The Mothership Maintenance Log #47

Headlight Horror – Halloween Update

Ah, it’s good to be back with a nice, technical write up; regardless of the recent hours of angst and anxiety =)

I hope you all have been well. Regardless that this is really just a glorified maintenance log, I’m appreciative to have your comments when I go back through and re-read the thread.

Tonight I made some lousy mistakes. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a guide, since I omit some information (both voluntarily and by mistake). If you have suggestions or comments, please send them my way!

Off and on for the past few months (longer than a year), both my trunk and headlights have been collecting water. It seems obvious to me that since I used the same cruddy silicon caulk on both the headlights and trunk, that it was re-flowing in the summer heat and opening gaps. I’d put off the repair job, since the leaks seemed sporadic and would sometimes heal after a hot day, but eventually it got to the point that I became concerned the humidity would damage the cabin’s fabric and headliner. This evening’s goal was to fix both leaks with some black RTV sealant.

The existing repaired trunk seams:

The existing repaired headlights:

I began by drilling three holes in the deepest areas of the wheel well. This is a preventative measure, in case standing water ever makes its way to the trunk again.

Then I started tackling the existing caulk on the trunk’s metal seams. I wanted to get rid of all of the original silicon, because I hadn’t found where the new leak was originating from, and wanted the RTV seams to be tight. As luck would have it, the silicon was very combative, and took a lot of effort to remove just most of it. The pictures I took of the cleaned seams were overexposed, but a lot of paint came off with the old caulk :???:

While the seams were drying from being scrubbed with mineral spirits and simple green, I went on to toy with the headlights:

With the headlight assembly warming up in the oven, I went back to apply the RTV sealant. To my dismay, the mineral spirits had buggered up the seams, and on two of the areas, the RTV would not find purchase, and instead sloughed off to the side. So I caulked what I could, and decided to revisit the rest with sandpaper at some point.

Apon returning to the headlight, disaster had struck. I was impatient, and put the headlight in the oven while it was warming up, and the glowing element melted the bottom of the headlight assembly :cry:

My good friends at the shop sharing their sympathy over my misfortune.

After picking up the little fragments of my ego, and waiting out an excruciatingly long 3-hour oven clean to bake off the rest of the melted headlight, I sawed off the new appendages and wired what’s left of the assembly back into my poor little mothership.

Not only does the headlight still work (until I buy the replacement), it’s also pretty hard to tell it’s broken.

And some pictures of the shop+car, what would have made a nice closing had I accomplished anything useful.

Despite these setbacks, I have big plans in motion and look forward to discussing them with you in the coming months.

Take care,