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2003 Outback Wagon
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I did search, but couldn't find any applicable info... Almost all the lamps in my wife's 03 OB Wagon have gone out, one at a time, over the last year or so. 2 quick questions:

1) What is the bulb # so I can purchase them ahead of time, or even go LED
and
2) Is there a writeup for pulling the dash apart? I'm used to GM interiors that just pull apart, pretty much as you would expect, but I hesitate to damage the nice "woodwork" in her car.:rolleyes:

Thanks!
 

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2003 Outback Wagon 5 speed
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14 Posts
You're in luck. I just replace some on my 03 outback (5 spd) today. 4 bulbs total I think. I just replace 2.

the bulbs (from the dealer):

p/n 85068AE070 BULB/SOCKET
$4.42 each

You probably could just get the bulb and swap it with the one in the socket now. There is a blue rubber sheath that would need to be swapped too. The ones I purchased above were complete. The parts guys gave me a couple lone bulbs for free. Nice guys.

1. Tilt the steering wheel down.

2. Remove the 'wood' trim on the left and right. The one around the stereo can be removed through the instructions in the below link (I cheated and just pulled out the top of the trim to work):

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3975

3. The black trim around the cluster has 4 screws holding it in. 2 above the cluster and 2 behind the wood trim.

4. The black trim comes out with the vents and all. Unplug the hazard switch before you pull it out. Use some needle nose pliers for this.

5. Remove the 5 screws holding the cluster in.

6. I let the cluster stayed wired and just swapped out the sockets/bulbs.

Put it back the way you found it. I used the needle nose pliers the plug in the hazard switch.
 

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2003 Outback Wagon
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hey, thanks for the tips! Do you happen to know if the bulbs are similar to 194 or 24 bulbs? My wife liked the orange color of her last Pontiac, and I happen to have a bunch of orange silicone caps that might work if the bulbs are about the right size...
 

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2018 328d Wagon / 2018 3.6R Touring
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706 Posts
Good instructions, thanks.

Did this last night and only had two minor issues, that is after I got over the fear of breaking any of the $100 plastic trim parts.

First problem - I don't think it would have killed them to make the hazard light switch cable another inch longer. That would have helped considerably.

Second, I went nuts looking for the two screws that drop down the metal piece that holds the ashtray slide in place. Got the one I could find out, and then figured out that when they added the cd changer they must have never put back the 2nd one. :rolleyes:

Beyond that, I'd recommend a very thin piece of cloth be placed on top of the steering column for when the trim piece with the air vents has to be gently pried over it. All told, took me about an hour to change all 4. If I had to do it again, it would probably be half that long. Experience = speed.
 

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2000 Outback Wagon, 2.5l 4cyl
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16 Posts
bump

Does the 2000 instrument cluster come apart the same way? I Drove my new to me old car in the dark for the first time last night and the back light bulb behind the fuel gauge is burned out. Sort of annoying since you can't read the fuel status.

Odd, my 91 accord wagon with 233k on it has never had a panel bulb (LED??) go out - ever.

Thanks in Advance!
 

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'00 Legacy OBW Ltd
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306 Posts
This is one of the best threads I found on this subject matter. So, I am adding the pictures to this one. All pictures were taken with the same settings (ISO 50, 1 sec exposure, f/2.0, sun white balance, neutral color) on my Canon G6 camera without any alterations (except resize by picasa). Thus it will be a good reference for the original brightness of the old bulbs, the red LEDs and the cool white LEDs by SuperBrightLEDs.

Background:
Dead bulbs in the speedometer, cruise control, heated windshield wiper, foglights, and heated seat controls.


Fix
I ordered 4 cool white LED replacement bulbs from SuperBrightLEDs.com I also got some Red items for my friends at the same time. However, I installed them to see what they look like so that others will be able to see as well.



Some pictures of the dash in pieces:



Comparison
Left 2 bulbs replaced with red (part # WLED-RHP6) and right 2 bulbs with Cool White (# WLED-CWHP6).


All bulbs replaced Cool White (# WLED-CWHP6).


Comparison of the original green on the buttons on the bottom left of the picture:


Photo Album with larger pictures

Final thoughts:
These LEDs are much better than other's have tried. They don't have hotspots like the other LEDs people had to modify in other write-ups. The service from SuperBrightLEDs is very quick (in the USA). I am happy except I like the red color is better. Whoops.
 

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'00 Legacy OBW Ltd
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306 Posts
Now that I have driven with these LEDs in the dark. I want to turn them down! Too bright with the Cool White. BUT when I dim them. The other lights dim as well. Now I can't see my other controls. Hmmm... Can I put another dimmer on the instruments separate from the main dimmer? Just a potentiometer, right?
 

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Current: 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited Previous: 2003 Outback Limited Sedan 2.5L
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75 Posts

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'00 Legacy OBW Ltd
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306 Posts
mikey1273 said:
I need to replace one bulb and was going to get from dealer but this looks very nice. will this bulb work/look good in my 03 outback?

5x 194 168 W5W 5-LED WHITE Refractor Wedge Bulb Lights
From what I have seen in the posts I found here. Those type of LED replacements need to be modified so that they are more diffused. The focused light of those LEDs with lens causes hot spots (uneven lighting). Most people just used sandpaper to sand the end down a little bit.

The type of LEDs I installed are less focused to begin with (surface mounted design without a lens structure).
 

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Current: 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited Previous: 2003 Outback Limited Sedan 2.5L
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eggroller said:
From what I have seen in the posts I found here. Those type of LED replacements need to be modified so that they are more diffused. The focused light of those LEDs with lens causes hot spots (uneven lighting). The type of LEDs I installed are less focused to begin with (surface mounted design without a lens structure). Most people just used sandpaper to sand the end down a little bit.
so you do not recomend those over the ones you used? you say you put in cool white but in the pics it looks more blueish is that how it is or just how the camera makes it look? anyway does it look fine with other parts of the dash still in green?
 

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'00 Legacy OBW Ltd
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306 Posts
You are correct, I recommend the items I used instead of those from eBay or any that look like those LEDs. The surface mount style that I used has very even lighting right from the start without any modifying required.

The downfall of the LEDs I used is that they are too bright compared to the other dash lights. I prefer my lights to be slightly dimmer at night. Thus I am working to wire in a button to reduce the voltage for night time use. My Fiancee's Mazda 3 has such a button and in the daytime the lights are brighter and one can dim them separately from the rest of the dashboard.

I did my best to ensure the color representation in the pictures is correct by using the Daylight White Balance. The picture was taken in almost complete darkness. I was in the garage with the lights off. The exception is the picture showing the relative color to the other dash lights.


Here are the colors available:
* Cool White (blueish white)
* Warm White (similar to incandescent light)
* Blue (kill your night vision)
* Green
* Red (great for night vision and very Audi like)
* Amber (orange like)
 

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Current: 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited Previous: 2003 Outback Limited Sedan 2.5L
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ok I'm going LED

After debating over which to order cool white or green I went with cool white. I like how yours looked and it will look like friends chevy silverado. I will try to rembeber to take some pictires of my before and after also to post here for others.

taking the dash apart doesn't look that hard, just time consuming. I have installed car stereos in the past so I feel ok doing it and anyone that has should too.
 

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Current: 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited Previous: 2003 Outback Limited Sedan 2.5L
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Tonight I noticef that the lights in my cruse and wiper deicer are out as well. What bulb might those be?
 

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'00 Legacy OBW Ltd
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306 Posts
mikey1273 said:
Tonight I noticef that the lights in my cruse and wiper deicer are out as well. What bulb might those be?
They are Radio Shack 272-1092 bulbs. MUCH cheaper than getting the factory stuff from Subaru. Requires some tedious work but well worth the lower cost. If I recall correctly the gray base ones are one the one to replace.

Here is more information (disregard the instructions for the older Legacy the little bulbs are the same for our generation): Legacy HVAC Bulb Replacement

 

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2003 Outback 3.0L H6 Anniversary Edition
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Thanks for the thread folks! :7: I was able to pick up OEM bulbs from the stealership, and replace myself in under 2 hours, and I'm TOTALLY new! ;)

I have gotten in to the stereo before, so the dash was immenently easier for this. kudos! :6:
 

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I need to replace the instrument lights in my moms 2002 LL Bean, but from what I've been reading, some of these replacement LED lamps are overly bright.

I have not yet taken apart her dashboard yet, but judging by these pictures it looks like a different style lamp with fewer LED's could be used (like this http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.17904)

Would I be correct in assuming that the LED's in the above lamp module would direct light directly toward the instruments?
 

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1998 subaru outback 2.5, 2 tone green on grey
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69 Posts
98 illumination dashlight

Just replaced the illumination dashlight for my 1998 subaru outback.

Got the stock from the dealer and found 6 lights in total for dashlight (green)

4x P/N 85068ae070 bulb/socket 6.68 CAN dollars
2x P/N 85066ac050 bulb /socket 4.38 CAN dollars

got them from subaru mississauga, canada
 

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Current: 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited Previous: 2003 Outback Limited Sedan 2.5L
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LED bulbs Avalable

I bought a set of LED bulbs for my 2003 Outback and never installed them, mine kept all working some days and others the fuel gauge was not lit. Any way I traded the Subie in on a Diesel powered Jeep Liberty because I want to get a camper and the Outback could not tow much and my options were limited, plus the Outback was needing brakes after only having them done 6 months ago along with soon needing timing belt, tires and more. It was just time to move on even though I loved the Outback I am very happy with the Jeep.

I have a set of 4 Of the LED bulbs in cool blue I ordered from Superbright LED website for about $25 + shipping I would like to unload them and some money back out of them.
 
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