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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up our 06 Forester, 1st subaru. Wife works for Subaru of America so the car did not even see a dealer. We got the moon roof which is great thu we live in the north east have not been able to use it, anyway the ininterior lights are so dark up front as the overhead light is behind the moonroof putting it in the back seat area and there are no floor lights in the front of the car. So it is dark unless you put the map lights on manuly. Also how do you turn on interior lights there is no switch exept on each light itself, manual states to use the remote that does not work if you car is running. other then that it is AWSOME.
 

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Casper reincarnated
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2,246 Posts
I replaced my interior lights (center & rear) with LED bulbs, best move I ever made.

I may now look at doing the map bulbs too if I can get some to fit in there.
 

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06 X Auto
2006 Auto Auto
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976 Posts
What size did you use? On my 06 (I don't know about other years), the interior lights slowly dim then go out. Aren't LEDs on or off and don't dim? Anyone know about this?
 

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Casper reincarnated
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ogopogo said:
What size did you use? On my 06 (I don't know about other years), the interior lights slowly dim then go out. Aren't LEDs on or off and don't dim? Anyone know about this?
I used a 4 x LED Festoon Bulb and it works exactly like the standard bulb does ie it goes out on the so called "theatre mode".




I would have liked to have used the 6 x LED bulb but it is just a whisker too long at 41mm to fit into the contacts.



This bulb is for the rear cargo light



I rubbed both bulbs on a piece of of "wet & dry" to spread the light a little instead of having the beam of light concentrated in one area.

Website: http://www.ledshoponline.com/index.html
 

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Premium Member
2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,319 Posts
Being an EE for over 30 yrs, I have an 04XS Prem with the moonroof. 2 weeks after I bought the car, I sat down with the wiring diagrams in the Service manual. The I went to a local Radio Shack and bought 2 transistors and 4 resistors (under $5 if I remember).
I removed the roof storage / light assy, installed 1 transistor per reading/map light. installed bleeder resistors and ran a wire from the roof opening to the wiring connnector in the passenger side A pillar (removing that plastic was a real pain). And Voila, lights now come on when the door opens and slowly go out when it closes.
I didn't want to power these lights directly from the Body controller that turns on the ceiling light already because I didn't know what the internal power junction was rated for and didn't feel like finding out the hard way.
Did that over 2 years ago, even have a short .mov to show it working but don't know how to post it here.
I probably can make up the drawing / schematic again if you want to PM me with a valid Email address.
 

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admin
2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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I've hosted ferret’s .mov . IMHO this is one cool mod. :D

ferret's .mov
 

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You can use the LED Festoons. Or you can get higher wattage incandescent bulbs for cheap at an auto parts store. But they'll still be behind your back. So I think enabling the front map lights when the doors are opened is the best option. So Ferret, get that schematic posted!
 

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Casper reincarnated
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ogopogo said:
Thanks Casper. I'm going to look into those.

I found this place in the States:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/festoon.html
ogopogo, try the 39mm x 10mm x 6 LED Festoon it may just fit as the 41mm I tried was only a whisker too long, if it won't fit, get the 31 x 10 x 4 LED it still gives good light, my daughter complained it was too bright for her at Christmas time when she visited.
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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18,679 Posts
Great mod. Thanks!

Has anybody looked into how to extend the time when the inside light and most especially the ignition key light stay on? Are these controlled by a simple capacitor somewhere, or is it a line of code somewhere in a ROM? The key light is especially troublesome, seeming to decide to shut itself off when my key gets within an inch of the keyhole.

Wow! I mistyped the word "shut" and got a very interesting response! I once met a newspaper reporter who told me how they had to be so very careful with headlines involving the word "shot." Same phonomenon I guess. It's that key in between the U and the O.
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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I hadn't planned on writing about this till I checked it out myself, but I'm kind of busy at present so I figured it would be in the public interest to post this now.

I found a seller on eBay who operates quite a business in LED lights. His own Web site is www.vleds.com . This might be a good alternative source to the Australian site that's been mentioned here in the past.

In addition to lights, he also sells low current flashers, which allow you to replace directional lights with LEDs and still have them blink properly. Alternatively, he also sells monster resistors that allow you to fool the existing flasher into thinking it's still feeding normal bulbs.

Edit: I just checked out the vleds.com site and can't find the low current flashers any more. He still sells the resistors.
 

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Registered
2017 Forester 2.5I - 6 Speed
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985 Posts
OK. Great mod. Not to be dense, but why route the wire to the A piller? What wire/circuit am I taping? Any recommendations on getting the A piller apart?
 

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Premium Member
2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,319 Posts
The A Pillar is where the signal (and pulsed off) is routed to the interior light behind the sunroof. This is the signal I used to turn on the transistors which in turn conduct current for the lamps. And eventually pulse for a longer and longer period after the door closes until the pulsing stops.

This is a pulse by the way, not a current or voltage that decays. So a relay instead of the transistor does not work.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Another way is to tap it from the dome light. Might be a bit easier and you can use the dome switch as the master switch. I used a single p-channel mosfet and a couple diodes instead.

Subaru uses a mosfet to drive the center dome light on-to-dim. That mosfet is not big enough (current-wise) to power 3 (dome, left/right maplights) 8W light bulbs.

Another option is to replace the n-channel mosfet that Subaru is using to one with a higher current rating and just run a jumper with a couple of diodes from the dome to the maplights. You'll have to dive into the box though that's just underneath the steering column.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5I - 6 Speed
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How do you get the A pillar apart?
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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Back in post 5......removing it was a real PAIN. You just have to PULL real hard. And chances are you will break a clip or 2 in the process. But there should be enough to hold it again firmly back on.
 
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