As many know, the ARB bumper is one of the stoutest bumpers offered for many of our Toyota rigs and they take great pride in their design. Since 2009, I’ve been running an ARB on my 2006 Tacoma. Since the original purchase, I have recently upgraded to the newer version that included the fog lights. Within the first year, I noticed a sub-par light output and had a lens fall off on one of the fog lights. It didn’t take long for me to get the itch to get a better option in there, so I retro-fit a set of LED projector fog lights to fit in my ARB. Light output was amazing, but I was never 100% satisfied with the look as it was not a perfect fit within the housing.
Along comes the LabRak insert upgrade. One look at the kit makes you think, “man, that’s a clean looking option to upgrade my ARB fogs”. The fit and finish looks factory, and the lighting options are almost endless as it will fit most flush mounted LED pods on the market.
However, there are some drawbacks immediately noticed with the kit. First thing that will get your attention is the price tag on the kit. With a base price of $330 (currently available on their website at a discounted price of $264), the sticker shock can turn many off of this option. The second drawback I’ve seen with the design, is the inability to aim the fog lights. The flush mounted LED pods are bolted in, and with most LED pods, the light output will project fairly high in front of you. Add some washers to the upper mounting bolts, and you could tilt the output down slightly. With the proper LED pod, you can mitigate this issue, however, the LED pod offered is not one of them. So we would recommend amber/yellow film to cover the LED pod if you plan on running these on the road for the sake of oncoming traffic.
On to the biggest surprise to me with this kit, the installation. Seeing the bolts as the mounting solution, I was dreading drilling into the bumper to get these installed, however, this was not the case. The LabRak design uses a bolt, washer and nut combination to clamp the insert onto the bumper, similar to the ARB factory insert.
Using a screwdriver, the ARB factory inserts come out very easily by removing 3-4 of the screws used to clamp the insert on the bumper. You can remove all of the screws, but the inserts will typically come out after 3-4 of the clamps taken off.
With the old fog light insert out, you will notice the recesses around the cut out where the bolts will sit into. The LabRak insert is designed to utilize these recesses in their mounting solution. At this point, it would be time for your wiring of the marker lights and fog lights. There are many options at this point on how to wire in your LabRak setup, so get creative and come up with an option that works best for what you’re looking for. I chose not to hook up the marker lights and to run my fogs through my existing fog light wiring setup. To tie into my existing wiring configuration, I only had to splice in some connectors and mate the lights to the existing wires. The marker lights can connect in a variety of ways to your turn signal and/or factory marker lights depending on the functionality you wish to achieve.
In looking at the installation as a whole process, the wiring component is the most time consuming and technical portion of the installation. With the wiring ready to go, the installation at this point consists of inserting and tightening the 10 total bolts that will hold in both inserts. As you are tightening down the inserts, keep an eye on where the washers are resting on the backside to ensure a proper fit. Last steps are connecting the electrical configuration in the back and enjoy your new look!
For more information on the LabRak ARB Bumper Fog Light Assembly Upgrade, swing by LabRak’s online store. MSRP $330 (add $110 for optional LED Pods and $30 for wiring harness).
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Fall 2015 issue:
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