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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
Bixenon headlights retrofit, using Morimoto Mini H1 projectors. This is different from a conversion where one would stick in rebased HID/LED bulbs. As the car came with factory reflector D2R HIDs, bixenons mostly supplement the factory high beams that have long reach but limited spread.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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.
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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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:
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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
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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.

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
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
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
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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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Headlight protection film - removed due to beam pattern distortion

This is the third car that I've installed the headlight protection films such as X-Pel and Lamin-X on my headlights to protect the headlights from UV degradation, stone chips, scratches etc.

This time around though I was able to notice more distortion to the beam pattern, as shown in the image below. I have seen in in my previosu films to a lesser degree. I would like to add it could be my install, or maybe I got a defective film. I am not saying all of the films will produce the kind of artifacts I saw. I am refraining from naming which films I went with in this post, but it could be something to ask about. Having worked in an optics lab, the distortion pattern is consistent with mild ridges in the film, my guess is from spooling or rolling of the material, resulting in cylindrical lensing effects. They were quite distracting to drive with, and I ended up removing the protective films.

The left side is the bare factory lens, and the right has the headlight protection film installed. Also, this may be a good chance to show, non-ideally, the beam pattern on the Canadian HID headlights with quite noticeable squirrel finders above the soft cut off.

20130920_211541.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Older generation under-seat subwoofer

Motivation and logistics
I love bass and always had a subwoofer in the car. The factory subwoofer option though is mounted in the trunk, and I preferred to keep the already-small trunk space. Quite often we would need the cargo space with the back of the seats folded down.

An under-the-seat subwoofer offered in older generation Subaru's was my first attempt over aftermarket ones to work with the factory head unit lacking line-level outputs, and for fitment sizing.

Modification details
rlouie posted a very informative thread on previous generation under-seat subwoofers and install, so I will not attempt to cover the same grounds here. Instead, I will try to go over some shortcuts I took.

To tap into factory wiring behind the head unit, it's always a good idea to use a breakout harness instead of splicing into factory wiring, especially with the car still under warranty. The 20-pin combination harness offered by SVXdc is built for this purpose. Originally I thought I'd save a few bucks getting a generic combination harness off eBay, and I found after the fact, to quote and emphasize SVXdc's comment, that
None of the aftermarket harness manufacturers includes the wires for Subaru's audio Steering Wheel Controls (SWCs), CAN data bus, or Dimmer (Illumination –). Some even omit the ground wire (which the Nissan factory harness doesn't have).
I tapped into the front speakers, since it was shown that in certain modes that the bass in the rear speakers can be attenuated.

Another harness required, if it doesn't come with the subwoofer, is to connect to the under-seat subwoofer, also offered by SVXdc.

The mounting bracket that came with the subwoofer was discarded. I stuck some velcro strips under the subwoofer to keep it from sliding around. It was probably not necessary, but I had the strips lying around so I thought I might as well.

A shot of everything that went in in, with the wiring bundle made up, with SVXdc's 20-pin combination harness and subwoofer harness.
IMG_20140613_164130.jpg

For the actual install, it was as lazy as I could be. I didn't remove the armrest console, and just jammed the bundle of wires in from between the console and the carpet. I didn't feed the wires under the carpet either. I figure I could live with the wires showing a bit between the console and the seat, if anyone looks hard enough.
IMG_20140823_152002.jpg

Also, I didn't remove the seat either. There was enough space to sneak the subwoofer under the seat just by sliding the seat to an extreme. I had the adjustment knobs facing towards the outside of the car for an easier reach.

Subwoofer under the seat, viewed from the front:
IMG_20140614_133558.jpg

Subwoofer under the seat, viewed from the back with the seat slid all the way to the front:
IMG_20140823_152018.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Caliper painting

The calipers were painted a boring flat black, since it was more of an upkeep item than an appearance mod for me and I didn't want the attention of brightly-colored calipers. It was mostly just to prevent the calipers from corroding into a crusty and rusty part.

I knew Canadian winters and road salts were rough on vehicle components, but the amount of crud after just one winter was astonishing. It took a lot of cleaning using a wire-brush and flap-wheel attachments on a rotary tool to get most of the crud off, followed by a soapy water wash, thorough rinse, and brake cleaner before painting.

Before:
IMG_20140725_084559.jpg

Aluminum foil makes excellent making material around contoured edges:
IMG_20140725_172523.jpg

After:
IMG_20140725_150237.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Generic economical cargo and seat back protection

I was looking to an economical way to have the cargo area and the back of the backseats protected. The OEM and key aftermarket options were pricier than i was willing to pay, and I stash tools under the spare tire well that I would like access to, so I was hoping to find an option with a more flexible material.

I ended up just getting the generic protectors from either Walmart or Canadian Tire and trimmed them to fit. The lower piece could use some trimming, but to provide the idea, some images are below.

IMG_20140830_145553.jpg

IMG_20140830_145601.jpg

IMG_20140830_145619.jpg

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