Blacked Out Tail Lights on 5th Gen 4Runner by Unique Style Racing
After I got rid of the chrome emblems on my 4Runner, I decided to continue that trend and ditch the stock, Altezza-style tail lights.
I considered a few options but eventually decided on a really nice set of blacked-out tail lights from Unique Style Racing (USR).
While I was at it, I also upgraded to resistor-free LED turn signal bulbs in the front and rear, along with brighter LED backup lights – all from USR (see related article here).
Find it online
Tools required for installation
- 4-6 inch socket extension
- 10mm deep socket
- Automobile trim removal tool (only one needed, but this is a nice set)
Details/compare and contrast
The blacked out 4Runner tail lights are made for Unique Style Racing (USR) by large, aftermarket parts manufacturer Depot.
They’re double boxed prior to shipment, and I think they could even withstand a delivery by Ace Ventura posing as a brown-uniformed delivery driver.
When I compared the blacked-out USR tail lights to my original Toyota tail lights, I was impressed with the quality, and way they seemed to mirror the stock tail lights (minus the chrome!). They include all required wiring, new gaskets, and are a quick/easy upgrade for all 2010-2019 4Runners.
Original Toyota 4Runner tail lights
Unique Style Racing blacked out 4Runner tail lights
Unique Style Racing blacked out 4Runner tail lights on the left, Original Toyota 4Runner tail lights on the right
Removing the stock tail lights
Use a trim removal tool to open the tail light access panel in the left and right rear corners of the vehicle. There is a small indention near the bottom, towards the front of the vehicle, which the tool can be inserted into. Once one side of the panel is opened, swing to towards the tailgate to remove it.
Using the ratchet, extension, and 10mm deep socket, remove the nuts at the top and bottom of the tail light assembly. IMPORTANT: Be careful not to drop the nuts when removing them, as they’ll be very difficult to recover.
Unplug the tail light assembly from the vehicle by depressing the “tab” in the large center plug, and pulling straight back.
Open the rear hatch to remove the tail light housings. Insert fingers between the top of the tail light assembly and the body, then pull straight back. It will take a fair amount of force to pop the tail lights from the vehicle. IMPORTANT: Only pull straight back. Pulling at any angle may break the tail light assembly at its mounting points.
Views of the tail light assembly popped loose, the “pins” toward the outside that plug into the body, and a horseshoe-shaped attachment point towards the front that goes over a mount on the body.
- Remove the paper backing from the new gasket to expose the adhesive, and adhere it to the back of the tail light assembly.
- Carefully re-insert the tail light assembly back into the body. Pay attention to the horseshoe shaped attachment point towards the front that goes over a mount on the body, as well as the other attachment points that are highlighted in the photo below.
- Using the ratchet, extension, and 10mm deep socket, reinstall the nuts at the top and bottom of the tail light assembly. IMPORTANT: Be careful not to drop the nuts when installing them, as they’ll be very difficult to recover.
- Plug the main wiring harness into the center outlet on the taillight assembly.
- Reinstall the taillight access panel by inserting the end closest to the hatch first, and pivoting/snapping it shut.
- Repeat the above steps on the other side of the vehicle, and enjoy your awesome new tail lights!