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-   -   Moisture in running lights (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f447/moisture-in-running-lights-51315.html)

Steve97365 05-13-2009 10:34 PM

Moisture in running lights
 
I brought my new 2008 Safari home a few weeks ago and took our shakedown trip last weekend.

Happily there weren't many problems, and the dealer sorted most of them out.

One he didn't fix to my satisfaction was the issue of moisture or condensation in the running lights, both red and amber.

I took every one of them apart, wiped the moisture out, and made sure they were properly seated in the housings. Almost all of them had mositure again. I live on the Oregon coast, and the dealer said "yeah, they do that." The screws and innards are already in the first stages of corroding, and I can't believe there's not a "fix" for this.

Could I put some gasket material like for auto gaskets in a thin coat on the bottom of the lens and then reseat them?

I don't want to deal with replacing the lights or housings when they do corrode. Thanks, Steve

ROBERTSUNRUS 05-13-2009 10:48 PM

:) Hi, Steve. There is another thread somewhere about this. Basically you need to replace all of the clearance lamp screws with stainless steel screws and use a flat washer with an "O" ring on each screw. This will help a lot, but not 100%. Lewster was selling a kit. Airstream sent me some new screws, but I had to get my own "O" rings.

Steve97365 05-13-2009 11:13 PM

Thanks
 
Ok, so do I put the washer and o ring over or under the stainless screw?
How about some kind of gasket material under the lens? You can probably tell that I'm not the most handy person on the planet! Steve

ROBERTSUNRUS 05-13-2009 11:31 PM

:) Hi, Steve. Put a stainless steel washer on the stainless steel screw and then an "O" ring; This way the "O" ring will be pressed between the washer and the plastic lense. A lot of the water leaks between the screw head and the plastic lense hole.

Inland RV Center, In 05-13-2009 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve97365 (Post 697415)
Ok, so do I put the washer and o ring over or under the stainless screw?
How about some kind of gasket material under the lens? You can probably tell that I'm not the most handy person on the planet! Steve

Most owners install vulken sealer on the backside of the clearance lights, sealing the base and the wire, as that is a long long term fix.

Rubber or neoprene washers on the exterior, however used, will eventually fail.

Water will always collect on top of the clearance light base, underneath the covers. The covers have gaps in them from the base, to let the water out as well as some heat. Sealing that gap is a no no. It sounds crazy, but that gap actually prolongs the life of those lights.

Note that the LED clearance lights also have the same cover to base gaps.

Andy

Steve97365 05-14-2009 01:18 AM

Thanks Andy and Robert, These are the bullet types and the water gets in the lenses. I'll try the washer and o ring trick, and since it has been raining sideways around here for endless days, I'll wait until a sunny day to caulk around the metal bases. Thanks for the tips. Steve

Steve97365 05-14-2009 08:38 PM

I bought stainless screws and o rings and installed them today. I also dabbed a small bit of silicone on the bottom of the lens. I didn't cover the gap in it, and feel it may give some protection from the elements.

I still don't fancy the idea of having to tweak a brand new over 40K rig.

Inland RV Center, In 05-14-2009 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve97365 (Post 697723)
I bought stainless screws and o rings and installed them today. I also dabbed a small bit of silicone on the bottom of the lens. I didn't cover the gap in it, and feel it may give some protection from the elements.

I still don't fancy the idea of having to tweak a brand new over 40K rig.

Steve.

You must never use silicone sealer on the exterior. The sun quickly destroys it and it falls off, making it difficult to use the correct sealer, since it will not bond to the silicone surface.

Andy

Steve97365 05-15-2009 12:22 AM

Andy, I think you are misintepreting where I'm talking about. I've taken the screw out of the lens and put sealer underneath the lenses, both amber and red. I've left the housings alone except for installing stainless screws to replace the ones already rusting(most were corroded, so I replaced them all). The sun shouldn't be a factor there, and it wasn't sealed in the first place, which is probably why there was moisture in them. It doesn't touch the exterior at all, just fit into the chrome housings. I also put stainless screws in the lamp housing unit itself and sealed them. I used silicone sealer that is marine grade. Is this OK?

Steve97365 05-16-2009 12:54 AM

I just washed the AS and the fix worked! No water in the lights so far. Thanks for your help. Steve

Steve97365 05-16-2009 06:22 PM

Thanks to Andy and his patient advice, I've now uninstalled the silicone sealant under the lenses to let them breathe and get rid of moisture. I was the one who was misinterpreting the info. Thanks again Andy. Steve

gdesign 10-25-2020 03:30 AM

Exterior lights, water, salt, stainless steel and aluminum corrosion
 
The issue is water and Oregon coast sea salt causes corrosion. Using stainless steel in contact with aluminum and water with salt will also cause the aluminum to break down, giving its electrons to the stainless steel screws.

Sealing the lights may help but will not stop the corrosion due to the moisture in the air.

A $7-$10 tube of Dielectric Grease and coating the metal in the lights will help protect the metal parts and increase the connectivity to keep the lights working. I have used this on a 1969 over lander where things were pretty damaged to stop more damage from occurring and get the lights all working again avoiding replacing all the light fixtures.

Hope this helps others out there.

ROBERT CROSS 10-25-2020 08:06 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS (Post 697405)
:) Hi, Steve. There is another thread somewhere about this. Basically you need to replace all of the clearance lamp screws with stainless steel screws and use a flat washer with an "O" ring on each screw. This will help a lot, but not 100%. Lewster was selling a kit. Airstream sent me some new screws, but I had to get my own "O" rings.

^
This.

I cut a new gasket from an innertube.
But make sure the drain on the lens bottom edge is open.
FWIW...I never changed the bulbs to led, heat from incandescent helps.

Bob
🇺🇸


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