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Headlight comparison


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Subarian

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 07:37 PM

Just like everyone else with a GL/Loyale I suffer from poor lighting. I'm thinking about swapping in a 4-headlight system from a DL wagon. Anyone have any comparison info on lighting? An added advantage would be that a rock through the headlight would cost $5 or so.

#2 85Sub4WD

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 07:52 PM

Just like everyone else with a GL/Loyale I suffer from poor lighting.


I have never had an issue with my headlights, and they are standard GL/Loyale

Clean the buckets for starters - use a glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol - pour it in and slosh it around
make sure the bucket is COMPLETELY dry before you reinstall it - the bucket is glass and metal, so it will clean easily

use Sylvania Xtravision lamps (9004 XV) or Silverstars if your rich

make sure they are aligned properly - many shops get it wrong, as the dispersion pattern is slightly different than other cars

I have a friend with an EA81 wagon that had a lot more problems with visibility than I do, and given that these halogen bulbs are so common, and sealed beams are becoming less available without special ordering, I would stick with the stock ones - try driving a ford/gm/dodge that is ~10 years old, and you DO have a problem with the headlights - the lens plastic really yellows on those

#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 07:59 PM

Well - I know I've seen HID conversion kits for the DL style sealed beams - for VW Scirocco's and the like. Could do that ($$$), but I have to say that for the most part the sealed beams on the DL (same as on my Brat, and EA81 GL wagon) are not any better than the EA82 GL lamps.

GD

#4 TROGDOR!

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 08:04 PM

I had a DL, then a GL immediately afterward, and noticed no difference in lighting performance.

Try changing your bulbs and aligning your headlights before doing anything, as said above the Xtravisions are your best bet when sticking with a low price. Headlight bulbs DO fade over time, so just because they still light up doesn't mean they aren't worn out.

#5 Subarian

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 09:32 PM

I have the two cleanest, shiniest headlamp assemblies I've seen in a Subaru, and I've used the Xtravisions for several years, and I've aimed them. Not that I don't appreciate the suggestions; I do. But I notice that when I'm on the freeway it seems I cast a shadow when other cars come up behind. Maybe some aftermarket driving lights.

#6 TROGDOR!

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 10:07 PM

I've noticed the shadow too, with every car I've ever owned, even ones that aren't Subarus. They were all at least 8 years old at the time. I think it's not a weakness of the headlights more than the fact that most newer cars have such efficient and white lights with a wide spread that will make a shadow out of anything in front of them.

#7 85Sub4WD

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 10:08 PM

Realize that there was some serious de-regulation recently, and many newer cars have headlights from the factory that would have been illegal just a couple years ago, the downside is that the dispersion patters have gotten rather poor too, so they have a LOT of light they throw everywhere, but not necessarily in the best direction - the actual distance in front of the car illuminated is usually less than traditional designs - there has been a BIG to-do about the problems in most all car driver circles (car talk, car section of newspaper, Consumer Reports, etc.) - Consumer Reports has decided to start rating headlights on cars specifically as a seperate item for the first time in many years because there is so much inconsistancy - it is very likely that some of the old laws will be put back on the books to try to address the problem

If you can see an adiquate distance ahead, I don't see the problem - an overly bright headlight can cause you to be blinded if you come across a highly reflective object, and they are generally disruptive of nightvision. (I have had a chance to ride in many of these cars - and I actually think I have a better dispersion pattern in the Soob)

The yellowish tint that many older-design halogens have is actually beneficial because it reduces glare, versus the aftermarket blue lights and HID lights, which increase it due to the high color temperature - red light doesn't hurt nightvision at all, which is why it is used for tail lights, the closer you are to red color-wise, the less your eye will react to it (and be blinded) - brighter is simply not always better for headlights; the color of the light as well as the intensity need to be consitered - the idea behind headlights is to increase your vision of your surroundings, not be seen from outter space

All said, driving lights are still good to have, and they can double as fog lights - don't have any on my car at present, but I will get some eventually.

BTW - if your headlights are more than a couple years old, they are probably due for replacement - mine are nearly 4 years old, and they are DEFINATELY ready for replacement - I also drive with my headlights on

#8 subiemech85

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 12:14 AM

it's all about the DEER

I don't look for them, I look for their eye reflection

I put in the silverstars
and run with 3 lights
may have to add a passing lamp

#9 zyewdall

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 12:36 AM

I never noticed a problem with the GL/Loyale headlights. The car can't go fast enough to overrun the headlights generally :rolleyes: (and I'm usually on backroads with the highbeams on). The low beams are better than my truck which has the four small rectangular sealed beam halogens. Several other people have commented that it didn't seem adequate when they borrowed my car though -- probably used to newer superbright ones like 83sub4wd said. I didn't know they had deregulated.

I like that they're glass, so they don't yellow like alot of the much newer plastic ones I see on other cars. I do have a chip in one of mine, that leaks. As far as availability, all of the parts stores here carry a good assortment of square and round sealed beam halogens, plus the halogen bulbs, so I don't see either as an issue.

And, yes, it's disconcerting when you are on a backroad, and you can see the shadow of your own car in front of you when you already have your highbeams on, because some yahoo in a giant SUV with 6 headlights is driving up your bumper.... happens to me fairly often
:brow: but other than that, I don't have a big problem with my headlights. I have though of adding some driving lights pointed slightly to the right and left -- for seeing deer on the curvy mountain roads. I'd hook them up so they were only on with the highbeams, so I wouldn't be blinding anyone with them.

#10 4x4_Welder

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:35 AM

A good thing to do would be a relay conversion- two relays behind each light, one for high, one for low. Use the stock wiring to activate the relay, and power them with a 12 or 10ga wire straight from the battery. That will perk up your lights a bit.

#11 chazmataz

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 03:01 AM

I have a 86' GL wagon and did everything i could do to get better lights out of the original GL lights andnothing worked, i have went through and did a search of past post on the forum and found that other GL owners also complained about the poor lighting of the GL style headlights. About a year ago i added an 89' DL wagon to the family and noticed an improvement in lighting with it so about 3months ago i converted my 86 GL wagon over to the DL headlight system that i got out of a JY and put halogen headlamps in and yes there is an enormous improvement in light from the GL to the DL light systems. As far as driving on country roads at night watching out for deer, i have done enough of it with my GL and i scares the hell out of me with my old headlights but with the 4 light system from the DL i'm not worried at all and i don't have to drive like a grandma.

To make a long story short i would do it, you will like the improvement its like day and night difference between the two.

#12 soobmater

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 01:23 PM

I have a 86' GL wagon and did everything i could do to get better lights out of the original GL lights andnothing worked, i have went through and did a search of past post on the forum and found that other GL owners also complained about the poor lighting of the GL style headlights. About a year ago i added an 89' DL wagon to the family and noticed an improvement in lighting with it so about 3months ago i converted my 86 GL wagon over to the DL headlight system that i got out of a JY and put halogen headlamps in and yes there is an enormous improvement in light from the GL to the DL light systems. As far as driving on country roads at night watching out for deer, i have done enough of it with my GL and i scares the hell out of me with my old headlights but with the 4 light system from the DL i'm not worried at all and i don't have to drive like a grandma.

To make a long story short i would do it, you will like the improvement its like day and night difference between the two.


whats all included in the swap? i know my headlights suck to :-\

#13 TROGDOR!

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 05:22 PM

You'll need the headlights and the mounting bucket they sit in, as well as the side markers, which are thinner than the GL ones. Also take the wiring harnesses for the headlights and side markers.

#14 chazmataz

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 11:10 PM

yes you will need the headlight buckets and rings, side marker lights at least the headlight pigtails, your side marker light soket will snap into the new side marker light housing so you don't need to get that wiring pigtail. the center grille itself is the same but you will need the part under the headlight and next to the high beam light is a plastic filler strip that goes betwwen it and the grille, you will need this also. if there is a complete harness for just the haedlight i would get, it looked like they just went into the main front harness so i cut off the part i needed and splised in the pigtails that i cut off into my harness ,took some time but wasn't hard if you know how to do basic wiring.

#15 TROGDOR!

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 12:33 AM

your side marker light soket will snap into the new side marker light housing so you don't need to get that wiring pigtail.


The DL takes two 194 bulbs, while the GL takes a 194 and one bigger one. Or was it the other way around? Either way, one of the bulbs is different, so get the wiring for the side markers as well.

I forgot about the filler panel underneath, but if I remember right it comes out with the entire headlight assembly.

#16 Tin Soldier

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 08:40 PM

I have owned both DL and Gl style. I have found no difference in lighting between the two. They both suck compared to newer cars.

I installed fog/driving lights on both and found a marked improvement. Even with cheapo $18 lights there was a big difference in visibility. Also, better bulbs on both types helped a lot too.

I want some HIDs for my wagon. :)

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#17 Numbchux

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 09:01 PM

I have the Sylvania Silverstars...big help!!

also, as said, adding aftermarket fog/driving lights is a huge help!

#18 samo

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 09:20 PM

^ Same here. Love my Silverstars. I don't personally think the lighting is that bad. It sure is better than my Chevy.

#19 subeman90

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 09:23 PM

83 GL with 4 headlight system and 4 silverstars in it... FTW!!!!!!




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