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How to Replace a Wiper Motor in a 1998 Jeep Wrangler

by Rex Molder

Driving in the rain is not much fun if your Jeep's wiper motor isn't working. The system consists of an electric motor that connects to a linkage system. The linkage system converts the circular motion of the motor into the back and forth motion for the wiper arms. If the wipers on your 1998 Jeep Wrangler are unresponsive when you turn them on, you should first check the wiper motor fuse. If the fuse is not burned out, the next suspect would be the wiper motor. Replacing the motor should take you less than an hour to do.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench.

Lift the wipers away from the windshield. Pull out the locking latch, the small tab located where the wiper arm connects to the pivots. If necessary, use a small screwdriver to help pull out the tab but be careful not to bend the locking latch. Pull the arms off the pivots by gently rocking them back and forth until they slide free.

Remove the cowl plenum cover with a Phillips head screwdriver. This is the plastic part that covers the space between the hood and the windshield. There is one screw in the center of the cover and four more along the edge next to the window.

Open the hood. Locate the rubber seal that covers the metal edge between the cowl panel and dash panel. Pull back each end of the seal until you see the final screws connecting the cowl cover, one on each side. Remove the screws then pull off the cover. You will now be able to see the wiper motor and linkage.

Disconnect the plastic wire harness connector from the wiper motor. There are plastic tabs on each side of the connector that you must lift. Then pull the two ends of the connector apart.

Remove the three screws that connect the wiper module mounting bracket to the cowl. There is one screw located by each of the wiper arm pivots, and a third screw located on the driver's side of the wiper motor. Lift the entire wiper module out of the cowl.

Lift up the wire retainer that holds the wiper motor wire harness to the mount then pull out the connector. Turn the assembly upside down and use a socket wrench to remove the nut that attaches the wiper motor output shaft to the wiper linkage crank arm. This is the only nut on the bottom of the assembly.

Remove the three screws that attach the wiper motor to the mounting bracket and take the motor out. Replace it with the new motor then reinstall the screws. Tighten the screws to 53 foot-pounds of torque. Attach the linkage crank arm to the wiper motor output shaft and secure it with the nut. Tighten the nut to 103 inch-pounds of torque.

Secure the wiper motor wire harness underneath the wire retainer.

Place the assembly back into the cowl. Replace the three screws that attach the wiper assembly mount to the plenum. Tighten the screws to 70 inch-pounds of torque. Reconnect the wire harness.

Install the cowl cover back into place. Replace the two screws located behind the rubber seal and put the seal back into place. Tighten the screws to 15 inch-pounds of torque. Close the hood.

Replace the remaining five cowl cover screws and tighten them to 15 inch-pounds of torque.

Position the wiper arms over the pivots so that the blades are parallel and flush with the lower edge of the windshield. Push the locking latches back into the arms to secure them. Reconnect the negative battery cable with the wrench.

Tip

  • If you don't have a torque wrench, just tighten the screws and nut until snug, without applying excess force, which might strip the threads.

Items you will need

About the Author

Rex Molder began writing professionally in 1999 and specializes in automotive, technology and travel articles. His articles have appeared at iPad- and SEO-related websites. Rex holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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