Diode Dynamics Lighting Overhaul: SS3 Fog + XPR Backup LED Lights Review + Install For 5th Gen 4Runner
If you’ve spent much time on this blog, you’ve noticed that lights are kind of a thing. The OEM lights are halogen and suck. I’m not going to rehash all that.
I decided early that I needed to replace all of my lights and started doing research. I’ve already replaced all the interior and minor exterior lights with VLEDs and even replaced the side mirror turn signals with the Cartrim sequential dynamic turn signal lights.
However, I’ve saved arguably the most important lighting mods for last. I will start with the reverse lights, then mention my headlights and then finally the fog lights. This is the ultimate Diode Dynamics 4Runner lighting upgrade page for you to reference.
Diode Dynamics 4Runner lighting upgrade
- YotaMafia.com: Check Price
- Reverse Lights
- Tail as Turn Module
- Low Beams
- High Beams
- Fog Lights White (SAE/DOT)
- Fog Lights Amber (SAE/DOT)
In the rear, I decided early to go with the Diode Dynamics Tail-as-Turn module to help more than double the light output in reverse. I chose the XP80 white LEDs to replace the turn signal lighting and the new XPR 921 LEDs to replace the existing reverse lights. The XPRs replace the previously offered XP50 LEDs.
They’ve designed the XPR lights with reliability in mind. Diode Dynamics seems to understand the major killers of LEDs and so the lights have outstanding heat sinking capabilities to keep them cool. They have also included a feature that reduces output from an initial value of 1600 lumens (whoa!) after a few minutes of on-time to a minimum stable value of 720 lumens to protect the life of the bulb. It also has built-in circuit protection that prevents common voltage spikes from damaging the light.
Factory Reverse Lights
Compared to Diode Dynamic LED Reverse Lights
The added illumination was actually quite shocking when I first turned everything on. It’s a lot of light and not just immediately behind you either, but to the sides as well. The image from the backup camera is much clearer now too.
Before we jump into the fog lights, the headlights I decided to go with the Diode Dynamics SL1 low and high beams.
Diode Dynamics SS3 Fog Light Install on 4Runner
Additionally, I wanted to update my fogs. Diode Dynamics has a new light type that fits this role perfectly. Baja may have some new competition in the high-end pod lighting market. What’s really exciting? These lights are actually affordable compared to Baja and are damn near on par with Baja but we will see how they pan out in the long term. At first glance though, WOW, these are impressive.
Introducing the SS3 LED pod and fog lights
I purchased the white Sport SAE/DOT fog style kit which spreads the light in a wide flat arc. They have 2 power levels, Sport and Pro.
They also have 2 colors, white (6000K) and yellow (3000K) and multiple beam patterns (plastic shield covers) to choose from.
They’ve created multiple variants that can be used in almost any location and for any purpose. I’m starting with the fogs, but I’ll definitely be contacting Diode Dynamics again for future lighting needs, again… these lights are very impressive.
The remainder of this article will be about the installation of the fog lighting kit.
Diode Dynamics SS3 Fog Specs:
- Diode Dynamic SS3 LED Fog Light Kit (pictured): Check Price
- Light Source: 4x Luxeon Z ES, Cree XP-L HI
- LED Optics: TIR (Total Internal Reflection) optics
- Intensity: 1520 Lumens/fog light (measured)
- Kelvin Rating: 6000K (true cool white) or 3000K (yellow)
- Input Socket: Deutsch DT Input (with H11 adaptor included)
- Weather Rated: IP67 Weatherproof
- Lense Material: Polycarbonate
- Shell / Heat Sink: Aluminum Casting Pin-Fin
What’s in the box?
- SS3 LED Fog Lights
- Fog pocket kit for 4Runner
- Mounting Brackets
- H11 Adaptors
- Light Mounting Hardware
- Installation Instructions
Step 1. Assemble Fog Lights in Brackets
The bracket attachment is easy. The Nylock nuts fit in small slots included in the rear of the fog light.
The brackets and lights are side-specific. The lights can be identified by matching the curve of the light shroud with the curve of the bumper and placing the connector on the bottom of the light (above shown upside-down).
The brackets have a small identifier letting you know which side they will mount to.
Tilt the lights in the brackets so they will be facing down slightly and tighten the mounting screws. I’ve added red lines below to highlight the tilt.
These lights are adjustable, but not easily done once installed like the Morimoto XB or even the stock fogs.
The only feedback I have for Diode Dynamics would be to add an angle adjustment screw to the setup.
Step 2. Access Existing Fog Light Housings
There are two options at this point. First is to access each housing through the wheel well as Brenan did for the KC Gravity G4 fog lights installation.
The second option is to remove the front bumper which is detailed in the C4 Fab front bumper installation. I chose to remove the front bumper to give me plenty of space for the installation and to test the lights easier.
Step 3. Test Lights
The H11 adapter is polarity dependent and needs to be oriented the correct way.
If the light doesn’t come on, reverse the plug. Once it’s in the right orientation, it’s helpful to mark the adapter to make sure it gets plugged in correctly when the bumper is installed. I used some painter’s tape.
Step 4. Remove Stock Fog Light Housings + Install SS3
Remove the 2 screws that fasten the stock housing and slide it out.
Keep the screws to reuse to install the SS3 lights. You will notice how much more sturdy the cast aluminum SS3s are than the stock plastic housings. Installation was simple with no modification to the bracket like other fog light designs. It’s obvious they did their homework.
Step 5. Install Bumper + Retest Lights
Put the bumper back into place and insert the 10mm bolt and 2x clips (shown) to hold it in place. Connect the lights before fully attaching the bumper.
You should have a small gap along the bottom as shown here. This lets you know you have correctly angled the fog lights downward. Finish installing the bumper.
Final Impressions + Comparison
1. Stock Low Beams
2. Sl1 Low Beams
3. Stock High Beams
4. Sl1 High Beams
5. Stock Low Beams and Fogs
6. Sl1 Low Beams and Ss3 Fogs
I’m very impressed with how much light is put out by all of these lights.
The pure white color is much more appealing than the stock halogens. The low and high beams are brighter and the SS3 fog lights spread the light far better than the stock lights. The picture was taken 25 feet from the garage and there is plenty of light the full width of the photo. I will make a height adjustment to the fog lights so that the light extends a bit further.
Other than that, I’m completely satisfied with this setup.
The SS3 fog lights from Diode are very nice. They feel, look, and perform like a very high-end light.