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Subaru Crew - Modifications

bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Posts: 115
Subaru modifications such as tires, audio, roof
racks and other aftermarket add ons.

Bonnie Rick
Town Hall Community Manager,


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    15"x30" ASC glass pop-up sunroof
    leather shift knob
    leather steering wheel cover
    cargo net
    3 child seat tether anchors
    soft roof top cargo carrier (Samsonite)
    SolarGard window tint (30%)
    door edge guards

    I think that's it. You can follow the link below to several related photos.

    Wish list? Well, I dream of some 16" alloys, the supercharger from the ST-X (to get the baby's diapers QUICK), and uh, uh, not much else, really.

    How about you guys?


    PS Well, a turbo wagon for the wife, but that's not really a mod, is it?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    KYB AGX adjustable struts
    18-22mm adjustable rear sway bar
    Goodridge stainless braided brake lines
    DIY mudflaps (side skirts on the RS stink)
    2.25" catback exhaust w/ Borla turbo muffler
    Yokohama Nexus tires

    The car came with leather wrapped wheel and shift knob, and 16" alloys... ;)

    What's next:
    Michelin Pilot MXX3 tires (Nexus will die next weekend at an autocross school)
    trunk light
    window tint

  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    K&N filtercharger
    18mm no roll bar
    UR lightened Pulley
    2.25" catback with Borla SS muffler
    Graham Goode Shortshifter
    STi titanium knob
    STi embroidered leather boot
    20% all around window tint with front visor
    Redline tranny and rear diff fluids
    Removed roof rack

    coming soon this summer:
    WRX spec wagon springs,
    KYB AGX adjustables,
    Dunlop SP8000 summer tires.
    Cusco rear strut tower bar
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like some sweet performance mods to me!

    How did you guys like the results?

    Don't forget to fill us in on the school. I guess that's a mod for the driver ;)


    PS These mods sounds worthy of a dedicated page on my web site. Photos, please?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    re: results of mods

    Tires are a must. There is absolutely no mistaking the original equipment tires on the Impreza RS (v rated RE92's) for a performance tire.

    The next best modification is definitely the sway bar. After that, struts. I really like the way the car handles now. Too bad there isn't another 50-75 HP under the hood. ;)

    Oh, and I missed the autocross school. Fortunately I hadn't prepaid. I was the best man at an evening wedding Saturday night and had a few too many to get up at 5am to head to the school. :(

  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    i'm going for one this summer. can't wait! it's BYOC - Bring your own car. hopefully by OBS will be shodded with some decent SP8000s by then!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're right, tires are the critical contact point with the pavement.

    Now, where'd I leave that info on the 225/60 on new 16" rims I was considering?

  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    I wonder if any one has considered adding High Intensity Discharge Xenon headlamps to their Subie yet. I know that the current MY00 Legacys are available with this option in Japan, but not in North America (not officially, anyway). Too bad...

    But, check this link out:

    They look great!!
  • Drew -- they do look great!

    They also work really well -- my Acura TL has them, and night driving is really enhanced.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Cool link. That Legacy looks pretty mean with it's HID lighting -- especially the fog lights. Unfortunately, I don't think any HID lighting kit for our Subarus here in the US would be street legal. All the kits are imported from Japan and therefore aren't DOT approved. On the other hand, I've never heard of someone getting pulled over for using illegal lights either.

    Whatever you do, don't use those imitation HID bulbs with a blue tint. My brother got me a set for our VW Jetta for grins and we tried them. Although the light is much 'whiter' it definetly is much lower in intensity. Needless to say, they went right into the trash.
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    Yes, there's no doubt that they won't be street legal, but if they provide superior illumination, I'd be willing to take the chance. I have them on my E320 (was a factory option though), and they're great!

    Yes, the cheap blue tint bulbs are useless, but I suggest that you check out the Sylvania Cool Blues or the PIAA Superwhite bulbs. Both are street legal and have no visible loss in brightness in intensity. Actually, it's quite the opposite. There's a slight improvement, along with the accompanying increase in colour temperature (read whiteness).

    Of course, the PIAAs are whiter than the Sylvanias, but they're also quite a bit more expensive. Just last week I switched my minivan's 9004 bulbs to the Cool Blues (CDN$25 for a two pack) and I noticed an improvement right away. I got the C.Bs because I couldn't bring myself to spend that much money (for the PIAAs) on that older vehicle (it's a '94). I have the PIAAs (for the foglamps) on my ML320 though.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    PIAA makes some good auxilary lights, no argument there... But their Superwhites are a rip-off.

    Read and learn.

  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    Don't believe everything that you read. I've visited that website before and despite that, I still continue to buy the PIAA bulbs and recommend them to others. I can now also place the Sylvania Cool Blues on my recommended mods. list.

    Once you get them (PIAAs or C.Bs) and see the difference between that and the stock bulbs, you'll get it. The biggest difference is the much higher colour temperature of the PIAAs providing greater contrast between objects. The Sylvania Cool Blue bulbs are a cheaper alternative PIAA Superwhites. I used to have a URL to a website where a Nissan Maxima owner showed comparision pictures of the different bulbs that he experimented with, but I can't seem to find that link now. Have a look at this link:

    The thing with Daniel Stern is that he can't provide an alternative to these bulbs. Others in from the M-class mailing list have e-mailed him in the past asking about any suggestions, and yet no response.
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    BTW, I believe that the Cool Blues are also available in H1, H3 and H7 size.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Thanks for the feedback on the PIAAs and Cool Blues. Between the Daniel Stern website and my experience with my cheapo blue bulbs, I've become kind of skeptical of their performance.

    However, I keep reading about people who claim they've found an improvement with 'higher-end' products like the PIAAs. Have you done a side-to-side comparsion with your stock bulbs and replacement bulbs? Does the beam cutoff change at all? Maybe if the Cool Blues aren't too pricey, I'll try them out.

    My Forester, forutnately, has great lighting IMHO. I've been very impressed with just the stock setup in all weather conditions. It's my VW that I'd like to get better lighting for.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    One more question -- what's your take on those Xenon-gas filled bulbs (ie. Hellas). I don't necessarily want high color temperature light (ie. blue or super white). Would these be a good choice?
  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    Yes, I've done side-by-side comparos with the PIAAs and the stock bulbs. Huge difference especially in colour temperature. When I first did one bulb on my Camry, I was blown away by the huge difference in colour. The PIAAs were so much whiter that it was unbelievable.

    I think that the PIAA's advertised increase in wattage is exagerrated, but they are noticably more intense. No noticable difference in beam pattern or cutoff whatsoever. Just very clean white light, especially in dark areas. High beams were even better...Everything that I've just written also applies to the Sylvania Cool Blues, but to a lesser extent. But, then again, there is a huge differential in price between those and the PIAAs.

    Funny you should mention Hella because Hella USA also sells their own brand of whiter bulbs (called Optilux). Go to for more details. WRT the Xenon filled bulbs, I actually have those on my ML320. The headlamp assemblies are made by Hella, hence they came with H1/H3/H7 (High beams/Foglamps/Low beams) Hella Xenon gas bulbs. The colour is definitely whiter than regular bulbs and the brightness is also superb. However, keep in mind that the H7 bulbs themselves are superior to any other halogen bulbs. I'm satisfied with them, but I'll probably upgrade to Xenon headlamps soon (DOT/SAE legal MB OEM units, of course).
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Seems to me aling1 that you're looking at the wrong end of the light bulb. Instead of evaluating the COLOR of the bulb when illuminated, perhaps you should do another side-by-side evaluation of the amount of light produced and the beam shape.

    How's the visibility in the rain with those superwhites?

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Thanks for all the info. Boy, you've done your homework on this topic!

    So, if all I want are bulbs that have higher intensity, don't have a blue tint and can be used as direct replacements for stock bulbs, what do you recommend? Are the Optilux replacements the most cost effective?

    I'm sure you've seen the below article, but what's your take on it?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I've seen that article, and had friends that paid $50-90 for PIAA bulbs. They suck just as bad as the article indicates.

  • aling1aling1 Posts: 225
    Visibility is not diminished at all in any weather. But, (here's my warning) for some reason, it seems that a couple of sizes of the PIAA Superwhite bulbs are not as effective as others. These bulb sizes seem to be the kind that earlier model Honda Civics use (which was the test vehicle in the Overboost article). I was skeptical at first, but you'll be able to understand once you see the actual thing.

    I've had success with the Superwhites in H1, H3, H4, H7 and 9004s, so I can recommend those. The Forester uses H4s and H3s (foglamps) and so I can definitely recommend those. If you would like to change the bulbs, I suggest that you start off with the H3s first (they're much cheaper), and if you like them, you can then move on to the H4s. Keep in mind that the H3s are only foglamps, so you may not notice much difference as far as light output goes. You should be able to notice a big difference in colour temperature though.

    Note that also sells the PIAA Plasma Blue H4 bulbs which are even nicer looking (from the outside) than the Superwhites and with no visible loss in brightness.

    The Hella Optilux bulbs are around the same price as the Sylvania Cool Blues. Here's a price list of the Optiluxs:

    But, I have no personal experience with these bulbs, so I can't tell you if they're good or not.

  • dzartmandzartman Posts: 112
    Just got an email back from Stromung. They are in development of a twin-tip 76mm muffler for the 2000 Outbacks. Mandrel tubing. Check in four weeks is the word. Sounds cool.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Colin: your RS has excellent lighting (just check out those fog lights guys!), so perhaps a swap in your case is redundant.

    In some other cases (think 1st generation Dodge Intrepid), they're almost necessary.

  • jagarlandjagarland Posts: 26

    What about the fog lights? I have a brand new 2000 OBLW and I don't think the fog lights would do any good....they are aimed too low. Am I wrong or is that the consensus. I'm sure I can probably have them adjusted, but is that worthwhile doing? They don't appear to be very bright and aiming them higher might not be either legal or useful. Thanks in advance.


  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    If your OBLW has fogs anything remotely like my RS, then you should turn the adjuster screw and make them a bit more useful. From the factory they probably are aimed about 8-10 feet in front of the car.

    I've brought mine up a bit and there is a very noticeable difference. I don't drive around with them on all the time though, only when it's rainy or foggy or there are no other cars around.

  • jurek2jurek2 Posts: 10
    You have tinted your Outback. Can you tell how much it costs? Thanks.
  • torektorek Posts: 92
    I started writing this a few days ago when someone mentioned light bulbs. Then I had to do something else for a while, so now it is a bit out of context. Oh well. What makes a great bulb?

    This stuff is hard to measure objectively for a few reasons, but there are some basic points to observe.

    First, any resistive light bulb (i.e., filament-based, i.e., not fluorescent) works on the simple principle that if you heat up a thin strand of wire, it gets red- and then white-hot. It emits "blackbody" radiation in all kinds of energy bands. Since the light bulb is (nominally) not an energy source or sink, whatever electrical power you put in (in watts) will convert entirely into other energy: light, heat, microwaves, radio waves, etc.

    Unfortunately, resistive bulbs generally emit about 98% of their energy as heat, and only 2% as visible light. What everyone tries to do here is get more of the energy into the "visible light" band, which basically means increasing the filament temperature. The problem here is that the hotter you make the filament, the more metal molecules tend to boil off of it. (Tungsten, chemical symbol W, nominally melts at 3422 degrees C and boils at 5555 C. Invidual atoms will boil off long before the wire as a whole reaches its melting point, due to thermal irregularities.) Quartz-Halogen bulbs use a simple trick: the bulb itself is made of quartz, and is filled with a halogen gas, under pressure. Metal molecules find it almost impossible to bond to either of these, and the pressure pushes the boiling point up higher, so you can go ahead and "superheat" the filament. There is a limit to how much of this you can do, though. Halogen bulbs are already rather explosive (I dropped one once and boom! awfully loud for such a tiny thing).

    Now, xenon is a halogen gas. (The halogens are helium, argon, neon, krypton -- yes, as in kryptonite; no, there is no such thing :-) -- xenon, and radon.) Xenon has another property though: if you pump electricity through it, you get a flash of light. This is how xenon flash tubes (strobe lights, timing lights, etc.) work. This light is a form of fluorescence. Lots of things "fluoresce" (or glow) under the right influence. Ultraviolet or "black" light makes ordinary aspirin and vaseline glow an eerie color. (Scorpions also glow under black light. Someday I want to take a black light out in the desert at night....)

    Fluorescence is fundamentally more efficient for lighting than blackbody radiation, because it emits its energy in a narrow band, or several such bands. (The actual bands are determined by electron orbits in the molecules of whatever it is that is being made to glow.) Fluorescence is useful for lighting only when the band is visible to the human eye. Something that fluoresces in the infrared or ultraviolet bands might be great at converting electrical power to light, but you would not be able to see it.

    This brings up the other point: whatever kinds of light are emitted, you have to be able to see by that light. As it happens, we can see the "Roy G. Biv" rainbow (red orange yellow green blue indigo violet), but we do not see all of those equally well. The human eye has a peak response around green, with an odd response curve. (There are different chemicals in the color-sensing "cone" cells that pick up on different frequencies of light. People with red/green color blindness have a defect in one of these chemical mechanisms.) Things lit up only in blue are hard to locate spatially, too, i.e., you can see that they are there, but not exactly where there.

    So, ideally, you want to emit a white-ish light with its enery peak in green. This is pretty much un-achievable though.

    Now, whether xenon headlight bulbs actually use the fluorescence property usefully, I do not know. But, if they do, it would make sense that xenon bulbs could emit more useful light from the same power input. Other than this, the only way to get more (useful) light out of a bulb is to put in more power -- i.e., a higher wattage bulb. Of course, if you do that, you have to make sure your wiring can handle that (the wiring itself has some resistance, causing a voltage drop, and as the current draw goes up, the wiring dissipates power too, and gets hot -- just like the filament, only much less hot, one hopes. Engine compartment fires are no fun....)

    Other than making the light brighter, you can also try to "aim" the light more precisely, with reflectors and lenses. This is not something one generally does with the bulb itself, though.

  • dzartmandzartman Posts: 112
    To see larger rims and lower profile tires on the Subaru OB, check the following sites:

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Great idea, a factory upgrade that could even be dealer installed.

    jurek2: I paid $170 for my Forester, and the Outback is the same price for tinting. I had 35% SolarGard installed by New Again in Silver Spring, MD (Mike's town). There is a Window Tinting topic under Accessories with plenty of good advice.

This discussion has been closed.