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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Link to pictures of installation

TOOLS
Small phillips and flat head screw drivers
1” dia. drill bit and drill
Flash light
Small rasp
Zip-ties

As soon as I can figure out how to attach photos I will add them in. For now see part A of a PDF below and Part B in the next thread, and also see the link to pics for now.

1. Turn wheels to the side as far as possible. REMOVE THE KEY FROM THE IGNITION.
2. Remove tab screws along entire wheel well liner, take note of the locations that contain the larger clips, mark them as it’s easy to forget where they came from.

3. Gently remove wheel liner, be mindful of the small thin metal tabs at the zenith of the wheel arch
4. On the driver’s side lamp you’ll see two fluid hoses, move these out of their two front clips and gently set aside

5. Unplug the large rectangular harness to the left of the headlight assembly, take the harness cable and tuck down under and to the left of the metal shelf behind the headlight assembly

6. Screw off the round putty colored cap to the low beam light
7. unplug the two prong wires from the back of the exposed H7 bulb
8. Push down in and down on the lock clip to free it from and swing lock clip to the right. The bulb is now sitting unsupported in the housing.
9. Preferably with latex gloves, remove the bulb and set aside. If your skin touches the bulb glass at all it will be ruined, keep the bulb completely free of any oil or grease.
10. Take the round cap used to cover the rear of the bulb socket and mark the exact center of it with a sharpie
11. Your new HIDs may come as a bulb with a permanently attached harness, verify that there is a rubber grommet, mine was a 1-inch diameter in the narrow center portion

12. Clamp the cover, take a deep breath and prepare to permanently make your mark on your new car by drilling a one-inch hole (or approximately the width of the narrow portion of the rubber grommet) in the at the center mark of the cap.
13. Carefully run your bulb and wires from the outside to the inside of the cap, I had to put a 1/16th-inch notch in my cap with a file to allow the clip on the bulb wire to pass through.
14. Put the grommet fitting around the new hole in the cap, it should be snug.

15. OPTIONAL: I purchased some cable protector plastic sheathing and put all the cables inside that and taped the ends shut with good electrical tape, you could use shrink wrap too. Set the bulb, grommet, and cap aside.
16. Find a location to support the new harness. I used the flat metal shelf behind the headlight assembly. Keep in mind how much cable slack you will have. Some HID kits come with a metal bracket to attach the ballast to the car, if this is the case, make sure the area that is attached will not rub (not even a little) on any other cables or hoses. Make sure vibrations will not slowly loosen or break your attachment.

17. For attachment, I used heavy duty 3M plastic velco I purchased at Radio Shack, sorry “The Shack”, whatever. This plastic velco was rated for good shear and tension loads and high temperatures, I verified that the numbers were adequate for what I was using it for (I’m an engineer and love doing that). I also purchased, but did not use, heavy duty double sided tape, this was a good move as I had to relocate the ballast unit multiple times and eventually remove it, that’s another story though.
18. Connect your ballast to your bulb assembly
19. Rest the new harness in its future home but do not permanently affix it yet.
20. Install the new bulb, it doesn’t need to turn, there is just a recess that the bulb tab fits in, on the driver’s side this recess was at about 7 o’clock. Gently rest the bulb in there.
21. Reinstall the spring clip to secure the bulb
22. Plug the new socket into the original plugs; this would be easier with little fingers, or a deft child assistant.

23. Verify all the components are connected, car plug to the bulb cables, cables to ballast, etc. Also plug the rectangular harness from STEP 5 back in on the left of the light assembly.
24. Double check everything is well connected
25. Turn on the lights and see if the Xenon fires up, it takes a second or two to come to full brightness. Success! If not recheck all your connections. Now turn them off and REMOVE THE KEY FROM THE IGNITION.
26. Remove the rectangular harness and get it out of the way again.
27. Now take note of the small triangle on the back of the cap you just drilled. On the back of the light housing there are two small ribs. The cap is righty-tighty, (clock-wise) to reattach. Carefully align the small arrow on the cap with the rightmost rib on the housing. Gently push down and make sure the cap is uniformly even with the housing. THIS WAS EXTEREMLY DIFFICULT FOR ME! I damaged the cap before I got it to seal correctly. And the only reason I got it to screw on at all was I shaved the O-ring down to get an easier fit. This was the most difficult part of the whole job. When done the light housing should be sealed pretty tight.
28. If you use tape and not a metal bracket to affix your ballast, use a degreaser or alcohol to clean all the surfaces you plan to attach your ballast to and the ballast itself.
29. Apply your velco tape, or attach your metal bracket and install your ballast at a spot of your choosing. Shake it vigorously to make sure it’s sturdy, this thing will be in your car for years getting punished.
30. Reinstall the hose cables and rectangular bracket making sure they don’t interfere with the new ballast cables.
31. If needed, secure your ballast cables with zip ties to a surface that doesn’t have a sharp edge. Any sharp edges will eventually vibrate a hole through your cables. Same goes for the zip-tie, the ends are sharp if you clip them and they will eventually cut through cables and hoses.
32. Turn on your lights again to make sure they still work and you haven’t jarred anything loose. REMOVE THE KEY FROM THE IGNITION.
33. Give your handiwork one last look over and make sure everything you moved is back where it was and all new things are secure and tidy. Good Job!
34. Reinstall the wheel well covers, pay attention to the tabs that go under and go over.
35. The passenger side is roomier and easier but the procedure is the same.

36. Enjoy a beer, you’ve earned it!

EPILOGUE
I purchased the absolute cheapest lights on ebay. At $88 I got what I paid for. After a few weeks then ceased to function properly, I had to remove them and return them. I'm awaiting a more expensive assembly to reinstall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did use the proper bulb, an H7 and it mounted in fine.

Unless you know of a kit that includes a pre-drilled cap, or custom harness mount that splices in between the stock male and female receptacles at the headlight assembly specifically for this Subaru (which there isn't) there is no way around this. If there was such a kit it would be multiple times more expensive than a typical assembly.

Not to be rude but I don't think you understand what is involved with a HID upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Replacing the entire assembly sounds like a lot of work for better light distribution, the low beam is already a projector-type and works quite well IMO. I'm not sure what a new reflector would gain?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what it is that you are suggesting? If it's replacing the entire projector, bulb, ballast, harness, etc. with an OEM Lexus product that fits I'm sure it's terrific, but probably closer to $1,000 rather than $100. You would really have to want that marginally better light distribution and self-leveling for that.

All my post was for is to show how a typical person can install a typical HID system in an '10 OB and the pitfalls I encountered while doing so. If there is someone whose has done the same thing with a different product or means, I welcome them to post that and not second guess what I did from the armchair.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The HIDs light projection seems to line up the same as the old halogens after the upgrade, with the sharp cutoff line. The height seemed perfect for halogens, but may blind a few people in Minis with the HIDs, I may point them a few degrees lower. In general, light distribution after the upgrade isn't as good as my old Audi's OEM HIDs, but it's an improvement nonetheless.

That arrangement in the old OB sounds like it's easier to work with, I'll check out that link. I've never had to go through the wheel well before to get access to a light assembly and that has made everything a little trickier. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Still working on the replacement lights, I need to digest that rx300 link and see if it's applicable to '10 too. Will post soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't I apologize, I've been working too much. I will get out there with the camera soon. :8:

I'm very happy with the finished product though, it will light signs up 2 blocks away and I haven't had anybody flash me to say I'm blinding them, so I considerate a success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
While its about 3x the price, did you consider the Philips kit? I really like the idea of Philips quality - after all they brought xenon to the automotive market and supply the majority of OE installations.
Gunguy-Thanks! Phillips are great, and actually that's what the stock halogens bulbs are, made in Germany phillips.
I've installed the Philips HIDs in my old Audi, and yes, they are worlds better than the Chinese garbage I used. I'll be surprised if mine last a year, then it's back to the European stuff.:7:


Does your high beams still work? Are the high beams a separate bulb on the outback? Sorry for asking an question for something that should be obvious, but I haven't picked up my 2010 outback yet. Installing HID's would be the first thing I do, HIDs should have came with the car!!! what was subaru thinking....
kingluke- the high and low beams are separate, so no issues there. See above for brand advice and good luck, you'll be really pleased when they're in. Also, you have great access to the fog lights if you want to do the "blackout the cheesy silver plastic" mod at the same time, there's a post on it in here somewhere.

I was thinking of putting in some good amber bulbs in the fogs at some point too if anyone knows about that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Looks like everyone is taking it to the next level!

Just an update on my HIDs, no problems whatsoever and I go through lots of tunnels everyday and get the auto headlights turning on and off constantly. Looks like the cheap Chinese stuff will last at least a year, so far so good. I've yet to get flashed from any oncoming traffic ever too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Over the years, I've done several HID upgrades and, lessons learned, the only way to go is OEM. Anything else, no offense to the OP, is a hack. I wouldn't worry about legality -- there are so many cars trucks with purple lights or blinding bulbs on the road that I can't believe anyone is enforcing anything to do with lighting.

Problems I've seen with hacked HIDs (adding a HID bulb/ballast into a halogen housing) include condensation in the housing, failed lighting, electrical interferences and the possibility that if one housing is damaged (deer strike comes to mind), your body shop /insurance company will only replace your broken housing with an OEM halogen housing and you'll have to hack all over again.

I much prefer HID lights to halogen and am also surprised they aren't an option on the OB but are on the Forester. Maybe the 2011 cars will offer HID and the housings will be the same. I've used that trick on BMWs when one model year didn't offer HID but a subsequent year did (without a body change). Pricey, yes, but definitely not a hack.
I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I've installed HIDs in three cars, including the OB and learned a little from each one. I haven't had any of the problems mentioned above and it's been well over a year with my current "hack" job. The bulb housing is the same as the euro-spec housing, i.e. it was designed to work with HIDs, and even the cheapest kit has a rubber gasket to seal out moisture if the back housing is drilled correctly, I know, I bought the cheapest kit.

So, yes people, and I'm guessing that refers to you or your buddies, have installed aftermarket HIDs and have had poor results in the past, but that doesn't mean that unless you spend $1000 on OEM equipment your lights are somehow insufficient. If you do a good job of installation and buy functional equipment there isn't a problem.

I look forward to seeing your future posts with photos, documentation about the work involved in purchasing and installing the OEM system, and the cost of the OEM installation, but I'm betting the end results will be identical, I'll just have more cash left over for snow tires. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
I believe your installation will be 100% completely different than the 2010+ OB HID installation. Did you look for any instructions for your vintage? You most likely don't have to remove the wheel cover, beyond that you are on your own. It should be pretty common sense though once you get in there. If you don't find instructions, take pictures and write your own guide.

No idea why you have green bulbs either, are your lenses tinted blue??

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
Thanks Bassman! Sounds like the bumper route may be easier, but I haven't seen a step by step on it. Let the forum know how it goes, good luck!

Incidentally, the cheap Chinese bulbs are still working well, and have exceeded my expectations of durability. I would probably do Phillips next time anyway since the experiment is over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Bassman Install

Congrats! I'd be interested in seeing your installation if you documented it.

I hear you on the hard work, I think I installed and reinstalled my set up 3 or 4 times, it's never quick and easy.
 
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