Installing a JC Whitney windshield washer kit

click on any image for larger view

These are the parts that come with the JC Whitney windshield washer kit. You can see the selected kit at on their web site. The reservoir is available in horizontal orientation (shown above) or vertical. After completing the install, I would rather have had vertical.

In this position, the DC to DC converter is covered, but only partially. The tank is easy to remove and I hope I won't need to get to the converter, so I chose this location.

With the wheel turned all the way to the right, the tank also fits inside the wheel well, but I didn't care for this position at all. It just seems wrong, protruding in the wheel well, and protruding forward as well.

After checking in the cabin, I held the tank to the wall and used a spring loaded center punch to make the marks for the holes. On the other side of this area, the left hole reaches into the heater space and the right hole (as seen in this photo) reaches into empty space. I could have removed the heater and used bolts with no problem, but my solution is ahead.

A right-angle attachment to the electric drill makes short work of tight quarters. Harbor Freight has everything to make working on your Xebra easier.

The outside hole is a bit more difficult to get to, as the right-side "headlight" assembly fills up some of the room. The adapter fit in just right, however.

I didn't want to remove the heater assembly and I have a plentiful supply of rivnuts (also called nutserts) and the installation tool (Harbor Freight!). They work like a pop-rivet, but have threads inside the compression part and can be used instead of a nut.

Here's one of the rivnuts on the tool. The rivnut is inserted into the hole and the handle is squeezed. Because these are aluminum (but steel can be found) if too much force is used, the threads will be torn out of the rivnut and it will have to be drilled out. The fiberglass in the Xebra on this wall is pretty thick, so the rivnut bulges into the sides of the hole, rather than acting like a rivet and compressing on the open side.

Rivnut in place, squeezed in tightly. It doesn't have to be secured to the point of stripping the threads or cracking the fiberglass, in my opinion. I did hear a little scrunching noise when securing the rivnut, but nothing alarming.

Plenty of fiberglass dust from the drilling. The DC to DC converter is visible just below.

Because of the angle of the camera, it appears that the holes are not level, but they are pretty close.

The bolts in the earlier photos were far too short to engage the rivnuts, so I had to scrounge around in my stack o'junk to find some longer ones, then cut them down to about an inch. Washers under the heads to protect the plastic and the tank is in place.

An overhead view of the newly installed washer reservoir. It almost looks like a factory installation. It's even closer in that respect, because the headlight support partly covers the fill cap! A small sacrifice to pay.

The hood material in the center is quite thick and I neglected to consider that during the drilling process. I started with a 1/8" hole and stepped up gradually to the 1/4" of the washer nozzle.

The fiberglass material will chip and fracture easily, so it's best to make gradual increases on the drill size.

The underside of the hood is getting badly chipped and fractured by this drilling process.

The last drilling is done. It looks sorta close to the edge here, but the nozzle isn't going to put too much stress on the hood. The hood is at least a quarter of an inch thick at this location too.

With the nozzle installed temporarily, it's the highest point on the front of the vehicle and seems somewhat out of place at first.

Three nozzles are provided with the kit; one with two holes and two single-hole nozzles. I chose the dual-hole version as I didn't want to be drilling holes in the deck lid. With one wiper, why have two nozzles anyway?

In this photo, shot from underneath the raised hood, you can see that there are virtually no threads available for the nut to engage. This is with the rubber gasket removed. Had I realized this was going to happen, I would have drilled a smaller size hole, then used a thread gauge to find the right tap (Harbor Freight, of course) and tap threads into the hole to hold the nozzle.

I could have also filled the hole with fiberglass and resin, let it cure, then tap it out, but I figured that some JB Weld epoxy would do a fine job of holding the nozzle. It's a bit messy looking and probably won't bond well to the plastic, but I think it will hold and I won't be messing with it much. If it breaks loose, I'll go back and fill the hole with fiberglass and resin.

The pimple is stuck on the hood now. The nozzle is shaped like a ball and socket and probably should allow adjustment for rotation and angle. I discovered this by grinding down one of the nozzles, hoping to fit it lower in the hole, before settling on the epoxy solution. I ground a little bit too much off, uncovering the gasket inside the socket and releasing the ball. Having learned that, I put a screwdriver blade to the slot on top and learned that they aren't well put together. The ball popped out of the socket, rather than moving smoothly. I pushed it in as best as I could and hoped for the best.

The kit includes a pair of hose clips and pointy things called screws. The hose routed nicely to one side, down behind the wiring and under the tank to the barbed fitting.

With the hood closed, the hose droops nicely out of sight. In colder weather, the hose is likely to get stiff and may require some manual guidance to tuck under and hide.

Just a different view of the new pimple on the hood of the Xebra

I have plenty of rivnuts and some plastic cable tie mounts, so they got put to good use to route the wiring out of the way.

Just behind the steering assembly, the "firewall" has an opening for many of the wires that lead to the dashboard and cabin area.

Sometimes, neatness counts and I like to think that it counts here.

If you didn't know it wasn't stock, you might not guess (I hope).

The kit comes with a push button switch and a mounting bracket, but the Xebra has a washer switch on the column. Taking off the cover of the steering column shows the switch mechanism. Click on this photo for A) the button that moves when you move the switch, B) the metal finger that A presses against and C) the other part of the circuit.

This is the backside of the previous switch. The yellow wire is the contact button from the swtich movement. Once I determined all of that, I was able to close up the column, as there is no work to be done inside it.

Under the dash, there's plenty of work. Plenty of wires too. The big one in the middle is the one we want. It was the only one I could find with a yellow wire, but I wanted to be sure it was the right one.

As shown here, the yellow wire enters the connector at the far end.

Multi-function switch sounds right to me, as the wiper control does run the washer (when so equipped) and it's considered part of the turn signal assembly in the Xebra wiring diagram too.


Same block, same color, it might be the right one after all!

Yes, it must be. The yellow wire goes to an empty port on the other side of the connector. I cut the wire just behind the connector, so to have the most length to work with.

I needed a proper ground and determined from the wiring diagram that the ground for the wiper motor was correct. I could have left the black wire outside and grounded it on the turn signal wiring, but I like the dry environment of the cabin. I soldered a loop of wire in the end, then tucked it under the existing motor ground (Arrow 'A' in the enlarged photo)

Barely visible in this photo is the yellow wire soldered to the red from the washer motor, protected with heat shrink for a long and trouble-free washing lifetime.


For your added viewing pleasure, YouTube is kindly hosting live recorded video of the washer and wiper in action, from two completely different angles. In one of the video clips, you can see the action of the wiper/washer lever as the pump sprays water on the glass. Look closely in the lower right corner of the second video.

Exciting Video Number One

Exciting Video Number Two