Headlight Upgrades for Hilux/4Runner

Submitted: Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 11:33
ThreadID: 21018 Views:12734 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
This Thread has been Archived
Has anyone installed headlight upgrades to replace their sealed beams on their Hilux? Is it worth it? Any particular brand of upgrade?
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: banjodog - Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 12:06

Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 12:06
For what it's worth, I have replaced the glass sealed beams in the '84 Hilux with polycarbonate ones from Autobarn. They were $35 each last year. The new bulbs I used were 60w/55w Philips +50 - on special at $29.

They have made a huge difference to the output. However, I also made my own HD wirinig loom using 20amp wire to maintain constant voltage to keep the lights white but that was probably not necessary.
AnswerID: 101425

Reply By: ianmc - Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 16:17

Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 16:17
I replaced the original rectangular lights on my Triton with Cibies that fit the same hole then put some of that clear self adhesive plastic over them for protection from stones. Used the same globes but got better shaped beam & light.
Could go further with better wiring & higher power globes I guess.
AnswerID: 101451

Reply By: floyd - Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 16:37

Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 16:37
did an upgrade on my current model SR5 with IPF kit. It came with new lights, globes, relays and wiring loom. It is 100% improvement on the original equipment. Also $hits all over my 2001 Troopy. I will probably do that one as well.
AnswerID: 101453

Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 17:54

Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 17:54
I've got the IPF upgrade kit including the upgrade loom and a coupla IPF spots, more light than I know what to do with.
AnswerID: 101466

Reply By: Tuco - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 22:15

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2005 at 22:15
We have a 95 Surf (same as 4Runner) - and the lights were pathetic. Traced the problem to poor factory wiring. I have made my own heavy duty loom and the difference in light is amazing.
Before you dish out on fancy bulbs or replacement headlights - upgrade the wiring.
ARB and also Piranha both have good headlight upgrade looms if you cant make up yourself.

AnswerID: 101845

Follow Up By: will21 - Thursday, Mar 10, 2005 at 08:08

Thursday, Mar 10, 2005 at 08:08
When you say you replaced the wiring loom is that from the relay foward or new relay and all, I'm not that familiar with the wiring/switching setup.
FollowupID: 359725

Follow Up By: Tuco - Thursday, Mar 10, 2005 at 23:44

Thursday, Mar 10, 2005 at 23:44
Will - unless you are competent electricaly - forget about doing it yourself. Toyota (and also a few other japanese manufacturers) use earth switching on their headlights. This can make for some interesting situations when making a heavy duty headlight loom. I found out the hard way and was totally confused at the way it all worked. I blew a few bulbs literally - exploded inside the light - made a hell of a mess and was difficult to remove and clean inside the semi - sealed lights. Earth switching was the cause of my problems - if you arent aware of it you end up with BOTH high and low coming on when high beam is selected. This causes a lot of heat and exploding QH bulbs!
On the original Toyota wiring - the small high beam indicator on the dash is earthed through the low beam circuit. Because there is no relay on that circuit - it wont allow sufficient current to pass to energise the low beams. However once yo put a couple of relays in the system - the indicator light will pass enough current to trigger the low beam relay and then the low beam lights. So on high you end up with both low and high at the same time. Great lights - but the bulbs don't last long!

I overcame the problem by making a loom with 3 relays - the ARB and Piranha ones also use 3 relays.

If you are determined to have a go yourself - email me at tuco_ramirez@ziplip.com and i will send you a schematic of my conversion.

I have used the heaviest wire that will physicaly fit into the 3 pin sockets that plug onto the back of the bulb/sealed beam. My voltage loss at the light is now only 0.3V compared with over 3 V with the original wiring. The difference in light is amazing.

FollowupID: 359828

Follow Up By: will21 - Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 08:12

Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 08:12
Cheers Tuco
I was aware that the Hilux had earth switching, however I didn't know there was no realy in the low beam circuit. Could some improvement be achieved by upgrading the wiring in its standard configuration, even if this could only be done on the high beams (which do have a realy???)?

Sounds like it'll be easier and far cheaper to put on some driving lights.

Any experience with Narva wiring looms included with lights?
FollowupID: 359836

Follow Up By: Tuco - Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 10:48

Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 10:48
Will - upgrade the loom. If you dont - you will always have pathetic yellow underpowered low beam. Driving lights, by law, must only be switchable when high beam is engaged. Fitting driving lights will do nothing for your low beam lighting.

FollowupID: 359854

Reply By: drivesafe - Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 08:28

Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 08:28
Hi Will, if you are after better light from your standard factory fit headlights, then you would probably be better off doing a wire upgrade first.
If you just swap the globes you may find little improvement and have to do the wire upgrade anyway.
Toyota headlight wiring is a strange animal to work with but many of the Japanese ( and other ) vehicles are wired using earth switching.
If Tuco has the wiring diagram to suite you vehicle, take up the offer and do the wiring upgrade first. You then may find that the increase in light will be enough.
I upgraded my headlights with new globes and found that they made no noticeable difference.
One small point, if you do a wire upgrade, instead of worrying about the wire size that fits into the headlight socket. Simply cut the existing wire at the socket, leaving enough to put a standard 3 way automotive plug and socket on the wire and then you can use a much larger wire for the rest of the loom. I personally would not use anything smaller that 5 mm Automotive type wire.
Having thinner wire for a very short distance will have little to no affect on the final increase in voltage to the light globes if you have used heavier grade wire between the new plug and the battery ( via the relay ).
Don’t forget to use the heavy grade wire for both the negative and the positive wire going to the headlights.
By the way, it would, for over all better light, be better to fit driving lights as you suggested.
AnswerID: 102034

Follow Up By: drivesafe - Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 08:50

Friday, Mar 11, 2005 at 08:50
One more point I forgot to mention, upgrading your headlight/driving light wiring to the biggest feasible size, will not only increase the light power of your globes but it will also greatly extend the operating life of your globes.

So even if you only do your headlight wiring, it will have multiple benefits anyway.
FollowupID: 359838

Sponsored Links