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Bright eyes...

manek

Well-known member
Joined
25 Apr 2003
Messages
572
Got back to E Sussex from Cornwall last night after a good long night drive cross-country, mostly in the dry. 300 miles in under five hours, an average of over 60mph...

...despite having pathetic headlamps! I hadn't fully appreciated just how weak they are until I needed full beam for significant lengths of time while driving at 'a reasonable velocity, officer'. They only just keep up with the car, if you get my drift.

What alternatives do I have? Is it worth trying high powered 100W bulbs, or is this scuppered by the load it would place on the wiring loom, or the fact that they're barely better than the OE? Is the next step up an HID setup -- costing around -- what -- £500+? If so, has anyone had this done?


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8890
 
Manek



Go to halfords and get the super bright (50% brighter) bulbs ref 448 SB for main and dip - same bulb fits both - in a clear plastic and gold pack - easy replacement and take the opportunity to gently clean the inside of the glass at the same time - again very easy to unclip from the main light chassis. They are still 55w so there are no wiring and switch concerns as there would be with 100w bulbs.

I just did this and it solved the same problem for me.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8892
 
manek

extract from the following site

http://p-car.com/diy/hid/


As an aside, when I had the headlights out & examined them I saw that the

reflectors and the inside of the lenses were covered with light dust/dirt. I

guess it's from 5+ years & 34k miles of use. The headlight assemblies are NOT airtight (open venting under the spring area), nor is the headlight fender

bucket. I opened the assemblies by prying each of the 5 catches connecting

the lens assembly from the body. Two of the catches are "sealed" by a melted down plastic area. Gentle prying broke open the seals. I then gently pried the 2 parts open by working around the assembly with a broad

screwdriver/putty knife. Once opened I carefully cleaned the inside lens

glass & the projector glass lens with a lint free cloth & glass cleaner. I

also cleaned the reflectors with a dry, clean, lint free cloth. Reassembly

was easy. Just slide the 2 pieces together until the catches all snap into

place.

The difference was amazing. Both reflectors & lenses now look like new

(except for some external stone chips) with obvious benefits to light output






Migration info. Legacy thread was 8893
 
Manek

Agree totally - would be very interested if the above idea does work, as I suspect it's time, rather than mileage which will dirty the insides of the lenses, but given the standard lights are aweful on main beam, I put in some other high power bulbs which helped, but certainly not to the standard you would expect from a Porker. I think I'll give it a go sometime...

Andy


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8896
 
So it's off to Halfords, then. Can't decide whether to go on the way to have the satnav kit fitted, or on the way back... :)

But cleaning the headlight assemblies out seems like a good idea, thanks Stevo.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8897
 
Careful of the glass! I let mine slip into the sink while cleaning it and it cracked. Had to get two new lenses then so they matched. Doh!

I did the HID conversion myself. Cost around £400. I don't think I could go back to halogen now. The difference is far from subtle - significantly brighter and whiter.

I would be wary of bulbs offering much higher output than the rest. An independent test of a whole range of bulbs showed the best put out only 10% more than the specification, and they were Philips, iirc.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8906
 
Can you tell us more about the HID conversion? It sounds good value to me. Where did you get it, does it need a degree in electronics, or for you to dismantle the fusebox or whatever?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 8908
 
I got the conversion kit from
http://www.autolamps-online.com

Many Rennlisters used this kit without a problem.

It is mostly very straightforward. It is safe to use the existing wiring directly connecting to the ballast/ignitor unit (hereinafter BIU). The power consumption of the bulb is LESS than a halogen bulb, remember. The relays which come with the kit are unnecessary. The only tricky part whatsoever is the problem of housing the BIU. Once you have inserted the new bulb into the headlight and connected it to the BIU, and the BIU to the normal headlight power, you can not snap the rear headlight housing back into place - the BIU won't fit inside! So I cut a little hole around 8mm x 8mm out of edge of the side wall of the rear housing to allow the BIU to sit outside the headlight and allowing the 12V wiring out of the housing, and the HT wiring back in. Then I recommend you wrap the BIU in the polyurethane foam that came with the kit. Push the BIU into the back of the headlight cavity followed closely by the headlight itself. That is what most Rennlisters did and no-one has reported any problems. Keep the size of the hole you cut to a minimum to keep water out. Mine was a very tight fit.

Disclaimer: Be aware that the ignitor generates tens of thousands of volts initially and could be potentially fatal!

p.s. I think I just remembered the type of Philips halogen bulb which topped the independent test: Visionplus.

p.p.s. Manek, are you the same Manek as appears on Rennlist?


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8922
 
Here is a pic I took halfway through the conversion. Incidentally whole process took just over an hour.

/images/migration/UploadedForumImages/hid_upgrade.jpg


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8923
 
Very interesting....thanks for the info and advice. I'm thinking of doing the same, it is the H1 isn't it. In the picture is it the 4100K or the 6000K, and also did you do the high beam as well?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 8927
 
Previous poster said:
Quote: Originally posted by Graham Mitchell on 02 October 2003

I got the conversion kit from
http://www.autolamps-online.com

Many Rennlisters used this kit without a problem.

It is mostly very straightforward. It is safe to use the existing wiring directly connecting to the ballast/ignitor unit (hereinafter BIU). The power consumption of the bulb is LESS than a halogen bulb, remember. The relays which come with the kit are unnecessary. The only tricky part whatsoever is the problem of housing the BIU. Once you have inserted the new bulb into the headlight and connected it to the BIU, and the BIU to the normal headlight power, you can not snap the rear headlight housing back into place - the BIU won't fit inside! So I cut a little hole around 8mm x 8mm out of edge of the side wall of the rear housing to allow the BIU to sit outside the headlight and allowing the 12V wiring out of the housing, and the HT wiring back in. Then I recommend you wrap the BIU in the polyurethane foam that came with the kit. Push the BIU into the back of the headlight cavity followed closely by the headlight itself. That is what most Rennlisters did and no-one has reported any problems. Keep the size of the hole you cut to a minimum to keep water out. Mine was a very tight fit.

Disclaimer: Be aware that the ignitor generates tens of thousands of volts initially and could be potentially fatal!

p.s. I think I just remembered the type of Philips halogen bulb which topped the independent test: Visionplus.

p.p.s. Manek, are you the same Manek as appears on Rennlist?



Thanks for the detailed response -- I'll check out the bulbs and see what difference they make first. If they're just not doing the job, I'll head for a HID.

And there is only one Manek, here, on Rennlist, and other places... :)

Migration info. Legacy thread was 8931
 
You can't do the high beam, because xenons taken a few seconds to warm up so you can't flash them like halogens. With the improved lows you will probably find yourself using the highs less anyway.

I used the 4100K kit - that is close to pure white light, best for visibility. I personally don't go for the purple/blue light. They give out less light and the visibility can only be impaired under imbalanced light.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 8932
 
Previous poster said:
Quote: Originally posted by Butzi on 03 October 2003

Very interesting....thanks for the info and advice. I'm thinking of doing the same, it is the H1 isn't it. In the picture is it the 4100K or the 6000K, and also did you do the high beam as well?


I think it IS the H1, judging by the Web site -- but I wonder why do they mark the products (both 4100K and 6000K) as being for off-road use only? Legal reasons, perhaps?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 8933
 
I believe legally in order to use HID/Xenon lights the car has to have auto level headlight unit. Therefore conversion like the autolamp strictly speaking is only for off road,I guess.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 8934
 
That rather scuppers the HID idea since I'd assume it'll be an automatic MoT failure. Graham, did you get round this one?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 8935
 

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