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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone has looked into the feasibility of completely swapping the headlights with LED's into the lower trim cars.

For example if a deer hit takes out one headlight on your Premium and you want to replace both with LED's from the Touring. Any idea if they are plug and play or what would be necessary to make them work?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's the answer according to Robert, which is what I figured but was hoping I was wrong:

"You can buy the housing with the motorized projectors, the control and power units, and the radiator mounts for the heat sinked power units, but the Eyesight software controls parts of it, and the BCM (I think it's the BCM) indirectly controls the motors.
While the BCM gets the steering readings from the torque and position sensors in the steering rack at all times for all trim levels, one would need to enable the software portion that sends the signals to the motor controllers for the projectors."

So, while the lights will physically bolt in, they will need to have harnesses spliced together and even then the software may well not support the LED's in cars where LED's were not standard.

Bummer.
 

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I'm on a mission now... I will do my best to get the electronics portion of the service manual in the next couple weeks - it's beastly (and also the only thing I am missing). It would be neat to see if it could be done.
 

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If you abandon the AFS feature, I believe there's a little bit of work to get the LED headlight to be adapted. If you find good deal on them, I think it's worth it to have the bright and uniform light.
 

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If you abandon the AFS feature, I believe there's a little bit of work to get the LED headlight to be adapted. If you find good deal on them, I think it's worth it to have the bright and uniform light.
I don't think so. But, again, I don't have the electrical portion of the service manual. From what the drawing shows, there is no high beam bulb. The high beams are linked to the high beam assist feature in the head unit and driven through the LED controllers, as opposed to via a set of relays that turn off one bulb and turn on another.

The regular halogen units use a separate Sylvania 12 Volt 60 Watt HB3 Halogen High Beam bulb.

This is the LED assembly, which only uses separate turn signal bulbs (front and side), from what I can see (and of course the LED projector).


But, the customer facing parts diagrams are not always complete, because there's sometimes blow-up portions with more detail and more parts. If that's the case, then, perhaps there is another bulb. I will check mine later.

But, if it is just the one LED emitter, then, instead of relays controlling two different bulbs, it's the LED module and software controlling LED position/intensity (I am not sure if it simply tilts up the masking or re-aims the projectors, or turns up the power).

That would mean that even the high beam part of the light stalk does vastly different things when activated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not the greatest pics, but here's the back of each headlight. You are correct, there is only one light for the LED's and two for the halogen.

There must be a better parts diagram somewhere as the light harness is given the same part number for both lights. Doesn't make sense.
 

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Not the greatest pics, but here's the back of each headlight. You are correct, there is only one light for the LED's and two for the halogen.

There must be a better parts diagram somewhere as the light harness is given the same part number for both lights. Doesn't make sense.
The customer facing parts site is incorrect on some aspects of the headlights. Peter C and I were discussing that in the FB group a while ago, when I kept coming up with the wrong part number for part of the assembly. :sad:

He had to dig through the back end parts department system to find the correct numbers for me.

I am not sure how far that difference/missing info goes though.
 

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The customer facing parts site is incorrect on some aspects of the headlights. Peter C and I were discussing that in the FB group a while ago, when I kept coming up with the wrong part number for part of the assembly. :sad:

He had to dig through the back end parts department system to find the correct numbers for me.

I am not sure how far that difference/missing info goes though.



Did he mention that each LED headlight is about $650?
 

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If you abandon the AFS feature, I believe there's a little bit of work to get the LED headlight to be adapted. If you find good deal on them, I think it's worth it to have the bright and uniform light.
I don't think so. But, again, I don't have the electrical portion of the service manual. From what the drawing shows, there is no high beam bulb. The high beams are linked to the high beam assist feature in the head unit and driven through the LED controllers, as opposed to via a set of relays that turn off one bulb and turn on another.

The regular halogen units use a separate Sylvania 12 Volt 60 Watt HB3 Halogen High Beam bulb.

This is the LED assembly, which only uses separate turn signal bulbs (front and side), from what I can see (and of course the LED projector).


But, the customer facing parts diagrams are not always complete, because there's sometimes blow-up portions with more detail and more parts. If that's the case, then, perhaps there is another bulb. I will check mine later.

But, if it is just the one LED emitter, then, instead of relays controlling two different bulbs, it's the LED module and software controlling LED position/intensity (I am not sure if it simply tilts up the masking or re-aims the projectors, or turns up the power).

That would mean that even the high beam part of the light stalk does vastly different things when activated.
Isn’t the LED projector “bixenon”? The LED head lights should all be analog and the LED lumen is constant. Besides the AFS, I don’t think there’s anything special about it.
 

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Isn’t the LED projector “bixenon”?
Subaru lists them as (quote) "LED Steering Responsive Headlights" - and of course LED and bi xenon aren't the same. AND, they are way too expensive for me to rip apart to find out. :tango_face_wink:


The LED head lights should all be analog and the LED lumen is constant. Besides the AFS, I don’t think there’s anything special about it.
I think there's a second control wire for high beams. Whether that means another emitter, or it's to control the focusing ring or motor, I don't know. AFS systems move, obviously, even with the emitter staying stationary. But, I do know the entire curtain moves, at the least, or there's emitter(s) above the cut line. Can't see what's going on inside with the big lens in the way. :sad:
 

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Hmm, the entire emitter and lens moves.

 

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Yep, watched it blown up and in slow motion. Everything, including the emitter, moves with the housing. You can see the emitter and its wiring moving with the lens housing.

I have not quite figured out how the high beams work. Looks like the curtain moves/opens inside the lens assembly (behind the lens). I will use one of my real cameras and try to record that after this weekend's trip.
 

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Subaru lists them as (quote) "LED Steering Responsive Headlights" - and of course LED and bi xenon aren't the same. AND, they are way too expensive for me to rip apart to find out. :tango_face_wink:




I think there's a second control wire for high beams. Whether that means another emitter, or it's to control the focusing ring or motor, I don't know. AFS systems move, obviously, even with the emitter staying stationary. But, I do know the entire curtain moves, at the least, or there's emitter(s) above the cut line. Can't see what's going on inside with the big lens in the way. :sad:
"bixenon" is a common term to describe a headlight projector that features both low and high beam, which was used long before LED headlights became popular. I think it's the same technology as HID bixenon projectors and the Ascent makes the same mechanical noise when you flick the high beam.

The target for DIY: H11 harness goes to the LED power input and high-beam harness goes to the projector solenoid; to get there, there are several steps but I think it's pretty easy.

Toyota streamlined the AFS technology on the Lexus vehicles in the early 2000s, but I didn't realized that the "AFS" is not a common term. Of course, Subaru calls it differently than other makers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have the fancy moving LED headlights in my new Q70L. They are amazing lights. I was hoping to make the Ascent as nice, but will settle for a quality set of HID's from retrofitsource. I've been running those in our Tribeca's for years and have been really happy.
 

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"bixenon" is a common term to describe a headlight projector that features both low and high beam, which was used long before LED headlights became popular. I think it's the same technology as HID bixenon projectors and the Ascent makes the same mechanical noise when you flick the high beam.
Yeah, I just don't know why the term is used across the board, since bi-xenon is bi beam xenon gas bulb and LED is LED. Bi-LED perhaps, but bi-xenon is sadly an often misused term and has nothing to do with LEDs.

:tango_face_wink:

The vast difference in technology also translates into a vast difference in lifespan. Like many noble gas HID bulbs, xenon bulb lifespan is short in comparison, at 3,000-7,000 hours.

LED projectors lifespan is 40,000-50,000 hours, generally.



The target for DIY: H11 harness goes to the LED power input and high-beam harness goes to the projector solenoid; to get there, there are several steps but I think it's pretty easy.

Toyota streamlined the AFS technology on the Lexus vehicles in the early 2000s, but I didn't realized that the "AFS" is not a common term. Of course, Subaru calls it differently than other makers.
I hope to grab the electrical part of the manual soon enough to figure that all out. Since I can't afford a year subscription, I need to make sure I have a full 3 days to dig on STIS for my next 3 day membership.

Regardless, you're not accounting for auto-level, nor directional control, nor bypassing or enabling auto-high beams (which requires the sensor and a new windshield).

And, every car start, the headlights re-align.

At best, without spending a LOT of money (that windshield, sensor and harness alone cost a LOT of money, plus $1,300 for the projector assemblies), one would have slightly better than the equivalent of swapping in LEDs into the halogen cases.
 

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I have the fancy moving LED headlights in my new Q70L. They are amazing lights. I was hoping to make the Ascent as nice, but will settle for a quality set of HID's from retrofitsource. I've been running those in our Tribeca's for years and have been really happy.
I've experienced with many different types of retrofitting between halogen and HID projector systems, and I think the most feasible way for you is to get LED or HID bulbs. How much did you want to spend on the used pair of LED headlight?
 

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I've experienced with many different types of retrofitting between halogen and HID projector systems, and I think the most feasible way for you is to get LED or HID bulbs. How much did you want to spend on the used pair of LED headlight?
I dunno why I didn't think about that. Finding an Ascent Touring that was rear ended and totaled might be a way of grabbing all the front end stuff required to convert a different trim level.
 

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I've experienced with many different types of retrofitting between halogen and HID projector systems, and I think the most feasible way for you is to get LED or HID bulbs. How much did you want to spend on the used pair of LED headlight?
I dunno why I didn't think about that. Finding an Ascent Touring that was rear ended and totaled might be a way of grabbing all the front end stuff required to convert a different trim level.
10-15yrs ago many of us didn’t think OEM HID system can be retrofitted into another car, but that all changed and that market overall exploded. I believe the LED application is built upon the HID market and pretty soon the history will repeat for LED. E.g. soon we can find a usable LED headlight from wrecked ascent and transfer the gut into the halogen headlight; this act is a common thing in the HID retrofit world.
 

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The assemblies are quite different, between the two. The whole housing and at least parts of the harness, as well as the power units and radiator mounts would need to be moved too.
 
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