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Not a real doctor.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As part of my project of going over the whole car, I decided to polish the windshield. "Hey!" I thought, "This will be a lot easier if I take off the wipers first." So, I found my 16 mm socket and it was a piece o' cake to remove the arms.

I cleaned the windshield, polished it, cleaned it again, applied some Diamondite Shield, cleaned the inside of the windshield, checked my work, and gave a satisfied grunt.

Then it was time to put the wiper arms back on. Figuring there would be a proper torque to use, I pulled out the Bentley manual (http://www.bentleypublishers.com/bmw/repair-information/bmw-3-series-2006-2010-repair-manual.html) and realized that this was going to be trickier than I thought. You have to put the wiper arms with the right distance from the base of the windshield (doh!), and there's this twist angle to pay attention to as well. There are special BMW tools to use that make the job easier and more accurate, but I didn't have them.

So, I cut a couple of pieces of thin scrap wood to the right lengths (3" and 3 5/16") and made notes on them. To twist the wiper arms, I got out a trusty F clamp (http://www.amazon.com/Jorgensen-3712-12-Inch-Steel-Clamp/dp/B0000224BP/ref=dp_cp_ob_hi_title_0) and to measure the twist in the wiper arms, I got out my Wixey box (http://www.amazon.com/Wixey-WR300-D...ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1334618629&sr=1-1). I had these tools handy because I also do some woodworking. (I'm guessing these tools are cheaper and more versatile than the BMW tools.)





The pieces of wood helped to locate the wiper arm much easier than it would have been trying to use a ruler.





Having gotten the wiper blade arms back on correctly and torquing the nuts properly to 22 ft-lbs, I proceeded to violate one of my father's commandments (my biological father): "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The wiper blade is supposed to be a bit closer than 90 degrees to the windshield... roughly 3 to 4 degrees closer.



(If you don't own a Bentley manual and this thread interests you, you need to go and buy one. Even if you don't do any repairs yourself, the manual is full of interesting stuff... like details about the engines, the model years, and all the error codes.)

Though my wipers seemed to be functioning just fine, they were actually angled away from the windshield 2 to 3 degrees, thus being roughly 6 degrees out of spec. I decided to fix that.

I put my Wixey gage on the windshield and zeroed it out. (Even though it's at quite the incline, it now reads zero.)



I then picked up the heel of the gauge to see what the arrow indicator would be when I tilted the gauge in towards the windshield.



(Sorry about the disturbing status of my thumb nail... I hit it with a hammer a while back when I was putting up clapboard. Yes, it hurt. No, I didn't swear... well... not out loud.)

I then attached the F clamp. After fiddling around with little shims and whatnot, I eventually determined it was best to just attach the clamp directly and rely on the rubber pads to protect the wiper arms. You'll also want to use a rag or pad or something to protect your hood in case you fumble with the clamp.



With the clamp attached, I went through cycles of twisting the wiper arm while holding the clamp for leverage, checking the angle, and twisting again. I don't know about you, but this sort of thing makes me nervous. Fortunately, it's not that expensive if you do screw things up and have to buy a new wiper arm altogether which I don't think is that likely, actually.

Eventually, I got close enough. The Bentley says the angle should be plus or minus 1 degree, so there's really quite a lot of tolerance to play with. (Actually, now that I'm writing this up and editing it, I realize I should have gone 1 degree more, lol. Oh well... I'll tweak it tomorrow. 'Should take me less than five minutes.)



So that's it.

I've been detailing my car recently, so I haven't yet actually tried the whole business yet. I can't tell you if things are better or worse. And, frankly, after all the polishing, cleaning the blades, etc... if things are better, I won't know if adjusting the angle had anything to do with it. But, I like fine tuning things and this was easy to do.
 

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Liverpudlian at heart
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545 Posts
After reading this and other recent posts I am beginning to realize that I am tantamount to a car abuser. I keep mine clean, service it regularly, and prohibit food. Now I realize that not only am I passively abusing my ride, I probably shouldn't even be allowed to keep cheese in the fridge.

Well done though. Entertaining read.

Frank.
 

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Not a real doctor.
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5,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Anybody with a family (or not) that succeeds in keeping food out of his or her car is a hero in my book. I'm not quite a nofoodinthecar-vegan... I allow myself to drink from a screw top bottle from time to time. But you wouldn't believe the wails of protest I used to get from my kids (now reduced to resigned, but pained expressions) when I forbid them even just a granola bar.

Does that make me a good car owner, but a lousy dad with confused priorities?
 

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///Multiple
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That was an awful lot of work. Wouldn't just pulling the windshield wipers back from the windshield work, like I do when I clean the windshield?
 

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Not a real doctor.
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5,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That was an awful lot of work. Wouldn't just pulling the windshield wipers back from the windshield work, like I do when I clean the windshield?
Yes. But I was using a machine to polish the glass and I didn't want to have the wiper blades in the way. If I had known it was going to be that involved putting them back on, I might have skipped it. Now that I know how to do it, I'll probably pull them off again in the future.... maybe I'll even drive around a bit without the wipers... it does look cleaner, lol.
 

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flâneur en cabriolet
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922 Posts
Yes. But I was using a machine to polish the glass and I didn't want to have the wiper blades in the way. If I had known it was going to be that involved putting them back on, I might have skipped it. Now that I know how to do it, I'll probably pull them off again in the future.... maybe I'll even drive around a bit without the wipers... it does look cleaner, lol.
Now that's a hard-core mod: the "wiper delete".

Quite a well-written and interesting DIY. I think the main thing it taught me is to never mess with my wiper blades :D
 

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Premium Member
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7,614 Posts
Anybody with a family (or not) that succeeds in keeping food out of his or her car is a hero in my book. I'm not quite a nofoodinthecar-vegan... I allow myself to drink from a screw top bottle from time to time. But you wouldn't believe the wails of protest I used to get from my kids (now reduced to resigned, but pained expressions) when I forbid them even just a granola bar.

Does that make me a good car owner, but a lousy dad with confused priorities?
Can you please have a "Mano-a-Mano" with SO at C2C4 regarding french fries?

Now that's a hard-core mod: the "wiper delete".

Quite a well-written and interesting DIY. I think the main thing it taught me is to never mess with my wiper blades :D
You and me both!
 

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Not a real doctor.
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5,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can you please have a "Mano-a-Mano" with SO at C2C4 regarding french fries?
Kat... you've been impressing me around here for years. I know you're a good egg and smart as a whip. So this SO of yours must have something going for him. But, really... he eats fries in your E93?! And you still like the guy?

Yes. I'll have a little brotherly chat with him.

This borders on abuse.

You and me both!
Chickens.
 

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369 Posts
Interesting! I have a spot slightly below my mirror and to the left and on rainy days the wiper misses the spot!
I have already requested new wiper blades! These have not helped maybe I have a flat spot on my windshield!?!?
I wonder if this might have something to do with it? The wiper that misses is the drivers side one!
 

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Only on a a BMW/German car would you need a digital angle gauge to reinstall the wiper arms!!!! :rofl:
 

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Not a real doctor.
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5,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Actually, you don't need the gauge to reinstall the wiper arms. I'm sure the wiper arms went back with the same twist angle they had before. I just took things to the next level and decided to tweak things to get them to specification. Easy enough to do with the Wixey box at hand.
 

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Current: 2009 E63 650i Coupe, 2009 E92 M3 Past: 2012 F10 535i, 2009 E93 335i vert, 2007 Roush 427r
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In your opinion, would improper calibration cause A-pillar whipping by left wiper at high speed?
Thanks.
My e63 wipers would hit the driver side A pillar and you could even hear it hitting from inside the cabin, it annoyed the heck out of me. Good thing living in San Diego I didn't need wipers much but eventually I got around to adjusting the arms and got rid of the problem.
 
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