Wiper problem, '97 Cavalier

I have a problem that comes and goes, but now comes 90% of the time.
The intermittent wiper blades as expected in all positions, however when I try to turn them off, rather than retracting, they travel all the way to the
top, drop 2 - 3 inches and stop. Once in a blue moon, they will still retract as expected.
It does not appear as though the wiper motor circuit has any repairable/replaceable components other than the switch and motor assembly itself.
Since I am it is recognizing that the switch is in the off position and the remaining positions work fine, I am inclined to believe that I should replace the motor. Any other suggestions?
Thanks,
Jason
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Check the clutch assembly. The nut on the shaft may be loose. There is only four screws that hold the wiper assembly in. Remove the plastic cover, wiper arms and the four screws and lift the assembly out to work on it. My sons had the shaft nut come off....

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I have had the whole motor / crack arms assembly out and am no closer to getting it to work.
I took the cover of the motor itself, and found the center of the motor to contain two switches arranged above one another. As the motor turns, each of the switched and activated in turn by the turning gears.
Now, my question is, can anyone tell me if these two tabs and these gears are self-adjusting? Is it possible that they are not aligned properly and can then be "timed" If so, any hints at a procedure.
I can get a wiper motor from the wrecker 10 minutes away for $65 CDN. Is it worth it to just replace the wiper motor rather than trying to "time" it?
Thanks,
Jason

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There's no timing a wiper motor. On some years/models you can replace the circuit board (delay module) separately, otherwise you need to replace the whole thing. $65 for anything used sounds quite high to me, btw. GW
Jason Hazelton wrote:

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Well, the dealership wants $235 for a new one, so I thought it was a good deal.
Jason

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When you turn the wipers off they should complete the sweep, The park switch opens, the motor reverses and the arms drop into the park position. Since it stops with the arms up and reverses for several inches the park switch is being activated by the crank arm assembly at the wrong time. Something in the crank arm assembly (clutch) is broken or loose and slipping. The assembly has to be timed correctly. 1. Put wiper in delay mode, Ignition in accy and run motor until delay. Turn off. 2 Don't rotate shaft, place crank assembly on motor shaft with a 4-8mm gap between crank assy and tab on tube frame. 3 Install and tighten screw. Recheck 4-8 mm gap......

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That is not quite correct. It does not stop with the arms up. Under normal intermittent wiper operation, the wipes do delay at the bottom of the windshield, where expected. If I turn the wiper switch off at that point, the wipers then travel to the top and back down 2-3 inches and then stop. There is no pause or delay at the top of the windshield.
I have taken apart the crack assembly and verified the 4-8 mm gap.
Jason

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Read my statement again. It doesn't matter where you turn the switch off the wipers will continue until the switch opens, it will then reverse the motor and park the blades. Yours are trying to park with the blades vertical so the cam is opening the switch at that point reversing the motor and hence the 2 to 3 inches reverse. This means the clutch mechanism is screwed up. The operation is mechanical. If you don't believe me go get the shop manual and read it. I have it and I have had that problem on two 96 Cavaliers.

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I appreciate your help, but it does not seem to me that the motor is reversing at all/ Perhaps I wasn't clear. The wipers are travelling to the top, back down 2 to 3 inches and stopping. The motor never reverses.
I don't suppose you would be willing to scan and email me the appropriate pages of the shop manual?
Jason

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Woody wrote:

Hi...
I wonder if it isn't possible that there's another way to "see" what's happening...
Is it possible that they're not going to the top, shutting off, and then "parking", but rather going to the top plus a few inches, then stopping dead? (no parking)
I had a Pontiac a long time ago - washer pump in the tank type. The electric pump in/under the tank became intermittent; somehow caused the wipers to do the most bizarre random things.
Take care.
Ken
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Where the wipers go is controlled by the cam and is strictly mechanical, where they stop is controlled by shutting off the motor. The fact that they are going to the top and reversing several inches indicates the cam is making the switch in the wrong position, reversing the motor and parking the blades. The only way it can sense where the blades are is by the cam activating the switch (actually it opens the switch.) It is possible the switch has a dead spot that is opening with the slight movement of the cam.

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Ken described it better than I have been able to, they are not reversing, but in fact appear to be travelling 2-3 inches past the top and then stopping dead.
I am going to spend some time tomorrow trying different positions regarding crack arm assembly/clutch/motor shaft and will post my results.
Jason

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Jason Hazelton wrote:

Hi...
I'm not a car guy... just an old retired guy that knows which pedal goes and which one stops :)
I'm an electrical guy... maybe if I tell you as best I can what happens it might help... though I suspect I'll bore the heck out of the rest of you :)
For sure you're going to be looking at a set of electrical contacts (with the cover removed) that are controlled by a disk that rotates with the motor. That disk will have an indent (flat spot) on it, such that the set of contacts make and break dependent on the position of the disk.
What happens is...
When you look at it with the wipers down, and stopped, that disk will be sitting in a position so that the flat spot is beside the contacts. Then when you turn on the wipers with the drivers switch, the motor turns. That disk turns, and the flat spot will no longer be near the contacts.
The purpose of that set of contacts is that when the flat spot is away from the contacts, it TOO applies power to the motor.
So, now we have two sources of power to the motor. It won't shut off with the drivers switch. That is, it won't until the flat spot arrives at the point where it operates the set of contacts beside it. (should be when the wipers are at the lowest position on the windshield)
So, what you want to do is look carefully at it. Possibility is that the set of contacts is adjustable to compensate for wear on the disk. Could be that the disk is warped, or cracked, to sort of provide two flat spots.
Almost certain that if you'll get your wife or one of your kids to cycle the wipers a few times while you watch it with the cover off you'll see and understand what's happening.
Wish I could explain better - I'm not only old and retired but also a stroke victim... but I hope it helps.
Take care.
Ken
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Have you checked the wiper transmission/linkage? That sort of problem sounds like a linkage bind, or a bushing broken/missing. Charles
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Jason, have you found anything yet?
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Nothing yet. It appears to be a alignment issue in the crack arm transmission assembly, but I have not had time to play with it this week. I may go out this evening and try a couple of things.
Jason

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It is either:
The board or the park switch in the motor!
For the wholesale cost of these two components new at a GM parts department, I can buy a factory remanufactured motor, at a parts house with either a: three year or lifetime warranty.
Don't kill your self changing positions on anything in the motor or outside of it, there is also a good chance the plastic gear stripped in a spot or two.
I hope this helps?
Refinish King

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So, does this mean I need to replace the whole motor? My '97 Cavalier was working fine until a week ago, when, while driving through a series of heavy thunderstorms in eastern Oregon, the wipers started to stop in the "up" position when I turned them off. If anyone knows for sure how to cure this, I'd appreciate the help. My Haynes repair manual tells me how to remove the motor.
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ouch. I see what you mean. GW
Jason Hazelton wrote:

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