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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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wiper blade recommendations?

I've used the OEM style on my Birdy since '96, but have wondered whether I should try the beam style.

A high percentage of new vehicles are outfitted with these as OEM, but does this design work out well on our particular windshields?

Do the plain Jane ones experience too much lift for my Bird? I guess I could try a pair with understated aero hoods. I wouldn't put a ridiculous, ginormous aero wing model on my classy Birdy; those are best left to teens and their ricers. Besides, a major reason I've considered the beam style is because it's sleek and minimalistic.

Should I go with natural rubber or synthetic, graphite-impregnated, or what?

Natural rubber blades I've used from various brands don't last long before they lose efficacy and start streaking. I'm in south Texas, Birdy lives in the garage, and I feel that blades shouldn't die this quickly where I live.
I'm not a fan of rubber revitalizer on wiper blades. I've used this kind of stuff on pinch rollers, idler tires and belts in consumer electronics when replacements aren't available, but I don't really care to have it dragged across my windshield. Washer fluid probably wouldn't agree with it, for one thing, especially my preferred Rain-X.

What's your recommendation for brand & model of beam type blade for my Bird? Or, should I forget about 'em altogether?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 05:47 PM
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While I love rain-x, I'm not a big fan of their wipers. I usually get whatever is on sale in a conventional style, and just change them when they start streaking. I usually get about 6 months out of a set on my DD, and a set of blades costs about $10.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 09:14 PM
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I am a huge fan of beam style wiper blades. I've used them from Michelin, Rain-X, etc for the last few years on multiple vehicles. On my current Winter Beater, a 1997 4Runner, I have the Rain-X ones and they work very well, and the built in "rain x" coating does help the water bead. It's not as effective as actually rain-xing the windshield, but it's better than nothing.

The main issue for me isn't lift due to air resistance, but in colder weather the icing that I get on all of the older spring style or "covered" winter wipers. The beams do still ice up if you leave them out overnight in a snowstorm, but a good slap against the windshield or a quick brush off clears it and they don't ice up while you drive like the old style do. In regular driving at highway speed they are as effective if not slightly better than any other style windshield wiper I've ever had, including the ridiculous ones I had with square flaps on them in the early 90's that were on the 74 Trans Am when I bought it.

As far as rubber construction, I've never paid much attention. I buy whatever looks like it's a good value and call it good.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
While I love rain-x, I'm not a big fan of their wipers. I usually get whatever is on sale in a conventional style, and just change them when they start streaking. I usually get about 6 months out of a set on my DD, and a set of blades costs about $10.
Agreed. I wouldn't use them just because they're so damn ugly

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 03:42 PM
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I've had Michelin beam wipers on the T-bird since 2011, and they haven't worn out yet...

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 12:50 PM
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I've been running the Anco Profile wiper blades for awhile too..
Being a "fairweather bird", the wiper blades don't get changed often..







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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 07:29 PM
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Like most things today, there are probably only 2 manufacturers making blades for all the brands. I too basically buy any name brand with a good price. The key to getting them to last is not over using them in light rain and keeping your windshield clean.

With rain x glass dressing, there is hardly a need to even use your wipers at highway speeds so I've never had any lift issues. I agree that beam style is the way to go. Especially in areas where there's snow and ice, or in dry dusty conditions.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 09:04 PM
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I stocked up on regulars when Rock Auto was doing closeouts. Stick a new pair on every year.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 08:49 AM
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Motorcraft blades lasted three years on my mountaineer.
In the south florida sun every day.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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I ended up installing Windex Exceptional Performance blades a couple of days ago.

They work pretty well out of the box, but the passenger side one wasn't making full contact all the way to the outer end of the blade across the entire sweep. Fortunately, they can be tweaked, so I fixed that issue.

These are ready for our 1/4" side pins out of the box.

Unfortunately, the universal mounting system with various snap-in adapters uses a large bracket that's rather conspicuous to the driver with the wipers parked, especially true of the passenger side. I'm more interested in performance & longevity than aesthetics, so hopefully I'll get used to seeing it sticking up there and it will eventually be less distracting.
Other brands I looked at that would take our 1/4" side pin didn't seem lower profile (more aesthetically pleasing) than these, so that's evidently what ya get with universal upgrade beams.

The blades are dead silent, even when dry, at all vehicle and wiper speeds. Yeah, I know, most brand new blades are.
Perhaps the "coating" will help them last a while. Of course, the coating is almost certainly only applied to the glass contact surface, so they could still suffer drying/breakage at the "neck". I suspect the coating is mostly for noise control, but it may also help block UV. Winplus/Windex doesn't specify what the coating material is, but I'll assume it's either graphite (perhaps impregnated) or Teflon, since that's what most other brands use.

The price was right -- with $6 worth of Sears surprise points redeemed, I got the pair for $14.87 including tax. Most other brand premium graphite or Teflon beams cost that much or more for a single blade.
These seem to be decent quality, so I'm happy with the purchase for now.

I'll follow-up in this thread if I have problems with them within their life expectancy. There's nothing on the packaging, in the included instruction sheet, or on the Winplus website specifying a warranty, but Winplus/Windex recommends changing blades every 6 months max, so I'm going to assume that's what these are rated for (despite being "tested to 500,000 wipes").

Last edited by Torque; 04-07-2017 at 10:18 AM.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r429460 View Post
Motorcraft blades lasted three years on my mountaineer.
In the south florida sun every day.
I may have to go this route.

I used to buy Anco's at Walmart, and change them once a year. Then they stopped carrying them, and carried Supertech's. They were okay for a while, but I had one batch that squeaked.

My biggest complaint about the $25 ea one's is that they squeak. Sometimes it's a soft squeak, but it's still a squeak! And other times, they are fine for 3 months, then start to squeak!

Another rule for me is they have to be flippable. Bosch Icon's are not. They often get a curve in them, which causes them to skid. Then you just flip them, and they are good again.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 09:44 AM
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I have just put a pair on the Ranger here , RainX they are working GREAT !! best wiper I have ever seen fitting the glass !
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