Switchback LED Turn Signals on 5th Gen 4Runner
LED Turn Signals with Load Resistors to Fix Hyperflash on 5th Gen 4R
Continuing right along with the LED swap on the 4Runner, we have the LED turn signal switchbacks going in.
With this mod, you will turn your parking light into a brighter white, and the turn signal into a brighter amber light. The Alla bulbs claim to be the “brightest on the market”. I find this hard to believe but we will see what happens. Both the amber turn signal LEDs and the white parking light LEDs are extremely bright, though. After this mod, you can use your parking light as your daytime running lights.
Most LED turn signal bulbs (7444NA) will hyper flash after you install them. This is because the LED bulbs are drawing less power than your factory incandescent bulbs. If you were to install LEDs without the load resistors, the 4Runner would basically assume the bulb is dead due to the lower power consumption, thus causing the LED bulb to flash repeatedly.
To install LED turn signal switchback bulbs on the 4Runner, you either need to find a switchback bulb that has a load resistor or hyper flash module built in or you need to buy a set of load resistors to quick splice the wires together. As of now, there are no 7444NA/7443 anti-flicker bulbs. If you find one, please comment below. For LED turn signal bulbs without splicing resistors, there are the VLEDs V6 Triton for around $150. You can buy these with a resistor adaptor which brings you to almost $200. Compare this to $30 for the products in the post here.
The 7443 Switchback LED Bulbs
- 7443 Switchback LED Bulbs – Check Price
Quick note, our bulb is the 7444NA, but the 7443 among others are compatible.
The bulbs in this post are the Alla bulbs, which look identical to the Diode Dynamics 7443 HP24 Switchback Dual-Color LEDs. There is absolutely no difference in appearance between the Alla bulbs and the Diode Dynamic bulbs at first glance. Maybe the diodes are of “higher quality” on the Diode Dynamics? As my dad would always say; Hard tellin’, not knowin’. We are going to buy a set of the DD bulbs as well, and install those in one 4Runner and then compare against the Alla bulbs on another 4Runner. A lot of work for some switchback LEDs, but hey that is what we are here for, right?
The Load Resistors
- 50W 6Ohm LED Load Resistors – Check Today’s Price
If you are looking to swap the turn signal incandescents with LED switchbacks, you will need a set of load resistors to prevent hyper flashing. Resistors are designed to provide a certain amount of resistance in the electrical circuit traveling through your factory wiring to the LED bulb. In this case, the resistor will reduce current flow and adjust signal levels for voltage. This resistor is 50W 6Ohm (that is 6 Ohms).
The load resistors come with four quick splice connectors (T-taps) that need to be spliced to the positive and negative wiring. Quick splice connectors are used as a quick way to splice an electrical circuit into your existing wires. All you do is insert your factory wire, then your second wire, clamp down with a standard set of pliers, and then close the insulating flap.
Potential Problems with T-Tap quick splice connectors
T-Taps strip back the insulation on wiring in order to make a connection. There is no guarantee that this connection is going to be perfect. Even if the T-tap you are using is the right size, you still may face problems. You have three scenarios, and more as time goes on.
- T-tap slices the insulation perfectly which makes a perfect connection
- T-tap slices into the wire cutting strands of the actual wire
- T-tap doesn’t slice enough of the insulation and makes a poor connection and possibly no connection.
With all of these scenarios, the quick splice connectors may lead to oxidation and corrosion due to common nature elements, obviously, the latter two escalating the situation even faster. This may cause your connection/wire to become brittle over time and less conductive. This is on the extreme of installing LED switchbacks/ resistors and quick splice connections but it is important to know.
If you are going to add resistors and do not want to use the T-taps, you can always strip the insulation and solder the wiring together on both the negative and positive connections. This may take a little more patients but not by much. You just need the right tools a little bit of practice.
Switchback LEDs – Tool Check
- Drill with 3/32 bit
- Compact Screwdriver
- Wire cutter/ Crimpers
- Plastic Pry Tools
- 10mm socket/ wrench
- #6 3/8″ or 1/2″ Screws (3/8″ better option)
- 50W 6Ohm LED Load Resistors – Check Price
- 7443 Switchback LED Bulbs – Check Today’s Price
The plastic pry tools, wire cutters, and scissors are optional but they help. You may need to cut back some of the electrical sleave coving the wires that run to the turn signal socket.
Install Step 1: Pull back fender liner
Crank your steering wheel as far as you can. There is very little room to work with when swapping this bulb out. The more room you have, the more comfortable the install will be. Looking back, I might have even removed the tire. It’s tight.
Step 2: Tie back fender liner and locate turn signal bulb
Grab some string and tie back your fender liner to your upper control arms. This will allow you to focus on the bulb and the T-Taps instead of pushing back the fender liner with your shoulder or arm.
Step 3: Prepare Load Resistor & T-Taps
Get a grasp of how the T-Taps work and where the wires go. They are very simple, just understand how they work before you start clamping the T-Taps down.
Take a look at the bottom of the page, we drafted a diagram that will help you understand. It would have been nice if we had this before our install.
Step 4: Drill Hole to Mount Load Resistors
You have a few options for mounting the load resistors.
IMPORTANT: The load resistors will get extremely hot!
- Mount the resistor to the firewall using a single screw
- Mount the resistor on 3m and stick the 3m on the firewall
- Mount the resistor on a metal bracket and then 3m the bracket to the firewall
- Mount the resistor on a metal bracket and then screw bracket to the firewall
I did not like the 3m option as there have been stories of resistors melting 3m tape. These resistors get very hot. I would recommend going with option 1 or 4. I went with option 1.
You can see in the image above where I drilled a hole into the firewall. I drilled a hole in the top corner of where the embossed area is on the firewall.
Step 5: Mounting Load Resistors 5th Gen 4Runner
After you drill a hole in the firewall, take a file and scrape off any excess metal. Take your #6 3/8″ or 1/2″ (3/8″ screw is a better option) screw and place it through the hole in your resistor and then place the resistor in location. Grab a compact screwdriver and start threading down your screw. I wanted to mount the resistor before splicing the wires. It was one less thing that was hanging in the way.
Step 6: T-Taps for Load Resistors on Turn Signal
T-Taps, as mentioned above are a debated topic but they are needed for this install unless you know how to solder. Even if you know how to solder, this is a tricky spot to solder. Access with two hands in this location is difficult. If there was an easy way to remove the entire turn signal light assembly, I would have soldered the wires together on the table then put everything back together, and skipped over the T-Taps. There is no quick and easy way to remove the turn light assembly.
With that being said, we used T-Taps.
Start with the turn signal wire (blue on the passenger side and yellow on driver side). Place the outside of the T-Tap over the blue wire, then feed the red wire from the resistor into the T-Tap on the inside (SEE DIAGRAM BELOW). After you have secured both wires into the T-Tap, thumb press the T-Tap tight.
Step 7: Splice Turn Signal Wire with Load Resistor Wire
Once you have verified proper alignment of both wires, clamp down and splice the wires.
Step 8: T-Taps for Load Resistors on Ground
Repeat the above process with the ground wire.
Step 9: Testing Turn Signal
Once you have spliced together the turn signal wire and the ground wire, test your turn signals. If they are hyper flashing, you need to pull off both T-Taps and see where your splice missed.
We didn’t have a problem the first time, you should be fine.
Step 10: Repeat Process on Driver Side
Repeat the entire process on the driver side.
NOTE: The turn signal wire on the passenger side is yellow.
We removed the battery in order to drill a hole in the firewall for the driver side. We mounted the load resistor in the exact same location as the passenger side. After you splice the yellow wire and the ground wire to the load resistors, install your battery and test the lights.