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Old 11-24-2013, 10:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 52
Can't reinstall driver's side headlight assembly

First off, hello to everyone! This is my first post here on the 986 Forum and Iím excited to be a part of the Porsche community!

I recently had my driverís side headlight (MY03 Base) go out on me so I used the Porsche tool to pop out the headlight assembly, insert a new bulb, and am now having trouble having it lock in properly. After looking online, I was told that I wasnít using enough force to properly lock the assembly into place. Well, I tried using ďenough forceĒ and managed to snap the clamping rod at the hexagonal part (in my defense the rod seemed quite worn). I finally got another one shipped to me but I checked the bottom of the headlight assembly and it seems the clamping rod wasnít hitting the groove where it locks the assembly in, but instead it was hitting quite behind that point (I could tell by the way the plastic was slightly indented in this spot). This means that the headlight assembly is not being inserted all the way back into the car.

Even though this seems to be the case, the headlight assembly is still inserting into the blue and orange socket, so I am getting the headlight and all other functions to work. I tried removing the socket from its holder to see if maybe it was pushing the headlight out too much, but even with the socket out of the way the headlight still doesnít go all the way back. Next, I removed the entire mounting tray from the car and with this part and the headlight assembly outside of the vehicle, the headlight assembly slides into the tray perfectly and everyting lines up. This confirms my suspicion that something in or on the car around the headlight area is preventing it from going all the way in and seating properly. Finally, compared to the passenger side headlight, the problematic one does stick out by about 5mm to 1 cm, enough of an issue that I can understand why the clamping rod is missing the groove and hitting a little father back.

At this point, I have three options. One is to dremel the area where the clamping rod is hitting the headlight assembly and make a new groove (this has been done by some people around the forum for an aftermarket headlight that didnít fit properly). Two is to buy a whole new headlight assembly, but this is both expensive and if the new OEM one doesnít fit, Iím out an expensive part I donít need. Three is really the best solution: maybe some of you around here have had such a problem and so any information or guidance is invaluable to me!

For Reference:
Clamping rod: #10
Headlight Assembly: The entire part #1
Socket: #19 and 20, see how it fits into the mounting tray and how I removed it for one of the tests
Mounting Tray: The entire #9
Headlamp Direction Indicator Light

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Old 12-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2013
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I had the same issue. It turned out to be the Porsche headlight locking tool, which was slipping on the nut. It was clicking but not fully engaging and locking. I used a 5mm socket on and extension bar and it locked fine straight away. Try that first.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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Location: Montreal, QC. (currently expat to Shanghai)
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This has been covered/helped by a few members already. Not sure why this is appearing again

'97 Boxster base model 2.5L, Guards Red/Tan leather, with a new but old Alpine am/fm radio.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 633
On my car the metal locking part on the car had stripped and needed replacing. $20 and a week later all was good.

LB/GG/MB 02 2.7 sold
MB/GG 02 996TT
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