Wiper Switch Conversion, 56-66
(Beetle 58-66, Karmann Ghia 58-66 With Original 6 Volt Wiper Motor)
Problem: The Wiper Switch on your 58-66 Type 1 has bit the dust. New ones are impossible to find (no longer made) and who’s
to guarantee that if you find a used one, it’s going to work or even last - it might be on it’s last legs.
The basic facts:
1. The 58-60 model switch was equipped with screw-on terminals
2. The 1961 model switch was equipped with push-on terminals
3. The 62-66 model switch was equipped a pnuematic button release for a pressurized washer jet system.
4. The 58-60 model switch was not equipped with a washer button.
(Note; There was an optional switch available with a rubber bellows pump for an optional washer jet, but these are even rarer
than the previously mentioned switches!)
5. All switches noted above are a pull type for a one speed wiper motor equipped with a “parking circuit”, to automatically “park”
the wiper blades when turned off (knob pushed in).
Solution: Replace with the 1967 model Rotary 2 Speed Wiper Switch, VW 141-955-517. Available new (a bit pricey these
days,) and decently available and priced used.
How to Replace (Step-By-Step):
1. Disconnect the Battery Ground Strap.
2. Remove and tag each wire from your old Wiper Switch, noting the Terminal Numbers they are installed on:
A. Terminal 54 - Black. This runs from the Fusebox to the Switch, then jumps to Terminal 54 on the Wiper
Motor. Note - This powers the “Parking Circuit”.
B. Terminal 54d - Black with Purple Stripe. This runs from the Switch to Terminal 54b on the Wiper Motor.
C. Terminal 31b - Brown. This runs from the Switch to Terminal 31b on the Wiper Motor.
3. Remove the old Wiper Switch. Remove Washer Hoses on 62-66 models
4. Before installing the new (or good used) Replacement Switch, do the following:
A. Take a piece of 14 gauge insulated wire about 2 inches long, strip both ends about a ¼ inch.
B. Install ¼ inch female push-on terminals crimped on each end of the wire.
C. Install each female terminal on Terminals 53 and 53b on the Replacement Switch. This creates a
necessary circuit bridge for the Switch to work correctly.
5. Install the remaining wires on the Replacement switch (Note - Female Push-on Terminals will need to be installed on the wires
for 58-60 models):
A. Black Wires from the Fuse Box and Terminal 54 on Wiper Motor to Terminal 30 (or +) on
B. Black with Purple Stripe Wire from Terminal 54d on Wiper Motor to Terminal 53a on
C. Brown Wire from Terminal 31b on Wiper Motor to Terminal 31b on Replacement Switch.
6. Reinstall Washer Hoses on Replacement Switch on 62-66 models. If you’re retro-fitting a Washer Jet System on 58-61
models, now is the time to install the hoses as well.
7. Reinstall Replacement Switch into Dashboard.
8. Reinstall the Knob and if used before, the Washer Button. On ORIGINAL 58-61 switches, most (but not all) used a 3mm
threaded Knob. On the Replacement Switch, a 5mm threaded Knob is used. If you’re not going to use the Washer function on
the Replacement Switch (58-61), use a Headlight Knob, it’s the correct size thread. After Knob is installed, be sure the Switch is
turned off, all the way to the left.
9. Reconnect the Battery Ground Strap.
10. Wet the Windshield and test the Switch. One click to the right turns the Wiper Motor on. The second click should not
function as the 6 Volt model Wiper Motor is only one speed. Note: There was a Two Speed 6 Volt Wiper Motor optionally
available, but they are VERY rare.
Courtesy & Copyright (c) 2005 Jim Thompson & oldvolkshome.com. Used with permission.