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How to fix a leaky middle rear brake light

Discussion in 'Problems, Fixes, Tips...' started by Adam K, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Here's how I went about fixing my leaky brake light.

    First I disconnected the harness
    [​IMG]

    Next up is to remove the two nuts, located in the outer two holes.
    [​IMG]

    If you look into the two smaller holes inboard on the holes with the nuts you'll be able to see a plastic snap feature on the brake light.
    You can just see one of them in this picture
    [​IMG]

    To be able to remove the light you need to cut through the existing seal.
    Ideally some fishing line would be good for this. Get it undo the light & saw back & forth. I used an old store card. This fitted undo the light well & I was able to cut the seal with it.
    Then using a bit of force I managed to pull the light off.
    You can see the old seal on the back of the light.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I gave the boot lid a wash,t-cut & wax. I also touched up a couple of chips From the edges of the cut outs.

    Using some white spirit & elbow grease I got all the old seal off the brake light.
    [​IMG]

    You can see on the back edge of the light hook features & on the front edge the snap feature.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I bought some Unibond Extreme Repair Sealant. Good for exterior water sealing.
    I then generously applied it to the back of the light.
    [​IMG]

    Then re-fitted, applied pressure for a few minutes, cleaned off the squished out sealant. Then wipped the paint down to remove the sealant using Meguiars Quick Detailer.
    [​IMG]

    Looks good, just hope it keeps the water out.
     
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  2. trustafox

    trustafox Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Location:
    East Mids
    Car(s):
    Yes
    Great Adam. It was definitely leaking water? as its been said before you get condensation on the boot lid dripping off. But in photo 5 you can see water droplets on the lower skin.

    Also, where the clips are the foam gasket is very thin.
     
  3. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Yeah it was a leak. The carpet was sodden on the left side. Plus there was a nice puddle under the jack.
    Had the boot open for a bit today to help dry it out.

    The seal is thin around the clips. I think the seal had failed on the left side. Around the bolt fixing.
     
  4. trustafox

    trustafox Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Location:
    East Mids
    Car(s):
    Yes
    with all this rain we having its not surprising its found any weak spots.

    Did the MR2's that had the same light suffer the same problem?
     
  5. Quartz

    Quartz Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Location:
    Durham
    Car(s):
    Silver Copen 2007
    "Toyota" On the light ;)
     
  6. trustafox

    trustafox Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Location:
    East Mids
    Car(s):
    Yes
    yes I noticed that too :)
     
  7. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    The brake light on the MR2 is over the engine compartment. So it would only be a wet engine cover.
     
  8. Binz

    Binz Copenworld Regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    North Hampshire
    Car(s):
    Copen (plus Suzuki VanVan and Honda CRV)
    If you don't have fishing line you could use dental floss for cutting, as per debadging.
     
  9. Ashley

    Ashley Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Car(s):
    Copen
    Merc estate
    RAV4 3-Door
    I don't know about the fishing line - it's a awkward shape to cut around. I used an old credit card - I got the idea from someone on a different thread - and that worked a treat.

    I suggest masking around the light before removing it, to minimise the risk of sealant on the paintwork. Also makes it easier to get a nice finished edge - wet your finger then drag it around the sealant.
     
  10. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Well it's raining again. I've still got a drip leak! Doh! Those plastic sweet tubes are useful for something.
    So I must not have put enough sealant on.
    I've just visited me Daihatsu dealer about a new seal. Unfortunately there system was done. However he told men's had three other Copen owners ask for the same thing.

    I'll try Ashley's idea & mask up around the brake light then add some more sealant.
    Hope it's a dry day tomorrow.
     
  11. trustafox

    trustafox Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Location:
    East Mids
    Car(s):
    Yes
    It could be worth over covering with sealant and not tighten full, run finger around the light to move excess squeezing out in to any gaps under the light and then tighten or tighten a little more and repeat. But the masking tap around is advisable in this case
     
  12. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Sun,s shining! Just masked off the brake light & squished a load more sealant under the light. Now I have a lovely seam of sealant around the light. Fingers crossed it works this time.
     
  13. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Just carried out two seperate watering can deluge tests, with some kitchen roll in the boot. A bit over the top but passed both tests. Not a single wet blotch. Hurray! :cool:
     
  14. trustafox

    trustafox Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
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    East Mids
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    Adam, could this high volume short time watering not test it to how it might have failed? Consider we have had lots of rain but not like pour a bucket load, but millions os small drops one after the other. The large volume rushing down the boot and due to surface tension it might drag water a way rather then run into any gaps. Rain drops will just sit there and soak in, the next drop with be pulled along. Consider this process over hours and not seconds you may actually get more leaking in.

    saying that, now you have more silicone sealant in and hopefully a continuous bead around the light, water won't be sucked by capillary action into silicone where is could more so with the foam. Even is the foam is closed cells, the top and bottom surfaces will be a warren of micro channels. Silicone will be much smoother.

    Also the foam is a set size, so any low pressure points between the boot and the light might be way leaks occur and not an out and out seal failure. Squashing in extra silicone in from the outside my over come this also.

    The slow rain theory came to me because although my boot is dry, there are beads of water on the under surface of the top skin, right under the light. I can't see any elsewhere. And my car is only 3 years old, not about 8 like yours if this is the first time you have had it.
     
  15. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

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    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    I'm sure it'll rain again soon enough to test it properly.
     
  16. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Washed the car today. No leak.
    I also bought a moisture catcher. It absorbs moisture into a gel pouch thing. So I can leave it in the boot & not worry about the absorbed water sloshing about. That should dry the boot out.
     
  17. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Rain & snow tested now. No leaks. A successful repair :D.
    The moisture absorber is doing the trick too. All dry now.
     
  18. suchin

    suchin Copenworld Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    still got watwer in boot!

    Hi I have removed and resealed boot light but am still getting water in boot. When we got the car in Dec. I read on the forum of water in boot and checked ours. Sure enough more than an inch of water under jack. So I removed the plasic plug to drain boot. Judging by the state of the tool kit there had been water there for some time, un-noticed because of carpet, puncture kit etc.
    I removed the brake light and resealed it (comprehensive set of pics if you are interested) but water was still getting in. I the removed all of the carpets, lugage cover etc to establish exactly where water was getting in. I silicone sprayed all of the boot seal especialy around the front of the boot where the rear hardtop rubber gutter runs into the boot side gutter.
    Water seems to be getting in both sides in small quantities by running along the boot seal from the joint of the two gutters and dripping in at the sides and also at the rear above the rear lights. I suspect this may be because the boot does not pull down tight enough onto the seal or that rubber gutters are not working properly, they do look quite squashed where rhe rubber pad on the boot lid pushes on them.
    Anyone had the same problem or any opinion on the above. I would add it is not a lot of water and would probably normally be absorbed by the carpet but it will build up over time and I guess the boot should be completely water tight because of the cars delicate electrics are in the boot.
     
  19. Adam K

    Adam K Copenworld Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Worcester, UK
    Car(s):
    Nissan Cube Kaizen
    Hi Suchin,
    Welcome to Copenworld. Your welcome to post your pictures into this thread showing your experiences with re-sealing the brake light.
    Not heard of water getting in past the boot seal before. Sounds like your doing the right thing to rejuvenate them, using the silicone lubricant.
    In the past people have had issues with the boot not closing properly.
    This was because the little blue handled pull cords (used to manually open the boot) had become undone. I'd check those to make sure they are in the correct position.
    Also there are some adjust rubber feet at the end of the boot that screw in & out.
    Perhaps your boot lid needs a bit of adjustment to push on the seals better.
     
  20. suchin

    suchin Copenworld Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Hi Adam,
    Thanks for your reply are the workshop manuals still available on this forum and does it cover boot alignment and adjustment?
     
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