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Old 06-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cincinnati,OH
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986 Boxster melted headlight wiring repair

If someone can tell me how to 34 pictures. I have pics to go with this story. THANKS!

986 BOXSTER MELTED HEADLIGHT WIRING REPAIR
Hi. I am very much a do it your selfer and my children are constantly asking me why I MODIFY everything I get my hands on. Don't know the answer to that, but maybe this project will help some of you who have the dreaded big burnt brown melted bugers on your low beam headlights inside the main housing.
I was thinking of cutting the black main housing in half (that is what the YELLOW straight lines with cross hatches are all about in the pictures), but I decided that was to much brain damage. Besides there is no real way to fix that inner lens unless you buy another whole set of headlights, so why go through the hassle.
I will briefly describe what I did, then walk you through the pictures. YOU need to know how to solder electrical wires and disassemble and reassemble electrical connectors.
TOOLS used: solder iron, solder, heat shrink tubing, side cutters, small screw driver, needle nose pliers, long reach needle nose pliers, special flat blade tool to UNLOCK electrical connector from its plastic housing.
WIRE: I used all 16guage. It looks like Porsche used a metric wire somewhere in between an 18 or 20 guage. Very thin, and as you will see, most of my insulation was already cracked and broken off. And that is with STOCK 55 watt bulbs.
CAVEAT: I did screw up recently when replacing my low beams. I ordered low beam bulbs online. Without paying attention, I installed them. I then noticed shortly thereafter that my existing BROWN MELTED SPOTS had increased in size, and now I had 4 instead of just 2. Turns out the new bulbs where 100 WATTS. Anything past 55 watts is guaranteed to melt everything.
Basically what I did was replace all the wiring in the housing with much better 16 guage wire AND drill a mess of ventilation holes. My thought was the housing is trashed anyway, what could it hurt?
Lets walk through the pictures. I'll use NIkon's last 2 digit file number.
#73 shows the YELLOW paint circles (holes)
#75 (5) holes on bottom of housing. Almost all holes were made with a 1/2" wood auger just because it was handy. You have to take your time. I like the wood auger because it has a little starter tip that get a good bite on the plastic. A regular 1/2" bit would be a little tougher to use. Go SLOW with the auger. When it breaks through it will want to go clean through to the other side. BE CAREFUL>
#76 that white area is where you unscrew (2) screws to get the electrical connector off. All the wires from inside will come out through this hole.
#77 (4) 1/2" holes on top of housing
#78 I like to MARK everything whenever possible. The BOTTOM housing is the HI beam. The TOP one is the LOW beam.
#79 Look closely. You can see how badly the wires are cracked and frayed, especially the FOG light wires.
#80 & #81 I marked all the connectors. Look how badly deteriated the wires are.
#82 Brown melted bugers.
#83 (3) smaller vent holes on the side housing. I used a 9/32" drill bit just because it was convenient. These are the only holes that are NOT 1/2". This helps vent the FOG light.
#84 Here is a 5th hole (bottom of pic) that you can't see in pic #77.
#87 Those (2) pins are for the TURN signal. Didn't seem to want to come out so I cut the wires INSIDE and had to reconnect to them later.
#88 These are the wires to the TURN signal connector. I fed NEW wires in the back and ultimately soldered to these to complete the connection to the TURN signal.
NOTE: I took an OHM meter and verified which wire was GROUND and which was HOT. Look at the turn signal connector you took out. The BROWN is the GROUND, the other is the HOT 12V. I painted the black wire with YELLOW paint to identify the GROUND.
#89 Wires for the TURN signal.
#90-92 What the original stuff looked like.
#93 A little hard to see but (3) holes 9/32" into the LOW beam housing. See the black CIRCLES at about 10, 12. and 2 o'clock.
#94 Black circles at 10 & 2 o'clock. More vent holes for the HI beam housing.
#96 a little out of order...... this connector is out of the black housing that holds all the wires. Getting it out is a bit of a trick. JUST cut the old wire off flush and solder the new 16 ga wire right over the top. I used heat shrink to cover that section. I used GREEN wire for ALL my HOT 12 volt, and BLACK for all the GROUND wire.
#99 Is a connector remover. It is a small FLAT blade that you insert in the front of the connector to compress the TABS on either side of the clip. This is what holds the clip in the housing. The tabs are delicate. Be careful. You do not want to break them as you will NEED to bend them back out so they lock again when you reinstall the clip in the housing.
NOTE: this part is a little difficult. Maybe get some help from someone who has done this before. If you see at least 1 clip removed, you will be able to do the rest.
#100 This is where you PUSH the tool into the slot on EITHER side of the clip to compress the tabs so it will slid out the back of the housing. Don't forget, GENTLE on the tabs. You need to bend them back out so they lock again when you reinstall them.
#102 Soldered clip with white heat shrink.
#103 Don't take the clips out of the LOW/HI beam connectors. You can cut the wire off flush. Take an exacto knife and cut off the insulation. Solder the new wire right over the top of the connector.
#109 This is what all the new wires look like. I did add a little extra length to each one.
NOTE: You will notice that I MADE individual GROUND wires for each connector, whereas Porsche had looped the ground wire from one connector to the next.
VERY IMPORTANT: Make a sketch of the wiring and all of the locations by number BEFORE you take anything apart. It is easy to get confused if you cut all the wires of at once. I made my repairs ONE wire at a time.
#110 The extra wire can be neatly tie wrapped in place at the back of the housing.
#111 My schematic.
Sorry for being so long winded, but I hope this helps you.
Everything went together nicely and works just great.
I had one other MODIFICATION that I decided to try. I SWITCHED the connectors between the HI beam and Low beam. That MEANS now my BOXSTER uses the lower lens (the perfectly clear unmelted one) for its LOW beam lighting. It uses the upper lens (with melted bugers) for its HI beam (which I seem to never use anyway).
You will have to realign the headlights. Easy enough to do and there is plenty of adjustment vertically & horizontally to accomplish this. I LOVE my new lights.
ENJOY!
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