Replacing and Waterproofing ARB Bumper Turn Signals

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I’ve been very happy with my ARB Bull Bar bumper and its on-board turn signals, except for the fact that they’re not waterproof. Every now and again I’ll drive the truck through a stream, which inevitably rusts out the bulb sockets, corrodes the contacts, makes the bulb hard to change, and sometimes cause the light to fail.

My solution: waterproof the lenses.

The first thing I did was order a set of replacement lights. My friend Greg tipped me off that they’re the same lights as used on the Mark 1 VW Golf/Rabbit, so they’re easy to get. You can find them here at German Auto Parts.

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Water has entered and the corrosion has set in. This one is going in the garbage.

To do the waterproofing, I used silicon sealant. My hope was to make a seal that would enable the lenses to be easily removable. I tried pulling out the old (useless) gasket and filling the leftover channel with sealant, letting it dry, cutting it flush, and the reinstalling the lens. The sealant wasn’t flexible enough, however, and didn’t form a seal.

I scraped out the sealant and tried again, this time coating the edge of the lens with Vaseline (so it’d be removable), and then pressing the lens into a fresh round of silicone, and letting it set. Still some water got in when I tested it.

My last effort was simply to press the cleaned up lens into the channel filled with fresh silicone and let it set. This time it worked. The lens is not removable in the normal sense. When the blub burns out, I’ll pry out the lens, scrape the silicone out, replace the bulb, and reseal the whole thing with a fresh round of sealant.

Here’s how to do it.

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Get some silicone rubber sealant.

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Mark the spot where the cable comes through the housing.

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Put a blob of sealant around the cable and the pull the blob back into the hole in the housing.

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Use a cue-tip to apply sealant to both sides of the housing to make sure you’ll get a good seal.

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Done.

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Now fill the channel in the housing with silicone.

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If you look at the turn signal lens closely, you’ll notice that the raised frame on the inside of the lens has two gaps in it where water can drain out (or seep in). Be sure to add a blob of sealant to completely fill each gap.

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Now put an 1156 bulb in the socket, clamp the whole thing together and give it 24 hours to set up.

You should end up with a waterproof lamp housing. If you do this mod, let me know how it works out for you.

Update: Here’s another solution from a member on the Expo forums. It’s a bit more involved as it some metal cutting and replacing the lights with sealed ones.

Here’s the link: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru…-Buildup/page4