Shade Tree Headlight Gaskets

Sat Sep 01, 2007 10:17 pm

Shade Tree Headlight Gaskets --or-- The Case of the Disappearing Irrigation Line

When you take your headlights a part, you will probably find that the gasket between the lens and the body is hard, crumbly, and generally NG. New OEM gaskets are not to be found. And the substitutes that I've seen do not appeal. What is needed is a band of waterproof, compressible material 1/8" in thickness, 1/4" wide and about 18.8" long. If this material is readily available and cheap, that is even better.

While casting around for suitable gaskets, I was thinking about screen door gasket. You know, the ribbing that holds the screen into the frame. But it is not quite large enough. On my shelf next to the box of screen door materials is a box of flexible tubing. Stuff I've picked up over time from various sources. What grabbed my eye was some green plastic drip irrigation tubing left over from a failed attempt to keep some rose bushes alive. This tubing is about 1/4" OD, about 1/8" ID, waterproof, compressible, flexible, readily available, and cheap. Image
With all these things going for it, it had to be a GOOD IDEA.

Sure enough, a suitable length was wrapped around the reflector, the lens put in place, and the clamp band put on and tightened up. It works like a charm.
Image
If you don't have a ready supply of drip irrigation tubing, start looking for something similar. The Big Box Stores sell clear vinyl tubing and may have something that will fit.

Remember, when all you have is a nail, everything starts to look like a hammer. I hope this helps you to start looking for hammers, or in this case, gaskets.

Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:22 pm

Rick, great idea. Actually, there are OEM gaskets to be found right here.

http://www.tmtractor.com/new/el/453fp.htm

Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:44 pm

I've seen the TM gaskets and they are replacements for the OEM gasket. They are not what I found in my headlights. The old gaskets were one piece rubber not stapled together.

Rick (it does not look like a duck) Dulas

Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:44 am

I think that bottom gap in the clamp is meant to be open to act like a weep hole.

Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:12 pm

i took apart quite a few pancake style lights and they all had the gasket which was stapled ,that was during my sealed beam rebuilding attempt.afew of them didnt have much of the staple intact though.i.e. rusted away .