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Replacing 3rd brake light gasket on convertible ?

Posted by Kelly 
Hi All,

My convertible has a domed 3rd brake light attached to the top of the trunk cover. The rubber gasket between the dome base and the metal cover has become smaller over the years. Rain water is definitely entering the dome assembly. Water collects in the tool tray. Sadly, I cannot buy just the gasket. I must buy the dome base with gasket which is about $120. Seems a bit steep to me for a non-critical plastic and rubber part.

See Part #9

I called my local salvage yard. Sadly they did not have a used part. But a used part might recreate the same problem. The guy suggested that I buy some rubber gasketing material at my local home repair center (Home Depot) and make a gasket. I could try this. But i think the original gasket has a molded edge bead which kind of captures and cradles the dome top.

Any thoughts?

I certainly could buy the $120 new part. I'm just not sure it is worth it. I have a "fine" collection of old towels which do an admirable job of absorbing the water as it drips down from the tool tray.

Let me know if you would like to see a photo of the dome light as it is now.

Thanks, Kelly
I would try to find a used one in good shape. Even if it doesn't last as long as a new one, for $120 you could probably get a trunk full of them. Have you looked at any of the online used BMW parts places? Here are a few places that I've had good luck with over the years:

http://www.e30parts.com/E30PartsForSale.htm
http://e30bmwparts.com/
http://www.bmwjoe.com/
http://www.theeurodepot.com/

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
what the hell no way you should be able to buy the gasket. that seems crazy.
I might have my old 3rd brakelight in my stuff somewhere, but don't hold your breath.
One good reason to "upgrade" to a coupe trunklid smiling smiley

'93 190E 2.6 » days
'92 318ic » weekends
'85 280TE » resto
rkj
Or just make a gasket and silicon it in there- no biggy. use silicon that does not harden but is waterproof smiling smiley the whole job should cost about five bucks. Save your money for things you need Kelly.
...or keep trying the salvage yard. they're not going to go out every time and tell you if they have it or not. you need to go ... salvage... for yourself. you'd be surprised at what's out there, it just takes patience and perseverance. you'll find all kinds of things you didn't think you needed, and then you'll occasionally find just the thing you do need. if you bite the bullet and buy a new one, I understand there are two versions. later iCs had a sleeker, low profile unit. i am having a problem with mine, leaking of course, but also leaving the overhead check panel brake light on even though all brake lights are working fine. I believe the wiring was jimmied when it was removed/the car was painted, so i might be in the market for one too!
coupe decklid/no third brake light option. maybe, but don't you want your car to look like it was supposed to, let alone function as it was supposed to? and that's more paint, more $.
the homemade version isn't a bad idea either. good luck!
i found a third brake light today, with a very good gasket. from an 87. this car was great before they wrecked it. must have blown the motor or something because it was removed and the rest was just tip top. i grabbed the door panels. i had converted my entire interior to black from beige but i just painted the panels with some really nice black paint, but these are original black ones and in great shape. the car must have been garaged...all the window rubber was still great,. so i got some of that too, and might go back for the rear panels. any way let me try to post the pics of the light. it's much more low profile but quite wide. I'll install it when i paint the car again, but if you want it maybe I'll sell it if you are still looking. my car is an 87 too but they must have alternated between the two models arbitrarily since it's from the same year with an obviously similar build date. check out my cool rear head rests. too!! smiling smiley
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Quote
stirv
i found a third brake light today, with a very good gasket. from an 87. this car was great before they wrecked it. must have blown the motor or something because it was removed and the rest was just tip top. i grabbed the door panels. i had converted my entire interior to black from beige but i just painted the panels with some really nice black paint, but these are original black ones and in great shape. the car must have been garaged...all the window rubber was still great,. so i got some of that too, and might go back for the rear panels. any way let me try to post the pics of the light. it's much more low profile but quite wide. I'll install it when i paint the car again, but if you want it maybe I'll sell it if you are still looking. my car is an 87 too but they must have alternated between the two models arbitrarily since it's from the same year with an obviously similar build date. check out my cool rear head rests. too!! smiling smiley

Hi Stirv,

I have the style on the left - lower, wider, and more curvaceous. But my car is black. (I suppose I could investigate repainting the dome, but I need another project about as much as I need a hole in the head.) It's probably best for you to keep it. :-)

Those are spiffy head rests! Did you add them?

Cheers, Kelly
they head rests are from another car whose owner sold me the rear seats when i did the color conversion. they were already part of the seat backs.

today i copied the wiring from the the red dome to my gray one to try to correct my brake light warning on the Overhead check panel, to no avail.:frown:. i don't know why this warning light stays on. at least the dome is wired properly now.

thanks and good luck!
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