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AC White Paper: Air-Cooled Porsche 911 Fog and Driving Lights

By: John Audette / Audette Collection Proprietor

 

 

SWB 1965-1968

Hella 128 Fog Lights
Porsche used the iconic Hella 128 fog lights (Part # PCG 631 201 10, Supersedes 644 631 201 03) for a long time, starting with the 1960 356B and continuing on through the 356C and the SWB 911's from 1965 through 1968. Current ones use an H3 halogen bulb and are available with either amber or clear lenses. Porsche designed for these fog lights with brackets and wiring in place at time of sale. They mount under the bumper using top mounts.
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For Fellow Anoraks
The under the bumper Hella 128 were standard for early 911's up to 1967 and that year 911S's were equipped with them. Up until the end of the longhood run following 1973 the wiring from the fuse box (which was not connected) to the front of the car was present for fog  lights. The wires were wrapped around the fender support tube. However, there was no wiring from the fuse box to the dash switch (or relay) was not included. The LWB cars did include a factory harness for the switch, relay and fuse box connection
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Wiring Diagram

 Taken from a post by expert Allen Henderson in the Early 911S Registry

 

LWB 1969-1973

Hella 139/169 Fog Lights

 

Porsche switched to the Hella 139 (901.631.205.01) fog lights with the introduction of the LWB 911 in 1969. Unlike the previous 128's, these had mounts on the back. Once again Porsche had mounting brackets and wiring in place when the car was sold. These can be somewhat difficult at times but AC usually has them in inventory.

Replacement lenses do not appear to be available other than attached to the reflectors - if you can find them.

Various Mounting Configurations

Be careful when shopping for these as one model of the Hella 139 is equipped with top/bottom  mounts, intended for Mercedes and Lamborghini, and for some reason there are vendors incorrectly selling them as Porsche parts. Also, there are at least two versions with center mounts. One is slightly off-center, the other perfectly centered. They both work on LWB 911's but ideally you want the one that is centered as it allows for more adjustment.

 

 

Hella 118 Through-the-Grille Driving Lights

These were introduced in 1968, right on the cusp of Porsche moving from the SWB to the LWB. They were (and still are) a very popular option on the two longhoods. They cleverly mount through special horn grilles with openings cut out of the grilles. Porsche provided threaded holes on the interior for the mounting of the brackets. A number of lamps were used in addition to Hella 118's. Most of them used H3 halogen bulbs with the exception of Italy H1 bulbs were used.
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The original fog and driving lights were made by Hella (and still are) but there are also many made by other manufacturers. For example, Cibié currently makes a version that uses H1 bulbs rather than H3 bulbs, similar to the Italian version. For those who don't require absolute correctness they offer improved performance over the assemblies with H3 bulbs. Especially today as technological improvement has been great with H1 bulbs than with H3 bubs.
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Mounting
Mounting brackets are different for SWB and LWB cars. SWB brackets can be difficult to find as they were seldom re-manufactured (and therefore expensive) but LWB brackets are widely available.
              
LWB Mounts                                                     SWB Mounts
Bolts specified are are hex head M6 x 12 DIN - you might try using M6 x 25 DIN to make things
easier (if they don't bottom out).
Lenses
Correct Hella lenses, for both driving lights and fog lights, are currently available.
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Deeper Dive for Anoraks
Detailed White Paper on 118 Fog Lights & Driving Lights
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 Italian 118 fog lights with H1 halogen bulbs - From a post by Bill Simmeth on the Early 911 Registry

Anoraks Only - Under The Bumper 118 Lights

I learned about this little anomaly from Dr. Brett Johnson, a friend and the author of the outstanding book, "The 911 and 912 Porsche: Restorer’s Guide to Authenticity II" which covers the longhood era of Porsches spanning 1965-1973 in great detail. Brett has written a number of books about various Porsche models and is a great authority due to his meticulous research.

The 118's were used in another way. They were optional in 1973 only on cars fitted with 911S or Carrera front bumpers (options M458 for clear and M459 for amber) and available only as driving lights. You could probably win a few beers with this nugget.

 Cibié (Pallas) Rally Hood Mounted Driving Lights

Cibie Rally Hood lights are THE driving lights for the F-Series longhoods, both SWB and LWB, and they are also used on later rally builds, including G-Series cars.

These produce prodigious lighting as they use H1 halogen bulbs (you will often hear them described as high beam lights). Most choose to paint these the body color of the car and most also use Cibié covers that protect them and look great.

I'm often asked about the correct alignment when they are mounted on the hood. It seems to be a bit variable but based on the research I did before mounting them on my 1967 911 Rally Build, I centered them with the centers of the headlights.

Cibié's mounted on a 1967 911 Rally Build along with
Bosch H1 headlights and unconventional TTG fog lights.

G-Series 1974-1983

Bosch G-Model Fog Lights

Bosch fog lights for this era come in chrome (911.631.206.00), black (911.631.206.03) and a chrome/black combination (911.631.206.01) and high quality reproductions are still being made. Mounts are located in the back of the assemblies. For some reason these are typically less expensive than some of the other fog lights listed here. Bosch lens replacements in clear and amber are readily available. They use H3 halogen bulbs.
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G-Series 1984-1989

Porsche G-Model Fog Lights

These fog lights (911.631.203.00 left, 911.631.204.00 right) are still provided by Porsche. As with other fog lights they use H3 halogen bulbs, but they differ sharply from previous generations as they are actually assemblies fitting into plastic frames. Lenses are widely available at reasonable prices but gaskets are very expensive for some reason. And the assemblies themselves tend to be expensive compared to other fog and driving lights. Probably due to the fact that they are still available from Porsche which limits the opportunity to reproduce them.

Information Sources

Thanks to the following for their contribution, much of it contained in posts to the Early 911S Registry Forum, the most knowledgeable group of Porsche longhood enthusiasts on the internet.

  • Dr. Brett Johnson
  • Michel (70SATMan on ESR)
  • Allen Henderson
  • Others to be added later