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Old 04-25-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
chris keefe
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Default blobeye to hawkeye front end swap

After sitting on an unaswered thread about front end trades for a while someone finally came through and we swapped my 05 to an 07 and his 07 to 05 this past saturday.

Needless to say its a fun swap that drastically changes the front looks of your car and its a unique swap in my opinion. Im not the first to write about it nor' will I be the last.

** If you are not confident in cutting away metal or fabricating tabs/ gutting and closing circuits on your headlight either find someone who is or think twice about this swap. I recommend either having the Subaru manual handy or do some indepth research before attempting**

In total this swap took 3 guys a total of 13 hours to complete on a rainy saturday afternoon (A COMPLETE 05 TO 07 AND AN 07 TO 05 SWAP). This swap became too involved and pictures became scarce so I will write this as an informative post on my experience and not as a tutorial.

Stripping down the front end(s) was very simple with the only tricky thing being is dropping the sideskirts to get the the last fender bolt. Lots of fasteners and some bolts (to include hood, fenders and front bumper). The 07 STI was running a Perrin front mount so the bumper beam was already removed and out of the way. We used the end of a floor jack handle for leverage when cracking the bolts on the 05 STI. Next came the headlights on both vehicles and light brackets for the 07 STI.

**There are subtle differences between the front radiator supports on the cars that you might not catch untill you go to install the parts on the opposite car. The 04-05 STI upper front bumper brackets have no mounting holes in the 06-07 STI radiator support so you will have to make them or weld them in. What we did was use self tapping screws to get the mounts where we needed them and I will be welding them ASAP! The upper front bumper brackets for the 06-07 STI will need to have the spot welds drilled out to be removed. Take height and distance from the latch assembly measurements before taking both cars mounts off to give you a general idea of where they go on the opposing car. Another difference is how the grille on the 04-05 mounts to the radiator support. You will notice the squares in which you will have to remove the tabs from where the grille pops into. These will need to be replicated on the 06-07 STI radiator support as they are not there! The 04-05 STI headlights have no clearance issues going into the 06-07 support where as alot of trimming is needed to fit the "hawkeyes" into the 04-05!! I trimmed a great deal of metal off and then proceed to slit and fold over the rest to give a strong seam that I can stitch weld in the near future to give strength back to the support. Neither of the headlights are a direct bolt in and will need a one-off mounting tabs to be made to securely fasten them. With that said they do press into their respective locations in the matching fenders for that front end. Similar to the upper front bumper mounts, the hawkeye headlights support will also need to be drilled/fastened/welded to the front radiator support because there is no holes for it.

This next part of the swap is strictly headlights as in my opinion is the most involved portion of the swap. From what I have read most people just cut the harness and rewire the HIDs **Most of the time incorrectly!** The 04-05 harness and 06-07 harness are NOT interchangeable as the number of bulbs and connector styles are different. the 04-05 headlights have more bulbs than the 06-07 headlights.

WHAT WE DID!!!

I noticed the only thing seperating the HID model numbers was a "A" and a "C" so we came to an instant conclusion they were interchangeable with subtle differences. Then it clicked!!! GUT THE HEADLIGHTS AND SWAP OUT THE INTERNALS SO THE 04-05 KEEPS ITS HARNESS/CONNECTORS/BULBS AND THE 06-07 KEEPS ITS HARNESS/CONNECTORS/BULBS. I wasnt involved much in this but with the extra bulbs from the 04-05 were snipped off and the circuits closed by connector the newly snipped wires and soldering them or whatever method of connection you prefer. Due to the fact I was 200 miles from my house doing this and it was 230am in the morning we did NOT splice into the 06-07 harness to add the extra bulbs. The HID ballasts and all bulbs fit with no hassle but might be intimidating to piece apart to some. Not sure what the extra piece we left off is called but we did not reinstall what looked to be the motor guard at this time but I plan to reinstall later on. Im not sure if the motors for the headlights needed to be swapped. This just created a pain and crooked lights that need to be aligned this upcoming weekend. But all in all fairly easy and the 04-05 sti kept its harness and the 06 kept its harness. No wiring diagrams needed, little to no electrical wiring to be done and simple. And sure enough the headlights lit up and progress continued.

Once everything is trimmed and headlight internals are swapped its basically just fastening everything back into place. A few things I must note is that I did NOT reinstall the front bumper beam on my 05 STI because my co-worker and I are making an aluminum front bumper beam w/ towhook (vertical) to shave off 20lbs off the front end.

The biggest pain in the rear on this swap is the latch assemblies for the hood. You will need the longer 06-07 latches regardless of what car the latch is on. I will note both cars are utilizing carbon fiber hoods as well. What we did just to get home (DO NOT RECOMMEND TO ANYONE) is run a bunch of washers underneath the hood latch to drop it down and notch the holes in the lower latch assembly to slide it up to compensate for not having the longer latch. This results in less than 1/2" of thread in the latch bolts and kind of scary to think thats the only thing holding that latch on while you drive home 200 miles. But it in the end the latch held and latched into place just fine.

Tools most commonly used are appropriate metric ratchet and sockets. A drill and assorted bits, a dremel came in very handy, wiring snips/crimpers, a mallot, metal snips, assorted pliers.

Neither car had to be jacked up or on jackstands as laying on the ground was enough to get where you needed to be. I will say that neither car was lowered so that might make getting to that last fenderbolt underneath the sideskirt a little difficult.

ALSO we did NOT swap out ANY of the plastic undertrays as they line up at a few locations and hold well. Plus I am making an aluminum diffuser anyway and will be trashing the dinky but useful plastic ones anyway.

Summary: All in all an involved swap but I will not label it difficult. If you find someone to trade with like myself the only materials I had to buy were Self tapping screws and gas to get to his house. A measly total of $100 to swap front ends. Also if your luck is better than mine and you find someone with the same car color your swap wont be as noticeable. BUT I rock the 2 tone STI proudly.

Please comment and leave notes and details that I probably left out as there was 3 of us and I am only writing about my experience! Thanks for reading and I hope this is some help for you guys sorting through forums like I had coming up with minimal information. Just get out there and do it!

Subie Newbie,
Chris
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:14 PM   #2
mrkyle3
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Dude how could you make a thread about this and not include pictures?
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
chris keefe
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Im so new to the forums I dont even know how to post pictures lol but im sorry man! between the 3 of us we were just so into it that pausing to grab the camera just became a hassle =( but I do have pics of my 05 sti with the hawkeye front end =)
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
chris keefe
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Last edited by chris keefe; 04-25-2011 at 10:39 PM. Reason: failed picture attempts
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:37 PM   #5
chris keefe
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:37 PM   #6
chris keefe
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
chris keefe
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IMG00181-20110325-1810 by chris keefe, on Flickr

This is what my 05 looked like before
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:55 PM   #8
chris keefe
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Before my bumper beam goes on I will take pictures of the brackets and the metal I had to cut out to give you a general idea of what had to be done to the 05 to fit the hawkeye!
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Originally Posted by mrkyle3 View Post
Dude how could you make a thread about this and not include pictures?
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:57 PM   #9
0hmysti
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sent you a PM in the middle of doing this and had some questions
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:00 PM   #10
Rice Devil
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My god! no pics of the important part o f the swap!!! the HEADLIGHTS!!! and fittings.

:0(

RD
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:06 AM   #11
enigmaxxxx
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Gotta bump this old thread up. Was going to do a fmic off my 06 sti to tmic swap with an 05 STI. Was looking forward to a tmic too.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:07 AM   #12
Nate_1990
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The things accomplished on here blow my mind...
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:01 AM   #13
DSRX2005
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Hey chris I knew I've seen your car somewhere! I saw your's at the cars and copters show. You have a red wing and those black canards on there now right?
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:45 AM   #14
chris keefe
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Yessir.. I ditched the red wing and went back to CGM with the wing stiffies.. I'm now scoopless and hopefully will be 1 color when you see it again!
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:53 AM   #15
Kitty93
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Any chance of getting pics of the brackets and what metal you had to cut?
Thinking about doing this!
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:29 AM   #16
Erik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty93 View Post
Any chance of getting pics of the brackets and what metal you had to cut?
Thinking about doing this!
This is from doing mine

Headlight buckets and core support removed:


New pieces put in:


You'll also have to cut out some of the sheet metal by the headlight buckets, its pretty easy to tell what needs to go when you get to doing it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:26 AM   #17
ScoobyRooSTI
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wow, its great to see that someone is doing the hawkeye conversion... I like to looks of this
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:40 AM   #18
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It's a fairly easy swap. I just finished mine this year.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:47 AM   #19
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looks good! Well i have an 04 wrx PSM if someone wants to do a front end swap?
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:11 PM   #20
chris keefe
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Keep this thread alive! ill put pics up eventually once my front end comes back off for the reverse manifold FMIC!
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:06 AM   #21
Kitty93
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Found that on Chargespeedusa.com you can buy a kit for nearly $400 so you don't have to do an cutting or welding. Bolts up by the looks of it. Almost worth it IMO.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:48 AM   #22
Erik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty93 View Post
Found that on Chargespeedusa.com you can buy a kit for nearly $400 so you don't have to do an cutting or welding. Bolts up by the looks of it. Almost worth it IMO.
It will still require cutting, that kit is just the headlight brackets and some pieces of the core support. The core support was $49.52 from the dealer when I got it and the headlight brackets were $45.98 each.


here's a better look at what the chargespeed kit is: http://www.chargespeed.com/english/gdb-cde-f-e1.htm
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:28 PM   #23
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Ah I see. May as well just buy from the dealership then.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #24
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Need more pics! been lookin for a thread with detailed pics
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:48 AM   #25
Erik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosseywrx View Post
Need more pics! been lookin for a thread with detailed pics
Here is a good post: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2263911
Don't really need to change out the lower radiator support. Only difference with that one vs going to a 06/07 is needing to cut out some metal to fit the new headlight buckets like this

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