Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

62 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Guys and Gals,

Unfortunately our U.S. Xv's didn't come with HID's. It's something that I've really wanted in this car and I didn't want to spend $1600 on two new Canadian Spec Hid headlamp units.

So after doing some research I decided to purchase the following kit and put them in myself:

Morimoto H1 Kit

The options I chose were:

35 watt ballasts and Bulbs
4300K Color Temp (Most lumens, White Light)
I chose to get the resealing glue
Mini Gatling Gun Shroud
H11 Relay Harness
High beam splitter model: 9005 Male > 9005/9006 Female

I was able to find a group buy on HiDplanet : The Official Automotive Lighting Forum that knocked 20% off my total bringing me to $235.

I would just like to say that after doing hours of research you do not want to skimp on projectors, ballasts and bulbs. There are cheaper kits on ebay/etc but they're cheap for a reason. The ballasts don't put out the same amount of power and the beam on the projectors is typically horrible. I'm glad I spent the extra money and got a quality kit. The relay is top notch and the high beam splitter cables makes the lights very easy to wire. I didn't have to splice any cables. The hardest part of the wiring was figuring out where to put everything.

Anyway, I would not recommend this retrofit for those who don't consider themselves mechanically inclined. This was my first time doing something like this and it took me an entire day starting from noon and finishing up around 10pm. I will say that once I figured everything out on the first headlight the second headlight went much faster. If I had to do this project again I'd say it would probably take an estimated 3 or 4 hours.

Tools you'll need:
10mm and 14mm Socket Wrench
Philips and Flat Head Screw Driver
Locking Pliers
I highly recommend a trim removal tool set similar to this
Metallic Tape
Alcohol Wipes
Zip Ties
Dremel Tool with Drill bit and Sanding Bands

A link to the Gallery with all the pics:


First Step: Bumper Removal

I won't go into detail here but I used this video on youtube to figure out how to do it:

The steps for our Xv's are very similar. The screw driver trick at the end certainly helped keep things in place once I freed everything up. Remember to unclip the fog lamps too.
Be sure to place your bumper on a soft surface to avoid scratching it up.

Step Two: Headlight Removal

Again I used a youtube video to figure this out. Once the bumper is off it's easy enough to see what needs to be done.

Step Three: Prepare Headlight

At this point I brought my headlight inside to continue working on it. What you'll need to do is remove all the light bulbs and the wiring harness. The main Grey Harness Plug is a little difficult to remove. You have to take a small flat head screw driver and lift up on the grey tab while at the same time pulling the harness off. Once done set the bulbs and the harness aside.

Remove all the screws from the back side of the headlight unit. There are 5 around the perimeter of the light and 3 on the interior of the light. Set the screws aside and keep them safe.

Step Four: Bake your Headlight

This step will get you weird looks from your housemates. Heat your oven to 200-230 degrees F. Put your entire headlight assembly into the oven and set your timer to 15 minutes.
Once the timer is up remove the unit from the oven. Careful here, it will be hot. Use a towel or gloves to handle the unit.
Start to pop the tabs around the unit while prying the two halves apart. This is probably the most difficult step of the entire project. The two halves are very stubborn and will put up a fight. Be sure to take your time here and don't rush things. They will eventually come apart! In my case I had to put the unit back into the oven again to reheat the glue. Either use your Trim tools or a flat head screwdriver to help wedge the assembly apart.
Once they finally start to come apart be sure to keep any strands of glue off the reflectors/lens.

Step Five: Remove Low Beam Reflector

In order to install the projector we'll need to remove the low beam reflector.
There are two ways to do this. You can either remove the entire reflector assembly or you can drill a small hole in the back of the headlight so you can access the screw hole.
I chose to drill the headlight because I didn't want to risk breaking the fragile reflector tabs. I also didn't want to mess up the aim of the light by removing the entire reflector. Another advantage to drilling the hole is that it allows you to run the bixenon cut off shield cables through it.

If you look underneath the Low Beam Reflector you'll see where it screws in. What you'll want to do is mentally visualize where that space is on the other side of the headlamp. Fortunately there is a raised section where we'll need to drill. Take your Dremel and drill a hole smack dab in the middle of this section. It should look like this when done:

Next stick your screwdriver in there and unscrew the Low beam reflector

Then go ahead and remove the reflector

Step Six: Prep Projector

The projector assembly comes as one preassembled unit. In my case I decided to take it apart and paint the cut off shield to match my car color. A lot of people will paint these red or even put LED's in there to make it really glow. This gives your projector what's called the "demon eyes" effect. In Florida it's illegal to have red Led's on the front of your car so that's why I went with the paint method. I feel it gives a more subtle effect but still noticeable.
If you're going to paint your projector choose a high quality spray paint that will handle high temps. Spray several coats and make sure to let your parts dry completely. I painted mine one day prior to installation.

Once dry sand the inner edges of the shields down to the metal. This will ensure that you get a sharp vibrant cut off.

Finished Results:

Clean the lens and finally put everything back together.

Now take your metallic tape and tape the solenoid wires down to the projector body. This will stop you from seeing the wires reflected up into reflector housing.

Install the shroud with the screws included in the kit.

Now install the smaller of the two Silicone gaskets onto the projector and push it all the way on.

Remove these two little gaskets off the wires. We will need these off in order to fit the wires through the hole we previously drilled.


62 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Step Seven: Preparing Headlight Unit

In order to make this particular kit fit you will need to trim the back of your headlight assembly.

The base of the projector is just barely too big to fit through the back. Fortunately, because you have to trim so little, if you ever did want to go back to stock, you can still install your halogen lamp in it.

Take your Sanding band attachment and sand away tiny bits at a time. Keep doing this until you can get the projector base through.

Either use a damp rag or some compressed air to clean off the headlamp. Spray down the inside with some mild detergent and make sure everything is clean.

Step Eight: Mounting Projector

The first thing you'll want to do is feed the two solenoid cables into the hole where the low beam reflector came out of.

Then, one at a time, feed the wires through the hole that you previously drilled.

Install the rubber gaskets and push the pins through the included plug. Before you do this check the polarity by taking one of your high beam splitters and matching the black ground cables with each other. When everything is plugged in the blue cable should plug into the red solenoid cable and the black cables should plug into eachother.

Take some of your rubber glue and push it into the hole to seal it off. Make sure you work the glue into the hole and around the wires.

Take some of your metallic tape and cover up the Low Beam Reflector hole. It should look like this when done.

Now place the projector into the hole that you enlarged. Take your hex nut and thread it onto the projector till it's tight enough to hold the projector in place.

Because we have an H11 stock plug we can't use any of the included alignment plates. Bummer. We'll have to manually adjust the rotation.

Install the bulb carrier and screw it down with the 3 small screws.

Install bulb.

It should look like this when done (sorry for the washed out pic):

Step Nine: Wiring

First thing we'll do is mount the ballasts.

On the right side I mounted it here:

There are some predrilled holes in the metal bumper that I used. I mounted it sideways so it wouldn't interfere with the fog lamp assembly when the bumper is mounted. The Zip tie is there just to stop it from vibrating.

On the left side I mounted it in much the same way:

You can also see where I placed the Relays. That grey little box to the left of the ballast is the Piezo Buzzer that sounds when you lock or unlock your doors.

Now it's just a matter of routing the cables.
You'll need to run the right hand headlight cables. I put them here across the bottom of the a/c core:

There are several holes here that you can use to zip tie the cable down with.

Next you'll want to ground the relay harness.

On the left side I grounded it to the piezo buzzer bracket. You can see the ground just above the buzzer here:

On the right side I used the horn bracket:

Next install the High beam splitter harnesses on both sides. These plug into the stock factory 9005 plug that went to your DRL/High Beams:

Now run the power cable to the battery. I ran it along side the windshield washer reservoir, up inside the fender, and then have it coming out behind the battery.

Remove the red positive terminal cap. Use your 14mm wrench to loosen the center bolt and install the power cable.

Finish by tidying up your cables.

Step 10: Test Fitting/Rotation Check

Now you'll want to take your headlamp assembly with the projector installed outside to test fit it and adjust the rotation.

Plug your solenoid cables to the high beam splitter and then the HID bulb to the ballast.

Turn your car on and park in front of a solid surface. A garage door will work fine.

These beams are uneven:

The left bulb needs to be rotated counter clockwise so that its cut off lines up with the right's cutoff.

When setup properly they should look like this:

Once you've figured out what you need to rotate remove the headlights from the car and adjust accordingly.

When done with adjustments tighten the locknut completely.

Step Eleven: Lens Install

Remove the HID Bulb from the housing.

Clean headlamp thoroughly. Be sure to get all dust, streaks, and fingerprints.

Lightly press the lens back onto the housing making sure to line up tabs and holes correctly.

Preheat oven to 230 F and place unit into it for 10 mins.

Once done take unit and press together. Be sure to pop all tabs back into place.

Reattach all the screws.

Place back into oven for 5 mins to make sure the lens is properly sealed.

Once done and properly cooled down reinstall all bulbs and the wiring onto the headlamp unit.

On the right side headlamp zip tie the low beam plug to the other cables to prevent it from bouncing around. We will not be using this plug.

Step Twelve: Reassembly

Take headlamps and reverse removal steps to put back on.

Plug 9006 end of the high beam splitter into solenoid plug and the 9005 end into your DRL/Lowbeam.

Plug AMP cables into Hid bulb.

Reinstall bumper

Step Thirteen: Admire your work

This picture shows the cutoff colors.

DRL's On

Low beams (mine still aren't completely level yet. Still need to work on them a bit)

High Beams (Literally a wall of light. Now I have my original high beams plus the HID high beams)


I'm am very pleased with my results. I still have some adjusting to do to get the beams perfect but even now the quality and the quantity of light I have is phenomenal. These pictures don't do them justice. The light is much whiter and the throw a lot better. Be sure to check out the gallery for the full res pics/additional pics.

While being a fairly involved installation it wasn't particularly hard. You'll need to budget a good chunk of time to the project but if you're determined and smart about it you should be able to pull it off.

Anyway, thanks for reading! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

6,727 Posts
Wow wish we were allowed to do this in Australia
Looks great
It is illegal to have installed aftermarket HID( u can buy them , I have seen them and were going to buy) :(
But without factory auto levelling and washes it is illegal in Australia

6,727 Posts
No we had the choice but it might of caused fights if both our xv are equal and same model no one is better then the other ( had a white S and a Black L for same price) as u know we took the black L

674 Posts
Thanks! Great write up.

I want the HIDs pretty bad. Bad enough to trade my XV in on a '14 if they are available in the US. We've had 3 cars with them, still have 2 of them.

62 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Haha thanks bud. I don't know that I'd trade in my car for them but I really really really love the look of them. They're also much brighter and give off a crisper light than the halogens do.

Honestly if you're somewhat mechanically inclined and take your time this isn't a hard project to conquer.

That said, I'd probably trade my car in for a Turbo 6 speed with a sunroof (which current gen manuals can't be spec'd with... wtf subaru). That would be simply amazing.

76 Posts
Nice work Bkaraze. Very thorough writeup. Hope they hold up well for you. I know depending on how well your sealant/glue was disturbed or not during disassembly some people have found it necessary to add some butyl rubber glue during reassembly. This is the good stuff here.

I'm very impressed with the stock light output on the Subaru. I think it beats the HIDs on our Audi and I think the beam is better than my truck too. You can't beat the appearance of HIDs though...they definitely have the cool factor.

If I get the urge for more light I think it will be on a rally bar/brush guard of a design I have yet to see (ie--I don't like anything that's out there) or maybe an LED bar behind the grill.

674 Posts
Haha thanks bud. I don't know that I'd trade in my car for them but I really really really love the look of them. They're also much brighter and give off a crisper light than the halogens do.

Honestly if you're somewhat mechanically inclined and take your time this isn't a hard project to conquer.

That said, I'd probably trade my car in for a Turbo 6 speed with a sunroof (which current gen manuals can't be spec'd with... wtf subaru). That would be simply amazing.
LOL! I've already got the Turbo 6 speed, don't need a sunroof 'cause it's a cabriolet. And it's got a boxer motor that hangs over the axle too. Sub and P 004.jpg

62 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, but does it have HID's? ;)

Gorgeous collection you've got there!

BFR: Yeah I bought the butyl sealant from the retrofit source when I ordered everything but found that I didn't really need to apply anymore when putting things back together. Because the lights themselves are so new the stock sealant was still good enough to use. So far everything is still sealed up perfectly despite the rainy weather we've been having here in Florida.

As for the stock halogens you're absolutely right. They are very bright and the beam spread/pattern was fantastic. They did a fantastic job with setting them up.

I've also been looking for a nice light bar but, like you, I haven't really found anything that doesn't look tacky. Hopefully with time someone somewhere will make something that looks good and is functional.

674 Posts
Yup, HIDs.

I drove the 'trek tonight and you're absolutely right, the stock lights are really good. The HIDs in the Porsche may be a bit better, but not $2K+ better. I too am looking for a good sturdy light bar to mount a couple of 7"-8" lamps. I took the bumper cover and explored possibilities for mounting points. I may make my own. Need some skid plates too.

76 Posts
sorry for the goofy pics and's just that the RI site sucks. It resizes their photos and makes them look awful. If you go to page source you can pull the direct link to the image which is what that last post was...but a big hassle.
1 - 20 of 62 Posts