Headlight housing leaking - help with sealing?

Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
3,064
Location
Kentucky
I have a headlight on my 2007 Chrysler Pacifica that is leaking water into the housing.

I first noticed it toward the end of last year, it would get condensation in the lens. I could tell where it was leaking from, because there was a portion where the clear lens met the black plastic housing that had discoloration and evidence of dust getting in there. I sealed the area and pretty much the whole mating surface with RTV (it's not visible when headlight is installed in the car) and that fixed the problem for several months.

Fast forward to now and there's a monsoon going on inside the lens. In a good rainshower, water will literally run down the inside of the lens.

There's two vents on the backside of the housing, I did a test by plugging one vent, and connecting a rubber hose to the other, to which I blew through to see if I could hear/spot air escaping. I even coated the mating surface (where clear plastic lens meets housing) with soapy water much like you would a tire, and I can't spot any leaks there. When I apply a good amount of air pressure (the old fashioned way, not using a compressor), the rubber dust cover for the back of the headlight blows off. It's the dust cover for the actual headlight bulb. Is this normal? Should the mounting surface for the headlamp bulb be sealed, because it appears it's not as the rubber dust cover blows off with moderate air pressure applied to the headlight housing.

Before anyone suggests I throw in the towel and simply purchase a new headlight assembly, I should note this particular one is sort of a unicorn. The HID option (with projector lens) was only available on very high trim Pacificas (which already was not a popular model), and even then the HID lighting was an option on top of that. I'd have better luck winning the lottery than spotting one of these at a junkyard, though I do see RA has economy replacements for around $170, which is a lot less than the $500+ I was seeing a couple years ago. But I'd still rather fix the one I have than buy some cheap Chinese aftermarket.

Can anyone help with this? The water drops on the inside of the lens pictured only appeared after I blew air into the housing-- I'd previously let it set out in the sun for a few hours, which dried the lens until I blew air into it-- so evidently there's more water in there that isn't visible.
 

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