Headlamp modification (H11 to H9 retrofit) - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Headlamp modification (H11 to H9 retrofit)

I have owned my 2015 Outback for a few months now. I honestly dont have many complaints about it. I'm going to HATE hearing how much better the 2016's with direct injection are... the ultra tiny clock under the temp controls is so bizarre, its like they added the feature to spite us....and then there's the low beam headlamp performance on the 2.5s......

Night driving with this car is kind of a pain in the ass. I wish the HID option was available for all trims, but it isnt, in fact, it should be standard across the board.
Instead of attempting to install aftermarket HIDs, I read about taking a hi-beam bulb from other auto applications (the H9) and retrofitting it into our low beams.
I will post my experience from this project in this forum as I get results

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post #2 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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H11 bulbs

So, the H11 bulb is a garden variety low beam bulb with lots of applications. Notice the large abscess or opening in the middle of the connector...

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post #3 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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The H9 bulb

The H9 bulb on the other hand, is not as prevalent in application as the H11. This bulb (I believe) I used for cars as a high beam bulb, where the high beam isn't performing double duty as a DTL.

Pay attention to the female port of the bulb, as this is where the modification is required, should you decide to use this bulb as a low beam replacement.

I have circled where (not a very good picture) there is an additional plastic guide, which is NOT on the H11 connector. You will need to file this "guide" away in order for the H11 male connector to work with the H9 bulb.
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post #4 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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H9 bulb, after mod

Here, I have filed the extra plastic guide away, so that I can connect the bulb in the low-beam socket on the 2015 Outback. Notice also, this bulb (the H9) does NOT have the painted cap like the H11, and most low beam projector bulbs on the market...

I performed a fitment test after my modifcation, and the bulbs indeed fit in the headlamp housing, and they emit light (PASS fitment and function tests).

Tonight, I will perform an effectiveness test, where I aim the low beams at a target (behind a dark building, at a wall or whatnot) with BOTH the H11 bulbs, and the H9 bulbs for a comparison. Feel free to post, and let me know what you think =)
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post #5 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 07:11 PM
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Thanks for posting. I was thinking about the upgrade after reading another thread about it. I'd love to see the result from your experiment.
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post #6 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkirk78 View Post
Here, I have filed the extra plastic guide away, so that I can connect the bulb in the low-beam socket on the 2015 Outback. Notice also, this bulb (the H9) does NOT have the painted cap like the H11, and most low beam projector bulbs on the market...

I performed a fitment test after my modifcation, and the bulbs indeed fit in the headlamp housing, and they emit light (PASS fitment and function tests).

Tonight, I will perform an effectiveness test, where I aim the low beams at a target (behind a dark building, at a wall or whatnot) with BOTH the H11 bulbs, and the H9 bulbs for a comparison. Feel free to post, and let me know what you think =)
I can't wait to see the results! I did the same bulb swap, but don't have time to post side by side comparisons. The results based on my eye test is that it is noticeably brighter. Are you planning on doing the high beam swap as well?

--
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post #7 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo View Post
I can't wait to see the results! I did the same bulb swap, but don't have time to post side by side comparisons. The results based on my eye test is that it is noticeably brighter. Are you planning on doing the high beam swap as well?
I was not planning on doing a high bulb swap.....unless I could find a way to deactivate the half power high-beams as the DTL, and use the LED trim as the DTL instead....

Aesthetically, that would be (in my opinion) much better, but I'm not ready to invest the time into that kind of mod yet. The low-beam mod was for safety reasons XD
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post #8 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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on looking 35 ft comparison

so, here is a camera shot looking at the car at 35 ft, first the old bulb, then the new bulbs. Its hard to tell, but the new bulb does look a bit brighter in this shot. Notice on the passenger side, the beam reflection is both longer and wider. I believe this effect is somewhat subdued on the driver's side, due to that light's aiming down and inward....
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post #9 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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reflection, at 35 ft

Here are a few photos of the light reflecting /shinning on a wall at 35 ft. its easy to see that the new bulbs are brighter, by measuring the length of the brightest section of the light and comparing....
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post #10 of 147 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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The results

Quantitatively, you can look at the photos and tell there is an improvement. I believe the H11 bulb is 1300 lumens, whereas the H9 bulb is 2100 lumens.

Qualitatively, I can see a definite improvement while driving around twisty mountain roads, at night. Before the mod, I used my high-beams significantly to improve the poor visibility from the stock bulbs. Now, my high beams appear to be a compliment to the low beams (as it should be) as opposed to a requirement.

I want to thank everyone that posted in the forums on this topic, which allowed me to research this further and complete the mod. I highly recommend this mod, as opposed to installing HIDs. Cheers.

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