Aftermarket non OEM HID for 993

Recently there have been lots of inquiries about aftermarket HIDs for our 993.  With permission from Dan I have combined all the e-mails that have been going around regarding this retrofit and placed them here on this web site.

From: Dan Sokal St. Louise
Subject: Re: HID Replacements - Installation experience (long w/pics)
Sent: Sun, 18 Feb 2001 16:33:50 ESTSteve:

Thanks for the update & congratulations on your installation. I also installed my HID conversion during this weekend and the difference is like, well, night and day. The low beam HIDs dwarf the high beams (w/55W H1 PIAA "Super White") at distances where they overlap. The HIDs flicker purple for a second or two when turned on & then move to "sunlight" white, not the bluish tint as seen on BMWs. Very cool.
I approached things a little differently. I cut my wire exit holes at the other (spring) end so that I had more wire length outside the headlight assembly which made installing into the fender bucket pretty easy.
I did not pull the fender liners & it was a one person job. I guess the extra few inches of wire allowed me to rest the headlights in the bucket & still be able to reach in & place the ballasts. I wrapped each ballast with foam secured by the provided long wire ties. For the LHD driver's side (less space) wedged it alongside the AC lines where, once the headlight is installed, it isn't moving, This also permits me to remove the headlight w/o pulling the fender liner, etc. For the passenger side where there is more room, I used more foam wrap & dropped the ballast behind the headlight mount where it seems pretty secure - although somewhat loose. I'll check both after a while to make sure they remain in place.
I took digital pics of the entire process including comparative lighting. As 
you know, the difference is profound. However, the pics they really don't do 
justice to the amount of increased light because my digital camera doesn't 
permit manual adjustment of lens opening/shutter speed so the camera's 
exposure compensated in part for the different light levels. I didn't have 
the patience to use my SLR w/manual overrides, get prints & scan them.
Attached are a few of the pictures. The whole lot is 1.1MB (even at low res).
I'm thrilled with the improved lighting, especially given the cost. That 
said and with hindsight, I think a better way to go (at likely comparable 
price) will be using originally manufactured HID bulbs in H1 format - when 
they become generally available (which I'm sure will happen before too long). 
After examining the D2S base & high voltage connector, it is obvious great 
pains are taken to prevent arcing of the (about) 24,000 ignition volts & that 
seems to be why there is such a large base. 
As an aside, when I had the headlights out & examined them I saw that the 
reflectors and the inside of the lenses were covered with light dust/dirt. I 
guess it's from 5+ years & 34k miles of use. The headlight assemblies are NOT airtight (open venting under the spring area), nor is the headlight fender 
bucket. I opened the assemblies by prying each of the 5 catches connecting 
the lens assembly from the body. Two of the catches are "sealed" by a melted down plastic area. Gentle prying broke open the seals. I then gently pried the 2 parts open by working around the assembly with a broad 
screwdriver/putty knife. Once opened I carefully cleaned the inside lens 
glass & the projector glass lens with a lint free cloth & glass cleaner. I 
also cleaned the reflectors with a dry, clean, lint free cloth. Reassembly 
was easy. Just slide the 2 pieces together until the catches all snap into 
The difference was amazing. Both reflectors & lenses now look like new 
(except for some external stone chips) with obvious benefits to light output. 
(96C2 St.Louis)

Below are the attachment files from the above e-mail

Factory Lights
PIAA super white
Zenon HID
PIAA super white
OEM Bulb
HID Bulb
Light socket
Balast wiring
Wiring from headlight

The aftermarket HID Dan used on his 993 was purchased from 
RM Lighting, Inc.
Local Phone: 416.258.0051
Toll Free: 1.888.353.8790
Owner: Rafael

This is an e-mail sent by Dan in answering Chris's question

An email from Chris said:

   <<Congrats - contrary to what you said, I think the difference your pics show, particularly against your garage wall, is immense.
Any feedback yet from the guys who are going the route ? Or from your hindsight would this be a better / worse route to go ?>>

Although the photos may show an "immense" difference, in real life it's much greater. Literally like night & day. I could never go back to the halogens &  I've tried 55W PIAA Super Whites and 100W H1s.
As far as I know, no Rennlister has yet done the autolamps conversion. John 
in the UK has been trying to reach them, but, at last report, had a hard time 
which is not encouraging. What autolamps appears to be doing is 
sub-contracting with another company to remount Philips D2S bulbs into a 
fabricated H1 mount. Don't know anyone who has actually seen one, much less installed it. However, PIAA (Japan) is reportedly producing an HID H1 bulb in Japan (details such as output, wattage, etc. all unknown). When/if it will be available here is also unknown. I would be more confident in the PIAA 
product than in autolamps's. 
Pro to autolamps: H1 mount = reversible conversion & could use H1 if HID bulb shot until replaced. Since ballasts are the same as RM, could buy D2S bulbs & do the RM conversion if unhappy w/the H1 HID. Assume bulb mounted without need for glue (the RM bulbs are epoxied into place).
Cons to autolamps: The autolamps kit is more expensive than RM's, is in the 
UK so shipping will also be more and the ability to address any problems will be less (obviously this is a pro to those in the UK). No report from a credible satisfied user (e.g., Pierre re: RM) and apparent communications problems BEFORE the sale. Uncertainty regarding the reliability, longevity, and performance of the aftermarket H1 bulb base conversion.
In summary, if there was a manufactured H1 base HID bulb w/similar output, 
that's what I'd do. If the concerns about autolamps are resolved, I might 
consider that. But, for now neither choice is viable. All in all, I'm pleased 
w/the RM conversion despite some deficiencies/compromises in design & 
installation (but certainly not in performance). However, knowing what I now 
know, I would not send my lights to RM, but do the bulb base cutting & 
grinding myself. It took a week for the USPS to get RM my lights via "2-3 day 
Global Express" and almost 2 weeks for the Canadian Postal Service to get 
them back to me via its "express service." Even w/RM's 2 day turnaround, I 
was driving on borrowed lights (a lucky opportunity for me not available to 
most) for 3+ weeks.
I'd ask for & likely get a few bucks off if RM doesn't have to do the shop 
work. That savings would likely pay for a Dremel tool for me to do the job. 
Besides, I always wanted a Dremel, but never had any use for it!
If you should decide or seriously consider the RM route, let me know & I'll 
be glad to send the full 1.1MB of photos and/or answer any questions.
(96C2 St. Louis)

This e-mail was sent by Chris Price regarding an inquiry he had made with

From: "Chris Price" <> 
Subject: Question to Autolamps-Online
Sent: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 13:42:53 -0500

Guys, below is an email I sent to the Autolamps-Online people, together with their response.  It *seems* as if they offer a solution without any
cutting / modifying etc. i.e. plug and play, fully reversible if you want to sell the car / HID kit at a later date.

I'm still considering - but at this point, if I went for it, I would go the Autolamps route rather than the RM route

John - I (we ?) would love to hear from you when you get the Autolamps unit back, let us know how they go ...........


 ****** MESSAGE SENT TO AUTOLAMPS *************

 ----- Original Message ----- 
From: Chris Price 
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2001 6:31 PM
Subject: Question_from_the_Autolamps_Website

I have a 1996,Porsche 911 - does the D2S kit you supply simply install in my headlamps with CRUCIALLY no modification, cutting etc. of the current
headlamp assembly i.e. is the install COMPLETELY reversible ?


Chris Price


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Autolamps-Online 
To: Chris Price 
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2001 7:11 AM
Subject: Re: Question_from_the_Autolamps_Website

The lamps in the kits are designed to fit exactly where the existing halogen come out, the individual components fit together and the wiring links the
lamps and ballast etc.  They are fully reversible.
I hope this answers your question and if you have any more concerns or questions please contact us again.
Thank you for your enquiry to Autolamps Online

Here is an e-mail from Dan Sokal's regarding his experiences with his HID light install

From: Dan Sokol St. Louis 
Subject: Update - RM install
Sent: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 11:53:37 -0600

One of my concerns about the RM conversion was that the D2S bulbs are epoxied (glued) into place. I was worried about the strength of the bond between the bulb base material & the metal mounting area given the heat & vibration. If they held well, would I have a problem in changing a blown bulb? If they didn't, would I have vibrating, loose bulbs?
I resolved my concern last night. I remounted the bulbs a better way (I hope). With a little jiggling, the glued on bulbs came right off (perhaps too easily). I drilled & tapped (threaded) 4 screw holes (#4-40) in each of the headlight bulb mounting areas positioned to be around the bulb bases when mounted. With each bulb in place, I screwed in 4 screws w/washers & Loctite on
the threads and now have secure, easily removable/replaceable D2S bulbs.
I wrapped the ballasts (w/open ends) in foam & wedged them into the fenders directly behind and above the headlight assemblies. They are positioned so the headlight assemblies, once re-installed, keep the ballasts in place. The foam both protects the surrounding area, including hoses, from abrasion from the ballast and also compresses to keep the ballast wedged
in tight. The install/removal (after the learning curve) is as easy and as fast as the oem. I would estimate a bulb change to be a 15-20 minute job.
The project, as I've done it, has taken many hours - mostly learning /experimenting. If I were to now redo it, it would all be done in about 1 1/2 hours (excluding the cutting/grinding done by RM which might double the time required). While it is not very difficult, it is not for the totally mechanically inept. It involves a basic ability and comfort level (and the tools) to cut the 
housing, cut, solder &/or crimp wiring, drill & tap machine screw holes, reaim the lights,etc.
However, at the end of the day - the lighting is incredible.
John - keep us posted on your H1 project.
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