Saturday, January 2, 2016

240z taillight gaskets

The driver's side rear taillight on the 240Z had separated from the housing causing water to pour into the back hatch area anytime it rained. I discovered a large amount of water in the spare tire well which was alarming. The spare tire well on my car is in excellent condition, whereas most cars are rusted in this area. I knew that I would need to get the lens reinstalled and new gaskets installed on the taillights to keep this from happening. The rear trim pieces were also in need of some love so why I as stripping the top layer of paint off the car, I figured that I would tackle this job.

The lenses are connected to the selector housing with a heat sensitive white gasket material, so once the lens/reflector is removed from the car, I was able to remove the bulb wiring housing and then place the assembly in a sink full of hot water to loosen the gasket material and gently pry the lens off of the reflector. Once this was done, I removed all of the white gasket material and disposed of it, as I planned on using silicon as the attachment and sealer for the lens once things were cleaned up. The reflectors had dirt and mud in them due to the water that has been seeping in, so I thoroughly washed them and then used some mag wheel polish to brighten up the reflective reflector pieces.

Once everything was cleaned I worked on making some new gaskets to seal the assembly to the body. 240Z's are notorious for leaking water or even exhaust fumes into the rear compartment due to improperly sealed taillights. I checked on new gaskets from a couple aftermarket sources as well as the local Nissan dealer (they actually put me in contact with a parts guy who works at Nissan and specializes in older car parts that are OEM). The gaskets would be $50 each through Nissan and I could get both gaskets for that price via the aftermarket. Needless to say that I wouldn't be able to get these to my door before I needed to leave for Wisconsin, so I decided to make them myself. The new gaskets obviously aren't the same as the stock gaskets, but they should work. I may regret using the silicon caulk as a sealer, but I actually think these will seal nicely.

I put the newly painted trim panels back in place and the car now has a better look from the rear minus the white paint that is still present on the rear apron.

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