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Old 02-06-2006, 10:28 AM   #1
cMags
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Outback Sport Hella FF50s and Custom HomeDepot Light Bar Install (Pics Heavy)

So after much thread-watching and scheming, I finally got some nice weather and the time to get my aux driving lights, a pair of Hella FF50 Driving Pattern lights installed on a custom made light bar.

The bar itself was made from some 1/8 inch aluminum flat bar and 3/4 inch square tubing. I bent two brackets into Z shapes to mount to the radiator supports and come out through the grill. Then I mounted the square tubing to those with some smaller brackets to the licence plate screws for vibration support. I painted it all flat-black and got some plastic end caps to seal up the ends.

Bent and drilled brackets:


Bracket mounted to the radiator support:


Test fitting the bar:


Bar painted and installed:

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Old 02-06-2006, 10:28 AM   #2
cMags
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Default Continued...

I got the Hella FF50's on fleabay pretty cheap but brand new with the full wiring harness. I mounted the lights in front of the grill, and their shape and size seems to mirror the Subaru stars emblem on the grill and looks pretty cool IMO.



I used the Hella wiring harness and relay, although I think I'll be replacing the cheap fuse that has the fusable link exposed to the elements. I'm afraid of corrosion and failure on it. I ran the wiring thru some split flex tubing to keep things tidy-looking. I mounted the relay up on the driver's side firewall so that the power and ground lines could reach the battery and the relay-activation line could reach through the firewall plug into the cabin to my switch.

Relay mounted:


Wiring at battery:


Wiring behind grill:


Switch installed:

(the other button/LED's is my re-built SmartCord control unit for my Passport 8500)
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:29 AM   #3
cMags
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5MT - Regal Blue / Grey

Default And finally...

So the bar took me a good portion of Saturday, and I got the lights installed and wired Sunday before the SuperBowl. Here's how they look:

Lights on:


And here's the light output:

Headlights only:


Headlights and high beams:


Hella's only:


Lights on full blast:


Well thats it. Light output is great - like having a second set of high-beams. It should really take care of the darkness out here in the boonies. (I grew up just outside Boston where we didn't know what dark was)

Look a UFO!
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:36 AM   #4
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Great Job!!
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:52 PM   #5
Psydotek
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with too many lights...

Default

Sweet! It gets really fun when you start adding more lights/fuses/relays/wires.
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Old 02-06-2006, 04:35 PM   #6
cMags
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Outback Sport

hehe, I was wondering how long it would be before both of you chimed in about the install. Thank you Psydotek for posting so many pics of your home-made bracket so I could copy some of it on mine.

And yes, I'm already eyeing a set of FF75 fogs to put out on those nice wide arms on my bar. Being too lazy to try to chop the bar down to size is already making it look like MORE
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Old 02-06-2006, 04:48 PM   #7
tooocool49723
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/\ I was wondering why you made it so long
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Old 02-06-2006, 04:52 PM   #8
cMags
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Outback Sport

Yea, I didn't know if I was going to be able to find caps that went over the ends of the bar or whether I'd get stuck making plugs. And armed with just a hacksaw and grinder, I knew I couldn't make the ends look nice, so I just said the hell with it and left it long. Its only like 6 inches too long on either end, and I think it makes Scoobie look meaner

And very true to the darkside, my mean Scoobie is now calling to me to add more....
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:02 PM   #9
tooocool49723
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Default

All you need are some FF1000's in a pencil beam.

and another set of FF50's for the corners.

and some HID's.

and...


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Old 02-06-2006, 06:28 PM   #10
Rapid_Roo
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the darkside has another disciple.

go forth and cast the light of enlightenment on those that do not believe or at least those that can't find their way home in the dark.

RR
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:45 PM   #11
cMags
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5MT - Regal Blue / Grey

Outback Sport

So I just gave them their first real road test, and they're nice and steady - and bright! But one thing I noticed was that since I (temporarily) wired the power for the switch to the battery, I couldn't turn off both the high-beams and the Hella's quickly when I needed to. So, of course, I just opted for not using my high-beams. However, this is not using my Scoobie's full lighting potential (the Hella's are only 55W apiece)

So the question is, where can I easily tap the high-beams to get +12V when they're on. Aren't the wires to the high-beams at GND when they're on (what's it called - the engineer in me wants to say 'active-low' or 'negative-logic')? I need 12V to the switch to be able to turn them on. I've already got the switch power wire run thru the firewall, so tapping either under the dash or at the lights - doesn't matter.

Thanks guys.

Last edited by cMags; 02-06-2006 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:03 PM   #12
tooocool49723
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Default

Another option would be to swap switched for a 3-way switch, one position for off, one for on, and one for on w/ highs.

I cant help you on the wiring though, I have a GC and it just works. If I were you, i'd probably re-wire my switch to switch the ground wire to the relay instead of the power wire, then run it off of the ground for the high beams. Dont know if that would work or not, but that's where i'd start.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:10 PM   #13
cMags
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'05 Outback Sport
5MT - Regal Blue / Grey

Outback Sport

Yea that's definately a possibility, but the Hella harness which I'm using came with like a foot of ground wire for the switch. Yes I could run it longer, but I'm lazy

And as far as the 3-way switch, I thought of that too. I was thinking more of putting in a second, slider-type switch that I couldn't hit accidentally, that would switch the power for the switch from the battery (or ACC circuit) to the highs. I want to be able to have the lights on w/o the others 'cause I often take the car out camping or the like where headlights are the best general lighting option available - but I don't need the whole car's electrical system running.
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Old 02-09-2006, 04:59 PM   #14
O2-GGA
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Default

Great write up cMags!! I got some questions for you. Do you think that your bar can support 4 Hella 500's? And is it possible to have 2 500's upside down on the bar without hitting the bumper?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:37 PM   #15
cMags
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'05 Outback Sport
5MT - Regal Blue / Grey

Outback Sport

I think the bar might need some re-inforcement in addition to my design if you were looking to mount 4 Hella 500's. You might want to try combinding my design, as well as Psydotek's (his does support 4 Hella 500's):
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...04&postcount=9
And this guy's:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...&postcount=213

Or if you have better tools and equipment than I had, use stock thicker than 1/8in and heavier than aluminum... (I used a hacksaw, a bench vice, and a drill)

Also, the way I've got it designed, the bar is flush with the licence plate, and I'm not sure the bumper curves enough out of the way to fit 500's, but then again I've never seen 500's...

But then you could always mount it a little further forward. My best advice is to peruse the threads, especially The Ultimate Aux Lighting and Mount Thread, see other people's setups, look at what works, and make your own to fit your own needs.
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:40 PM   #16
tdxflex
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cMags
So the question is, where can I easily tap the high-beams to get +12V when they're on. Aren't the wires to the high-beams at GND when they're on (what's it called - the engineer in me wants to say 'active-low' or 'negative-logic')? I need 12V to the switch to be able to turn them on. I've already got the switch power wire run thru the firewall, so tapping either under the dash or at the lights - doesn't matter.

Thanks guys.
I wired mine this way. Auxiliary lights come on and off at the same time as high-beams:

85- Blue wire from headlight harness (common power)
86- Red wire from headlight harness (switched ground for high beam)
Diode across the 85 and 86 coil

30- Battery with fuse
87- Driving lamps

The only time there will be current flow from the 85 to 86 terminals is when the high beams are on. So the relay only activates depending on if your high beams are on or not.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:18 PM   #17
cMags
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Outback Sport

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdxflex
I wired mine this way. Auxiliary lights come on and off at the same time as high-beams:

85- Blue wire from headlight harness (common power)
86- Red wire from headlight harness (switched ground for high beam)
Diode across the 85 and 86 coil

30- Battery with fuse
87- Driving lamps

The only time there will be current flow from the 85 to 86 terminals is when the high beams are on. So the relay only activates depending on if your high beams are on or not.
Cool... I want to do mine a little different - I want to be able to switch between having them switch with the high-beams and being able to control them manually. But if my '05's headlight harness has the matching colors (blue for common power and red for switched ground for high beam), then I can definately use that info to get these wired the way I want them. Where is this harness by the way? Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:11 AM   #18
O2-GGA
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Default

Thanks man,




Hey that's Magic Hat #9 ^^
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:32 AM   #19
cMags
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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'05 Outback Sport
5MT - Regal Blue / Grey

Outback Sport

Why yes, yes it is, and it was delicious...
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Old 02-10-2006, 01:45 PM   #20
O2-GGA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cMags
Why yes, yes it is, and it was delicious...
Grrr , I'm from NH but I'm stuck in VA. I love that stuff..
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:50 PM   #21
tdxflex
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cMags
Cool... I want to do mine a little different - I want to be able to switch between having them switch with the high-beams and being able to control them manually. But if my '05's headlight harness has the matching colors (blue for common power and red for switched ground for high beam), then I can definately use that info to get these wired the way I want them. Where is this harness by the way? Thanks.
I got my wires right at the headlight plugs (my relay was under the hood). The colors might be different, but usually manufacturers keep the same scheme. Just remember that it's switched ground.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:26 AM   #22
crash
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdxflex
I wired mine this way. Auxiliary lights come on and off at the same time as high-beams:

85- Blue wire from headlight harness (common power)
86- Red wire from headlight harness (switched ground for high beam)
Diode across the 85 and 86 coil

30- Battery with fuse
87- Driving lamps

The only time there will be current flow from the 85 to 86 terminals is when the high beams are on. So the relay only activates depending on if your high beams are on or not.
When you say "across" the 85 and 86 do you mean that you soldered ONE diode between the poles of the relay like this:


if so, which side does the "stripe" go towards?
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:22 AM   #23
cMags
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'05 Outback Sport
5MT - Regal Blue / Grey

Outback Sport

I believe tdxflex used the diode across 85 & 86 as what's called a "protection diode". You would want the stripe (cathode) to be toward power (85) so that when turned on, you don't have current flowing through the diode to ground - you want it going through the coil turning on the relay.

The reason that diode is there is so that when the ground side of the coil is switched off, all the energy that's still left in the coil has a kind of loop through the diode flow through and dissipate. The relay can produce a damaging voltage spike if this diode is not there.

You can read up more about this here:
http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/relay.htm

This site is actually a very good source for electronics fundamentals. I keep it bookmarked for reference.
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:26 PM   #24
tdxflex
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cMags
I believe tdxflex used the diode across 85 & 86 as what's called a "protection diode". You would want the stripe (cathode) to be toward power (85) so that when turned on, you don't have current flowing through the diode to ground - you want it going through the coil turning on the relay.

The reason that diode is there is so that when the ground side of the coil is switched off, all the energy that's still left in the coil has a kind of loop through the diode flow through and dissipate. The relay can produce a damaging voltage spike if this diode is not there.

You can read up more about this here:
http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/relay.htm

This site is actually a very good source for electronics fundamentals. I keep it bookmarked for reference.
That is correct. Places like partsexpress.com also sell relay sockets with built-in diodes. Usually for automotive relays, a 1N4004 diode is used. It has a breakdown voltage of 400V and can be found fairly cheap at radio shack. You usually also pick a diode with a much higher breakdown voltage than the application because the voltage stored in the relay coil is a function of how fast the current changes. When the relay de-energizes, there is a large change in current so even though we are working with 12VDC, you want to have a lot of headroom.

If you are using fast-connects, you can just crimp the diode in with the wire. Soldering works, but I would not recommend doing it because sometimes the excessive heat can put stress on the relay.
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:47 PM   #25
crash
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Default

So I guess this 2.5A 1000V diode I have sittng around will be more than adequate
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