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mercedes 190 5-gear w201.023 engine 102.924 carburetooooooooooor
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I posted this in another part of this forum, but I guess this is where it should go, so I'll try again...

Iam the proud owner of a 1987 190 (w201). I have spent the last few weeks chasing rust. Now that I got rid of it I'd like to stop the leaking rear lights. I do believe the epoxy primer will keep any rust away for a while, but why stop at that?

I have searched in here for any experience of using butyl tape/sealant to seal of the rear lights but can't find any relevant posts. In other forums however people seem to have had very positive results using butyl tape.
My tail lights are after market with smoked glass. They do however fit perfectly. But the "sealer" is a joke. It soaks up water and retains it there.
I am curious if anyone in here have tried this type of rear light sealing method, if so how did you go about applying the tape? Did you put it over the original "sealar" or did you fill the groove all up wth butyl tape?

If no one answers I guess I'll let you know of my experience later on.

cheers...
 

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1986 190E 2.3-16, 1992 190E 2.3, 2015 GL350 BTC, and 2020 GLS450
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2,395 Posts
I have never heard of using any kind of tape to seal leaky tail lights.

As you already saw in changing over to smoked lenses, the tail light assembly is a sandwich of a colored plastic lens piece and a bulb socket piece. Two spring clips lock the two together and several brass nuts are torqued on lightly to clamp the two parts together. An electrical socket contains the pins for the electrical connector. In between this sandwich is a rubber gasket. That gasket sits outboard of the sheet metal so the lens piece presses the gasket onto the sheet metal from the outside and then the lamp holder piece attached from inside the trunk.

I would unplug the electrical connector, unscrew the nuts and lightly compress the clips to separate and remove the entire assembly from the car (lens from the outside and the lamp holder piece from the inside. I would remove every trace of the gasket from the colored plastic lens piece and then replace the gasket with a new one. I would reinstall the assembly.

The gasket presses against the lens and the sheet metal to form a tight seal. An old gasket is usually so compressed over time that water leaks right through all around it. I would never use tape or a sealant other than the gasket.
 

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'87--190E 2.3-16v(being rebuilt), '99--C230 Kompressor
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+1 use new gaskets and don't over-torque the brass nuts or you will crack your housing

i'm just too lazy to type that all out...
 

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mercedes 190 5-gear w201.023 engine 102.924 carburetooooooooooor
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the photos Iomtevas. I bought my car with smoked lenses. I have removed them several times while fixing the rust and painting. From your photos I can tell that I definitely do not have the original rubber gasket. Mine has some severly deformed styrofoam type of material, and it actually absorbs water, not only leaks... (probably not styrofoam, but definitely not rubber!)
I will follow your advice and try to get hold of a new gasket. After all it must have been doing a pretty good job before they changed the plastic lenses judging from how little rust there actually was hiding behind my leaking tail lights.

Thanks for the thourough answer. :thumbsup:
 

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1986 190E 2.3-16, 1992 190E 2.3, 2015 GL350 BTC, and 2020 GLS450
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2,395 Posts
You are most welcome and feel free to ask any other questions along the way.

Remember to fully seal the trunk, you should replace the trunk lip gasket (which just pulls right off and seats in place) as well as the key lock "O" seal (replaced by removing the key lock assembly and reinstalling when done). I can explain the process with photo later.
 

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mercedes 190 5-gear w201.023 engine 102.924 carburetooooooooooor
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Discussion Starter #6
It would be great if you'd like to do that, although it don't sound to complex, and I have both the service manual and haynes laying around :thumbsup:. I'll get to the trunklid gasket soon. I 've spotted some rust there that I will have to deal with.
Oh joy... :eek:
 

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1986 190E 2.3-16, 1992 190E 2.3, 2015 GL350 BTC, and 2020 GLS450
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2,395 Posts
So here are photos pertinent to trunk leakage.

The rubber seal around the trunk release dries out and water is forced through it into the trunk lid. Every time you open the trunk after a rainfall, there is a drainage of that water from the lid into the trunk. The seal (top photo) is replaced by removing the retaining bolts under the lock mechanism (middle photo) and pulling it out enough to swap the rubber ring. Reinstall by replacing the mechanism and tightening up the bolts to low torque (a few foot pounds).

The trunk seal is a simple pull-off-put-on process. Be sure the splice goes to the center rear of the trunk as in the bottom photo.
 

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mercedes 190 5-gear w201.023 engine 102.924 carburetooooooooooor
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Great pictures! I still have an issue with my tail lights though. I got hold of the seal from the original tail lights and ripped of the old ones of the aftermarket tail lights. As you can see in the first picture they are of quite different material and shape. The mayor problem is however that the aftermarket tail lights have virtualy no groove to fit the seal in (see pic 2). They are clearly not made using a the same mold as the originals (surprise!).

"New" (left) and original seal "right)

Aftermarket tail lights
I could stick it on, but I believe the tail lights wouldn't fit very nicely to the car after that.
For now I put the original tail lights back (the same as in your picture Iomtevas). They will leak for sure since they are cracked in several places. I see no other solution then to make a seal from something else that suits the aftermarket tail lights (and I'd rather keep using them, they look so much better than the originals).
This is one of the inspirations for my initial thought on using butyl tape. It is actually not a tape, but butyl rubber. There are other car manufacturers that use it to seal tail lights. I will let you know how I went about to fix this later (when it is fixed :p)

Now I will follow your advice and take a look at the o-ring at the trunk lock. I do appreciate your photos. You don't find anything similar in the service and repair manuals :thumbsup:
 
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