There is no arguing the Tri-Five Chevy is an iconic hot rod. Every Chevrolet enthusiast either has one, or they want one. But, one thing is certain, while the cars look great, the 1950s technology could use a little updating. Case-in-point: the windshield wipers.
Updating a classic Chevy is not hard, as aftermarket companies like Danchuk Manufacturing offer a multitude of parts to do just that. Take for instance the windshield wipers. It’s not very often enthusiasts consider them upgradable – until they quit working.
When the OE-system technically works, it’s not actually up to par with what we are all used to having in our daily drivers. Let’s face it, they are cable-driven nightmares. The system is either on or off. There is no intermittent setting, and you don’t have much of a choice in wiper speed. A Tri-Five wiper upgrade is a wise choice.
Often, when restoring a classic Chevy, enthusiasts will find the original wiper system doesn’t function properly or is missing altogether. That’s understandable. They never worked very well when the car was new (if compared to a modern system), because the system relied on engine vacuum that fluctuates with throttle position. Instead of trying to find OE-replacement pieces to rebuild your originals, why not upgrade to a modern-style wiper system that uses solid shafts, and never requires adjustment?
Danchuk has what all Tri-Five owners need for their cars, and it’s called the RainGear wiper system. This safety upgrade relocates the wiper motor from its centrally located firewall mounting to a new location under the dash and out of sight. Not only does Raingear offer modern functionality, but it also helps clean up a cluttered firewall.
The $500 (standard two-speed motor) might sound a little high priced for something to replace a part that technically works, but the functionality of the updated system will certainly help you forget about the initial cost. FYI: if you want the version that has an intermittent function, it will cost you’ll need to add $50 to the cost.
What you get for your money actually makes it a great value. It is a complete system: the motor, wiper transmission, hardware, and wiring. You will need to retain your factory wiper arms and blades or get new ones.
The folks at Danchuk were installing a RainGear system in a 1956 model (1955 installations are identical, and 1957 installations are very similar), and offered to have us follow along to show how it’s done. It’s not a hard-to-do upgrade, and you will love the results.
While this is not a step-by-step tutorial, it does give you some insight into how easy this upgrade is to complete. The install will take you the better part of an afternoon, but it can be accomplished with a few simple hand tools and some common sense. Now’s the time to update those intermittently functioning wipers on your Tri-Five and contact Danchuk Manufacturing for a set RainGear wiper kit for your hot rod.