HDS Systems        
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    5,015

    Default Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    I'm looking for some advice on upgrading the headlamps on my two vehicles.

    2018 Subaru WRX
    I have recently obtained a base model Subaru WRX, equipped with the stock halogen projectors. They're functional and subjectively about as good as those on my old 2008 Mazda 3 (which I did appreciate), but not even middling per IIHS ratings (apologies that one can't link to the headlight assessment directly). I seriously considered the Limited trim which came with LED headlamps, but did not fancy the $5000 price differential nor the mandatory inclusion of leather seats, which will tend to brand the occupant in the TX summer.

    I've gathered that the OEM LED headlamps can be had for quite the pretty penny and short of needing to take the front bumper off and adjust them, otherwise plug up directly and work without protest. For the 2015-2017 parts, the only functionality that won't work is the auto-levelling; for 2018 parts, there's cornering functionality and LED high beams (seemingly via shutter per my brief test drive with an equipped vehicle). For the 2015-2017 models, I have learned that there are additional wires in the wire harness going to the headlamp pod for the LED vs halogen model (presumably to enable these features). Since stability control is a near-universal feature requiring that the vehicle know the angle that the wheels are pointing (and the center information display also shows this on one of the screens along with forward/rear tilt), it seems quite likely that these functions are already baked into the ECU.

    It seems that were an enterprising individual to source both these headlamps and upgrade the wiring harness that one could upgrade to a complaint OEM LED headlamp solution. The main downside would be cost. - The 2015-2017 LED headlamps are already pricey at ~$1500 for the pair; the fancier 2018 LED headlamps will likely run much more with their added functionality. Who knows what matter of unobtanium that the wiring harnesses are made from, nor whether one would need to replace a master harness for a dozen different components in the process. It's not hard to imagine spending $2000 or more on such a project.

    2003 Ford Ranger
    My secondary ride, equipped with traditional Ford dual-purpose high/low reflectors and their various downsides. Other than the traditional route of better bulbs and relays, what options are there? One of the facebook groups I've been following is fond of elaborate projector mods that are as well-executed and as proper as the dedicated amateur can achieve, but I have my doubts as to my willingness to spend countless hours attempting such a task. I also question the general compliance of such a project. They're quite fond of Morimoto, which has an exhaustive product lineup and slick marketing, but I have my doubts as to their compliance with regard to beam pattern.

    Because the vehicle is a long-paid-for truck, I have no objections to supplementary low beams if that's a better means to my end.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    3,984

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    My secondary ride, equipped with traditional Ford dual-purpose high/low reflectors and their various downsides. Other than the traditional route of better bulbs and relays, what options are there? One of the facebook groups I've been following is fond of elaborate projector mods that are as well-executed and as proper as the dedicated amateur can achieve, but I have my doubts as to my willingness to spend countless hours attempting such a task. I also question the general compliance of such a project. They're quite fond of Morimoto, which has an exhaustive product lineup and slick marketing, but I have my doubts as to their compliance with regard to beam pattern.
    There are certainly plenty of posts here about Morimoto. If you have doubts now, let a search on "Morimoto" in this forum solidify them into a complete disdain for the 'brand'.

    As far as "elaborate projector mods that are as well-executed and as proper as the dedicated amateur can achieve", no. That's a non-starter.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 07-10-2017 at 03:44 PM.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    5,015

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    There are certainly plenty of posts here about Morimoto. If you have doubts now, let a search on "Morimoto" in this forum solidify them into a complete disdain for the 'brand'.

    As far as "elaborate projector mods that are as well-executed and as proper as the dedicated amateur can achieve", no. That's a non-starter.
    I've read this section often but have yet to come across a mention of Morimoto. I'll take your (strong implied) word that they're not worth the various headaches. A bit of searching on other car forums - places I'd rather avoid - has turned up many a complaint already.

    Relays and upgraded wiring I suppose for the Ranger; it doesn't see that many miles anyway.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  4. #4

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    As I understood he wants to replace the entire headlamp assembly, with the OEM LED lamps. (While costly, it may be cheaper than the $5k option which forces you to also get frying pan leather seats).

    One method of researching this possibility is to find the official Subaru repair manuals and search up how to diagnose/repair a faulty/broken LED lamp. I've researched with this method to try to attempt retrofitting OEM Toyota DRL function on out '12 Prius v. Not too hard in theory but got stuck trying to open the fuse box....

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    5,015

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    As I understood he wants to replace the entire headlamp assembly, with the OEM LED lamps. (While costly, it may be cheaper than the $5k option which forces you to also get frying pan leather seats).
    While I cannot speak for Alaric Darconville, my read is that the post did not address what I was planning on doing with the WRX with OEM parts; merely the Ranger where there are certainly no OEM parts - and almost certainly no aftermarket parts - for a compliant HID or LED upgrade on the primary headlamps. One could possibly rebuild the entire headlamp out of compliant parts from a reputable manufacturer sans the original housing, but that's a potentially expensive and laborious undertaking given the age, value, and use patterns of the vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by jzchen View Post
    One method of researching this possibility is to find the official Subaru repair manuals and search up how to diagnose/repair a faulty/broken LED lamp. I've researched with this method to try to attempt retrofitting OEM Toyota DRL function on out '12 Prius v. Not too hard in theory but got stuck trying to open the fuse box....
    This would perhaps have diagrams of the wiring harnesses and the pinouts? An interesting thought. But the appeal of this is plug-and-play with OEM parts where the only warranty I risk voiding is the LED headlamps themselves (because they're not original to the vehicle). An added bonus would be the LED DRL's built into the perimeter of the unit rather than using the high beams.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  6. #6

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    I do not know the answers with respect to Subarus, in particular because we don't have one, but I would guess wiring and pin outs would definitely be there, as well as the functionality of each part in the system.

    In Smart Fortwos for example, another method I've used is finding a VIN with the feature, then using EPC (electronic parts catalogue), to compare the different part numbers with our car. Then you could get approximate cost for all the parts necessary. (Also helpful to have part numbers and find them online at cheaper prices). If lucky you can sometimes find salvage parts at www.car-part.com at cheaper prices, in particular since a '18 is so new the lights should be in good condition.

    I wish you the best of luck. I would think this would be legal if completely implemented as Subaru intended, but I'll leave that to the kind moderators to advise....

  7. #7

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    I've read this section often but have yet to come across a mention of Morimoto.
    It's essentially almost 100% of what this post is about. Also see this.

    Relays and upgraded wiring I suppose for the Ranger; it doesn't see that many miles anyway.
    Yes, that would be the way to do it (and good bulbs, and making sure you have factory headlamps in as close to perfect condition as you can). You might throw an email at Stern about it.

    As for the Subaru lamps: Sooner or later someone's going to break (crash) one of those cars in the rear/sides, then there will be a like-new pair of the fancy headlamps findable on www.car-part.com or www.hollanderparts.com at a steep discount versus the parts counter at the dealer.

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    3,984

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    It also may well be possible, if not maybe a little ugly-looking, to install some of the JW Speaker Model 8900 headlamps, but when genuine Ford headlamps are $220-something, that might be a more cost-effective route. The original headlamps can't be in that great of shape with the UV indices and heat of your region. With cloudy headlamps, relays just help annoy other drivers rather than help you see.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 07-11-2017 at 11:09 PM.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    dfw.tx.us
    Posts
    5,015

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    It also may well be possible, if not maybe a little ugly-looking, to install some of the JW Speaker Model 8900 headlamps, but when genuine Ford headlamps are $220-something, that might be a more cost-effective route. The original headlamps can't be in that great of shape with the UV indices and heat of your region. With cloudy headlamps, relays just help annoy other drivers rather than help you see.
    Amazingly, the original headlamp lenses are in decent shape. But after ~14 years of exposure to the less-than-gentle sun in the southeast, their days are clearly numbered. Installing 5x7 headlamps would be an interesting fabrication challenge to be sure, possibly costing more than coughing up for OEM parts.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  10. #10

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    For the Ranger, besides the possible JW Speaker retrofit mentioned above, you could also use the H4 headlights from a Latin American-market Ranger, perhaps from a Mexican Ford dealer or from mercadolibre, but the Mexican headlights aren't that much better than what you have now.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Options for 2018 Subaru WRX and 2003 Ford Ranger

    The H4 headlamps used in Mexico on some Earlier Rangers (through 2000) were a better-focused lamp than the US items, but no, the H4 lamps for the '05-up Mexico-spec Ranger, would really not be an upgrade.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •