The MGA With An Attitude

At 03:14 PM 1/24/04 -0500, Chuck Mosher wrote:
>"My MGA failed inspection due to wiper motor failure. Any hints on how to get the darn thing out from under the cowling? Manuals say .... but there's not much space to get at the little screws ...."

The wiper motor is not only tucked under the body cowling, but is also located aft of the air scoop for the cowl vent. For a left hand drive car, the master cylinder and pushrods and the top ends of the pedals definitely interfere enough to prevent removal of the wiper motor. The solution is to pull the clevis pins, remove the pushrods, remove the pedal excluder (metal ring and boot), remove the pedal pivot bolt, and drop the pedals out of the way. (You may need some assistance to hold the pedals in place for later reassembly).

Ignore the shop manual. Don't bother trying to open the gearbox while it's in the car. Remove wiper arms from spindles. Disconnect wires from motor. Unbolt motor bracket from car body. Disconnect large flare nut from end of gearbox. Pull on motor to extract the cable drive core from the tubing. Wiper spindles will rotate as cable is pulled out. Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly.

On the other hand, if anyone has actually followed the instructions in the book and may have succeeded, do tell. For anyone who has tried this without the rest of the story, sorry for the bruised knuckles. The last time I had mine out was during the restoration 18 years earlier. Now I did just recently R&R my MGA wiper motor for a general cleaning and preventive maintenance, and I have to admit it's not easy.

Disconnect the pipe coupling flare nut (shown above). Remove one large bolt securing the front of the wiper motor bracket (shown below). From within the foot well, remove two small nuts (and washers) under the heater shelf which are securing the back end of the motor bracket. Remove wiper arms from spindles to allow spindles continuous rotation. Pull the wiper motor slightly out of position for easier access, and disconnect three wires. Then when you pull the motor assembly from its nest the spindles will rotate as the cable is extracted through the wheel boxes. If the spindles will not rotate (old and seized), then you may need to remove the back plate from the wheel box to disconnect the drive cable from the wheel to allow extraction of the cable.

Installation is the reverse of removal (sort of). While you have this all apart, you might take the opportunity to replace the bronze bushings in the clutch and brake pedals to eliminate some of the pedal wobble, maybe replace the pedal excluder and worn clevis pins, paint a few things, maybe weld and re-drill to repair the top holes in the pedals if they need it, and also repair or replace the clevises if needed. If the wiper spindles do not have free rotation it's a good time to clean and lube the wheel boxes and drive cable. Considering this article is about R&R of the wiper motor, we might presume there is some issue with motor function. Rebuild of the wiper motor is covered in another article.

Luckily the wiper drive is fairly robust, so this knuckle busting chore need not be done too often. Once or twice in a life time may be more than enough for anyone, so be sure it's all in good serviceable condition before you put it back in place. If you're not too much of a purist, a little modification can make the NEXT service job a lot easier. See another article for relocating the wiper motor for easier service access.

Thank you for your comments -- Send e-mail to <Barney Gaylord>
© 2004-2011 Barney Gaylord -- Copyright and reprint information