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Outback Road Lights


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8 replies to this topic

#1 cmk552

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 09:28 AM

I have an SOB LL Bean 2003 and I was wondering if anyone has found out a way to keep the RoadLights on when you hit the high beams.

Hopefully something simple were i dont have to rewire the car.:boohoo:

#2 BlueSoob

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 10:01 AM

I thought about this one myself... (03 Forester with same) I have come to the conclusion that the "fog lamps" are not really that useful at all. They are aimed at about 2 feet in front of my car... and not all that bright....
It would be easier, in my opinion, to just put another set of lights on your car and put those on a separate switch...

#3 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 01:05 PM

Please disregard this post - I admit to getting confused - the mod I remembered concerns DRLs - not foglamps.

MY BAD! sorry for any confusion

-XXXXDo a search using the terms fog lights and hand brake. There was a mod someone posted that involved moving/defeating the handbrake switch to force the fog lights on IIRC.XXXXX-

#4 alias20035

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 05:39 AM

Originally posted by 1 Lucky Texan
Do a search using the terms fog lights and hand brake. There was a mod someone posted that involved moving/defeating the handbrake switch to force the fog lights on IIRC.



This trick was for the Baja, with its optional roof rack mounted lights.

Any light above headlight level is illegal for street use unless covered or configured for used when the vehicle is not driven (with the handbrake on).

The Baja's roof mounted lights are connected to the handbrake.


All cars (at least all that I know of) shut off their fog lights when the high beams are on.

This is done for three reasons:

1. you can't use high beams in dense fog, since the light reflects off of the fog and blinds the driver.

2. fog lights are short range with enhanced peripheral illumination, high beams are long range. These are different and mutually exclusive lighting requirements.

3. High beams use a lot of power, as do fog lights. You risk battery damage with sustained high current requirements.

The Outback has a 4 bulb headlight system, the lower bulb is the high beam and the upper bulb is the low beam/daytime running light. When the high beams are on all 4 bulbs are activated, which is the same as a more common dual filiment bulb system where both filiments are on.

The Outback needs the 55watts from each fog light to power the 65watts of each high beam bulb.

So I would not recommend defeating this feature.

If you want better lighting, switch to Silvania Silverstar bulbs for your low beams, and high beams as well if desired. The Silverstars are the same wattage as the original bulbs, but use a much higher quality and brighter filament. The coating on Silverstar bulbs produces a very white (looks blue but it isn't), the coating removes the yellow light component of halogen bulbs. Only when shown beside a convention halogen do the Silverstar bulbs look somewhat blue.

And no rewiring required....

If and only if you need to do this there is a wire into the fog light relay that is only energized when the low beams are on. The interior fog light switch grounds and activates the relay. Cutting this wire from the low beam circuit and wiring into the parking lights instead will accomplish what you desire. But you risk an electical problem with your fog lights, headlights and parking lights if not done correctly.

The fog light relay should be located in the engine compartment fuse box, which will have to be removed to access the wires underneath. DISCONNECT the negative battery terminal before working on this box, as a short circuit could explode the battery or do serious damage to the electical system.

#5 electryc_monk

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 02:18 PM

the Texas and Michigan vehicle codes are quite clear about forward illumination and quantity.

Vehicle manufactures are not allowed more then 6 forward facing lights two of which to be allowed as fog lights.

There is one thing that i have talked to police friends about and this is the wording with regard to being "illegal" on the road.

I first off am not a manufacturer of automobiles so there for I don't fall under this limitation of 6 forward facing lights.

so IF i felt so inclinded to rune 10 forward facing lowbeam headlights i could...... wouldn't be all that wise... BUT, i could because of the way it is written.

The real bugger is making sure they all stayed aimed properly.

the only "state of the union" with a ambiguously and if i dare say so vengful vehicle code is the Ironic state of Virginia (iron as its motto is V. is for lovers, with the police out for radar detector users and and other insidentals puhlease!)

Now back to the ambiguous code the V. has which has several motorcycle organizations up at arms.... "headlights that are too dazzling" can be ticketed.... talk about your "no spitting on the sideway on sunday" kind of laws folks sheeeesh!

oh wow your truck is heavily loaded and the trailer is full so this tilts the headlights up just a bit too high and you get pulled over for this rullling.... well if you jack the trailer off the truck and the headlights aim back to the proper place on the groudn that won't help you then for its to "Dazzling" . Give me a break!

As for defeating a purpose? hmmmmm, I'm not gonna touch that with a 3 meter pole and haz-mat gloves.

I like the properly aimed(and personally modified fog's) with the 55W lowbeams i got thank you very kindly. as well as the relay design that it runs on. As for Fog's and high beams simoltaniously?
Your darn right I'll have them both on. Reasons for such a non-standard opperating condition? Sure, Deer, 'Possum, Fox, Dog, cat, pheasant, hog, armadillo, turtle, drunks crawling back to their cars, gators, *asphalt gators*(CB slang for recap laying on the road), potholes, lumber, trashcans, lounge chair, kiddy pool, tricycle, dresser drawers, trashbag of *stuff*, roadkill the size of a Mini cooper, and bolders. These are actual things I've had to swerve to miss while driving on freeways , back country roads, et al over the years that running fog's and low or high beams (and occasionally the OffRoad pencil beams) have allowed me to be aware of to avoid contact with and cause damage to both parties due to being able to se them.

okay I hope this doesn't sem as a attack upon a specific member , it should be seen as a comment on the short sightedness of some legilation, and the mystical perspective questioning athority is -perhaps- wrong.

So, IF you think I'm baiting or even attacking user: alias20035 then i think rereading is necessary for i never intended it as such.
Sorry if this sounds abit caustic ... I haven't found a better way just yet to cohierantly sound more dyplomatic yet.....

#6 alias20035

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 03:21 PM

The legal issue I pointed out was the fact that any light assembly mounted higher than the headlights must be covered or electically disabled while driving. Which is why the roof mounted lights are disabled on the Baja.

Off road driving is exempt from this rule.

The Outback fog lights suck anyways, so having them on with the high beams really wont do much (I tried this). I have modified my fog lights to operate when the parking lights or low beams are on, so that I can dial my low beams to 80% (daytime running light mode) by turning the switch to parking light mode. This is extremely useful for reducing glare in dense fog.

DOT sets the rules, Virginia can only enforce them and nothing more stringent. DOT rules only apply to permanent vehicle hardware, so radar detectors and other such items are fair game for the states to deal with. The 6 light rule is a DOT rule, and some states may have it in their code as well. If DOT changes to an 8 light rule, the states 6 light rule is invalid (DOT has the precedence). The DOT rules apply to all on road licensed vehicles, so the law does apply to owners as well. You are required by law to drive a DOT legal vehicle (and EPA legal vehicle, etc).

If you have DOT legal green headlights, no officer can issue a ticket (you wont find DOT legal green headlights though).

As for dazzling, police due issue tickets and should do so more often. European vehicles with HID headlight systems are required by law to have headlight washer system and either automatic headlight levelling (tilting headlights) or vehicle load levelling (rear air springs). No such laws in North America.

Congressional hearings are coming up on HID glare induced collisions, it is possible that Congress may outright ban HID lighting systems. There have been something like 10,000 glare induced accidents recently due to HID glare and many fatalities. Most of the collisions are elderly drivers who are susceptable to glare, but this is a recent problem not previously encountered in such great frequency. Ford planned to use HID extensively and they have now reconsidered (the 2004 F150 was supposed to be HID, but it isn't).

I hope the result of the congression hearings is a change from a bulb wattage limit to a lumens output limit and also to legislate automatic headlight levelling systems. Tire pressure monitoring was legislated by the Ford Exploder hearings, so why not headlight levelling as the technology is common place elsewhere and not expensive (maybe $10 per car in high volume production).

50 years ago 55 watt bulbs were about all the same brightness, now with modern filiment technology it is possible to get a very bright 55 watt bulb. Some bulbs indicate 55w=85w which I take to mean that it is 55w electric but equivalent to 85w in output.

I am in Canada where most of our TransCanada highway is two lane with opposing traffic, so dazzling oncoming traffic is not recommended. As for animals crossing the road, Canada is full of them, 300 pound deer, 1,200 pound moose, 800 pound elk, 700 pound bear, 2,000 pound cows, etc.

I am in Northern Ontario, where moose collision fatalities are at least a weekly occurance.

Having brighter lights usually doesn't aid in spotting animals as they tend to dart out too late to avoid them (animals already on the road licking road salt are an exception). In any case it is usually not recommended that you swerve to avoid any animal, as loss of control is a likely result which can have a more severe outcome than an animal strike with the extremely dangerous rollover being the thing to avoid. Hard braking and keeping the car on the road is the best course of action. Insurance companies fault the driver if a swerve leads to a claim.

In Northern Ontario driving anything less than a big rig at night is not recommended, and there are roadside signs warning of the extreme danger of moose collision. And you could be ticketed for dangerous driving if the moose are out even if are driving the speed limit. I have seen a moose take out an F150, not much left of the moose, but also not much left of the F150 either. I have also seen moose take out a tractor trailer (bent the bumper which then blew the front tire).

#7 alias20035

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 03:24 PM

sorry I replied to my own post here...

#8 Shady Bimmer

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 03:36 PM

Originally posted by electryc_monk
I like the properly aimed(and personally modified fog's) with the 55W lowbeams i got thank you very kindly. as well as the relay design that it runs on. As for Fog's and high beams simoltaniously?
Your darn right I'll have them both on. Reasons for such a non-standard opperating condition?


The problem is that in the US, especially in populated cities and suburbia, there are far too many drivers that always turn every single forward-facing light on that is possible, regardless of environmental and road conditions. On a two lane opposing-traffic highway with endless stream of cars in both direction? Doesn't matter. They'll have 1500watts (sometimes I wonder if that is really an exageration or not) of HID lighting poorly aimed and won't care. (You have heard of how some folks are converting their fogs to use HID ballasts and lamps since they don't like the fact that the stock lamps are a different color than their HID headlamps!)

Irresponsible use is what drives such legislation.

#9 paladin_w

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 09:18 PM

electric_monk you are da man good post, I have had to dodge those animals and others too. I like good lighting and intend to modify my 97's system in less than two weeks, I will put what wire you need to mess with probably before I do it, or if you want to wait for a few weeks I will post the procedure I finally did. I have looked at the wiring diagram and I have surmised the fogs turn off of course because the ground is no longer present when switching from low to high. All you should have to do is connect fogs ground to the high as it is connected to the low since the bulbs run dual filament. Other options are to install an aux switch to the fogs them selves on the ground and just flip it when you hit the high beams, this gives you the option of having your fogs on or not when you have brights on, of course there is that switch on your dash, but hey I light switches. and then you won't have to take your dash fog switch off when you change back to lows which happens quite often on two way roads.




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