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Old 11-07-2019, 11:55 PM   #1
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How to replace Escape tail lights?

Two of my many tail lights have lost individual LEDs.

I have replacements in my hot (cold?) hands but wonder about the sealant Escape has used. Can someone suggest a good method to remove the old sealant and what to use with my new lamps?
Thanks,
Alan
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:14 AM   #2
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In a video Reace made to remove the old style furnace vent he used a heat gun to warm it up. Before I knew that I cut mine very carefully with a sharp chisel, then scraped to the fiberglass with a plastic chisel. Don't recall which chemical worked to clean off any remainder.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:32 AM   #3
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Yes you can heat it up helps, scrape with plastic putty knife and to get off final residue acetone and wash that area right after with some soap and water. On the acetone I just put a little on a rag same thing with the washing a soap rag a rinse rag.

Enjoy the journey.

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Old 11-08-2019, 07:37 AM   #4
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I believe they put a clear sealant or Proflex along the top parts for water and I have used butyl putty around the holes underneath for sealing.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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No butyl on mine, just the Proflex. The hard part is the wires are very short.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:22 PM   #6
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Well, the heat gun worked well and the residue cleaned up with acetone. The wires were plenty long - a bit too long perhaps, it was a struggle to force them back into the hole.

But the real story is the root cause of LED failure. Look at the water in the tail lamp! Seems the sealing done by Escape failed totally. The lamp had no sealed edges - they had all failed and none of the Proflex, or whatever it was, remained attached to the plastic. I'll be contacting Escape about this.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:36 PM   #7
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Escape does not seal these lens as they come from the light supplier already sealed. The sealant Escape provides is along the top when the lens meets the trailer, not the lens itself. I find condensation in several of my running lights, I just drill a small hole on the bottom to allow drainage and air to enter. I'd do the same for these if I find any condensation in the lights themselves. The individual led bulbs should be sealed within the light assembly.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:57 PM   #8
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Escape does not seal these lens as they come from the light supplier already sealed. The sealant Escape provides is along the top when the lens meets the trailer, not the lens itself. I find condensation in several of my running lights, I just drill a small hole on the bottom to allow drainage and air to enter. I'd do the same for these if I find any condensation in the lights themselves. The individual led bulbs should be sealed within the light assembly.
Great idea drilling little hole at bottom of your lights . Another thing to do if you want to run a little sealant on outside of light , only run sealant along top and sides . Not at bottom . Pat
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:11 PM   #9
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Great idea drilling little hole at bottom of your lights .

Maybe. But, one might wonder why the manufacturers of these lights don't include a hole as part of the lens mould.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:55 PM   #10
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A hole is hard to fabricate using a vacuum to form your product, perhaps added afterwards, but most of these lens are vac formed. I had the opportunity to watch first hand a lot of manufacturing techniques when working.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:02 PM   #11
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heh, volvo 240 sedans, the rain gutters drained into the channels around the trunk seal, and those in turn dumped out on top of the tail lights. as those tail lights got old, they stopped being watertight, and yup, would fill up with water quite quickly, which would dump through the hole the bulb is inserted through, and end up in your trunk. cure was drilling small holes in each lower corner of each 'cell' of the lamp ....

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Old 11-08-2019, 09:05 PM   #12
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Maybe. But, one might wonder why the manufacturers of these lights don't include a hole as part of the lens mould.
Glenn is a mystery but all our rvís , the lights got moisture in them . So drilling the hole seems like a good idea . Pat
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:07 PM   #13
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A hole is hard to fabricate using a vacuum to form your product, perhaps added afterwards, but most of these lens are vac formed. I got to see a lot of manufacturing techniques when working.
Guess would require a extra step they donít want to be bothered with . And if our light dies we get to buy another one which is good for them . Pat
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:21 PM   #14
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I'm reminded of the home owner who discovered that his aluminum siding wasn't fastened tightly to the sheathing, so he tightened all the screws. The reason the siding wasn't fastened tightly is so that it could expand and contract, without buckling.

It could be that a hole lets moisture out ( moisture that shouldn't be there ), but it also lets dust in.
I don't know the answer.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:31 PM   #15
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Alan, were the lights that failed on the top or bottom? All my failed lights were on the top.

My theory is that the lights on the bottom don't fail because they are underneath a slight lip in the shell that protects them from a hard rain forcing water down the back of the light. I also heard a suggestion that since they are on top, they get more sunlight and, as a result, expand and contract more.

I am thinking of getting some of that PVC corner protector that Jon V. recommended and attaching it to the shell above the lights with VHB tape. or maybe using some of the RV gutter stuff to put above the lights and channel water away from them.

But I would be curious if anyone else has done something like this or has thoughts on the matter.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:52 AM   #16
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I'm reminded of the home owner who discovered that his aluminum siding wasn't fastened tightly to the sheathing, so he tightened all the screws. The reason the siding wasn't fastened tightly is so that it could expand and contract, without buckling.

It could be that a hole lets moisture out ( moisture that shouldn't be there ), but it also lets dust in.
I don't know the answer.
Glenn I think it is ok to make small hole on bottom if you want . Yes the siding needs to expand and contract . Even the doors in our trailer will ,especially bath door . Sometimes may need to change position or add a little wedge so it will continue to latch . Pat
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:56 AM   #17
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Alan, were the lights that failed on the top or bottom? All my failed lights were on the top.

My theory is that the lights on the bottom don't fail because they are underneath a slight lip in the shell that protects them from a hard rain forcing water down the back of the light. I also heard a suggestion that since they are on top, they get more sunlight and, as a result, expand and contract more.

I am thinking of getting some of that PVC corner protector that Jon V. recommended and attaching it to the shell above the lights with VHB tape. or maybe using some of the RV gutter stuff to put above the lights and channel water away from them.

But I would be curious if anyone else has done something like this or has thoughts on the matter.
That may work . Donít have lights except, for the clearance lights . Iíd give it a try if I did . Pat
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:00 AM   #18
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Glenn I think it is ok to make small hole on bottom if you want .

Maybe, but maybe that small hole will allow air in the fixture to escape so that more water can enter.
Maybe.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:10 AM   #19
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Dang lights

My experience has been that the top tail lights warp from sun exposure on the classic Escapes. The issue can be that when they warp and pull away from the trailer and the sealant (Pro-Flex) this allows water to enter the trailer through the hole where the wire comes through. It also seems to allow water inside the lights. I removed the sealant (heat gun and acetone) and cleaned up the light and the trailer. I also drilled a few holes in the bottom of the each light (maybe 1/8 bit). The lights are still warped but I figured new ones would do the same thing with time so I reinstalled the old ones and put Pro-Flex around the wire hole and the top and sides of the lights. All sealed up, no leaks, and yes I still have a few LED lights out but there are plenty left. Best of luck!
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:11 AM   #20
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Maybe, but maybe that small hole will allow air in the fixture to escape so that more water can enter.
Maybe.
Itís a quandary for sure Glenn . Pat
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