Upgrading Your Chevelle’s Wiper Motor

By Todd Ryden – Photography by the Author

When a magazine title has the word “performance” in it, you expect the pages to be full of engine tech, braking info, suspension upgrades, and other performance-based stories. Overall driveability improvements that increase the joy you get from driving your Chevy is what we’re all about, which is exactly why we felt it was important to show you how to make your driving experience safer by improving the performance of your windshield wipers.

That’s right, windshield wipers! We understand that windshield wipers are not likely on your top 10 list when it comes to performance, but when you roll through a rain storm, it’s amazing how high on the list a reliable, smooth-operating wiper system becomes. Inconsistent, twitchy, old wiper motors are just not safe on the road. Thanks to New Port Engineering, upgrading to a smooth-swinging wiper system is an easy task with very effective results.

The New Port Wiper system has a laser-cut steel bracket that fits directly in place of the factory unit. The strong, well-proven motor delivers smooth, two-speed performance.

New Port developed their Clean Wipe motor technology over 30 years ago out of necessity. As hot rod builders, Bob and Linda Galbraith were on the road following national events and just couldn’t find a quality wiper system for their Model As. As innovative hot rodders, they set out to build their own system and soon people were coming by their booth for their new wiper motors. Fast-forward and the family run company now offers motors, wiper arms, and blades for nearly 200 different applications!

The first step is to remove the wiper arms. This is more of a safety step to allow the wiper motor and arms to run through their motion and ensure the correct park position prior to installing the wiper arms.

One of those applications is for Chevelles, and we were in dire need of a wiper upgrade on our 1964 Malibu. There are two versions for the 1964, depending on what your car came with from the factory; either a box style or can version (ours was equipped with a box style). The New Port motor features a heavy-duty, two-speed motor secured to a laser-cut, steel mounting plate. The assembly mounts in the factory position and is supplied with a linkage arm to connect directly to the factory linkage.

The original wiper motor is secured by three bolts, and once removed we pulled the motor forward to access the linkage arm.

For restoration enthusiasts, it’s important to note that the New Port system is not an original equipment–appearing motor. With its two speeds and more powerful motor, it’s designed as an upgrade component. The system is supplied with a new switch and if you plan to retain the factory knob and location, New Port supplies an extension. They also offer an optional intermittent module, washer kits, new wiper arms, and blades.

The original wiper motor is secured by three bolts, and once removed we pulled the motor forward to access the linkage arm.

The installation on our 1964 was straight forward and we didn’t even remove the cowl panel (though in retrospect, that might have been the way to go). The wiper switch was a challenge simply due to its location above the light switch and original A/C duct work, but everything fit as designed; and with the wires already terminated, the four wiring connections were a breeze.

With everything connected, we sprayed water over the windshield and basked in the simple pleasure of a consistent, smooth wiper action—with a high and low speed! For the first time ever our wipers actually park in the proper position when the switch is turned off. Now we’re actually looking forward to driving through the rain.

You may choose to remove the cowling, but we felt there was enough space to access the linkage arm nut and the C-clip retainer on the wiper linkage.

After running the new wiper through a few cycles, the wiper arms were installed and a test wipe ensued. We sprayed water onto the windshield before trying the new wiper motor—the wipers wiped and parked properly. All was good!
With the new wiper switch and light switch back in place you can’t even tell about the wiper motor update from the interior. That is until you flip the switch on and choose between low or high speeds. New Port also offers an intermittent option and washers.
The New Port switch is available with an extension to accept the original knob. It’s a little larger and accepts the red switched 12V wire, yellow for low speed, white for high speed, and blue is for park.
The New Port switch is available with an extension to accept the original knob. It’s a little larger and accepts the red switched 12V wire, yellow for low speed, white for high speed, and blue is for park.
Of course, the wiper switch is located on the top left of the dash, over the light switch, A/C ducting, and other wiring. To access the wiper switch, the light switch was simply removed and a little mechanic-yoga is required.
Moving to the interior, the original wiper switch was removed from the dash.
Moving to the interior, the original wiper switch was removed from the dash.
New wiring is already in place for the wiper motor and was routed to the interior to be connected to the dash switch.
Once the linkage was connected, a small amount of dry silicone was applied around the mounting hole to seal the mounting plate to the firewall. New hardware was used to secure the New Port assembly.
Once the linkage was connected, a small amount of dry silicone was applied around the mounting hole to seal the mounting plate to the firewall. New hardware was used to secure the New Port assembly.
A new linkage arm is supplied, so we lubricated the stud and connection to the original linkage connection. With a little finesse we were able to get the C-clip installed without dropping it.
The original, single-speed wiper motor was well beyond its service years. The heavy-duty two-speed motor and solid design of the New Port system is going to be a welcome addition to the Chevelle.
You may choose to remove the cowling, but we felt there was enough space to access the linkage arm nut and the C-clip retainer on the wiper linkage.

Source:
New Port Engineering
(800) 829-1929
www.newportwipers.com

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