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by: i a motorsports

Description: This is a modification of the external fitting grilles from MotorDrive to add LED running lights like gen 2 Caymans. Total cost is under $100, not including the grilles, of course. Total time required is about 4 hours.Level of difficulty is 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being hardest).I wanted them to be directly below the foglight spears, and when I received my MotorDrive Grilles, this looked like the opportunity to mount my lights directly to the face of the grilles.I spent a lot of time looking for a ready-made LED lighting product that would be durable and have an OEM look. I came up dry. I found a great lighting product made by Plasma-Glow which is a flexible waterproof lighting strip that can be cut to length, and has double-faced mounting tape attached. You can find these at several locations on line, but I found the best price and availability at Problem is, they need some slight modifications to really make them work like OEM.
I started with measuring the strips against the grilles, and allowed for tucking the wiring thru the grille to get back to the parking lights where I will pick up the power. Below is the unpacked 12" lighting strip before cutting, laid out with the side grille.
And the layout process:
Next, I cut the strips to length. I ended up with 15 LED's on the long side of the spear, and 9 on the short side. When cutting the strips, be sure to NOT cut the resistor itself.Then I tested them to make sure they still worked, and to see if I liked how they look.
Now you have to seal the cut ends with clear silicone per the instructions, and let them sit for a few hours.
Next step is to give these flexi-strips more rigidity. I cut some thin strips of black plastic to match the width of the lighting strips (about 1/2"), and fastened the double faced tape of the lighting strips to the plastic.
The next step is to make them look more like a real light with reflectors. We'll do this by using self- adhesive (real) aluminum duct tape, which can be bought at the local Home Depot or the like. I measured the space between the individual LED's and the side margin, and came up with about 3/16" as a good consistent measurement. This is the width I cut the aluminum strips. I needed about 8 strips at 18" long to complete the job.
Now I installed the metal tape. First between each LED, wrapping it over the backing, then the long strips down each side and slightly over the back, and smoothed it all down. Then I tested to see if there was a brightness difference before and after the "reflector" installation.The top strip is before, the bottom,after:
Satisfied with the results, I then needed to put a clear "lens" over the completed reflector. I had planned to get a small piece of clear 3M bra material, but remembered I had some clear 20 mil. ballistic mylar used as a protective case for laptops and other electronic gear, so I used that- the bra film will work the same.Cut the film and fold it so you have about 5/8" to wrap over the face, and about 3/8" to fold over the back on each long side, and a tab for the end to close where you cut it earlier (the other end stays open for the wiring). Below is what the lens material looked like after preparing it, but before wrapping it over the light:
Below, a completed light at bottom, and one still awaiting the 'lens' on top:
Next, I installed some 3M super strong automotive double faced tape for mounting the completed light to the grille. I put a small piece of shrink tubing over the wired end to complete the seal:
Then I mounted my completed lights to the grille, routing the wires thru the grille so that when I install I can feed the wires up to the foglight housing, and tested once again:
Looks good. So I splicedboth pairs of wires together to a single pair of leads, shrink tubed them, and I was ready to go out to the car for installation.Below is the open foglight assembly, showing the parking light removed, and wire clamps ready for splicing the new LED leads. There are several posts on how to get the foglight housing open and get to the wires, so I didn't repeat that part here. You'll also notice that while I was in there I decided to replace the parking light with an LED bulb, as explained in Porsches4Ed's post on this subject:
I test-wired LED's again in this pic, but of course had to undo them to properly feed the wires- you can skip this step. Just remember that LED's are polarity sensitive!So now I fed the wires thru the back of the grille up to the parking light, spliced the wires in, and closed up the whole foglight assembly,replacing the foglight spear. Then I followed MotorDrive's instructions and snapped the grille in. Here's one side completed:
And here is the whole job completed (center grille not yet installed):
And now for the grand finale- illuminated in daylight:
I have already had two other Porsche owners stop me and ask if my '06CS is a '10. The look is very OEM, and the car looks sharp with the lights off or on. Now I am going to live with it for a while before I decide whether or not to eliminate the outboard strip.Total cost, excluding the grilles themselves:2-12 plasmaglow light strips at $29.99 each = $60Alum tape - $7Clear film- $20Wiring connectors - $5Double stick foam tape - $3Grand total= $95Black plastic - had it laying around, but you can use any reasonably thin and stiff backing material- metal would work also.So there it is, and you can do it too! Let me know what you think of the look. K-Man S made a good point that some folks will not like the look. However, you can choose your own configuration, and you can use the same approach and using small wire ties could mount the lights BEHIND the grille if you prefer that look.Hope you found this helpful.MichaelUPDATE 11/26/09 - A couple months ago I decided to eliminate the outboard strip- took about 5 min to do. Like the look better- looksmore OEM than 09-10 Caymans with factory LED lighting!Michael

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