It was a small job, we knew, but one that brought us and our 1965 Clark Cortez a step closer towards being roadworthy and therefore getting (and passing) a state inspection.
That task? Replacing the windshield wipers and installing new windshield washer jets and washer fluid bottle.
Previously our Cortez was missing the rubber wipers, which meant each time Andrew mistakenly hit the windshield wiper button, we were put through the tear-jerking pain of hearing metal scratch glass. That needed to change so after purchasing heavy duty eighteen-inch wiper blades we began the work of attaching them to our original Cortez arms.
To start, we removed our original wiper adapters and gave them a good coat of paint. (Paint prevents rusting and, as you can see, ours were definitely rusted.)
While those dried, we set forth in finding a place for our washer fluid bottle. This, we decided to position next to the battery due to a large amount of space there.Next, came installing our washer fluid jets. In all, there are three hoses, which are now named Hose A, B, and C:
- One end of Hose A runs through the dashboard to the passenger’s side washer jet; the other end connects to Hose C.
- One end of Hose B runs through the dash to the driver’s side washer jet; the other end also connects to Hose C.
- Therefore, one end of Hose C is connected to Hoses A and B (by a joint); the other end is attached to the washer pump (which is located on our new washer bottle).
Starting at the top, to have Hoses A and B “run through the dash,” we disconnected our old black washer hose from the Cortez pump.
Then, Andy brilliantly suggested taping the ends of the old hoses to our new ones so that we could simply pull the new to the same locations.
That left us with installing the new washer pump: To do this, we connected new wires to the original motor wiring. Basically, this provided power to our washer fluid jets!
Next step: Installing the washer nozzles.
With that, it was time to put our jets to the test . . . and also discover our water shooting several feet up and out of our steel beast!
Aiming the jets would have to wait though because of the installation of our new wiper blades . . .
After getting both blades on, they were clearly lacking in level and placement so Andy turned the wipers on and allowed them to land naturally . . .
that way we could loosen the screws to correct adjustments.
Success in hand, we then returned to our final step: adjusting the washer fluid jets!
For this, Andrew used a long straight pin to delicately and barely move the nozzle.
For the most part, this is a guessing game and therefore requires much testing, which is why we recommend using water instead of washer fluid (as water is cheaper than the fluid).
In the end, after a little over six hours, we were finished installing and adjusting our blades and jets, which left us only with filling our washer bottle with fluid!
Jobs done, we moved our Cortez from the garage to between Chicken Houses Three and Four as the sun started to melt in the sky.
Andy and I stood back to look long and hard at our work. This was our first job we could see, our first visual gratification.
And so, as the light shined just right on us and on our Cortez, there we were — looking at each other, looking at our new home, and smiling. We are another step closer to getting our ancient mammoth road-worthy. We are another step closer to setting off and discovering more about each other and the world.
Until then, Cortez. One day, one day . . .