Front Fog Light Frustration

As some may recall, I posted many weeks ago about how one of the fog lights of Superblack came to me with what appeared to be a very visible “rust line” inside her lens … :open_mouth: A couple of weeks or so ago I decided to take apart the unit and remove the lens to inspect things. For removing the lens from the reflector, I followed the instructions given for r/ring the lens with a new one found on one of the usual suspect’s websites (e.g. bake in the oven until adhesive is loosened). As part of the instructions, for some reason, it was advised that the old rubber seal on the housing be pulled off and re-glued on afterwards, although I don’t see what that had to do with r/ring the lens itself. :confused: I had a hard time turning the pair of big black plastic “screws” that held the housing to the lens/reflector unit, but they eventually yielded. I then used a knife edge carefully around the perimeter to pry the two units apart, since they didn’t readily separate on their own after removing the screws.

Anyway, the problem was indeed rusty water which had somehow accumulated inside the assembly, although there were a few tiny rust holes in the bottom of the housing through which the accumulated water should have drained, eventually (but apparently too late, by the time they formed :frowning_face: ). I ended up using many “coats” of Rust Remover on the inside of the housing to remove the built up rust, followed by spraying with several coats of Rustoleum silver-colored spray paint. I decided to leave the tiny rust holes in the bottom for future drainage of condensation, etc. (they should have been designed with drain holes anyway, IMHO) rather than plug them up with epoxy metal putty (e.g. QuikSteel). The bulb ended up being broken, so I replaced that with a new H2 one and the pair of wires going to them had lost some of their outer insulation with time/damage, so I sprayed them with a couple of coats of liquid electrical “tape”. Turned out that the reflector had lost its mirror coating, so I tried spraying it with reflective silver Rustoleum paint, to make best as could be.

I then began to reassemble everything, and, following the given instructions, re-glued the lens to the reflector using the white Du Pont adhesive and seal product specified in same. After two days, I then re-glued the original rubber seal to the perimeter of the housing using a tube of 3-M plastic trim and emblem adhesive. I was now set to reattach the housing to the lens/reflector unit and secure the two “screws” to hold them to each other. That’s where the problem arose … :confounded: I wish now I had paid a bit more attention when I was taking things apart to make sure I was doing things correctly in reverse. :exploding_head:

For some reason, I can’t get the seal to fully and completely seat against the reflector/lens unit, although I’m sure I reinstalled the seal exactly the way it was before. It’s like a whack-a-weasel thing – get one side to fit down inside the flange of the reflector/lens unit, and on the other side it won’t go down in it at all. The housing apparently needs to go down inside the other unit close enough for the screws to be able to reach far enough to lock into place on their corresponding “holes” mounted on the lens/reflector unit, but I just can’t get them to do that. :confounded:

If anyone has ever done this before (or can inspect one of their fog lights now), is the seal supposed to disappear almost completely inside the other unit when both units are in place, with just a thin line of “black” showing around the perimeter, and, if so, how were you able to achieve that position? :confounded:

At this point I almost feel like ripping the seal off again and just forget using it, or possibly using some black RTV sealant to seal the two units together instead. If water still gets into the light over time, I’ll just leave it blown out. Grrrr … :rage:

Well, in follow up, by pressing and pressing HARD again around the perimeter over and over, I have finally managed at one point to get one of the long sides fully seated and the two short sides about 75% seated each, but not the remaining long side at all. :confounded:

I had kind of a brain storm today, and will try putting the lens/reflector assembly in the freezer of my refrigerator to get it as cold as possible. Hopefully that will cause the metal to shrink as much as possible so that it will finally fit inside/seat the housing. :crossed_fingers: My only other option would seem to be to put the housing in the oven @ about 250 or so degrees F. in order to get it to expand as much as possible. Or, possibly, in a pot of boiling water … ? :thinking:

Sounds like maybe the seal got stretched when you removed it. If that’s the case might be possible to cut the stretched part off, then install seal with the 2 ends meeting in the middle of the long section on the bottom of the light. If needed put a little dab of RTV sealant where the 2 ends meet. Only downside to that fix is if seal shrinks back to shape over time it may open up and leave a gap where the 2 ends meet that should’nt hurt anything just give another place for future water to drain from.

Well, oddly enough, and I have noticed this also from other used fogs being sold on Ebay in the past, the seal ends actually do NOT meet on the bottom side (i.e. it is not a 360-degree seal around the perimeter of the unit). The ones I have seen on Ebay - there appears to be about a 1" gap between the ends. For some strange reason, mine has about 2x that much gap, although it doesn’t appear any part of either end had actually broken/rotted off any. I’m now thinking about possibly removing and cutting off all the seal on that bottom side and, as you suggest, replacing it with a long thread of black RTV once I have it all back together again (if that happens!). :thinking:

btw, Jag seems to have a thing with their being a butt end gap with their rubber seals on other applications. IIRC, on the XJ40 (and/or the X-300) the boot seal actually has a gap in the middle at the top. I guess they are confident that, due to the physical location of same, there is not a danger of water ingress through the gap. :confused:

I was showing my tech bud today the problem I was having with getting the fog light housing and reflector/lens assembly to “come together” correctly upon reassembly. He went out and looked at the other fog light assembly still on Superblack. He noted for me that the seal should only be slightly exposed (like a “thin black line”) around the perimeter when all is together. He did make one great observation though – a possibility I had not thought about before … When the lens/reflector assembly was heated up in my oven to 350 degrees, per the written instructions for r/ring the lens posted by one of our usual suspects, to loosen up the adhesive holding the lens in place, that may have caused the assembly to expand slightly in size (diameter). :thinking: I wouldn’t think, being glass, the lens would do so, but it’s possible. And if so, no wonder the assembly now won’t fit down inside the housing like it should. :grimacing: Again, I’ll try putting the assembly in the freezer to see if that will “re-shrink” it, if that is in fact the problem.