This fantastic article was submitted by our friend Richard Diaz. Thanks, for your contribution to 1967beetle.com!
The journey started some months back with finding water on the mats inside my ’67 “Papa’s Slugbug” after I washed the car! I casually would look for the entry point of the water and just couldn’t figure out where it was entering! Then one day recently while lifting the wipers blades to clean the windshield, I saw it! The rubber grommet, (inner and outer bearing seal) on the driver’s side, that surrounded the wiper shaft and created a seal for the wiper assembly was hardened and cracked! I checked the passenger’s side and the same thing! But, there was something different between the two sides; the passenger’s side had a nut that threaded over the wiper shaft and held the entire wiper assembly! The driver’s side did not! (I purchased Papa’s Slugbug three years ago from a previous owner who did an incomplete and poor restoration).
Realizing that I was missing some parts, I made a trip to Larry’s Foreign Car Repair in Ventura, California, to hopefully pick up a nut that I was sure would be hard to find since, after all, this is a 1967 Volkswagen known for one-year-only parts! Larry is an “old school” Volkswagen mechanic and he quickly noticed that I was missing not only the brass nut, but also the stainless steel washers that are placed between the rubber grommet (inner and outer bearing seal) and the nut! They had to be brass and stainless steel to avoid rusting. Larry found some for me, but recommended that I replace the wiper shafts while I was at it, since I would have to pull the entire wiper assembly unit to replace the rubber grommets anyway! I never question Larry’s advice!
Online, I went to Airhead Parts, where I ordered new wiper shafts, rubber grommets and bushings for the wiper linkage arms! Not cheap, but while I was at it, I figured that I better do it right! As soon as I received the parts, I removed the wiper assembly and got started. The first thing that I noticed with the parts I received was that not only was I missing the previously mentioned parts, but on the back side of the wiper assembly there are a number of other critical parts: spring washer, brass nut and another stainless steel flat washer that is placed against the other side of the rubber grommet! Also on the outside there is supposed to be a wiper shaft seal to prevent water from entering the wiper shaft. Most of those parts on my wiper assembly were missing! Luckily Airhead Parts provides them and has them placed on the new wiper shaft in the order they need to be placed! Also the new wiper link bushings for the linkage assembly came with new C- clips.