We all love a super-sanitary engine bay where all the clutter has been relocated, covered, or otherwise hidden. Until recently, the options regarding the wiper motor were to either live with the bulky, unsightly motor stuck to the firewall or forego running wipers altogether. Unfortunately, running without windshield wipers can cause you to run afoul of the law.
The Raingear Wiper System from Pacific Western Design lets you have your proverbial cake and dine on it as well. It locates the wiper motor in the unused—and more importantly, the unseen—void of the cowl area. In this location you get all the functionality of wipers and a super-clean, clutter-free firewall.
The kit runs $455 with the standard two-speed motor and $500 if you want the version that has intermittent and delay functions. This is a complete system that comes with the motor, wiper transmission, and wiring. In fact, the only parts not included in the wiper system are the arms and blades. They also offer a washer kit for an additional $65.
To try out the system, we grabbed our 1967 RS and few hand tools. We recently did a makeover of the engine bay, and the old wiper motor was dragging things down. The total install took under four hours, and we found the Raingear system easy to install and very well thought out. Of course it might be some time before we get a chance to test it out here in California.
1. The kit from Pacific Western Design included everything needed for the install, and was specific to our 1967. The parts included the drive unit assembly, pivot shafts, drive arm link, bridge, motor plate, motor, motor spindle, motor brace, firewall cover plate, wiper motor wiring harness, and all of the required grommets and hardware.
2. Stock wiper motors are pretty bulky and certainly aesthetically challenged. We got started by unbolting the motor from the firewall and disconnecting it from the wiper transmission.
3. We then pulled the wipers and removed the rear cowl panel from the Camaro. You can get the wipers off with a flat head screwdriver and some patience, or you can pick up a tool designed for this very purpose at just about any auto parts store.
4. The wiper transmission is attached to the cowl at the two pivot shafts by two bolts per shaft. We removed these to free the transmission from the car. None of the old wiper system parts, except the wipers, can be used with the new Pacific Western Design wiper system.
5. Working in the cowl is a bit of a pain, but with a little finagling, the old transmission pulled free.
6. Following the instructions, we drilled a 5⁄8-inch hole in the firewall using a step bit and installed the supplied grommet.
7. The new drive assembly was then slid into place. If you're worried about scratching the new parts, you can wrap them in tape or even a bag.