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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

Not new to Nissan, not new to mods, repairs and how to's:

I purchased a used 2011 Platinum and i noticed the moisture in the headlight right off - Drivers side only was affected on the Armada I purchased.

in the images below i try to keep colors and shapes the same, for ease of the how to and reference:

PIC1 - FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL:

-Ok, notice that the service manual view only shows the front of the grille....its hard to tell, but the yellow dashed lines i overlayed the FSM dashed lines to help show that they are trying to depict the lower 3 clips.

- all the clips can be removed with the hood up top side, some you have to reach through the grille itself.

- you can use a flat head screw driver and simply push the square/diamond portion of the GC101 clip over to the side to free the grille.


PIC2 - GRILLE REMOVED FROM CHASSIS:


-in this picture i show the red circles as where the clips are located. i checked on my armada and another friends, and the two outer lower clips are not there - they are depicted by the "red X".

- the green circles are actual metal clips - they usually come free when you pull, but for me the passenger side one stayed stuck and took some time to free it by wiggling and reaching back there with a small screw driver.

- the blue circles are simply alignment points, keep mind of these when reinstalling the grille.

YELLOW ARROWS:
----- So this is where water enters the headlight assembly. I studied tons of threads, read nearly every single one, looked at 3 other armadas i saw that had leaking headlights along with very close review of my removed headlight you can easily see that the top is lacking adequate sealant squeeze out of the factory silicone and the design with its sloped contour easily lets water collect...ill post on this more in threads to come.

PIC3 - GRILLE REMOVED AND REAR VIEW OF GRILLE:


- this is the grill removed. again here i show where the CG101 clips must be put back in. simply snap them in the red circle locations and you will have the grille prepared to be snapped back in.

--- remember when your done and ready to snap the grille back in, start with the bottom, and ensure all the bottom green circle and blue circle alignment points and clips are in place, then push the upper CG101 clips in.


PIC4 - GRILLE CLIP GC101:


- this is what the grill clip CG101 looks like reinstalled back onto the grille.

-J
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Removing the wheel well liner:

Where to start on wheel well liner:


- I didnt take pics till i got to the passenger side, but start by removing the philips screws shown in yellow circles.

- the green circle is a 10mm hex head screw on a tab from the front bumper, mine was broken, but the sheet metal clip under still needs to be removed.

PIC - LINER PULLED BACK:


-PULL BACK THE LINER WITH THE WHEEL TURNED IN.

PIC - LINER PULLED BACK AND TWO SCREWS SHOWN:


-Green square - 8mm hex screw facing forward, so you have to get a small ratchet wrench and reach to the front and work from behind, once its loose, you can hand turn it free.

- red sqaure - 10mm hex screw - need a goose neck wrench - ratcheting is nice...

-J
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Headlight - now you simply have one other screw easily seen on top.

Top screw has a washer under it:


metal threaded nut clip on oem headlight assembly:


-I had to remove this metal threaded clip and install it on the aftermarket headlight i purchased. it didnt come with this one location.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sealing the newly purchased headlight and the existing unaffected passenger side headlight.

so, in carefully looking over the entire headlight - like i mentioned before you can see the sealant squeeze out is generous along the sides and bottom of the oem headlights, but the top is minimal squeeze out and with its sloped design easily lets water gather and eventually penetrate the headlight assembly.

i simply purchased black silicone RTV and generously added it to ever sealed edge - i did this with both head lights removed since i already had the grille off and the wheel well liner screws off, etc.

headlights with sealant added:





hood contact area:

When you do this mod, ensure you wait till the black silicone is fully cured before you lower the hood, otherwise, the next time you open the hood you will get black gunky mess on this location on the underside of the hood. just fyi.

-J
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Reason why our armada headlights get moisture inside them

- so in reviewing you can easily see that the design just simply doesn't help the situation.

the headlight by design just happens to be sloped and a perfect water collection point due to the hood to fender gap that makes up the body of the armada.

- that plus the lack of sealant squeeze out results in eventual penetration..its pretty much why you dont see moisture headlights at the dealership, it takes time for new armadas to gather water and penetrate the sealant...usually after a few years ownership this issue arises right - well seems so from all the threads and searching i did of others with the same issue.

See the geometry of the headlight sloped area here:


Hood gap to fender water entrance location:




So.:
If you have an armada that hasnt leaked yet - i say dont wait, and simply with out removing the grill, or anything, simply lift the hood, buy some black RTV and seal this entire top area, get back under the fender as much as possible and i bet you wont ever run into this problem EVER!


-J
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
headlight assy differences

so, on the box i received, it was labeled as eagle eye light assemblies...some aftermarket manufacture of headlights, oem replacement unit. ebay.

OEM headlight pitch adjuster:


Ebay aftermarket adjuster:


- the black square is the screw that had a washer under it - mentioned in the post above where im wearing the gloves. better pic here.

Ebay vendor where i got drivers side the light assembly:


hope this helps others...the many post i read on this issue lead me to how to fix it, along with the better understanding of why it happens in the first place......

i read all the threads where others took their assy apart and simply dried them out and re-sealed and reused them with no issues, i didnt have time to include the oven method of taking the headlight apart.........buying a replacement let me do this swap one afternoon after work.........

ill probably dry out the oem removed headlight, seal it up and save it in case i ever break a head light or something.


-J
 

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Great write up!
 

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I had this issue with our QX and handled it over Christmas. Although the bumper/grill is very different, the cause is much the same. I also used rubber sealant (I had to dry out my headlight first though) and have had no issues since.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
^ ya if i had more time to do these kind of things i would have simply taken mine apart and dried it out and reused my light and sealed it up for reuse........I was able to do all of this in about 1 hour total taking my time. I just left my hood up for an extra hour before closing it because I didnt want the wet sealant to get all over the bottom edge of the hood.

-J
 

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Discussion Starter #11
my spare headlight is for sale, drivers side. already dry and sealed and ready to go.

let me know. message me.
thanks,
-J
 

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I dried out and reapplied more sealant to both my headlights yesterday. It's been raining since 8am this morning so when I go out this afternoon I'll get to see if my labor bore fruit.

They were pretty bad, especially the passenger side:
48282
48283
48284
 

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So my not so bad headlight is great:
48285


Sadly my bad headlight is collecting water again, at a prodigious rate:
48286


Guess I have to take it out and dry it again to see what the deal is. There was nothing obvious yesterday though, so I'm losing hope.
 

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I took mine out and resealed them twice. When they got water again I just bought these from eBay and so far so good. They don't seem as robust, maybe feel lighter, than stock but they bolted up perfect, they don't leak and the clear plastic looks brand new.
 

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Wish that would work for me, but I have a 2012 and my 1 headlight costs as much as that twin set does.
 

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The condensation buildup is going to keep returning because even though you’ve “dried” out the headlight(s), there is still moisture somewhere inside the headlight(s).

Using a mixture of water and Cascade (or any detergent that doesn’t leave water spots), pour it inside the headlight and shake it throughout. Pour it out and rinse with just water. Pour and shake out whatever water is left.
Place the headlight(s) inside a box. With the use of silica gel desiccant packs (some even placed inside the headlight), seal the box and let those packets absorb all the residual moisture.
 
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