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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I've tried searching and searching and just can't find what I want: a simple package or product to order that will fit my Subaru. I keep finding threads describing other generations of Outback, or ones that don't seem very conclusive, so I thought I'd make my own thread, looking for things for my 2002 OBW.

Anyway, looking for 2 things. First, I want some sort of package that will allow me to convert my interior lights to LED. I've seen kits for newer OBWs for less than $30. Also, does anybody have a writeup or instructions on how to replace the bulbs? Are they plug and play? And how do you get to the bulb (I've had experiences with other cars where I've broken the plastic covers trying to get at interior bulbs)

Also, I know a lot of you advise against HID conversions and such, but I'm sick of the light output I have in my OBW and, from the pictures I see people post, the HIDs really don't look that bad to me in terms of light output. I am not looking to do a $200 conversion; rather, I was looking for one of those <$50 plug and play kits with the balast and such.

Or, does anybody know of halogen bulbs that would be bright and give the blue/white look of HIDs?

Thanks for the help guys, always appreciated
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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One of the problems you're running into is, few people on this board would be interested in the 'blue-ish' output due to it's being known to actually limit visibility. ( http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/blue/blue.html ) Also, without a proper 'projector' insert, the upper cut-off to prevent blinding on-coming drivers is probably not achievable in the unaltered headlight. (http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html )

that probably explains why the 'good' options cost $200 - they are using Honda or MB headlights from junkyard, cutting the projector out and gluing them into Soob light housings. ( http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html )

you might try searching around over at NASIOC, or. maybe someone here will chime in that has some experience with this.

About the best you can do with stock housing would be something like Narva +50 for the low beam, and modified 9011s for the high beams. (cutting a tab down by a few mm)
 

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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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Just some insight on what I did on my '07 OBXT (even though it's a GenIII, I might be able to provide some info for you)...

For LED interior lights:
I went to Carid.com and found the listings for bulb specifications on all the lights I wanted to replace in my car. They have complete kits on that site, but they were EXPENSIVE, as were the individual bulbs. So after I found the part numbers on Carid, I went to Amazon and typed in the part numbers + LED. So far, I changed out the dome (front), cargo (rear), map lights (x2), puddle/splash lights on the doors, and reverse lights on the exterior. I'm happy with all of them, except my reverse lights. I think they are actually more dim than stock, but I've found some replacements (on Amazon, of course) for much, much brighter bulbs. Altogether, they cost me about $35.00, including shipping, and took me about 30 mins total install time. (I think the Carid kit was well over $100.) I had very specific requirements for each bulb, so that's why I went the custom (i.e. Amazon) route. For instance, I wanted REALLY bright puddle lights, and bluish map lights, but pure white dome lights, etc. I plan to do a complete exterior LED conversion (turn signals F + R, mirror turn signals, tail lights, and fog lights) at some point in the near future. As for directions on changing out all the bulbs, I can't help you there.

HID's:
(DISCLAIMER: I apologize, but I don't have the specifics on where I got my lights.) I wanted the same thing as you - a cheap upgrade to stock lighting, and I got my @$$ handed to me in the end. I bought some $60 "el cheapo's" online from a cheesy online site (named something like mycarhidkit.com, or something like that). DON'T GO CHEAP!!!!! They didn't fit properly for my application, and they melted part of my headlight assembly. They were not as bright as regular HID's, and were actually probably dimmer than my stockers. So, I went onto Subaru forums (before I was a member here) and came upon another company selling them for....I cant remember, but maybe $150 total with shipping. I also bought the optional "digital slim" ballasts (A godsend for my cramped engine compartment, so I could hide them well enough to keep the stock look) and also bought the optional "extra harness." I didn't immediately install the extra harness and found out why it is useful; without the harness, my passenger headlight only came on maybe 50% of the time on startup. With the harness, it turns on 100% of the time. (I found out this is a common issue with all HID's, due to the fact that they are a gas-filled chamber, rather than filament type bulb.) Again, the kit was $110 + 20 for optional digital slim ballast + 20 for the harness, bringing it to about $150 total. The lights are as bright as any HID's and I have no problem. Also, with the digital ballasts, you don't experience the occasional flickering that other HID's have. The company lets you choose a wide arrange of colors, but I went with 6000K (bright white).

I have the projector bulb in my headlight already. What 1 Lucky Texan is talking about (road glare) is a real concern, and I would highly suggest not doing an HID conversion until you have the projecter headlight assembly. I did HID's on my brother's Acura (without the projector bulb) and he hated it because people were ALWAYS flashing their high-beams at him. Also, every time I am driving and I see another car that didn't use projectors, I am absolutely blinded. Trust me, dude...not worth the headache. You can buy a universal projector beam assembly separately and search youtube videos on how to install them. I've seen the complete tutorials - they're thorough.

While this has probably turned into a much more expensive project than you intended, the mantra "you get what you pay for" almost always rings true. There is no 1. cheap lighting 2. with better output 3. that doesn't blind other people. All three components need to be present for a good assembly.

Having said all that, the good news is: you can do all of this stuff yourself. I was once a beginner (not assuming you are, but evidencing the fact that you can do this stuff with zero knowledge.) And, you can do it all in steps. If cost is a key component, you can buy the projector assembly and install them with your stock lighting, then when you get more disposible cash, you can buy the HID's, etc etc etc......hope this all works out. In the end, it is rewarding when you do your research and make wise decisions. :)
 

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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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ALso, I think Silverstar makes an "HID-looking" light bulb for your application. I found some at Schmucks a few years ago, and also at Autozone just a few months ago. Not to be confused with their regular bulbs (which are still brighter than stock), they actually make lights that mimick HID's. They're just not as bright as HID's, or have as wide of peripheral lighting.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Wow, thank you all for the wide array of information! I will take this into consideration and will do some more research tomorrow during my break between classes. Have to do homework right now, so I will read your responses more in depth when I can.

Again, thank you!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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Just some insight on what I did on my '07 OBXT (even though it's a GenIII, I might be able to provide some info for you)...

For LED interior lights:
I went to Carid.com and found the listings for bulb specifications on all the lights I wanted to replace in my car. They have complete kits on that site, but they were EXPENSIVE, as were the individual bulbs. So after I found the part numbers on Carid, I went to Amazon and typed in the part numbers + LED. So far, I changed out the dome (front), cargo (rear), map lights (x2), puddle/splash lights on the doors, and reverse lights on the exterior. I'm happy with all of them, except my reverse lights. I think they are actually more dim than stock, but I've found some replacements (on Amazon, of course) for much, much brighter bulbs. Altogether, they cost me about $35.00, including shipping, and took me about 30 mins total install time. (I think the Carid kit was well over $100.) I had very specific requirements for each bulb, so that's why I went the custom (i.e. Amazon) route. For instance, I wanted REALLY bright puddle lights, and bluish map lights, but pure white dome lights, etc. I plan to do a complete exterior LED conversion (turn signals F + R, mirror turn signals, tail lights, and fog lights) at some point in the near future. As for directions on changing out all the bulbs, I can't help you there.

HID's:
(DISCLAIMER: I apologize, but I don't have the specifics on where I got my lights.) I wanted the same thing as you - a cheap upgrade to stock lighting, and I got my @$$ handed to me in the end. I bought some $60 "el cheapo's" online from a cheesy online site (named something like mycarhidkit.com, or something like that). DON'T GO CHEAP!!!!! They didn't fit properly for my application, and they melted part of my headlight assembly. They were not as bright as regular HID's, and were actually probably dimmer than my stockers. So, I went onto Subaru forums (before I was a member here) and came upon another company selling them for....I cant remember, but maybe $150 total with shipping. I also bought the optional "digital slim" ballasts (A godsend for my cramped engine compartment, so I could hide them well enough to keep the stock look) and also bought the optional "extra harness." I didn't immediately install the extra harness and found out why it is useful; without the harness, my passenger headlight only came on maybe 50% of the time on startup. With the harness, it turns on 100% of the time. (I found out this is a common issue with all HID's, due to the fact that they are a gas-filled chamber, rather than filament type bulb.) Again, the kit was $110 + 20 for optional digital slim ballast + 20 for the harness, bringing it to about $150 total. The lights are as bright as any HID's and I have no problem. Also, with the digital ballasts, you don't experience the occasional flickering that other HID's have. The company lets you choose a wide arrange of colors, but I went with 6000K (bright white).

I have the projector bulb in my headlight already. What 1 Lucky Texan is talking about (road glare) is a real concern, and I would highly suggest not doing an HID conversion until you have the projecter headlight assembly. I did HID's on my brother's Acura (without the projector bulb) and he hated it because people were ALWAYS flashing their high-beams at him. Also, every time I am driving and I see another car that didn't use projectors, I am absolutely blinded. Trust me, dude...not worth the headache. You can buy a universal projector beam assembly separately and search youtube videos on how to install them. I've seen the complete tutorials - they're thorough.

While this has probably turned into a much more expensive project than you intended, the mantra "you get what you pay for" almost always rings true. There is no 1. cheap lighting 2. with better output 3. that doesn't blind other people. All three components need to be present for a good assembly.

Having said all that, the good news is: you can do all of this stuff yourself. I was once a beginner (not assuming you are, but evidencing the fact that you can do this stuff with zero knowledge.) And, you can do it all in steps. If cost is a key component, you can buy the projector assembly and install them with your stock lighting, then when you get more disposible cash, you can buy the HID's, etc etc etc......hope this all works out. In the end, it is rewarding when you do your research and make wise decisions. :)
I didn't know about the aftermarket projector inserts. good info

Did you have to disable your DRLs?
 

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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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No, I haven't disabled them yet. All it consists of is clipping one blue wire under the dash. There is a youtube video for it. (If you don't disable your DRL's, then you just have to keep your headlights on all the time. If you try to shut them off, then they flicker really bad. Otherwise, they're fine.)
 

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2007 Chrysler 300C built 5.7
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396 Posts
DDMtuning makes solid kits and, for the price, you can't beat em. I've had a DDM kit in my 300c fog lights for over 3 years now with now problems.
Just put their 4500k 55w kit in my 2013 about a month ago (lows and fogs) and it looks phenomenal.
Just because you go HID doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get a "blue" light output. 4500k is right about where stock hid equipped cars are going to be color-wise from the factory. 6000k gets a bit more blue but is still mostly white. 8000k+ and you'll get blue until you finally hit violet which is around 12000k.

2002 Outback uses an H1 bulb for the low beam headlight.
http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/DDM-HID-Kit-Slim-Ballast-35W-or-55W
You don't need brackets/error eliminators/adapter cables. Some people recommend getting the HID harness (connects ballasts directly to battery) but I don't like running wires around and I've never had issues running any hid kit off anything but the stock wiring loom.
 

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Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,529 Posts
DDMtuning makes solid kits and, for the price, you can't beat em. I've had a DDM kit in my 300c fog lights for over 3 years now with now problems.
Just put their 4500k 55w kit in my 2013 about a month ago (lows and fogs) and it looks phenomenal.
Just because you go HID doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get a "blue" light output. 4500k is right about where stock hid equipped cars are going to be color-wise from the factory. 6000k gets a bit more blue but is still mostly white. 8000k+ and you'll get blue until you finally hit violet which is around 12000k.

2002 Outback uses an H1 bulb for the low beam headlight.
http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/DDM-HID-Kit-Slim-Ballast-35W-or-55W
You don't need brackets/error eliminators/adapter cables. Some people recommend getting the HID harness (connects ballasts directly to battery) but I don't like running wires around and I've never had issues running any hid kit off anything but the stock wiring loom.
I replaced just about all "mini" bulbs with Nokya hyper white and yellow bulbs - same wattage but some with twice the candle output. I have done it on my 2005 and 2010 Forester previously without any problems. Nokya are made in Japan - rumour has it that Nokya company started with some disgrunted former PIAA employees....quality is good and they last for ever!
 

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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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You don't need brackets/error eliminators/adapter cables. Some people recommend getting the HID harness (connects ballasts directly to battery) but I don't like running wires around and I've never had issues running any hid kit off anything but the stock wiring loom.[/QUOTE]

Latigo brings up a good point - if you go with true HID's (not just HID-looking bulbs), then you might not even need the extra harness. Some cars experience the problems I had and some don't. When I researched the problem, I initially thought it was a crappy job I did installing them, or a faulty part. But upon researching more, the problem was experienced by all makes and models of cars, and all aftermarket bulb brands. Even the more expensive GE HID kits had this problem. I'm not sure if it had something to do with CCA's (cold cranking amps) from the battery, or what have you. But I know that some experience it and some dont. But in the end, it's not really a choice you have whether or not the kit works exactly as designed. If you have the option to order the harness, I would order it with the kit. Believe me, it's a pain in the ass to have to restart your car a few times so your passenger headlight comes on. But that's my own personal opinion. Research the problem if you want more info on it. Google something like "passenger HID headlight."
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
DDMtuning makes solid kits and, for the price, you can't beat em. I've had a DDM kit in my 300c fog lights for over 3 years now with now problems.
Just put their 4500k 55w kit in my 2013 about a month ago (lows and fogs) and it looks phenomenal.
Just because you go HID doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get a "blue" light output. 4500k is right about where stock hid equipped cars are going to be color-wise from the factory. 6000k gets a bit more blue but is still mostly white. 8000k+ and you'll get blue until you finally hit violet which is around 12000k.

2002 Outback uses an H1 bulb for the low beam headlight.
http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/DDM-HID-Kit-Slim-Ballast-35W-or-55W
You don't need brackets/error eliminators/adapter cables. Some people recommend getting the HID harness (connects ballasts directly to battery) but I don't like running wires around and I've never had issues running any hid kit off anything but the stock wiring loom.
I gotchya, this is making me think about getting them now... So I wouldn't have the problem of blinding people if I did the low beams? Also, I don't need to replace the high beams as well? Would it look strange to have HID lows and Halogen highs?
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Also, what do you guys think of these Nokyas? My concerns...

-How long would they last? Are they anything like those short-life Sylvania Silverstars?
-Would they make a noticeable difference? Anything close to HID? (I hate how yellow my headlights look)
-Which one is preferable? So many!

Thanks guys, here are some I found...

Nokya H1 Cosmic White Light Bulbs : Amazon.com : Automotive

Amazon.com: Nokya Arctic White H1 Headlight Bulb (Stage 2) and Free Alcohol Swabs: Automotive

Amazon.com: Nokya H1 Cosmic White Stage 2 5000K Halogen Headlight / Fog Light Bulb + Free Alcohol Swabs: Automotive
 

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Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,529 Posts
Also, what do you guys think of these Nokyas? My concerns...

-How long would they last? Are they anything like those short-life Sylvania Silverstars?
-Would they make a noticeable difference? Anything close to HID? (I hate how yellow my headlights look)
-Which one is preferable? So many!

Thanks guys, here are some I found...

Nokya H1 Cosmic White Light Bulbs : Amazon.com : Automotive

Amazon.com: Nokya Arctic White H1 Headlight Bulb (Stage 2) and Free Alcohol Swabs: Automotive

Amazon.com: Nokya H1 Cosmic White Stage 2 5000K Halogen Headlight / Fog Light Bulb + Free Alcohol Swabs: Automotive
I have them all and I had them on my 2005 and 2010 Forester and now on my 2013 Outback.
I never had to replace any of them since 2005!
They DO make a difference!
I also put Nokya hyper yellow to all my turn signals (replaced amber 7440 and 198 bulbs)
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #15
Right on! I think I will just order one of these then and put them in! Recommend one over the others?
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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Right on! I think I will just order one of these then and put them in! Recommend one over the others?
I prefer Arctic over Cosmic (in headlights) but I would also buy and install the heavy duty harness with ceramic plug to prevent possible meltdown of the bulb socket. It's about 6-inch long wire/harness that plugs directly into the incoming bulb wire/harness and bulb plugs into it....and then you put it back into your headlights. Learned that one on my 2005 Forester - bulb socket melted because of higher heat generated by these bulbs. Ever since I never had a problem!
Those you can also find on Amazon - just enter "heavy duty wiring for headlights" into the search box.
 

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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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Another thing I forgot to mention is that your headlight assembly lens might be faded. I used a kit from Mother's that was $20 to shine up my lens. Works like a charm! My buddy also used toothpaste to shine them up (for the dollar-conscious type.) Worth a try!
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #18
Alright guys, got the Nokyas in the mail and installed today.

Looking at the lights from the outside of the car, they look nice! Loving the blueish look compared to that dark yellow.

However, the output doesn't seem to be the best. Not sure if I'm just not used to the blue vs yellow output, or they're actually a lot dimmer. It honestly looked like i was driving with no headlights on in town with the street lights on and such.

Overall though, I like them. I kept my high beams the normal, yellow bulbs - didnt get the nokyas for them - so I should be good for my night time commutes.
 

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2007 Chrysler 300C built 5.7
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Alright guys, got the Nokyas in the mail and installed today.

Looking at the lights from the outside of the car, they look nice! Loving the blueish look compared to that dark yellow.

However, the output doesn't seem to be the best. Not sure if I'm just not used to the blue vs yellow output, or they're actually a lot dimmer. It honestly looked like i was driving with no headlights on in town with the street lights on and such.

Overall though, I like them. I kept my high beams the normal, yellow bulbs - didnt get the nokyas for them - so I should be good for my night time commutes.
If you want the look and intensity of HID, there is no substitute. You're absolutely correct in that your useable light output decreased. The more blue your bulbs get, the less light is actually being put on the road. This is true with HIDs as well (a 4500k kit will be brighter on the road than an 8000k kit) but they're so much brighter than halogens will ever be that you'll almost always be ahead.

If you really want to see at night and feel like you actually accomplished a mod that's more than just aesthetic, get an HID kit. You won't regret it.
Don't put an HID kit in your high beams. HID bulbs take several seconds to warm up once they've been turned on. This causes a lag time of when your high beams are actually useful. Trust me, get an HID kit from DDM for your low beams and never look back.
 

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Now that the headlight wars are in full swing I just leave my high beams on all the time. It's cheaper than HIDs and people don't flash their lights at me as often as they used to.
 
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