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.
- Low Beam (H11): Check Price
- High Beam (9005): Discontinued
- Fog Lights to Match (H16): Check Price
- Grab some Twist-Ties!
- A Large flathead Screwdriver will help
Higher Quality Option (Xenon Depot):
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
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
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
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
Disconnect the bulb by pressing down on the bracket tab. This will release the bulb free of the connection.
Step #5 – Preparing Light Bulbs
Prepare your first install on the passenger side by setting your lights out.
Step #6 – Plug in Light Bulbs
This install is plug-n-play. All you need to do is plug them in.
Step #7 – Testing Bulbs
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
Step #4 – Twist and Remove Bulbs
Step #5 – Unplug OEM Bulbs
Step #6 – Plug In High Beam Bulbs
Step #7 – Notice Tab Position
Step #8 – Zip-Tie Lose Wires
Save OEM Bulbs
Final – Check Correct Fitment
LED Headlights Before and After
4Runner Halogen Headlights High Beams
4Runner LED Headlights High Beams After Installation
4Runner Halogen Headlights Low Beams
4Runner LED Headlights Low Beams After Install