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Old 01-22-2019, 11:15 PM   #1
Cool Hand Lurker
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Default 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

I want to convert my wipers from vacuum to electric 12V using the original mechanism. Has anybody done this? I have not looked under the dash yet to see what is involved because the car is out for upholstery. I would like to get on the project as soon as it gets back. Any help or instructions would be welcome. Thanks
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

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Originally Posted by Cool Hand Lurker View Post
I want to convert my wipers from vacuum to electric 12V using the original mechanism. Has anybody done this? I have not looked under the dash yet to see what is involved because the car is out for upholstery. I would like to get on the project as soon as it gets back. Any help or instructions would be welcome. Thanks
I did this with my car.. it is a simple swap out under the dash.. don't forget to wire the switch to at least a 15 amp fuse.. also, put a little locktight on the nut (off the motor shaft) that controls the arms.. mine came loose, to fix it I had to turn on the wiper, then shut it down mid arc so the screw would be accessible under the dash..
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

Newport Engineering makes a nice electric wiper kit for the early Fords. I have one in my 48. Works very nice.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

What has to be removed to access the motor? Radio? Glove box? Instruments?
Or can it just be reached from under the dash?
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

I plan to use Newport conversion in my 46. I think maybe you can't use the Cowl Vent if you use their conversion. Maybe paul2748 can answer that.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

You will have to remove the radio plus I'm not sure that you can use the stock radio. You would have to ask Newport. I don't remember if I had to remove the glove box, but that is no biggie. As far as the cowl vent, no problem. I have the cowl vent and used all the stock parts.


This is one of the projects that it is better to remove the front seat to install. I installed mine 20 some odd years ago and don't remember if I had any problems.



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I plan to use Newport conversion in my 46. I think maybe you can't use the Cowl Vent if you use their conversion. Maybe paul2748 can answer that.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

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You will have to remove the radio plus I'm not sure that you can use the stock radio. You would have to ask Newport. I don't remember if I had to remove the glove box, but that is no biggie. As far as the cowl vent, no problem. I have the cowl vent and used all the stock parts.


This is one of the projects that it is better to remove the front seat to install. I installed mine 20 some odd years ago and don't remember if I had any problems.
Thanks, that is what I needed to know. The car is out for upholstery right now and it would be good to do this before they replace the seat but I don't think that will work out. I had planned to just use the existing radio face and replace the guts with modern electronics, which would be smaller. The controls will be the problem and I don't know if I can handle that part of the conversion. It could get complicated.

Thanks everybody, it has been a real help.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

AS far as the controls for the wiper, Newport has a adapter that can be used with the stock knob, but I'm not sure that applies to a 47 knob. I have aftermarket knobs in my 48 so I didn't have any problem. I do have the adapter in my 54 and 56 Bird and it works. Call Newport and ask them about it.


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Thanks, that is what I needed to know. The car is out for upholstery right now and it would be good to do this before they replace the seat but I don't think that will work out. I had planned to just use the existing radio face and replace the guts with modern electronics, which would be smaller. The controls will be the problem and I don't know if I can handle that part of the conversion. It could get complicated.

Thanks everybody, it has been a real help.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

I made the mistake of getting an electric wiper conversion kit from Bob Drake. I had to cut the support bracket down so that it would clear the cowl vent and it parked with the wipers against the center of the windshield instead of down at the cowl. Multiple calls to them for help were useless. They sent me a diagram to fix the parking issue, and that was also useless. I finally fixed it by taking the cover off and re-clocking the gears by trial and error. Now it parks and sweeps correctly. As far as the switch goes, I'm going to rig it so mine fits in where the original throttle went. My plan is to use a replacement knob with the T on it and mate it to the switch that came with the wiper kit. I did buy a switch shaft extension from Newport, but I still couldn't figure out how to make the switch work in the original location. I just put a replacement dummy control in the original location.
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

I had trouble with my Bob Drake unit also. Parked in the middle. If
i remember right I reversed the arms on the Pivot arm.
My car is a 46 2 door.Have owned it for 58 years.
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:54 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

I had to reverse the arms on my crank arm as well. They now park at the outer side and work ok but not great. Minimally effective at wiping, at best.

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Old 01-26-2019, 10:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

By the way, my car is a '48 Tudor and has no radio at present, so I don't know how much interference there would be. The cowl vent works fine, however with no changes.

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Old 01-26-2019, 09:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

Thanks for the photos, Ritzy1. The first one shows me that I can get access if I remove the radio and speaker bezel. That really helps, thanks!
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:42 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

I used a Vintique 12V motor on my '41. Vent operated OK but the motor immediately quit. They replaced it but it parked wrong. They told me how to correct the park position. I hated it! It squeaked, was noisy and had different sweeps side to side. Talked to a Vintique rep at the NSRA show in Louisville and I told him I thought the "rocker" arm on the motor was shaped wrong. He said no way but offered no fix. Finally I reinstalled my vac. motor and sweeps were correct so I knew it was a problem with the electric motor. I got a 12V motor from a junk yard(Honda), mounted it behind the glove box, ran a linkage from the 12V motor to my vac. motor with no guts and problem solved. Silent, full sweeps, parked correctly and it cort about $10 !
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

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I got a 12V motor from a junk yard(Honda), mounted it behind the glove box, ran a linkage from the 12V motor to my vac. motor with no guts and problem solved. Silent, full sweeps, parked correctly and it cort about $10 !
Now there is a thinking man!
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

My '47 coupe came converted (12V and motor). They had to discard the stock radio guts, cut away the back of the radio box, and discard the speaker. That kept the front of the stock radio in the dash. I installed a small AM-FM radio in the glove compartment with speaker underneath.

I adapted the motor's electric switch to the stock vacuum wiper switch, so one can't tell the difference. If you'd like some how-to photos PM me.
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

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I adapted the motor's electric switch to the stock vacuum wiper switch, so one can't tell the difference. If you'd like some how-to photos PM me.
Completely forgot about your switch conversion Drbrown! Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to try that!
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:53 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1947 Ford Coupe wiper conversion

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My '47 coupe came converted (12V and motor). They had to discard the stock radio guts, cut away the back of the radio box, and discard the speaker. That kept the front of the stock radio in the dash. I installed a small AM-FM radio in the glove compartment with speaker underneath.

I adapted the motor's electric switch to the stock vacuum wiper switch, so one can't tell the difference. If you'd like some how-to photos PM me.
That is very close to the way I was thinking to make the conversion! It would be nice if you could post the photos here and I could just copy them, that way everybody in the thread could see them too.

Did you ever live in Minnesota? There was a young Dr. Brown here about 20 years ago and he had a coupe exactly like the one in your avatar. He was moving and wanted $3500 for the car. I wish I had the money at the time. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.....
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