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Old 05-15-2018, 05:56 AM   #1
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Upper Rear Signal Light Replacement

I had the drivers side upper signal LED light bar on my 2014 go bad over the winter. When I first posted about the issue, removing Proflex, I was aksed to report back on how it went, it had been reported that the wires are very short making for a difficult job.

Ordered a replacement assembly and finally got around to attempting the job now that the weather is agreeable. This is what the bad LEDs looked like.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:09 AM   #2
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The job took a couple hours, most of it removing the old assembly and the Proflex. Checked my original build pictures from ETI before starting, the wires come up the corner pieces on either side of the back wall, the center and drivers side light run up the drivers side corner, going horizontal just above the base of the upper cabinet. If you run your hand along the fabric in the cabinet you can feel the wires.

The job was pretty straight forward, I had plenty of wire to work with on this light, from past experience, this is not the case with the center light.

Proflex came off pretty well being very careful with a sharp scraper, the sharper the better. The remained came off easily with Acetone. I did notice white on the rag as I used the Acetone, whether that's oxidation or it's a bit of the gelcoat I don't know but it sure works well. Just be careful.

Here's the part https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lig...47-54-001.html
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #3
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Nice work, helpful pictures. Good to know there's no mystery to the job.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:58 AM   #4
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Changing to new style!!!

Hi: padlin... We are in the big Chill as I type this. Waiting for ETI appointed time to change out the original slim line ones to the current style brow line lights. This might just take care of the leakers. Polly titions aren't the only ones with this problem!!! Pics to follow. Alf
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I did notice white on the rag as I used the Acetone, whether that's oxidation or it's a bit of the gelcoat I don't know but it sure works well. Just be careful.
Good advice. Acetone is a rather hot solvent, and it will remove some of the gelcoat if you scrub. Good news is that since it's quite volatile, it evaporates really quickly, and doesn't leave much of a residue. The key is not to have the solvent in contact with the gelcoat for an extended period of time, because it will begin to chemically dissolve the surface. Also, always use chemical resistant gloves when working with acetone because it will absorb into your skin.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:35 PM   #6
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Hi: padlin... We are in the big Chill as I type this. Waiting for ETI appointed time to change out the original slim line ones to the current style brow line lights. This might just take care of the leakers. Polly titions aren't the only ones with this problem!!! Pics to follow. Alf
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It'd be interesting to see how it comes out and what they had to do to get it look right. If you look close at the last 2 pics above you'll notice the gelcoat has a blue tint to it where it was covered by the light as well as the holes for the screws that would need filling. Not something I'd attempt myself.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:48 PM   #7
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Bob,
I assume you filled the center as well as the screw holes with proflex
to prevent future leaks? Looks like you had to enlarge the center hole to get the new connectors inside?
Thanks for posting the pictures....
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
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It'd be interesting to see how it comes out and what they had to do to get it look right. If you look close at the last 2 pics above you'll notice the gelcoat has a blue tint to it where it was covered by the light as well as the holes for the screws that would need filling. Not something I'd attempt myself.
Hi padlin... Me neither. They're also going to add the extra brackets for the solar panel. I'm a danger with a drill!!! Alf
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:26 PM   #9
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Bob,
I assume you filled the center as well as the screw holes with proflex
to prevent future leaks? Looks like you had to enlarge the center hole to get the new connectors inside?
Thanks for posting the pictures....

that's the original hole size. I did goop the hole in question, from the looks of the caulk I scrapped off ETI had caulked around the hole before putting it in place.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:12 PM   #10
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My passenger side upper rear light is failing; some of the LEDs are burned out but not all of them. What causes this? Does this upper right light have enough wire to work with? I've been putting off replacing it.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
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My passenger side upper rear light is failing; some of the LEDs are burned out but not all of them. What causes this? Does this upper right light have enough wire to work with? I've been putting off replacing it.
The cause could be lots of things Mike, but my guess is that the SMDs are cheap and not assembled with high quality control. That, or they're automatically being overdriven with 12V power, which will burn out some of the diodes far quicker than their "rated" lifespan. Good news is the whole assembly is cheap and relatively easy to replace.

Seems most things nowadays are designed as cheap throwaways. Man, I miss the old way.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:45 AM   #12
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Same issue as mine had. It's a sealed unit so I didn't pull my bad one apart. Who'd of thought we'd go to LEDs to get away from changing burned out bulbs only to have internal components fail. It was way easier to replace a bad bulb. Not all progress goes forward.

Too many variables to be able to tell you if you have enough wire to work with, I did on the other side. Looking at my build pics it looks like the passengers side comes up the passenger side corner, so it should be the same as I ran into, meaning you'd have enough wire. Worst case is you free it up from the caulk and find there is no wire to work with. Clean it up, recaulk the holes and put it back in place. Cost a couple hours of aggravating grunt work, a tube of Proflex, and a small can of Acetone.

On my 5.0 the passenger rear upper cabinet has a small removable panel in the far back corner. You may be able to access the wiring thru it, might tell you if there is any play. No such panel on the drivers side of mine.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Same issue as mine had. It's a sealed unit so I didn't pull my bad one apart. Who'd of thought we'd go to LEDs to get away from changing burned out bulbs only to have internal components fail. It was way easier to replace a bad bulb. Not all progress goes forward.

Too many variables to be able to tell you if you have enough wire to work with, I did on the other side. Looking at my build pics it looks like the passengers side comes up the passenger side corner, so it should be the same as I ran into, meaning you'd have enough wire. Worst case is you free it up from the caulk and find there is no wire to work with. Clean it up, recaulk the holes and put it back in place. Cost a couple hours of aggravating grunt work, a tube of Proflex, and a small can of Acetone.

On my 5.0 the passenger rear upper cabinet has a small removable panel in the far back corner. You may be able to access the wiring thru it, might tell you if there is any play. No such panel on the drivers side of mine.
Hi: padlin... Got my upper brow lights changed out at ETI for the new style lights. 5 instead of 3. Two out board and three in the center. Sure hope it cures the dripping on my DW. Might not have been so serious if she read good old fashioned paperbacks. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:27 AM   #14
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I will be replacing my passenger side upper light in the next week or so. Thanks much for the explanation and the pictures. This will be the third light in that location so let’s hope ‘third time is a charm. One theory I heard, long ago, is that these light tend to warp and leak moisture because the are exposed to the sun and get very hot. I have been thinking about trying to convince Charlie to make a some sort of device that could be attached to the shell with VHB tape that would sit above the lights and prevent moisture from going behind them. The alternative is to do what Alf is doing and go to the newer, smaller lights. Does anyone have any other ideas?
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:35 AM   #15
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I went with Alf's way, from a 2014 E21 to a 2016 E19 with the smaller lights.....
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