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Old 11-04-2003, 12:54 PM   #1
Deadeye
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Default 99 Outback Driving Lights

Hello, I have a 99 Outback with a busted drivers-side driving light. Subaru wants $115 for a replacement. I don't want to spend that much and I've heard that I can replace both lights with alternatives for less. This is not a trick ride, just my wife's grocery-runner. Can someone recommend a replacement that's not too wierd? And are they difficult to replace? Thanks for letting me stop in!
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Old 11-04-2003, 01:30 PM   #2
RidinLow
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Driving light... do you mean the foglights in the bumper? If so, I would replace both of them with Hella 500 in the driving pattern and wire them up to the high beams. The increase in light output is 1000x.

I had to make a bracket to bolt them in, nothing fancy.

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Old 11-12-2003, 11:37 PM   #3
sybir
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I'll second the recommendation for 500's
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Old 11-13-2003, 08:16 PM   #4
seaob
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to ridinlow and sybir: love the idea of the 500's in place of those sorry OE units. any details on the install? i'd like to know how.
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Old 11-13-2003, 08:42 PM   #5
sybir
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Ridinlow is running driving patterns in his stock locations, I'm running amber fog patterns. the housings are exactly the same, and the lens assemblies are cheap too. I caught a massive rock when I wasn't paying attention, it cracked my Hella, and a replacemeent was like $24, so they're cheaper in the ling run, too.

On to the install.
Cliff notes: L bracket, 2 slots on the horizontal to align it and hold it, and a big hole on the vertical for the bolt on the Hella moutnig bracket. The biggest change, and IMO what makes them fit so well, is that I mounted them upside down.


Remove the headlights, grille, and stock foglights. Look down from the top to where the foglight recess is, and you'll see the gray plastic shelf that extends back about 3" from the bumper face. It's a continuation of the gray protrusion on the front of the car, if that makes sense.

All I did was take a ~3.5 inch piece of 3/16 aluminum flat stock (about an inch wide) and drill/countersink 2 small holes on one side, and a big (1/2 inch maybe) hole on the other leg of it. The arm with 2 holes sits on top of that gray plastic shelf, and the end with the big hole hangs down (you should be able to see it from the front of the bumper). I kinda put in an undrilled bracket and moved it around till it looked right, so just experiment. This is the only time you'll be able to change how deep the lights mont, unles you make slots on the top instead of holes.

The Hellas have a pivoting mounting bolt on the bottom of the light case; it can either stick straight up, or out the back at a 90 degree angle (or anywhere in between.) I flipped the lights upside down, so the bolt was at the top, and put it through the big hole in the bracket I made. Tighten it down a bit, and the light should fit pretty snug in the hole (read: wouldn't move much even if it wasn't bolted in .

The nice part about the aluminum bracket is that once you have it tightened down all the way, it's ductile enough that you can tweak it to fine-tune the lights (you'll still want to do the major aiming using the Hella bracket, but because you can fit a ratchet over the bolt going in through where the headlight is, it's easy to do.)


Snug everything up, and you should be in business; let me know if you need more help or anyhting
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:45 AM   #6
RidinLow
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I installed mine a bit differently. I took a small plate of aluminum, cut it to roughly fit the very bottom of each housing, and drilled 3 holes in it. 1 hole was for the 500 mounting bolt and the other two holes were to fasten the plate to the bumper cover (there are already 2 conveniently placed, unused holes for this purpose).

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Old 11-14-2003, 11:45 AM   #7
Deadeye
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I don't mean to sound like I can't read English but do you really need to go at this from above, removing the headlights and grille?
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Old 11-14-2003, 12:48 PM   #8
sybir
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No, you don't, that was just my approach. Ridinlow's approach wouldn't require it. Before I mounted my lights the way I did, I tried to fabricate mounting brackets to use the stock holes for the factory bracket. Unfortunately, at some point in time, whoever worked on the car before me had used oversize bolts, and as a result, the nutsert/grubscrews backed out of the bumper before the bolts would release. So I had no option but to forgo the factory mounting, and was more comfortable with using nuts and bolts than screws.


FWIW, pulling the grille shell and the headlights is a 5 minute process at most, it's really not that big of a deal.
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Old 11-22-2003, 09:38 PM   #9
seaob
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two really good solutions, thx posting the details.
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Old 12-02-2003, 08:53 AM   #10
Rally Medic
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Old 12-02-2003, 01:23 PM   #11
seaob
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one more question to ridinlow and sybir: did you wire your replacement lamps into the OE foglamp circuit so they operate same as the OE lamps, or did you do something else? (separate switch, relays, etc.)
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Old 12-03-2003, 02:22 AM   #12
whtlegacy
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After reading this thread, I ordered Hella 500 fogs and installed them in place of my stock fogs today. The problem is they didn't quite fit and I cut part of the bumper out to accomadate them. Now I still don't have enough clearance to aim them very well. Did anyone else have problems fitting them in? Did you cut your bumper? I'll try to post pics tomorrow.
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:03 PM   #13
BusHonk
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I'm about to undertake this venture myself, having just gotten the set of 500 clear fogs. I'm having a good friend do the bracket for me, and I'm trying to decide if it'd be worth approaching him to make a template to make brackets available. Anyone else interested, or should we just squeeze off a few one-off brackets?
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:09 PM   #14
RidinLow
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Sorry, never saw the above question... I wired my fogs to come on with the lows and the drivings to come on with the highs. And I didn't have to cut anything to fit.
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