Tech Q&A - Windshield Wipers

By Rick Black
Las Cruces NM

Model A windshield wipers are described in detail in the "Restoration Guidelines & Judging Standards" published jointly by MAFCA and MARC. Since The Standards doesn't have photographs of wipers, just line drawings, this page includes photos of original wipers and era replacements.

You'll notice that some photos are missing. If you have a Trico wiper not photographed on this page, please send a photo with a description of the vehicle to the webmaster.

1930-1931 Wipers

From many years of research, I've found that Trico used the letter "R" to start Model A vacuum wiper model numbers. In the 1930s, Trico improved the design of the Model A wipers and used the letter "K" to start part numbers. For example, the most common 1930-31 Trico wiper was used on Coupes, Tudors, Closed Cab Pickups and Straight Window Fordor Sedans. The original Trico Part number was RCX-1. The replacement wiper was KCX-1.

How to tell an "R" series original motor from a "K" series replacement


It's easy. The tops of the two differ; check patent dates. But the best way is to simply look at the front of the wiper.

The original "R" series wipers had two screws holding the oval cover over the return mechanism (left wiper in the photo.)

The "K" series wipers had a press-on cover with only a dimple at the 6 o'clock position (right wiper in the photo.)



Rebuilding and Maintenance

I've discovered a few articles regarding the rebuilding and maintenance of Trico wipers. These may assist you in your restoration.

The first is a reprint from "Skinned Knuckles" magazine.

The second is the August 1932 issue of the Ford Service Bulletins on page 46. Read that article here.

The third is Lubricating the Trico Wiper.from the Henry  Ford Museum  &  Greenfield  Village  Research  Center. Note however that the article mentions using brake fluid as a lubricant, but this is not recommended by Chuck Christensen, MAFCA Technical Director, as spilled brake fluid can damage the car's paint, either during the lubrication or afterward during wiper use.

Finally, a good article on wipers can be found on the Model A Basics page.


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1930-1931 Coupe, Tudor, CC Pickup, 68B Cabriolet, Fordors (except slant window)

Mounts; Outside

Trico #; RCX-1 - Original

Standards Part # TR-1C

Mounts: Outside Trico #: KCX-1 - Replacement Standards Part#: TR-1C

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1930-1931 - Roadster, Phaeton, Roadster Pickup

Mounts: Inside Trico # RSL-230 - original Standards Part#: TR-01B


Deluxe Cars had chrome plated wipers

Mounts: Inside Trico # KSL-230 - Replacement Standards Part#: TR-01B


Standard cars had black painted wipers

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1931 Slant Windshield Fordor Sedans, Victorias, Cabriolet (68-C)
Mounts: Inside Trico #: RSB-174 Original Standards Part #: TR-C2A

03/14/16 - Thanks to Rob Ficken for the photos and the information on the Trico Part Numbers.

1931 Slant Windshield Fordor Sedans, Victorias, Cabriolet (68-C)
Mounts: Inside Trico #: KSB-177 Replacement Standard Part #: TR-C2A

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If you have comments, suggestions, better photographs, or contributions for this page,
please contact the webmaster.

Last Updated: 11/09/22