There are a few things you can do to upgrade your wipers. If you have an original Thing that is basically a show car, or not a daily driver then by all means stick with the stock glass scrapers. If you actually drive your Thing, you already know the original wipers don’t last, and are costly.
Because we are in all kinds of weather, I feel it is a safety issue to be able to see in the snow and rain that sometimes catch us in the backcountry, as well as the city. Both environments can throw serious problems at you if you are having visibility issues.
I have been using the 10-inch long Bosch wipers. These are smaller and lighter than stock but they have the rippled scraper type rubber blade. They run about $8.00 a pair. To make them fit, you remove your stock blades, then grind down the ends of the wiper arm so it fits into the slot of the new blades, and just screw them down. Another benefit to doing this is you can now use the Bosch 10-inch refill blades if you like.
The wiper motors are getting old, and you may have already noticed they are slowing down, even on high speed. I address this problem by removing the motor, open it up and change out the hard and stiffened grease that is starting to solidify. This hardened grease slows down the action and puts a little more load on the motor. I put Kendall L-427 super blue grease in ours. A good grade of wheel bearing grease will work as well.
Sometimes the contacts get broken and the blades won’t go down into the ‘park’ position. The best way to handle this is to get new contacts from someplace like German Motor Works or the Thing Shop. With new contacts and the slightly smaller blades, the wipers pick up speed and do a good job.
One last item – be sure to check the passenger side stem that goes through the windshield. These get corroded and drag the wiper motor down.
– Mike Humeston