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Old 01-03-2002, 03:17 PM   #9
Patrick Olsen
NASIOC Supporter
Member#: 120
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Where the Navy sends me...
1997 Legacy 2.5GT
1996 Impreza coupe


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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