You can spend some serious dosh on LED light bars and spot lights. I’m sure they’re excellent quality and deliver the experience that people want… but I’m not going too.
In this blog I’ll outline how I fitted the OSRAM LEDRIVING LIGHTBAR SX500-SP – SLIMLINE. Not only is it one hell of a mouthful but it’s also an unashamedly aesthetic mod and I still need some convincing it was a good idea. It cost £165.91 delivered from https://www.4x4ni.com and it arrived within 2 days, packaged well.
All the cool kids seem to be buying rigid lights and they do look the dogs B’s but their light bars were out of my budget for something I’ll rarely switch on. Maybe I’ll treat myself at some point in the future, I do like the idea of a reversing light, the dark windows make it hard to see where you’re going especially in the woods. Perhaps the reversing camera will be enough I’ve not had the chance to try it in the pitch black yet.
Where to mount it?
Like all of my little DIY installs on the Jimny, I’ve not done it before so I headed to Instagram and YouTube to look at other peoples advice.
The first step was deciding where to mount it. I initially assumed I’d mount it somewhere on the middle of the bumper here…
However, I couldn’t figure out a way of securely mounting it there. The plastic grille is held in with tiny metal clips and isn’t very strong to start with. I would need to make some sort of bracket, remove the bumper, fix the bracket to the crossmember etc. It’ll likely to look rather messy too. Additionally it would protrude out proud of the bumper and skid plate which might not look so good.
The second option was to mount it on top of the bumper. That would mean drilling holes in the new bumper and given how long it took me to get it that prospect was a bit of a concern. I didn’t want the added cost of installing a mounting bar that I’ve seen on other Jimnys, even though they offer a more reliable solution.
Truth be told I couldn’t be arsed to remove the front grille and bumper but was left with little choice and grabbed the drill.
Several hundred measurements and triple checks later I had the holes marked where I wanted the light bar. The heatsinks on the back of the LED do not touch the grille and it doesn’t block the airflow much in that position.
It looks messy but trust me it’s accurate either side.
Removing the grille to access the plastic clips that hold the bumper on was, as always, a joy. I only snapped one mounting clip this time… urgh. Instead of unscrewing the indicators to completely remove the grille, I taped it to the engine bay with some cardboard so it hung nicely out of the way.
The bumpers on the Gen 4 Jimny’s are easy to remove and soon after I was reminiscing the front bumper install day. It’s nice to see my amateur repair of the damage on the crossmember is holding up well. No rust forming!
Here’s a blurry picture after fixing the first light bar bracket onto the bumper, you can see the small hole of the other side ready for the next bracket.
To help secure the bracket I quickly made 2 flat plates that extend ~100mm across the underside of the bumper to act as massive washers. I considered spraying the light bar brackets black but after a short argument in my head I chose not too. The silver isn’t ugly once it’s all fitted properly.
It took a lot longer than I anticipated to get this part completed but I took my time to avoid any silly mistakes, especially while drilling the holes. Here’s the story I shared on Instagram.
The OSRAM light bar didn’t come with a wiring harness. This Eyourlife wiring harness (poor brand name choice if you ask me, don’t do drugs kids) was the one I ordered.
I’ll replace the rocker switch later with one from Stedi made specifically for the JB74. Their LED Light Bar switch is out of stock of at the time of writing this.
The process of wiring it up is straight forward as the harness is all pre configured so this saves a lot of hassle. I ensured good water tight connections and added heat shrinks where needed. It was just a case of shortening the wires, adding some connectors and zip tying the wires in place.
To feed the switch through into the car there’s a big rubber grommet on each side of the car. The wires feed through here to the back of the dashboard. Unwrap the tape and feed the wires through, remembering to tape it up again afterwards.
It’s hard to see but if you tape the wires to something rigid you can easily push wires through to the inside of the car as seen below. If you use the same harness I bought you will need to remove the rocker switch first.
Once the wires are fed through you can remove the plastic cover below the small panel of switches on the dashboard. It simply pops off when you carefully prise it from the top. For the time being I’ve just left the switch hanging until I get hold of the proper sized switch.
UPDATE: the Stedi JB74 switches arrived in stock and after some drama (I broke it ha) we have a new switch that fits.
The last step that I’ve got to do is see if I can solder on amber leds instead of the blue. I’ll update the article if I ever get around to trying it.
Update 2: I broke the stedi switch trying to change the LED backlight. Ended up buying a Toyota switch that had the correct colour and swapped over the Stedi casing. The casing is the closest match to the OEM switches, more so than the Toyota one.
That’s it done. Nice and neat. If not for having to remove the grille and bumper it’s a quick install with limited equipment required.
I’m uncertain if I would have preferred 2 smaller bars or spot lights but for now I’m reasonably happy with the end result. It’s certainly bright and I’m looking forward to seeing how well it lights up the woodlands on my next camp.
Maybe one day I’ll find myself in an off road night driving situation and be pleased I installed this 🙂
Cheers for reading this far.
P.s. None of the items were gifted and no paid reviews. Not that this article is much of a review anyway?