mx3frik's build thread

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Thread: mx3frik's build thread

  1. #1
    Member mx3frik's Avatar
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    mx3frik's build thread

    Build thread for mx3frik's 2013 XV Crosstrek, Canadian's Sport package.

    First post will be somewhat of a summary/place holder/table of contents as more information is added in subsequent posts eventually. Lots of inspirations on this forum and around the web for the mods, this is just to document how I have done some of the things, since I tend to like going for shortcuts, and hopefully will be helpful.

    Interior and audio:
    Factory head unit equalizer tweak through "hidden menu".
    LED strip overhead cargo lighting.
    Backup camera to factory multi-function display.
    Upgraded LED glove box lighting.
    Older generation Subaru under-seat subwoofer.
    LED interior lighting throughout.
    WeatherTech DigitalFit floor mats. Great for messy winters and trails.
    Generic economic cargo and seat-back protectors.
    Hardwired descrete 3-port 12 V accessory sockets
    Cubby hole LED addition

    Body, exterior, and lighting
    DRL moved to fog lamps at full power (rather than high beam at a reduced power as stock).
    RTX Scorpion wheels as winter rims, found cheaply on kijiji, likely painted bronze.
    Fumoto oil drain valve. Great to go with the skid plates.
    LED front corner lights.
    Primitive racing skid plates (with oil drain hole machined) with factory mud tray retained.
    Painted calipers.
    Rear bumper protection pad, window, and hood deflectors - can be seen in images below at the bottom of this post.
    Headlight protection film - *removed due to distortion in lighting pattern.
    9005 LED high beam (claimed 3000 lm each): removed due to excessive bream spread from unmatched focal regions to halogen bulb in this car's headlight housings.
    PlastiDipped front grill, chrome ring around front and rear bumper logos, and rear badges.

    Please check local regulations before performing certain modifications. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers or vendors linked in this post, they are for references purposes only.

    Cheers,

    P.S. Thought this post was a bit lacking without pictures, so here goes.

    20130519_125034_ds.jpg

    20130519_172130_ds.jpg

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  3. #2
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    That's a nice list of accomplishments! I'm interested in learning how you moved your DRLs to the fogs.

  4. #3
    Member mx3frik's Avatar
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    DRL to factory fog light

    Thanks for your interest Hacksaw. I might as well start filling in the thread with the DRL-foglight mod.

    Motivation and logistics:
    Long story long, I occasionally drive out of the city that calls for the use of high beams. Historically I've had high beams burn out when I needed them as soon as I flip them on, and I figured using up a good percentage of their lifetime as DRLs seem like a waste. In canada DRLs are required by regulation, so full power going to the fog lights seem like the convenient choice. I had thought about using the corner lamps, since I had converted them to run off LEDs and thought they'd look nice, but they just don't have the brightness to cut through daylight to be conspicuous. (I have came across members' posts indicating that in certain states it's illegal to have the fog lights on on clear days and tickets can be issued, so please do check before performing this mod.)

    Actual mod:
    The mod was based on REBinc's NASIOC post. There are a couple of things I did differently:
    -I went from the bottom-up to access the DRL connector. I undid just enough of the mud tray to reach up and access the connector.
    -There are advocates against vampire taps in vehicles that steered me away from it. I've had several in my previous cars long term (~8 years) and haven't had problems, but after reading this I started splicing with soldering the old way.
    -Liquid electrical tape is a good way of sealing up splice connections, in conjunction with conventional electrical tape.

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  6. #4
    Member mx3frik's Avatar
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    Overhead cargo lighting

    Motivation and logistics
    I am sure I am not the only one that finds the stock cargo light at the wheel well quite lacking, and it does not do much for looking down into say a backpack rummaging through the dark interior looking for stuff. Also, it might be handy to have some light overhead right behind the car after a long hike or bike ride, so we can clean ourselves off when we load the car up. That said, one of my criteria for the lighting unit is that it can stand up to me loading things in the car from mountain bikes to yard tools to building materials without cracking. I ended up getting a silicone encased LED strip from ebay for cheap. The LED strip was rated at 4.5 watts, just under the factory cargo lighting unit at 5 W I believe, please correct me if I am mistaken, and a 1 W LED replaced the factory bulb, overdrawing 10% over the stock setup.

    Modification details
    The LED strip is connected to the stock cargo light unit so that it is controlled by the same logic: lights up with the trunk opens, and dims together nicely with the interior light as it goes off. I was installing a backup camera to the mult-function display at the same time, so more interior was removed than necessary in the images.

    The cargo trim piece removed. The tow rope in the trunk was showing up funky due to the lensing effect from the curved hatch window.
    20140404_101129.jpg

    Quarter panel trim piece removed, show the connector to the stock cargo light unit in image below. I made the connector on the stock lighting unit itself rather than off the main harness. Wiring was ran up along the back of the quarter panel, through the factory feedthrough, and into the hatch area.
    20140404_101123.jpg

    LED strip on the cargo trim piece, fed through a rubber grommet.
    IMG_20140823_122751.jpg

    Lights on in the dark, showing positioning and illumination of the lighting strip.
    IMG_20140407_002623.jpg

    Lastly, lighting coverage behind the car, helpful for cleanups and loading after a hike or bike ride, say.
    IMG_20140407_002546.jpg

    I am somewhat concerned about the light being bothersome to other drivers in a dark parking lot as they are driving by. Hopefully it is diffused enough that it is not a problem, but something I ought to find out.

  7. #5
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    Backup camera to factory multifunction display

    Motivations and logistics
    The (Canadian) sports package does not come with a reverse camera. Luckily the stock multifunction display is already set up to receive camera signal, and switches over to camera input automatically as soon as the car is shifted into reverse via CAN bus communications if I am not mistaken.

    There is a thread on general and technical discussions on hooking up the backup camera to the multifunction display.

    An useful detail is accessing the factory backup camera menus in the multifunction display's diagnostics mode to turn on/off or adjust the guide lines to suite the aftermarket camera.

    SVXdc sells very high quality Subaru related harnesses, including the camera input harness to mate with the multifunction display. (My understanding is, as well as a few other display schemes in other Subaru models.)

    The camera is a generic aftermarket camera off eBay that snaps into the license plate illumination slots, with decently claimed dust and water proofing figures. The camera's power is tapped into reverse light's power. Some aftermarket cameras will work with the power coming off the factory display unit at a lower power (whether multifunction or head unit displays, depending on the model), and some won't.

    Modification details
    "SilverBear" has a very detailed page on installing a backup camera into a 2013 Impreza, the procedure is pretty much the same. Below are a few shots I took from my install.

    Trunk's trim piece removed:
    20140404_101129.jpg

    More pieces removed for routing access:
    20140404_101154.jpg

    Running the wires through:
    20140404_113207.jpg

    Camera installed into license plate illumination slot. It does block out some light onto the license plate, and could be avoided if I installed it on the passenger side. However, I wanted the camera to be closer to the center and left it on the driver side.
    20140404_101218.jpg

    Lastly, image displayed on the multifunction display. I ended up turning off the factory guide lines since the camera has guidelines built in.
    20140404_121617.jpg

  8. #6
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    Glove box illumination LED swap

    Motivation and logistics
    I'm sure I'm not the only one that finds the stock glove box illumination lacking. It seems like they went with a modest 3 mm amber LED that puts out a fairly focused light. I happened to have close to 100 5 mm white LEDs kicking around, and decided to try to improve the glove box lighting.

    Modification details
    Lighting assembly removed and disconnected from the glove box. Just took a bit of careful prying to out it going.
    20131103_092553.jpg

    Back of the mounting assembly with the lighting unit partially popped off:
    20131103_092623.jpg

    The carrier assembly of the electronic components can be pried out as well.
    20131103_092709.jpg

    Once the components are exposed, cut, desolder, and replace components at will. Shown here are stock components: current limiting resistor, protective diode i take it, and a small LED. I removed the stock LED, bored out the slot to accommodate a 5 mm LED with the dome part clipped flat for a more diffused pattern, and packed everything back together. I would change out the resistor to run the LED at a higher current, but I didn't have one handy. An online calculator applied to the LED spec will help determine the resistor to use.
    20131103_092736.jpg

  9. #7
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    RTX Scorpion winter rims

    I was shopping around for awheels for a set of hand-me-down winter tires, and came by a set of (likely painted) bronze RTX Scorpion rims. Really just an excuse to put up this pic.

    20131105_081833_ds.jpg

    The open spokes allowed snow to be packed inside the rims after plowing through deep snow (let's face it, with an XV, we all want to do that), and made some bumpy rides.

    Just wanted to take this chance to mention that even trying to be proper and diligent with installing these lug-centric rims, a snug fitting set of hub-centric rings helped the most in taking the vibrations away. Lug-centric rims can have a small offset upon installation, enough to cause an artificial out-of-round condition and slight to severe vibration issues.

  10. #8
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    Fumoto oil drain valve

    These drain valves are super handy for oil changes. There are now locking mechanisms sold separately to prevent the drain valve accidentally opening. However, in my ~8 years of using these drain valves I've never had an issue with just relying on the built in spring-lock.

    Shown in images below are views of the valve peeking through the (Primitive Racing) skid plate and the factory plastic mud tray's opening (install notes in post below). It is quite recessed that it is likely safe from being bumped against, even without the skid plate inp lace. The valve here is the version with a short nipple that accepts a tube that can be pushed in place for draining.

    IMG_20140823_124421.jpg

    IMG_20140823_124437.jpg

  11. #9
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    Primitive racing skid plates with factory plastic tray retained

    Motivation and logistics
    Even with the tall ground clearance offered by the XV, that just encourages some of us to take it to rougher terrains, leaving crucial components such as oil drain pan, transmission, and differential in just as much risk. Enters Primitive Racing skid plates. They carry front plates that go under the engine block, mid-armor plate that goes over the transmission, and a rear differential plate, and are all bolt-on mods. There are other options for skid plates as well, but looking around I personally picked the Primitive ones.

    I had requested for an oil drain hole to be machined in. See the Fumoto drain valve post for an idea of the positioning relative to the drain plug.

    Edit: A question I get here is why I left (so much, if at all) the factory plastic tray in place. Here in Ottawa, Canada we get this heavily salted, snowy slushy mess a good 4, 5 months a year, on top of heavy snow dumps at a time a few times a year. I wanted to keep the engine bay as enclosed as possible. I've seen some installs where the factory plastic tray was cut to 3 pieces and the side pieces are installed back onto the car to fill in the gap between the skid plates and the wheel wells. Those looks like quite ok protections against splashing, but for getting out of jams on fresh snow (worst case example image below), the plastic tray really helped. Bottoming out and moving through that much snow, I was able to pack a lot of snow into the space above the skid plates. I've had to drop the plates to clear the packed snow, but the plastic trays kept the packed snow out of the engine bay.

    20150221_141114 edited.jpg

    Modification details
    AKC and AWDfreak posted some excellent images of the skid plates installed, so I won't bother just replicating the photos. Instead, there are some shortcuts I took that helped with the installation. I am re-posting bits from another thread, for the sake of completeness of the build thread.

    For the front plate, I had installed it right under the stock plastic tray. I had modified the factory plastic mud tray in place. I just took out the original mounting bolts and the spacers under the radiator as shown in the previous post, cut around the plastic trays to allow the Primitive plate's standoff to sit on solid support, and secured everything down (really, up). So, the primitive plate is below (closer to the ground) the to factory plastic tray. There was just a bit of "springiness' securing the front standoffs to the radiator support, so I think the plastic tray was being compressed ever so slightly, but otherwise it felt like a pretty good fit.

    Looking in through the lower bumper grill, showing the Primitive plate standoff poking through opening cut in the factory plastic tray.
    Copy of IMG_20140816_212816.jpg

    Looking towards the back of the car from under the bumper, showing the factory mud tray's extended coverage retained over the skid plate.
    Copy of IMG_20140816_212844.jpg

    Looking diagonally towards the rear driver side from the front passenger side, showing factory mud tray's extended coverage retained over the skid plate.
    Copy of IMG_20140816_213409.jpg

    Lastly, looking forward from behind the front passenger wheel, showing retained factory tray above the skid plate, and the retained coverage over the skid plate under and up the wheel well.
    Copy of IMG_20140816_213223.jpg

    Tip on installing the rear differential plate the easy way:
    For the rear plate I did fight with the spacing with the differential initially, but what ended up working easily at the end was just to carefully pry to retract the bushing rubber back from the differential studs, shim it back on the top with two of the the Primitive-supplied washer, and voila, there was instantly space to slip the differential protector in without any fighting. All it took was an upward push afterwards to make sure the plate is nicely in place.

  12. #10
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    LED corner lamps

    Motivation
    Fortunately the Canadian models offer factory HIDs. I would have preferred projectors, having retrofitted them them in my previous cars, but the factory lighting is quite adequate. The cool color temperature from the HIDs though made the incandescent corner lamps look all the dingier, and replacing them with LEDs was one of the first things on my to-do list.

    Modification details
    It was a pretty straightforward mod. The tricky part is accessing the harness for the corner bulbs, as they are at the, well, corner of the headlight housings tucked away toward the front of the quarter panels. Throughout the forum(s) there are different shortcuts on how much or how little to remove to access the bulbs.

    I was able to reach them without removing anything using just a pair of needle nose pliers and a long 1/4" socket extension as reaching tools. It was quite tricky to get the harness to turn to click in/out of place at first, but with some will it was done. It's hard work being lazy sometimes.....

    Factory corner lamp:
    20130605_183139.jpg

    Replaced with white LED:
    20130605_183149.jpg

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