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Replacing Porsche 911 Carrera Lenses and Bulbs
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Porsche 911 Carrera Lenses and Bulbs

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$15 to $250

Talent:

*

Tools:

screwdriver

Applicable Models:

 
Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001-05)
Porsche 997 Carrera models (2005-08)
Porsche 997 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2007-08)

Parts Required:

New lenses, bulbs

Hot Tip:

Don't tug heavily on the lenses when removing them

Performance Gain:

Better-looking exterior, clearer lamps

Complementary Modification:

Upgrade to clear corners and clear/smoked rear lenses

There are few projects that are as easy as lens replacement, yet improve the look of your car so significantly. Replacing old, faded lenses not only improves your Carrera's overall appearance, it also increases its safety as well. Faded lenses tend to be harder to see and block much more light than brand new ones. On the front of the 911, the side marker lenses are removed by simply pulling on them. A snap-tab holds them in place.

The rear lenses are very easy too--they are simply held on with screws that you can access in the rear trunk. Pull back the trunk lining and you should have easy access to the screws and the bulbs. The third brake light is easily accessible from the exterior of the car.

If you are replacing bulbs, make sure that you replace your old bulbs with the same exact style and wattage as the originals. Swapping in higher wattage bulbs could damage your wiring and possibly melt your lens and bulb holder.

The photos show the replacement process on the 1999-2001 Carrera--the 2002-2005 is very similar.

The headlamp assemblies are held in the car by an ingenious latching system incorporating a cam lever and release tool. In order to remove the headlight assembly, you'll need to first find the headlamp tool in the tool kit. The next step is to open the front trunk and pull back the carpeting on each side of the front trunk. Underneath, you'll find a black rubber plug in the inner fender. Pull the plug out. Underneath is the access hole for the latching system. Take the headlamp tool and place it in the hole so that the handle faces nine o'clock. Now rotate the tool until the handle faces three o'clock. This will detach the headlamp assembly from the car. The headlamp assembly is designed so that it will automatically disconnect itself from the wiring harness as it is disengaged from the car.

Pull back the side carpeting on the inside of the trunk and locate the black rubber plug as shown here (green arrow).
Figure 1

Pull back the side carpeting on the inside of the trunk and locate the black rubber plug as shown here (green arrow). Pull the plug out of the body. Insert lower left. With the plug removed, you can see the headlight release cam assembly inside. Use the tool supplied in the vehicle tool kit to turn the release cam (blue arrow). Insert upper right. Turning the release cam will eject the headlamp assembly from the car. It is designed so that it will automatically disconnect the electrical connections when you remove the housing. To release the headlight housing, rotate the tool 180 degrees towards the front of the car. You can see the harness connector for the headlamp assembly (yellow arrow).

The Carrera headlamp is a somewhat complicated piece of equipment.
Figure 2

The Carrera headlamp is a somewhat complicated piece of equipment. A: To replace bulbs inside the assembly, first detach the end cover by squeezing the tabs on both sides (one side shown with green arrow). B: These are the adjustment wheels and can be turned by inserting a 5mm hex head tool through access holes located in the chassis. Red = fog lamp adjustment; yellow = left/right adjustment; blue = up/down adjustment. C: The turn signal/parking lamp bulb is accessed through the bottom of the assembly. D: The two halogen bulbs are clipped into the rear of the lamp and are easily accessible once you remove the end cover. Don't touch the bulb with your fingers, as the oils in your hand will damage it. The purple arrow points to the access hole you use to replace the fog lamp bulb.

Installing the headlamp back into the car can be a bit tricky.
Figure 3

Installing the headlamp back into the car can be a bit tricky. A: The headlamp mates with the carrier plate (green arrow) and harness connector. A bar integrated within the carrier plate locks the headlamp assembly into place. B/C/D: Three circular tabs on the headlamp assembly fit into three channels located on the carrier plate. It's important to look carefully as you install the headlamp to make sure that these tabs are properly aligned in the channels. With the assembly pushed back into the fender, use the headlamp tool from your 911 Carrera tool kit to lock it into place. If you don't have this tool, you can also use a 5mm socket. With the tool facing upward, rotate it toward the rear of the car to lock it into place, or rotate it toward the front of the car to unlock.

New side marker lenses take about one minute to install.
Figure 4

New side marker lenses take about one minute to install. I prefer the clear ones with orange bulbs. Simply reach in and pull on them to remove the lenses, then unclip the harness by pressing on the thin metal clip. For some reason, the amber U.S. lenses that are stock equipment just don't cut it. In order to maintain legal standards, you must run orange bulbs inside the lenses. This can cause the lens to take on an orange hue. There's a product out there that I recommend called Stealth Bulbs (inset) that is available online at PelicanParts.com. These bulbs are silver coated on the outside, but glow bright orange when electricity is applied. They look clear when installed in the clear lenses, but retain the orange illumination required for U.S. roads.

Open the engine lid and remove the 10mm bolt shown here to release the tail light housing from the body (green arrow).
Figure 5

Open the engine lid and remove the 10mm bolt shown here to release the tail light housing from the body (green arrow). Once the 10mm bolt is removed, pull the tail light housing back to remove it from the body as shown here. You can also see the emergency pull cable for the engine lid directly underneath (blue arrow).

ThisPicture shows the rear of the tail light housing.
Figure 6

ThisPicture shows the rear of the tail light housing. To remove the bulb holders, turn each one counter-clockwise and pull the bulb out. ThisPicture shows the locations of the various bulbs in the tail light housing; Side Marker Light (purple arrow), Rear Fog Light (green arrow), Reverse Light (red arrow), Turn Signal Light (yellow arrow), Tail/Brake Light (blue arrow). NOTE: the tail light housing shown here is upside down for ease of demonstration.

Shown here is the third brake light directly above the rear engine lid.
Figure 7

Shown here is the third brake light directly above the rear engine lid. Pry out the small insert piece on the third brake light lens (red arrow) with a small screwdriver. Under the insert, you'll see a small locking tab. Rotate the locking tab (green arrow, lower left) 90 degrees counter clockwise and pull the entire third brake light assembly out of the rear of the car. To access the bulbs inside the third brake light, disengage the 6 locking tabs both on the top and bottom of the housing (blue arrows). Insert upper right. To change the bulbs in the third brake lamp, unplug the harness connector, and then you should be able to unsnap the bulb carrier from the rear of the lamp. Be careful not to break any of the delicate plastic tabs on the bulb carrier.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Dennis Comments: Is there another way to remove the headlight assembly on a 2003 C4S? I am doing what the manual says for the drivers side and all the light does is slightly lift and pop. I can not pull it out.
March 12, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You have to unlock the mount in the front trunk, then slide headlight assembly out toward front of vehicle. It may be stuck or not releasing if this is not working. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Khuong Comments: Hi, I am looking for the part number for the tab of a headlight assembly of a 2003 996 C2. It's broken on both of my headlights and I can't seem to find the part number to replace them. It's the part in diagram D of this link:
http://cdn4.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Porsche-996-997-Carrera/65-SUSPEN-Replacing_Lenses_and_Bulbs/images_med/pic03.jpg

I also added a photo of the specific tab, which appears to be replaceable screwed onto the assembly.
December 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That should be a bracket for the bumper. I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jacks911 Comments: Can you provide replacement for the rubber gasket around the 996 headlamp assembly? Not available from Porsche & after 17 years this is cracking.
November 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.


Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
TIM Comments: Tim writes , on my 911 2004 turbo I removed the lamp to replace turn signal bulb but this did not solve my problem of having no front turn signals drivers side. the other side is fine as is the rear drivers side, what could be the problem? also I have been having problems with the lamp assembly moving slightly forward as I drive over bumpy roads and consequently disconnects the light completely ! I have put duct tape on it which stops it sliding but doesnt do much for the aesthetics?!?
October 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the socket or wiring. Is the bulb getting power and ground? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Steve Comments: I have a 2002 Porsche Carrera 4s. The rear red reflector has a crack in it. This is the long reflector piece which runs horizontal between the two taillights. I can't seem to find this part anywhere. Any help would be great.
August 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pacheco Comments: Hi To change a tail light bulb Porsche Carrera 911 996 2002, is it necesary to buy the whole tail brake light part or just the bulb and cap? Thanks
June 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can replace just the bulb. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mcartler Comments: I have a 2007 Targa 4 and the brake light above the engine lid seems different than these instructions. I have water in the light and need to replace. Can you help me with part number and instructions? thanks!
November 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.



We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Blackbird Comments: I thought that your explanation about the disassembly and assembly was a little difficult to understand, so here's my guide

Driver:LH
left headlight- release :Turn counter clockwise
Install:Turn clockwise
Right headlight-Release :Turn clockwise
Install:Turn counter clockwise
October 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Brett A Comments: Is there any way to get a new gasket for around the headlight assembly? I want to strip down my headlight assemblies on my 996 to recondition the lenses to make them clearer, and rebulb all the lights with better bulbs especially headlamps - rather than pay $1300 a piece just for slightly better light and aesthetics. But I know as soon as I start mucking about that gasket is going to disintegrate on me.
April 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I could not find the gasket separately. Is there a part number anywhere on the old gasket?? Could you send me a photo of the exact gasket you are looking to replace? - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Fernando Comments: I have a 2005 Carrera S and the rear spoiler brake light came off the spoiler. The light works fine. I am missing the plastic components that hold the light in place. Went to local porsche dealership and they were no help. Buying a new light does not come with the components that hold the light in place. Can you help?
December 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sun 4/23/2017 02:30:37 AM