Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > DIY Project Guides

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-16-2016, 07:04 AM   #1
Registered User
 
fox986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5
Full led tail light swap

I had a brake light bulb burn out on my newly acquired 986, so I swapped all the rear bulbs with leds.
Porsche bulbs are the reverse of normal polarity (+ and -), so normal leds won't work, unless the polarity is reversed, or the leds are not polar sensitive.
Superbrightleds.com has a selection of polar non-sensitive bulbs.

I used these for brake, turn, and reverse bulbs:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1156-led-bulb-18-smd-led-tower-ba15s-retrofit-car/163/

I used these for tail/running lights:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-smd-led-tower-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/206/#/tab/Specifications

I used these for rear and side markers:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-led-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/199/#/tab/Specifications

I used this adapter to use the mini wedge style bulb for my tail/running:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/vehicle-bulb-sockets-adapters/filter/Base_Type,BA15S,1,4681:

And I also used this flasher to eliminate hyper-flash:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/flashers-load-resistors/cf13gl-02-led-bulb-electronic-flasher/782/836/



I didn't need to remove the whole tail light assembly in order to change the bulbs, there is a release to slide the bulb holder out.
In my case, the drivers side didn't want to come out easily, so I removed the housing.


Here with the new leds in: I did not change the fog bulb because I never plan on using it (it works).


Here is the reverse light in comparison, the new led is on the left (drivers side), old halogen on the right.
The leds are not noticeably brighter than the old halogens, but more pure to their color. In this case, the reverse leds are in cool white.


Here is the tail/running lights in comparison, led on left (driver).
The pics aren't the best, the camera and lighting are poor, but you can see the difference in color.


Here's a close up of the tail/running and the rear marker lights. The led is on top.


Here is the brake lights in comparison. Since I couldn't press the brakes and see the lights, was just me, I took a picture of the brake lights reflection on the garage door.
The led is on the right in the picture (drivers side). Not much brighter, but red-er.


Here is the turn signal in comparison. Led on left (drivers).
The led turn bulb flashes instantly, as the halogen flashes with more of a delay in brightness.


I also swapped the front side marker bulbs to amber leds.
The leds hide the amber color in the clear lens, looks cleaner.


The top pic is the halogen, note the amber hue.
fox986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2016, 04:19 PM   #2
1999 base
 
Meir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Coral Springs FL
Posts: 1,574
Garage
Nice job.
Did you keep the regular turn signal bulbs on the front (headlights)?
Meir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2016, 04:48 PM   #3
Registered User
 
lkchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posts: 645
Porsche bulbs are same as all German cars and are NOT "reverse polarity."

Center post is positive, side shell is negative.
__________________
Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
2001 Boxster
2007 GL320 CDI
3 BMW motorcycles
lkchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2016, 05:22 PM   #4
Registered User
 
fox986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5
@Meir Yes, the front turn signals are still halogen, but I plan on swapping them soon.

@lkchris Yes, the polarity is reversed. There are plenty of people who have run into this while trying to swap leds into a Porsche. Some have opted to re-wire the connector to fix this. Here's an example on this forum:
LED bulbs and DEPO lights.


Last edited by fox986; 11-17-2016 at 11:27 AM.
fox986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2016, 05:39 PM   #5
On the slippery slope
 
JayG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: San Diego
Posts: 3,245
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
Porsche bulbs are same as all German cars and are NOT "reverse polarity."

Center post is positive, side shell is negative.
At least for the tail lights, I believe you are incorrect for our cars. The center post is negative and the side is positive. That is why most LEDs won't work
The shell side is what is switched and the center is common.


I have no idea if other German cars are the same
__________________
2004 Boxster S 6 speed - DRL relay hack, Polaris AutoTop DIY
2004 996 Targa Tip
Instructor - San Diego region, 2014 Porsche Performance Driving School
2013 C300, 2010 Jetta 2011 Mazda 3, 1998 Windstar - Dog van , 2004 F-150 "Big Red"
JayG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
Custom User Title Here
 
particlewave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: KC
Posts: 5,663
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
Porsche bulbs are same as all German cars and are NOT "reverse polarity."

Center post is positive, side shell is negative.
You are 100% incorrect.

Our bulbs are reverse polarity. Center post is negative.
particlewave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2016, 12:52 AM   #7
Registered User
 
geraintthomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 810
If you ever find your LED's aren't as bright as they should be, buy Cree LED bulbs instead. They're a little more expensive, but they are enormously bright. I've got Cree LED turn signals and they're gorgeous.
__________________
P O R S C H E . B O X S T E R . S
Bi-xenon Headlight Upgrade | 987 S 18" Anthracite Alloys | Android Head Unit | 5000k 55w HID's | 5000k Cree DRL's | 5000k Cree number plate lights | Cree LED Indicators | One-touch & on the move roof operation | Bypass exhaust pipes | Parking sensors | Courtesy & ambient footwell lighting
geraintthomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2016, 05:59 PM   #8
1999 base
 
Meir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Coral Springs FL
Posts: 1,574
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by fox986 View Post
@Meir Yes, the front turn signals are still halogen, but I plan on swapping them soon.

@lkchris Yes, the polarity is reversed. There are plenty of people who have run into this while trying to swap leds into a Porsche. Some have opted to re-wire the connector to fix this. Here's an example on this forum:
LED bulbs and DEPO lights.

Thanks.
Reason for asking is me wondering if the relay will " behave" with 4 LED bulbs.
The link to the other thread you posted looks familiar
I ended up reversing polarity on the bulbs, and using resistors.
The relay I had at the time, didn't work for me.
Meir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
Registered User
 
madmodz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 174
I read somewhere that the brake LEDs do not allow to the cruise control to work properly due to the voltage being much lower and the CC not picking it up when you brake.
madmodz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
Registered User
 
fox986's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5
@Meir I was wondering the same thing. The relay says "for LED" so I'm hoping it will behave.

@Madmodz I read that as well. I will test it and confirm.

Has anyone ever modded the rear fog lights to turn on as running lights? I've seen people wire them to brake lights, or wire them to both turn on. I think with a less bright bulb, they would bridge the gap of light between the rear marker and the running light.

Last edited by fox986; 11-17-2016 at 07:49 PM.
fox986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2016, 02:33 AM   #11
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Detroit
Posts: 211
I tried LED's several times as straight swaps and everytime they were dimmer than the stock bulbs because they didn't light the reflector well and wasted a ton of light going in wrong directions. It looks like they've improved since the last time I tried about 4 years ago...though the brake lights still look dimmer.

One advantage of LED's, that isn't always mentioned, is their nearly instant on. We think of incandescent bulbs as instant but the reality is they ramp to brightness. The difference can yield a couple tenths of a second to react, about 18 feet at 60mph, which can mean the difference between a miss and several thousand dollars worth of damage to your bumper

LED vs. Incandescent tail lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by fox986 View Post
I had a brake light bulb burn out on my newly acquired 986, so I swapped all the rear bulbs with leds.
Porsche bulbs are the reverse of normal polarity (+ and -), so normal leds won't work, unless the polarity is reversed, or the leds are not polar sensitive.
Superbrightleds.com has a selection of polar non-sensitive bulbs.

I used these for brake, turn, and reverse bulbs:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1156-led-bulb-18-smd-led-tower-ba15s-retrofit-car/163/

I used these for tail/running lights:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-smd-led-tower-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/206/#/tab/Specifications

I used these for rear and side markers:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-led-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/199/#/tab/Specifications

I used this adapter to use the mini wedge style bulb for my tail/running:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/vehicle-bulb-sockets-adapters/filter/Base_Type,BA15S,1,4681:

And I also used this flasher to eliminate hyper-flash:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/flashers-load-resistors/cf13gl-02-led-bulb-electronic-flasher/782/836/



I didn't need to remove the whole tail light assembly in order to change the bulbs, there is a release to slide the bulb holder out.
In my case, the drivers side didn't want to come out easily, so I removed the housing.


Here with the new leds in: I did not change the fog bulb because I never plan on using it (it works).


Here is the reverse light in comparison, the new led is on the left (drivers side), old halogen on the right.
The leds are not noticeably brighter than the old halogens, but more pure to their color. In this case, the reverse leds are in cool white.


Here is the tail/running lights in comparison, led on left (driver).
The pics aren't the best, the camera and lighting are poor, but you can see the difference in color.


Here's a close up of the tail/running and the rear marker lights. The led is on top.


Here is the brake lights in comparison. Since I couldn't press the brakes and see the lights, was just me, I took a picture of the brake lights reflection on the garage door.
The led is on the right in the picture (drivers side). Not much brighter, but red-er.


Here is the turn signal in comparison. Led on left (drivers).
The led turn bulb flashes instantly, as the halogen flashes with more of a delay in brightness.


I also swapped the front side marker bulbs to amber leds.
The leds hide the amber color in the clear lens, looks cleaner.


The top pic is the halogen, note the amber hue.
Disaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 08:56 AM   #12
Registered User
 
Dubaday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 280
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by fox986 View Post
@Meir I was wondering the same thing. The relay says "for LED" so I'm hoping it will behave.
Has this relay been working for you? I have LED's for my side markers and they seem to blink uncontrollably. I'm wondering if this will fix it.

Thank you,
Randy
__________________
2000 Boxster S, SPEC stage 1 clutch, Fabspeed sport headers, Fabspeed secondary cat deletes, Billy&Boat muffler, EVOM air intake, Ben006's Custom Short Shifter, Pedro's TechnoBrace, Eibach rear sway bar, De-snorkeled, Fred's custom projector HL

Last edited by Dubaday; 01-11-2017 at 09:00 AM.
Dubaday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 12:08 PM   #13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 99
About the blinking uncontrollably.

Grab the old bulb and measure the resistance across the poles. Now measure the new bulbs resistance. Now you have two choices. Add the resistance in series and in parallel.
The type of circuit will define the resistance needed. If I remember correctly series is additions x=y+z and parallel is 1/x=1/y+1/z. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The reason why it blinks is that most flashers are Amperage sensitive. Have very low resistance causes the amperage of the circuit to skyrocket requiring the circuit to reset more often. Now knowing that you could fine tune your blinkers to your taste by switching resistances. Now what I don't know is if the left and right sides are on the same circuit and if they are, when you are in double. you could in theory make them blink at different speed, but I would imagine its one circuit.
__________________
2001 Boxster S (SOLD)
1991 Nissan Silvia "K"(Forgotten somewhere in Canada)
1989 240sx (Track car)
1987 325IS (Soon to be Spec E30 racecar)
2001 GSXR-600 (Almost warm outside!)
WorkInProgressK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 01:42 PM   #14
Registered User
 
Dubaday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 280
Garage
Sorry, I don't understand much when it comes to currents/electricity and how they work.
I'm so confused

All I know is that about 5 months ago, one of my bulbs for the side marker went out, so I replaced both side markers with LED bulbs.
Also changed out my dome and door lights with LED bulbs as well.
Everything seemed to work fine until just last weekend, I noticed my side markers pulsating like a disco ball.

I'm wondering if it's the bulb going bad, or is it the lack of me not changing the relay to compensate for the LED replacements...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkInProgressK View Post
About the blinking uncontrollably.

Grab the old bulb and measure the resistance across the poles. Now measure the new bulbs resistance. Now you have two choices. Add the resistance in series and in parallel.
The type of circuit will define the resistance needed. If I remember correctly series is additions x=y+z and parallel is 1/x=1/y+1/z. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The reason why it blinks is that most flashers are Amperage sensitive. Have very low resistance causes the amperage of the circuit to skyrocket requiring the circuit to reset more often. Now knowing that you could fine tune your blinkers to your taste by switching resistances. Now what I don't know is if the left and right sides are on the same circuit and if they are, when you are in double. you could in theory make them blink at different speed, but I would imagine its one circuit.
__________________
2000 Boxster S, SPEC stage 1 clutch, Fabspeed sport headers, Fabspeed secondary cat deletes, Billy&Boat muffler, EVOM air intake, Ben006's Custom Short Shifter, Pedro's TechnoBrace, Eibach rear sway bar, De-snorkeled, Fred's custom projector HL
Dubaday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 01:59 PM   #15
Registered User
 
lkchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posts: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
You are 100% incorrect.

Our bulbs are reverse polarity. Center post is negative.
It's not the bulbs that are different, it's the bulb holder.

But yes, not much help ... sorry.
__________________
Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
2001 Boxster
2007 GL320 CDI
3 BMW motorcycles
lkchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 02:44 PM   #16
Custom User Title Here
 
particlewave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: KC
Posts: 5,663
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
It's not the bulbs that are different, it's the bulb holder.

But yes, not much help ... sorry.
Incandescent bulbs don't have a polarity, but this thread is not discussing incandescent bulbs.

Last edited by particlewave; 01-11-2017 at 03:06 PM.
particlewave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 04:23 PM   #17
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubaday View Post
Sorry, I don't understand much when it comes to currents/electricity and how they work.
I'm so confused

All I know is that about 5 months ago, one of my bulbs for the side marker went out, so I replaced both side markers with LED bulbs.
Also changed out my dome and door lights with LED bulbs as well.
Everything seemed to work fine until just last weekend, I noticed my side markers pulsating like a disco ball.

I'm wondering if it's the bulb going bad, or is it the lack of me not changing the relay to compensate for the LED replacements...
No worries. The relay is fine, its the local circuit that needs more load.

You need to use an filament bulb. LED bulbs have a 50% chance of working and if they work they work incorrectly for the use most of the time.

LED Light emitting diodes act like a "light emitting" check valve. Filament bulbs work like a water dam. LEDs don't restrict, filaments do. Now your issue is that you don't restrict the current enough. This is where most of the time you need something custom.
__________________
2001 Boxster S (SOLD)
1991 Nissan Silvia "K"(Forgotten somewhere in Canada)
1989 240sx (Track car)
1987 325IS (Soon to be Spec E30 racecar)
2001 GSXR-600 (Almost warm outside!)
WorkInProgressK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 05:18 PM   #18
Custom User Title Here
 
particlewave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: KC
Posts: 5,663
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkInProgressK View Post
No worries. The relay is fine, its the local circuit that needs more load.

You need to use an filament bulb. LED bulbs have a 50% chance of working and if they work they work incorrectly for the use most of the time.

LED Light emitting diodes act like a "light emitting" check valve. Filament bulbs work like a water dam. LEDs don't restrict, filaments do. Now your issue is that you don't restrict the current enough. This is where most of the time you need something custom.
That's what power resistors are for.
Add them in parallel only. A series connection will dim an LED bulb that is already designed for 12V use.

Side markers on this car do not function as blinkers, so the point is moot. There is no relay and it's not a turn signal. Dubaday has a failing LED side marker that is flickering. A resistor will not fix that.

Last edited by particlewave; 01-11-2017 at 05:25 PM.
particlewave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 09:28 PM   #19
Registered User
 
Dubaday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 280
Garage
replacing them with a new one did the trick
(old one top, new on bottom)




__________________
2000 Boxster S, SPEC stage 1 clutch, Fabspeed sport headers, Fabspeed secondary cat deletes, Billy&Boat muffler, EVOM air intake, Ben006's Custom Short Shifter, Pedro's TechnoBrace, Eibach rear sway bar, De-snorkeled, Fred's custom projector HL
Dubaday is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page