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The Saga of the Trans Am Parking light

This is a discussion on The Saga of the Trans Am Parking light within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Just thinkin' ,,would drilling a hole in the bottom of the housing release both heat and moisture which seems to ...

  1. #121
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Just thinkin' ,,would drilling a hole in the bottom of the housing release both heat and moisture which seems to the culprit?? Ive had problems with the drivers side only for what ever reason. A few years ago, the socket rusted out and I went to the the junk yard to get a replacement and I could only find a late 90's one for my '02 TransAm. Got it home but it didn't fit but I was able to get the actual plug out of the socket and put it in the socket of my original. Starting to have problems w/ it again - I get up under it - wiggle the bulb around and it works for awhile. ...looking for a good fix for though. I like the look of the DRL's so I'm not looking to delete it. So,,,, has anyone tried the vent hole thing or is my thinking flawed??

  2. #122
    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmTerry View Post
    Just thinkin' ,,would drilling a hole in the bottom of the housing release both heat and moisture which seems to the culprit?? Ive had problems with the drivers side only for what ever reason. A few years ago, the socket rusted out and I went to the the junk yard to get a replacement and I could only find a late 90's one for my '02 TransAm. Got it home but it didn't fit but I was able to get the actual plug out of the socket and put it in the socket of my original. Starting to have problems w/ it again - I get up under it - wiggle the bulb around and it works for awhile. ...looking for a good fix for though. I like the look of the DRL's so I'm not looking to delete it. So,,,, has anyone tried the vent hole thing or is my thinking flawed??
    As for heat, I don't think one hole will make much difference. And many holes would be at too much of a risk of allowing too much water IN rather than out.
    As for moisture, the problem is that since the bulb/socket go into the housing from the bottom, when the housing cools and the moisture settles, some of the moisture will still settle in the into socket, which is causing the corrosion. On the Firebird, since the bulb comes in from the back of the housing, this does help release moisture (I have done this to my 98 Firebird).

  3. #123
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmTerry View Post
    Just thinkin' ,,would drilling a hole in the bottom of the housing release both heat and moisture which seems to the culprit?? Ive had problems with the drivers side only for what ever reason. A few years ago, the socket rusted out and I went to the the junk yard to get a replacement and I could only find a late 90's one for my '02 TransAm. Got it home but it didn't fit but I was able to get the actual plug out of the socket and put it in the socket of my original. Starting to have problems w/ it again - I get up under it - wiggle the bulb around and it works for awhile. ...looking for a good fix for though. I like the look of the DRL's so I'm not looking to delete it. So,,,, has anyone tried the vent hole thing or is my thinking flawed??
    You also might take the whole housing out and inspect it. I was having mulitple failures also until I took it out and fould the top had warped/cracked from the heat of the bulb always being on. I put some black RTV on it, problem solved. Water was coming in from above the bulb.

    I love the look of the amber DRLs also, especially with our cars when the fogs are on. Now headlights as DRLs, IMO that's just ghey!

  4. #124
    Junior Member BlackBirdWS.6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    Now headlights as DRLs, IMO that's just ghey!
    i completely agree whenever i drive something with headlight DRLs i always turn them off or turn the parking lights on.

  5. #125
    Member nichoLaS1's Avatar
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    So after reading all this, I'm still confused.. Is there an LED available that can just swap into the front DRL socket? My driver side turn signal just went out last night, even though the DRL is fine. I plan on replacing the bulb socket with one from autozone (and fixing the cracked lense), but have yet to hear of a good LED bulb to fit in it without having to get switchbacks, flashers etc.. Suggestions?

    A simple breakdown would be good.. part numbers of LEDs and/or flasher (if necessary) would be great
    Last edited by nichoLaS1; 10-25-2010 at 08:55 AM.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutch1999 View Post
    I have delt with this problem, it pretty much sucks. These small problems that piss people off are what puts people off to GM products. Esp those people who do not care about great drivetrains like most of us do on here. Most average (non gearheards) people get pissed off when common things like window motors, light bulbs/sockets, and speakers are constantly f'd up. GM electronic components have really been in my opinion one of the big factors in people calling GM products junk and inferior to other brands.
    EXACTLY. GM has awesome powertrains and drivetrains. Everything else can aggrivate a non gearhead.

  7. #127
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Well, I've read this thread from front to back and I'm still not satisfied with most of the fixes. The LED's seem like they're more of a pain in the butt than they're worth. My problem has always been with the pass. side light with the small cracks in the lens ( i guess ) sucking in water then with no where to go it lays in the plug and rust out the socket. After replacing it more times than I care to count I took it out and studied the damn thing and discovered that there is a yellowish plug in the back of the housing itself that pops off easily, revealing a vent hole protected by a 4 sided 'shroud' above it - seems to me it was meant to come off (?). Then I put clear nail-polish over the small cracks in the front of the lens ( a couple coats actually ). Now for the controversial part,, I asked this question before and got mixed reviews. I went ahead a drilled a pencil-sized whole in the bottom near the front just behind the lip to relieve any moisture that might get in. For the plug/socket itself, I took the whole thing apart and cleaned it up REALLY good using a small wire brush on the contacts. If you remove the gasket, you'll see two small tabs on opposite sides from each other. If you press them both in ( tricky to do ) together, that inner socket will come out and then you can pull the 3 wires out of the back of it - they'll come out together and those connectors at the end can be cleaned then also. I used dielectric grease on everything. Put the 3 wire plugs back in the housing all the way in THEN insert the plug into the housing. I gooped dielectric grease all down in the plug where the bulb goes in then put the new bulb in. My plug looked fried but was able to clean it up and use it. All back together and works perfectly. Now don't you know by the time I got to work that same day the other side was burned out !! I thought it might just be a bulb -it's the original one believe it or not. Next day I get up under it AGAIN and took the plug down to change the bulb - it wasn't wet but it sure was FRIED -- I guess from just heat over that many years ,,, which further convinces me the need for some place for the heat to go. SO,, I did the exact same thing for the drivers side - works perfectly also. Now the test will be washing it and driving it in the rain. I didn't set out to be cheap about it but it only cost me 2 bulbs and a small tube of grease. I'll keep you all posted on the long term results. Sorry if this was long winded. -- About NOT driving it in the rain b/c "it's f****** sports car" -- I don't have that luxury. I enjoy mine EVERYDAY -even in the snow. It's my 'driver' ....
    Terry

  8. #128
    Something Diabolical... chuckie669's Avatar
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    Holy giant paragraph Terry.

    Got some good ideas there. You can also remove the housing and spray some clear on the front along with silicone around the seam where the clear and solid plastic meet.

    When I removed my housing I had found that the bulbs had melted through the top part of the housing from water dripping from the headlights down onto the top of the drl housing.

    In addition to clear and silicone mentioned above, I recoated the top of the housing with Jb weld.

    If wanted its only a couple bucks at parts store for replacement 3157 sockets. Take them apart like you mentioned and put new socket into old wires

  9. #129
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckie669 View Post
    Holy giant paragraph Terry.

    Got some good ideas there. You can also remove the housing and spray some clear on the front along with silicone around the seam where the clear and solid plastic meet.

    When I removed my housing I had found that the bulbs had melted through the top part of the housing from water dripping from the headlights down onto the top of the drl housing.

    In addition to clear and silicone mentioned above, I recoated the top of the housing with Jb weld.

    If wanted its only a couple bucks at parts store for replacement 3157 sockets. Take them apart like you mentioned and put new socket into old wires
    With being as long winded as I was, I forgot a couple things I did... Like, yes I did silicone around the seam. Also, IMO, those gaskets they use are too thin. I ordered thinker/bigger ones from Autotrix.net. They should be in any day now and I'll put them in - after I drive in the rain they're calling for here this weekend. Spraying clear on the lenses sounds like a good idea - if I have to take them out again I'll do that --speaking of that - those 2 screws in the back are a complete pain in the butt ( one for each side ). I had zero issues with the top melting like you did. I have a feeling all that I did will fix the problem but if it doesn't, I'll figure out a plan B. Like I said, I'll try to check in from time to time and update. I see so many of our cars going down the road with one light out AND that blasted Rear left lens darkening out - my next project to tackle.

  10. #130
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    My friend bought his LED's from
    http://www.v-leds.com/3157-3156-LED/c487290-1-2/

    he put them on for like 2 months now and they had hold up nicely. He bought the amber/white ones and they look great. I think he spent like $50 for them.

  11. #131
    Member nichoLaS1's Avatar
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    I ordered leds from superbrightleds, new sockets from autozone,and siliconed the cracked lens on the housing. Plain and simple..Several months in and no problems. problem solved (knock on wood)

  12. #132
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Sounds like LED's are a viable option as long as one takes the time to fix the areas where water can get in. Not sayin' I won't go there if all I did to mine doesn't keep the moisture out. Those over-sized gaskets I ordered from Autotrix came in and I put then on this morning. Boy,, let me just say... I had to get up in there with both hands and push and twist with all I had to get that socket to twist and lock !!!! That is one tight fit If that's one of the spots where moisture was getting in --well,, not any more !!
    So far, I've spent less than $20 -- Lets see how far that goes !?

  13. #133
    Member nichoLaS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmTerry View Post
    Sounds like LED's are a viable option as long as one takes the time to fix the areas where water can get in. Not sayin' I won't go there if all I did to mine doesn't keep the moisture out. Those over-sized gaskets I ordered from Autotrix came in and I put then on this morning. Boy,, let me just say... I had to get up in there with both hands and push and twist with all I had to get that socket to twist and lock !!!! That is one tight fit If that's one of the spots where moisture was getting in --well,, not any more !!
    So far, I've spent less than $20 -- Lets see how far that goes !?
    The only problem i see is that if you are still using regualr bulbs, they will continue to get too hot and produce more cracks in the housing.. They just simply produce too much heat for such a small volume, especially since they are on alll the time; it would be different if they were just turn signals but due to the fact that they are DRL, it poses a whole differnet issue. Drilling the hole may relieve some of the mositure/condensation but now you have to worry about moisture coming up from rain being kicked up by your tires etc.. Just bite the bullet, spend a little extra money and be done with it: dont have to worry about greasing this and cleaning that.. just my $.02 but like I said, I'll probably get in my car after work and the bulbs wont work lol
    Last edited by nichoLaS1; 03-25-2011 at 09:18 AM.

  14. #134
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Too bad there isn't a socket with a heat sink on it, huh?

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    LEDs are a must have.......IMO......these freaking drl bulbs are tooooo HOT........i burnt my new sockets and melted my new housings.......wish i had did it right the 1st time

  16. #136
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Question DRL's

    Just checkin' in like I said I'd do.... It's been a couple of months since I modified my DRL housings --dry as a bone and still working. So all I did to mine seems to be a viable option IF you don't want to go the LED route. Now, it's on to my tail lights !! Anyone know a good way to separate the lens from the housing ???

  17. #137
    Member 2000dreambird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransAmTerry View Post
    Just checkin' in like I said I'd do.... It's been a couple of months since I modified my DRL housings --dry as a bone and still working. So all I did to mine seems to be a viable option IF you don't want to go the LED route. Now, it's on to my tail lights !! Anyone know a good way to separate the lens from the housing ???
    Put it in a oven and heat it to the point where the glue will seperate..
    i know someone that did this with there colbolt lights, i don't see why it wouldn't work for the tail lights on our cars

  18. #138
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    well i ordered the LEDs from VLED.com. They are a direct fit for the DRL. i will give these a try since my buddy has them in his car for 4 months with no issues and they look nice and bright. I will post a video once I get them.

  19. #139
    Member TransAmTerry's Avatar
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    Baking the tail light

    Quote Originally Posted by 2000dreambird View Post
    Put it in a oven and heat it to the point where the glue will seperate..
    i know someone that did this with there colbolt lights, i don't see why it wouldn't work for the tail lights on our cars
    I know this should probably be on another thread but I guess it's sorta related; What oven temp is recommended and i'm wondering how long to leave it in?? I'm a horrible cook as well !! Any one with any experience with this?? I don't want to melt my tail light into a plastic blob I really appreciate all the help I've gotten so far.

  20. #140
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    here is the video as promised :
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B610uYzoFO0&feature=related"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B610uYzoFO0&feature=related[/ame]

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