How to replace windshield wiper bushings on a Jeep Cherokee
After a while, the windshield wipers on a Jeep Cherokee will develop slack and begin to hit the windshield trim. The Jeep dealer will tell you that you have to replace the entire wiper mechanism. However, the wear is just in the little plastic bushings. With a little know how and some simple hand tools, you can have your wipers working properly again for just a few dollars in bushings.
The bushings you need are available from most auto parts stores who carry the HELP brand. You have to buy a whole pack of wiper bushings to get the three you need.
Begin by removing the wiper arms. There is a small tab near the base of the arm. Pull out on the tab and you can then remove the wiper arm from the splined drive.
Next, remove the several Phillips head screws that hold the cowl cover to the Jeep. Carefully lift the cover up until you can reach the windshield washer hoses. Pull both of these off and then set the cowl cover aside.
Remove the four torx head bolts that hold the wiper mechanism to the Jeep. These are T30 torx. Then, remove the bolt that holds the drive motor to the Jeep. It has a 13mm head. Disconnect the wiring harness from the drive motor.
Drop the splined parts through the cowl and then work the whole assembly away from the center of the Jeep into the cavity in the fender. Rotate the mechanism so that you can lift it up and out of the access hole.
Locate the three plastic bushings in the linkage. Check them for slop. On mine, only the one at the drive motor was worn excessively. Mark the linkage so that you can put it back the way it was. Use a pry bar to separate the bushing from the pivot ball. Place the bushing over a receiving cup. I used a large socket. Tap it with a hammer to remove it from the linkage. Flip the link over and drive in the new bushing in a similar manner. Make sure the tabs are aligned with the slots in the link.
If the pivot balls are rusty, clean them before reassembly. I also added a dab of grease, but that is not required. Press the ball into the bushing. Repeat the process for the other two bushings as needed.
Slip the mechanism into the cavity in the fender and rotate it back into position. Start the drive motor bolt, but do not tighten it. Make sure that the wires and washer hoses are not trapped below the linkage. Install the four torx bolts that hold the mechanism to the cowl. Once all four are started, tighten them all down. Then, complete tightening down the drive motor bolt.
Reconnect the wiring harness. Connect the two washer hoses to the cowl cover. Replace the cowl cover and screws. Slip the wiper arms back onto the splined drives and set the clips.
Spray some water on the windshield and test the wiper operation. Make sure the travel is correct and that there is no binding. If the wipers do not park in the proper position, remove them from the spines and reset them to the correct position.