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Old 12-05-2006, 10:14 AM   #1
Rburks
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Default New Owner Questions - Ski Rack & Lights

Greetings. We just bought a 7 passenger LTD with Nav and could not be happier. Traded in a Nissan Quest Van that went sliding down that hill last week after the first snow in Tahoe. Perfect fit for us, as we live in Bay Area w/ second home at Tahoe and 4 kids (2 in college) and big dog. The Quest was great for hauling everybody/everything, but that was becoming more rare. We needed to downsize, while still being able to carry 6 in a pinch, and we absolutely needed AWD. We looked at everything, Cadillac SRX, Murano, Touareg, Armada, Edge, CX-7, Tahoe, Suburban, Grand Cherokee and Commander, and even the Outback XT. The Tribeca was the perfect balance.

Interesting, as just about every 3rd car up at Tahoe is a Subaru, so we took that as a real testament.

So a couple of questions, if I might indulge those who have been down these paths:

1) We got cross bars, but need a ski rack. It seems most only go about 60% of the width of the car. Anybody find one that utilizes the entire width? Would love to get at least 2 snowboards up there. The Subaru rack looks good, just not wide enough.

2) Only real disappointment was not being able to get HID lights. Can anyone suggest a low beam bulb replacement that will get close? What I am looking for is maximum wattage and higher temperature (5000K) for $10-$20/per. Not interested in swaping out the light unit, as we leased this car.

So glad to be here, and look forward to participating.
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:52 AM   #2
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Re: the bulbs, speaking from personal experience, don't waste your time on high-wattage (80+ watts) bulbs. They will burn out quickly not to mention may cause damange to your wiring harness as well as your HL assembly. They produce excessive heat and if temps are high enough, it can even crack the projector lens (yes, I've cracked one in a PIAA fog light before).

To each his own but I'd personally not buy a "colored" bulb since they are coated and do not output more lumes if that is your primary goal. Here are very detailed and informative articles related to this very topic:
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...lbs/bulbs.html

Congrats on the purchase and good luck!
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:57 AM   #3
Mike Wevrick
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On the racks, look on www.thule.com and www.yakima.com Those 2 are the major aftermarket rack comanies.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:43 AM   #4
Rburks
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Any comments on the Subaru OEM rack? GenuineSubaruParts.com has it on sale for $97.50. Seems about the same as the THule and Yakima.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:03 PM   #5
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It is possible to add aftermarket HIDs to the car... It's not legal but it's not noticeable as aftermarket in a car with projectors. The units are plug and play so you can return the car to stock without permanent damage to anything. THe hardest part about installation is getting the bulbs into the headlights... which you'd have to do to change a bulbs anyway. Just a thought

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Old 12-06-2006, 04:17 PM   #6
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SoDealer, how would you rate the beam pattern after switching to HIDs? Do you feel it has sufficient distance?

I'm so tempted to get HIDs but after reading about the beam pattern etc, I decided to go with upgraded 65W H7 bulbs instead. However, if the beam pattern is fine, I may reconsider.
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:14 PM   #7
Rburks
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I have HIDs as stock in my 04 Focus SVT, and my original Porsche 914-6 has Cibie Z Beams, the precursor to HIDs. I have grown up used to cut off patterns and they have never bothered me.

The problem is I am growing up. As I age my eyesight just about demands the candle power of HIDs.

What I need is watts. Watts that won't melt the housing, the lens, and that don't cost a bundle (its a lease).

Anybody try the Sylvania H7ST? Appears to be OEM wattage (55) but brighter temperature (4000K). Some say not much of a difference, especially for the effort to change the bulb in this car.

BTW - I ordered the Subaru rack yesterday from SubaruGenuineParts.com for $97, as this is a rebranded Yakima rack. Also ordered the Futomo Oil Drain as the oil changing stories here seem to border on nightmarish.

Funny, I haven't even driven this vehicle yet, as it's the wife's. I Guess I shouldn't complain with an SVT as a daily driver. Now down to 5 cars. First impressions are this is a very solid car, and the interior is top notch - really "near luxury" or "luxury". And my wife feels safe. Heading to Tahoe this weekend, and bad weather is expected. Just right for a Subaru!!!
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboBB View Post
SoDealer, how would you rate the beam pattern after switching to HIDs? Do you feel it has sufficient distance?

I'm so tempted to get HIDs but after reading about the beam pattern etc, I decided to go with upgraded 65W H7 bulbs instead. However, if the beam pattern is fine, I may reconsider.
The beam pattern is fine... the cut off looks stock... the Illumination is much better. The Stock projectors provide great illumination. I wasn't unhappy with them. The HIDs are quite a bit brighter. I don't find the glare to be noticeable... especially after seeing cars with multireflectors with aftermarket kits. I've never been flashed using them and I've had them since '04 in my MY '05 Legacy as well. I've had someone else drive my car just for the purpose of seeing what they look like while driving another vehicle. They look like any other car with Projector HIDs.


If you're looking for the best useable light... 4300-4600K provide a very bright, white light. This is what most OEMs use; however, they also use lenses that are designed to give the bluish hue to onlookers. The light appears to the driver of an OEM HID system to be white... To traffic... they can appear white to blue depending on viewing angle.

Subaru projectors do not have the "bling blue" factor designed into them so a 4300k-4600k HID bulb will ignite blue and then look white once they are warmed up 30 secs or so later... alternatives would be a 5000k system which has some blue but will not be as bright as a 4300k-4600k. A 6000k system will look blue but won't appear as bright as either system... The illumination is also sub par in the rain at night as the water refracts the blue light(like the sky or the ocean) and your viewing light appears to wash out.

Again... Aftermarket HIDs are not legal for road use. I just add that to the list of illegal things I've done such as my tint... lol
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:51 PM   #9
3rdsub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rburks View Post
I have HIDs as stock in my 04 Focus SVT, and my original Porsche 914-6 has Cibie Z Beams, the precursor to HIDs. I have grown up used to cut off patterns and they have never bothered me.
The Cibies have a an upward and to the right fill that accomodates reading street signs and finding markers at the side of some highways.

I drive as much as 200 miles in a day for business and I would much prefer a set of Z beams than what the Tribeca has. There are times when on a downhill ramp that the cutoff is across the road... gets even more exciting when the ramp curves too.

There are stretches of the NJ turnpike where the cut off is below the markers on the side.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:42 AM   #10
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SoDealer, thx for the feedback. I just installed the 65W H7 bulbs today and I'd say while they are brighter, it's not significantly so. According to the lume ratings, the OEM H7s pump out 1500 lumes and these 65W H7s are rated at 2100. So you figure an increase of 600 x 2 would put you 1200 over the 3000 OEM lumes for a total of 4200. That's an increase of 40% on paper but to my perception it's really only 10% - 15% brighter.

It doesn't necessarily increase the distance but I do notice that the areas immediately surrounding the front of the car has gotten brighter.

I may just take a look at some HIDs later.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:34 PM   #11
hawker800mech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoDealer View Post
It is possible to add aftermarket HIDs to the car... It's not legal but it's not noticeable as aftermarket in a car with projectors. The units are plug and play so you can return the car to stock without permanent damage to anything. THe hardest part about installation is getting the bulbs into the headlights... which you'd have to do to change a bulbs anyway. Just a thought
What brand HID kit did you use? I've been shopping around for one.

Also, how did you disable the DRL? Where's the module located?
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hawker800mech View Post
What brand HID kit did you use? I've been shopping around for one.

Also, how did you disable the DRL? Where's the module located?
banzai express in one car. McCulloch in another. I prefer the banzai's. I've not disabled the DRL's yet. I'm the bad person who cranks the car with the HID's on. I never turn them off. If you set the parking brake, it disables the drls... you can crank the car with them off that way. I plan on adding a bluetooth kit fairly soon. I'll disable the DRL's as soon as i get around to it. I believe it's as simple as disconnecting a few pins from the connector as opposed to the entire connecctor.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:35 PM   #13
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The DRL unit is somewhere towards the center of the car under the dash by the firewall I think. I've located it in the Service Manual but the pic isn't very good at showing exactly where it is. I can say it looks like a PITA to get at though.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaty View Post
The DRL unit is somewhere towards the center of the car under the dash by the firewall I think. I've located it in the Service Manual but the pic isn't very good at showing exactly where it is. I can say it looks like a PITA to get at though.
which is exactly the reason i'll wait to go under there until i have other business there...
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:26 PM   #15
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SoDealer, I meant to ask, how does the install for the HIDs work given that the entire HL is a sealed assembly? If say it was the highbeams, I understand it would be as simple as unplugging the harness from the back of the bulb and then connecting the HID kit but for the low beams, they are behind the cover. Did you have to drill a hole in that cover for it to accept the wiring?

Thx!,
Tim
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:57 PM   #16
SoDealer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboBB View Post
Did you have to drill a hole in that cover for it to accept the wiring?

Thx!,
Tim
You can either:

A. Leave the cover off
B. Drill through the cover
C. Drill through the cover and seal with silicone

I've done all of the above on different cars... I've ruled that sealing with silicone was too much of a hassle. Drilling through the cover worked well. I've not noticed any diminished lightoutput due to dust.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoDealer View Post
Drilling through the cover worked well. I've not noticed any diminished lightoutput due to dust.
For me, I'd be more concerned with condensation accumulating in the HL assembly than the dust. Looks like drilling/silicone would be the way to go if I were to get HID.

Thx!
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboBB View Post
For me, I'd be more concerned with condensation accumulating in the HL assembly than the dust. Looks like drilling/silicone would be the way to go if I were to get HID.

Thx!
Both the Legacy and the Tribeca are drilled with no silicone... no condensation in either. Legacy has been that way for a year now.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboBB View Post
For me, I'd be more concerned with condensation accumulating in the HL assembly than the dust. Looks like drilling/silicone would be the way to go if I were to get HID.

Thx!
You know what... i didn't explain this properly. the cap that comes off opens up BEHIND the headlight housing. It doesn't open into anything visible from looking at the headlight from the outside. The only thing it opens into is the projector itself. The opening for the projector housing is tiny. I can't fit my pinky in there... it's basically enough room for the bulb to go in and that's it. The HID bulb has a lip around it that completely seals itself around the opening and then some. I just realized this on the Tribeca... There's no reason for silicone. And that explains why there is no condensation in the headlight housing or the projector housing.
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoDealer View Post
You know what... i didn't explain this properly. the cap that comes off opens up BEHIND the headlight housing. It doesn't open into anything visible from looking at the headlight from the outside. The only thing it opens into is the projector itself. The opening for the projector housing is tiny. I can't fit my pinky in there... it's basically enough room for the bulb to go in and that's it. The HID bulb has a lip around it that completely seals itself around the opening and then some. I just realized this on the Tribeca... There's no reason for silicone. And that explains why there is no condensation in the headlight housing or the projector housing.
Ah sweet, I vaguely recall reading on a few sites that the bulbs have a H7 base, but didn't realize what it meant. Your explanation above explains things perfectly, thx so much for that.

I'm really having a hard time dealing with the HL even after the 65W upgrades so I think a HID set will be my next upgrade.

BTW, Peaty was right about the DRL module. It is actually stuffed somewhere behind the guage cluster very close to the firewall. I barely noticed it while I was installing the Remote Starter. It is IMO, almost impossible to get to without a lot of disassembling. I recall reading on the Impreza forum that on the Imprezas, the connector for the DRLs is actually under the hood and very easy to get to. Wish it was the same on the B9s. Does anyone know?
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:19 PM   #21
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Ah sweet, I vaguely recall reading on a few sites that the bulbs have a H7 base, but didn't realize what it meant. Your explanation above explains things perfectly, thx so much for that.

I'm really having a hard time dealing with the HL even after the 65W upgrades so I think a HID set will be my next upgrade.

BTW, Peaty was right about the DRL module. It is actually stuffed somewhere behind the guage cluster very close to the firewall. I barely noticed it while I was installing the Remote Starter. It is IMO, almost impossible to get to without a lot of disassembling. I recall reading on the Impreza forum that on the Imprezas, the connector for the DRLs is actually under the hood and very easy to get to. Wish it was the same on the B9s. Does anyone know?

I took the cover off to see if i could easily get to the Control Unit on Friday... That was discouraging to say the least. I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and spend a day tinkering.
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:46 PM   #22
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For the Impreza and Forester there are two things you can unplug depending on what you are trying to do. If you just want to turn off the DRL's there is a resistor to unplug under the hood by the strut tower on the passenger side. I looked all over on the B9 and did not see one. However, if you are upgrading the harness in any way you need to unplug the DRL module and that's behind the glove box. For the B9 it seems like it's a lot harder to get to.
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