Diode Dynamics 6″ Stage Series SAE/DOT LED Driving Amber Lightbar Kit – Install and Review For 5th Gen 4Runner
Diode Dynamics recently released two new lightbar kits for the 2014-2019 Toyota 4Runner. The first kit includes two SS6 LED lightbars that go above the TRD Pro style grille and the second kit includes one or two SS30 LED lightbars that go below the TRD Pro style grille. The two 6″ SS6 LED lightbars caught my attention because I still have my stock headlights and wanted some additional light output for rural nighttime and trail driving. I had seen some good reviews about the Diode Dynamics fog lights so I decided to grab the SS6 lightbar kit to supplement my headlights.
There were a few things that helped make my decision to go with the SS6 lightbar kit over the SS30 lightbar kit or other options. First, these lights are SAE/DOT compliant. My 4Runner is my daily driver, so having the option to run these lights during normal vehicle usage is nice. Second, the lights keep a clean stock grille appearance and they are located under the hood so they are not accessible to randomly walk away from my vehicle. Next, they are offered in a fog or beam pattern and can come as white or yellow (amber) LEDs. I am a huge fan of amber and like the idea of having some supplemental amber headlights. Finally, I can keep these lights if I do decide to upgrade my bumper at some point.
- Diode Dynamics SS6 SAE/DOT 6″ Stage Series LED Lightbar Kit (Check Price)
The lightbar kit comes with 2-SS6 LED lightbars, two mounting brackets with hardware, and a wire harness. The brackets are powder coated black and look to be quality.
- LED Lightbar Switch (Check Price)
One addition I added was a lightbar switch to go with the lightbar kit. I don’t have a SwitchPro Panel or anything so adding a factory-looking switch makes everything look really clean.
- Plastic Trim Pry Tools
- 10mm/13mm Socket
- 10mm/13mm Wrench
- Electrical Butt Connectors
- Tesa Tape or Electrical Tape
- 10-22 AWG ring terminals
- 10-22 AWG connectors
- 10-22 AWG wire
- Solder seal wire connectors
- Universal heat shrink
- Klien Tools Crimps
- IRWIN Wire Cutter
The installation was pretty straight forward and I was able to slug through it even though it was my first-time solo installing some lights. I followed the Diode Dynamics installation guide that came with the lightbar kit, the Diode Dynamics installation video, and a few other miscellaneous youtube videos.
In the installation section below, I provided some commentary about my thoughts during the installation process.
Step 1. Remove Engine Compartment Trim Panel
Remove the 13 plastic push-rivet clips without breaking them. Save these to reinstall after. I have removed this internal trim piece a few times now and have broken a few clips. Here is a link to buy more if you end up breaking them.
Step 2. Remove Grille Push-Rivets
There are 4 push-rivets inside the engine compartment that are located right on the back of the bottom of the upper grille piece. They should be pretty easy to find. These are spaced out the same width as the brackets that come with the lightbar kit. I saved the push-rivets but they do not need to be reinstalled.
Step 3. Install Brackets & Lights
Install the brackets on each side with the provided hardware. Keep the long slotted holes towards the center of the vehicle. Don’t crank these down quite yet because you may want to aim the lights once you get everything else installed. I got them snug-tight so they wouldn’t move without some pressure. This will help the final tighten because there isn’t a lot of room to tighten the hardware after the lights are installed. Install the lights to the brackets with one bolt on each side. Again, I installed the hardware so it was snug-tight.
Step 4. Run Wire Harness from Engine to Cabin
Fishing the wire harness through the firewall was the most difficult part of this entire installation. I already had one set of wires running through the center of the small accessory grommet in the firewall. Since those wires were already in place, I tried to add an additional hole in the grommet for the new harness but ended up slicing through the edge. I made enough room for the new wires but it looks pretty crappy. The trick to find the wire harness in the cabin is to push as much of the wire harness as you can into the cabin from the engine compartment. Also, the more wire harness you get into the cabin, the less you will have to tie down in the engine compartment.
After the install, I ordered some new grommets to try and seal the firewall access hole a little better. If that doesn’t work, I may use some marine-grade sealant to help keep any water out. It seems to me that the best course of action would be to run both wire sets through at the same time. I should have removed the wires I already had running through the grommet and cut out the nub in the center of the grommet. Then, I could have run both sets of wires through the center of the grommet and into the cabin. I would certainly like to know if anyone has any other tricks to adding a wire harness to a grommet that already has wires through it.
Step 5. Loosen Plastic Switch Trim & Remove Blank Switch
This video shows you how to loosen the switch trim. I relocated the inverter power supply switch up next to my dash brightness dial so that my lightbar switch would be next to my ditch light switch.
Step 6. Connect Wire Harness to Switch & Install Switch
Cali Raised LED has a great video for this part. I followed along and it worked out well. I did shorten the factory harness wire length. There was a lot of excess wiring and I cut off about an extra 12 inches of wire. The key component for connecting the wire harness to the switch is both reds to blue, black to black, and green to white. I used heat-shrink butt connectors even though the connections were in the cabin where water shouldn’t be an issue. I think it just helps keep a tight connection and would be less prone to loosen over time. Once the wiring was all done, I placed the switch into the switch trim piece and pressed it all back into place.
Step 7. Connect Wire Harness to Battery and Lights
I mounted my relay on the ground connection right next to the battery. Then I connected my wire harness connectors to the light connectors and wire harness to the batteries.
Step 8. Aiming Lights & Final Steps
Once everything was connected and tested, I aimed the lights while looking at a wall. I tried to get the lights to line up vertically and tried to keep the beam pointed as straightforward as possible. I wanted as much light as I could get pointed forward because my ditch lights are already angled off to the side. Once this was done, I did my final tightening on all the lightbar hardware.
Finally, I used plenty of zip ties to bundle up the remaining wire harness and attach it to components around the engine compartment so there weren’t any loose wires.
Final Thoughts and First Impressions
The install took me a bit longer than advertised but that was my own doing. It took me the longest amount of time to run the wire harness and to connect the wire harness to a factory-style switch. I think it would be a great upgrade for a beginner. So far, these lights are exactly what I wanted. Not only do they supplement my stock headlights well, but they are also hidden which helps keep a nice stock grille appearance. Also, the amber color seems to match up nicely with my KC ditch lights. I am happy I spent the extra time to wire in the Cali Raised LED switch. The interior switch panel looks really clean. The next upgrade I would like to do is upgrade my stock fogs to the Diode Dynamics amber fog lights. I think it will make the front of my 4Runner real purdy.
On a related side note, I wanted to mention that I had a good experience with Diode Dynamics’ customer service. Initially, I was sent a Ford Ranger lightbar kit instead of the 4Runner lightbar kit. A five-minute phone call with customer service was all I needed to get the replacement sent out with a return label for the product I had. Customer service was apologetic and took care of the issue right away. I think it is worth mentioning good customer service from a company because I know I have stopped using other companies’ products or didn’t even try a companies’ products solely based on bad customer service reviews.