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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Headlight Conversion from 2 Round to 4 Square Lights

1986 Standard Hatchback Lighting Electrical Swaps Headlights Looking

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Beaux_Foxthorne



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Posted 29 January 2015 - 03:30 PM

Hey there, I own a 1986 Standard 2dr Hatchback that came standard with the two single large round lights. They work fine, but as a side project I was looking to convert them over to the four square light setup as both a practical and aesthetic upgrade. There are times that the rounds just don't produce enough light even with the highs on and having the four lamps seems like the best option. Not to mention they look a lot more appropriate considering I have seen other models of my same wagon with the four light set up and they look unbelievably slick.

Because of the universal compatibility of the body styles in this line of vehicles making the swap is relatively easy, however I need some advice on the wiring harness for the lights in terms of whether I would have to rip out and replace the entire wiring setup and replace it with one that was designed to accommodate the four lights, or if there is a half-harness system of sorts that disconnects at a certain point from the rest of the system for this very purpose.


Any advice on what sort of parts I might need as well as advice is greatly appreciated.


For Reference  Before: Attached File  Subaru 2 lights.jpg   121.54K   74 downloads  After: Attached File  subaru 4 lights.jpg   102.44K   71 downloads

#2 Gloyale


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Posted 01 February 2015 - 03:21 PM

Aside from physically swapping the buckets....all you have to do is splice in 2 additional connectors for the extra pair of high beams (inner 2 of the 4)


You could splice in a connector that has 3 wires for each, making 4 lo as well as 4 hi beam lights.....but this isn't excactly DOT approved (too many watts w/highs on)


One way to improve the light is with a relay setup.  Wired directly to the battery and engine ground......and triggered by one of the original headlight connectors.


This lets the power to each bulb come through new wire, of a much shorter circuit.  This means the bulbs see less volt drop.


One way to check is with a good multimeter.  Probe the battery w/engine running and observe volts.....should be at or near 14.  Now check volts at the headlight connector w/engine running.  Could be as low as 11.5 with old wiring and switches carrying all the load.


Adding a relay setup will up the volts at the bulb to more than 13.....it makes a huge difference.

#3 wagonist


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Posted 01 February 2015 - 04:29 PM

There was another thread recently about doing this conversion on the later models, and there was a link to a plug in harness.

#4 1982gl4


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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:15 PM

The actual radiator support is different as well. I went the other way quads to single rounds. I found a car in a junkyard and hacked the radiator support up so I could weld it on to my car. You probably could just cut holes in the support for the harness to get to the back of the lights, but I'm not 100% sure if the buckets would sit correctly after bolting them on to the single headlight radiator support. 

#5 Beaux_Foxthorne



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Posted 24 June 2015 - 10:55 PM

There was another thread recently about doing this conversion on the later models, and there was a link to a plug in harness.


Thanks for the tip, I looked it up and found the link. Here it is: http://www.ebay.com/...mMakeTrack=true

The kit is pretty inexpensive and from the reviews I've read, there are very few bugs in the installation.

#6 Rust


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Posted 26 June 2015 - 08:17 AM

I prefer the rounds, subaru only did that style for a couple of years 80 and 81 I think on the gen 2 cars.  What about upgrading the bulbs instead?

#7 ihscout54


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Posted 26 June 2015 - 10:11 AM

The 2 rounds lingered on on the std hatch till at least 85. That grill wasnt as attractive as the older style one tho.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 1986, Standard, Hatchback, Lighting, Electrical, Swaps, Headlights, Looking

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