Lexus GX470 - Ditch Lights Install

Ditch Lights

I installed ditch lights in my GX today, it took about 3 hours and $250.

Parts Bought

Ditch Lights

At the time of purchase, Rago Fabrication was having a sale. I bought the ditch brackets and Baja Squadron Sport pods with wiring harness for $235. You could do this install with any set of LED pods, but you’ll have to make your own wiring harness (with a fuse). The Rago mounts are great, so definitely use those.

Alright, here’s how to do it. First, install the brackets from Rago. This was a required first for me, since my brackets got here five days before my lights and wiring harness. I followed this video to install the brackets, just take 1 bolt out at a time to make the hood not move.

Next, put the lights on the brackets, follow the instructions there.

Then, take apart all the plastic in your engine, if you still have it. The plastic that is. I hope you still have the engine. I took off the engine cover in order to remove the very back plastic piece that was hiding some wiring.

Ditch Lights

Ditch Lights

Lay your wiring harness in place, you can even hook it up. You can take the red to the positive terminal and black to the negative terminal of your battery to test the harness and lights, just make sure the switch is one.

Now here comes what I thought was the hardest part - getting part of the wiring harness through the firewall. I decided to use the Add a Circuit Tap, so I don’t plug directly in to the battery (which is possible). The part of the harness that connects to the splitter that plugs both lights in, I fed that part through the firewall from the cabin.

To do that, I cut a hole in the rubber nipple (where you see the white coat hanger in the pictures below) in the engine compartment on the firewall grommet thing. This is made for wiring expansions anyways. Then, under the drivers seat, push the wiring up through the hole that leads to the engine compartment. I found it MUCH easier to remove the plug (leaving just wiring and connections) and to tape those wires to a wire hanger that had already been pushed through the firewall.

Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights

Alright, got that done? Sweet. Bet it took a minute. Now you can make sure everything works. Plug in the lights to the harnesses, the black to a ground, and the red to power. I pulled back the plastic by the drivers left footwell to use a ground bolt there, you can see in the top left of the picture below. Then I used the Add a Circuit Tap to tap the 30A drivers power seat fuse, which is in the small fuse box under the steering wheel. The switch should turn on the lights, and when the lights are on the switch should light up red.

To hook up the included harness to the Add a Circuit Tap, snip the end off the end of the red wire that was included, expose some of the copper using wire cutters, then push that wire into the end of the tap. Crimp the connection using some elbow grease and pliers. Pull the 30A from the drivers power seat slot and put it in the closer spot to the connector. Add another fuse in the next slot, this is the fuse for your ditch lights.

Ditch Lights

Ditch Lights Ditch Lights

For your switch in the cabin, I had to remove the wiring for it to sit snug in its newly drilled hole. To do this, unplug all the wires (remember where they are), then run the wires up from the back of the hole. Then plug those wires back into the switch, out of the plastic, then you can put the switch where the hole is. I made my hole a little bit too big, so you can use tape or velcro or caulk or basically anything to make it a little more snug.

Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights

What a terrible hole.

Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights

Finally, just make everything pretty. I ran the interior wiring behind the plastic footwell. In the engine compartment, I ran the wiring for each light under the plastic piece by the windshield, so very little of the wiring is exposed. This was a little difficult to do, but looks a lot better. I also used zip ties to keep the new electrical running next to the old electrical, and behind that plastic panel I mentioned earlier. Reassemble your engine plastic pieces, close up the interior pieces, you’ve got some bright lights!

Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights Ditch Lights

The reason my install took so long was because I broke the connectors when I was putting the switch back together inside the hole, and had to crimp some new ends. Also I blew a fuse when testing. Then again, it’s electrical in a car. Have you ever done a electrical project in your car and NOT blown a fuse. Me either. The nice thing about the Add a Circuit Tap that I linked is that it comes with lots of extra fuses, so I just replaced it with a 5A fuse of the same size.

As far as the products, the Rago mounts fit perfect. You can have the hood opened or closed and the lights never touch your windshield. Some videos I saw complain about the wiring harness being too short, but it was long enough for my GX. The lights seem great so far, SUPER bright.

Ditch Lights Ditch Lights

If I were to make this nicer, what I would have done is buy a new plate that converts your existing switch panel to have one extra blank from SBE Precision Products, and a new Toyota OEM looking ditch light switch. That would have added $70 to my install just for a nicer looking switch, so I didn’t. If you go that route, here is a good video on how to do the wiring - it is a little bit different but your switch is backlit, which is fancy.

Written on October 21, 2019

Other Posts

School Paint Colors | renovations | December 1, 2020

Mazda Miata - Infotainment Tweaks | cars | November 19, 2020

Lexus GX470 - Rhino Lined Roof Rack | cars | November 15, 2020

Mazda Miata - Sound Tube Delete | cars | November 14, 2020

Mazda Miata - LEDs | cars | November 13, 2020

How to Drive Cool Cars on a Budget | cars | November 11, 2020

Suzuki Cappuccino - Spark Plug Replacement | cars | October 16, 2020

Pixel 4a Case Mod | tech | September 15, 2020

Suzuki Cappuccino - Fix Second Gear | cars | September 11, 2020

Pixel 4a on Visible Wireless | tech | September 4, 2020

Suzuki Cappuccino - Reverse LED Light Bar | cars | August 16, 2020

Lexus GX470 - Reset Maint Reqd Light | cars | August 4, 2020

Suzuki Cappuccino - Interpreting the Japanese License Plate | cars | July 21, 2020

Suzuki Cappuccino - Exterior LEDs | cars | July 13, 2020

Suzuki Cappuccino - Oil Change | cars | July 11, 2020

Honda S2000 - 25mm Rear Spacers | cars | June 9, 2020

Recipe - Keto Canned Tuna Poke Bowl | etc | May 16, 2020

Recipe - Keto Canned Tuna Ceviche | etc | May 16, 2020

Lexus GX470 - Paint New Rims! | cars | May 12, 2020

Garage Storage Solutions | renovations | May 3, 2020

Architecture of Money | finance | April 24, 2020

Honda S2000 - Exterior LED Swap | cars | January 15, 2020

myChevrolet Android App Vulnerabilities | tech | January 10, 2020

Kitchen Remodel | renovations | December 10, 2019

Honda S2000 - Interior LED Swap | cars | November 12, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Running Board Removal | cars | November 12, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Rear Door Table | cars | November 12, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Tinting the Fog Lights | cars | October 25, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Ditch Lights Install | cars | October 21, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Blackout All Chrome | cars | October 16, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Change Heated Seat Bulbs | cars | October 16, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Radar Detector Hardwire | cars | October 7, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Custom Webbing Dog Divider | cars | August 9, 2019

C7 Corvette - Format an Audio USB from a Mac | cars | July 29, 2019

How To Save Money on Large Purchases | finance | July 18, 2019

Recipe - Keto Chocolate Milkshake | etc | July 12, 2019

Pros and Cons of Working From Home | etc | July 10, 2019

Honeymoon in Costa Rica | etc | June 18, 2019

Keto Recipe Collection | etc | June 17, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Plasti Dip Grill | cars | May 7, 2019

My Georgia Tech OMSCS Experience So Far | tech | April 22, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Android Headunit and Backup Camera Install | cars | March 7, 2019

My Turo Claim Horror Story | cars | February 21, 2019

Lexus GX470 - New Keys | cars | February 7, 2019

Lexus GX470 - Cleaning Headlights and Other Improvements | cars | January 28, 2019

Lexus GX470 - LED Exterior Lights | cars | January 15, 2019

Final Bedroom Remodel | renovations | January 4, 2019

2019 Goals | finance | January 2, 2019

2018 Goals Revisited | finance | January 1, 2019

Lexus GX470 - LED Interior Lights | cars | December 13, 2018

Front Door Remodel | renovations | October 17, 2018

Recipe - Keto Cookie Dough Balls | etc | September 13, 2018

Using Rakuten for More Cash Back | finance | September 12, 2018

Vanity Drains Replaced with Pop Up Drains | renovations | September 10, 2018

Matching Your Net Worth with Your Lifetime Earnings | finance | August 10, 2018

Simple Guide to Raising Your Credit Score | finance | July 26, 2018

Recipe - Pepper Steak | etc | July 12, 2018

Recipe - Shrimp and Sausage Cajun Bowl | etc | July 12, 2018

Cost of a Dog, Itemized | finance | June 25, 2018

Citrus Paint Colors | renovations | June 25, 2018

Optimize Everything | finance | May 25, 2018

Calculating My Savings Rate | finance | May 22, 2018

Hallway Bookshelves | renovations | May 22, 2018

Fiat 500 - Steering Column Fix | cars | May 21, 2018

Pool Enclosure Replacement | renovations | May 16, 2018

$500 Weekend Bathroom Remodel | renovations | April 30, 2018

C7 Corvette - Grill Mod | cars | April 19, 2018

High Interest Checking Account | finance | April 18, 2018

Don't Get Overinvested in Your Employer | finance | April 16, 2018

Robinhood - Buying Stocks with no Fees | finance | April 12, 2018 Tech Stack Details | tech | April 11, 2018

Personal Capital - Finance Aggregator | finance | April 4, 2018

Rent Other Peoples Cars with Turo | cars | April 3, 2018