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Old 01-02-2002, 04:44 PM   #1
carvinsnow
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Question How to Improve the Headlights Range...

What is the max. wattage before stuff starts melting?

I'm more concerned with getting some more range out of the low beams. I'll probably be looking for some add-on driving lights to supplement the high beams. (There are far too many sneaky kamikazi deer around here for my taste.)

What do you guys prefer, PIAA, Hella, or something else?

~carvinsnow
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Old 01-02-2002, 07:19 PM   #2
iceman
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Well I have hella 530 driving lights and I think they are great. For headlights I am running hella yellowstar. I think the wattage is 75/85 not sure. No melting!!!
Hope this helps,
ice
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Old 01-02-2002, 07:23 PM   #3
RoryB
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I haven't used many replacement bulbs for headlights, tried some Japanese cool white bulbs-didn't last. Now running GE? 9007HO or high output from Wal-Mart. They're inexpensive and work.
As for driving lights... I put in a set of Catz MSC. Wow! Love these things. They are 55w so they're street legal, but they are bright. Haven't used the factory fogs since i put them in. Plus they fit well in the air dam inboard of the factory fogs.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2002, 08:09 PM   #4
jacobhorn
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Smile

Buy some Morettes and install HIDs in the low beams. You will not believe how much better your lighting will be.
You may also want to try some Catz Galaxy White bulbs as soon as they come out with a 9007 bulb. Until then, I would suggest 55watt PIAA Platinum Super White bulbs. I have used these and they greatly increased the headlight range of my 98 Legacy. You could also try the 85watt bulbs, but some say they have melting problems. I personally have never had any problems with 85watt bulbs in any of my other cars. Good luck!



Jacob
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Old 01-03-2002, 02:21 AM   #5
VOLTIS5
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NEVER EVER GO WITH 80/110 or higher. they will melt your sockets like butter on hot bamboo sticks. i've used 2 pairs of APC super white for my Legacy and my Altima and they both ended the same fate, stuck to the sockets and smelled like burned hair. it was good for about 2-3 months then after that i switched to the PIAA's that jacobhorn sold me and had em for a while now and no probsso far. works a hell of a lot better too

jacob-
did u get my mail yet?
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Old 01-03-2002, 02:53 AM   #6
Benjamin Tang
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yes i have to agree. a few months back i was at the subaru dealer looking at an impreza that was sitting in the lot with a melted harness and socket assy for the headlights because the owner was running 85w bulbs and started a small electrical fire under the hood. needless to say it wasn't covered under warranty...

ben
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Old 01-03-2002, 04:54 AM   #7
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stay stock wattage hyper whites or HID 35watts....more money but will prolyllast longer than the car.....GOOD HID kit not a crappy one =)


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Old 01-03-2002, 11:01 AM   #8
dscottf
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Default Relays, my son, relays

A repeat of my post over at USMB. Thought it might be of benefit here (where a search engine actually finds things )
----------
Upgraded headlights followup (odd results)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
For those of you following the headlights threads last spring...

I didn't post much, but did follow them and ended up getting a Competition Limited wireing harness and 80/100 watt bulbs in April. As I posted then, this made a HUGE difference in light output.

After about 15,000 miles (yes, since april), both bulbs have failed. Now here is the interesting part

Since we in the middle of Tenessee, and driving through the night when the first one went, I dug out one of the OEM bulbs (I carry them as spares, in case this happened) and stuck it in... and it was almost impossible to tell the difference (in fact it was impossible from in front of the car, and on anything but perfect conditions, like fresh clean concrete)

When I project the lights on my white garage door, I can tell the OEM bulb from the high powered (HP) one, just barely. I can also see a big difference in the precision of the beam pattern (crisp cut off, smooth even light). The OEM one is much better.

But for real world driving, there is no difference

The other bulb went out last night (about two weeks later)

So I have two conclusions....

a wireing harness that provides full voltage (I mesured 1.5 volts less at the OEM harnesses compared to the battery) and good ground is more important than high wattage (which is what research told me, but I didn't belive)

or...

HP bulbs get *significantly* dimmer toward the end of thier lifespan (should be true, now that I think about it), nessessitating a (prohibitivly expensive ) "change early change often" philosophy for HP bulbs.

It would be "enlightening" (pun intended) to compare a new HP bulb, to an old one and an OEM one, with a good wireing harness.

----------
followup
----------

I cooked one of my sockets with *stock* wattage (Narva Rangepower 55/65) bulbs. It sounds like the same thing you and SmashPDX are describing, intermitant outage, jiggle the plug and it comes on, the middle contact had melted out of its plastic slot, both side contacts were fine.

Fourtunatly, I don't have DRLs (I leave my lights on anyway). Do your DRLs go out when you pull the e-brake (and get the dash indicator)?

and BTW, where did you find Hella 80/100s? I need some

I would not go any higher wattage, I have noticed that the "glare shields" on my lights are discolored from the heat.

The more I think about it, I am convinced both of my theorys are correct

"Halogen lights, when operating at 100% voltage, produce 100% of the designed light output. At 95% of the voltage, the light drops by more than 15%; at 90%, it drops by a third! With a typical 12-volt system operating at 13.5 volts, loss of a mere 1.35 volts is 10%. "

So in my stock setup, 55watt a bulb was only putting out 36watts of light, and 80watt bulbs would only put out 52watts of light. So if your car is the same, your 80 watt lights should look about like most cars (actually, most cars have the same problem more or less)

--------
So rather than running expensive 'overwattage' bulbs (and cooking my reflectors and who knows what else), I am going back to the High Quaility Narva bulbs and retaining the CL harness.

Everyone should read:

http://www.vclassics.com/archive/relays.htm "Want More Light From Your Headlamps?"

http://www.overboost.com/story.asp?id=102 "High Performance Headlights"

http://lighting.mbz.org/tech/info/bulbs/superwhites/ "PIAA's wattage equivalence claims ("55w = 85w", etc.) are very misleading."
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Old 01-03-2002, 03:17 PM   #9
Patrick Olsen
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I've had mixed results with the PIAA bulbs. I bought their super-whamodyne "55W but throws 85W worth of light" bulbs for both my '99 Legacy and my Mustang. On my Mustang (which has horrible head lights) they honestly did seem to make a difference. On the Subaru, they made no difference whatsoever (other than the color being somewhat "whiter").

I then added Comp Ltd heavy duty wiring harnesses and 80/100W bulbs to the '99 Legacy. Frankly, I was not at all impressed by the "improvement" - the difference was hardly noticeable. Then, I don't remember how long it took, but I had the same problem as described in the post above - the center post on both the driver and passenger side bulb connectors melted out within a month or two of each other. Again, I was not impressed that this supposedly heavy duty harness had cooked itself. I did not have DRLs, and I don't leave my lights on during the day, so I'm not sure why my harnesses overheated like that. I had also noticed that the center reflector was becoming discolored on both head lights, particularly the driver side one.

After totalling the '99, I picked up my current '97, which had Comp Ltd harnesses installed by the previous owner. He was using 80/100W bulbs (maybe even higher wattage, I don't remember - I'll have to check the boxes when I get home). Light projection was excellent, definitely better than the '99. Bulb life with the hi-wattage babies is definitely short - 4 months maybe? That could get to be expensive. Fortunately, the previous owner had a bunch of extras that he gave me with the car, so they lasted for a while. A couple months ago the last set of hi-wattage bulbs died, and I just replaced them with normal Sylvania "high output" (but stock wattage) bulbs. As mentioned in the long thread above, the light output seems just as good with normal bulbs as it did with the 80/100W bulbs, so I haven't been in any real hurry to spend more money for the hi-wattage bulbs.

It's interesting to note that the '99 Legacy had the clear lenses with the complex reflector, while the '97 has the faceted lenses with normal reflectors. One would think the newer, clear lens style would be better/more efficient, but it definitely seems to me that the '97 head lights work better (with stock bulbs and with the hi-wattage bulbs).

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 01-03-2002, 04:07 PM   #10
dscottf
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Default 97 vs. 99 lights

97's use 9003 bulbs, which are functionlly H4 (euro) bulbs. There are tons of high quality high wattage H4 bulbs available (since Europeans are not limited by law to 55/65 watts (and have useful beam patterns). Not to mention, there are high quaility sockets for H4, Patrick is right, the quality on those CL harnesses are pretty bad, not thier fault, it's all there is available for 9007, but there is no excuse for using inferior sockets for a H4.

99's use 9007, a much inferior design. The only high wattage 9007s seem to be Korean POS (no, I don't think that is redundant), I found out even the Hella 80/100 9007 are those same Korean bulbs.

I would gladly trade anyone even up for 97 headlight assemblies for my 99s. I'll take function over looks any day.

(I suspect the reason Subaru made the switch has something to do with wanting those clear (non-fluted) lenses and 9003s didn't do it, or were to expensive)

http://lighting.mbz.org/tech/info/bulbs/bulb_types/
Danial told me a long time back that there was not much I could do while "saddled with that 9007 crap"
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Old 01-03-2002, 05:41 PM   #11
Patrick Olsen
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I was going to comment about the different bulb styles and whether or not that played a part in the difference in lighting performance, but I couldn't remember which car was which style.

The bulbs I had been using (as supplied with the car) were 100/130Ws, not 80/100Ws. Still, no signs of heat problems inside the head light assembly, and thus far the Comp Ltd harnesses are fine (I've had the car for over a year, not sure how long the harnesses had been on before that).

Pat
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Old 01-04-2002, 01:04 PM   #12
etam
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Where to get high performance wiring harness for H4? I search google for CL harness.. but can't find any

thx,

Ernest

edit: found this:
http://www.autobulbdepot.com/fr_prod...0521876234868o

actually, I got spare hella fog wiring harness, where can I get H4 socket to put them on?

Last edited by etam; 01-04-2002 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 01-04-2002, 03:26 PM   #13
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Default Lighting notes

[size=3]
Howdy, all. Daniel Stern here, with a few comments on some of the observations, questions and notes that have come up in this thread.

"Get a Morette kit": Good advice. Top-quality optics and first-class build quality, all the way. Hard to go wrong with Morette headlamp conversions. Just make sure you purchase them for use on the correct side of the road (US, Canada, Continental Europe: Right Hand Traffic). There are sometimes options as to which optics your Morette kit comes with. For instance, the Y2K and earlier Impreza kit can be had with either H4 or Complex Surface low beam optics. Both are good, but the latter is usually the better choice (NOT always, this depends on your driving conditions!).

"Install HID in your low beams": Usually BAD advice, whether we're talking about factory optics or Morette kits.
There are many unsafe, illegal and noncompliant products on the market, mainly consisting of an HID ballast and bulb for "retrofitting" into a halogen headlamp. Often, these products are advertised using the name of a reputable lighting company ("Real Philips kit! Real Osram kit!") to try to give the potential buyer the illusion of security. While some of the components in these kits are sometimes made by the companies mentioned,
reputable companies like Philips, Osram, Hella, etc. NEVER endorse this kind of "retrofit" usage of their products, for very good reasons:

Halogen headlamps and HID headlamps require very different optics to produce a safe and effective -- not to mention legal -- beam pattern. It is not some great feat of upgrade engineering to put an HID capsule where a halogen bulb belongs, it is just plain dangerous. Some types of halogen headlamp bulbs (9004, 9007, H3) use a transverse (side-to-side) and/or offset (not directly in line with the central axis of the headlamp reflector) filament, the position and orientation of which is physically impossible to match with a "retrofit" HID capsule. Even those halogen headlamps that use axial-filament (9003/H4, 9005, 9006, H1, H7) bulbs are not safely or legitimately "convertible", regardless of what kinds of "clever" base adaptations and claims of "beam correction" the marketers come up with. It's a lot like putting on somebody else's eyeglasses; the optic systems just are not at all compatible. And it's not a question of a "good kit" or a "bad kit"...they are all, by definition, bad. If I had unlimited funds, I'd buy some time on a CCD matrix or linear photogoniometer and put some isoscans from such "retrofits" on my site, but I don't have unlimited funds, so instead I'll talk about
some of the effects of installing "HID retrofit" bulbs into halogen optics:

-Defocused beam; wider but with a relative minimum (looks like a black hole in an isolux diagram!) where the hot spot should be. Effect: Severely reduced seeing distance.

-Vastly increased foreground light. Effect: creates false sense of
"improved" headlamps and illusion of security. The foreground, from 0 to 30m in front of the car, is relatively irrelevant to the driving task at any kind of speed. You need enough light to detect potholes and road obstacles, and enough lateral spread to stay in your lane and on the road, but the amount of light necessary for these tasks is comparatively small.
In addition, a wide and superbright foreground field is extremely damaging to distance vision, because it causes your pupils to close down. Combine this effect with the relative black hole where the hot spot should be, and you've really damaged your nighttime seeing...all the while thinking it's a lot better because of the bright foreground.

-Vastly increased "flare" light in the cutoff region. This is because
the optic system (reflector and lens) count on the very sharp delineation between the bright filament and the dark surrounding space to create the cutoff. The arc has no such sharp delineation; rather, there is a fuzzy ionization glow surrounding the arc. This fuzzy border muddies the cutoff
and contributes to beam defocusing. Effect: Vastly increased direct glare for other road users and backscatter (upward stray light) for the driver in poor weather.

It takes a lot of training and a lot of special equipment to accurately judge a headlamp beam; it's really not something that can be done by shining it up against the wall and guessing. There are MANY aspects that go into making a good (or bad) beam; I can discuss some of them if y'all want, but this is getting long already.

HID headlamps also require careful weatherproofing and electrical
shielding because of the high voltages involved. These unsafe "retrofits" make it physically possible to insert an HID bulb where a halogen bulb belongs, but this practice is illegal and dangerous, regardless of claims by these marketers that their systems are "beam pattern corrected" or the fraudulent use of established brand names to try to trick you into thinking the product is legitimate. In order to work correctly and safely,
HID headlamps must be designed from the start as HID headlamps.

Now, the top-name headlamp optic manufacturers (Hella, Bosch, Valeo) are beginning to market modular HID Xenon optic units, some of which have the same mechanical fitment as those companies' halogen modular optics. Those could safely and effectively be used as retrofits for halogen lamps, because they are meant for HIDs. Morette kits are not available with HID because European regulations require automatic beam levelling (to compensate for cargo loading of the car) and lens-cleaning equipment on HID headlamps to prevent the extreme dazzling glare that otherwise occurs. This equipment isn't required in North America on HID headlamps, but that means you have to be MORE careful not to cause glare -- not that you can ignore the issue. Glare isn't safe.

The Cibie and Hella optics used in Morette kits are top stuff. Put good bulbs in them and feed them properly with good wiring and relays and there's utterly no need to spend the $$$ and downgrade your safety with an improper "retrofit" of HID. Spend the money on other go-fast goodies or ten nice dinners.

"Never use overwattage bulbs": Certainly not with stock wiring, and certainly not unless you have headlamps that have half-decent glare control (ones that use 9003/HB2/H4 bulbs at the MINIMUM, preferably European-spec units...NEVER with 9007 or other DOT junk which produces tremendous glare even with stock wattage).

"PIAA" : Very heavily-hyped, very high-priced junk.

"Cibie, Bosch, Hella, Morette": Now you're talking.

"Competition Limited bulbs weren't as well made, didn't last, and didn't make much difference": This is why you should avoid 3rd-world garbage, no matter who is selling it or what claims are made!

"Xtrawhite, Hyperwhite, Ice white, Superwhite, Ionwhite": Absolutely no seeing benefit, and science has yet to give us the filtration coating that adds light...they all subtract light. http://lighting.mbz.org/tech/info/bulbs

"Where to get harnesses": IPF, Painless Wiring and a couple others sell good-quality prefab units; Competition Limited sells lower-quality items (not necessarily "cheaper", though!). I and other suppliers sell all the parts you need to make your own.

"97 vs 99 headlamps": Yep, this was an area of cost reduction.

It's *HARD* to get European-spec Subaru headlamps in North America. I've been working on sourcing some of them...some folks have written-in saying they want the better E-code performance, but they don't want the Morette or Subaru Rallye car "multi-eyes" appearance. The solution would be stock European headlamps. I know I'd put a set on my Y2K OBW.

DS
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Old 01-04-2002, 03:48 PM   #14
froggert
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daniel, thanks for chiming in. you seem to really know your lighting.

wouldn't a european-spec subaru headlight be designed for rhd, though, and possibly blind drivers coming the other way? and at what point do you think overwattage starts melting and browning sockets and lenses?

thanks in advance,

roger
(waiting for delivery of morettes and hella ff driving and fog lights)
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Old 01-04-2002, 03:52 PM   #15
sternlights
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Default re: RHD, LHD, European, US headlamps

Howdy, Froggert.

England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand all drive on the left (left-hand traffic, right-hand drive) and so use left-traffic European ECE headlamps.

Japan drives on the left (left traffic, right hand drive) and until recently used lamps similar to US DOT items, but for left-traffic; now they use left-traffic European ECE headlamps.

Continental Europe, Scandinavia, China, South America, and Russia drive on the right (right traffic, left hand drive) and use right-traffic European ECE headlamps <--THESE ARE THE ONES TO GET FOR UPGRADING NORTH AMERICAN SPEC CARS

The US and Canada drive on the right and use right-traffic US DOT headlamps <-- THESE TEND TO SUCK

DS
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Old 01-04-2002, 03:56 PM   #16
Stealthbmbr
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I installed 100w Aerospeed HID knock offs in mine. The fog lights already burned out and changed the bulbcovers gold/blue. The headlights are now cloudy. Don't ever use these bulbs for anything. They were only in for about 2 1/2 months.
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Old 01-04-2002, 03:56 PM   #17
sternlights
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Default re: overwattage, Morette

Froggert:

1) Stock wiring is barely adequate for stock wattage. Trying to get away with higher wattage is not only dangerous, but counterproductive. The wires are just plain inadequate; it's like trying to drink a swimming pool through a soda straw. The improvement in seeing from installing good wiring and relays is often LARGE due to inadequate factory wiring.

2) What did your Morettes cost you and where did you get them, if you don't mind sharing? My warehouse and I are looking at bringing these in; not sure what the market will bear, though.

DS
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Old 01-04-2002, 04:10 PM   #18
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i ordered the morettes for my 97 legacy from z-1 performance in deer park, ny for $460 shipped. i believe the post is still in the vendor group buy forum.

i can't remember off-hand if they make a set for the current generation legacy. cibie makes a set of headlights, but they're pretty pricey.
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Old 01-04-2002, 04:09 PM   #19
etam
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DS, if you can beat their price, then I am interested..

WRX/2.5 RS( 2002 new age model): $450 shipped
GC8 Impreza (1997-2001 2.5 RS) standard lense: $355 shipped; complex lense: $450.00 shipped

Legacy (1997-1999 model only): $495.00 shipped. (first GB was $420 shipped).


from
http://i-club.com/forums/showthread....hreadid=124696

Z1 is morette dealer in US.

Ernest
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Old 01-04-2002, 04:20 PM   #20
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Good Info and Great discussion!

jacob
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Old 01-04-2002, 04:58 PM   #21
sternlights
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Default re: Morettes and stuff

Those are good prices; I should know before too long (next month...Europe gets virtually the whole month of January off!) what I can do on them.

Note that "Cibie" does not make any headlamps for the B4 Legacy. I'm pretty sure you are referring to the items on www.cibie.com , which is not any kind of official Cibie website, but rather the site of a Japanese offroading shop that carries a truly bizarre mix of real and knockoff (maybe licensed, maybe not) Cibie lighting. The setup they offer for the B4 Legacy is *NOT* a Cibie product. Earlier versions of this used a fog and a driving lamp hooked up as low and high beams; this is a very poor idea particularly on the low beams...a low beam is not the same as a fog beam. God only knows what kludgery they've done to HID-ify the package; many of their "HID lamps" are just halogen ones with HID capsules "adapted" in; see my previous post. Also note that the low beams in their B4 kit are inboard and the high beams are outboard; this isn't legal except in Japan, which has *very* permissive and rather lax lighting standards.

DS
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Old 01-04-2002, 05:25 PM   #22
sternlights
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Default Other headlamp options:

One to watch out for, this is crap of the stinkiest and yuckiest kind:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/aw-cg...799640&r=0&t=0


And one to look into, this is a slightly different-appearing but otherwise similar alternative to the Morette kit:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/aw-cg...700126&r=0&t=0

DS
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Old 01-04-2002, 06:04 PM   #23
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I am still interested in seeing..

aux low beam kit of

http://www.sylvania.com/xenarc/prodinfo.htm
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Old 01-04-2002, 10:27 PM   #24
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yes, that's the cibie i meant. there's also another aftermarket headlight for the legacy that looks similar, but appears to have the lows mounted outboard. i'm not sure who makes them, but saw them on a white sti wagon.

i just checked out your website. as i understand it, i'll be wiring in 4 relays (lows, highs, fogs, and driving lights) and about 100' of wire. hope the wire is cheaper in bulk and white knight will work for pizza and beer.

edit: inboard, outboard, what's the difference?

Last edited by froggert; 01-05-2002 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 01-04-2002, 10:37 PM   #25
Jonathan
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Quote:
Originally posted by froggert
i ordered the morettes for my 97 legacy from z-1 performance in deer park, ny for $460 shipped.
Roger -

Assuming all goes well and you like your morettes, would you be willing to sell me your old '97 headlights to replace me so-so '99 lights ?
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