Things you’ll need:
The switch(es) you’ll need depend upon the type of lights you’re installing (roof lights, driving lights, fog lights) and your functional needs. Our goal was to leave the interior of the FJ as stock looking as possible. We didn’t want to add non OEM switches, so we paid the extra price for an OEM Roof Light switch and created a custom wire harness for it. If you’d rather use non-OEM switches (and save money), there are plenty of other options available.
Although the harness that comes with your lights may include wiring, you’ll want to have some extra so you can route everything properly. Ensure you have a thick enough wire to handle the power you’re putting through it. Here are a couple of good resources:
Electrical Connectors, Protectors, etc.
We chose to solder & shrink wrap every connector outside the FJ or in the engine compartment. This is not absolutely necessary, but we don’t want things rattling loose or getting wet on the trail. We used plenty of small & medium shrink wrap, solder, zip ties, electrical tape, and black tubing to complete our install. You can find all of this at your local auto parts or electronics store. You may also need a drill and rubber grommets. We used these to run the wires from the roof into the interior.
You should also be very familiar with the interior of your FJ. You’ll be removing/disconnecting the A-pillar cover, the headliner, and the center console / switch panel (if your putting switches in the stock locations).
Before we began any installing, we mocked up all four lights with our OEM switch (with custom harness) and the relay / fuse assemblies. We wanted to make sure everything worked properly before disassembling the FJ.
First, disassemble the necessary components in the FJ. We removed the center console and pulled out the switch panel. We also removed the radio and pulled the front fascia off the A-pillar. The last thing was pulling the headliner down slightly. We chose not to remove the entire headliner since we had an electrical ‘fish’ tape to pull wire through a hole in the roof.
Next, figure out how all of your wiring is going to be routed. We routed the 2 sets of wires (4 total) from the WAAG roof rack through a hole drilled beneath the front left roof rack pad. Once inside the FJ, the wires routed around the airbag and down the A-pillar, down through the dash, and through the grommet in the firewall. A utility knife & metal wiring ‘fish’ came in very handy to get the wire bundle into the engine compartment.
Drilling a hole in the roof of the FJ is the most permanent thing I’ve ever done. We chose to put the hole under the front left roof rack pad so that it will be more protected from the elements. We started with a very small bit and worked our way up until we had about ½” hole that fit our grommet perfectly. We glued the grommet in and pulled the wires through. Keep in mind that none of the wiring is connected to anything at this point, so the hole won’t be sealed until later.
Once the wiring is pulled to where it’s needed, it’s time to start terminating. I suggest starting at the lights on the roof. We chose to solder all of our lights on the roof so they have the best connection and the cleanest install. We used two wires for one pair of lights (left pair & right pair). You’re install may differ depending on your power requirements. Each light was soldered to the appropriate wires then shrink wrapped and taped to ensure a watertight seal. After all the lights were soldered, we pulled the wiring tight and sealed the hole in the roof. We also added black wire loom to really make this a clean install.
We zip tied the wires to the existing wiring harness in the A-pillar to avoid unnecessary movement. We then buttoned up the A-pillar and headliner, the easy part was done. We decided to leave a small ‘service loop’ in the wiring in the engine compartment. If there are ever any issues with the wiring, we’ll have some extra to work with and won’t have to worry about splicing new wiring in.
We wired the fuse / +12v (Yellow) wire to an accessory tap on the main 12v line to the battery. The two negative grounds went to an existing connector on the vehicle, and the positive switch wire was routed back through the firewall into the interior. The other end of the switch wire was connected in the main engine compartment fuse box to the DRL fuse. This will ensure that the switch and lights will only come on when the DRL’s, low beam, or high beam lights are on. The lights cannot be accidentally turned on or left on when the engine isn’t running.
Wiring diagrams and colors will differ with every installation, so we won’t cover them here. There is plenty of great technical detail to be found online:
After all the wiring in the engine compartment was finalized, soldered, wrapped, and sealed, we rigged up the switch harness in the FJ. We managed to figure out which wires controlled the backlight, the green ‘on’ light, and the throw on the switch thanks to help from the resources above. It was a little bit of trial and error, but everything managed to work out great. We snapped the switch into the panel and buttoned up the rest of the interior.
After a total of about 5 hours of shop time, all four LightForce 170 lights were working perfectly. It took a few more minutes to adjust & tighten the lights, and we were ready to go! For details on how these lights perform, read the Offroad Lights Comparison on page 6. If you have the time & experience, a do-it-yourself offroad light install is a great way to spend a Saturday.