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Installing Litronic Headlamps on the Porsche 911 Carrera
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Installing Litronic Headlamps on the Porsche 911 Carrera

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$3,000

Talent:

**

Tools:

3/4-inch hole saw and drill

Applicable Models:

Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-01)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001)

Parts Required:

Litronic headlamp upgrade kit with wiring harness

Hot Tip:

Good way to upgrade your lamps to clear corners

Performance Gain:

Brighter lamps

Complementary Modification:

Install clear side lamps, headlamp protector film

One of the more exciting upgrades you can perform on your Carrera is the installation and upgrade of your lamps to the Bosch Litronic High Intensity Discharge (HID) system. The name of the system was changed to Bi-Xenon when Porsche redesigned the headlights for the 997, but the principles remain the same. While the "poor mans" version is detailed in Pelican Technical Article: Installing a HID Lighting System on the Porsche 911 Carrera, this project shows what's involved in installing the factory upgrade kit. There are quite a few compelling reasons why you would want to install the factory Litronic over a retrofit kit like the one detailed in Pelican Technical Article: Installing a HID Lighting System on the Porsche 911 Carrera. Firstly, the factory upgrade kit replaces your entire lamp assemblies. If your existing lamps are getting old, the lenses might begin to appear cloudy. Installing new headlamps with new lenses creates a dramatic facelift for your car. In addition, the Litronic upgrade kit uses the updated "clear corners" instead of the standard U.S.-spec orange ones.

It is important to note that the Porsche Litronic upgrade kit is different than the one installed at the factory when the car were new. The factory-installed Litronic option is tightly integrated with the rest of the car's subsystems and as a result has additional features not found on the upgrade kit. The factory-installed kit will adjust the lamps up and down when the car is accelerating or braking to keep the light pattern aimed at the same level in the road at all times. In addition, the system is integrated with the central computer bus to pass fault codes if there is a problem. These are neat features, but they are not important enough to discourage you from installing the upgrade kit.

The procedure for installation is as simple as replacing the actual headlamp, as detailed in Pelican Technical Article: Replacing Porsche 911 Carrera Lenses and Bulbs. However, there is an add-on controller module that you can install that will automatically rotate the orientation of the lamps up 1.5 degrees when the high beams are turned on. This change in the beam creates an improved light-filled pattern when the high beams are activated. Installation of this controller module is the primary focus of this project, and is relatively easy if you're somewhat familiar with basic electrical wiring. The Porsche factory installation instructions can be found in Tech Bulletin 9415 for the Boxster/Carrera.

The first step is to remove the battery cover and disconnect the battery (see Pelican Technical Article: Porsche 911 Carrera Battery Replacement Trickle Charger Installation). Then, remove your old headlamps (see Pelican Technical Article: Replacing Porsche 911 Carrera Lenses and Bulbs). Unplug and remove the CD changer and/or amplifier from the front trunk if you have one. Remove the spare tire. Now, remove the front trunk liner. It's held on with plastic rivets that will almost guarantee to break. I suggest ordering new ones before you begin, part numbers 999-703-456-40 (qty 1), 999-703-432-40 (qty 8), and 999-703-455-40 (qty 2).

Next, remove the covers on the brake booster (see Figure 1 of Pelican Technical Article: Porsche 911 Carrera Master Cylinder Replacement) and the right side panel that covers the cabin filter (see Figure 3 of Pelican Technical Article: Replacing Your Porsche Carrera Air Filter (996/997)). Drill the wire harness holes as per Figure 3 and Figure 3 , and run the wire harness through these holes to the inside of the left and right fender. The left-side fender uses the longer portion of the wire harness. Insert the harness through the holes using the supplied grommets to seal around each hole. Next, install the pins into the connectors as detailed in Figure 5. Plug these connectors into the back of the headlamp assemblies and install them back into each fender.

Mount the control unit to the side of the front trunk compartment. Figure 3 shows an ideal spot for it where it will mount well and be hidden under the front trunk carpet. Install the three wires that power and control the module. Attach the brown wire to ground. The white wire is tapped into the existing white wire in the connector assembly (see Figure 3)--this will signal the module that the high beams are on. The red wire is installed near the battery area where it gets constant power (see Figure 4).

After you install the Litronic kit, you should check the fuses in your fuse panel--they may need to be upgraded. Fuses A9 and A10 should be 15-amp fuses. If they are less than that, then swap them out. If you leave the stock 7.5-amp fuses in place, then they will probably blow under the increased current flow.

Also important to note is that the small corner lenses do not come with the kit--you need to purchase them separately. The corner lenses are different depending upon whether you have a headlamp washer system or not. I recommend purchasing the clear corners instead of the standard unattractive U.S.-spec amber ones.

This photo shows the complete wiring kit that is required in order to install the factory Litronic headlamps.
Figure 1

This photo shows the complete wiring kit that is required in order to install the factory Litronic headlamps. 1: Electronic control unit, 2: Harness connectors, 3: Wire harness end-pins, 4: Complete wiring harness.

Begin the process by drilling a 3/4-inch hole in the inside of the trunk on both the left and right side.
Figure 2

Begin the process by drilling a 3/4-inch hole in the inside of the trunk on both the left and right side. Use a standard hole saw available at your local hardware store. The wires for the headlamp will run through this hole. Affix the grommet in place (lower right).

Install the control unit in the front trunk on the left side.
Figure 3

Install the control unit in the front trunk on the left side. Use Velcro or double-sided tape to affix the unit to the side of the trunk in the flat spot shown (green arrow). Thread the shorter of the two headlamp harnesses through the hole you drilled in the sheet metal and affix the grommet in place (yellow arrow). Attach the brown wire from the harness to the ground point (red arrow). Using a standard wire tap connector, tap the white wire from the new Litronic wire harness into the front side of the white wire exiting out of the connector (blue arrows). Finally, route the red wire up the existing wire harness and poke a small hole through the rubber plug in the firewall bulkhead (orange wire).

The red arrow shows the location of where the 3/4-inch hole should go on the left side of the car.
Figure 4

The red arrow shows the location of where the 3/4-inch hole should go on the left side of the car. The upper left shows a rubber plug located on the firewall, as shown from the side of the bulkhead right next to the battery (green arrow). The red/black wire needs to be tapped into the black/yellow wire that is connected to the plug for the right windshield washer nozzle (yellow arrow).

After threading the wire harness through the 3/4-inch hole that you drilled in the sides of the front truck, place each of the pins into the wire connectors.
Figure 5

After threading the wire harness through the 3/4-inch hole that you drilled in the sides of the front truck, place each of the pins into the wire connectors. 1: Pink, 2: Green, 3: Grey, 4: Purple (upper left). Make sure that they are well seated in the connector housing (lower left). Finally, plug them into the back of the Litronic headlamp unit.

Not only do the Litronic xenon lamps look great at night, but you also get the
Figure 6

Not only do the Litronic xenon lamps look great at night, but you also get the "clear corner" look that vastly improves the look of your 911. Gone are the unsightly U.S.-spec orange turn signal lenses. The Litronic lamps use clear corners and orange-colored bulbs.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Jim Comments: Is the wiring harness kit available..
September 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should be. 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
 
Dan Comments: What is the process/parts list for the 997.2 cars originally equipped with the light weight halogens from the factory?
August 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: For the part list for your vehicle, Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.


no it does not apply.
Applicable Models:


Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-01)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001) - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chris Comments: I have a 2003 996 C4S. I am interested in the Litronic headlamp upgrade kit with wiring harness. I can't seem to find the part number for this package. Can you email it to me so I can call and order it through your service rep?
Thank you.
September 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Walter Comments: Thank you for getting back to me Nick, but I have a 2005 997 and the kit you suggest is for a 996. Could you get me a part number for my car?
Thank you again
February 1, 2014
  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
 
Walter Comments: So would I need a computer upgrade for the lights to be self leveling?
What is everything I would need?
January 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure what vehicle you have. but one of the part kits is listed here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/smart/more_info.cgi ?pn=000-044-900-41-OEM&SuperCat=Y&SVSVSI=6443&catalog_description=Litronic%20Xenon%20Light%20Kit,%20996%20Carrera%202/4%20(1999-07/01) - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Walter Comments: The self leveling feature on the bi-xenon can't be installed on the 997 with the factory installed kit? Did I read this right?
January 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe it can be done on these models:

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ed Comments: If you would give me the list for the 997, I would buy the parts from you.
I have the headlight units already, but with no bulbs, or module.
August 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give one of our parts specialist a call at 888-280-7799 and they will help you get a list togetherl - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
Ed Comments: This description is a little deceptive for the 997. Are the controller, and harness required to do this installation?
August 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, The module is required to power the bulbs. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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