Washer nozzle aiming

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Thanks to Joshua Teixeira for the following procedure for aiming the non-aimable windshield washer nozzle for the SHO :

Equipment needed:

Power version:

- battery drill with bit holder/extension. Bit holder should be at least 4"long or so, and be very thin

- good quality (not worn/rounded) and properly sized phillips (star) bit insert, 1/4" base (this needs to fit into a 1/4" socket as well as the bit holder)

- 1/4 socket adaptor (basically a 1/4 drive that fits into the drill bit holder)

- 1/4 universal

- 8 mm or 5/16 socket (1/4 drive)

- piece of wood to make a shim, and cutting tools (knife) to trim/fit it

- rag

- small slot (flat) screwdriver, or fingernail

- extra washer fluid


Hand version:

- good quality phillips (star) screwdrivers in various lengths, including stubby

- 8 mm or 5/16 socket with ratchet

- piece of wood to make a shim, and cutting tools (knife) to trim/fit it

- rag

- small slot (flat) screwdriver, or fingernail

- extra washer fluid


Instructions for Power version, (*Hand version similar*):

1. Remove the windshield wiper arms. This is done by opening the hood and lifting slightly on the arms - they only lift so far. It may be easier to have the arms pointing up instead of in the parked position. This is done by turning on the wipers with the car turned on, then turning the car off while the wipers are pointed towards the roof of the car. At the base of the wiper arm, there is a little eye and a little tang (connected) that can be moved sideways', away from the wiper arm axis with the small screwdriver in the eye, or your fingernail on the tang when the arm is lifted. This unlocks the wiper arm from the knurled shaft that rotates the wipers. When the tang is moved out, you can let the washer arm down, which will hold the tang out. The washer arm can then be lifted straight out at the base off of the shaft. Note that the wiper arms are marked R and L on the backside of the wiper arms. This is important, as the wiper arms are different length.

2. Open passenger and driver doors and remove the two screws that hold the ends of the trim that is between the hood and the front windshield. Use the battery drill, the bit extension and the phillips bit. The screws are located between the door and the fender. The washer nozzles point through this piece of trim.

3. With the hood closed, remove all the screws that you can see, and can get at squarely. Note that some screws can be better reached with the hood opened. The rag should be used between the bit holder and the closed hood, or you will scratch/chip the paint on the edge of the hood. When the Ford tech attempted (unsuccessfully) to aim the washer nozzles for me, there were suspicious chips where the screwdriver would have rubbed on the hood. He said that they were there before. (BTW, the parts guy, who I know, had this tech give me the touch-up paint that I asked for. Go figure.)

4. Open the hood and remove the remaining screws. Some of the screws (especially one) will require the drill/screwdriver to be where the hood is, so the arrangement that worked best for me was as follows: Bit holder in the drill, 1/4" socket adaptor in the bit holder, 1/4" universal on the socket adaptor, 1/4" socket on the universal, phillips bit in the 1/4" socket. Since the 1/4" socket is not magnetic, the phillips bit will fall out of the socket. Be sure to hold it in with your fingers. Alternately, you can use the stubby screwdriver. Be careful to have the screwdriver/bit squarely on the crew, as the screws are hard to back out/screw in, and a moment's inattention and release of pressure on the screw will cause the screwdriver/bit to 'cam-out' of the screw, and strip the head of the screw. The screws are very hard to turn, as they are screwed into plastic. Low speed on the drill works best.

5. Slide the trim pieces out, driver's side first by sliding them up along the windshield and rotating them out. If you are only doing the driver's side, you do not need to remove the passanger's side, or the screws holding it in. The screw that is the real pain is on the passenger's side. Removing the trim piece is a bit tricky, especially the section behind the fenders. It may be a good idea to clean the area first, so that there is no sand or such between the trim and the windshield that would scratch the windshield as you slide the trim piece up the windshield to get it out.

6. Remove the screw/bolt holding the washer nozzle with the 8 mm socket.

7. Depending on how you want to adjust the nozzle aim (most likely up), fashion a wedge or shim to put between the base of the washer nozzle and the frame it sits on. A little goes a long way. 1/16 - 1/8 should be all the thickness you need. Make the wedge a little thicker than you think you need, as you will trim to fit.

8. Re-install the washer nozzle, with the wood wedge between the nozzle base and the frame. If you are trying to aim the washer nozzle higher, then the wedge would go underneath the windshield side of the base.

9. Test the washer. Most likely, the washer will be too high, so you will have to trim a little more from the thickness of the wedge. Keep testing until the nozzle spray 'height' matches the other nozzle.

10. If you are adjusting both of the nozzles, be sure to do some road testing at your target speeds, as the wind tends to force the spray 'down' on the windshield. The correct aim should be approximately at the top of the windshield when the car is stopped, and in the middle at speed. Be sure to temporarily re-install the wiper arms or you will be driving around blind.

11. When you are satisfied with the spray pattern, re-install the trim pieces, being careful not to strip the screw heads.

12. Re-install the wiper arms, noting the R and L designations. The easiest way to do this is to turn the wipers off, and then turn the car back on. This way, the wiper arm shaft will rotate to the park position. Then you can put the wipers where you want them 'parked'. I would reccomend that the arms be right against the stops, if you are using summer wipers. If you are using winter wipers, the passenger side wiper will need to be away from the stop a little bit, or the wiper tip will hit the fender. You can re-adjust when you put the summer blades on. Be sure to test the full travel of the wiper, to make sure the driver's side wiper does not hit the edge of the windshield. After you have the position right, lift slightly up on the wiper arm and push the tang/eyelet back towards to centreline of the washer arm to lock the arm on the knurled shaft. If you forget this step, you will have poor wiper performance, as the wipers will not be pressing against the winshield. Been there, done that.

13. Enjoy properly aimed washer nozzles.


Note A

When the Ford tech (an apprentice) tried to re-adjust the nozzles, he simply added two washers under the nozzle base. As is obvious, if you don't change the included angle between two intersecting planes (the washer spray pattern and the winshield), the intersection will not change appreciably. When he was done, the washer was actually aimed lower on the windshield, as one of the washers he used was bent, and the bent part was on the side of the washer opposite the windshield.

Note B

If you ever have a windshield wiper ripped off the car due to high winds (I have), you can remove the driver's side arm, and re-install the passenger side arm (rotated to the left on the passenger side) to wipe the centre of the windshield, like a Mercedes. This will do in a pinch, since it obviously does not park properly. It looks very strange from outside and inside the car, though.