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Tell us the story behind your ride. What made you pick this particular one? Where did you find it? After owning a 2003 Honda Civic LX for over six years and driving through the Northeastern USA winters with a car with no ABS and FWD, I decided it was time to upgrade to something that was a little bigger. I knew that AWD was a must for the car in order to justify the new purchase. I debated for about three months between Jeeps (Renegade and Compass), Mazda (CX-3 and CX-5), and VW (Tiguan). I finally settled on the 2017 Crosstrek. The price for a new Crosstrek to one of an earlier year was only separated by a few hundred dollars through my local Subaru dealership. Originally I was going to go for the Khaki colored Crosstrek, but after seeing the amount of time it would take for delivery and the extra price of it I selected the Hyper Blue color instead. I'm so glad that I did, now I never can miss where I parked the car in the parking lot. Describe the modifications you've made. Where did you start, what’s the most recent mod and what motivated it? My first mods to the car have been more on the creature comforts. I started by first with the interior of Vinyl wrapping the trim on the driver and passenger side with a carbon vinyl wrap. There was too much silver in the interior for my taste. Upon down this I saw the gear selector was silver and looked out of place, so I wrapped it in a piano gloss black. While the center console was taken apart I also added in the 110V outlet that I found on eBay from a Subaru dealership in CA liquidating their inventory. I was also able to get the blue driver and passenger foot lights as a package deal and saved about $30 in total. My next interior mod was changing all the lights inside the car with LED bulbs. This was an extremely easy mod and made a huge difference at night being able to see where things were in the car. I then turned my attention to the outside of the vehicle and wanted to increase my visibility upfront. I personally think that the stock lights on the Crosstrek are terrible. My first attempt at remedying this problem was to switch the stock bulbs with LED ones. I changed the High beam and Low Beam on the car and loved the light output. However If you do this mod MAKE SURE!! That you UNPLUG the DRL connector in the bumper on the passenger side. The connector is located beneath the light, this is a resister that will make the high beams light up as DRL's even when the lights are turned off when driving. The voltage is about halved when this happens and will cause the LED light's to flicker like a disco rave. If you unplug the connection this will remedy that problem. Additionally, make sure the LED's you buy are of good quality, as mine after 3 months burnt out and I had to switch back to stock high beam and low beam. After this I decided to install 2 7 inch LED bars upfront on the car to use as a high beam on back roads that seem to be infested with pesky deer. This mod was relatively straight forward, I ran a wire that was included in the kit, to the driver side and drilled a hole into one of the switch blanks. I noticed the output on the lights was fantastic, but there was a void created by having two separate lights, to remedy this I installed a 24 inch LED bar under the Niilight bars behind the lower grill. The three lights all switch on at the same time when the rocker is switched on the driver's side. I relocated the license plate to the factory tow hook attachment point to get the license plate out of the way of the light bar. My next mod was adding more light to the cargo area of the Crosstrek, for the LED bulb in the stock cargo light sucks. I ended up buying a 4 pack of RGB LED rock lights and installed two on the hatch, and one on either side of the cargo bay. The difference in output is awesome. Of all the mods you’ve made, which do you think offers the biggest bang for the buck? My biggest bang for buck so far would be installing the RGB cargo lights in the cargo bay of the Crosstrek, they make an awesome addition to a solid platform and make a great easy ambiance for camping or date nights. How did you go about selecting the specific parts for this build? Any installation tips to share? I mostly look on Instagram to see what the community of Crosstrek are doing to improve their rides. I try to buy parts that seem to be good quality, because it's cheaper to buy good quality than buy bad quality products 5 times. My installation tips would be to take the time to make sure wiring works before installing the mod permanently. If possible test the mod a few times during the installation process to make sure things are still functional, because it's easy to fix when the interior panels are still off. What are you planning next? My next mods are to remove the Niitlight 7 inch bar lights and replace them with Niilight 7 inch round LED bars, I feel like the round lights will give the Crosstrek a more safari-look to the build. I will be reusing the 7 inch bar lights as either rear lights on a roof cargo rack or as side lights on a cargo rack for lighting up the side for campsites and late night dirt roads. What’s been the biggest challenge with this build? My biggest challenge so far has been trying to incorporate my own taste and personality into the build, there are so many Crosstreks out there that are somewhat "cookie-cutter", I'm trying to incorporate their proven mods, while maintaining my own distinct taste.
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