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Subaru Crew - Modifications II



  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    My car is a MY 2000 Legacy GT. The headlights are not the same as L models for that year. They L's had one bulb for low and high beam; the GT had two separate bulbs for low and highs. I replaced the 65W high beam bulb with a 100 watter. The high beam doesn't do any of the DRL work; that's done solely by the lows, logically enough.

    I thought about replacing the low beam bulbs too but all I read seemed to indicate that all of the supposedly sooper-dooper extra-whatever replacement bulbs suffered from one or more of the following:
    short life
    performance only marginally better than stock
    performance worse than stock

    I wasn't doing it for looks, so all of the hype about blue this and crystal that was wasted on me. I could care less what people see when my car is coming at them, I care about what *I* can see from the driver's seat!

    I also replaced the fog bulbs with higher wattage bulbs but they lasted less than a month. The housings apparently couldn't dissipate enough heat and the bulbs cooked themselves. (I knew about this potentially being a problem but I wanted to give it a go anyway.) I replaced them with the Hella yellows in the standard wattage, which I like very much and which have held up very well.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Agree with you about most of the low beam bulbs available here in the USA. In order to be SAE legal, they are limited in lumens output. So all they can do is play with colors, spread patterns, etc. The ECE-only bulbs, like the Vision Plus, offer some promise of higher useable output for the same wattage input, but they are more tempermental, and seem to be short lived. I did them one at a time on both cars so that I could get an idea of what the pattern and output was like, and whether it is worth it. I feel it is....

    The OB uses nice, large fogs, and seem to be able to handle a little more heat. The 9006/9005 swap takes you up in wattage slightly (65 vs 55), but the light output jumps from 1000 lumens to 1700 lumens. Again, I did them one at a time over a few weeks in an attempt to have some kind of controlled experiment.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I drive 80% of my driving at night, and I've found that the best money spent is on a set of dedicated driving lights for whatever car you drive. No matter how good your bulbs or headlights are a set of driving lights will provide you with much better vision. On my trucks I connect up Hella 4000s to the highbeams. On my subarus I connect up a set of Hella Micro DE HIDs or regular Micro DEs. Very sturdy housings and provide excellent light for the road.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Swapped out the OEM on the '99 OBS and in with the OEM WRX upgraded speakers.
    Ah..... a more pleasant sounding music.
    Couldn't install the tweeters, as I could not find the harness :(
    Does the OBS in that MY comes pre-wired or anyone knows how I could wire the tweeter up?

    Other thing I found. The rear speakers are 8 ohms vs the fronts 4 ohms. No wonder it had sounded sooooo cheap. So for those who still have their '99 OBS or earlier, if you've swapped out the fronts or thinking of doing it, upgrade the rears too. You HU will thank you :D

  • dodgedodge Posts: 25
    I want more performance from my turbo and was looking on the internet and saw Vishnu Reprogrammed ECU,(V300 Power Package) for the legacy and was wondering if that would work for my 2005 outback xt auto trans. If not what other mods can i do to get more performance from my outback xt?
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Unfortunately, most of these discussions do not get into modifications of this depth.

    However (at the risk of getting my hand slapped), there is a site called LEGACYGT which has many technical threads specific to the 2.5 turbo legacy/outback platform and all sorts of modifications.

    FWIW, I'm happy with my LGT as it is. Some modifications like an ECU chip may invalidate your warrantee. First and easiest mod? Change the tires. Rob M.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    If you are thinking of adding HPs, for daily street driving I would say it'll be a waste of $$$.
    It is highly unlikely you have tapped into all 250 HPs and expense them all already while daily commuting. I drive a 03 WRX Wagon and to date I have not even used all 227 HPs its got under the hood.

    Drive the OB XT for a little longer, say till 2006, then research into uppipe and/or TBE mods.
    Opening up the exhaust flow to and from the turbo should help with spooling response, or just simple handling mods like tires, suspensions, brakes, etc.

  • dodgedodge Posts: 25
    I just found this and it cant void the warenty because it can be set from stage one performance mode and can go back to stock when you take it to the delar. ;) • (AccessPORT ECU Programmer)

    If you think this is a good thing to get please let me know the site is
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    "Can't" is a pretty bold statement, but the fact that the AccessPort can reflash back to stock or run a stock-like map certainly reduces the probability that the dealer would catch on to the fact that you've been tinkering around with the ECU. I wouldn't dismiss the possibility that if the dealer looked hard enough, they could find evidence of a reflash.

    Both Cobb and Vishnu have been offering similar power upgrades for a while now. While I don't recommend tinkering with the ECU before other important upgrades (ie. driver skills, braking hardware, suspension and tires), these two vendors seem to have built a significant customer base.

    If I were to chose between the two, I probably would go with the Cobb given it's flexibility.

  • vince_lmtvince_lmt Posts: 25
    I have a 2000 OB and am considering having a satellite radio installed. Has anyone had one installed in their OB and if so where is it mounted?

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    I've seen the ECU downloads, and if I indeed recall correctly, the file(s) is/are dated and time stamped and the ECU holds the date/time of the update(s).

    I just found this and it cant void the warenty because it can be set from stage one performance mode and can go back to stock when you take it to the delar.

    In all honesty, you're venturing into "playing with fire" territory ;)

  • dodgedodge Posts: 25
    The ACcessPort supposedly voids the warranty--but you can easily revert to stock and Subaru cannot tell that you ever had it unless they remove the ECU and send it back east to their main shop. I LOVE having the Accessport--there is still some turbo lag, but a good part of it is eliminated--also--the car is much more responsive and I would estimate probably about .3-.5 seconds faster 0-60.
    I now have over 8000 miles on the car with the AccessPort and have not had any issues--the car is simply much more enjoyable to drive--mostly because of the increased responsiveness--if there was a way to stiffen the suspension a bit it would be even better, but to date I haven't been able to find any suspension mods for the Outback. If you decide to get the ACcessport, be advised that the first 50-100 miles after installation you will not feel any difference--the ECU has to "learn" the new map before you really feel the difference--once it does--you will notice it right away.
    I hope this is helpful to you.
    Good Luck.
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I probably would go with the Cobb given it's flexibility..

    I would probably go with the Vishnu given Cobb's handling of lucien's problem with his Cobb rear sway bar (shearing the end links).

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Wow that's cool didn't know you could tell. My guess is that most of what you are "feeling" is placebo effect. But what the heck do I know. I drive a '94 Legacy Turbo without any engine mods and run down acura NSXs on Pocono long for fun with it....

  • Has anyone installed a hood deflector on a 2005 OB LL Bean? I order the part from a Subaru dealer, but the it appears to be the wrong part, the holes don't line when mounting the deflector to the hood as well there are gaps between the deflector and the leading edge of the hood. The instructions don't match up with the car in the display of the instructions, seems to be for a previous model of the OB. The instructions suck they just show pictures with no directions, really lame. I have noticed when researching the part on the web that some web sites only list to the 2004 model, while another site states not to be used with the limited wagon model.
  • jimmmmbojimmmmbo Posts: 17
    Has anyone ever heard of doing this to a late model Forester? Would it take more than just replacing the head unit? Any ideas?

    Actually, any real world experience with the auto-climate control would be appreciated too. Thanks!
  • soupboysoupboy Posts: 15
    I just posted something similar to this on the STi Mods/LGT thread.

    Reflashing is the best way to go, especially if you have no desire to do much else with the car other than give it a little more oomph. Cobb, Vishnu, whomever - most are akin to the Ecutek reflash (see more at Ecutek or I-Speed). This provides a reliable remapping of certain variables resulting in a more powerful daily driver.

    I had GRD Performance reflash and dyno tune my 02 WRX Wgn in addition to installing a full APS race exhaust (UP and TBE). The results were amazing - stock whp/wtq in the 165-170 range and, as modified/tuned, in the 215-220 range. That's real, everyday power.

    As for the comments about "tapping HP" that really doesn't make much sense as it is all driver dependent. Personally, the more interesting discussion is accessing torque in turbo cars, not the HP.

    Regardless of which reseller/installer of an ECU reflash you go with the gains available are a value relative to other bolt-on solutions.
  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Just checking out the information on another web site that touted the benefits of installing an oil catch can that would prevent oil getting sucked into the intercooler.

    The author, Peaty, who's well respected in the Subaru community, and is also really decent about answering questions, mentioned that when he upgraded his intercooler hoses, he actually had oil leak out of the intercooler while it was setting on his garage floor.

    The install doesn't look very tricky, the main challenge is where to mount the device. Perrin makes a small unit that looks like it would be fairly easy to rig up a mounting bracket.

    Anyone else out there think it might be worth it? Any downsides? I mean other than my dealer telling me the entire car is no longer under warranty :P


  • kielbasa16kielbasa16 Posts: 11
    Now I'm wondering about an intake system (haha one step at a time). I was told that for a twin turbo a cold air intake system is not necessary and won't make too much of a difference. This same person told me to just go with the RAM intake. Is this true? Any information is always appreciated. Thanks.
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Way too much time on your hands swamp.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    I'm about to get the windows tinted on my '04 Outback base wagon. Any advice for a first-time tinter?

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    go to a reputable shop. don't go someplace just because it's the absolute cheapest you can find. a quality shop might charge $125-170 for a typical 4 door car. more for a van or large SUV.

    there's really only 3 ways to do it, well, up to that depending on where you are. many states restrict how dark you can tint the front side glass; for example, my home state of Kansas allows no darker than 35%. the percentage is how much light gets through-- 5% is limo tint. Arizona, Texas and several other southern states allow 5% tint even on the front side doors.

    first method - tint to the max legal allowed on all windows. in Kansas, this would be 35% on the front side doors and 20% anywhere else. This achieves the max sun/UV protection allowed by your local laws.

    however different tint strengths can be readily noticed and to some it's unappealing, so they instead choose to match it all-- since the front doors are only allowed 35%, that's what the back gets too.

    the third way is to go to a shop and pay cash, and get no receipt.. but you can get 5% on the whole car if you want.

    there will be some dusk & night adjustment for you. it's not that bad unless you have 5% tint, the rest is fairly easy to get to used to.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    All windows except the windshielf. SolarGard film, and despite the nay-sayers it has not faded in 8 years. I paid $170 to have it installed at New Again in Silver Spring, MD.

  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    colin - I was a little worried about that night-vision through a tint. Thanks for putting my mind at ease. My state allows 35% all the way around, so I'll be able to have even coverage, which is nice. Even the cost at a higher-priced shop seems worth it.

    juice - thanks for the photo. That gives me a very good idea of how dark the 35% limit in my state is. Seems great to me... I'm not really into dark tints. 35% seems just right... effective without blocking too much out. I think it'll look great against my Regatta Red paint. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let me also post a pic of 20% tint for reference. Keep in mind the different backgrounds and lighting may make them look different than they do in person.

    I think that was Ken's old Forester, correct me if I'm wrong folks.

  • declansdaddeclansdad Posts: 120
    35% all around:


    35% on the front four, 20% on the rear three:

    Good luck with your choice.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    And funny how it looks consistent in the 2nd pic. I guess the interior is darker so even the front window appears darker.

    Looks *pimp* by the way. ;)

  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    More great pics! Thanks, Michael. (Super sharp XT, by the way!) 35%'s our legal limit, and it looks like it'll be dark enough for me. Now to find a good shop. I've got a couple leads, but I'll also call a few high-end car dealers to see who they recommend.
    I'll have to post a pic or two once I get this done.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423

    35% front and 20% rear

    FYI, although the Forester may technically be classified as a car, for tinting purposes most people use the truck/SUV guidelines.

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