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1997 Legacy Outback Headlight replacement


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13 replies to this topic

#1 muzeeshun

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 11:06 AM

Due to my wifes headlamps being now a milky color of clear I am about to replace them. Has anybody done that and is there a right or wrong way of doing that. (replace the headlight assembly)

#2 Grimmreaper

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 12:12 PM

I have a 97 Outback with 161,000 miles on it and I also had the milky white headlamps as well. I used a plastic polish I purchased at Auto Zone and it pretty much cleared up the milky look. It should save you a lot of money and the aggravation of having to remove and install the headlamp assembly.

My only problem is that my left headlight plug comes loose enough for the light to dim where it is almost loose, but when I just tap the back of the electrical plug behinf where it attaches to the bulb and it brightens up again. I have to do this several times a dy depending how bumpy th road is.

#3 muzeeshun

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for the reply. I used the 3M polish on her lights several times and it is now time for the replace job. I would rather replace them than listen to my wife complain about them again. LOL

#4 Commuter

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 12:48 PM

Thanks for the reply. I used the 3M polish on her lights several times and it is now time for the replace job. I would rather replace them than listen to my wife complain about them again. LOL

Or... do what I did with my 97 OB. Put in a 100/80W bulb. Yeah... I know... off road use only... yada yada. No problem with wiring over 3 or 4 years now, but the connector has eventually failed from the heat. Low cost, takes a couple of minutes, and you'll probably be rid of the car before you suffer the connector failure.

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#5 muzeeshun

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 01:05 PM

thanks. Just finished the assembly replace. Easy job. 3 bolts a few grill clips adjust and go!@

#6 JT95

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 01:42 PM

thanks. Just finished the assembly replace. Easy job. 3 bolts a few grill clips adjust and go!@


You might wanna put your old headlight assemblies on eBay. Even though they may not be a purty as new, clear ones, someone on a budget would still buy one or both of them as a replacement much cheaper than new...

#7 JT95

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 01:43 PM


My only problem is that my left headlight plug comes loose enough for the light to dim where it is almost loose, but when I just tap the back of the electrical plug behinf where it attaches to the bulb and it brightens up again. I have to do this several times a dy depending how bumpy th road is.


Had the same problem with my 95. I cut off the factory wiring harness to the headlight and spliced in a new one from Wally-World for $4 and it works perfect.

#8 azncandyman

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 01:07 PM

for your wife's sake maybe you can get some aftermarket light bulbs too. Get the Silvina Silvers, they are much brighter and wont get you in trouble with the law.

#9 muzeeshun

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Posted 21 January 2005 - 10:05 PM

Thanks. I just put the old lamp assemblies on Ebay.

#10 jluther

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 03:58 PM

Do they actually get dimmer with time, or do they just quit working? I have a 97 outback and noticed I can barely see the road at night. When I put on the high beams, it looks about normal and no one even flashes their lights at me.
I can't tell if they are pointed the wrong way or just getting dim.
If so all I need to replace is the lightbulbs ($12 each) correct?
If you can't touch them, how do you install them? I can use lab gloves from work to make sure no finger oil get on them, is that enough?

Thanks much
Joey

#11 JPX

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 05:33 PM

If so all I need to replace is the lightbulbs ($12 each) correct?
If you can't touch them, how do you install them? I can use lab gloves from work to make sure no finger oil get on them, is that enough?


You can hold them with a clean rag with a little rubbing alcohol. If you touch, just make sure to wipe off your prints. Lab gloves is a little overkill....but I still like!

#12 jluther

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:18 PM

I was looking at my headlights today as I pulled right up to a wall. They are both straight and fairly dim. I can look directly into them without needing to squint (maybe that's why I can't see at night).
They do get brighter as I click high beams but still don't seem all that bright. The thing is... both of them are exactly the same.

Another thing is that I thought I could turn them on with the car off. There's the switch on the top of the steering column that allows me to leave the lights on if I wanted to, but even with this switched they won't come on unless my car is on (however there are some very dim orange parking lights that turn on). Is this normal?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

#13 Suzam

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:35 PM

Yes that's normal. Your headlights only work with the key in the "on" position.

The button on the column is for your parking lights to stay on when there is no key in the car.

#14 mattyg41383

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:36 PM

Yes, that switch on the column is just for the parking lights. As far as i know, there isnt a way to have headlights on without the keys... unless you were to rig something up.




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