My 1982 Honda tail light gaskets leaked. My 1992 Honda tail light gaskets leaked. Fix this gents.
There must be some old stubborn engineer at Honda that insists of this half-assed design. The gaskets on my 1982 Honda leaked. Note how the water draining the trunk goes right on top the lamps. I noticed the car would fog up on the inside when it was cold. When I lifted the spare tire cover, the trunk had standing water in it. As you would expect from something older, the gasket replacement was more straightforward since engineers were more in control that sales weenies.
My 1992 Honda Accord also developed tail lamp gasket leaks. I noticed this when the tail lamps filled with water. I guess that's ten years of engineering progress at Honda. Don't try to glop sealer on top, don't try and re-use the crappy gaskets. I found new factory gaskets on eBay for 8 bucks a side. Rather than glue the gaskets in, I used lithium grease to make a waterproof seal. Now I can take things apart, should I have to get the tail lamps off. They are moldy inside, maybe new lamps one day.
The front of the gasket show the drips. Thankfully, no rust on the body. It will clean up OK, and I hope the new gasket seals.
Here is the backside of the right tail light. The lip pressed against the gasket and seemed to seal OK on this side.
You can see about a half-inch of water inside the tail light, behind the orange plastic. The right tail light has water and mold.
Popping off this inside cover provides access the bulbs but not all the screws.
A 5/16 nut driver gets the job done. The harness connector clips to the body.
Satanic engineers dreamed up this release method. Press in on this little nub and it allows you to separate the connector.
They tease you by providing access to only three nuts. Pry back the interior cover to get at #4 but only after the first three are out.
Now you have access to all 4 nuts holding the tail lamp housing.
Connector off, you can leave the bulbs in.
The wire harness clip has its own Satanic release be sure to put it back in.
Here I use two X-acto knives to try and release the little tabs pressing against the stud. This is one of the little evils-- one-way clips.
TNow one X-acto knife and a screwdriver to pry the clip off. Victory, the nuts that were holding the lamp. Water collected on the bottom but the leak is at the top on the other side of the gasket.
The lip on the lamp seems to have sealed OK.
Front side, where the leak was at the top.
Mold, I let this go way too long. People behind me must have laughed at the sloshing water as I made turns. At Ford, we put a little hole in the bottom in case this happened.
Right side has no rust, a good sealing surface. fBackside of the right lamp, bulbs pulled.
I drained the lamps and set them in front of my IQair HEPA filter for a couple days to dry them out. I also set them out in the sun.
Gasket is Honda part 33503-SM4-003, eBay. Gasket fitted to the tail lamp. Bulms back in, I had to clean a couple of the bulb contacts, a shot of DeOxit is a good idea.
Spend a lot of time getting the body clean. Rather than glue, I decided to use grease, to make it easy to take off, while repelling H2O.
All greased up and ready for the lamp. The nice thing is I can take the lamp off without ruining the gasket, like with glue.
Lamp in, 4 nuts on, grease oozing, I am happy.
Harness connected, you can see how far back I had to pull the interior plastic to work on this. New gasket fitted to other lamp, bulbs in, and ready to go.
The left side cleaned and greased. Lamp in, harness clip on. An LED flashlight can help you see. This one is small enough I can hold it in my mouth while working with both hands. I think I will install a million candlepower arc lamp in the garage.
That fifth nut holds in the interior plastic.
finished job, no water in the lamp.
The covers over the lamp can be replaced, the little sliders are pretty straight-forward.
Tabs in the top, slide the buttons down.
The jock cover goes back in with a twist. All this for this stupid leak. I might have saved this old gasket with the grease trick, but better to use new factory gaskets and be done with it. I don't want to do this job ever again.