Intermittent Wipers - a detective story

 

Whilst driving up to Stoneleigh for the Autumn Restoration Show in October 2008, I was bemoaning the fact that my Coupe could really do with intermittent wipers.  You don’t notice that something like that is missing until you need them.  The day was grey and there was a gentle mizzle on the screen, not enough to need the wipers on low speed, but enough that I had to keep using the flick wipe – really annoying!  If you use your Marina or Ital all year round you’ll know what I mean.

 

I had never heard of Marinas or Itals having intermittent wipers, so my thoughts turned to how I could make a kit,  I started by checking the Haynes manuals and I found that later hi-spec Itals actually had them as standard.  That led me to track down what was fitted and where I might get them.  It turns out that Lucas made a special relay for cars that had flick wipes like the Marina & Ital; flick it once and the intermittent comes on and the wipes once every 5 seconds, flick them again and they go off.  Also if you hold the switch down for longer than 1.5 seconds, they wipe until you release and park again without activating the relay – best of both worlds!

 

Lucas Relay 6DA - Wiper Delay Control Unit.

 

I made a series web searches to track one down, what I found was that they were unavailable; however there were various other options.  There’s a guy on EBay who sometimes offers something similar that does a intermittent & wash/wipe kit for older Minis which would fit but he wanted £50+ for one – and I didn’t need one that much.

 

Back to Plan A and I found a Lucas catalogue which quoted the 6DA and also other part numbers for the same thing – AAU 7087A.  From there I searched to find out if any other cars used the newer part number and low and behold up popped the Triumph TR7.  Another internet search showed that they were available new and used from several sources;

So to fitting; as you will see from the fitting sheet that came with it (reproduced below), the relay unit plugs straight into the Marina & Ital loom and apart from running an earth lead, it will fit anywhere behind the dashboard that suits you.  Of course there is always a problem, between the Marina Mk1 & Mk2, Lucas changed the Marina electrical loom plastic connections on wipers and indicators.  They then kept them the same through to the last Ital.  This means that the relay will fit all Mk2s, Mk3s and Itals without any problem.

 

 

As my Coupe is a Mk1 I had to source the newer style plastic connector plugs (Holden Vintage and Classic - Harness Connector 5-way - pn 080.045 about £3.50 – Tel. 01885 488488) and then carefully remove the pin connectors from the MK1 wiper switch loom plug, push them into the new type plug and then into the relay (don’t smash the old plastic wiper loom connector as your going to need it in a minute and no-one makes them any more).  I made up a short loom extension which starts with the other half of the new plug, with female connectors and then re-used the Mk1 plastic plug which some new male connectors, so that I could plug back into the MK1 loom.

 

If you have a Mk1 it’s not too difficult and I think most owners could do it themselves.  I am now working on a relay to switch the wipers on when you use the screen washers - two or three wipes will do it I think.