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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I thought I would take a shot at a formal write-up. Since I kinda killed people's hopes of just swapping the whole Accord wiper arm by pointing out it's impossible, I thought I would try installing just the fin on a CRX arm, documenting the process.

First you will need the spoiler. As far as I can tell, the driver's side wiper arm of every '90-93 Accord has one. As I said in an earlier thread, the Accord wiper arm is slightly longer:

and needs a different size mounting stud than the CRX arm,

so you can't just swap the whole arm over to get the fin. So, go pick up a wiper arm from your local junk yard, ebay, a Honda parts dealer or whatever.
Since the Accord arm is effectively useless, you need to seperate the arm and fin. They're held together by two rivets, visible from the front or back of the arm/fin assembly, but you're going to attack them from the back. Choose a drill bit that's a little wider than the portion of the rivet visible from the back of the arm:

The rivets are conveniently hollow, so hit each one with the drill until you're fairly sure you've gone completely through the folded over ring of rivet metal, and are drilling into the wiper arm. You should now be able to carefully pull the fin away from the arm. If it's being stubborn, don't try to pry it loose. Instead, brace the wiper arm and apply pressure to the portion of the rivet you were just drilling - the divot part. The rivet should push through the arm. If not, try drilling some more.
You should now have this:

After marveling at the perfect OEM black paint that was previously under the fin, you can toss the Accord wiper arm. Next, you want to get those old rivets out of the way. Brace the top surface (the one you could see while it was attached to the arm) of the fin's mounting flange (the parts with the rivets in it) in such a way that the plastic immediately around the rivet is supported, but the rivet head itself isn't resting on anything. Grab a nail, less than 1/8" in diameter, and a hammer. Put the tip of the nail in the rivet's divot and lightly tap it with a hammer. The rivet should pop through and out of the fin. One of my rivets was reluctant to depart - it made this erie plastic creeking noise that almost sounded like the plastic cracking. :? Repeat with the other rivet. You should now have a rivet free plastic fin spoiler thingie:

If you look closely at the above pic, you'll notice a little lip, or change in thickness of the flange a little left of centered between the rivet holes. The lip is there to match the profile of the wiper arm, where the metal casing around the spring and arm stops and it steps down to just the arm. If you line up that step with the end of the casing on the CRX arm, one of the rivet holes will end up hanging off in space, with nothing to attach to. So, we need to move that step. Time for a little plastic work.
Lay the mounting flange of the fin over your wiper arm so that it's as close as you can get to the first bend in the arm without covering any of the bend. Like this:

Mark on the flange where the casing of the wiper arm ends. In this case it would be an inch and change to the right of the step. Since I'm not really interested in trying to give a plastic work tutorial, I'll just say: grab a rotary tool or whatever you're comfortable using to work plastic, and trim the stepped portion back to your mark. There was a molding line on the edge of my flange that made it fairly easy to keep things level, but go ahead and flaten things out with a sanding block when you're done.

Now it's time to mount this thing. I used 1/8" (diameter) x 1/2" (length) aluminum pop rivets. The original rivets were probably 1/8", because the new ones fit perfectly. If you've never used pop rivets before, here's the wikipedia article. You'll need a box of rivets ($2 or less) and a rivet driver gun thing ($20 or less). If you already have a riveter and box of rivets, you might be able to get away with 1/4" long rivets, but 1/8" long is definately too short.
Since we're using 1/8" rivets, you'll need a 1/8" metal-capable drill bit. I used a spring-loaded center punch as well. A regular punch should work, but they're not nearly as convenient. You should be able to find a basic spring loaded punch for under $10. You need one or the other to make sure your drill bit stays centered. If you drill off to one side, the fin could crack when you install the rivets.
Anyway, take your wiper arm off the car (remove the nut, flip the arm up so there's no spring tension on the base, and wiggle it back and forth untill it pops loose) and remove the wiper blade. Lay the the fin on the arm so the step is positioned properly against the end of the arm casing. Mark the center of the rivet hole closest to the blade attachment hook, set the fin aside and center-punch the arm as close to exactly in the center as you can. A 1/8" hole will remove a significant amount of material from the arm width-wise, so getting the hole centered is important.
Spray some light oil (WD-40 works) on the drill site, clamp the arm to something and drill the hole. Steel is a fairly hard metal, so slow bit speed and moderate pressure is best IIRC. A single long ribbon of metal means the bit is cutting properly:

Yeah, I used a drill press. That's cheating, I know.
Clean off any metal flakes and file down any burrs that may be present.
To line up your second hole, use a pop rivet. Set the fin on the wiper arm, and set one of the rivets in the hole you just drilled. I found the remaining hole nicely centered itself on the arm if you just push the fin's stand off braces (look at the trimmed fin pic above) against the wiper arm casing. Either mark the hole, remove the fin and then punch the location, or simply punch through the rivet hole:

Drill and clean out your second hole the same way as the first.

It's a good idea to shoot some paint or something in the hole to prevent rust, though not strictly required. If you use paint, install the rivets before it dries or the rivets might not fit.
Anyway, position the fin, drop rivets in both holes (to make sure everything lines up) then use the gun on them.

Blam. How's that?
I didn't like the way the rivet on the blade end stuck out of the back of the arm:

so I clipped off the excess rivet up to the back of the left over mandrel ball. Then I flipped the arm over and tapped the ball itself out using the portion of the mandrel that the driver breaks off. Finally, I braced the head of the rivet against my vice and pounded the flared out part (where the mandrel ball was) flat on the back of the arm:

Finally, reinstall the wiper arm and blade back on the car.

Bleh. Time for some armor-all. I'll probably put a little flat black paint on those rivet heads too.
 

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I appreciate you shooting down my hopes and dreams in the last thread when i found out that 90-93 Accords had these fins on the wiper arm! :lol:

Seriously though, it is good that you pointed that out before i shipped any of the arms I had out. I never got a chance to try them but just assumed they would fit since they were from the same era Honda.

Very nice ,detailed writeup. I'll use this when i go to put mine on and the two ppl that i sold the wiper arms too can use this too.
:)b
 

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Excellent write up! Thanks a lot for that, looks like you spent a good amount of time putting it together. I'm going to add it to the FAQ, could you email me or John the pictures so we can host them here (so they're permanent)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update:
I'm not sure this is a problem with the stock stream-type washer nozzles, but I found that the newer fan type just barely makes it over the plastic flange of the wiper spoiler. At highway speeds, only a fine, virtually useless mist makes it past (I assume the wind blows the spray pattern slightly more horizontal, hitting the fin).
So, I notched the middle of the flange down to wiper arm level:

It's not a perfect solution... As you can see, the notch isn't perfectly centered in the spray pattern - one of the fin's mount points still catches some spray. In use, the spray pattern gets a little flattened at the top compared to what you get at a stand still, but that's far better than a slight misting.
 

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bobski said:
Hey everyone, I thought I would take a shot at a formal write-up. Since I kinda killed people's hopes of just swapping the whole Accord wiper arm by pointing out it's impossible, I thought I would try installing just the fin on a CRX arm, documenting the process.
Thanks for the great, detailed write up! I'm motivated to make a trip to the wreckers yard and try it.
 

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Great write up. How does the wing/spoiler work on the wiper arm? It looks great! I love your enginuity. And the fact that I can ALWAYS come to this forum and find answers or ask a question and be kindly directed the who, what, when, where, or how...of my little car. Mostly the "how".
 
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