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Moisture inside headlight-update

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Bob_Garrett, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. Bob_Garrett

    Bob_Garrett

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    Took the headlight assembly out over the weeekend to attempt to remove the moisture. Didn't think there was all that much water in it until after I got it out. I would estimate about a 1/2 cup total.

    I quickly realized that using just a hair dryer would take a really long time with that much water. Compessed air got a little of it. Best technique I found was to hold the light facing downward and allow the water to collect near the center of the high beam lens. Then quickly flip it 180 deg. This allowed me to get small amounts of water out through the bulb opening. After numerous attempts, I had managed to remove about 3/4 of the water. I was then able to use a hair dryer to remove the rest (took about 20min). I then left it in the house overnight to allow any remaining moisture to dry out.

    After inspecting the light and not finding any obvious places where the water got in, I ran a bead of clear sealant around the edge of the housing where the two halves mate together.

    One note here , the 2 sections appear to be held together by some clips and it looks like you could take it apart, but my Toyota parts guy says that the clips are put there when they are assembled to hold the 2 sections together until the sealant is fully cured and that it is nearly impossible to get them apart and then put them back together without damaging the unit.

    Anyway, I put the unit back in and it works fine. Did wind up with a couple of small water spots on the inside of the lens, which I suspect is due the the water having some salt content in it from road spray after the snowstorm. Not really noticeable unless you know its there.

    The light is still dry after a run through the car wash. Supposed to rain later this week, so that should be a better test.

    if I needed to do it again, I would try to use some sort of a vacuum connected to a small hose inserted into the bulb opening to try and suck out as much of the water as possible.

    Another interesting thing, the housings have 2 small ventilation hoses attached to them (one on each side). They are located at the rear of the housing, but I couldn't seem to get any of the water to come out through there. Also, don't apply compressed air to the hoses as there is a small screen inside (keeps out bugs, I guess) which will disappear either into the light housing or the nether regions of your garage. :whoops:


    Happy New Year!

    Bob Garrett
     
  2. Junk

    Junk

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    Moisture inside headlight

    I've had water in mine before. I took out what I could and let the lights help eliminate the rest. It took a lot of time though.
     
  3. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Moisture inside headlight

    Bob:

    I have the same problem and found that the source of the moisture were some cracks around the mounting points of the light.

    I eventualy pulled the light to let it dry and to try and fix it. It's not really difficult, you pull the side marker light (2 screws IIRC), undo a few mounting points for the light (a few on top, some around the grill, etc) and, after unplugging the two wiring harnesses, it should just pop out.

    If it's only a bit of moisture, you should just try to unplug the two harnesses and maybe try to shoot some warm air (eg blow drier).

    Mine is still filled with moisture, so I am going to try to fix once more with something more flexible and then, if that doesn't work, replace the light (C$450 :eek:).

    If you do get a new lens, would you mind posting the cost of the part? I'm interested in the price comparison.

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  4. Bob_Garrett

    Bob_Garrett

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    Moisture inside headlight

    $450? ouch! Just got off the phone with my parts guy. Quoted me $150 (w/TLCA discount). Does the Lexus use a different light?

    Anyway, I think I will try drying it out. May be only a temporary fix since my parts guy thinks that the seal is probably bad and the moisture will likely return.

    Bob
     
  5. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Moisture inside headlight

    Canadian$450, but still nasty! Maybe this can be our 'family christmas gift' from santa :D From what C-Dan has said, it actualy is a different lens, which surprises me, as very few things seem to be 'Lexus only'

    If the seal is gone, maybe you could try to run a bit of sealant around the perimeter of the light?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  6. Bob_Garrett

    Bob_Garrett

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    Re:Moisture inside headlight

    Hugh,

    I have ordered a new one, but I may try your suggestion this weekend, assuming I can get it dried out inside first. Will let you know what happens

    Happy Holidays,
    Bob
     
  7. thelal

    thelal

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    Re:Moisture inside headlight

    I got a crack (stone) in my lens and eventually had to clean it out when it started getting green algae!
    Was able to clean in place (but easier if u do get it out). Just unscrew the bulbs and use cotto buds on the end of a flexible stick (not sure what I used but having some stiffness and flexibility was the key). Then just keep cleaning. Used an air compressor and hair dryer also helped. Slow and tedious but cheaper than new lens.
    Managed to 'plug' my hole with some clear plastic and glass glue. Been in place and waterproof for over a year.
    Found that having lights on did not get rid of any water/moisture in the lens.

    Lal - 96 FZJ80 with 99K in Colorado
     
  8. Hwn built

    Hwn built

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    Re:Moisture inside headlight

    Mine had water in it after I acted dumb in a river and let it sit for a few minutes. I found I didn't cap my cover really good. If you open the hood and look in back of the headlight housing, then make sure that cap is on tight and not crooked....
     
  9. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Moisture inside headlight

    Can't find it in the FSM, nor did I go out to the truck to take a looksee. But all headlights I've seen in recent years (that are not sealed beam lights) actually have a vent hole--usually on the bottom of the assembly--to let moisture get out. If you happened to have submerged your headlights, you will no doubt get some moisture in them. If this vent gets clogged somehow (dirt, spiderwebs, you name it...), you can get fogging of the headlight which will eventually damage the reflective coating.

    The best fix is to just clean out that vent. If all else fails, you can drill a hole in the bottom of the assembly so that moisture will evaporate out under the heat of the lamp (not recommended unless all else fails). Sealing up the assembly with caulk will only make matters worse.

    Tom
     
  10. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    On another vehicle, I simply used a vacum cleaner. Use the thin crevice tool, tuck a length of flexy 1/4" rubber hose in it and seal it in place with a bit of duct tape. Sucked the water out in about 3 seconds. Then with the bulb still out, leaned a blow dryer behind the lamp so it pushed warm air in for about 20 minutes while I did something else. Presto - dry.

    DougM
     
  11. Bob_Garrett

    Bob_Garrett

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    Doug,

    Did the moisture return? Mine is still dry, but haven't had any wet weather to test it yet, either.

    Bob G
     
  12. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Bob,

    No, the moisture did not return. That was not on an 80 - friend's car, actually. I have always driven with my headlights on night and day and have never had moisture build up in any vehicle I've owned. Guessing the heat keeps them dry where a vehicle rarely driven with its lights on would be more prone to build up moisture.

    DougM