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Rain sensor retrofit


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I know there is a previous thread and TSB 9212 but has anyone had personal experience with installing the rain sensor intermittent wiper switch including the wires and relay? How difficult is it? What happens to the original dash switch? I just ordered mine and would like to know what to expect.

Thanks in advance.

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It is just running the wire down the A pillar, replacing the existing relay with a new relay and doing the initial adjustment. Maybe less than an hour.

Your original switch is still used. Here is how it works:

Turning the rain sensor on or off.

1. To turn on rain sensor: Turn the wiper switch to position 3 (interval).

2. To turn off rain sensor: Turn the wiper switch to position 0.

There are are three ways to turn on the rain sensor if the switch is left in position 3 (rain sensor - on) when restarting the vehicle.

1. Turn the wiper switch to position 0 then back to position 3

2. Actuate windshield washer system

3. Change the rain sensor sensitivity using the wiper interval adjuster.

Changing the rain sensor sensitivity. Sensitivity can be set to 6 different levels using the wiper interval adjuster.

Turn interval adjuster counter-clockwise: Low sensitivity.

Turn interval adjuster clockwise: High sensitivity.

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Thanks Loren--Can you squeeze the wire under the A pillar, or does it have to be removed (how?), also, the TSB mentions removing the left A/C vent which holds the light switch. Is this necessary so that you can run the wire down to the fuse box?

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Follow-up:

I installed the rain sensor last night. Piece of cake, especially when looking at the TSB mentioned above and with helpful comments from Loren. The only slight difficulty was hiding the wire behind the A-pillar. I had to unscrew the visor mount and pull the cover off the first snap.

Loren, I must have an earlier version of the relay, because it does not have an adjustment screw. I shouldn't complain because Sunset got me a really good price compared to Brandywine ($180 vs.$300)!

I highly recommend this for any 996 delivered without rain sensor--it is a great convenience and brings the car in line with most other high-end cars on the market.

Edited by bavarian
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hmm, another lovely mod that adds weigh and 5 ghost hp.  add park assist and laser cruise control to complete the first lexsche.  :D

1. Djantlive: Unless you were joking--this mod adds zero weight; the relay is actually smaller than the factory unit it replaces, and that should cancel the "weight" (less than 1/2 ounce) of the sensor and cable.

2. Loren/Toolpants: I have a funny feeling my older relay (without the adjustment screw) does not interact with the dash control. I've tried various settings for sensitivity/speed and there seems to be no difference. What are the chances I could substitute the newer relay?

Edited by bavarian
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2. Loren/Toolpants:  I have a funny feeling my older relay (without the adjustment screw) does not interact with the dash control. I've tried various settings for sensitivity/speed and there seems to be no difference. What are the chances I could substitute the newer relay?

Post the part number (on yours) and I'll see if it recommends the newer one in the parts list. Either way I think the newer one will work.
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2. Loren/Toolpants:  I have a funny feeling my older relay (without the adjustment screw) does not interact with the dash control. I've tried various settings for sensitivity/speed and there seems to be no difference. What are the chances I could substitute the newer relay?

Post the part number (on yours) and I'll see if it recommends the newer one in the parts list. Either way I think the newer one will work.

Interesting--the kit is made by AWS and has a sticker with the correct Porsche part number 996 612 981 00. The relay itself, however, has no Porsche numbers, only AWS 12. The TSB only refers to the kit number above. I guess I'll call Sunset and see what they say. Do you have a number for the later relay? Anyone else with a similar issue?

Thanks.

Edited by bavarian
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Loren, the part number you list above seems to be for the factory relay. This would not work with my aftermarket kit. After speaking to Gert and others, it appears that the OEM installed rain sensor has its speed control in the unique steering wheel stalk--which means that the dash control knob is not functional. Can someone confirm this who has the factory option? I asked Sunset to order another kit and this way I should find out if the new relay has the adjustment screw (in which case I will make the swap).

Never a dull moment...

Edited by bavarian
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Update: Loren, I believe the information you have concerning the retro-fit is incorrect:

1. The relay does not have an adjustment screw (I had Sunset order a new one from Porsche and it arrived looking exactly like mine).

2. The dash switch for the intermittent wiper does not work for the retro-fit sensor. I called Gert at Carnevale and he confirmed this. This means that you cannot vary the speed or sensitivity for intermittent wiping.

I guess that makes the after market solution a good deal less attractive.

Please let me know if anyone has more information on this. Unfortunately I cannot just swap the relay for the factory unit, because the wiring is different.

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This seems to have been commented on before--here is a posting on 6speedonline:

Rain sensor retrofit question

I had both the rain sensor and dimming mirror retrofit done at the same time. From reading the manual it describes being able to change the sensitivity of the rain sensor by turning the knob with the picture of the wiper on it to one of 6 settings. The manual says that you will have the change acknowledged by one wipe of the wipers. Since I had the retrofit done, it takes a whole lot of rain to get my wipers to wipe making this feature virtually worthless. I tried increasing the sensitivity by turning the knob and got no change and no confirmatory wipe. I had my car into the dealer today for the seat recall and asked if the rain sensor retrofit was set up / installed correctly. The tech came back and stated the sensitivity function only works on the factory installed and not on the retrofit because it has a different controller.

From anyone else that has the rain sensor retrofit is this true?

Last edited by firewired on 05-23-2004 at 01:24 AM

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Last word and final answer:

I called the German manufacturer (Xanonex GmbH) and was told that since 2000 the system is completely automatic and does not use the dashboard switch to regulate speed or sensitivity. The adjustable relay as pictured in the TSB has not been available since then. (It helped that I am fluent in German!)

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I've only used it twice (it hasn't rained in a while), and I'm not sure I can recommend it. Of course, I had hoped to be able to increase/decrease the sensitivity like on my other cars, so I was bummed when turning the dash knob made no difference. It does work quite well, however, and you could supposedly leave the system on intermittent all the time--it will only kick in when there is rain or mist. I will probably keep it because it is still better than stock, and the cost (about $180) is reasonable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Final word ( hopefully): I just had the opportunity to drive in varying rain conditions for 45 minutes, so I am in a position to give a fair evaluation of the retro-fit. I highly recommend it. It allows you to leave the stalk in the intermittent position at all times, rain or shine, and will activate automatically. The sensitivity cannot be adjusted, but it seems to work just fine 95% of the time.

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  • 1 month later...
Final word ( hopefully): I just had the opportunity to drive in varying rain conditions for 45 minutes, so I am in a position to give a fair evaluation of the retro-fit. I highly recommend it. It allows you to leave the stalk in the intermittent position at all times, rain or shine, and will activate automatically. The sensitivity cannot be adjusted, but it seems to work just fine 95% of the time.

Hi

I am new here. Where did you get the rain sensor and how much did the unit cost.

I live here is Hawaii where it rain on and off all the time. I had this type of sensor in my old SL500 and loved it

Thanks

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