*This article was originally created by Samuel Wilkie. All the photos and content are authorized by Samuel. He is so professional, attentive, and detailed to share his installation process and tips with more guys. Many thanks to @icyhotahs for sharing such great content with us!👏👏👏
Lasfit continues to focus on making sure their product arrives beautifully. I think the mounts could've been packaged a little better, and will be reaching out to their representatives to let them know. My bracket package arrived damaged, and the brackets were scratched badly as a result. Again, they'll be hidden behind the grille, however, I definitely "rattle canned" the weak points to avoid rust.
Again, when compared to brands like Diode Dynamics, of which I have a lightbar I'm returning, the build comparison are very similar. I can see why many people argue that Lasfit may have copied DD. But at the price point and quality, I'm not too concerned.
When looking down the light side, you can see the board is precisely assigned and organized. The amber lens is thick and durable. With that kind of lens, I would be comfortable adding this to an exterior component like a bumper, roof rack, or hood.
I've added a few links to videos on how to remove the bumper to save time:
You can remove the air deflectors shown here or choose to modify them and reuse them back as I did.
If you remove the air deflectors, go to step 4.
When you remove the deflectors, keep in mind they're attached by two plastic clips to the frame. There's a hole in the brackets above where the light bar will attach. This is where you will add the spacer, bolt, and nut later in the installation. Mark on the deflector where you imagine the spacer going through the deflector and sticking to the frame.
Next, pull firmly but straight towards you. The rest isn't pretty; I wiggled, twisted, and pulled to get the deflector out. Be careful of the lines by the radiator. The spacers provided in the package push the bracket out about an inch. You'll need to cut a gap that is not only tall enough for the bracket, but also long enough so that you have played on both sides, and so the bracket doesn't rest against the deflector which will either make the bracket space smaller later or make it extremely difficult to add the deflectors back in.
I used painter's tape and a Dremel to cut the rectangles out. Next, cut the circle (1" or so, it doesn't have to be pretty or perfect) using a Dremel, drill, or box cutter (you savage!)
Attach the brackets so that they can still be adjusted with medium strength, especially if you're reattaching the air deflectors. If you're not adding the deflectors back, go to Step 6.
This is actually two 2 steps: first, slide the deflector over the bracket through the gap you created. If it feels tight at all, go back and cut a bigger hole. You won't want to remove it afterward. Next, reattach the deflector to the frame, keeping a close watch on the 2 clips that go into the frame. Be firm but careful.
First, Remove the nut in the picture above. You can let the bolt hang, but otherwise, just take it out so you know where it is. There aren't markings on the brackets; if you can't figure it out, remember, the slope should run closer to the back top to bottom. Using the provided hardware from the bumper install package, attach the spacer, bolt/washer, and nut with the bolt head facing inward.
For 4runner users, the power cord should be on your right. Gather the hardware you need (thumb bolt, washer, locking nut). Lift one side to the height you want. If you have TSS, the lowest setting is the only option. Attach the light bar, and then attach the other side. It may take extra pressure to get the bolt to catch; push hard!
Run the bar connection through the bracket and through the frame to the engine bay. Use painter's tape to tape it to the frame.
Disconnect the easy connection from the switch to the harness. Or, if you're using an aftermarket switch, snip the female end off completely and tape the wires together. You'll need to pierce the firewall. Check both sides (in the engine bay, and in the cabin) to find an area that wouldn't interfere with any existing wiring. Punch through with either a box cutter, prison shank, or large needle. I used the old "tape wires to the end of a coat hanger" method, and it took a couple of attempts to succeed.
**PRO TIP: If you use a large needle or something smaller, leave it in the hole you punch. It'll be a point of reference later on when you need to find the hole, and you can push the wiring in behind it. Pass the connector or taped wires through the firewall. Pull that wire through using needle nose pliers or a coat hanger taped to the end. Give yourself enough slack, there's tons of room in the harness (super helpful).
Pull the dash out using trim tools or bare hands. If using the supplied switch, route the female harness end as close as you want and either notch the dash to allow the wire to pass or just tape it to the dash and connect the male end. The switch has double sided tape! If using an aftermarket switch, pop out the blank switch you'll be replacing.
Based on the switch style, I knew I would want an OEM-style switch to control the lights, using the existing bank inside the 4runner's cabin. That meant I would have no need for the switch. I tossed the switch aside, knowing full well that the wiring harness would still have enough wire to reach the cabin. Seriously, buy the harness. It's cheaply priced and has tons of value.
Disconnect the battery using a 10mm wrench. Pop the dashboard loose. I usually just grab the plastic left of the steering wheel and the left side near the door. I press in on both sides and pull back fluidly. Find the blank switch on the panel you'll replace and squeeze the backside tabs to pop it loose towards you, not inward. Feed the wires through the switch hole you just created.
I didn't want the switch to be lit full time, so I opted to wire the switch as follows. Switch side is (S), (R) is relay:
Connect the harness pieces together.
Connect the relay ring terminals to the battery. If you have a sPod, connect that wiring now. Reconnect the battery entirely.
The lights shouldn't be on. The switch shouldn't be illuminated.
Press the switch. If the lights turn on, you're golden. If not, check all connections: relay to the battery, switch to relay. If the switch is illuminated full time, swap the accessory wire (usually white, blue, or green) for the red relay wire. Otherwise, use a voltmeter to check currents.
Tie up any cables in the cabin to static points. Pop the switch into the panel, and the panel to the dash. Mount the relay to a screw inside the engine bay, and tie up any loose cables.
If possible, turn the bar on and drive around your neighborhood at night. Test the bar's direction, and if an adjustment is needed, make them now.
I wish I had taken photos of the Diode Dynamics bar before removal, but I will tell you that the throw wasn't much of a difference to justify the price difference. The other point I want to make is that Lasfit has a pretty solid warranty for the price: 3 years. If you're not running night rides every time, at race speeds, you cannot overlook the pitch Lasfit is making.
There are many brands out in the market trying to get their share of the off-road community's growing population. Lasfit is no different. They have a great price point for their lightbars: just a bit cheaper than Diode Dynamics, and hundreds cheaper than Baja Designs. It's a great plug and play solution. They're great for a starting point, and frankly, I don't see why I would upgrade to anyone else.
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