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996 with litronics can be upgraded to 55w balast and bulbs easy?

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996 with litronics can be upgraded to 55w balast and bulbs easy?

 
Old 02-23-2013, 11:26 PM
  #46  
Mark I
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Mine came from ebay, but there are lots of offerings from lots of sources.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:36 PM
  #47  
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I'm personally a fan of The Retrofit Source. They have a great reputation and professional demeanour. Much more than the usual "tuner" focused sites

Also Mark, in that first picture of the ballast, there looks to be 4 screws on the corners. If yours is similar, I wonder if you could disassemble it and unsolder the wire. That might allow it to be passed through the plastic retaining clip
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:22 AM
  #48  
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There's a good chance it could be, but I didn't want to tamper with the factory stuff so it could be returned to original later. Also, most ballasts have the internals sealed over with poured plastic compond. The cable is also fastened externally to the housing with a crimp connector, unlike the usual aftermarket ones which have a threaded collar. If you were able to remove the cable from your original unit, you might have the same luck with the aftermarket one, allowing you to just attach the factory cable to it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:26 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by wwest View Post
Since there is NO exacting definition of "Bi-Xenon" most of us assume that an HID "system" that functions in both modes meets the definition. Wherein the HID bulb provides a differing light output pattern high beam vs low beam mode.

Almost all PROJECTOR lense type Bi-xenon HID systems use a halogen bulb as fill-in in high beam mode. That's because the projector lense provides a fairly tightly focus beam pattern, "pencil" beam, and thus the halogen is required for high beam light pattern enhancement.....scattter.
Sorry, Cap'n, but this is exactly what my '02 has. The optional Bi-Xenon, with a lifting shield for high beam, and fill/flash halogen. The standard HID must be what you have, where only the low beam is HID. While I find the upgrade an interesting option, my HIDs are plenty bright for me, but then I have 2 cars with no HID, so getting in the 996 at night is like daylight in comparison. I'll wait until mine seem dim before going this route. Love to hear how it's holding up after a few years.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:40 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Mark I View Post
Did it last week. Here's how.
You will need: 1) New ballast set (I used a full thickness one - the slim ones have the igniter in the cable; couldn't figure a place for it). 2)A set of bulb connectors. 3) Set of 55W D2S bulbs 4) Small sections of 1/8" aluminum and 1/8" rubber (dimensions below) 5) Four 6x32x1/2" panhead screws and a 6x32 tap.
6) Soldering pen & solder 7) Drill press or drill & bits up to 3/8" 8) Heatshrink wire insulation 9) Super glue
10) A free evening and flat work surface.

Remove the ballast and rear cover. Start with the two phillips and one torx screw. Depress the two clips that secure the cover; it will then unhinge to remove. You will have to remove the connector from bulb and the power connector to the ballast. To remove the ballast from the rear cover, you have to release the plastic wire cover from the housing. Press two of clips on the same corner first (not ones opposite one another). Note the length of the high voltage bulb connector. You can set the original ballast aside.

Cut two pieces of aluminum that will replace the cable cover (pretty sure it's 1 3/4" x 1 3/8"). File or grind away the corners so they will fit in the rear housing cover you removed. Cut rubber material the same size. Lightly sand the aluminum and attach the rubber to it with super glue. Drill a 3/8" hole through the center. Cut two 1" pieces of rubber with a 3/8" hole in the center and glue to the opposite surface, aligned with the hole on the center. Drill two small holes in the part you have made on opposite corners just large enough for the 6x32 screws to pass through and with enough space for the screws to clear the seating surface of the rear housing. OK, done with that - on to the wiring.

You will be cutting the amp connectors off of both the ballast and the bulb connectors. But, before you do, some important points. Note which wires connected to one another; the colors are not standard. Make sure that you cut the wires so that when you make your connections, the splices are not side by side and staggerd at least 1/2". Make the cuts so that the ultimate length will approximate the original and the splice joint will be inside the housing.

With those points in mind, cut the wires and strip the ends to prepare for soldering the connections. Before soldering the wires, pass the cable from the ballast through your plate - it should fit snuggly in the rubber. Be sure to also have your heatshrink insulation positioned over your wires and the outside cover ready to use once the connections are made. Solder the connections, position and activate the heatshrink.

Cut two small pieces of aluminum appx. 3/8" x 1/2". Drill and tap one end 6x32. These will be the tabs that hold the cable plate you made in position. Reassemble everything.

FInal notes. Your own ingenuity may provide improvements to this plan. Sturdy plastic might work in place of the aluminum. I used no-name ballasts and bulbs (5000k) which produced great results that looked like the factory color, just brighter.

And after all that work how would you, did you, determine that the HID light output was raised from 35W to 55W....?

Measure the before and after current to the ballast..?

Light meter...?

My $1.00 says you're still running at 35W...

Just what manufacturer, manufacturer that has the capability for manufacturing HID bulbs, would be the supply for such a small niche market?

Whereas a small tweak in the ballast's sensing of the arc voltage/current might result in 55W power to a 35W bulb.

With the buyer being none the wiser....
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:58 PM
  #51  
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@WWest - all good questions. The ballasts are labeled 4.5 amp rms so (assuming 12.6 volts) it should deliver 55 watts. I tested nothing except first dry fitting one and comparing the intensity to the factory light while both were shining against my garage door. Appeared to be ~1.5 times as bright. Noteable difference on the street, too, especially beam width. Sure, the manufacturers and marketers of this stuff could resort to about anything, but such success would be short lived. I respectfully disagree re being a small niche market; lots of folks are offering these, including Morimoto. Many have suggested trusted suppliers that they have experience with, which would be the probable best way to go. But, as a test run, I went at it on the cheap - with all of >$40 at risk. To be clear, I'm not advocating, suggesting, recommending or promoting anything - just trying to lend some added info to those already determined to or intersted in undertaking such a project. Schoene Gruesse an Alle! mark
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:15 PM
  #52  
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@ Bad.Tag - Here are the pics I promised earlier.

Attached Images   
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:44 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Mark I View Post
@WWest - all good questions. The ballasts are labeled 4.5 amp rms so (assuming 12.6 volts) it should deliver 55 watts.

There is NO substitute for an actual DVM current measurement. Labels are EASY to print.

I tested nothing except first dry fitting one and comparing the intensity to the factory light while both were shining against my garage door.

Both 4300K...?

Appeared to be ~1.5 times as bright. Noteable difference on the street, too, especially beam width.

Given a projector system differing beam width seems unlikely...

Sure, the manufacturers and marketers of this stuff could resort to about anything, but such success would be short lived.

Short lived..? on what basis? With the demgraphics of today what dealer need worry about repeat business..?

I respectfully disagree re being a small niche market; lots of folks are offering these, including Morimoto.

Relative to the HUGE numbers perfectly satisfied with 35W HID vs 55W halogen....."small niche market".

Many have suggested trusted suppliers that they have experience with, which would be the probable best way to go. But, as a test run, I went at it on the cheap - with all of >$40 at risk. To be clear, I'm not advocating, suggesting, recommending or promoting anything - just trying to lend some added info to those already determined to or intersted in undertaking such a project. Schoene Gruesse an Alle! mark
Were I to do this my initial instinct would also be Ebay....

But the VERY base question remains....35W HID bulb operating at 55W...?
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:01 PM
  #54  
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Mark - Thanks for the pics. That came out great. If the plate was black you would be hard pressed to recognize it as aftermarket.

WWest - Yes, technically you would be driving a bulb used for 35w at 55w and thus would probably shorten its like a bit

TRS lists the following in regards to 35w v 55w

(+20% intensity) (-20% lifespan)

I can say I have had 55w in my Audi for 4+ years and have never one had an issue. If it burns out a few hours early, you just replace the bulb. Simple.

I'll take more light to see those damn deer any day..
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:42 PM
  #55  
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Remember guys, the OP wanted higher wattage primarily because he was running TINTED HEADLIGHTS, thus diminishing the factory HID output to some degree.

I think for most, 35w HID would be adequate to say the least. The only people that I can see maybe "needing" them are the ones that live out in the boonies(no street lights, to avoid deers, etc) or ones that travel at a constant high rate of speed(Montana, TX, Autobahn, etc) where they are covering more road than the lights can light up.

If you are simply blind as a bat and need additional geriatric lighting, just step up to these and do it the right way.

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:20 PM
  #56  
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I have the litronics on my '04 x50 and I find the lights lacking, for sure. Compared to my wife's 04 AMG CL55, the P car has puny headlights. The AMG throws up instant daylight.

Yes, we have a ton of deer in West Marin that I want to avoid if at all possible.

I may just do this thing.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:21 PM
  #57  
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Question: Is it the HID arc that is the light source or is it the IONIZATION of the gas within the bulb..?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:16 PM
  #58  
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WWest: Neither really. The momentary arc between the tungsten contacts (the flash you see when you first turn on the headlights) only establishes a path through the xenon gas by ionization and the heat needed to initially vaporize the metalic salts. While the gas ionization is essential to the process, the light is produced by the electrically charged vaporized salts (held at a constant current), which depending on the compounds produce the different tints.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:25 PM
  #59  
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Alright guys this seems to be turning into another oil thread.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:13 AM
  #60  
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Halogen = organic
HID = Synthetic

Now which is better 4300K or 5000K....
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