Salvaging the Mitsubishi 4x4 Headlight Washer Pump
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By: Jay Ayala, 12/30/03

Background

This is my documentation on how I "Salvaged my Headlight Washer Pump!" The vehicle I fixed is my 1989 Dodge Raider. If your headlight washer pump isn't working like it is supposed to, you might benefit from this article. Recently on this forum there has been posts about faulty headlight washer pumps. It sparked my curiosity about mine. Thanks to a recent reply posted by pmontero, I've successfully fixed my pump and it is working properly once again.

The fix:

First like always, I did a little bit of homework by looking up information on this forum and in my manufactures manual. Once I knew where all the parts were located I was ready to proceed. Suggested by pmontero in another thread, my initial test was to see if it was functioning in the first place. I turned the headlights on and pressed the headlight washer button. Nothing happened. So I took the headlight washer reservoir off complete with pump and detached the hose and electrical harness. Then I removed the pump and tested it with a couple of wires directly to the battery in short bursts. There is one wire, which is blue with a white stripe, and one that is solid blue. I touched the positive to the striped wire and the negative to the solid wire. I felt the wires warm up slightly, but it didn't function in the least. Out of curiosity I noticed that there were three (3) bent metal tabs holding it together. I straightened them carefully and gently pulled out the internal pieces with a small pair of pliers.



I quickly realized that there were a couple of broken plastic pieces. I thought well, it isn't detrimental to the operation but I'll glue it back together anyway. Upon inspection of the internal parts I came to the realization that water was somehow getting into the circuitry. So I decided that it would be a good idea to clean off any of the rust that has built up over the years. Which I did. Also, It was turning very stubbornly so I sprayed the internal parts with a little WD-40 more for lubrication purposes then to keep water off. There was a layer of dirt that built and covered the entire surface of where the internal magnets almost touch the spinner. So I cleansed it off. Also, inside the wire harness, the two posts were caked with grime so I removed the posts out of the plastic harness and wire brushed them. Once the posts were clean I re-inserted them into the plastic harness and reassembled the headlight washer pump.

Image courtesy of Jay Ayala Image courtesy of Jay Ayala Image courtesy of Jay Ayala
Start by removing the pump from the tank With the pump out, straighten the metal tabs that hold the two halves together Closeup look at the impeller that forces the water through the hose

I quickly did a test to the battery again and it worked just like new. I reinstalled the pump into the reservoir and the reservoir back into the Raider. I used my air compressor to make sure there wasn't any cogged lines or anything. Once I determined the path was clear, I made all of the appropriate connections and tested it with the headlights turned on. It took a few tries but the lines were dry and had to be refilled with washer fluid. Now my headlights are getting washed on demand without any problems.

Image courtesy of Jay Ayala Image courtesy of Jay Ayala Image courtesy of Jay Ayala Image courtesy of Jay Ayala
Use pliers to pull the motor apart, grasping it by the spindle The motor finally gives up, and comes out of its housing Crazy glue is used to glue the broken bits of impeller back togther The motor needs to be wire brushed to get rid of the rust that covers it

Conclusion

The fix was pretty easy, I used a 10mm socket to remove the reservoir and pump. A set of pliers to release the hose clamp. WD-40 to lube the interior, Krazy glue for the broken-cracked plastic parts. A wire brush to remove the rust and clean the dirt of the spinner, and the electrical contact posts in the wire harness. The fix took me about 30 minutes spread over 3 hours, it kept raining on and off and there wasn't any room in the garage. Overall it wasn't that hard. It works great now, and I didn't spend any money to fix it. Just took me a while.
As always, Thanks for reading.

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