KC Rock Lights as Courtesy Lights on 4Runner

Rock Lights - LED Illumination Package 4Runner - 5th Gen

KC HiLiTES Cyclone Rock Lights as Courtesy Lights on the 5th Gen 4Runner – Similar to the Toyota LED Illumination Package

This mod may work on many other Toyota platforms, Tacoma, Tundra, Landcruiser, Sequoia, etc. Call it the DIY LED Illumination Package, Rock Lights as Courtesy Lights, or whatever you want. Either way, this is a pretty awesome mod.

Courtesy lights, otherwise known as puddle lights, they serve many purposes. Typically located on the side view mirrors, or near the foot wells of the vehicle, provide you with visibility the ground below.

These exterior lights conveniently illuminate whenever unlocking or opening a door of the vehicle assisting you from either side-stepping puddles at night, or even in lighting up the area to help you find an item that may have dropped out of the vehicle.

The Goal

The goal of this project is to trigger the rock lights to function as an everyday courtesy light if needed. This project is based on Toyota’s aftermarket LED Illumination Package.

However, instead of using the lights that they offer, I chose to sub them out for higher quality, more durable set of rock lights, the KC HiLiTES Cyclone kit for the Jeep JK.

PLEASE READ FIRST: This article piggybacks off of Brenan’s previous installation of the  KC HiLiTES Cyclone rock light kit. A lot of references are made to this article, if you haven’t already read it, check it out. There are two separate pages on the install. You can find a brief overview here and the full step by step installation here.

KC Rock Lights as Courtesy Lights

Parts Used:

Tools/Time Required:

  • Installation Time: ~7 Hours
  • Basic shop tools
  • Wrenches & sockets
  • Open-end wrenches
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Stubby screwdriver
  • Allen keys
  • Wire strippers/crimpers
  • Wire cutters
  • Heat shrink gun/lighter
  • Waterproof butt splice connectors
  • Waterproof fork/ring terminal connectors
  • Heat shrink
  • Wire Loom
  • Electrical tape
  • Zip Ties
  • 8mm Flange Bolts*
  • Neoprene Washers*

NOTE: *Hardware optional depending on the lights used in your application. The reason why I changed over to new hardware with neoprene washers was to isolate the light from becoming grounded to the frame by direct contact.

Map Out Wiring Harness and Switch

The Toyota 4Runner’s dome light is connected +12v at all times, and triggered by a ground (-). Our rock lights will be connected the same way, and triggered by the dome’s ground, as well as 2nd ground for independent control.

Step #1a: Route Driver Wiring Harness to Passenger Side

– Run the harness along the inside of the engine bay, following the frame rail
– Remove Terminal Ends from wiring harness
– Elongate the harness

Step #1b: Run the Passenger Harness to the Driver Side

– Run the harness along the inside of the engine bay, following the driver side frame rail
– Remove Terminal Ends from wiring harness in the engine bay
– Elongate harness

(Underneath the electrical tape is a waterproof connector and heat shrink)

Step #2: Connect Passenger/Driver Harness to Busbar

Attach busbar to fuse box lid
– Add forked terminal ends and heat shrink to white wires from harness
– Connect the white wires from both harnesses to the busbar

Step #3: Cut Open White/Green Wire Sleeve

In this installation, we will be running
-Discard provided KC Switch
-Discard brown ground wire from the provided switch
-Cut open white/green wire sleeve
– Shorten white wire to retain the fuse in the middle
– Attach one end of the fused white wire to the busbar and the other end to the battery.

Step #4: Running the Switch Wires

– Run provided green wire with a new black wire into cab of the vehicle
– Connect the black wires from both harness into one end of a butt splice, attach the other end to the green wire in the engine bay
– At a circular connector and heat shrink to the engine bay portion of the new black wire
– Connect the black wire coming from the cab to the ground location in the engine bay of the vehicle.

Step #5: Wiring the Trigger

– Remove Driver’s side A-pillar cover with 10mm socket
– Using a Red T-Tap, connect a new green wire to the green wire in Pin 15 of the FS1 Connector in the A-pillar.

Step #6: Wiring the Switch

Remove the top left dash piece containing the OEM button blanks by firmly gripping and pulling straight towards you

Run the new green wire down and feed through into the top bank of switches located to the left of the steering wheel.

This new green wire coming from the A-pillar will attach to top position (outgoing) of the SPDT switch.
The primary green wire from the engine bay will attach to the middle position (incoming) of the switch.
Attach the black female female terminal connector from the engine bay to the bottom position (outgoing) connector of the SPDT switch.

Step #7: Fitting the Switch

Modify the switch hole to fit the new SPDT switch from OTRATTW.

The new switch is just slightly larger, and will need some Dremel work to ensure correct fitment.

Step #8: Mounting the lights

I opted to upgrade to the Rago Fabrication rock light mount for the KC Lights. I preferred having the multiple mounting points, and larger flat surface for the light to attach to.

For this install, I followed the suggested installation points to match the Jeep JK as provided by KC Hilites. I chose to follow their layout for the purpose of having more rearward light as opposed to the locations of Brenan’s Rock Light Article. In the end, placement of the lights is a suggestion, as the final location may change based on your preference and needs.

Step #9: Driver Rock Slider Bracket

Continue the run of the harness from inside the inside of the engine bay down alongside the frame rail and rock slider.

Step #10: Driver Middle Slider Bracket

Continue the run of the harness along the driver side of the vehicle, finding a proper placement for the middle driver side light.

Step #11: Running Wires from Driver to Passenger Side

Repeat driver side harness steps for the passenger side

Extending the 3rd Wiring Harness For the Rear of the Vehicle

Step #12: Measure & Extending the Harness

I mapped out the placement of my most two rearward lights first.

Step #13: Cutting the Provided Harness

NOTE: Steps from here out will parallel steps taken in the KC Hilites Article
After choosing the final location of both lights, the current harness is not able to reach from driver to passenger. I cut the middle of the harness, opting to lengthen it there. I extended the harness by approximately 3’.

Step #14: Connecting the New Wire

For the harness extensions, I used waterproof butt splice connectors with heat shrink to give everything a solid seal.

Step #15: Testing the New Connections

Once the wires are back together, test your lights to make sure everything works

Testing Rock Lights

Step #16: Driver Rear Rock Slider Bracket

I utilized a threaded location on the rear of the frame to attach the rock light bracket.

Step #17: Running Wires From Driver To Passenger Side

Double check to make sure everything is zip tied high up and to the frame. Not to moving parts such as the lower links or axel.

Testing Rock Lights

Step #18: Passenger rear Rock Slider Bracket

The driver side light attached to the frame rail, utilizing a pre-threaded location on the frame rail. To match the same location on the passenger side, while keeping a safe distance from the exhaust. I used a 6mm rivet nut with a 6mm bolt to attach the rock light bracket to the frame.
(Attaching a rivet nut)

Step #19: Cover Exposed Wires With Loom

Loom everything up, and zip-tie everything down.

Step #20: Check All Connections

Double check every connection, zip-tie, bolt, and light bracket from the engine bay to the back of the 4Runner. Correct and fix accordingly.

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Jeff Rea
Jeff Rea
1 year ago

Hey Frank. Do you know if the lights are on a negative circuit? I see you trigger wire, is that a positive feed?

2 years ago

Do your rock light operate as normal as well? On and off with the switch?

Morris G
Morris G
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Rebelo

with the new switch pros. Can you still make them courtesy lights or no ?

2 years ago

Do you know what kind of current the dome light circuit can handle? I wired up 12 pod lights that draw a total of 3.6A, and I’d prefer to not squeeze another relay into my dash.

3 years ago

I Am working on this now and am curious as to how you count the wires when looking for pin15 of the fs1 connector in the A column? Also curious if you know if the 18’ has the same color dome light wire and if not, if you know of where I could figure that out?

3 years ago
Reply to  Clayton

Save yourself the headache and buy the bundle on this page. It works great and makes it super simple. Been considering doing a write up on it. https://dsimsolutions.com/pages/domerock-v4-bundles

3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

If I didn’t already have everything wired and just needed to tap, I would.

3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Do a writeup on it, man. Have you installed it yet?

3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

yes, installed and really happy with it, makes it so darn easy.

Dan V
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Is there going to be an install writeup for this? Looks interesting.

Mike Hyers
Mike Hyers
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan V

I did a write-up for it but it was to similar to the instructions I had provided to DSIM which he published on his site. Unfortunately all his hosted pics are super blurry due to him using Photobucket so it’s hard to tell what’s going on. Write-ups on Trail4R need to be unique and not published elsewhere. I was hoping to completely re-do the write-up but haven’t had time yet.

Mike Hyers
Mike Hyers
3 years ago

Since this is tied into the dome light circuit do your rock lights come on whenever you turn on the dome light as well? Assuming the switch is set to auto of course? If yes, any dome light or just front ones or main one behind driver? Thanks!

3 years ago

I have pulled the A pillar and I seem to have several green wires. Any more detailed info you can share.

Adam Garafola
Adam Garafola
3 years ago

I’m looking at doing this but without the switch, just have them come on at unlock. Would you recommend using a relay or could I just wire the negative to the negative of the dome lights with constant power?

3 years ago

Do you think this set up will work with the of rgb lights. I would like to be able to control the light intensity st the camp site.

3 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I am sure it’s pretty dang similar. I don’t think the brackets come with the kit but it doesn’t matter, you can Zip Tie those lights to anything.

3 years ago

Any recommendations for sPod users? Would like to run this setup, but also have the ability to run them full time while on the trail.

1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Rebelo

I want to do this to my 2001. 4runner so to be clear I just need to wire them up to the negative done light wire. Where do I get the power from? I want them light to come on when I unlock it. Thx for your help

Questions or Comments? x