Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
Installing a HID Lighting System on the Porsche 911 Carrera
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Installing a HID Lighting System on the Porsche 911 Carrera

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Headlamp removal tool

Applicable Models:

Porsche 986 Boxster (1999-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)
Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001-05)

Parts Required:

HID upgrade kit

Hot Tip:

Polish your cloudy lenses during the upgrade

Performance Gain:

Brighter headlamps

Complementary Modification:

New headlamp assemblies/clear corners

One of the more exciting upgrades you can perform on your Carrera is the installation and upgrade of your lamps to a high-intensity discharge (HID) system. This type of lighting system is sometimes also referred to as xenon lighting or under the Bosch brand name of Litronic. The lamps use electric current that runs through a xenon gas mixture to create light--not unlike the operation of an ordinary fluorescent light bulb. In order to get the lamps working, the gas mixture must be subjected to an initial voltage of about 28,000 volts. Two small ballast units create this high voltage when starting the lamps and then taper it down to about 40 volts to keep the light on.

There are two paths that you can take to perform this upgrade. The most expensive xenon upgrade is the installation of the factory Bosch Litronic kit (see Pelican Technical Article: Installing Litronic Headlamps on the Porsche 911 Carrera). The "poor man's" solution is to use a retrofit kit that simply replaces the stock H7 bulbs used in the standard Carrera lamp housing.

I prefer to use genuine Hella units as they have a built-in safety circuit to prevent the 28,000 volts from being discharged if there is any disruption or anomalies in the circuit.

Replacement bulbs tend to be very expensive, at about $100 each. I expect this cost to decrease though in the near future as more and more cars come equipped with this technology as stock equipment. The good news is that unlike traditional halogen bulbs, the HID bulbs do not often burn out--they have no internal mechanical components and actually run very cool (like a normal fluorescent light bulb).

The lamp kits typically use 35-watt bulbs, which means that they draw about 2-3 amps of current after the initial startup. It's not uncommon for the ballast units to draw about 15 amps for less than a second as they are starting up the bulbs. The actual startup phase is typically less than a second--barely a noticeable difference from the stock configuration. With a conventional halogen lamp system, a large portion of the energy spent in the system goes toward excess heat given off by the bulb. The HID systems are much more efficient--a typical HID 35-watt bulb is about three times as bright as a 100-watt halogen bulb.

The installation is not difficult--it simply requires that you mount the ballast, integrate the bulbs into your housing, and wire up the system. The headlamps have large plastic covers on the rear that need to be slightly modified. Most of the HID kits available have a wire harness that has a large grommet on it. You need to take a small hole saw or Dremmel tool and cut a hole in the rear of your plastic housing for the grommet to fit (see Figure 1). Two wires are connected to the HID bulb; the other two tap into the connections for the old halogen bulb. The harness that is included with the kit powers the HID lamps off of the power that formerly powered the original bulb inside the headlamp housing.

Mounting of the ballast is pretty easy. Component locations changed quite a bit over the years--find a safe, secure spot near your headlamps and use the double-sided sticky tape or mounting brackets that come with the HID kits (see Figure 3). On our 1999 996 Carrera, I found a good place to mount it on a flat surface just to the outside of the headlamp retainer.

You can install an HID kit for your low beams, high beams, and even the fog lamps. I have seen cars with three kits installed, and their fog lamp switch modified so that all three are on at the same time. When you're finished with the installation, be sure to align your headlamps so that you're not pointing the beam into oncoming traffic. In most states, the use of non-factory HID kits are designated for "off-road use only." Keep in mind that if you don't have a street-legal headlamp system, then you may invite tickets from law enforcement.

The only downside I found from installing this type of system was that it created a lot of static on my AM radio. However, the fix for this is rather simple--just install a 12V RF car noise filter on the power lines going to the ballasts and the problem should go away.

This photo shows the basic HID upgrade kit for the standard USA sealed-beam headlamps.
Figure 1

This photo shows the basic HID upgrade kit for the standard USA sealed-beam headlamps. A: Modified rear cover for the sealed headlamps. B: Bulb assembly and wire harness. C: HID ballast/controller for the HID bulbs.

Here you can see the various steps of assembly into the rear of the headlamp.
Figure 2

Here you can see the various steps of assembly into the rear of the headlamp. A: The lower bulb is the standard low-beam headlamp that is on most of the time. Remove the existing bulb and insert the newer HID bulb. You may have to remove the wire retaining ring completely in order to fit the new bulb. B: Connect the HID wires to the existing bulb connector. Brown is the ground and typically connects to the black wire on the harness. C: Wrap the connectors carefully with electrical tape to prevent a short from within the headlamp in case the connector bounces around. D: Thread the wires through the hold in the rear cover of the headlamp.

I found that a good mounting place for the ballast was on the side, right next to the headlamp tray.
Figure 3

I found that a good mounting place for the ballast was on the side, right next to the headlamp tray. There is a flat spot there that is perfect for mounting the HID ballast unit. Clean the area carefully using isopropyl alcohol or glass cleaner and use double-sided sticky tape to secure the unit to the sheet metal. Reinforce the assembly by drilling a hole in the sheet metal and securing the bracket with a sheet metal screw (green arrow).

The finished product looks great and is very cost-effective when you compare the lamps to the stock Litronic ones available as a new or upgrade option on the Carrera (see <a style=color:000080 href=http://www.
Figure 4

The finished product looks great and is very cost-effective when you compare the lamps to the stock Litronic ones available as a new or upgrade option on the Carrera (see Pelican Technical Article: Installing Litronic Headlamps on the Porsche 911 Carrera).

Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
KL Comments: First of all, why would anyone want to go from HID to halogen? It's like going back to Model T from 996.

The voltage to the HID ballast will be 12 volts, so voltage won't be a problem, it's the current draw that will be an issue, halogen bulbs draw 55W, the HID draws 35W, the wiring I saw for the HID may become overheated carrying 55W of power.
April 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Iuri Comments: Hi:
I have the factory Litronic setup in my 2001 996, and would like to install a set of halogen headlights. Is there a way I can rewire it to halogen? If so, what parts should I get, and how much would you charge for laboring?

Thank you.
Thank you.
March 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure if this can be done. The trigger wires to activate the HIDs may be too low of current to run bulbs.

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

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Project/Wish List]
  [Privacy Statement]  [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc. -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page

Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:33:34 AM