Tail light Gasket Position

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1971 Ranchero
What is the correct position of the tail light gasket relative to the tail light panel?  I looked in my assembly manual and couldn't find anything.....but there were 5 pages dedicated to spare tire arrangements!

I replaced the tail light panel and am having difficulty with the lights.  The panel has a lip facing inward.  It looks like the gasket would go around the outside of that lip and the bright trim on the tail light would nest inside of the lip, with nothing separating the lip from the bright trim.  One surface of the gasket would rest on the vertical part of the bright trim, and one side on the vertical part of the panel.  Is that correct?  

The tail light hangers on the upper side of the tail light cutouts are mounted very close to this lip.  I looked at my original and there is probably 1/2" of clearance between the lip and the hanger.  This is preventing the gasket from sitting against the inside surface of the panel.  I wish I had looked at this before I welded in the panel!

 
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In my experience the repop tail panels have an uneven return where the tail light hole is stamped.  The OEM return is a lip around the perimeter that is about 3/16".  The repop ones vary, and that return seems to vary from 3/16-7/16".  I had to trim mine so it was like an OEM panel.   Also seems like the tail light mount brackets are welded on without much regard to fit.  Might have to tweak it or remove and re-weld.




 
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This is an original tail light panel. I put a bead of the 3-M strip caulk around the inside to help keep water out of the crack. I do not wash with running water but might get caught in rain. I would never use the old Ford gaskets they are junk as you can see by all the rusty tail light panels. Daniel Carpenter makes a much better gasket. NPD and all the parts houses sell them. He does not sale direct except in his Ebay store. The Ford seals were big sponges the held water and thus rusted out the tail light panel.

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I bought these gaskets a couple of years ago...they have the letters DCMR followed by the ford number.  This acronym must stand for Daniel Carpenter Mustang Restoration.  The quality is very good, but the rubber is quite dense and not easily compressed.  Looks like I may be popping a couple of spot welds on the hangers to get the brackets spaced properly.

 
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So it looks like the gasket does, indeed, fit around the outside of the lip on the panel.  Yep, I might as well face it....gonna be cutting some spot welds.  Darn it, I thought I was all done back there for a while.

 

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