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2015 Subaru Outback Premium | 2007 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 07 Outback 2.5i and I've searched through the site and found a couple mixed reviews on HIDs. Within the next couple months I am planning three modifications:
a.) Custom ARB style bumper w/winch
b.) King raising springs
c.) HID upgrade to low beam and fog lights

I'm all set on the first two items but its the HIDs I am not clear on. I've researched my local laws and I am allowed to use white or yellow colored beam/light. So, I want upgrade the low beam and fog lights with an HID yellow bulb - leaving the high beam standard 9005 bulb.

If I understand things correctly, I will need a H7 HID kit (for the low beam) and a 9006 HID kit for the fog lights. So, here are my two question on this matter:
1.) is heat going to be a problem with the headlight/foglight housings [if yes, is it brand specific]
2.) what brands do I gravitate towards and/or steer clear of [list brands and note good/bad]
3.) should I plan on re-routing my DRLs to an alternate light (aftermarket LEDs, fog, high beam)

Here are a couple posts I've already gone through, so I'm just looking for a little more concise input:
Conversion to LED Exterior Lighting
DRL Replacement - LEDs
LED lighting Strips for Daytime Running
How To: Retrofitting Projectors (TRS HID)


[side note]
Removing bumper

Thanks in advance.
 

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Might recheck the law- I don't think HID retrofits are legal anywhere in the USA. It's more a question of whether you can get close enough to the right setup to escape detection & prosecution. Enforcement is very slack in many US jurisdictions, even with the blatantly out of spec conversion bulbs stuffed into reflector housings. You still wouldn't have the self leveling or angled shading of a real HID setup but you would be closer to legit than many.

With the projector low beams in the 07, most of the hard work is done for you. You'll still want to investigate some projector inserts for the fogs, or just replace the housings altogether. I think the LGT had projector fogs, so that should fit.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback Premium | 2007 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #3
Might recheck the law- I don't think HID retrofits are legal anywhere in the USA. It's more a question of whether you can get close enough to the right setup to escape detection & prosecution. Enforcement is very slack in many US jurisdictions, even with the blatantly out of spec conversion bulbs stuffed into reflector housings. You still wouldn't have the self leveling or angled shading of a real HID setup but you would be closer to legit than many.

With the projector low beams in the 07, most of the hard work is done for you. You'll still want to investigate some projector inserts for the fogs, or just replace the housings altogether. I think the LGT had projector fogs, so that should fit.
Thanks for the information. I didn't realize there were laws related to HID - when I found the restrictions on color I did not see any reference to HIDs. But I'll go over it again and look for a reference in other areas.

I'm not one to push laws, I'm happy to operate within them regardless of how tightly they are enforced. Having said that, are there yellow H7 and 9006 bulbs that can be replaced with maybe a higher wattage that won't overheat the OEM wires?

If i recall, I found the fog lights are 35w and the headlight is 55w. If I were to replace them with 55w and 100w respectfully, do you know of any issues to be concerned with (heat on the lens and/or wires)?
 

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'07 OBXT Ltd. 5EAT, Charcoal Gray; '70 Chevy K10 4X4, 396c.i., lifted; '63 Pontiac Tempest, 326c.i.
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+1 to Rasterman on all of that info. He's right, with the projector housing already done, you can get your vehicle close to factory-looking HID equipped cars. Close.

I went about the whole process wrong when I upgraded to HID's in my 2007 Outback. I went for the cheapest kit available....such as the one on simplyhidkits.com (owner/parent company is Kasa Stores.) DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCHEME. The kits are absolute dirt. Makes sense - I think I paid $105 total.

After haggling with that last company, I stepped up in my price-point; For $170 + shipping, I got a complete kit through carhidkits.com. I got the 6000k color (bright white), digital slim ballasts (highly recommended), and the extra wiring harness (highly, highly recommended.) Each component is explained below...

The color I chose - 6000k - most accurately represents natural sunlight. I would say these are about 95% as bright as stock HID's (2006 Lexus GS 430 is a tad brighter, as well as some of the Audi's and a VW Toureg I matched them up with.) Honestly, there isn't enough of a difference where the untrained eye will notice. If you get another color, IMHO you probably run the risk of less visibility. If you are upgrading the lights for better visibility, I would stick with 6000K on the main projectors. If you went with yellow (I think 4500K-ish is yellow) for your fogs, then I think you'd still be happy because the 6000k's will do their job - illuminate brilliantly.

The digital slim ballasts ($20 extra) are a godsend for our engine compartment, because of the lack of good, flat mounting space. The larger ballasts would not have fit in the spaces I currently have the slim ballasts. But these ballasts aren't a good buy simply because of size - the digital part is importanat. This is where I get a little fuzzy (and where you should start Googling), but to my understanding, the digital signal is a much more clean power signal to your lights. Non-digital ballasts can sometimes cause tiny surges, giving you the "flickering" effect that so many HID customers complain about. With the digital ballasts, this flickering is completely eliminated.

The extra harness I talked about (another $20) is so that both your passenger and driver's side bulbs turn on when you start the car....(disclaimer: I'll try to not lose you in the explanation here, but sorry if I'm not very concise. The numbers are not important, but the overall concept is.) HID's use something like 60% more power to turn on your lights (on initial startup, due to the fact that it is a gas, not filament), and use 35% less power while the car is running (as compated to filament-style bulbs.) How the kit is made (as is every other kit on the market) is that the power runs from the battery (as the power source,) through your driver's side light, on to your passenger side light. Without this harness I recommend getting, when you start up the car (with the HID kit installed, minus the harness), your passenger bulb will come on only 50% of the time. That means you would have to turn the car off, then turn it back on, and possibly do this a few time. So simply put, all this harness does is provide an extra power line running from your passenger side bulb to the battery, and also provides an extra ground. Do yourself a favor and buy that harness with the kit.

The install (if doing yourself) is not hard. I'd say the hard part is keeping the stock look of the car - which I wasn't able to do, but got very close. The wires are routed so that they're almost hidden. A trained eye would know what they're looking at, but the average Joe/Jane would not know the difference. My point is that with this kit, it is possible to get very close to a stock look. If you spliced in a foot of wire in a few of the wires, you absolutely can achieve a stock look, but the length is what is limiting this kit.

As for operation, I've had mine for a year, and nary a problem. 100% of the time, they work EVERY time...haha (not sure if you caught the Anchorman quote there...) I've had probably 4 or 5 friends, some of them mechanics, that ask if my car came stock with HID's. (Meaning, they are a good product!) One gripe about the operation (versus a stock system) is that if you turn off the headlights, they will not strike back on. Might sound like a big deal, but with our headlights coming on automatically, you probably don't manually turn your headlights on and off often, or at all. In that case, you would have to turn off your car, then turn it back on with the headlights in the "on" position. Again, its a small gripe because I never manually turn off/on my lights.

Lastly, I have not done the DRL disable yet, and I may never do it. All you have to do is clip one blue wire under your dash, easily accessible. This literally takes one minute to do.

One thing I forgot to mention was this: consider going LED for your fog lights. I've seen it done very cleanly, and for very cheap. Don't go SUPER cheapo, like the $6 bulbs on Amazon. But there are other ones for $28 - $40 on the net that have had good reviews...(MUCH cheaper than a 2nd HID kit.)

All in all, its a good experience. Even if you don't go with this kit, take this information to another manufacturer that you're considering. If you have other questions, fire away. Good luckon your purchase!
 

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2015 Subaru Outback Premium | 2007 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both for the posts - VERY helpful and just what I was looking for. Again, thank you very much all the detail helps a great deal with where I want to go with this.

To provide a little more perspective on the direction I am going ... I will end up with a pair of LED 4 inch round spot lights on the custom bumper I'm making - they will be on either side of the winch. That will be my "white" light source - notably used off-road only. I wanted to yellow light for my headlights and fog lights for two (honestly) trivial reasons.
1.) I like the look
2.) Easier to be seen/stand out (a somewhat false sense of security)

I've done the research to know that white is the best light. For fog, in particular, its all about light placement and aim. That [transition into another point] is why I will not choose LEDs for my fog lights. LEDs vomit light and are very hard to focus/aim - at least in all the fixtures I've seen them offered in. With each LED in it own little cone, it is impossible for them to focus light in a free form housing. So, you'd have to have the designed lens that bends the light - which is not what the 07 fog light housing has.

Having said that and knowing that a yellow lens (of any sort - bulb or film/tint) will cut light output by ~25%, I figured a 80w or 100w bulb would get me the look I want and generate about the same white light output that I (and others on the road) would be used to.

As for DRLs, I do want to disable them, I just feel (unsubstantiated) that it reduces the life span of my low bean bulbs - seems unnecessary to me. So I figured if I was going to invest in some light modification, I should do something to preserve that investment and not promote its consumable nature. With that said, I could do what I've read others do, which is snip the DRL wire (as you suggest) and then install some LED (rope) and connect it to the cigarette lighter/aux power fuse so they get power with the first turn of the key.

On a side note - I'm one of those weird / rare automatic transmission drivers that actually uses the parking brake. So, when I start my car up every morning, my headlights are off because I do manually operate them and an engaged parking brake turns them off. So, I wonder if that habit would be an issue with powering up the HIDs?

Thanks again for all the input. The detail is very helpful.
 

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Thanks for the information. I didn't realize there were laws related to HID - when I found the restrictions on color I did not see any reference to HIDs. But I'll go over it again and look for a reference in other areas.

I'm not one to push laws, I'm happy to operate within them regardless of how tightly they are enforced. Having said that, are there yellow H7 and 9006 bulbs that can be replaced with maybe a higher wattage that won't overheat the OEM wires?

If i recall, I found the fog lights are 35w and the headlight is 55w. If I were to replace them with 55w and 100w respectfully, do you know of any issues to be concerned with (heat on the lens and/or wires)?
Staying within quartz bulbs, there isn't a lot of headroom electrically or thermally, and again quite possibly none at all legally speaking. You'll find that most hi-watt bulbs are labeled for "off-highway use only."

Subaru used very thin wires to feed the headlights. They could handle a little more but not a doubling of current.

Thermally speaking it seems like the higher output bulbs will suffer greatly reduced lifetimes, which is normal for an overdriven quartz fixture, but the wires will burn before the housings melt.

There are some brighter 55w bulbs out there- the trick is in using clearer glass to let more energy out of the bulb instead of losing it to internal reflection.
 

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Skemcin, I can understand your desire to have a certain look. I am a car guy, through and through. I have some friends with fanboi ricers that are absolutely awful to look at - yet they represent shamelessly, and I seem to be one of the few around here that appreciates individuality, even if it is an eyesore, haha. (Not implying YOURS is an eyesore. In fact, I almost went yellow with my HID's. My fogs will for sure be yellow, but since I travel on the open road late at night often, I stuck with bright whites for my Subie.)

With the parking-brake topic, you may have an issue. But with snipping that DRL wire under the dash, it may be taken care of. What makes me think so, is because others have snipped it and turn off/on their lights manually, yet don't have the same problem I do. So I just need to cut that wire then give you the lowdown.

As for the fogs, you might consider going with some Hella lights. I was looking at some of the smaller Optilux series lights and was pretty impressed - those suckers really shine! But I decided myself on going with the stock housings and stock bulbs til they burn out, then possibly HID's. ( yellow, of course :)

And one other option is to find a bright LED bulb for the fog, but tint the lens. You can find some extremely low wattage LED bulbs with a higher output for pretty cheap. I'm not sure how to tint the lenses, but I'm sure theres a provideer in your area.
 

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I put some yellow dyed bulbs in my fogs and called it a day. I like the look, and there's no chance of a ticket anywhere I take it. The project ran me $25 and took 15 minutes to complete.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
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I don't own a 2005+ with projectors, but here is my take, since I have run a number of different HID set up including a retrofitted set of projectors on my 2004.

As for the legality. I've talked to cops about this all four of the places I've lived with these setups (FL, ID, ND, and MT) and they all say the same thing. "We don't care as long as you're not running around blinding people with them." Most of the LE I have talked to admit to having aftermarket HIDs in their personal vehicles. So I suggest talking to your local cops, ultimately they should know whether its legal, and more important, whether you're going to be harassed by them about them.

Secondly, expensive HIDs vs cheap HIDs. In my opinion the kits you get from DDMTuning.com are great. They're dirt cheap (30 bucks for bulb/ballast/harness), and they work 90% as well as those $300 kits. The main difference is that they take a little longer to warm up. I have kits from them that are close to 4 years old and still run like a top with no failures. I've installed these kits on my Subaru, my mom's truck, and my brothers Passat and they've all worked flawlessly for years. My take is not to waste your money on a fancy kit.

As for heat problems, if you stick with 35w HID kits you should be fine, if you step up to a 55w HID kit you may have problems. The 55w kits are bad news on the road anyway, since they're too bright, and will definitely get the attention of LE and piss off everyone around you.

If you do decide to go the Halogen route, don't go with anything over about 65w on the stock wiring, you'll end up melting wires if you jump to a 100w on the stock wiring, and might start having heat issues with your housings. Also, your fogs are 55w as well, so don't feel like you have to use a lower wattage there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks , again, for all the helpful feedback. I think all of this has narrowed down what I am going to do. Hopefully, your input and my attempt to explain my desire match up and you guys would agree that my decision is inline with the points being made.

Having said, I will go with:
1.) 65w Yellow H7 for my low beams
2.) 65w Yellow 9006 for my fogs
3.) Snip the DRL
4.) Install a couple small LEDs, connected to something like my cigarette lighter, to replace my DRLs

I'll get the yellow I like and maintain about the same output as the current white with the combination of the 65w bulb (increasing) and yellow tint (decreasing). I won't burn my headlights all day with the DRL snip but not do away with them completely by installing an alternate/substitute.

Thanks again for the help and advice. I feel much better about the changes planned.
:)
 
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