Wiper Board Failures: Known Cause?

I keep hearing it's the solder joints.
I fact, I re-soldered mine a couple years ago and it stopped malfunctioning until a few months ago. Coincidence?
What prompts the question is that the parts guy where I just bought the replacement said that they're selling the same flawed board and that "GM hasn't figured out how to fix the problem yet". Sounds fishy to me - circuit boards aren't exactly new technology....
When changing mine out, I noticed two things:
1) The boards looked different. The new board was uniformly green. The old one was half white (raw board, no coating at all) and half red - apparently dipped in something that covered the components and joints on that half of the board. Looks like somebody just dipped half the board into a pot of melted red wax.
2) The installation instructions call for a bead of sealant around the cover plate. No such bead was evident on the old factory-installed plate. Some sort of catch-up/fix-up in hopes of mitigating the sloppy board?
Just to rant a little - There were so many other failures by this vehicle that the wiper board seems like just more of the same....And if they *really* haven't upgraded the new boards in all these years (as they apparently haven't done with the valve body on the 4L60E transmission...) I've got to wonder.
I sure wouldn't want to hear anybody at GM whining when they start getting their lackadasical butts kicked by Nissan's Armada and Titan...
I'm tempted to overnite-Fedex the old board to one of the GM bigwigs - hoping that somebody at that level actually cares and might even see it instead of some flunky throwing it in the trash and sending me a form letter.
But who and where?
----------------------- PeteCresswell
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If it's of any interest to you, my original wiper circuit board was uniformly green and half-dipped in some sort of red stuff. The new boards, however, are slightly thicker. The problem with the old ones was vibration and tension placed on the socket by the wiring harness caused breakage of the solder joints that held the socket to the board (solder joints weren't made to take tension). Most times the damage in the joints was so minute it could only be seen with a magnifying glass, and occasionally not at all. If you resoldered the old circuit board you have to remember that the original cause of the problem still exists, you've only repaired the damage. Over the years I repaired my original board twice, but recently GM sent me a recall and I had a new circuit board and cover installed gratis just last week - I figured "Why not?".
Cheers - Jonathan
--
Acta Non Verba - Deeds Not Words
Lieutenant Jonathan Race, EMS Supervisor
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RE/

SO: It sounds like the half-dip is by design and not by accident....
Thanks for the observation on board thickness. Sounds logical now....
I installed the new one today, so I can't look. Any idea whether or not they supplemented the wire harness attacment with something besides solder?
What year is your vehicle? Mine's a '98 and they parts guy said no recall for that year - although I think I've seen something for earlier years... ----------------------- PeteCresswell
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<snip>

My '97 got the "special letter" (technically not a recall) to have the wiper control module board replaced. I did it at the same time they did the recall for the outside rearview mirror switch fused shunt patch to keep the door from catching on fire.
VLJ
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Yeah I hate when my door catches fire...
sez:

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Its a mechanical failure not a electrical one. The 'red stuff' is conformal coating, it seals the circuit from moisture. If you dont repair the mechanical failure before you solder it, then you will get the same failure in time. Some posts on this subject are gun-ho on how to fix it, but don't concentrate on the real problem.
BTW, I repaired mine when GM first recalled them, and have yet to have the problem return.
Cheers Martin

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I have a 95 k2500, Wiper failed on me coming out of the Eisenhour tunnel pulling a trailer. Semi in right lane covered my window with slush, could not see a thing, had to roll down the passenger window and use the guard rail as a guide to get over a lane and to the side to stop. I ended up re-soldering the board after looking at netnews posts. No problems in the two years since. GMC was no help then, (wrong model year). Just received recall notice.
Martin Riddle wrote:

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is there an FAQ for this? is it specific years? I've noticed that very intermittently, my wipers (91 K1500) will stop mid stroke....wait, and they come back and work fine. is this a symptom of that problem? whats the fix?
sorry to come in mid-thread! :(
b

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On mine whacking the wiper assembly would get them to work for a while. Upon close inspection I could see a bad solder joint.
Hamilton Audio wrote:

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Martin, There's a manufacturing problem in the GM wiper motors. The 2 notes I've copied below are: 1. my thanks letter to the author of the how-to-fix instructions. 2. the how-to-fix instructions. Elliott
Subject: Re: GM Wiper motor circuit board recall!!!!!!!!!!! Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 19:14:57 -0400 From: snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net Newsgroups: alt.trucks.chevy, alt.autos.4x4.chevy-trucks
Thanks Jonathan, It took 1/2 hour since I lost time looking for a dropped screw, and the board was a little hard to get to (in an 96 Sonoma) cause another harness goes right in fron of it. The circuit board is sooooo much easier to remove/repair than it would have been to replace the whole wiper motor assembly. 3 screws in the cover, and some messing around with the other harness to gain access. The board took lots of light wiggling to come free but did. There was an obviously cold-solder-joint on the board closest to the connector. I also cleaned a pair of contacts on the back side that had some gunk on them. It went back in easy and is working fine.
Hoping this is a total fix - previously I had to lift the hood and press on the connector of the wiper-assembly to get the wipers started (it happened about 1 time in 3 rains, and sometimes while driving). Being an electrical engineer I would say that this is a manufacturing problem, not a design problem. Cold solder joints are commen when the wave-solder machines aren't warm enough or the pre-bake isn't warm enough. Bing it happened to the 1 contact on the end seems indicitive of the manufacturing. The connector does groove-fit so torque isn't direct onto the board (though some does get there as obviously I was pressing on it to get them going). Elliott
Jonathan Race wrote:

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