Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Alpha Dog
Blue MY06 STi Driver
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Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby Alpha Dog » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:31 pm

For the MY06 Subaru did away with the amber filter for indicators (turn signals) found on earlier models and replaced them with amber bulbs. But I still reckon the 'yellow' colour looks bad. Having already upgraded the other bulbs in the front headlight (VisionPlus in the high beams, BlueVision in the parkers) I decided to get rid of the amber.

This is not complex but does require manual dexterity. I suggest a good pre-requisite for this is a resonatorectomy, as the presence of the resonator makes the driver’s side a tricky job (see below). And as usual, if you damage something or your cat dies, its not my fault. You do this at your own risk – its your choice to do this or just pay the man to do it for you.

Which reminds me, you won’t find the instructions for this is the owner’s manual – it just says to take it to the Subaru dealer. For an indicator bulb replacement? How hard can it be?

Here’s the before and after shots:
Original Off:
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Original On:
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Upgraded Off (look no yellow, yeah):
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Upgraded On (also looks better):
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If you care about the difference, read on. This is the bulb I used. First shock is the cost: $47.98 for 2 (from Autobarn). I did not check around or online so you probably can do better.
EDIT 18/5/08: If you are a Club Member & PM or email the Prez (aka Callahan), he will do them for around $30/pair. :thumbs:
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OK here we go. First read the relevant page from the Subaru manual below. It’s not as easy as the manual suggests…
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OK so turn the wheels hard right for the left hand (passenger) indicator. Do this side first as the driver’s side is harder and you may need to take a different approach. Then remove three clips as the manual says. Here’s a photo showing 2 of them arrowed – they are the type that pop up the centre about 5mm and then pull out the whole plug. You may have to carefully lever out the centre section.
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Next carefully release the black plastic mud guard liner so that it hangs down below the ‘bar. Here’s how it looks on the left side
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Here it is on the right side (which we’ll do later)
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Now carefully release the plastic mud guard liner ahead of the wheel out from the trailing edge of the 'bar from the lower edge just up to the metal guard. There's another clip there about half way up which I left in place. Here’s how it looks on the left.
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And here how the released guard looks on the right (which we’ll do later):
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Now we’ll be reaching into the guard and removing the bulb. Here’s our target (arrowed).
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And here’s what you need to do to get to it. Note I’m wearing a long sleeve to avoid being cut by the guard edge. When you reach the bulb holder, turn it about 1/8 turn anticlockwise to unlock it from the headlamp assembly.
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And here is the bulb holder removed from the lamp assembly, still with the original bulb (circled green). The arrow is pointing to the bulb holder socket.
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So now replace the bulb – it just pulls straight out of the holder and the new silver bulb goes in with a click. I’d suggest giving the new bulb a wipe to remove your greasy finger marks or use latex gloves if you are paranoid.

Reinstall the bulb holder and turn 1/8 clockwise. It does not seem to click into the locked position so you have to go by feel, and check that the bulb holder flanges are vertical when it’s in the installed (locked) position. If you look at the bulb the filament it is horizontal when installed correctly.

Here’s how it looks!
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Do one side at a time so you have reference to check “how it should be”. So still working on the left hand side, you should carefully pull the plastic inner guard back inside the 'bar (around the wheel section) and inside the front 'bar in the lower section. Note that that this lower section (where you need to reinstall the 3 clips) has one corner that sits inside (above) the engine under-tray.

Now for the driver’s side. I don’t have many photo’s here because I was running out of time and this side proved to be harder due to the presence of the intake resonator in the guard. If you have performed a full resonatorectomy, the driver's side is the same as the left hand side, so just repeat, except turn the wheels hard left before you start.

If you have not performed a full resonatorectomy, read on.

Turn the wheels hard left. As before, remove three clips and release the black plastic mud guard liner so that it hangs down below the ‘bar. Carefully release the plastic mud guard liner out of the 'bar from the lower edge just up to the clip.

Remove the cold-air intake from the engine bay (two bolts at the front and then just lifts off the intake to the resonator). Then loosen the resonator by removing two 10mm bolts, one in the engine bay next to the air filer box, and the other near the base of the resonator which you get to from the mud guard liner lower section behind the front bar. The resonator stays in the guard but floats around enough for the next steps.

Then, just as per the left side steps, I just managed to wangle my hand past the resonator and release the bulb holder. Then, from inside the engine bay I grabbed the wires by looking through the resonator intake opening. Here’s the bulb holder from inside the engine bay and next to the resonator intake:
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Then pull the bulb holder through the resonator intake opening.
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Now it’s easy to replace the bulb.

Reinstalling the bulb holder is also ‘fun’... Insert the holder loosely into the lamp assembly from inside the engine bay, then wangle your arm & hand back through the inner guard to tighten it 1/8 turn clockwise to lock it into the headlamp assembly. The flange should be vertical and bulb filament horizontal. I also used my fingers from inside the engine bay through the resonator opening to check the bulb holder was tight.

If you reinstall the resonator check the entry into the air filter box by opening it. Make sure the pipe entering the air box is well inside the box and the rubber seal is in place. Replace the two bolts holding the resonator. Reinstall the cold air intake.

Carefully pull the plastic inner guard back inside the 'bar. Note that the lower section (where you need to reinstall the 3 clips) has its engine side edge above (inside) the engine under-tray.

That’s it. Enjoy your amber-less headlights!

Here’s a shot comparing the two when on… the driver-side is the original.
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Last edited by Alpha Dog on Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Age
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Re: Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby Age » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:58 am

Excellent DIY!!! :cheer: :cheer:

Damn those globes are in a tricky place! :o How hard was it to get a photo with the indicators on? :P

Alpha Dog
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Re: Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby Alpha Dog » Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:29 pm

Age wrote:Excellent DIY!!! :cheer: :cheer:
Damn those globes are in a tricky place! :o How hard was it to get a photo with the indicators on? :P

Thanks Age.
Yeah and service manual really doesn't give the whole story -- especially the driver's side being so tough due to the resonator... seems like the manual author just ignored it. :(

I was itching to remove the resonator, but a little voice reminded me that Vin told me I'd need to get a tune and probably an ECU reflash or piggyback if I did that. Not wanting to take that step (yet) I left it there. Just to be controversial, Subaru have stated in a technical publication (which I cannot find just now...) that the 'resonator' is actually an air reservoir that provides better throttle response by storing static air in the intake. If you know how filters work, that makes sense. As well as filtering the sound waves (in the air), it also stores air. Think of an electrical capacitor as an analogy. I wonder if removing the resonator improves air flow at the top end, gives a nice sound, but actually degrades initial throttle response at low rpm...

As for taking the photo's with the indicator lit... its all in the timing dude! :) Just had to get into the rhythm and squeeze the shutter at the right instant. Needs a responsive camera... Canon Ixus 70, which I see Dick Smith are flogging for $198 which is a good deal IMHO.

Alpha Dog
Blue MY06 STi Driver
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Re: Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby Alpha Dog » Sun May 18, 2008 12:20 am

And to complete the job, did the same for the rear indicators. Instructions in the owners handbook. Thanks to Les for supplying the silvervision bulbs at a great price. :thumbs:

Before
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After
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Callahan
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Re: Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby Callahan » Sun May 18, 2008 1:35 pm

Simply awesome write-up Scott - I've added a note in the original post about me getting these cheap for Club Members. :wink:
Regards,
Les.
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The STiG
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Re: Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby The STiG » Sun May 18, 2008 8:10 pm

Great write up Scott.
Ive just replace my driving lights with lights I purchased from Les.
This was pretty straight forward but the parkers.... the parkers are a whole different World I fear.
Ada///M.

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L1TEW8
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Re: Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby L1TEW8 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:24 pm

have you had a look at changing the side indicators on the feders?
MY07 WRX - The Carbon Rex build thread
http://www.wrx.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=73295

Alpha Dog
Blue MY06 STi Driver
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Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:49 am
Location: twisties

Re: Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby Alpha Dog » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:21 pm

L1TEW8WRX wrote:have you had a look at changing the side indicators on the feders?

Yes, the are one piece so you replace the entire unit. I think they are already clear on the MY07 WRX and they are clear on the STi, but the yellow/orange bulb is just visible. Anyway, I'm ok with they way they look... not much choice without some delicate surgery on the lamp assembly.

I broke one - easy due to the snappy plastic tongue that holds it in - and the replacement was about $23 from Docklands.
Image
Photo credit: Joel Strickland Photographics - thanks Joel!

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L1TEW8
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Upgrade indicator (turn signal) bulbs on MY06/07

Postby L1TEW8 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:54 am

Yer I too tried everything to get it open but had no luck. I even heated the part in the oven to soften the glue but still could not pry open the unit.
MY07 WRX - The Carbon Rex build thread
http://www.wrx.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=73295

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