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Windshield wiper motor seal for the 21st century -- No more black goo!!!

Sharingan 19

Sep 5, 2013
Jacksonville/ Tampa
The wiper motor in my 91' 245 started moving slowly, groaning and making unsavory sounds, so I decided to replace it with the late model version with the separate ground attachment.

Upon removal of the old unit I discovered a sea of black, nasty sticky ....goop in the cavity between were my wiper motor entered the cowl, and were it entered the cabin. I just knew this was the work of some hack job repair shop somewhere during the time before I owned the car.

However, when I pulled the new motor (from a 93' 244) that same baby seal-killing sludge was found. At that point I began searching for the proper OEM seal, only to find that non exists :grrr: I've got to imagine that the same "genius" you designed the under dash area also came up with this brilliant idea. So I endeavored to improve upon this lazy, if not flawed design.

What you will need:
  • Newer style wiper motor (not needed per se, but if you're going to do it, might as well do it right)
  • Silicone window sealant or your flexible waterproof sealant of choice
  • Razor Blade/ exacto knife
  • HELP grommet #42344 (available at auto parts stores everywhere)
  • Mr Gasket valve cover grommets #6376 (available @ auto parts stores everywhere)

What you will do:

Step 1 - Clean off all the old black tar from your new wiper motor, its a mess and is no longer neccessary. (already done int he picture above)

Step 2 - Slide the Help grommet onto the shaft of the wiper motor, up to the point where the "fins" (not exactly sure of their purpose...cooling perhaps?) stop you. Now make sure to note the orientation of the grommet, (perhaps line up the first number with a fin that you mark). Using your blade, mark the location of each fin. Now remove the grommet.

Step 3 - Remember those marks you made for the fins ? Use your blade to extend those marks straight outward , cutting at least halfway to the edge of the grommet. Keep a steady had, or you'll be back out for another.

Step 4 - Cut the lower/ smaller diameter lip off of the grommet ( Yes, you could cut off the lip before you fit/mark the grommet, but I actually tried to retain the lip for additional sealing, however with the fins, it just didn't want to fit) .

Step 5 - Remember how you took not of the orientation of the fins/ cuts in the grommet? Now slide the grommet over the shaft and then over the fins to get it into position. Once there apply a bead of window sealant along the areas where the fins pass through the grommet.


Step 6 - While the silicone is setting up, take out your valve cover grommet (the closed end one) and cut off the tip--remember the smaller the hole, the tighter the seal.

Step 7 - Go over to your car and inspect your sealing grommet, the one you can see from inside the car in the passenger foot well. (If it is hard or cracked, it should be replaced). As long as there is a little elasticity to it, it will be fine. Apply a bead of sealant to the inner/ upper lip of the grommet, or to the outer portion of the valve cover grommet (or both) and slide the valve cover grommet into place. You can feel when it slips into place, the fit is damn near perfect.


View from underneath

Step 8 - Wait. Give your sealant some time to set up (follow the directions on your package to see how long that should take), it doesn't need to be fully cured, but you don't want it to be a liquid that will be squeezed out (I let mine sit overnight, because I had other projects to work on).

Step 9 - Once you are satisfied with the condition of your sealant, simply slide the shaft of the wiper motor as you normally would.


Step 10 - Enjoy a leak free and modern solution to sealing your wiper motor.


Notes: Some may wish to lightly coat the shaft with a petroleum jelly to aid in ease of install and/or repel any water that may some how come in contact. I did not, and the water hose test revealed no leaks, so to each his own.

Any comments or questions welcome.

And of course check out the build thread 245 "Brick in a box"
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Curious about the longevity of this repair.. I am going to reapply the butyl tape to the upper portion, only because i have a roll of it.. The lower grommet on my 90 was leaking around the body side, i took it out, cleaned it and put some Ultra-gray silicone on the groove to seal it, and a thin coat around the 'nose' of the wiper motor to fill the pits in the aluminum casting. I think the main cause of my leak was the vast amount of tree debris in the cowl drains....
I did it mine with a rubber boot from a ball joint, and a cut thru volvo rubber. The boot fits nicely in the chassis hole, and snugly around the wiper too.
DSC_0142 by P?ter Gede, on Flickr
DSC_0141 by P?ter Gede, on Flickr

I was maniacally searching for the "original rubber boot" that should have been there, because it screams that it could be done perfectly, but then I saw that lonely looking ball joint boot on the shelf and tried it. Well, surely a better solution than messy original butyl goop. :wtf:
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