: How To Repair a High Mounted Rear Tail Light - Courtesy Tazzy69

02-03-06, 06:14 PM
The following is courtesy of Tazzy69.

OK ... here goes...assuming the lite bar is off the trunk.....now... this is going to sound Mickey Mouse...but it worked! Hey .. I'm not a rocket scientist!
Sorry no pics...it's already back together...and I don't even have a digital camera.

I used a carpet cutter first, to SLOWLY pry up one corner (at either end) ..and I mean SLOWLY!!!!!! Surprisingly ..the plastic cover (the part you see when it's installed) is not as brittle as a regular plastic lense BUT it can still break...mine didn't. The sealer used is still fairly maluable (but not much) but try to cut the seams, on either side of the seal bead using an exacto blade or utility knife. (To separate the plastic from both sides of the bead seal) Do one end completly and cut the seal bead 4-5 inches down both sides of the rail. Starting the separation was tedious as this is where I thought I would break it.

As soon as you start to get separation.. put the blade part of the screw driver (Round) in there and try to cut the seal bead with the utility knife as it starts to separate..... once this happens... try to separate both sides (top and bottom of the bar) then you can slide the screw driver all the way thru so that the top and bottom of the bar are now separated and the screw driver is stopping the front and back of the bar from coming together.
The screw driver can now act as a lever as it moves down the rail as you SLOWLY continue to cut on either side of the seal bead (top and bottom) and cutting the bead as it starts to separate .. Cut some more, 4-5 inches ahead, on either side of the bead and slide the screw driver along (SLOWLY!!!) some more to increase pressure and so on......... till done.

When I finaly finished, it was easy to see where the water/moisture entered the lense...... WHERE THERE WAS NO SEALER.... or lack thereof...DUUH!!! One of you guys hit it on the head... that this should be a recall item.. $400 bucks my ass!!!!

NOTE: The LEDs etc., clear the screw driver but be careful not to scratch the internal paint as it will allow light to shine thru where you don't want it to.... I just used red paint to cover my mistakes.
Also... Minor chips and I mean minor... (like sand size.. ok.. maybe a little bit bigger) pieces of plastic will break off the fine edges of the front cover... but no big deal... you are not going to see it anyway!

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to see how simple the electrical system was.. a bunch of LEDs, a few resistors (All the same) and one diode....hey... and no other electronic sh-t! This makes it very easy to use a voltmeter (With ohms etc)... to ck out the entire system!
You will see that all the pc boards are held in place by plastic holders which are in turn held in place on the back of the lite bar by large melted plastic tits. I used a soldering iron and melted those suckers to free the plastic holders.

One resistor was completly blown and not even there except for the burn marks. Elsewhere, one connecting wire was fried and burnt part of the pc board with it. I ck'd for continuity (Open circuits) and the resistors read 55.3 to 55.6 ohms. As I said, checking for open circuits was a piece of cake but tedious.

Soldered in the new resistor [1/4 watt, 56 ohms, 5% .. I used 2.5%] (Not radioshack.. try an electronics store.. I used Vance baldwin here in Ft. Lauderdale, FL... 10 for $1.50) and scrounged up some telephone wire... sliced it open and used one strand of that real thin coated wire to create a circuit where mine had blown away... ( Solder at a solder point, not on the printed circuit BUT MAKE SURE it is on the same circuit) At this time I also looked over the pc board and cleaned up where other problems might occur... BECAUSE OF THAT WATER INTRUSION!!!

Before putting this thing back together....I... CAREFULLY...... took it out to the car .. plugged it in and.... IT WORKED !!!

I put the plastic pc board holders back in place and used my soldering iron to remelt the areas by the plastic tits to secure everything.

NOW.... this is where I spent the most time (More than half of it)..... I did NOT want to do this procedure again... so ....as you all KNOW.... when sealers/gaskets are used.... before mateing it all back together.... CLEAN all surfaces to remove any and all pieces of the old sealer... GOOD F---ING LUCK!! I used my utility knife and exacto blade to get into and remove it all... especialy in that real tight/small but lengthy seam.

I used Home Depo clear exterior silicon sealer ($5.00), and spring clamps to hold it together and let it dry somewhat over night. Installed it the next day and so....for $6.50.... fixed that thing!

I know there MIGHT be some product out there that would make removing the old sealer MUCH easier... but.... at 10pm.... I did what I had to do.
If you take a piece of the sealer and try to see what product will break it down ...then shave off 2-3 hrs. Now... in my new business, if I can find it... 2-3 hrs to fix the lite seems reasonable to make $200 ea. .. what do you think... Think I will be busy??
Good luck..... let me know how you did....