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Old 01-24-2023, 06:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 42
Clearance/Marker Lights

I am planning to replace my front cap marker lights with an updated LED version. I considered simply replacing the incandescent bulb with an LED; however, the sealant and foam gaskets on the originals were severely deteriorated.

The original fastener was a pop rivet that will need to be drilled. My assumption is that they were originally installed prior to the front cap being mounted and a washer was used in conjunction with the rivet. I would rather not pull the headliner for access inside as I assume extensive adhesive was used.

Iím afraid another pop rivet alone would weaken the fiberglass and Iím considering a well nut or plus nut in its place. I thought Iíd check here first and see if anyone has replaced theirs.

Thank you in advance,


1999 Pace Arrow Vision, 34N, F53
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:20 AM   #2
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I good choice for blind rivets in fiberglass is a banana peel or exploding rivet.
Carter & Patty
'05 Alpine Limited 36FDTS + '19 Jeep Cherokee
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Old 01-24-2023, 09:24 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2018
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Thank you for the suggestion. Iím admittedly skeptical of the new integrated LED version Iím planning to install. I was leaning towards the plus nuts which are the same concept, but with machine threads (rivnut with expansion). That way I could replace the lights more easily if needed. The well nut thought was so it could be a secondary seal if the foam/silicone seal should fail.

All this started due to an apparent short in my marker/running/dash light circuit (#6 20A fuse in the engine bay). While I chase down a possible short, I thought Iíd reduce the amperage drawl and increase the margin from the fuse limit by installing LEDs throughout the circuit.

I have seen multiple inquiries from F53 owners with the same issue, but the only person to reply with a resolution explained it was a rouge screw through the headliner. The issue has happened with various coach manufacturers, so it could be anywhere with mine.
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Old 01-24-2023, 08:34 PM   #4
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Spartan Chassis
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Originally Posted by c_oneil View Post
I good choice for blind rivets in fiberglass is a banana peel or exploding rivet.

I used one very similar to the above on one of my marker lights, except it was a tri-Fold Exploding rivet, also available on Amazon. The strength/force is distributed over a wider area of fiberglass than a traditional rivet.

Racer's Speed Shop White 3/16" Small Head Tri-Fold Exploding Aluminum Mandrel Pop Rivets

I did not need to remove the headliner inside. In fact, the one I replaced was on the rear cap with no discernible access.

Just be sure NOT to let the wiring fall into the cap when cutting off the old marker and connecting it to the new. Take some serious steps to avoid it dropping. I did not have a problem, but I was very, very careful.
Charles and Beverly
"The Eagle" - 1991 American Eagle 38J - Cummins 6CTA8.3 300hp DP, Allison MT643 4spd. Trans., Spartan chassis.
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