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Wiper arm and cowl removal

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by rsimi72, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Oct 18, 2017 at 7:14 PM
    #1
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    2017 SR5. Can’t seem to find a “how to” on this forum. I apologize if I searched poorly. I am chasing a subtle rattle that sounds like it’s coming from the center dash. I’ve read about the windshield cowl being a possible cause. I want to pull it but need to know how to pull the wiper arms first and then the cowl. Anybody done this? Are there caps on the wiper arms covering a bolt? How are they removed? Thanks for sharing any experience.
     
  2. Oct 18, 2017 at 11:05 PM
    #2
    Spanky

    Spanky New Member

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    If nobody replies with good details, you might try buying a two day access to Toyota Tech Info online. I did this last week when I was replacing a front axle on my kid's Scion and I ended up poking around a lot of the online manual for my 4Runner as well. It was only $15 for the two days, so it might make sense, especially if it doesn't end up being the cowl.

    Either way, good luck tracking down the rattle - those are always challenging.Pro
     
    jester243 and rsimi72 [OP] like this.
  3. Oct 19, 2017 at 8:33 AM
    #3
    brochacho

    brochacho New Member

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    I have this same rattle!!! I drive me nuts. It does sound like the it is coming from the dash/windshield area. Only does it on the highway and when dry out and cooler temps. Let me know if you fix it!
     
  4. Oct 19, 2017 at 9:24 AM
    #4
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    Bummer! I get it. I have read about the windshield cowling being a likely cause. The fix I read about seems pretty simple but I don't know how to pull the wiper arms and cowling. I really don't want to take it to the dealer as I am not interested in digging around in my dash yet. I'd like to see if the cowling fix will work first. I'll paste the write up I found on another forum below.

    For anyone who is experiencing creaking coming from the dash area when it's cold and/or dry out, the source is the plastic windshield cowling. For the fix:

    1) Remove the caps from the attachment points for the wipers with a small screwdriver. (Just pop them off.)

    2) Remove wipers. (You will need a socket wrench.)

    3) Remove rubber trim pieces at the base of both sides of the windshield.

    4) Remove plastic trim pieces at either end of the cowling. (Push the center of the push pins down, you will hear a "pop", which will release the pins.)

    5) Remove cowling.

    6) Spray white lithium grease on all contact points for the cowling - one long strip where it attaches to the firewall, one long strip where it attaches to the base of the windshield and one strip in the middle of the cowling (underneath) where the pieces of the cowling attach to each other. Be liberal with the application.

    7) Reassemble all.

    8) For good measure, wrap foam tape around the plastic harness that cbettin highlighted in this thread where it makes the 90 degree turn on each side of the inner fenders. (There is a circular plastic retaining clip that I lined with foam.)

    9) Enjoy your creak-free 4Runner.
     
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  5. Oct 19, 2017 at 9:47 AM
    #5
    brochacho

    brochacho New Member

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    You Sir are a gem! Hope this fixes it!
     
  6. Oct 23, 2017 at 4:30 PM
    #6
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    Still hoping somebody will chime in with any experience removing the windshield wipers and cowl. If not, I’ll consider @Spanky suggestion of the tech online subscription. I just can’t imagine there is much to it.
     
  7. Oct 27, 2017 at 7:42 AM
    #7
    Riding Dirty

    Riding Dirty New Member

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    I get this too. So it’s outside the vehicle? It sounds inside.
     
  8. Oct 27, 2017 at 8:47 AM
    #8
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    Not sure exactly. I have read about the windshield cowl as a likely cause for what I’m hearing. Sounds like it’s from the inside, also. I am just more willing to try the cowling fix before digging into my dash. I would like a “how to” of sorts first, though.
     
  9. Oct 27, 2017 at 11:49 AM
    #9
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    The cowling appears to be super simple to remove. The hold up for me is how to pop off the wiper arm cap to access the nut. I don’t want to scratch it up by prying in the wrong spot.
     
  10. Oct 27, 2017 at 12:11 PM
    #10
    Stuck CAPS

    Stuck CAPS Truck killer

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    shouldn't be much different from a 4th gen, just some clips and a bolt for each wiper arm
     
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  11. Oct 27, 2017 at 12:45 PM
    #11
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    Yep. Just don’t know how/where to pop the decorative wiper arm cap off without damaging it.
     
  12. Oct 27, 2017 at 1:56 PM
    #12
    Stuck CAPS

    Stuck CAPS Truck killer

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    I believe the little caps pop off from the arm side iirc, ill go look in a bit.
     
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  13. Oct 27, 2017 at 6:17 PM
    #13
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    Thank you! Appreciate it.
     
  14. Dec 1, 2017 at 6:18 PM
    #14
    Lester Lugnut

    Lester Lugnut New Member

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  15. Dec 1, 2017 at 6:45 PM
    #15
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    I’m quoting my previous post. I’m about ready to remove my windshield cowl to hopefully silence the annoying tapping/popping noise at the passenger side corner by lubing the cowl where it meets the windshield. The info I copied and posted above suggests using white lithium grease. Do any of you know if that is safe for the plastic cowl? Would silicone be better?
     
  16. Dec 4, 2017 at 4:25 PM
    #16
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    If anybody is battling the windshield tapping/popping sound, especially noticeable when cold and dry, I’m cautiously optimistic that I silenced it. I followed the procedure I posted above. The cowl was very simple to remove. Only two push pins and 5 or so clips. Easy. The procedure above is accurate. I did not use grease, though. I used a couple pieces of felt tape instead. I could push on the rubber strip that rests on the lower windshield (top of the cowl) and recreate the popping/tapping sound. My noisy spot was at the passenger side corner right where it meets up with the plastic cover/cap. The last 3-4 inches from the edge. I believe the underside of the cowl lip was contacting the lower edge of the windshield. Slipping below it even when the body flexed or when hitting bumps. The slippage and the tapping made the noise I heard in the cab. It sounded like it was coming from the passenger A-pillar. I simply placed two pieces of felt tape under the rubber cowling piece that rests on the windshield. It still rests perfectly on the windshield and the felt tape prevents the tapping and slippage off the windshield’s lower edge. The tape can’t be seen once the cowl is installed. I probably should have done the same to the driver’s side as a preemptive measure. Oh well. Quiet enough for today. Mid-30s and dry so a good test. I’ll report back if the tapping sound returns. Hope this helps somebody.

    Edit - I pulled the cowl again and added more tape along the underside of the cowl lip as it was making some noise in different spots. Cautiously optimistic at this point.

    4B1C78FA-A40A-49BE-9E30-19C60B5DE667.jpg
    61AC29B5-2AAB-48B5-8C49-6ABF7D1A3D73.jpg
    B3C75450-16C9-4917-ACE7-9AE929582772.jpg
    3B7078F0-09A9-4786-B414-548804D00457.jpg
    D10A3791-F6F8-47F2-8CDA-D7ABD49F408A.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017 at 8:33 PM
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  17. Dec 4, 2017 at 7:14 PM
    #17
    Riding Dirty

    Riding Dirty New Member

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    Very nice! Did you happen to take any pics of your fix?
     
  18. Dec 4, 2017 at 7:24 PM
    #18
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    Nope, but I think I will be repeating it this weekend for the driver’s side. That corner was making noise tonight in the cold. Not as loud as the passenger side. Bummer. For some reason the two corners seem to be the trouble spots. I wish I would have just done both sides at the same time. Oh well.
     
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  19. Dec 4, 2017 at 7:27 PM
    #19
    Riding Dirty

    Riding Dirty New Member

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    Mine has started to do this when really cold, so I will probably do the fix soon too, if it stays working for you.
     
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  20. Dec 4, 2017 at 8:21 PM
    #20
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    I’ll let you know what I learn. Are your corners the trouble spots, too? I really hate rattles. That was one of the reasons I traded my Tacoma. This should work but it’s kind of trial and error.
     
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  21. Dec 6, 2017 at 5:47 AM
    #21
    j cat

    j cat New Member

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    I have used dow 795 sealer on my vehicles. this is used to install window units on commercial buildings. this comes in many colors . very soft and non reactive like silicone . sticks to everything including plastic. I even used it to seal crack on my pavement driveway . if you need to remove the part the sealer will tear apart because it is soft..

    I installed a black tape around the windshield edge both sides and top . that gap around the front windshield does make noise .. I did this 17 yrs ago on my 2000 silverado had a gap that made noise at hywy speed..
     
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  22. Dec 7, 2017 at 6:00 PM
    #22
    Riding Dirty

    Riding Dirty New Member

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    It kinda sounds like from the passenger or center area. When it warms up, it goes away, so it makes me think it is some plastic expanding and contracting in an unfortunate spot.
     
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  23. Dec 9, 2017 at 8:36 PM
    #23
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    Yep. Weather dependent. Cold and dry makes noise. I drove with the cowl removed this morning and it was silent so I can confirm the cowl as the source of the tapping. See pics in my edited post above.
     
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  24. Dec 12, 2017 at 9:15 AM
    #24
    rsimi72

    rsimi72 [OP] New Member

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    I'm sure I'm boring you all with this, but if it's useful, I have found the felt tape (pics above) to help quiet the cowl lip/trim. But, I have also found a major source of my tapping/rattle to be the passenger side cap at the edge of the cowl. While felt taping the cowl lip to cushion it against the windshield has helped, that plastic/rubber cap at the corner is an even greater source of my noise. I have ordered a new one ($13) and will see if that solves it. If not, I'll figure a way to insulate it. FYI
     
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