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Old 04-24-2009, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Windshield wipers lockout in vertical position

few years ago I had an older Dodge where windshield wiper selenoid broke and so I connected the wiper motor directly to battery with a simple toggle switch on the dash. Wipers ran at one speed only - super fast, but I was able to stop them in any position I wanted with some practice in timing.

Today I drive 2001 Echo and I was thinking about something simular to help with drag reduction. I would delete one wiper arm serving pasanger side (if you own an Echo you know that the pasanger side wiper doesn't do much) and then install a switch on wiper motor wires to be able to lock out wiper in vertical position. I am sure that wiper in vertical position produces lot less drag than normally horizontal position.

Any one have any thoughts on that mod idea?

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Old 04-24-2009, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't be so sure about vertical being better. There's a lot of sideways airflow near the A-pillar, so it might actually be worse. At the base of the windshield the airflow is fairly stagnant already.

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Old 04-24-2009, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Some cars already have this feature. For example, the Seat Leon has deeper A-pillars, where the wipers hide.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have wondered about "rear" wipers.... would there be a benefit or caveat of having the wiper park in the "Verticle" or the "Horizonal", especially in the case of a Hatchback. Would the "horizonal" position equate to a "mini" spoiler?

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Old 04-24-2009, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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On most hatchbacks there probably isn't attached flow over the rear wiper.

On my CRX, however, the wiper stays in a verticle position always.
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Some cars already have this feature. For example, the Seat Leon has deeper A-pillars, where the wipers hide.
I bet that packs up with snow when you're driving.

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Old 04-26-2009, 09:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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zman, Welcome to the place and enjoy your stay.

Citroen did some extensive testing on single wipers for the CX model range in the 1970's and came to the same conclusion you have.
Incidentally most long distance car racers have the wiper in this position for the same reason.
Parking the blade in the vertical position was the best solution for aero but the worst for driver vision and therefore safety.
They compromised with a single wiper parking horizontally just ahead of the driver in a shallow trough and sweeping almost 180 degrees.
The wiper movement followed the airflow over the car and did not lift even in severe cross winds.
The one drawback was at slow speeds the wiper sweep was so large it seemed to take forever for the thing to get back and clean the screen again. I had the right hand drive version with the left hand drive wipers so that did not help.

Cheers , Pete.

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