MALIBU Need some advice on column & wiper plan

81camel

Not-quite-so-new-guy
May 16, 2023
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Hey Guys, I've been thinking and researching for this situation for a while now, but it feels so complicated that I'm having a hard time to make a plan.

My current situations is as follows:

Car is an '81 Malibu

Steering Column
  • It is a non original tilt column (i think from an 80's caprice, not sure)
  • I dont have proper wiper/signal/cruise switch(es) - turn signal works and wiper mostly works, but I dont think they are the right levers for this car and were kind of piece together.
Wipers
  • I dont know if the motor is original or the motor cover/circuit board. I dont think it is.
  • The wipers turn on and function. I think even the delay works.
  • The park feature doesn't work properly. Or not always. Sometimes when you use the wipers and turn them off, they just keep going.


The outcome I'm looking for would be this:
  • New/rebuilt/upgraded floor shift tilt column
    • I probably wont use the linkage from shift to lock the key in.
  • Working wipers with proper switch.
    • I dont care about delay, but would be nice i guess
    • Parking feature would be nice but not end of world
    • I would like the switch on the column ideally
  • Cruise control capability would be ideal. I might at some point put in an electronic cruise control, but I think that would use the same switch?


My assumption is that to get to this, I will replace all of the components; column, levers/switches, wiper motor, wiper pump.
I don't have good junkyards around here to go search for parts, so my preferred source would be new/rebuilt parts or used if I have to.

any recommendations on what parts and where is best place to get them to achieve this outcome? I'm not overly concerned about the cost. I think Mike's Monte's and Dixie Restoration has most of these, but not sure which parts all go together properly.
I know the wiper motors changed in the mid 80's on these cars and I'm fine going with one that fits the car, but wasn't necessarily original.


Any help would be great. Thank you
 

Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
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Wellston, OK
I did my 81 Malibu using an 84 Monte SS floor shift tilt column , the original 81 wiper motor , and changed the wiper switch in the column to an 82 non-delay switch.

There was a change in the wiper wiring in either 83 or 84 I don’t recall which. I bought the 82 wiper switch because I knew it was the same wiper motor as the 81. 81 of course originally had the wiper switch on the dash whereas 82 and up went to the column
 
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Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
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Wellston, OK
As far as the windshield washers go, I’ve changed all my cars since sometime in the early 1980s to electric pumps. Used to be able to buy an inline aftermarket kit , now I just go to the local pull a part and buy a reservoir with the pump , line , and as much wiring as I can access for five dollars which I then retrofit to the car.

In my experience the Crown Vic reservoirs fit nicely ahead of the left wheelhouse on the inside of the fender of a Malibu or El Camino

I just wire the electric pump to the original pump leads on the wiper motor harness which then results in spraying as long as you hold the switch down. I personally never cared for the squirt squirt squirt style of the early washer pumps, and prefer to regulate how much fluid went on the windshield.

My wagon got converted to electric with a crown vic pump in the original washer reservoir, but I find that it burns through washer fluid pretty quickly on that small of a reservoir
 
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81camel

Not-quite-so-new-guy
May 16, 2023
48
43
18
what would happen if I used a delay lever/switch with a non delay motor? Is it just a matter of maybe switching some wires and the delay part of the switch wont work but the rest will?


Here is what I'm thinking of getting.

Column - https://www.mikesmontes.com/1984-88...lumn-Refurbished--Black-Turn-Lever_p_442.html
Wiper Motor - https://www.dixierestorationdepot.com/Product/Detail.aspx?s=DM90326 NOPULSE
Would this combination work?


Dixie also has this - https://www.dixierestorationdepot.com/Product/Detail.aspx?s=DM00465 NOPULSE
Can this one install and connect to the column and motor above?
 

Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
4,750
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Wellston, OK
WOW That's expensive. I paid less than that for a whole donor car.

Maybe inquire as to if they can/will build the column with the earlier switch, because mixing and matching motors/switches/wiring could be an issue. I prefer to use the OE system to keep it simple.

In THINK you can use a delay switch on a 2 speed motor, but it's probably easier/cheaper to use all non-delay parts, as finding good delay boards has become difficult.

In any event, moving the wiper switch to the column is going to involve some wiring work, as the existing dash wiring isn't lomg enough to reach the column connector
 
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