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2010 Subaru Legacy Retro-Quik Install

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  • 2010 Subaru Legacy Retro-Quik Install

    Hey, it's been about a week and finally got the time to write up a worthy review. About a month back, I decided to purchase a Morimoto Mini H1 Retro-Quik System for my 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited. Matt at TRS was fairly sure the existing Legacy kit would fit but I was going to be the first to test it out it seems.

    I was coming from a Land Rover, which I understand has some of the brightest lights in the industry, and the headlights on the Legacy left little to be desired. Putting in the Retro-Quik System was really pretty easy and I think you'll be amazed at the difference. Here's a few before and after pics to compare.

    Before: Low and High Beams
    IMG_0436.jpg IMG_0435.jpg

    After: Low and High Beams
    IMG_0457.jpg IMG_0458.jpg

    The difference to me is mind blowing and well worth the time, energy and money to install them. There are a number of existing threads on the Interwebs describing the process and I didn't take enough pictures to detail the entire process, but here are the highlights from the 2010 Legacy install.
    1. You do need to take the front bumper off. For a Retro-Quik kit, you need to disassemble the headlight housings to remove the OEM projector and install the TRS projector. It's more daunting than it is, there are a bunch of plastic fasteners that pop out and I think 6 bolts on each headlight housing. The hardest part of the removal was the seam between the fender and bumper cover. There are two black plastic nubs protruding through a fender support that need to be released, you can then access the the tabs holding the bumper cover in place. Picked up a trim removal kit at Harbor Freight that helped a ton! The whole bumper cover comes off in one piece (with the grill) so have a second person to help.
    2. The headlight housing on the 2010 Legacy/Outback are BIG! They barely fit inside my 36" wide oven, but I would highly recommend baking your lights instead of using a heat gun. I went 250 degrees for 10 minutes and only needed one bake to pull the housing apart. I did cover the lens with masking tape to protect it, which I would also recommend people do. Make sure you remove the torx screw (4 in each light) before attempting to pull apart the housing (even before you bake them).
    3. The Subaru projector unbolts easily and the Mini H1 bolts right up. No problems at all. To aid in the wiring, I pulled the low beam wires (pink/gray) out of the housing. The passenger side I cut and taped off, the drivers side I cut at the grommet and soldered back up to trigger the ballasts. I ran the bi-xenon solenoid wires through the grommet that used to be used to feed the low beam wires. A little dab of black ATV on the grommet and also on the extra holes in the dust cap grommet are all you need to seal back up the light. Speaking of the dust cap, I drilled a 7/8" hole and it fits perfectly tight!
    4. Putting the light back together was easier that I thought. Put them together best you can, heat them up (another 10 minutes at 250 degrees) and you can them squeeze them back together. Finish up with the torx screws and you're done!
    5. Mounting the ballasts and the relays was the trickiest part. Spent about three hours trying to figure out how to mount them and have the wires fit. Ended up mounting one balast and the relays around the window washer bottle, and the other ballast where the horn mounts to on the passenger side. Mounted there, there leads for the OEM light reach, the ballasts reach the bulbs, and the "HIGH BEAM" lead does stretch across the radiator support and plugs into the passenger side ballast. There is ample wire to reach the battery and ground as well.
    6. The Bi-Xenon works great! After routing the solenoid wires out of the housing, you put them into the plug ends provided, then use the "extra' harnesses to tap into the high beam wires. Those are the white/green wires that go into right up to the high beams. I don't think it makes a difference which wires goes where.
    7. Car goes back together in the reverse. Worked a treat first time! Wouldn't hurt to make sure alignment is there before you button up the front of the car. Also, now would be a great time to install those Hella Supertones you've got your eye on! (Hint, I installed them about 14" apart on a home made 1/8" thick aluminum bracket. Attached to the typical hood lock bracket and they look real nice through the grill!)
    Here's a couple of snapshots of the projector housings. The first is the stock Subaru projector. Notice all the pitting on the reflector, it's not even all that reflective!

    And here's a similar shot of the TRS projector. It's a little tough to see, but I think much of the reason is because it's so darn reflective.

    There's not a chance I would go back to normal halogen lights in my car. I was a little worried about the changes to the low beam wiring, but I've quickly forgotten about that. You don't have to do what I did, but I wanted a clean install and thought at the time that was the best way to achieve that. I can't compare this kit to a rebased bulb kit, but I can't imagine that those could come even remotely close to the light output on these kits.

    I actually ordered 5000K bulbs for mine. I really wanted a super white light and that's what these are. At the same time I installed a set of Silverstar Ultra's as high beams and PIAA Xtreme White bulbs for my daytime running lights. The colors on those two doesn't approach the whiteness of the 5000K H1 bulbs provided by TRS, but I can live with it. If you're really concerned about matching the colors, you might want to go with a 4300K HID bulb.

    Two thumbs up for TRS on this kit. I'm actually going to be ordering up another kit for a 2011 Outback. Going to wait for the new ballasts and give Matt a call to see if they can maybe add a little length to a couple pieces of the harness to make my life a little easier.

    Questions? Go ahead and ask...
    Last edited by Pearl2010; September 10th, 2011, 09:36 AM.

  • #2
    My friend/roommate has a 2007 Legacy Spec B. Man, just changing a bulb in that thing was a real *****. Followed the damn manual. Oh well. But he did show some interest in a retrofit a while back. I'll have to show him this thread and your before and after shots. Also, does the halogen high beam seem to supplement the bi-xenon high beam pretty well?

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    • #3
      Yes, the existing high beam does help, even over the bi-xenon "high". You still need to flood of light the existing highs give you. I think what bothers me the most about the highs is the color difference between my 5000K bulb and the Silverstar Ultras.

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      • #4
        I know someone who has the 2011 legacy and considered the re based bulbs route but heard from a few vendors that the day time running lights have been reported to blow ballast. Do the 2010 have day time running light? If so, what did you do to resolve that issue?

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        • #5
          Hey I was just wondering if the brackets were easy to mount up and whether you have any pictures of the mounting brackets in place? I'm doing a retroquick for an 05 Subaru Outback and it doesn't seem like the hardware they have provided with the kit will work. In particular, the bolts that came with the kit seem to short or I'm not placing the bracket where it needs to go....
          Last edited by gold94corolla; April 9th, 2013, 02:03 PM. Reason: typo

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          • #6
            I'm attempting to do my retro as well. Any pictures of your oem projector and mounting plate? Also, any pictures of the mini h1 with your oem shroud? Cheers!

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