I have been considering converting the halogen headlights on my 2003 Targa by installing a Morimoto Bi-Xenon HID projector. The facelift 996 models (post 2002) with halogen headlights, are fitted with a projector dip beam, mounted above a conventional reflector for main beam. Part number is 996.631.066.50. They are quite different to earlier 996 headlights. On first inspection the conversion appears a straightforward project - as the existing dip beam projector is bolted to a carrier fame inside the headlight, and is the same shape and just slightly larger than a Morimoto Mini 6.0 H1 HID projector, which is a popular, good value, retrofit projector with an outstanding beam pattern. All the headlight access is from the rear - there would be no difficult front cover removal with oven heating, no Dremel surgery. So - change out that halogen projector for the Morimoto, find a place to site the HID ballasts, sort out the wiring and you are good to go.
Or are you? Why can't I find any reference to this particular conversion on the Web - someone must surely have tried it already? I think the answer is that rear headlamp access to the existing dip projector isn't as easy as it looks.
The halogen headlight is made by Hella, and is well-engineered and substantially built. The headlight has a projector assembly for the dip beam (with an H7 bulb), and below that a half-circular reflector for a main beam conventional headlight fitted with an H9 bulb (in the UK). Inside the headlight, the H7 projector is a separate assembly, as is the H9 main beam reflector, and both are bolted to a single frame or carrier made of transparent yellow engineering plastic. This carrier engages with plastic ball joints at three points within the main headlight shell, with white nylon gear wheels and threaded rods to allow height and lateral positioning of the headlight beams from outside the headlight. Both dip and main beam adjust linked together.
It appears that, in manufacture at Hella in Germany, the yellow frame carrying the dip projector and the main beam reflector is inserted from the rear of the headlight, after which the adjustment mechanisms for height and lateral position would be added behind the frame to the inside side of the headlight outer shell. These assemblies are in black plastic and include sliding tracks. It's not clear how these parts are secured to the inside of the main headlight shell - clipped or bonded. However - if these parts could be removed (to be re-installed later), the carrier frame could be moved out rearwards very easily, allowing the dip beam projector to be simply unbolted, and the Morimoto Mini 6.0 projector to be substituted, almost on the existing mounting holes. It's a perfect match for length as well. But if the adjustment sub-assemblies can't be shifted, the only way to mount the new projector will be by cutting off, in-situ, the back plate of the carrier frame, and then making up a replacement plate for the retrofit projector. No so straightforward.
So - after this long intro - has anybody with a facelift 996 car and halogen headlights, tried this? Or has anybody attempted to dismantle that particular Hella headlight non-destructively, and can say how it all comes apart?
I am really interested.