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Old 07-27-2020, 10:51 PM   #1
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SMB Penthouse Brake Light is Loose

SMB West installed a penthouse on my E350 RB in 2017. Two weeks ago I noticed the rear brake light not really secured anymore. Wiring was good and it was still mostly sitting in the proper hole, but it surely wasn't going to be weather or dust proof as I was ready to head out on a trip to the mountains with afternoon showers in the forecast in a few days. At this point the wiring was the only think keeping the light with the van.

A quick examination with the penthouse down didn't tell me much as the wire was too short to get a look at the back of the housing to see if a tab, bracket or backing plate was missing. There was a foam gasket on the outer flange but no evidence that it had previously been stuck to the van with any adhesive. Looked to me like it was designed to be compressed and create a seal by something from inside the van.

When I got to my campsite and raised the penthouse I was relived to see the light and wire were accessible outside the canvas. But again the short wire didn't allow great access. I was able to contort myself and snap a few pics with my cell phone but still don't see any clues other than the lack of anything to indicate it might have been held on from the back.

Currently being held in place with duct tape inside and outside.

Does anybody have any experience/knowledge of how they are suppose to be secured to the penthouse?

Or can someone try to take a look at theirs to see if they can tell how it is attached?

Here are my pics:











Thanks


--Joe
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:16 AM   #2
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You are missing two brackets, plastic that are pretty much like a box C that attach to the two holes on each side. I would get a picture, but I just realized that van isn't in my driveway anymore.

-greg
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:56 AM   #3
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Thanks Greg. That's what I suspected. I do a lot of rugged 4x4 driving with the van and suspected that may have contributed to their demise.


I'll give SMB West a call to see if they can help me with replacements.


If someone can get any pictures of them in place on their penthouse I'd appreciate it, as I might have to fab something up myself.


--Joe
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:06 PM   #4
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Also check to see if there are any drain/air holes in the back of the housing. Mine quit working and when I took it apart the socket was rusted out completely inside and water had been in the housing. I ended up installing a LED inside and reusing the housing but sealed any holes in it.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joefromsf View Post
SMB West installed a penthouse on my E350 RB in 2017. Two weeks ago I noticed the rear brake light not really secured anymore. Wiring was good and it was still mostly sitting in the proper hole, but it surely wasn't going to be weather or dust proof as I was ready to head out on a trip to the mountains with afternoon showers in the forecast in a few days. At this point the wiring was the only think keeping the light with the van.

A quick examination with the penthouse down didn't tell me much as the wire was too short to get a look at the back of the housing to see if a tab, bracket or backing plate was missing. There was a foam gasket on the outer flange but no evidence that it had previously been stuck to the van with any adhesive. Looked to me like it was designed to be compressed and create a seal by something from inside the van.

When I got to my campsite and raised the penthouse I was relived to see the light and wire were accessible outside the canvas. But again the short wire didn't allow great access. I was able to contort myself and snap a few pics with my cell phone but still don't see any clues other than the lack of anything to indicate it might have been held on from the back.

Currently being held in place with duct tape inside and outside.

Does anybody have any experience/knowledge of how they are suppose to be secured to the penthouse?

Or can someone try to take a look at theirs to see if they can tell how it is attached?

Here are my pics:











Thanks


--Joe
Ha after you posted this I had to check mine as I also had my top installed in 17 and also noticed mine to be a little loose.Same problem!
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:05 AM   #6
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I had to replace mine as well when I bought my SMB. I'm pretty sure I got an LED replacement from SMB. I don't remember any brackets but I do remember silicone. Mine was siliconed in place when I got it and that's how I reattached. Nowadays I would figure out something better.

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Old 07-29-2020, 08:08 AM   #7
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I believe SMB is still selling the same brake light at their store. Its goes along with their theory of never updating the pop-top design, even as the usage model for their product changes.

I posted once that I thought the light was installed upside down and that if in the other direction, water would be able to drain out of the light fixture. I was assured by sportsmobile that I was wrong.

I am not saying that you should drill a weep hole in the bottom of the fixture or recommending it, but it does tend to reduce the problem. I also lubricated the lens when installing it back in the bezel.

-greg
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:06 AM   #8
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I replaced mine with a new one from SMB when I got my donor top.....


The original was wired by twisting the wires together then electrical tape...typical SMB quality.


I don't recall screws and brackets but it's been a long time....


I would consider using VHB tape on the flange if there is enough flange to get tape on there.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blowby View Post
Ha after you posted this I had to check mine as I also had my top installed in 17 and also noticed mine to be a little loose.Same problem!

Hey Blowby,



So are you saying you looked at the back of your brake light and also don't see any evidence of brackets to secure the light?


Mine has zero attachment to van other then the wiring. If yours is only a little loose, does it look/feel like there is still some attachment with some adhesive along the outer flange?


--Joe
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:10 PM   #10
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no brackets here. SMB Texas used a screw at each end to tension the housing against the penthouse. no evidence of silicone or any sealant.
Attached Thumbnails
BrakeLite_1.jpg   BrakeLite_2.jpg  
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