Thursday, October 25, 2012

Windshield Washer Nozzle Blues - Remove and Replace A Broken One

Driver's Side - Still OK
    OK, so I'm a moron. I was wiping down my RV after a quick wash and snapped the passenger side windshield washer bulkhead fitting off. Great. This is the part that takes the larger hose from the windshield washer fluid reservoir pump and goes through the front of the RV the to the smaller hose that feeds the wiper arm squirter nozzle. I had some Gaffer's tape on hand and did a quick "band-aid" repair. It would likely get me down the road and back so I could replace the thing properly. Of course i couldn't actually USE the washer spray until then... at least on that side. Ah well.

Sometimes, Tape Is A Good Thing!
When I got back from the trip I had a good look at the way it was assembled. It had a nut on a threaded barrel on the back and 2 barbs holding the hoses on. Looked like a simple job to replace. Took a ride down to the local autoparts emporium to buy a replacement, that's where it got, "interesting." Seems that this part isn't all that popular and is NOT standard for anythings else. Yup, typical situation for me and my "orphan" RV. I'm beginning to get used to it. Besides, the hunt is part of the fun, right?

[Left] Old Fitting - [Right] New Bulkhead Fitting
Back to the internet to find a relacement. Of course, not having ANY idea what it was called makes for a difficult time searching online. After a long bought with various search engines I stumbled across a "Bulkhead Fitting" as used in Fire Engines! They had various sizes and shapes, but since they were mostly 2 bucks a piece I ordered 4 sets. Figuring the right one would be amongst them. As most of you know, this kind of gamble rarely (if ever) works out for me.....but guess what? This time I got one that fit! Well, the other three were useless and ended up in the parts bin...who know's maybe I'll find a use for them.

Hose and Nut Behind The Fiberglass
I began by removing the hoses. The one behind the front of the RV's front was larger and took quite a bit of force to remove. Most likely it was baked on by engine heat over the years. That  happens with a lot of rubber hoses in a hot environment. I used an adjustable wrench to loosen the nit slightly and removed it by hand. It was plastic! The new one is a much deeper stainless steel one. I guess that Fire Engines need better hardware! With the nut removed, I slid the old fitting out. Make sure you figure out a way to secure the old hose, either tape or a convenient "pinch point" so you don't have to go fishing for it later!

Getting The Broken Bits Of Barb Out
The outside hose was much more of a problem. Since it had already been broken off, there was no place to pull on to remove the leftover piece of broken barb stick in the hose. Finally, I figured out that by using a screw, sized a bit bigger than the inside diameter of the old barb I could use it to pull out the broken plastic. Once that was done, I pushed the smaller wiper feed hose onto the new stainless steel barbed fitting and it was sort of done. Sort of? Well the end of the hose was a bit stretched out from the removal of the old plastic barb so I had to heat it a bit to force it to regain it's shape. I didn't want to cut it shorter as there is really no slack in the hose.

New Stainless Barbed Fitting
The only thing left to do was testing for leaks. None were found! It's a miracle! I'll get around to doing the other side later on. This way everything will match. It's nice to have two working washer nozzles again. Now I just have to get the wiper arms to clear where I want them to. Hmmm...Sounds like another article. Stay Tuned!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Rich, what a coincidence, as my Amera Coach has the same fitting and I also broke it by accident :(

    Here's my Amera Coach


    PS: I sent you some messages on IRV2 about meeting up next week to compare RV's.... Oct/Nov... ?

  2. The kits for replacing this system are available.I found them at United RV in the Dallas Fort Worth area.It uncludes everything needed including new hoses.


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