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HOW TO: Repair Passenger Taillight leak- 98-02 Firebird/WS6

This is a discussion on HOW TO: Repair Passenger Taillight leak- 98-02 Firebird/WS6 within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; hello all, FINALLY got a long weekend to tank my taillight/fish tank. Chris1974 you said you maybe spent 6hours on ...

  1. #41
    Junior Member cardboardjedi's Avatar
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    hello all, FINALLY got a long weekend to tank my taillight/fish tank. Chris1974 you said you maybe spent 6hours on this project? i think i put in that much just getting the thing apart and stripping off all the old silicon. sweet jesus. it IS slow going, took forever just to get that little end to pry a little. in my case, maybe because mine is 13yrs old now (2002 Formula, took delivery Sept 2001, FL hot sun) that little 'lip' inside on the diffisuer just didn't like being separated. some stayed put, but towards the big end it just came off in the groove of the housing with the old silicon. Oh, and instead of a heat gun i just used my wife's hair drier. it gets MORE than hot enough for our purposes. also getting that old silicon out was a giant pain in my azz too, my hands are all cut to heck from the edges and the screwdriver. BUT, i would say i am 97% silicon free now. i sanded the old chrome and took everything in the shower to scrub last night when i was done. Today i am about to get to painting on the new chromey paint. I'll post later how that all goes. Chris super thanks for this thread, you saved me whatever $500 for the new tail light from GM, and with out this i would have been no where near brave enough to pry that piece apart....

    ...and i can't post a pic here but i just went to Lowes and got their Valspar metallic spray paint and some ge clear window/door/attic/etc weatherproof silicon. i will redo the pass light with it and i will prolly just re-bead the driver side since it is not leaking yet, hopefully that will preclude a future Round Two of this job for that side

  2. #42
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    HELP! My 1st post. Just bought '99 T/A and need get inspected, but left rear blinker not working. Turn arrow stays ON when stalj pulled but no flash. Manual says that bulb, not fuse. Front bulb appeard lit. So, i yanked rear bulb (5 wingnuts, not 4?! lucky i didnt crack the lens!) and installed new bulb after cleaning corrosion out of socket a bit. Now, bulb lights but no flash. Is there another bulb for blinker? This 3057 bulb was the main one in the big middle of lens carrier. Olf bulb socket area was pretty corroded (calky, brownish, burned...). I scraped contacts with knife a bit but maybe not enough? Anyway, any chance it is FRONT bulb problem? I thought rear as nighttime running light was out. (Guys told me that all 3 brake lights working.... L, R, center.) Possible the socket corroded so bad it ruined the contact connection? Best way to clean the socket (what solvent) and/or replace cheap? I see it sold at Autozone for like $10.

  3. #43
    Junior Member cardboardjedi's Avatar
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    your flasher module under the dash/steering wheel may be bad?

  4. #44
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    I just saw that the other small bulb is out, #194. If that "running light" in the rear module is out, will that also make the FLASH arrow stay LIT and not get any blinking? (I think I replaced a good bulb on blinker, but no worries as I cleaned lots corrosion and saw it first hand. Used the di-elec grease too.)

    Quote Originally Posted by cardboardjedi View Post
    your flasher module under the dash/steering wheel may be bad?

  5. #45
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyGFirebird View Post
    I just saw that the other small bulb is out, #194. If that "running light" in the rear module is out, will that also make the FLASH arrow stay LIT and not get any blinking? (I think I replaced a good bulb on blinker, but no worries as I cleaned lots corrosion and saw it first hand. Used the di-elec grease too.)
    Sounds to me like ur getting that 'moisture in the taillight' problem that is so common to our cars. You didn't indicate what side but its typically the pass. side. By chance, does your tail light look darker than the other one? After taking care of the moisture problem, I've been able in the past to clean up crusty sockets and use dielectric greese liberally and get away with it but most will say just buy a new one. The day time running lamps in the front are another area of moisture concern and there is a good thread on the that problem as well. Do you see any moisture when you look through the clear reverse light lens?
    '02 Black RamAir M6--Kooks LTH, Magnaflo, Lowered Eibach springs and Bilstien shocks, Tuned By Frost, K&N & SLP box, Smooth bellows, polished TB, Spohn perf. suspension, shock tower brace. UMI 3point SFC. Front & side splitters w/ canards.
    '76 LagunaS3 - 355ci , 350 turbo, 3:55's

  6. #46
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    It's pretty moisture free on lens and other areas (lucky...). Really just diagnosing which bulb is out (I hope). :-) So, if a running light is out, will that make the turn signal not work so you'll go fix it? Seems not too safe an idea, but???

  7. #47
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    One side on my Firebird is darker than other but not really dark yet. What sokvent suggest if I make a GIANT q-tip with a stick and some cloth, and stick it in the two big lightbulb (blinker/brake) openings and try to wipe back surface of red honeycomb lens? How about that Invisible Glass stuff, or do I need rubbing alcohol to cut through the mold/darkened dirt?

  8. #48
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyGFirebird View Post
    One side on my Firebird is darker than other but not really dark yet. What sokvent suggest if I make a GIANT q-tip with a stick and some cloth, and stick it in the two big lightbulb (blinker/brake) openings and try to wipe back surface of red honeycomb lens? How about that Invisible Glass stuff, or do I need rubbing alcohol to cut through the mold/darkened dirt?
    All that would wasting your time. It's not something you can wipe off. I've had these things apart. The Silver reflective back gets ruined irreparably by moisture and turns black. The only fix is a new taillight assembly OR get it apart and spray the backing with highly reflective paint ( silver or Chrome spray paint ). It's not easy but it's effective. Then you have to deal with the moisture problem. Both of these are covered in this thread somewhere back there. Good luck. Keep us posted.

  9. #49
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    Thanks much TransAmTerry. It'll pass inspection, just that my driver side lens is noticeably darker even with the lights off in a dim parking garage. I would not have thought such a big change with not much light going in to be reflected out? Anyway, I guess both dirty and the reflector is darkened. It can wait till next bulb blows .... :-) Who made those taillight lense assemblys ---- sounds like a "Delphi special" !

  10. #50
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    Terry, you were right. Moisture, not just bad bulbs.

    The more I looked at car fixing the bulbs, the more I saw the moisture clinging to the clear back-up light (mine is Driver side, by the way...; Pass. side looks factory-fresh. ). Can somebody post a pic, or show me the thread, where to BEST drill the small holes to let moisture drain out ? Thx :-)


    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmTerry View Post
    Sounds to me like ur getting that 'moisture in the taillight' problem that is so common to our cars. You didn't indicate what side but its typically the pass. side. By chance, does your tail light look darker than the other one? After taking care of the moisture problem, I've been able in the past to clean up crusty sockets and use dielectric greese liberally and get away with it but most will say just buy a new one. The day time running lamps in the front are another area of moisture concern and there is a good thread on the that problem as well. Do you see any moisture when you look through the clear reverse light lens?

  11. #51
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    Anybody know how to find link for: "The day time running lamps in the front are another area of moisture concern and there is a good thread on the that problem as well."


    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmTerry View Post
    Sounds to me like ur getting that 'moisture in the taillight' problem that is so common to our cars. You didn't indicate what side but its typically the pass. side. By chance, does your tail light look darker than the other one? After taking care of the moisture problem, I've been able in the past to clean up crusty sockets and use dielectric greese liberally and get away with it but most will say just buy a new one. The day time running lamps in the front are another area of moisture concern and there is a good thread on the that problem as well. Do you see any moisture when you look through the clear reverse light lens?

  12. #52
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    TrAmTerry-san,
    Can you post a pic of where you drilled the holes? And: would you still recommend that spot, or another? BONUS QUERY: I actually a bit of an auto guy, and I would LOVE to know which parts supplier built these leaking dogs ! :-)

  13. #53
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    Chris (aka Chris1974): should have thought of this before. Looked at my back light today in a garage and realized just how dark my driver side honeycomb lights are. I don't want to violate any forum rules, BUT, would you or someone you know want to do the above fix to my light assembly (otherwise in perfect shape from a '99 TA) for some payment? Be happy to send it to you and get it back in a week or so. :-) [Obviously, you know what you're doing and you did it well !]

  14. #54
    Member BobbyGFirebird's Avatar
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    TransAmTerry, Please see my post today above. Would you be up for a remunerative $$$ project ? :-) Not to expensive to ship the thing down from Tri-State to MD, home of the BlueHens ! Or is that Delawate ? :-) [I'd do it myself, but I am in an apartment complex with no garage and crazy kids.]

  15. #55
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyGFirebird View Post
    TransAmTerry, Please see my post today above. Would you be up for a remunerative $$$ project ? :-) Not to expensive to ship the thing down from Tri-State to MD, home of the BlueHens ! Or is that Delawate ? :-) [I'd do it myself, but I am in an apartment complex with no garage and crazy kids.]
    Hey BobbyG, Yeah, I'd be willing to take on that project. Do you just need the one side tail light done ? PM me and we'll get the details worked out. Did you ever find the thread about the daytime running lights ?

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    I need to see the pictures can anyone help????

    I need to see the pics can anyone help???

  17. #57
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by montyhaulz View Post
    I need to see the pics can anyone help???
    I'm guessing you mean the pics of the original post at the beginning of this thread ..... they were done with photo-bucket which no longer supports all the pics posted back then or even now without paying ( I think .. ) . If not, can you be more specific with what pics you need to see ? ..and what problems are you having ?

  18. #58
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmTerry View Post
    I'm guessing you mean the pics of the original post at the beginning of this thread ..... they were done with photo-bucket which no longer supports all the pics posted back then or even now without paying ( I think .. ) . If not, can you be more specific with what pics you need to see ? ..and what problems are you having ?
    I am thinking of using my Google+ account that I had to create for a college business class to take the place of photobucket, maybe everyone should create an account and use that to put pictures up on.

  19. #59
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    flicker is what I'm using now. It's very easy. I've just finished downloading all my thread tech photos, now I gotta go back into those threads and up date the pics. Oh what fun.
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