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2007 Forester XT Sports MT (USDM)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post - looking for some info and advice about the 06-08 headlights... I went to change what I thought was a burnt-out bulb and it sent me down this incredible rabbit hole... hoping I can get some clarity before I drop several hundred bucks into what I think I've deduced is the proper fix.

So I have an '07 USDM Forester Sports in Canada. It was imported ~3 owners ago, all of whom did significant upgrades before I got it 2 years ago. My understanding is the HID lights were not available in the US, so I assume this car started with H1 halogen headlight assemblies, but it certainly has HID lights in it now, and I understand OEM HID headlights WERE available in Canada, so I think I can safely assume that was an upgrade by a previous Canadian owner... but this is where it gets complicated:

Both left and right headlights are the blacked-out "Sports" version, but the left appears to be the OEM HID assembly, with the ballast attached to the underside below the hi-beam and an igniter and D2R bulb in the socket, while the right headlight appears to be the original halogen assembly, with an aftermarket 55W ballast and a xenon H1 bulb in it.

The labels on the plastic brackets on the top of the lights confirm they take a D2R and H1, and I was also able to notice two subtle physical differences on the right side which further leads me to believe it doesn't quite match the left, and therefore must be the original H1 halogen assembly - the orange triangular reflector/lens thing on the outside corner is slightly smaller, and there is no rectangular nub thing (?) in the reflector bowl of the lowbeam directly below the bulb.

I'm pretty sure I'm operating on safe assumptions up to here, but can anyone confirm? Were any USDM models ever sold with HID Sports headlights? What years/sub-models/markets were those available and were they stock or optional?

Ok so back to the burnt out bulb... it's the xenon H1 bulb that's not working, and I'm hesitant to replace it for a number of reasons. For one they only seem to come in pairs and I can only use one at a time, but obviously they're not going to match the colour/luminosity of the other bulb even if I try to buy a matching D2R at the same time... and I've also read that it's actually not particularly cool to put the aftermarket HID upgrades into these headlight assemblies designed for halogen bulbs, can be too bright for oncoming traffic? I also discovered some corrosion in the connection to the ballast on that side, and I think the light actually worked intermittently before it died, which leads me to suspect the ballast may have been damaged too, so a new bulb may not even work? And on top of all this, that right headlight has also been missing the screw cap for the back of the lowbeam since before I got it so there's some dust/oxidization inside the lens...

So I think the right thing to do is replace the whole right assembly with the proper OEM HID headlight assembly with the Sports trim, but finding that exact part with certainty is proving to be another challenge... All 4 assemblies technically fit, which makes it hard to narrow search results, plus none of the sites seem to differentiate the Sports sub-model from the XT Limited... I can only find one part number for the HID assembly, #84001SA601, as well as a "composite headlight assembly," #84912SA951 which doesn't include the ballast and other attachments, but neither indicate whether they have the Sport trim or not, and all the OEM parts sites only show line diagrams: (2006-2008 Subaru Forester Headlamp Assembly 84001SA601 | Subaru Parts Store). Doesn't seem to be one on Ebay right now, so I've been looking on the Car-Part interchange search, but I've only found the stock HIDs in Canada so far, and one of the Sports HIDs in California... so I think a bit more clarity exactly when/where/how the 06-08 HID Sports headlights were available would help me know what I'm looking for in a salvage yard.

Is there anywhere else I should be looking online or by phone in Canada? Should I just buy the HID H1 bulbs to get a functional lowbeam while I carry out this search, or is it going to get me hi-beamed while driving at night? Should I actually consider finding a halogen Sports assembly for the left side instead, and retrofitting halogens back onto both sides? Any advice would be appreciated before I drop any money into this...
 

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2007 Forester XT Sports MT (USDM)
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
(apologies for the image quality, it was getting dark. I can add better pics tomorrow.)

Halogen Sport Headlight vs HID Sport Headlight (orange triangle is bigger)
Vehicle Automotive lighting Grille Hood Automotive tail & brake light
Automotive parking light Grille Automotive lighting Hood Automotive side marker light


Brackets indicating H1 and D2R bulb sizes
Font Automotive exterior Electric blue Auto part Laptop accessory
Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive exterior Rim


Right aftermarket xenon HID H1 bulb vs left igniter and D2R bulb
Automotive tire Hood Wheel Tire Motor vehicle
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Rim


Aftermarket ballast vs OEM ballast (underside below hi-beam socket)
Brown Wood Sleeve Bag Gas
Leg Gesture Flash photography Automotive tire Tints and shades
 

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2007 Forester XT Sports MT (USDM)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Bobby, what about the Sport lights in US and Canada? Seems like they should have been on all the 06-08 X Sports and XT Sports, but I think I've seen some of those models at online scrapyards without them?

Any thoughts on using an aftermarket 55W HID H1 bulb in the (passenger side) halogen housing? Can I get away with it for a little while or too bright for oncoming traffic?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@al.moop in the USDM the '08 Sports got the backed out halogen headlights & blacked out tail lights. Depending on the color of your Forester, they look very good!

The backed out '08 Sports tail lights fitment is '03-'08, so we have those on both of our Foresters.

The blacked out '08 halogen headlight fitment is '06-'08. I have a set that I still have to install on my '07 FSXT.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ohh so they were only introduced in 08!? I think that solves the heart of my confusion/uncertainty... mine is an '07 and the tail lights are NOT blacked out, so it must have come with the chrome headlights too, and both have been replaced by a previous owner, but for whatever reason they got one halogen assembly and one HID assembly...

I have seen a number of threads and videos about headlight issues, filling up with water etc, so I guess I can just assume they've been swapped whenever I see something like Sport HIDs on an '06 USDM or chrome HIDs on a Canadian '08 XT Sports on Car-Part.com?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@al.moop retrofitting HID headlights can be VERY complicated! Take a look at his thread where @Tuned200 installed Canadian HID headlights in his '07 XT!
Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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I would consider an HID Retrofit, using your existing enclosures. - Or LED retrofit if you wanted.

The Retrofit Source have their Black Friday sales on at the moment.

I believe the easiest projectors to fit were the Morimoto Mini kits for SG platform pre and facelift variants.

There's plenty of write ups on other Forester owners that have walked this path before - You might have issues if you have Daytime Running Lights though ?
Here's TRS' own walkthroughs and the stages detailed etc
How To: Headlight Projector Retrofit (Step 1: Opening headlights)
Headlight Projector Retrofit (Step 2: Removing Reflector)
How To: Headlight Projector Retofit (Step 3: Find the halogen beam reference)
How To: Headlight Projector Retrofit (Step 4: Modifying the reflector)
How To: Headlight Projector Retofit (Step 5: Mounting and Aligning the Projector)
How To: Headlight Projector Retofit (Step 6: Installing the shroud)
How To: Headlight Projector Retofit (Step 7: Re-sealing)
 

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2007 Forester XT Sports MT (USDM)
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I already have an HID retrofit... The problem is one side has an aftermarket ballast and xenon H1 bulb in the USDM halogen housing, while the other side has the OEM ballast and D2R bulb in the Canadian HID headlight assembly... Ideally I only want to change one assembly to make them match, and I thought it would make the most sense to replace the USDM halogen assembly and aftermarket HID system with another CDM HID assembly, especially because that side is burnt out with a dirty lens, and possibly damaged ballast already...

... but I also don't have a levelling switch wired in... that looks a bit beyond me right now tbh, is it really necessary? Should I re-install halogens on both sides and just be done with this rabbit-hole?
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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It sounds like you have half a retrofit and half a PNP kit.

So go with a full HID retrofit, fitting projectors in the 2 housings you have, along with ballasts etc and you then have decent lighting output and no more mismatching bulb types etc. Or just go back to Halogens in both.

The Facelift SG never had a levelling switch as it had automatic headlight levelling - The HID versions did anyway - Not sure about the halogens as I've only played with XT's and those got HIDs as standard in UKDM vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@TMX Ok, yes definitely a half-and-half situation...

Doing a projector retrofit on both assemblies seems like more work than installing another OEM HID assembly to match the existing half-retrofit? Sounds like I don't need to worry about the levelling switch if I go this route - thanks for clearing that up!

I'm also realizing I could buy a stock chrome HID assembly, take it apart, and either paint it or possibly even swap the whole bezel piece from the halogen Sports assembly I'm trying to replace... lots of posts about how to paint them, but I wonder if the bezels are the same across light types?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@al.moop way too much work to retrofit HID headlights... properly, so they don't blind oncoming traffic. If it was my Forester, I'd install a set of backed out '08 Sports halogen headlights.

If you're trying to keep the cost down, there are aftermarket ones on Amazon. On Amazon, there are buyer product reviews, so you can see if there are issues & which brands to avoid.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 
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Projector Retrofit isn't a 5 minute job but it would give the best $/Reward ratio. I would expect an HID assembly from Subaru to be around the $1K mark, if not more - Double the projector retrofit cost, assuming you did it yourself

The cheapest option would be aftermarket halogens but those can be questionable, especially when sites like Amazon are known for their fake reviews. RockAuto and Amazon have decent returns policy so perhaps worth a gamble ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@2.5x_sleeper ok... so it's possible the OEM HID that's on there already is a problem itself? The self-levelling might not work properly on a retrofit? My hesitancy to go halogen on both sides is that I would have to redo the wiring on both headlights from scratch? I assumed that I could use the functional HID assembly on the drivers side as a guide to install the matching assembly on the other side...

@TMX ok I get where you're coming from now, I really appreciate understanding all the options, will have to look into this a bit more...

I've found a couple OEM HID assemblies and several halogen assemblies for under $200 at a salvage yards in Canada, but none are the Sports model, so I'm leaning towards disassembling whatever I get to either paint the bezel (as per this thread: ('06-'08) - How to remove 06+ headlights and... ) or swap it for the blacked out one from whichever assembly I'm replacing.

There's a right HID assembly in Ontario for $75 including the ballast. It has stress cracks in the lens, but if I'm already taking apart both assemblies to swap the bezel, I could swap the old lens too...?
 
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