Introducing The Morimoto 4Banger Light Pods – A Serious Contender With Top-Tier Output

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Introducing The Morimoto 4Banger Light Pods – A Serious Contender With Top-Tier Output: Install & First Impressions

Morimoto is a name that almost everyone knows in the automotive lighting industry.

Some would even say that they’re the gold standard. After cranking out top-notch headlights and taillights for years, they’ve now decided to get into the offroad lighting game. Enter the Morimoto 4Banger light pods, available with various mounting options ranging from fog light pocket kits to A-pillar mounts.

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What Are The 4Banger Lights?

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Product

What sets the 4Bangers apart from its competition is Morimoto’s attention to vehicle-specific design and light output performance in a smaller package. On that note, the actual product packaging is the coolest I’ve ever seen (less the Jeep, kidding).

For A-pillar (ditch light) applications, Morimoto makes vehicle-specific mounting brackets for the absolute best installation experience. They don’t just give you a universal mount and force you to make it work. The same goes for the fog light pocket kits; which ensure that you maintain a factory look, with aftermarket performance.

Regardless of the application that you choose to use these for, Morimoto strived to create a light that has a smaller physical footprint than its competitors, without sacrificing output. You’ll notice that although they’re called “4Bangers”, they only have 3 LEDs. This was done intentionally, to signify that they can stand up to, and possibly even beat the typical 4 LED pod lights that you’ve seen.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the HXB model in white, with a wide beam pattern mounted on the A-pillar as ditch lights.

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NCS Vs. HXB

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Upon choosing the 4Banger lights, you’ll notice that they come in quite a few options. The first main difference is NCS vs. HXB models. In a nutshell, the NCS model is the more budget-friendly, SAE/DOT compliant model regardless of its application. If being able to run these as a street-legal fog light is a must for you, get these. The HXB model has higher output, is only SAE/DOT compliant when mounted as fog lights, and costs considerably more. If you want maximum performance off-road, however, these are for you.

The NCS model uses less powerful, but still, high-quality Nichia LED chips, while the HXB uses the more powerful Osram LED chips. Something to consider if you’re planning on getting the yellow color is that the Nichia LED chips themselves are available in yellow, vs the Osram LED chip that only comes in white. This means that the yellow HXB model is actually a white LED going through a yellow lens, and loses about 30% of its light output in the process. Because of this, I would argue that if you’re planning on running yellow, get the NCS model.

The last consideration is which beam pattern you want. The 3 options available are spot, wide, and combo:

  • Spot: Narrow light field of view, with a long throw to see further down the road.
  • Wide: Widest light field of view, with a shorter throw to see more to the sides of the road.
  • Combo: A combination of the two-beam patterns above, and is considered a hybrid that sits in between.

What’s Included

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Full Kit

What I like about the Morimoto 4Banger light kit is that almost everything is a la carte. You can buy just the lights themselves, or add on Morimoto’s own vehicle-specific hardware such as fog light pocket kits, A-pillar brackets, and even their in-house designed power hardness and relay.

If you’re planning on running these as ditch lights, I would highly recommend using Morimoto’s own wire harnesses, brackets, and universal mount for the best fit and installation experience.

When you purchase the optional relay wire harness and switch, it also comes with extensions to run power to the passenger side. This allows you to choose how much wire you need for your application. The switch kit also comes with a bare wire end that can be used to connect to your own accessory switch if you have one.

Installation

Tools Needed:

  • 17mm Wrench
  • 10mm & 12mm Socket + Ratchet
  • Flathead Screwdriver or T30 Torx Bit
  • Masking Tape
  • Sharpie
  • Drill w/ 5/16 Drill Bit (Optional)

Step 1. Use Tape + Sharpie To Mark Factory Hood Alignment

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Mark Hood 2

Place tape over the gap where the hood mount meets the hood. Use a sharpie to draw a vertical line and cut the tape over the gap. This will help you re-install the hood at the end to its original position.

Step 2. Install A-Pillar Bracket

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Install Bracket

This step is a little easier with two sets of hands. However, I managed to install these on my own. I recommend placing some type of blanket between the rear edge of the hood and your windshield just to be safe.

Use a 12mm socket to remove the 2 bolts holding the hood in place. The hood will want to shift slightly, so keep one hand on it when you remove the second bolt. Place the new bracket over the hood mount and reinstall the 2 bolts. These can be tightened after the brackets are aligned to your preference.

Step 3. Assemble 4Banger Pod & U-Bracket

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Assemle

First, insert the supplied carriage bolt facing down through the U-bracket. The light pod will then install via 2 small screws that are provided. These are Torx T37 screws, but I didn’t have that available, so a flathead screwdriver worked just fine.

Do not tighten these down all the way just yet as you’ll want to aim the lights after installation is complete.

Step 4. Install 4Banger On A-Pillar Bracket

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Secure Nut

Align the carriage bolt from the U-bracket with the mounting hole on the A-pillar bracket. From the underside, install the washer and nylon locking nut with a 17mm wrench. I found that a socket + ratchet would not clear the space between the nut and hood.

Step 5. Connect Wire Harness

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Connect Wire Harness

The Morimoto wire relay & harness come as one bundle. There are two connections labeled “Light 1” and “Light 2” which is irrelevant to the side they’re connected to as they are identical. They are both equal in length, and you’ll need to use the included wire harness extension to connect the passenger-side light.

Step 6. Route Wire Harness

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Route Wire Harness 3

There is a small gap under the plastic gutter where the wires can be routed through. Pull the gutter up slightly on each side and tuck the wires through.

Step 7. Install Harness Relay

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Mount Relay

The harness relay can be installed in two ways. You can either use zip ties to secure it or if you have a screw that happens to fit in this factory drilled hole, you can mount the relay here. I happened to find a screw that fit but unfortunately can’t tell you the specific size. I also needed to drill out the hole in the relay mount to fit the screw and used a 5/16″ drill bit.

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Mount Relay

Regardless of how you decide to mount the relay, be sure to mount it with the metal tab facing up.

Step 8. Route Light Switch

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Route Wire 2

Disconnect the Morimoto light switch from the wire harness by unscrewing the plastic connector.

There is a small factory grommet that covers a hole through the firewall. Remove the rubber grommet to reveal it. The light switch connector fits through this hold exactly.

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Route Wire 3

Route as much wire through the firewall hole as needed until you can see it from inside the footwell on the other side.

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Route Wire

Once the wire has been routed, insert the attached rubber grommet on the engine bay side into the hole that the wire was routed through. Morimoto suggested using a step drill bit to make the hole larger to make this step easier, however, I was able to install it without any drilling.

Step 9. Connect Power

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Connect Power

Install the positive (red) connector to the positive battery terminal first, then the negative (black) connector to the negative terminal.

Step 10. Reconnect Morimoto Switch & Test The Lights

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Light Switch

Re-attach the Morimoto light switch to the wire that was routed through the firewall. Test to make sure the 4Bangers power on and off as expected.

Step 11. Aim Lights

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Product

Close the hood and aim the lights as desired and use the 17mm wrench to fully tighten the nylon locking nut. Since the wide beam pattern has a clean cutoff similar to my factory LED low beams, I decided to aim that so that both beam cutoffs were identical.

Step 12. Mount Light Switch

Morimoto_4Banger_Ditch_Light_5th_Gen-4Runner Light Switch 2

This step is entirely up to you as the switch can pretty much be mounted wherever you’d like. I haven’t yet decided on a final spot for mine.

Final Thoughts

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As mentioned above, the Morimoto 4Banger model I installed is the HXB in white color and has a wide beam pattern. To say that these are bright is a huge understatement. I would argue that they are even brighter than my factory LED low beams, which are no slouch. Being the much brighter HXB model, they are obviously not SAE/DOT compliant when mounted as ditch lights. However, I’m not sure anyone would run ditch lights driving on road anyways. Keep in mind that if you run the HXB model as fog lights, they are SAE/DOT compliant.

I’m a big fan of the clean light cut-off that the wide beam pattern has. When aimed to the same level as my low beams, the light transition is seamless when looking from the driver’s seat.

I’ll admit that prior to installing these, I never had the urge to run a ditch light setup. Now that they’re installed and I’ve seen how they perform and match my factory LEDs almost perfectly, I may consider myself a convert. I would highly recommend the Morimoto 4Banger to anyone looking to add to their offroad lighting set-up!

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