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Marker/Clearance light Replacement

Posted 03-02-2019 at 07:15 AM by GMFL
Updated 03-30-2019 at 07:32 PM by GMFL

I’ve got a couple of Clearance lights that are on the fritz, one is out and the other is intermittent. So in Grand “Dept of OverKill” style I’m going to replace them all with a few upgrades along the way. I’ve ordered the Replacements (7 Red and 4 Amber) from “The Trailer Shop” an eBay store for $165.15. Amazon also had them but they were $208.12 there. The old lights where starting to get cloudy anyway. See pics...

UPDATE.....New lights arrived yesterday. We will be traveling in the Airstream for the next 9 nights so I will replace the lights once we return home from our trip to the Mountains.

UPDATE.... HERE IS THE MEAT AND POTATOES OF THIS POST..... THE INSTALL!

Ok today, which is about a month after this blog post started I finally had a chance to install the new Clearance lights. I’ll run through the process of one, but I will be swapping out all eleven lights.

First, many people ask how to remove the clearance lights from an Airstream. Well it’s pretty easy.... just pull, well pull and you may have to use a plastic bone tool or flat head screw driver to help. The lights are held into the chrome bezel with a small piece of 3M tape and a couple of retaining clips.
Once the light is removed from the bezel there are 2 Phillips head screws holding the bezel to the side of the Airstream. Remove them both.
Now pull just enough of the wire out of the trailer so you can comfortably work with the light.
Clip the wires from the old light and disguard the light and bezel.
At this point you are going to want to clean the trailer wall around the light giving you a clean surface to reattach to. I used warm soapy water and a little mineral spirits on a soft rag for the tough spots.
Carefully remove the plastic grommet from the wall. Do not let the two wires fall back into the wall. The reason for removing the grommet is to allow you to stick your new heat shrink joint in the wall behind the grommet.
I used properly sized heat shrink crimps and a commercial grade crimp tool to make my connections.
Once the connection was made and shrunken down. I stuffed all but about 2” of wire back into the wall and replaced the grommet. (Make sure you Thread the grommet onto the new light wire before you make your joints)
I then placed a dab of Sikaflex in each screw hole and around the wire going into the wall behind the chrome bezel.
Drip each of the two screws tips in Sikaflex and while holding the chrome bezel in place replace the screws into there original holes and snug them up.
All that is left to do now is dab a little Sikaflex around the little bit of wire sticking out and remove the cover of the 3M tape, while realigning the light in place allow the remaining wire to slip back into the wall and clip the light in place. Press firmly allowing the 3M tape to grab.

Now the overkill...
I had a problem with moisture getting inside the sealed lights. I believe the problem was caused from the lights being improperly thermowelded at the manufacture. The colored lens is welded to the black back piece and it could easily break and leak. I placed a very thin bead of silicone around the light, over that joint, before I snapped the light into the chrome bezel. I’m hoping that this silicone bead will help prevent water from getting inside the light due to a faulty weld. It can’t hurt.

Anyway. Plan some time for this project as it took around 3 hours to complete due to the tedious nature of the project and trying to make sure there was no chance for a leak.
Feel free to ask questions and comment if you like.
See pictures below for more detail.
Thanks
Ronnie
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    This newbie thanks you for the details and overkill. Turns out my new 2019 FC 25RBQ has visible moisture drops in 3 clearance lights. I haven't disassembled the lights to assess the thermowelds, so not sure of the root cause of my moisture intrusion. I plan to get the lights fixed in the next month or so as part of my first round of warranty repairs. That said, if I have to replace failed lights when I'm on the road, then your process and photos will be invaluable.
    Posted 04-08-2019 at 06:30 PM by slvrsnctury slvrsnctury is offline
  2. Old Comment
    GMFL's Avatar
    Thanks for your kind words.
    Posted 04-09-2019 at 09:13 PM by GMFL GMFL is offline
 
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