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Premium Member
2008 Forester XT Sports
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1,705 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This will be my first mod on the 08 FXT Sports I recently purchased. I am building an aluminum light bar to mount two Hella 500FF's behind my front grill. This thread will contain everything from the fabrication of the bar to relay, fuses and wiring.

Topics:
1. Fabrication of the aluminum light bar and mounting tabs
2. Installation of the bar
3. Fuse/Relay and general wiring
4. Connection to factory fog light switch
5. Pictures of final install and light output

Thanks to Wakeboardin it has come to my attention there is a bumper support in the way for 03-05 Foresters. Check out his post and the following posts for more information and fitment:
MY03-05 Fitment Issues
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester XT Sports
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1,705 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
To make the bar it is very simple. I cut 4 pieces of 1"x3/16" stock into 2" Lengths and drilled the correct holes as called out in the drawings I made. I purchased the 1" tubing in a 36" length so there was no need to cut it. It ended up being about 36 1/8" but I just compensated for that in the tab placement.

Here are some pictures of the light bar just tacked together to make sure all of my dimensions are correct.

Here are some pictures of the tack welds that are in place right now. I am planning to fully weld these seems in the next couple days now that I know my dimensions are good.


Here are some pictures of the initial fitment:


Here is a photo showing with lights and the foam bumper in place:

(The foam bumper just barely touches the bar, no need to trim anything)

A bit of eye candy, some nice finished welds (too bad I can't call them my own):
 

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2008 Forester XT Sports
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1,705 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well I had planned on putting an install how-to here but its just so easy I don't have much to say. I am not going to go over removing your front bumper. Basically to install the bar just remove the two bumper bolts, place bar over holes, re-install bumper bolts. Yeah its really that easy!

Here is a picture of it installed:




I will also add here the clearances from the center of the mounting hole to the grill and radiator. A few people have been asking about this.

Here is a picture showing clearance to the radiator, its 2.75" from the back of the bar which makes it 2.25" from center of mounting hole to radiator:


Next is a photo showing the distance from the front of a Hella 500FF to the inside of the grill, the measurement is 2.0":


This is the total distance from inside of grill to radiator, the measurement is 6.0":
(If you do the math it is 3.75" from center of mounting hole to inside of grill at closest point)
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester XT Sports
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1,705 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
For now I have decided to just run the lights through the factory wiring without adding an extra relay and dedicated power wires. Soon I will be putting in a custom relay and fuse box so that I can add more accessories but for now I am keeping it simple. I purchased from ebay a set of pig tails that were made to connect to factory 9006 bulb sockets. This makes it so you don't have to cut the factory wiring.

Picture of the factory wiring that was behind my Sports bumper even though I could never use factory fogs:


Here is a picture mocking up the wiring, I ended up just wiring the pigtails straight to the Hella lights, no lengthening or shortening required:


After I soldered up the wiring and put a jacket on it to make it look nice:


The wiring being installed:


I zip tied the wiring to the back of the aluminum tube, I also zip tied it to the horn bracket, that way the factory plug wouldn't be bouncing around behind the bumper:
 

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2008 Forester XT Sports
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Since I have a Sports model I do not have factory fog lights. Thanks to Subaru the wiring is already in the car though! (You can actually see the fog light side of it in pictures above) I will still put an extra relay under the hood to power the Hella 500FF's but I will use the factory fog light switch in order keep my interior intact. To start the wiring I purchased the fog light switch and relay for SOA. I should have looked at the relay first and realized that its just a standard Micro sized relay and not paid the $40 that the dealer wanted for it.

Here is a shot of the parts from the dealer with part numbers:


As you can see these relays are basically identical!


Remove the blank plug all the way to the left. This will have the fog light wires plugged into the back of it even though it is not a switch:


Plug in the factory switch and slide it back in:

(That was easy!)

For the relay it is the fourth slot down from the top, you can see that I put in a generic relay and not the one I got from the dealer:


Now there is the option of doing the fog light mod where you can use the fog light circuit with the high beams on. I am putting in driving lights so I plan on doing that next.
 

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2007 Forester XT 4EAT-VTD
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2,138 Posts
I didn't measure it specifically and the lights aren't aimed yet but it was about an inch and a half to two inches.
OK, thanks! If you don't mind, could you give me the exact measurement of the distance between the center of the mounting hole (for the stud of the light) and the radiator?

Reason I am asking is that I will be using the Hella Rallye Compact 4000 lights, which are 4.5 inches in depth. There's more than enough room for them between the inside of the grille and the radiator, but front-to-back placement will be more critical than with the slimmer Hella 500s. Ideally, I need 2.5 inches (+/- 1/4") between the center of the mounting hole and the face of the radiator.

Thanks - much appreciated!
 

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2008 Forester XT Sports
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Discussion Starter #15
OK, thanks! If you don't mind, could you give me the exact measurement of the distance between the center of the mounting hole (for the stud of the light) and the radiator?

Reason I am asking is that I will be using the Hella Rallye Compact 4000 lights, which are 4.5 inches in depth. There's more than enough room for them between the inside of the grille and the radiator, but front-to-back placement will be more critical than with the slimmer Hella 500s. Ideally, I need 2.5 inches (+/- 1/4") between the center of the mounting hole and the face of the radiator.

Thanks - much appreciated!
I am doing the finish welding over the next couple days and will the reinstall it in my car. I will take good dimensions and better clearance photos for everybody!
 

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2003 forester XS
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619 Posts
This will be my first mod on the 08 FXT Sports I recently purchased. I am building an aluminum light bar to mount two Hella 500FF's behind my front grill. This thread will contain everything from the fabrication of the bar to relay, fuses and wiring.

Topics:
1. Light Bar Design with CAD drawings
2. Fabrication of the aluminum light bar and mounting tabs
3. Installation of the bar
4. Fuse/Relay and general wiring
5. Connection to factory fog light switch
6. Pictures of final install and light output

So to cover the first step I have attached CAD drawings I have made of my proposed light bar. These are full fabrication drawings so anyone can get one of these made. I will update these drawings soon as I also plan to add mounts for Hella Supertones.
any idea if the dimensions in the cad drawings would be the same for an MY03 ?
 

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2004 Forester XT
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96 Posts
The holes where the bar mounts to are at the exact same position. One thing to look out for is at the top of the 03-05 bumper rebar there is an addition section above the mounting holes that holds the bumper in place, this might interfere with the light bar.


This pic is from my 04 forester


I think this was prviously mentioned but I am not sure if there is enough room to fit a light the same size as in this thread between the grill and the rad in the 03-05 models.
 

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2003 forester XS
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619 Posts
I am going to be running a mesh grill think that would create the needed space ?
 
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