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brake lights keep breaking

 
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Old 11 May 2013, 01:16 pm
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Join Date: May 2013
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Default brake lights keep breaking

I have a strange problem and I'm wondering if any of you have had it or have any ideas about it.

I have a 2008 Cruiser that I bought used (@ 40K miles). When we got it the tail lights (brake, not the turn signal) were broken - the glass was broken - The tail light lenses were in good shape. The gaskets are in good shape. There was no indication that they had gathered a bunch of water or anything. I scratched my head and replaced them.

About four months later, they're broken again! The lenses are still in good shape; gaskets, too.

Anybody have any ideas?

Anybody tried LED lights?

Thanks!
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Old 11 May 2013, 01:48 pm
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Location: Mooresville, NC
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Default Re: brake lights keep breaking

I've not had that problem but something similar - I've had three sets of after-market taillights on my PT, and all three hold water! Cannot figure out where because I pull them off and search and try to reseal, then next rain storm the have water in them. I've even sealed off the open area where the taillights are mounted to insure no water comes up from below.

Now when you're saying the 'glass' was broken, are you talking about the bulbs? On mine, that is the only piece of glass in the entire taillight. If that is the issue, then what generally happens is when you've driven and it's raining out, your rear tires can toss water up into the taillight area since it's open below (I'll post a picture below so you can see what I mean). If the taillight has leaks, then when the water touches the bulb they tend to pop.
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Old 11 May 2013, 02:20 pm
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Default Re: brake lights keep breaking

Yes, the glass of the bulb is breaking. I figured it was something like that, but it didn't seem to be leaking and as I say, the gaskets looked good.

I wonder if drilling a small drain hole in the lens assy. might help. Maybe a baffle to keep water from under the car from splashing on the lamp (lens assy and bulbs, etc.). I'm intrigued by LEDs too. I've seen some that are supposed to be replacements for the 3157 but the Amazon reviews are pretty spotty.
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Old 11 May 2013, 06:14 pm
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Location: Mooresville, NC
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Default Re: brake lights keep breaking

NC huh? Me too, Mooresville, on Lake Norman.

I've been trying to find the photos I took of the modifications I did to the tail light assemblies, but for some reason can't find them. I'm getting ready to add a seal between the light and the body, as they fit loosely into the opening (happens with many convertibles when you put custom tail light assemblies in them). Will take some photos so you can see what I mean about how to seal up the area below the lights. I was getting tons of mud and water on mine before cleaning up that area.
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Old 11 May 2013, 09:26 pm
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Default Re: brake lights keep breaking

Yup, NC. In the Raleigh area.

My wife and I were looking at it this evening and she found a fair amount of water in one of the lamps (oddly enough, not both even though the bulbs in both were broken). I put some silicon seal around where the two halves join. Hopefully that will take care of it.

I agree with you that they don't fit really tightly, I thought it might make sense to have a piece of aluminum that would keep the water from splashing on the lamps. I might try that next.

This is really crazy! It's not that it's expensive, but my daughter drives the Cruiser and I don't want her driving at night without tail lights!
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Old 12 May 2013, 08:11 am
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Default Re: brake lights keep breaking

I have an 03 GT, and have had the same problem. I saw open areas on the inside housing, and sealed them with RTV. I drilled a 1/8" hole in the bottom of the housing to allow the water to drain, and never had another problem. The water does enter the housing from water being thrown up from the rear wheels!
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Old 12 May 2013, 01:30 pm
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Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: brake lights keep breaking

Thanks, GT. I sealed the joint of the two pieces of plastic that make up the lamp. Unfortunately, there was still some moisture in one of them (I would have let it dry out but I didn't know when my daughter was going to need it). I'll do the hole trick, too.

I don't know of another car that has that sort of opening up to the tail lamps... So far, there doesn't appear to be any danger of rusting there, but it seems like it might be... I guess it's something you might want to keep an eye out for.
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