Five-and-a-half months after buying it, I actually still like my Subaroo - except for the lousy excuse for a high beam (which is the nr. 2 complaint about the older Outbacks, trumped only by Hal).

I've never ever seen anybody produce such a rotten reflector design...well, my dad's 6V beetle in the late '70s may have had as bad a lighting system. The low beam pattern, spread and distance are very good, but the almost-separate-reflector-cum-bulb setup for the highs is very obviously crap.

So I prepared some votive offerings to Lumen, presented nicely out front ( where they're ready for sacrifice to the next stray stone). I paid $90 for a pair of new Hella Comet FF200's (freeform reflector, 55W H1 bulbs) with full wiring kit, relay etc. Not too bad a price I think.

For such driving lights, the higher mounted the better. OTOH, I don't want to drive around town looking super-stupid (=in a car that rarely leaves the bitumen, but visibly shows off a highlift jack, huge roofrack, spare tires and canisters on the roof and maybe even spray-on dirt). So mounting the lights on the bumper seemed obvious, but the bumper is backed by a fairly massive steel structure - hollow but mostly inaccessible.

Rob quickly made me some aluminium brackets and a bit later I had the carcasses up.


A further short while later I had not only not fried any electrons or carriers thereof but actually everything performing as intended: I can select the Hellas as an extra to the "high" beam, and the lighted switch will glow exactly when that is the case (look Ma, just two wires through the firewall - despite the Sooby having ground-switched lighting).

 hellas mounted on suby hellas mounted on suby

The difference in light output is...substantial. Before, driving at night was less than fun, an exercise of intuition and guesswork ("corner? roo? what corner? can't see a thing"), now it's simply "and Go^Waz said, Let there be light: and there was LIGHT" :-)

[ published on Tue 13.05.2008 21:47 | filed in brainfarts | ]
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