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I decided to do a write-up on how to install the Morimoto Elite HID system in the 2015 OB. The install is pretty straightforward; I’d say about 2/10 difficulty. Basic automotive electrical system knowledge his helpful but not required – it’s pretty hard to screw this up. The point of this is purely educational. I’m not here to start a debate about HID’s or retrofitting, please save that for another forum.

So far I'm very happy with this kit. The cutoff isn't as great as a true retrofit, but it's not terrible for being set in halogen projectors. It's certainly better than the halogen setup.


The dreaded LIN (local interconnect network) sensor:

Starting in 2015 Subaru starting putting a LIN sensor on their cars, including the OB. This sensor is on the negative battery post and feeds information back to the ECU about the load on the electrical system. Because of this, any ground additions to the electrical system need to be added behind this sensor so they can be actively monitored. You should never ground anything to the battery on any car with a LIN sensor. I haven’t heard any actual reports of issues with Subaru’s, but supposedly this can negatively affect gas mileage or worst case, kill your ECU. I’ve never seen a confirmed case of either of these scenarios. The bottom line is that you’ll need to use factory grounds on the frame. Good news is there are quite a few under your hood, so don’t sweat it.

I talked to two Subaru mechanics regarding the LIN sensor and grounding aftermarket electronics. They both said that as long as you didn’t ground directly to the negative terminal on the battery you’d be fine. I’ve been using this setup in my car for about 3 weeks now with no ill effects. My gas mileage is consistent at around 26mpg average, no check engine lights. I have pulled codes twice to see if there are any inactive stored codes and there is nothing.


Why not use a direct plug system? (Or, why relays are awesome):

I’m not here to badmouth any HID system, nor am I affiliated with any company that makes HID’s. I am, however, paranoid about modifying a brand new car – especially when it comes to one with a rather complicated computer and electrical system. There are a ton options out there that plug right into your existing plugs with no external ground of power needed. Problem is, your non-HID equipped Subaru was never meant to handle the load created by HID’s. They draw significant power when starting up, and require a smooth, consistent power draw. I personally wouldn’t risk putting this load on the OEM harness.

Instead of loading the harness with the draw needed for the power and ground, you can let a relay do the heavy lifting. Simply put, a relay uses a small current to switch a much larger current on or off. How this works in the HID scenario is as follows:

You plug your stock H11 (the connector the plugs into the low beam bulb) into the relay harness. The relay harness is wired directly to your positive battery post and grounded twice to the frame. The relay directly powers the ballasts. As soon as the relay senses the low current from the stock plug when you turn on your headlights, it switches the power to onto the heavy duty harness wired directly to the positive battery terminal. This powers the HID completely inside an isolated and fused circuit that was meant to handle the excessive load. No load or risk to the stock harness at all.

The best part is that you don’t need to cut any wires; everything is still completely plug and play. It just takes a little more time and effort to install. The relay is essentially your insurance policy that protects the OEM system. It’s fused and redundant, and in the off chance it went belly up you’d only be out the $30 to replace it.


What you’ll need:

I bought my kit from TRS, The Retrofit Source (https://www.theretrofitsource.com). Here is the direct link for the kit I bought. You’ll need a decent variety of heavy duty zip ties (not the reusable ones) and double sided mounting tape. You’ll also need a basic tool set – sockets, deep sockets, extensions, ratchets and side cutters are very helpful.

Make sure and chose the H11B bulbs. This is important! The regular style will not fit in your OB housing – the B style has a larger tab which orientates the bulb in the correct direction.

H11: Morimoto Elite HID System - http://www.theretrofitsource.com/hid-systems/morimoto-elite-hid-system-h11.html#.VSNFj2d0zDc


HID Ballasts
-2 x Morimoto XB35 (35W)
Ballast Igniters
-2 x Morimoto XB Igniter (AMP)
Compatible H11 HID Bulbs
-2 x H11B: XB 5500K (whatever color temp you prefer, I chose 5500K)
Harness
-1 x HD Relay: H11/H9/H8
Extension
-1 X 9006 Extension Cords, pair. Not required, but makes the install so much more clean and easy –
http://www.theretrofitsource.com/components/harnesses/9006-extension-cords.html#.VSNMMmd0zDc

Once you have everything make sure you have a couple of hours and a few beers to complete the job. Let’s start! For clarification, the left side is the driver’s side; the right side is the passenger’s side.


Step One – Remove the Battery and Plastic Battery Tray:

I didn’t take pictures of this step. If you are uncomfortable doing this or cannot figure out how to remove it, please stop and ask yourself if you should actually be doing the install.

If you want to disconnect your DRL’s this is a good time to do it since everything is out of the way. Once you remove the battery and tray, this is the area you’ll be working in.





Important! Once you reconnect the battery you’ll notice that you can’t roll down the passenger window from the driver’s side control. This is supposedly a ‘feature’ and is noted in the user manual. To fix this, roll down the passenger window down completely from the passenger side control. When rolling it back up, continue to hold the button up for a moment after the window is completely closed. You’ll then be able to use the driver’s side control again. This will happen every time the car completely loses power and has nothing to do with the HID system.

If you want to disconnect your DRL’s this is a good time to do it since everything is out of the way. Once you remove the area, this is the area you’ll be working in.


Step Two – finding a home for left side ballast and relay:

I’m big on having clean, neat wiring. I wanted the relay and ballast well hidden and out of the way. They also need to be in a place where they are secure and unlikely to contact large amounts of water or vibrate excessively. Finding places to put the components was harder than expected as I didn’t want to drill new holes or make any permanent changes under the hood.

Fortunately, there is a nice void under the battery between the support beam and windshield washer reservoir. I was able to fit both the left side ballast and relay in this spot. The relay needs to be close to the battery as the lead goes directly to the positive terminal.

The relay fits nicely into the groove under the battery support beam. Since the beam is tapered, you have to use two zipties to make sure it doesn’t slide off.



Once you get the relay secured you are ready to put the ballast in. Put some double sided tape on your ballast and slide it under the relay. Once in place, press it firmly onto the washer fluid reservoir so it’s secure. Make sure you have enough clearance to plug in your connectors! It will be a tight fit! Once in, connect the plugin to the input for the relay and the output to the amp. They only fit in one way. Make sure the seals seat securely and the retainers click on.




Step Three – Running Wires:

You’ll notice small white plugs around your engine bay that are attached to the frame using a single screw. They will have multiple wires running to them. These are the factory grounds and are a great place to ground the relay to. You’ll need a 10MM socket with an extension to get to it. Undo it, connect your ground and screw it back in securely.



The best place to run the long wire to the right side ballast is under the plastic cowling that runs along the front of the car directly under the hood. This way it’s completely out of the way of any moving parts and heat sources. Unfortunately it’s not quite long enough to come out the other side. This is where you’ll need the 9006 extension cord. Connect the extension and run it out the other side towards the right headlight.



The best place I found to mount the ballast was up inside the right fender. There is a slight flat spot high up and it mounts perfectly using 2 sided tape. The amp can mount to the inside of the body support also using 2 sided tape.




The last thing you need to do is run the ground for the right side ballast. Fortunately, you’ll find a factory ground point in the right side engine bay down under the air intake box. It's also a 10mm.



Now you can install the bulbs. Make sure and wipe them off carefully with the alcohol pads. They only fit in the housing one way.

You’re almost done! At this point you can hook up all the weatherpack connectors to the ballast and amps if you haven’t already done so and reinstall the battery. Make sure you have everything out of the engine bay, check your grounds and connections and fire em’ up!






 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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I am in 100% in favor of mods like these that are done professionally and the cut-off is well placed and so precise. OEM like look!!!

Good job!!!:grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!


I was pretty worried about having terrible cutoff at first. The Volvo that the lights are shining on is a very low to the ground car and the cutoff is more than acceptable. No excessive glare.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Besides utilizing that bay area to mount your relay and ballast, is there really any reason to pull the whole battery and tray out?






It would be almost impossible to get the parts or your hands down there without the battery removed.


I experimented with placing the relay and ballast in other places, but there isn't a lot of useable room in the area where you need to mount the parts. Also, the harness coming from the relay is bulky, putting it in this area keeps the wires manageable and in line with the stock wiring so everything is streamlined nicely.
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Ltd PZEV w/ Eyesight, Crystal Black Silica
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Very exciting! I've been waffling on whether to invest in an LED or HID solution. Could you post some night shots to show contrast and cutoff? In the event of a bulb or ballast failure, is it still easy enough to pop out the bulbe and put a OEM bulb back in for temporary? From your write up there didn't appear to be any cutting or splicing involved so it would seem to me that this could be done.
 

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It would be almost impossible to get the parts or your hands down there without the battery removed.


I experimented with placing the relay and ballast in other places, but there isn't a lot of useable room in the area where you need to mount the parts. Also, the harness coming from the relay is bulky, putting it in this area keeps the wires manageable and in line with the stock wiring so everything is streamlined nicely.
So in summary it may be possible to install without removing the battery but underneath is a very good spot to mount everything?

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Can we get a cutoff shot on a wall from 25+ft? The cutoff on the volvo is too close to be that useful
Yes, I'll try and get pics up this weekend.


Very exciting! I've been waffling on whether to invest in an LED or HID solution. Could you post some night shots to show contrast and cutoff? In the event of a bulb or ballast failure, is it still easy enough to pop out the bulbe and put a OEM bulb back in for temporary? From your write up there didn't appear to be any cutting or splicing involved so it would seem to me that this could be done.
Yep, this is one thing I was worried about. If a bulb/ballast died it would take no time at all to plug the oem H11 bulb back in. Could easily be done on a roadside with no tools, just as easy as replacing a bulb.

Correct - no cutting or slicing at all. I'll try and get more pics up this weekend. I'm still very satisfied with the setup.


So in summary it may be possible to install without removing the battery but underneath is a very good spot to mount everything?

Thank you!
Yes, it would be possible to install without removing the battery. In fact, I installed it without removing the battery originally, but decided the install could be much cleaner and changed it to the way it is above.

Since I've done it both ways, I can tell you for sure you'll have a much better time if you remove the battery :wink2:
 

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An HID technician has warned me not to use any of the automatic headlight features even though I am placing the HIDs in the low beams..

Has anybody run into any problems by leaving the headlight feature on automatic? I didn't think it would be much of a problem given that the High Beams are the DRLs.
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Ltd PZEV w/ Eyesight, Crystal Black Silica
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An HID technician has warned me not to use any of the automatic headlight features even though I am placing the HIDs in the low beams..

Has anybody run into any problems by leaving the headlight feature on automatic? I didn't think it would be much of a problem given that the High Beams are the DRLs.

About the only thing I can think of being a concern is on an overcast day the sensor frequently turning the lights on and off.. Older aftermarket HID system components didn't like frequent refiring, severely shortening the life of the system.. HID component technologies have gotten better. Although I still wouldn't want to keep turning them on and off frequently.


If I remember correctly, in Auto, the OB will delay the lights on at night after you shut off and exit.. and I want to think they turn on at night when you unlock the doors..


I wonder if that behavior is the same with the 3.6 model that comes with HIDs or if the HIDs stay off until after the car is started or manually turned on.
 
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About the only thing I can think of being a concern is on an overcast day the sensor frequently turning the lights on and off.. Older aftermarket HID system components didn't like frequent refiring, severely shortening the life of the system.. HID component technologies have gotten better. Although I still wouldn't want to keep turning them on and off frequently.


If I remember correctly, in Auto, the OB will delay the lights on at night after you shut off and exit.. and I want to think they turn on at night when you unlock the doors..


I wonder if that behavior is the same with the 3.6 model that comes with HIDs or if the HIDs stay off until after the car is started or manually turned on.
Have you been using the auto setting with HIDs? Any noticeable problems?
 

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I haven't done the HID conversion yet.. Just bought my '15 3 weeks ago. I'm in the midst of updating my camping gear and just got my Torklift hitch installed so I need to hold off and to let the wallet cool off a bit.>:)


I was just hypothesizing why someone may advise against using the auto setting with HIDs.
 
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I just installed the same kit. Took me a solid hour and pretty much followed the same locations. Than you for the tip in the extension that's required!

When I turned mine on for the first time, the drivers side didn't fire up...had to pull the battery again and check all of the connections. Turned out to be a bad connection on the ballast. Otherwise it's a really easy install!
 

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I too just received the same kit from trs wanting to install but the relay harness they sent me only has one grounding wire is this sumthin new or did i receive the wrong relay harness? Oh thanks for the write up & photos


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I have the hid kit installed took me longer than expected being this my first time doing one. I hav noticed my drl light are not coming on could any help on why this would turn off drl ??


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