How-To: Seal Your Tail Lights

Post Reply
racer12306
Junior Admin
Posts: 16012
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:53 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Contact:

How-To: Seal Your Tail Lights

Post by racer12306 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:35 pm

I had a problem with water getting into my trunk. I was told to use the Permatex Black sealant. However, after I did it I was told that foam sealing tape would be a better way to go. I have already had one day of rain and the trunk is dry, so we'll have to see how long it lasts. I'll keep everyone updated if it fails.

This is just for the surface of the body and the OEM seal. This is not for the housing to OEM seal, which may need to be done as well.

Materials Needed
- one tube of Permatex Ultra Black
- 1/2" end wrench or 1/2" socket and ratchet
- pliars
- rags

Step 1
Remove the plastic trim piece in the trunk, as shown below. It is held on by simple clips. Carefully pry it off.
Image

Step 2
Remove the two push clips for the trunk carpet. Typically a pair of pliars will work for this. Pictures below show the location of the two clips.
Image

Image

Step 3
Pull back the trunk carpet to expose the tail light area. Remove the reverse light and the tail light/turn signal light from the housing. These are quarter turn fasteners.
Image

Step 4
Using the 1/2" wrench remove the 3 nuts on each housing, these hold the housing to the car.
Image

Step 5
Remove the tail light housing from the car. It might take a little persuasion by pushing on the studs from inside the trunk with the wrench or something similar.
Image

Step 6
Clean the seal surface and the mating surface on the car with a clean rag.

Step 7
Apply generous amounts of the Ultra Black sealant to the seal as shown below.
Image

Step 8
Spread the sealant around so its a nice even covering.

Step 9
Reinstall the tail light housing into the car. Be careful not to get the sealant on other surfaces. Continue to maintain pressure on the housing while tightening up the nuts in the trunk. (Tip: When putting the nuts back on, put the nuts over the stud and then slowly turn towards the left, you will feel the nut kind of settle into the threads on the stud. This will prevent stripping the nut)

Step 10
Make sure all the nuts are snug, but not too tight since they are just plastic.

Step 11
Reinstall the reverse and tail light/turn signal lights.

Picture of the end result from inside the trunk. You can see the sealant around the edges.

Image

Repeat for the other side.

This shouldn't take much more than 30 - 45 minutes, but allow additional time because "shit happens."
-Frank
Member of Spork Racing
Forum issues: racer12306@2gn.org
Forum Behavior
Support your favorite forum, DONATE!

User avatar
2k1MotorSport
2011 Gold Contributor
Posts: 2558
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:15 pm
Location: Lansdale, PA

Post by 2k1MotorSport » Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:48 pm

nice write up! and yes... 'shit happens' and it seems to happen a lot to neon owners.
-Scott
Image

ZeroChad
2009 Gold Contributor
Posts: 3165
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:08 pm
Location: Austin, Tx
Contact:

Post by ZeroChad » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:01 pm

How much does that sealant run? and where did you purchase it from?

I really need to do this. I had some water get in when I washed my car, and now the rear floorboards are premaiced :-(
Old Neon Log | Feedback

2000 - Corvette Coupe
2002 - Neon SE Fully Built (scrapped)

racer12306
Junior Admin
Posts: 16012
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:53 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Contact:

Post by racer12306 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:05 pm

I didn't buy the Permatex Ultra Black recently, but I believe it was about $5 for a tube. You can get it at Auto Zone, Advance Auto, Pep Boy's etc, etc.

I used about a half a tube, maybe a little more for both sides.
-Frank
Member of Spork Racing
Forum issues: racer12306@2gn.org
Forum Behavior
Support your favorite forum, DONATE!

Paralyzer
2GN Member
Posts: 789
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:40 pm
Location: Gallatin, TN

Post by Paralyzer » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:27 am

well I have jumped onto the leaky tail light bandwagon as well as of this week. I ordered new gaskets from the dealer and I will be putting them on this weekend.

User avatar
BlackRoseRacing
2009 Platinum Contributor
Posts: 12668
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 8:58 am
Location: WNY
Contact:

Post by BlackRoseRacing » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:00 pm

you could always get the Mopar ATF RTV to do this too :)
5010884AA - RTV - $5.07msrp (every dealer stocks it)
Image
Official "I'm Going to Drive My Neon till it Dies" Club #666

1/2 Scottish
2GN Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:27 pm
Location: Crescent City, CA

Post by 1/2 Scottish » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:48 pm

So you are just sticking it to car housing, that would make it pretty hard to get off again right? I would prolly go for the gasket option since shit happens and may need to replace the taillights. :D
Image
'03 Sxt mtx - Totaled
R/t axle-back exhaust, Booger Bushings.

racer12306
Junior Admin
Posts: 16012
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:53 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD
Contact:

Post by racer12306 » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:02 pm

Yes you are sticking it right to the car. I don't think its that big of a deal. If youdid it this way now, you would need gaskets next time. Or gaskets now.

Personal preference I guess.
-Frank
Member of Spork Racing
Forum issues: racer12306@2gn.org
Forum Behavior
Support your favorite forum, DONATE!

Paul56
2GN Member
Posts: 978
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:11 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Paul56 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:00 pm

Great post! I did this fix last summer pretty much as you wrote it with a couple of exceptions...

The trunk carpet was completely removed so it would dry out in the sun and so I could remove the excess moisture from the spare tire well.

I used an exterior grade silicone seal in a caulking tube around the lights in the same fashion you did... on reassembly it oozed out around the edges.

I let the whole thing setup for a couple of days then had someone spray the whole area with a hose while I observed from inside... no leaks... and no leaks since.

Easy job. The hardest part was crawling into the trunk to watch for leaks. Managed to do that from a folded down rear seat since I'm too big to crawl in and fit from the trunk side (6' 240lbs)

I just hope the tail lights never need to be removed... will be a royal pita.
2011 Honda Fit Sport

NickKo
2009 Gold Contributor
Posts: 2248
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:24 am
Location: IL./WI.border

Post by NickKo » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:52 am

So I guess this is a problem with the 2nd gen Neons, too, eh ?

I will have to do this with mine.
I suspect that there is water getting in from somewhere ..... there is too much condensation and frost building up on the windows, FROM THE INSIDE..... :?
A sure sign that moisture is getting in from somewhere.

Thanks for the great write-up.

-Nick
-1998 2-dr SOHC MTX= 57mm TB; Maddog STS
-2000 Ply.LX w/MTX = Maddog STS; CAI; 2.5 exh.; 60mm T/B
-2001 ATX w/Syked PCM + Magnum header
-2001 ACR w/SRT T/B bored out to 55mm

Official "I'm Going to Drive My Neon till it Dies" Club #000009

illriginalized
2GN Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: United States

Post by illriginalized » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:35 pm

Subbed. Doing this as soon as I get my aftermarket tail lights. Hopefully don't have to worry about removing the tail lights for anything haha

illriginalized
2GN Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: United States

Post by illriginalized » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:45 pm

Those ebay gaskets are THICK! Like twice as thick as my OEM gaskets. Just replaced them about 10 minutes ago. Good stuff, thanks for the link. Oh and they don't come with the double tape, but as thick as the gaskets are, when you tighten down the screws, the tail lights are definitely sealed tightly.

NickKo
2009 Gold Contributor
Posts: 2248
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:24 am
Location: IL./WI.border

Post by NickKo » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:57 pm

illriginalized wrote:Those ebay gaskets are THICK! Like twice as thick as my OEM gaskets. Just replaced them about 10 minutes ago. Good stuff, thanks for the link. Oh and they don't come with the double tape, but as thick as the gaskets are, when you tighten down the screws, the tail lights are definitely sealed tightly.
Thanks for the update and the review !! :thumbup:


- Nick
-1998 2-dr SOHC MTX= 57mm TB; Maddog STS
-2000 Ply.LX w/MTX = Maddog STS; CAI; 2.5 exh.; 60mm T/B
-2001 ATX w/Syked PCM + Magnum header
-2001 ACR w/SRT T/B bored out to 55mm

Official "I'm Going to Drive My Neon till it Dies" Club #000009

illriginalized
2GN Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: United States

Post by illriginalized » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:35 pm

NickKo wrote:
illriginalized wrote:Those ebay gaskets are THICK! Like twice as thick as my OEM gaskets. Just replaced them about 10 minutes ago. Good stuff, thanks for the link. Oh and they don't come with the double tape, but as thick as the gaskets are, when you tighten down the screws, the tail lights are definitely sealed tightly.
Thanks for the update and the review !! :thumbup:


- Nick
Not a problem. I should have taken pictures to show the differences. As you screw on the caps, you have to press on the tail lights firmly so that the caps can grab some threading. Tonight's been raining on and off.. so tomorrow morning before I go to work I'll pop the trunk and check, I highly doubt I'll need to go the perma-route with these gaskets.

illriginalized
2GN Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: United States

Post by illriginalized » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:16 pm

Popped trunk this morning after a heavy down pour last night, trunk officially has no leaks. eBay gaskets are gtg!


By the way, this is the link to the tail light gaskets:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/290420862295?it ... 60&vxp=mtr

fox02neon
2GN Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Yakima WA

Post by fox02neon » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:53 am

always nice to do
foxo2neon

whynot
2GN Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 12:35 am

Post by whynot » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:16 am

I am getting ready to do this, has anyone who has done this with rtv type sealant had to remove their lights after this, if so how did it go getting them out and all cleaned up again.
Thanks
Doug

occasional demons
Junior Admin
Posts: 19150
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:14 pm
Location: Ashland Ohio

Post by occasional demons » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:22 am

The $20 extra for the gaskets vs the cost of a tube of RTV silicone is well worth it. If the silicone bonds well, you will hate life attempting to remove the tails, and then cleaning the mess up.

There is smart cheap, and dumb cheap. Gluing the tails on is dumb cheap.
Bill
dblsg wrote:ya'll a bunch of post whores
epic

2001 Neon ES MTX with '02 R/T PCM
Help support 2GN!

whynot
2GN Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 12:35 am

Post by whynot » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:35 am

Thanks,
That is what I was worried about. I will order the gaskets.

IrishkaMok
n00b
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:46 pm

How To Seal Your Tail Lights

Post by IrishkaMok » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:05 am

looks awesome, makes it tempting for me to throw them on the credit card which still needs paying off

How easy is it to switch between these and the old style tail lights again? just out of curiosity

Midnight_Rider
2014 Platinum Contributor
Posts: 7901
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:49 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: How-To: Seal Your Tail Lights

Post by Midnight_Rider » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:33 am

IrishkaMok:

Country: Czechia
State/Region: Prachatice District
City: Ktis
Official "I'm Going To Drive My Neon 'til It Dies" Club #10

Post Reply

Return to “HT Exterior”