So one day I am spending a minute in my bed, when it starts raining. While the rain drops started ot pound on the roof, generating that familiar sound, I noticed something was amiss. There was moisture in the rear of the bed. BUT HOW? I immediately began an investigation.
What I found is that water was dripping from the light in the upper rear of the vehicle. I knew that light was gonna be an issue. I had added silicone to it on the outside. It is commonly called the “third tail light” or upper brake light.
In the econoline, this light has a another light on the inside.
So back to the story, when I found the leak, I sprung into action by quickly employing a temporary solution, I placed my cooking pot, and a plastic bag on the bed. This starting to gather the water, and saved my bed from gathering unwanted moisture.
Below circled in red is the culprit drip:
So I took quick action and purchased a new rear lamp for the van. I got it new straight from the ford factory, it cost about $160.
Upon removing the old light, this is what I found. Note how it compares to the new one (new one is on the right). The old foam material has seen it’s days, note how it lost all its expanding capabilities. this means that apart from being corroded over the years, it no longer provides that spongy pressure which helps keep out the water. Even the silicone I added on the outside was not enough to stop the leak on the original light. The red lens (not visible below) was starting to crack, probably due to the heat of the incandescent bulbs and of the sun over the years. Even a small hole had formed on the surface of the lens.
As a next step, I replaced all the incandescent bulbs in the new light assembly with LED BULBS. This was done to promote longevity of the plastic lens by removing some of the excess heat which caused the original red lens to start cracking in the first place.
Below is the hole as seen from the roof. The back color is a special rust stopping paint called POR. There were minor amounts of rust in this area which i stopped using rust reformer followed by POR.
UPDATE: I am happy to report that after applying the new light, no leaks have been detected!
Note: I did not use any sealant or special liquids on the foam of the light.