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General Tech Lucas Wiper Arm Shaft Seals

A prefix for general technical articles that might apply to multiple marques (e.g., adjusting SU carburetors)
Over the years I have restored a number of cars, many of them with Lucas wiper systems. Funny, really, even our Pantera uses a Lucas system. In the past I had not noticed that there should be a seal around the wiper arm shaft - just below the knurled knob where the wiper arm clamps (wedges) on. This morning I was cleaning the accumulated grease and gunk from yet another wiper arm mechanim and noted that there seemed to be a seal on one of them. Granted, after being soaked in gasoline overnight, it was sort of soft. But, it got me wondering.

Needless to say, a web search did not come up with replacement seals. Go figure. I looked carefully at the outer end of the shaft housing and noted that there is actually a lip that is meant to hold the seal in place.

Lucas Wiper Arm Shaft 2.jpg


Then, in a eureka moment, I thought - hey, maybe some shrink to fit would make a seal. So, cut a piece of 1/2 inch shrink-to-fit tubing just a bit longer than the original seal.

Lucas Wiper Arm Shaft 1.jpg


You can see the original seal beside the piece of shrink to fit.

The half inch shrink to fit wouldn't quite slide over the knurled knob, so I stretched it a bit with a pair of needle nose, slipped it over the knurled knob, then gently worked one side down under the skirt of the knurled knob.

The thing about shrink to fit, when it shrinks it often just shifts around till it finds its own best fit. By gently heating, with a bit more focus to the knob end, I was able to get the shrink to fit to fit down into the gap, wrap perfectly around the lip on the housing, and shrink down on the shaft to give just the least bit of drag when I spin the shaft. As in - Danged, that was easier than I ever thought:

Lucas Wiper Arm Shaft 3.jpg


Next I gave some thought to getting some oil into the housing and around the shaft. In the past I have always just squirted some oil on the shaft at both ends and wiggled it back and forth, sort of hoping some oil would work its way down into the housing. Heck, it probably worked just fine, but, flip side, why not just soak the entire housing in motor oil, leaving the new seal and knob above the oil level? I figure after a bit that the oil will work its way up into the housing and properly lubricate the shaft. Hopefully.

Lucas Wiper Arm Shaft 4.jpg


It almost took longer to write this up than the make the seals.

Since I am still not up to 500 words, here is another simple tip. Ever needed to put a little pressure on a cooling system but didn't have one of those fancy pumps? Years ago I made up a cap as shown in the pictures below. Simple, and it works. Of course, it might be a good idea to have a regulator on the airline you use to pressure up the system, so that you don't inadvertently blow up a radiator.

Radiator Cap 1.jpg


Radiator Cap 2.jpg


Hopefully someone will find these tips interesting, if not valuable.
 

Basil

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Staff member
Boss
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Very ingenious solutions. Thanks for posting! Especially like that collant cap with the air valve. Necessity is the mother of invention.
 
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