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The rear wiper on my 2003 Wrangler didn't work when I bought it. I got around to trying to fix it the other day. First I checked the power going to it with a voltmeter; everything reads normal, so nothing is unhooked. I took the wiper off to make sure it wasn't just stuck, and it still wouldn't run. Long story short I took the whole motor out down to the smallest piece (including all the gears) and put it back together, checked all the wiring, looked for broken/melted cogs... nothing. I put it back together and it still didn't work. However, while I was testing it, I accidentally reversed the polarity on the motor and I noticed that it will run absolutely fine backwards. Only backwards though. As soon as I put the wiring back the way it's supposed to go, it won't run. It starts to turn for a brief second and then stops immediately. It will only even do the "start to move" thing after it has been run backwards. It is factory wiring and I don't believe the motor has ever been taken apart before I did.

Clearly the motor can't be burned out or seized up. The only possibility I can think of is that it isn't getting a proper ground. These motors have the switch on the ground to turn them on, correct? When it runs with the wiring backwards, I believe that may only be because I've effectively bypassed the ground - it will run this way as long as the car is on whether the switch up front is on or off. Does that sound right to anyone? Is there any other problem that might do this that I could have overlooked?
 
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