LED High Beam and Low Beam Install

 In 5th Gen Mods, Install, Lighting

High Beam and Low Beam Headlight Install 4Runner

4Runner LED Headlights - LED High Beams and Low Beams

LED High Beam and Low Beam Headlight Install on 5th Gen 4Runner (Step by Step Guide)

This a complete plug-n-play install. The only issue and toughest part of this install is the driver side. In a previous post for installing the low beam headlight bulbs, we mentioned that the driver side was tight. And, it is.

If you want a little more room to work on the driver side, I recommend removing the battery. Although this is not needed, it will make installing the new low beams a little easier. The low beam and high beam bulbs have these little tabs that need to be pressed in and twisted (locked) into place. These plastic tabs are pretty awkward to plug and twist into place if you have a tight space to work with. So, removing the battery does help.

The high beam bulbs are much easier to install than the low beams. There is much more room to work with on the high beams, so the process goes much quicker than the low beams.

The Bulbs

The high beam bulbs will wow you for sure. They are BRIGHT!! Going from the stock 4Runner halogens to these LED bulbs will knock your socks off. It is pretty impressive. These lights kick ass.

For the low beam lights, they are brighter but not by much. They didn’t “wow me” like the high beams. They are a brighter white/blue color as opposed to the yellow/ orange color of the halogens which does make driving more visible.

But, you also have an option with HIDs for your low beams. If you are not familiar with HIDs, you should check out a few of the posts we have written on them. HIDs are brighter, stronger and produce better light output than an LED. But they also have their own set of drawbacks.

Do your research before buying a set of bulbs as everyone’s needs are going to be a little different.

Step #1 – Remove Dust Caps

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Remove Dust Caps

Start on the passenger side. You have more room to work on the passenger side. This will get you familiar with the process before moving onto the tighter space on the driver side.

Removing the dust caps can be done by hand or using a flathead screwdriver, gently pushing down on one of the tabs. You need to unscrew them just a bit and then they pop out of the housing.

Step #2 – Twist light Bulb and Pop Lose

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Pull Out OEM Light Bulb

With the dust caps off, you can access the bulb housing. Gently twist the bulb out of its housing. This will pop the bulb lose of the tabs that are holding it in place.

Step #3 – Pull Out OEM Light Bulb

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Pull Out OEM Light Bulb

With a bit of wiggle, the bulb will pop out on its own. Pull out the bulb and the wiring to give yourself some room to work with.

Step #4 – Disconnect Bulb

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Disconnect Bulb

Disconnect the bulb by pressing down on the bracket tab. This will release the bulb free of the connection.

Step #5 – Preparing Light Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Preparing LED Lights

Prepare your first install on the passenger side by setting your lights out.

Step #6 – Plug in Light Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Plug in LED Lights

This install is plug-n-play. All you need to do is plug them in.

Step #7 – Testing Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Testing LED Lights

Always test your lights to make sure you didn’t get a bad batch of diodes. It is common from time to time to have a bad light. If you install both sides, shut the hood and realize one does not work, you are going to be pretty irritated. So testing your new lights is a good step.

Step #8 – Notice Different Size Tabs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Notice Different Size Tabs on LED Bulbs

Note that there are different size tabs for fitting your bulbs. There are two tabs that are large and one tab that is small. Your OEM headlights have the same tabs. They are designed to go in one way and only that one way. Just make a mental note of where these tabs are, line it up and pop the new bulbs. Twist and turn them into place, you are all set!

Step #9 – Place Bulb in Housing

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Place LED Bulb in Housing

Place your bulbs into place, line up your tabs in the correct position, and twist. You will need to put some serious pressure on the back of the bulb to press them in. The Cougar Motor bulbs come with a hefty backing, so use this to your advantage. Press in hard and turn at the same time, locking your new bulbs into place.

Step #10 – Optional Zip-Tie

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Optional Zip-tie

This is not a mandatory step and if you do not have zip-ties, you will be fine. But, zip-ties are an important step of every install on our 4Runner. The zip-tie helps keep the wiring a bit more organized in the low beam housing.

Also, you don’t need to zip-tie the wires together very tight. You can leave them somewhat tight. If you ever go to swap out your LEDs with an HID retrofit kit or new 4Runner LED lights, you can simply cut the wire with more room, not risking any damage on the current lights.

Step #11 – Bundle Wire and Place in Housing

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Bundle Wire and Place in Housing

Bundle your wires together as clean and as tight as possible and place them to the side of your LED bulb and into the housing, completely.

Step #12 – Screw on Dust Cap

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Screw on Dust Cap

Screw back on your dust cap and call the passenger side a day. Test your lights again, just to make sure everything is working inside the housing.

DRIVER SIDE INSTALL Step #1 – Remove Dust Cap with Flathead

(Remove Battery Optional)

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - Remove Dust Cap Screw Driver

The driver side is a bit more tricky only because the area you have to work with is so tight. If you have big hands, you will absolutely want to remove the battery. I have normal sized hands and it was tight. Removing the battery will give you so much more room to work with and when you go to tighten down the new LED bulbs, you have cuts and scratches all over your hand.

I struggled with screwing in the driver side bulb for about 20 minutes. Finally, I gave up and removed the battery. After I removed the battery, I screwed the new LED bulb right in.

For removing the driver side dust cap, you can do this with a flathead by gently pressing down or using your hands. Again, if you take the battery out, you can do it with your hands, no problem. But, with the battery still in place, using a flathead makes it pretty easy.

Step #2 –  Access without Battery Makes it Easier

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - LED Lights

You can see the difference from the shot above to this shot. It is much more open without the battery. The light on the left if your new LED low beam and the light on the right is your OEM high beams.

Just repeat the same steps from the passenger side on the driver side and you should be good to go. While you are on this side, you might as well install the new LED high beams.

Step #3 – Twist Bulb Housing Loose

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - LED Lights

Step #4 – Twist and Remove Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Step #5 – Unplug OEM Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - LED Lights

Step #6 – Plug In High Beam Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Step #7 – Notice Tab Position

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Step #8 – Zip-Tie Lose Wires

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Save OEM Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight (High Beams and Low Beams) Install

Final – Check Correct Fitment

4Runner LED Headlight (High Beams and Low Beams) Install

LED Headlights Before and After

4Runner Halogen Headlights High Beams

4Runner Halogen Headlights High Beams

4Runner LED Headlights High Beams After Installation

4Runner LED Headlights High Beams After Installation

4Runner Halogen Headlights Low Beams

4Runner Halogen Headlights Low Beams

4Runner LED Headlights Low Beams After Install

4Runner LED Headlights Low Beams After Install

The Bulbs

LED 4Runner Headlights - 5th Gen 4Runner LED 4Runner Headlights - 5th Gen 4Runner

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Showing 15 comments
  • John @theblizzard4r
    Reply

    Great pictures…you can really see the difference. After using them tonight in the pitch black winter, I’m going to consider Xenon Depot’s lights VERY soon. After Xmas for sure. Good call and a great experiment. Love the article.

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      John,
      Yeah, it was interesting to see the LED headlights back to back. But, for the price on these LED headlights, they are pretty affordable. I guess it all depends on how much money you want to spend. If you are looking for a quick solution to the stock 4Runner headlights, these are a good option. These headlights at $40 a pair so about $80 or something out the door. The Xenon Depots are $129 a pair, so $260 out the door. It all depends on how much you want to spend.
      Cheers!

  • stephan
    Reply

    Brennan. Thank you for writing up this article. We just finished installing our cougar motor LED lights and they rock. We ordered both the high beams and the low beams and love how much whiter the headlights look than the stock yellow orange color. Thank again and great website. Keep it going!

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      Stephan,
      Thank you for the kind words. Yeah, these lights have a way better color than the stock halogen headlights on the 4Runner. Glad you are happy with them. Thanks again!
      Cheers!

  • Kent
    Reply

    In my opinion you should take this down, the lights suck like you end up saying in a later headlight install. I never got the first one installed fell apart in my hand from too much pressure trying to shove it in… Of coarse then i read the later install using XenonDepot…..

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      Kent,
      Hey there, yeah our whole goal in putting this site together was to create a resource. That resource allows people like you an I the ability make educated decisions on what products to buy for a 4Runner. There are quite a few people out there who have installed these lights and like them. We also have a complete guide for 4Runner Headlights on the website, which is a great place to start. See the comments above and another post on someone installing these LED Headlights (Low Beams), It’s all personal preference. The whole purpose of this site is to provide real-life examples and give real-life installation on every car part we can afford to buy and then write an article on it. I think providing posts of all quality ranges is good for comparison, so these LED headlights, Xenon Depot headlights as well as more headlights to come, I am sure. And, who knows after we stumble upon the next set of headlights, there might be something better. You never know. Are these the “best” lights out there? probably not, are they affordable, yeah for sure. I can’t count the times I jumped the gun and bought something too fast. We bought the wrong sliders for our 4Runner, and spent weeks trying to get things right. Iv’e been there. Mods are about patience and research, something I am still learning. Again, this whole process is a learning process for the whole community. Our website is just a tool to help you get there.
      Cheers Kent.

  • Jason
    Reply

    Great site and videos, I had a question on this install. Last night I installed these on my 2018 4runner and the lights worked perfectly and I only installed the low beams. After checking everything is working along with the brights but drl are not coming on. Did I miss a step?

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      Jason,
      For these lights, I remember that there was an issue with the cougar motor DRLs not working. I don’t think you missed any steps, the same thing happened to us for these lights as well. They work as normal high beams and low beams but the DRLs didn’t turn on. I wish I had better information for you on this one. The only other option would be to upgrade to a set of Xenon Depot Xtreme LEDs. The DRLs will work with these bulbs installed.

      • Bill
        Reply

        I have a 2014 Trail 4Runner and noticed this comment around the DRL. I think in 2015 and newer they used the foglight for DRL, as opposed to in the 2014 the high beams are used in a very low lit mode of some sort. Curious if I used the cougar motor LED high beam replacements, if these have that capability as I have only known LEDs to be either on or off vs. dim or bright. Is it safe to assume that all the LED choices would not operate as DRL in my case with the 2014, it is the high beam bulbs?

      • Aaron
        Reply

        My understanding as an electronics technician is that LEDs (light emitting diodes) often have specific wattage requirements to light up, and many brands of LED headlights will only do High and low beams because the wattage to light up the LED on the DRL setting is too low. Some manufacturers will compensate for the DRL wattage and make an LED that will work on all settings but they have a risk of failure if the wattage range is too excessive for the LED.

  • Zephyr
    Reply

    This is tremendously helpful! Replacing the headlights with simple upgraded aftermarket halogens and the LED flog light install were the best hour I’ve spent in a while. Awesome!

  • Paul Thompson
    Reply

    Is it just me seeing the factory halogen lights lighting up more space? Yes, the color of the LED are better, but the range of lighting is narrower. Low beam LED is worthless.

  • Greg
    Reply

    The reason the low beam is so difficult to install is because the cooling fins on the LED light housing hit and interfere with the headlight assembly on the 4R. If you grind down the fins on the LED housing where they contact the 4R housing it will make clearance so they will drop right in. That’s what I did. No harm the the light either.

  • Shaf
    Reply

    On the 2017 the headlights seem to be perpedicular to the projector direction. Is there a specific degree I need to turn the Xenon Pro LED to get the optimum output? The trial and error looks like it can take asustantial time.

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