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Discussion Starter #1
After days of raining, I got moisture inside the plastic headlight assembly of my '99 crown vic. A week later and the moisture is still there. The problem is that it refracts the light and reduces night visibility.

How do I get rid of that moisture?
 

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Depending on the amount of moisture Ford recomends turning the bright lights on and in theory it should evaporate but . . . .Most of the time the headlamp assy is not sealed for one reason or another.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
LOL... they gotta come up with a better idea than that!

I noticed that when I run it with the headlights on, it obviously heats the air up, and the moisture becomes little droplets and foggy, and later when it cools, they coalese into larger droplets.

When I drive at night, I vary between high and low beams. The difference is only 10 watts. 55w vs 65w for high beams.
 

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Preface: No I'm not crazy.

You can try baking the light apart, remove the old sealant, use new RTV and re-assemble. I've never seen a CV headlight, but I know this can be done on the Contour lights.

Here's the how to: we use at CEG, you will have to modify tools\etc as needed, but I would guess the baking temp and basic process would be the same.

Indepth How-To on Headlight Baking, improved Hightower mod
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow!!! That was a cool post, but... leaving the headlights on - is looking like a better idea (a lot less work)

Dave, after seeing this post, and your last two posts (how to remove a cowl, and how to remove your intake plenum) I'm getting the sense that you REALLY like to take things apart! :)

There's got to be something in-between the two.
 

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Really there is no way to remove the moisture cause the light is cracked or has a leak. Check the o-ring around the light bulb.

I had a bad headlight once. I removed it and dumped in some rubbing alcohol to remove the moisture. When it was dry I siliconed the crap out of it but I ended up just replacing the whole assembly.

They can be found cheap on Ebay, knock off OEM type. FYI this is what is mostly used in accidents unless specified to use only OEM.
 

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LMAO! That was more of a last resort suggestion. Definitely try Mark's suggestions first.

No I really don't enjoy taking things apart unless I have to! I have done one Contour headlight to play with hightowering (painting the chrome trim). That link goes to the one I did and was playing with on my car. I wouldn't recommend baking the lights apart as a first attempt fix, it was a *****, but it was also an aftermarket light, I've heard stock Ford lights come apart easier.

Wow!!! That was a cool post, but... leaving the headlights on - is looking like a better idea (a lot less work)

Dave, after seeing this post, and your last two posts (how to remove a cowl, and how to remove your intake plenum) I'm getting the sense that you REALLY like to take things apart! :)

There's got to be something in-between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Last year i got so much moisture in there that water was actually rolling around on the bottom of the lens. I pulled the bulb, and found that one of the three tabs had been broken off, so the bulb socket (with the O ring) didn't make a water tight connection. I pulled both bulbs out, and stuck my compressor air hose in there and let it run until it dried out. It took all day, and more, but there was a lot of water. Yes I replaced the bulb and connector.

I guess I'll do it the same way this time, but perhaps when I replace the bulb socket I'll try coating it with theoldwizard's favorite... soem dielectric grease! :)

ALso I'll take a look for anywhere that the lens itself may be leaking. I have a roll of duct tape :rolleyes:

Overall, I appreciate the comments that you guys have made in your efforts to help me out. And Dave... you have a nice sense of humor, ahem... I am still holding judgement on the crazy diagnosis though :)
 

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I have a roll of duct tape :rolleyes:
Ah yes the handyman's secret weapon

And Dave... you have a nice sense of humor, ahem... I am still holding judgement on the crazy diagnosis though :)
Good idea
 

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Poppy

Be glad that I am coming in late on this one, because I am sorry to say I will NOT prove to be very helpful.

This problem was a rather common one with another Auto Mfg Van we won't mention here. In fact it was so bad that every time it rained the Service Manager's headlamps would fill with water. So when the RO passed by my desk to get it repaired, as a "Waiter" no less......... :nono: I just couldn't help myself........

So I wandered over to the pet store and bought some goldfish and had the Tech help me put them into the headlamp assembly and gave the SM back his vehicle........ :rolleyes:

In answer to anyone wanting to know the real solution to the problem, the Boss made it became a "Goodwill Warranty" replacement issue and I ended up with 2 new fishbowls....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
LOL... so I guess that gave him some extra eyes on the road. :)
 

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Sounds fishy to me !
 

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Freakin great MissInfo.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I got the moisture out.

What I did was this.

I partially removed both light bulb sockets so that the moisture could escape. I turned the headlights on a few times (the GEM kept turning them off) and I parked the car with the headlights facing the sun. As the air inside the plastic lens heated up, the hot moist air escaped though the open bulb socket.

I don't think turning the headlights on is necessary if the lenses are in direct sunlight on a clear dry day.

I think we can mark this issue as resolved! :)

Thanks to all for the wonderful thoughtful comments, humor and all :)
 

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I've had luck with some lenses by drilling a very small hole at the lowest point of the clear lens. Any moisture that collects inside of the lens will eventually drain out there, and since the hole is small it is difficult for any moisture to enter through there.

It may not be the 'correct' way, but it does work.
 

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My 99 Mustang had this problem once, and I removed the assembly, pulled the bulb dumped out the excess moisture and took the assembly into an air conditioned room. The remaining moisture was gone in less than 24 hours. Then I went online and bought two replacement headlight assemblies for about $150, the old ones were cloudy and it seemed like the time to replace them. I also upgraded bulbs....
 

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I too have a 1997 Crown Vic that has moisture inside the right side lens only. How do I remove the headlight bezel to check for cracks or find the breather hole ?
 

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I've had luck with some lenses by drilling a very small hole at the lowest point of the clear lens. Any moisture that collects inside of the lens will eventually drain out there, and since the hole is small it is difficult for any moisture to enter through there.
That's the solution I would have tried in my '08 Escape, if the headlamp could not have been replaced under warranty. The owners manual did indeed say that just turning on the headlights should evaporate the moisture, but that didn't work for me after a two hour trip. Implication is that there is a vent hole somewhere in the assembly that was clogged, but my dealer chose to replace rather than try to open the vent, which I suggested.
 
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