LED Reverse Lights – Second Gen 92-95 4Runner
If you drive a 4runner, especially the 90’s models, you know how terrible the reverse lights are. Its a pain to back up especially in the pitch-black off-road country. There are a lot of products out there to improve visibility, but nothing really put the lumen output we wanted to see, so we decided to build our own! This blog is a step by step guide to what we did to make our own custom LED reverse lights that fit our 93 Runner. If you read our post on on the 91 4Runner, you’ll notice this later body style was very different. Therefore, we made a separate post with DIY instructions.
STEP 1 – Cut the Plastic Crap
Unfortunately, we did not find an LED aftermarket lamp that was efficient enough to put out the light we were looking for. After we removed one of the fixtures, you’ll notice the socket for the lamp is very small.. We took a dremel and used a grinding wheel and cut out the plastic housing. You may notice little sparks from the thin wires in the plastic. These serve no electrical purpose.
Take the opportunity to clean your plastic lens and make them a bit more polished for your new LED lights 🙂
You can purchase a kit if you like, but the modifications are still required to the housing and I havent tested its actual light output of these… but save a few steps if you want and order this if you dont feel comfortable soldering. Skip to step 3 if you purchase them.
STEP 2 – Prepare the LED’s
Just as we did with our last LED mod, we superglued two LED panels together with some junk plastic to bridge the two.
In our last build, we build our own, but since then, we purchased some Wedge’s with wire leads on them. They work great and save a lot of time for this build.
We took two small pieces of electrical wire and created a jumper, connecting the positive and negatives together of both led panels. We simply soldered them on the pins to ensure a solid connection. Be careful soldering as you can overheat the pins and actually de-soulder them from the panel.
STEP 3 – TEST IT!
When it looks like this, trim off your electrical posts so they dont stick out.
Here you can see the test fitting… worked first try! The brightness is easy to see even in daylight too.
STEP 4 – Weatherizing
Now that it works, we wanted to weatherize the led a little. Many of you may think we need more then what we did below. To weatherize the entire LED Panels and not damage the light output or put chemicals that would erode the LED’s was our concern. Plasti-Dip is one option for coating, but is expensive and latex based. We’re currently looking for a silicon based coating to use for the front of the LED’s but Plasti-Dip also makes a liquid DIP. If you wanted, hot glue would work fine.
I took some hot-glue and went nuts coating all the circuitry and connectors. It doubles has shock absorbers and strain relief making sure none of our connections break loose.
We simply put a dab of hot glue on the front LEDs and pressed them onto the lens. This seemed to work for now… we’ll see how it holds up. My other alternative is clear 3M double-sided tape.
Here it is mounted
BEFORE AND AFTER
The photos below show the lumen output of my custom LED on the left, and the aftermarket LED on the right. The difference is crazy!
Notice its still daylight out? The break lights are still OEM Lamps.
Thanks for reading guys. We’ll keep the posts updated as we modify or come up with improvements. 🙂 support Project4Runner by sharing this post and subscribing to your favorite social channel.