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Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

Mike Sabounchi
Jan 2, 2014
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One of the perks of owning a 15-year-old wagon is that, in terms of the car scene, you keep yourself separated from the pack of modern-day conformity. As we've said before, we absolutely love the looks of '90s Subarus and the BG5 Legacy wagon is by far one of my favorite body styles. Although owning something unique may have its perks, it also has its problems. First and foremost, all the parts on the car are 15 years old and will inevitably need replacing, especially the ones exposed to the elements. This brings us to one of the most important parts on any vehicle: lights.

As you can see, the Legacy is suffering the same plight as just about any car made in the last 15 years: major headlight fog. While plenty of products on the market today promise to get rid of headlight haze or fog, sometimes it's just better to replace than repair.

Subaru legacy headlight haze 02 Photo 2/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

Since switching out to the "JDM" headlights would inevitably mean we would run into the same problem with headlight haze, we sourced a set of brand-new headlights from Depo Lighting that were the same spec as the Japanese non-projector headlights. We also sourced a set of new foglights to replace our broken and busted set.

While those factory foglights were most definitely at the end of their rope, you can see that whoever installed the headlights before us also did a pretty horrible job making sure the blinker and headlight lined up properly. Needless to say, we were extremely excited to replace everything with the high-quality Depo products.

Subaru legacy factory foglight 03 Photo 3/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

Look at the difference in appearance between both headlights. The install only took four bolts to remove the stock fogged-up headlights and three bolts to put the one-piece units on. Everything you need for a complete headlight replacement is included with the Depot kit. The lights come with a built-in level and adjustment screws for lateral and vertical beam adjustments. They even include brand-new bulbs. Within 20 minutes we had both Depo headlights installed and retrofitted with HIDs to make sure we had significant gains in light output.

Subaru legacy headlight comparison 06 Photo 4/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

Not only did night visibility improve, but the Leg also looked much better.

Subaru legacy depo headlight kit 04 Photo 5/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight Kit 04
Subaru legacy depo headlight 05 Photo 6/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight 05

Now it was time to move our attention to the rear of the vehicle. The rear lights weren't as foggy as the headlights and foglights but they were in need of some serious attention.

This may look like an eyesore to you, but this cracked (but working) taillight saved us quite a bit of money when we purchased the car. Since we knew they would inevitably be replaced, we didn't mind it so much.

Subaru legacy broken taillight 07 Photo 7/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

Rear taillights rarely fog up like headlights do, so throwing on a set of JDM tails was our first instinct.

As you can see above, not only do the JDM lights lose the ugly amber line on the bottom, but they also say "Legacy" in the middle instead of "Subaru". JDM stuff is always so much cooler than USDM stuff. Popping these in was a little more difficult than the headlights for the rear hatch of the vehicle. All three sides of the rear of the vehicle had access panels that needed to be removed and getting a deep 8mm socket on some of the taillight nuts was pretty awkward. The center garnish also requires removal of the rear wiper motor in order to access a couple of nuts. Once all of the JDM pieces were in place, the rear started to look a whole lot better.

Subaru legacy JDM USDM center taillight garnish comparison 08 Photo 8/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl
Subaru legacy JDM taillight 09 Photo 9/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

The Legacy looks a whole lot better now than when we first started. Not to mention, it's a whole lot safer too-we can finally see when we're driving at night.

Subaru legacy side markers 10 Photo 10/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

After the front and rear lights were on the car, we wanted to add just one more piece to tie the whole vehicle together and give the car a more aggressive appearance. We had an old STI Type RA Spec-C front lip lying around, and had seen a few people retrofit these lips to fit the BG5 Legacy. Granted, the lip wasn't made specifically for the platform, but we made a quick little pit stop over to visit our pal Sean Griffin from www.griffinwurxs.com to see if he could work his magic. Within an hour, he managed to massage the plastic into just the right place and fitted the custom lip onto the front of the wagon perfectly.

Subaru legacy STI type RA spec c front lip 11 Photo 11/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl

The combination of the new Depo lights, plus the retrofitted lip, and JDM taillights has officially taken the Legacy from busted to badass. Time to move on to the next chapter. Stay tuned for more of this Legacy's transformation.

Subaru legacy depo headlights 12 Photo 12/12   |   Subaru Legacy Depo Headlight & JDM Taillight Install - New Eyes And Lip For The Old Girl
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By Mike Sabounchi
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