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2011 Toyota RAV4 Sport(V6 4WD)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
** USE AT OWN RISK ** NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU OR YOUR CAR IF YOU SCREW UP **

After searching and reading most every HVAC thread here I thought I would actually contribute and try my first DIY thread. Below I will be walking through what needs to be done to change the bulbs behind your HVAC control panel. This will be done in my 2001 RS. Should be pretty much the same for all RS models. This is a very easy job and I believe any novice like myself should attempt to try it. Will save you a lot of money instead of paying someone else to do it.

First Several HVAC threads will say that the correct replacement bulbs for the HVAC panel are #74 bulbs



^ THESE ARE WRONG. DO NOT BUY THESE BULBS. THEY WILL NOT FIT

The bulbs you need for a proper replacement are these >> #2723[/COLOR]



Now that you have the correct bulbs we can proceed with the swap. (Rudeshadow as indicated that 2721 bulbs may also work, but would not be as bright) I cannot confirm they work, but the bulb housing and dimensions appear the same. Could be worth looking into...

These are the tools you will need for this job. 1.) A phillips head screwdriver 2.) A flat blade or jewelry flathead like I have pictured below



Now you can remove the components that are in your way. FYI: I would advise either being organized or getting several little baggies for all the screws.

1.) Remove 12v Socket, Ashtray, and Shift Knob

Before


After


2.) Remove the (4) four screws that hold the rear console and the rear ashtray

Before




After


3.) With the screws removed. Lift UP on the rear portion of the e-brake waterfall. It has some clips so it may need a slight tug upwards, but nothing extreme.



4.) With the waterfall lifted you will see a plug connecting the mirror adjustment knob



On the side facing away from you is the pressure clip. Press it down and then pull gently away (down) from the control knob.



5.) With the clip disconnected you should now be able to remove the waterfall and set it aside. You should see a cavity like this...



I noticed this was dirty and have since cleaned the entire area

6.) With the waterfall piece removed you can now remove the shifter surround. The clips for this piece are a little more sturdy and do require some effort.



To remove simply lift up on the most rear portion of the shifter surround.



When the rear portion lifts up you then need to gently pull towards the rear of the vehicle and it should come free leaving you with this...



7.) Now you can remove the center console. You should see (3) three screws. Two underneath where the ashtray goes and one between the shifter surround and the e-brake waterfall piece.



With the screws removed you can now remove the center console. Simply pull gently towards the rear of the vehicle and it will pop right out.

8.) Next is the removal of the console bezel. In my case it is the faux carbon fiber that surrounds the stereo and the HVAC control panel.



To remove this does again require some effort as the tabs are often stubborn. To remove you will want to pull from the the bottom of the panel. It is thin plastic so if you are not seeing any movement you are likely pulling from the steel bracing below. To aid in removal I used the thin flat blade to release the two primary clips at the top. They are pictured below for reference.



^ They clip in underneath the hazard button and the cup holder.

Once the piece is free you will need to disconnect the power supply and ground from the 12v socket and the ashtray.



With the clips removed you can now set this piece aside and you should see this...



(Rudeshadow has mentioned that turning the HVAC knobs all the way to hot and defrost. May help give you more space in trying to take out the bulb sockets. At this stage would be a good point to take that action if you like)

9.) Now you will need to remove the stereo. This has many clips in the rear but do not be worried or discouraged. It is a very simple system

Start by removing the (4) four screws that secure the unit. One on each side of the receiver and one on each side of the CD player.



With the screws removed you can now slide the unit out towards you. Place the unit face down so that you can clearly see the rear connections.



There are multiple plugs that need to be undone. The pictures below show you the steps needed to set the stereo aside...







FYI: The plug that connects directly into the receiver is very secure (at least in my case) To help with removal I use the flat blade as a crowbar on the edges of the plug



Now you need to disconnect the antennae wire/plug.

Before


After


Next you will need to remove what appear to be two grounding clips. One is attached via a black plastic clip and the other is threaded through a small bolt. The clip is very straighforward and you simply depress the clip and pull back. The same goes for the bolt. Keep in mind that it is a very short bolt so you want to be prepared to catch it should it fall.

Plastic Clip


Bolt Removal (3 Steps)
1


2


3 (I screw the piece back in place so as not to lose it)


With all of the clips and plugs removed you should now be able to set the stereo unit aside and see this...




10.) Now we can see that just the HVAC control panel remains...We are NOT going to completely remove the unit. The control wires in the back are a real PITA and are not difficult to work around.

The first step is the remove the (4) four screws securing the control panel.



Now as you can see from the image below I only have one working bulb on the drivers side...



This needs to be fixed and here is how...

With all four screws removed press the control unit back in the dash and then pull one side out. We are doing this so that you will have more room to work. When completed the control unit should not be in front of the attachment points.



With the unit exposed I prefer to remove the front face plate. This is a simple process where you pull straight out on both dials, the fan and recirc switches, and the A/C button. Which should leave this remaining.



FYI: The rotating knobs do have small spacers behind them. I am not certain what they are for, but if Fuji Heavy wants them there then you best keep them...



Now with all of the buttons and knobs removed you can now work at removing the face plate. Do take great care in doing this...If you break one of these tabs my guess is that your faceplate will rattle and never sit flush again.

There are (3) three pry clips above and (3) three pry clips below:





With the clips all pulled you should now be able to remove the face plate of the HVAC control unit to reveal this image...





Now as I am sure you have guessed by now, I did not disconnect my battery or anything of the sort. You can if you wish, but when replacing bulbs I always prefer to have rapid feedback if the bulb replacement did not work. So here is a picture of the same test pictured above, but this time without the face plate.



Here is where you either need small hands or in my case a LOT of patience. To remove the bulbs you will see in the image below that they are on a quarter lock connector.



What you will need to do is reach behind the unit and using your fingers locate the bulb sockets and rotate. Here is an image I was able to take from behind the HVAC control panel



^ You will be following the blue wires.

With the sockets removed you should now be able to remove the bulbs themselves




What you will notice is that Subaru has placed little green caps or condoms on the bulbs. Unfortunately you cannot buy these caps and from my research they do not make green bulbs that match our setup :_sure:

Here are the two bulbs side by side.





Because of this lack of a cap my HVAC unit will not have a white light as opposed to the OEM green. Not a huge problem, but something to keep in mind (SEE END OF POST FOR MORE INFO)

Now that you have removed the bulbs you should see an open socket like this...



Put in your new 2723 bulbs. There is only one way they will fit so don't worry. However, you need to be certain they are seated completely in the socket. Below is a picture of the bulb completely seated and secure



With the bulbs replaced you now need to reseat the sockets in the appropriate locations. When that is completed I again conducted a test...





Now simply reverse the uninstall order and you should be all set for well-lit motoring. :sunny:



Not ideal, but much better than having a blacked out portion of the dash...

I do hope that this walkthrough was helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to post or send me a PM.

For those of you who are interested I have (1) one working OEM green bulb and a HVAC control unit I bought from Car-Part.com for $50 bucks. I bought the back up just in case, but as you can see I no longer need it. I will place the link to the For Sale thread below. Please DO NOT make offers or express interest in these parts on this thread. This is the DIY section and should only be used for knowledge.

FS Link: http://www.rs25.com/forums/f173/t174387-hvac-control-panel-spare-oem-green-bulb.html#post2745436
 

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2000 2.5RS Coupe BRP
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15 Posts
Great write up, I'm going to have to do this pretty soon. The right bulb doesn't light up, and the left bulb only lights up after you smack the controls once or twice.
 

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2011 Toyota RAV4 Sport(V6 4WD)
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the compliment. For your situation it sounds like you may just have a loose connection. When you get into the project you will want to make certain that the two bulbs are properly seated in the sockets.

In my car the following bulbs have all simply needed re-seating: Cluster lamps, both map lights, dome light, and the little light under the drivers side window. I don't know what would have happened in the production process, but loose connections seem to be pretty common with our cars.

Good luck with your project and if I can be of help let me know.
 

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drop it like its hot
1998 2.5 RS sucka!
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263 Posts
Awesome write up! I need to do this, my passenger side went out :/ Gonna replace the stereo while I'm in there too. Love the carbon trim pieces!
 

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2001 2.5 RS, Blue
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This is perfect and exactly what I needed as i have to replace both bulbs :). Love how detailed this is and thank you for the write up :)
 

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OBS to 04 Forester xs
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659 Posts
Lol someone finally made a DIY of this. Good write up!!
 

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00 RS Black 4dr /w broken bits
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+1 to this DIY.

The only thing I would add is to turn the HVAC knobs all the way to hot and defrost. It helps give some space in trying to take out the bulb sockets. If you have the knobs at cold and upper vent only, there is no room to squeeze anything in. Ask how I know...

Also 2721 bulbs fit as well, same size bulb, just a different (lower) wattage I think.

Edit:
Here's a picture of mine installed with the 2721 bulb:
 

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2011 Toyota RAV4 Sport(V6 4WD)
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Discussion Starter #11
+1 to this DIY.

The only thing I would add is to turn the HVAC knobs all the way to hot and defrost. It helps give some space in trying to take out the bulb sockets. If you have the knobs at cold and upper vent only, there is no room to squeeze anything in. Ask how I know...

Also 2721 bulbs fit as well, same size bulb, just a different (lower) wattage I think.
That is a good point about the knob adjustment. Since my pictures do not reflect that change I will hope that others looking will read your post to make the job easier. Also, I am not familiar with the 2721 bulbs, but those look like they would work.

My only concern would be the lower wattage. Without pictures I do not know if they would be too dim even at full strength to utilize the fiber optic setup behind the control panel. However, the 2723 is quite bright so it might be worth buying one set of each and while you are doing it see which you prefer.

Thanks for the post and the added info.
 

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I want to sell a repair kit with 2 bulbs and 2 green covers. If you want to test it out, please send me a pm with you name, address, and phone number. I am willing to send out 2 FREE kits, first come, first serve. Good Luck.


 

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98 OBS
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just to add.. theres not really any reason to remove the front face of the controls, nor to completely remove the center console "waterfall" piece. in my car at least, i can pull up on both the shifter surround and the waterfall where they meet, and then pull out the shifter surround without having to take out the waterfall
 

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Wow. Thank you! I need to tighten the 12V socket-- was using a USB plug that probably turned the socket over time, and it became loose (bolt fell off??) was hoping I could access from removing the panel on the left side of the console, but fixing this appears to be a bit bigger job! I have a 99 Impreza Outback Sport (with over 318K miles on her!)
 

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2001, 2.5rs, STM
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Ahh, the irony. I was getting so excited to read this thread and learn how to remove the control wires from the AC controls and learn how to replace the light in the AC button. Wah Wha. Neither.

Can anyone point me to instructions on how to fix the lightbulb in the AC controls?
 

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2001 Black 2.5RS
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Ahh, the irony. I was getting so excited to read this thread and learn how to remove the control wires from the AC controls and learn how to replace the light in the AC button. Wah Wha. Neither.

Can anyone point me to instructions on how to fix the lightbulb in the AC controls?
Hey Suba Roo - you don't need to remove the wires completely from the hvac control unit. However you do need small hands to twist and remove the bulb holder from the unit.
 

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gm2 coupe / gf4/ cb7 saloon
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the actual ac switch bulb is a 712 number i believe can be purchased from radio shack. if anyone was wanting to replace that while hvac is taken out.
 

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1999 impreza 2.5RS
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Hey so I gotta revive this posting and hope someone can help me.
I changed my hvac lights to red leds and it went smoothly as I followed this diy.
used the #74 (2721) bulbs

But after doing this I was stoked and over confident and went on to make my whole cluster red as apparently it’s all the same bulbs.

long story short I f*ucked something up royally and not my cluster doesn’t function properly and my car doesn’t start.

I feel like a huge idiot because I had already made my whole gauge blue before with the same kind of leds, came in the same packaging and all just these new ones were red.

anyways I made a post about my problem and I hope someone can help me out

 
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