this is the perfect time to dismantle the cluster for cleaning and replacement of the lenses and face plates. Most units are pretty grungy after ~40 years of service and a good cleaning will improve the way they look, make it easier to see the gauges, and in general make your ride look a lot nicer. The hardest part is removing and re-installing the cluster in the first place, so since you have it out anyway, this is a good time to do the cleaning on it.
  4. Re-install the instrument cluster. Consult the manual for what wire gets hooked up where. Don't forget to hook up the speedometer cable before you get done.
  •  Final testing and cleanup.
  1. Do a final check to be sure the wipers work properly in all settings - Delay, Low, and High.
  2. Adjust the wiper arms as needed for the correct travel.
  3. This is a perfect time to replace your wiper blades - it's probably been a while anyway.
  4. Ensure anything else you removed and re-installed is working right - both defroster ducts, the speaker, the instrument cluster, etc.
  5. Put all your tools away, including the ones that fell on the floor and rolled under the seats when you weren't looking.
  6. Stash the original wiper motor and other unused parts in a box somewhere so you have them in case you need them. They would be needed to return the car to "original", and that's a nice advantage should you sell the car later on to someone who wants to restore it.
  7. Clean all your grimy paw prints off the dash, both sides of the glass, and anything else you got them on. It's easy to rub a sweaty/greasy/dirty arm on the inside of windshield when reaching into the speaker opening to re-install the linkage clips, so break out the Windex and the paper towels.


Parts List

Here's what you need to go and do this yourself.

  •  Wiper motor and wiring harness from any 1973-1979 Ford F-Series pickup. (1966-1972 may also work based on the part numbers I found, but that is unconfirmed in an actual installation as of yet.)
  •  Wiper switch and delay control box from any 1973-1979 Ford F-Series pickup. Some later switches may work as well (rumored, but not confirmed yet), as long as the wiring at the switch did not change.
  •  Washer wiring harness to connect to the new switch. This is not specific to the delay unit, so grab it from the same 70's era Ford F-Series pickup you get the switch from. The new delay setup has washer functionality, and you should use it.
  •  Several small washers that fit over the wiper switch mounting threads.
  •  Time and tools to do the work.

Your local salvage yard should be a great source for the wiper motor. Get the motor/arm assembly attached to it's bracket, and the entire wiring harness for the wiper motor. Grab as much of the washer wiring harness as you can at the same time - make sure you get the connector that goes to the switch. The easier way is to disconnect the wiring and remove it form any wiring clips it is in, then unbolt the wiper motor bracket form the cowl, and then disconnect the linkage for the arm on the wiper motor.

The delay style switch and control box can usually be found on eBay on any given day at a reasonable price, so bid away. If you find one in the salvage yard, grab it. Make sure it's the right style switch - the connector needs to have the "blade" style electrical contacts, not the "pin" style electrical contacts.

Your local auto parts store or hardware store is a great source for the washers to go over the mounting threads on the switch - just take the switch with you and see what fits. Grab a few so you have them and can space the new switch out properly to match your original switch. I could only find washers that were a bit too big or a bit too small, so I bought the "too small" washers and drilled out the center hole to be an exact fit around the switch threads so nothing would be able to rattle around behind the dash later on.

For the wiper motor, you can buy a remanufactured unit if desired, but you will still need to get some parts from a donor vehicle such as the wiring connector at the wiper switch and possibly the wiring as well depending on what the remanufacturer did. I did some hunting about on RockAuto, and it's A1 Cardone part #40258 and it seems to fit 1966-1979 F-Series pickups, as well as 1966-1970 Falcons. I'm sure it fits other cars as well, but those were the ones I stumbled across while poking through the catalog. There is a $10 core charge listed for this part on RockAuto, so you really should have the junkyard wiper motor as a core if you plan to go this route.



This section contains all of the pictures I took while doing this conversion on my Ranchero. I was doing a bunch of other work at the same time, and all of the wiring was removed, along with the glove box, and radio. This is not needed to do the conversion, but it certainly makes things easier to get at and it makes the pictures a bit easier to take and to understand.

Here is a comparison of the donor and original wiper motors in their respective brackets. The donor motor is on the left and the original motor is on the right. The "front" of the brackets (as mounted in the vehicle) would be to the left in this picture. You can see the brackets are clearly different and that the donor motor has an attached wiring harness. You can also see how that mounting points are rotated slightly between the two brackets and that the "arm" on the donor motor is mounted 180 degrees off from the arm on the original motor.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-WiperMotorComparison.jpg (1195278 bytes)


Here is a close-up picture of the donor motor and mounting bracket as I purchased them from a local wrecking yard. The truck was an early '70's Ford full-size pickup - I don't recall specifically what year. They're all the same as far as the wiper motor goes - the bracket is not important to the conversion, but it's faster to just grab it as-is and deal with it once you get it all home. See the parts list for details on acceptable years for the donor.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-DonorMotor.jpg (1164307 bytes)


Here is a close-up picture of the original motor and mounting bracket as I removed them from the Ranchero. A bit grimy, but not too bad. I'd guess the wiper motor had been replaced at some point in the past, plus the vehicle was almost always garaged as far as I can tell, so it led a lucky/charmed life.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-OriginalMotor.jpg (1209228 bytes)


Here are some comparison pictures of the arm on each wiper motor. The arm from the donor motor is on left and the arm from the original motor is on the right. As you can see, it is very important to use the correct one - the one that matches the wiper linkage in your original vehicle. If you used the longer arm with your original linkage, the "throw" would be too great for the original linkage to handle and the wiper arms would sweep to far on each stroke - possibly off the windshield or far enough to bend/break the original linkage. The way that the linkage is held onto the arm is also different. In short: use the original arm that matches the wiper linkage already in your vehicle.

Note that there is a flat washer and a small "wave" washer that go between the arm and the wiper motor. They were the same on each motor in my case, and I re-used the ones from my original motor after cleaning and lightly greasing them with some heavy assembly lube.

There is also a small washer that goes between the linkage and the linkage clip that is shown in the first picture. This washer makes sure the linkage doesn't try to push the clip off as the linkage rotates. It tends to pop off and get lost in the carpet when removing the linkage, and is hard to get back on again when you reassemble stuff. It may be a bit of a pain, but it's there for a reason - don't lose it and make sure it goes back on again.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-ArmComparison1.jpg (1331654 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-ArmComparison2.jpg (1005887 bytes)


Here are some pictures of the donor motor mounting in it's original bracket, and a picture of the attaching hardware for the donor motor in the donor bracket. Having a picture of this will be very useful for reference later - the bushings and mounting hardware is a bit different and when you mount the donor motor on your original bracket, you will use a mix of the original and donor hardware.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-DonorMotorMounting1.jpg (1560468 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-DonorMotorMounting2.jpg (1762524 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-DonorMotorMounting3.jpg (1308063 bytes)


Here is a picture of the original motor mounting in it's original bracket and a picture of the attaching hardware for the original motor in the original bracket. Having a picture of this will be very useful for reference later - the bushings and mounting hardware is a bit different and when you mount the donor motor on your original bracket, you will use a mix of the original and donor hardware.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-OriginalMotorMounting1.jpg (1373502 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-OriginalMotorMounting2.jpg (1287536 bytes)


Here is a comparison of the original and donor mounting hardware. The donor motor + hardware is on the left and the original motor + hardware is on the right.  Having a picture of this will be very useful for reference later - the bushings and mounting hardware are a bit different and when you mount the donor motor on your original bracket, you will use a mix of these pieces.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-MotorMountingComparison.jpg (1293555 bytes)


Here is the original bracket with the original wiper motor removed from it. Still a bit grimy, but otherwise in good shape. You can see which three holes were used for mounting the wiper motor based on the patterns in the grime from the rubber mounting grommets.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-BareBracketDirty.jpg (1494891 bytes)


Here is the original bracket after a simple cleaning with some warm water and soap. Now you can see the "R" and "S" that were stamped to each set of three mounting holes. I have no idea what the "S" holes were for - both the original and donor motor ended up using the "R" holes. Also, you can see the small bit of surface rust that had formed at one place on the bracket. I was lazy and decided to leave it alone for now.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-BareBracketClean1.jpg (1611205 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-BareBracketClean2.jpg (1501205 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-BareBracketClean3.jpg (1517702 bytes)


Here are the mounting details for putting the donor motor in the original bracket using the original arm. The specific pieces you use will be dependant on your original bracket and mounting details for the original motor, but they should be pretty similar in all cases.

Here's what I used from the donor parts pile:

  •  Wiper motor
  •  Mounting bolts with attached washers

Here's what I used from the original parts pile:

  •  Washers that go between the grommets and the wiper motor
  •  Rubber mounting grommets
  •  Flat and wave washers between the arm and motor
  •  Arm
  •  Nut for the arm
  •  Washer and linkage clip

Note that there is an error in the first picture - the wave washer is shown between the arm and the mounting nut, when in fact it goes between the flat washer and the arm. This means that when installing the arm, you put the flat washer on the motor first, then the wave washer, then the arm, and then the nut. Got it? Good - there will be a test. It happens when you turn on your new wipers for the first time. :-)

1964RancheroDelayWipers-MixedMounting1.jpg (1346743 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-MixedMounting2.jpg (1523321 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-MixedMounting3.jpg (1397423 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-MixedMounting4.jpg (1470270 bytes)


Here is a close-up shot of the new hole I hard to drill in the original bracket for the grounding strap on the donor motor. I used the original screw. The original motor was grounded through the switch and had no need for additional grounding at the motor. The donor motor is internally grounded, and because of the rubber mounting bushings, it needs this external grounding strap to be run from one of the mounting bolts to the bracket. The "accordion folds" in the bracket allow the grounding strap to flex slightly and helps to not transmit vibrations and noise to the mounting bracket. Just to be safe, I connected the grounding strap to the same bolt as was used on the original mounting and I ran an extra grounding wire from there - I will connect that to the factory grounding point behind the instrument cluster after everything is installed.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-NewGroundScrewHole.jpg (1629651 bytes)


I decided to unwrap and re-tape the short harness that goes from the wiper motor to the switch. The tape was kind of old, and starting to come undone, plus the original harness tape started a good ways away from the wiper motor, leaving the wires a bit too exposed for my tastes. I also made sure to wrap a bit of the power lead into the harness tape so it had some support and wasn't putting pressure on the plastic wiring connector as it got yanked around while working on the wiring.

If you do this, don't use regular sticky electrical tape, get the proper non-adhesive harness tape to do the job with. Eastwood sells it as item #25000 for $9.99 for two 1" wide rolls - this is enough to last most folks forever, so go order some and toss in your toolbox for when you need it.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-RetapedHarness1.jpg (1459969 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-RetapedHarness2.jpg (1326117 bytes)


Here are some pictures of the donor wiper motor installed in the car using the original bracket. The wiper motor wiring harness routes up and over the braces that are behind the instrument cluster - be sure to keep the wiring away from the wiper linkage because it moves a good bit when the wipers are on. The new ground wire will come up between the two braces and then go to the grounding screw. In these pictures the extra grounding wire is not yet attached to the grounding screw.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-DonorMotorInCar1.jpg (1683882 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-DonorMotorInCar2.jpg (1628576 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-DonorMotorInCar3.jpg (1504544 bytes)


Here are some pictures comparing the two switches - the one with the wire coming off of it is the delay switch. In the first two pictures, I'm giving an overall comparison of the two with the exception of the washer which is shown to help indicate where they will be installed at in relation to everything else. In the third picture of just the switches themselves, I've highlighted the area where the thread length differs with a red line above each one. This is why you need to add the washers. The next two show the switch, washers (on the delay switch), hat, bezel, and nut how they will be assembled - the dash gets sandwiched between the hat and the bezel. The final picture shows the order of assembly for the delay switch with both washers I needed.

Readers who are paying attention will note that the final picture is flipped left to right (look at it and see if you can notice it, once you spot the important detail, it's annoying obvious) - I accidentally took it with the pieces laid out "backwards" from the other pictures and didn't notice until after I had put the switch into the car. So, I opted to flip the photo to keep things consistent with the other photos.

1964RancheroDelayWipers-SwitchComparison1.jpg (1424541 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-SwitchComparison2.jpg (1379369 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-SwitchComparison3.jpg (344671 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-SwitchComparison4.jpg (515236 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-SwitchComparison5.jpg (1505393 bytes) 1964RancheroDelayWipers-SwitchComparison6.jpg (593058 bytes)


Here are some pictures of the delay style switch and the delay control box that I collected off eBay while I was researching this conversion. I neglected to take a picture of the actual unit I purchased, but they're all pretty much the same. This is an incredibly "user friendly" piece of wiring and it is impossible to hook it up backwards. All of the plugs are arranged such that things fit together in exactly one place - once you have all of the parts there, it will be blindly obvious what goes to what. The delay box has a Y-shaped harness coming out of it - one arm of the "Y" has a female plug on it that looks identical to the plug on the switch - this plug connects to the wiper motor wiring harness and to the washer wiring harness. The other arm of the "Y" has a male plug on it that looks the same as the two wiring harness connectors (wiper motor and washer) held up together and it connects to the delay style switch. The only possible source of confusion is the way the plugs fit together - they are basically round, but only fit one way, so you might have to stare at it for a bit to figure it out the first time, but it's pretty simple one you look at how they fit together.

Note that there are different mounting styles for the delay box - this was very specific to the year/model it went into. The electrical portion was the same, so you just have to figure out a way to mount it in your vehicle. It's not that heavy, and the bracket can be a simple sheet metal piece.

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Here is the switch installed in the dash and the wiring connected. The extra ground wire from the motor is connected as well. The delay box is not yet mounted, and the yellow wire is the temporary power wire I used to test the wipers with.

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Here is a short movie of the new delay wipers in action using the shortest delay setting. It's pretty cool to see this work with all Ford parts, and best of all it only took me a couple of hours to do the work of swapping the wiper motors around and installing the switch. Removing the instrument cluster was probably the hardest thing I did here.

Taking all of the pictures about doubled the time it took to get the work done - it's surprising how much time it takes to prepare for each picture and make sure you got all the pictures you needed. For example, I had to re-shoot the "mixed mounting hardware details" picture because I got it totally wrong the first time, and ever after that I still managed to get it slightly wrong. (See the text in that section above if you want to know the exact error.) And if you forget one, you need to go back and re-create the circumstances for it, then take the picture again. If it's wrong, you either need to go re-shoot it, or decide to live with it. In the case of stuff already being assembled and working, taking it out of the car and apart just to shoot a picture again is no fun.

NOTE: The movie is in QuickTime format because that's what my crappy DiMAGE Z2 digital camera records movies in and I can't find a free tool to convert them to mpg format. Sorry, but you'll have to infect your machine with Apple's QuickTime before you can view it.

1964RancheroDelayWipers.mov (8931976 bytes)


Washer Details

Ford washers are a pretty simple affair - one lead to the switch for washer power, one lead out to power the pump when the washers are active, and a lead from the motor back to ground. For some reason Ford decided the ground for the washer motor needed to be back inside the vehicle on many vehicles, leading to an extra wire through the firewall just for this. I'm not sure why, but that's how they did it. For retro-fit applications, you really only need one wire through the firewall and you can ground the washer pump somewhere out in the engine compartment - directly to one of the mounting brackets for the fluid reservoir is a popular and easy option. Make sure the feed wire that goes to the switch is connected to a fused power source. Having the right connector at the switch is helpful as well.

The pump is mounted in the bottom of the washer reservoir with an electrical and a hose connection for the pressurized water outlet from the pump to the nozzles. Reservoir styles differed between various years and models. The early units were basically a vinyl bag, later units were a transparent plastic piece. Both mounted to the inner fender. They all perform the same basic function, so if you want to add washers to your earlier model car, keep an eye out when scrounging through the junkyards for something on another year Ford that will work and fit into the space you have available on your vehicle. I think the basic washer design stayed the same well into the '80s and any Ford vehicle is a plausible donor car.


Assorted Wiring Details

As I was preparing to do this conversion, I collected a fair number of wiring diagrams and descriptions for various years of Ford and Mercury vehicles.

1963 Ford

A good general description of the early single speed wipers, how to test them, and how the wiring works. It also contains a description and some details on the optional 2-speed wipers from that era. Looking at them, it would appear that that option is what evolved into the Mustang/Cougar standard 2 speed wipers in later years - note the square 4-wire plug coming out of the motor and compare to the later systems.

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1964 Mercury

The first diagram is just the optional two-speed wipers, and the second is the basic interior wiring diagram and includes the single speed wipers. This is helpful to illustrate the actual wiring schematics and associated details that are described on the 1963 wiring above.

1964MercuryWiperWiring1.jpg (579509 bytes)1964MercuryWiperWiring2.jpg (637802 bytes)

1967 Ford

This shows the later evolution of the Ford/Mercury wiper systems, plus some details on the strange vacuum/electric intermittent wiper system Mercury had in these years. These all show the square 4-connector plug at the wiper motor on these diagrams and they are labeled as "Ford" and "Mercury", which seems to indicate that the Mustang/Cougar wiper motor wiring was similar to the full size Ford/Mercury vehicles. Based on what I can see here and what I know works for this conversion, I would speculate that Falcon/Comet and the F-Series trucks went with a different wiring arrangement than the rest of the Ford/Mercury passenger car lineup.

As a side note, I researched a bit about the early "intermittent" vacuum-electric wiper system available as an option on some of the Mercury models - they are out there, but are definitely not something you want unless you are doing a perfect restoration of a vehicle that came with that option. The later delay wiper setups are much, much better. Don't get too excited just because you see the word "intermittent" mentioned in the manuals. Ignore it and move on to using the later F-Series trucks as a much better donor vehicle for a delay wiper conversion on the earlier models.

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1969 Cougar

This shows the 1969 Cougar wiper system, including the delay option. You can see that the wiper motor is now accessible from the engine side of the firewall, and that the delay control box mounts in the engine compartment - instead of placing both under the dash like the early Falcon/Mustang and F-Series truck systems do. This is what makes the later Mustang/Cougar systems unappealing as a donor car for the delay wiper conversion.

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Arcane Details

Note that on the other pages that detailed this conversion for 1964 Falcons - one page said the the original wiper motor used the other three mounting holes and you had to switch to the three holes my motor was already using, and the other page seemed to say you could re-use the original mounting holes. Since the brackets were dual-drilled in every photo I found and on my Ranchero, I can only assume that some earlier model wiper mounts were different - perhaps the vacuum wiper motors had a different mounting pattern? Or maybe it was a two speed vs. single speed wiper difference? I did notice that on the page that said the mounting was different, the picture of the original wiper motor showed it with a short harness coming out of it, which the original single speed wiper motors did not have - so maybe it was a two speed wiper setup in that car. I did a search on RockAuto of the various wiper motors available remanufactured for various years of Falcon and the F-Series pickups, and the part numbers returned didn't turn up anything interesting or useful for the mounting brackets - based on the parts numbers and the pictures I found, it looks like every single electric wiper motor Ford used in this era used the same mounting pattern. That would make sense, but differs from the information on that other website, so I'm really not sure what's up. If you have information about this, or a picture of a wiper motor from that era Falcon that shows the other mounting style, please let me know.

As far as what swaps with what, the part numbers I dug up on RockAuto say that any 1966-1979 Ford F-Series truck used the same two speed wiper motor - A1 Cardone #40265. They also say that any 1965-1966 F-Series trucks with a single speed wiper motor used the same part number as the 1963-1965 Falcon single speed wiper motor - A1 Cardone #40211. Note the overlap for the 1966 F-Series trucks - that would indicate the mounts are the same. My experience in actually performing the swap seems to confirm this. It's also interesting to note that the wiper motor needed for this swap has pretty broad interchangeability and thus will likely be available for a long time - it's definitely not a "rare" part.

My research shows that Ford first offered delay wipers as an option in 1969 on some models and the delay option was a simply plug-in affair on all models. You need to match the switch style (rotary in my case) to the existing one in your vehicle. If replacing the wiper model on early model vehicles (as I am here), you also need to make sure the wiring connection on the wiper motor that bolts up to your bracket matches the switch you pick. If you have a later-model vehicle and want to swap on delay wipers, just look for a control box and harness that matches your existing plug - see notes below on the switch styles I've run into. The wiper switch you use must match your wiper motor if you intend to use the wiring, which makes the whole swap much easier to do and is very much recommended. Pretty much any application should be able to be covered by matching the right combination of parts from later model vehicles.

As for switch styles, Ford seemed to really like the rotary wiper switches in the 60's and early 70's on many models. However, the Mustang apparently used a linear style switch starting in 1967 running through at least 1968, and may have changed back to a rotary style at some point. I think the Mustang II era (1974-1978) used a linear style switch. Also, I believe the full size vans used a linear style switch as well during the 70's, while the pickup trucks did not. Some full-size Ford's in the late 60's and through the 70's used a linear style switch. I believe the linear style switches are electrically identical to the rotary style switches.

For the plugs on the back of the switches, be aware that not all rotary switches use the same plug design. Starting in the early 70's, some models changed from a switch with flat blades for each connection to smaller pins for each connection. They are visually and electrically similar, but do not interchange - if buying via eBay, be sure to verify the style and application before bidding. I bid on and purchased a useless-to-me pin-style delay setup because I did not understand this and the picture on the auction was not very clear. I have no idea about the plugs on the linear style switches and how/if they interchange, so caveat empor - "buyer beware".

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Page last updated 12/27/2011 10:23:21 AM