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Q: Left windshield wiper arm not working! on 1996 Ford Explorer

Anyone else have this problem, please let me know what you ended up doing to solve it:
So I checked all the online posts on this subject and most seemed to say this should be a fairly easy DIY repair. None of them said, "unless you have a 96 Ford Explorer," though.
When i went to look at it, and forgive my lack of appropriate terminology, but the rod that connects to each wiper arm was totally off disconnected from the left one. Not the simple loosen bolt that everyone said it might be, but still not a problem, except that there is no way to get to that assembly that i can see. No screws to uncrew, no panels to enter through. Just the exterior metal and about 18" of dash.
Any ideas? Is this still DIY-able or am I going to have to take this a professional? And if so, what kind of price are we talking about?
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It's a ball and socket joint. You can DIY it. The cowling covers are held by one screw in the center and have pop/snap clips. You'll need to get the plastic "socket" joint from Ford (or junkyard) that fits into the arm. If you are really adept you might be able to make something. Be careful when removing the crank from the wiper motor, spray the bolt with penetrant first or it will break off. There is a clip that secures the arms to the wiper crank. Grease everything when you re-assemble.
Run the wipers first and the stop them before installing the wiper arms back on.
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