Installing Hella 500 Driving Lights
Vehicle: 1998 4Runner
Hella 500 Driving Lights (Complete kit)
Toyota Fog Light switch (optional but highly recommended; part #00500-35976)
Tools & Supplies
Cordless/power drill with bits
Heat shrink tubing or electrical tape
Female blade connectors
Soldering Iron and solder
Dremel with sanding drum
Self-tapping stainless steel screws
I am providing this write up for illustrative purposes only.
Perform at your own risk. Any mods (including this one) you perform on your
vehicle is your responsibility. Commercial use of this write up will result
in legal action as well as the undying scorn from members of the online
Toyota 4Runner community. You've been warned.
I belatedly decided to buy these Hella 500 driving lights after driving
through some mountain roads which revealed that the stock headlights were
lacking in long range lighting ability. Having read that other people
really liked their Hellas, PIAAs, etc, I decided to bite the bullet and
get a set. Fortunately, the Hella 500s are extremely affordable whose
price is around $70 to $80 at the time of this writing. I got mine cheaper
from eBay. :)
Step 1: Understanding the Wiring Options
The supplied Hella 500 instructions in the box are just pure crap. However
on the Hella website, they do have a much better, clearer version. I took
that version and colorized it for even more visual clarity. In fact, I made
two versions :) For the Hella 500 light series, there are four wiring options
that rely on where you wire up the green wire coming from the relay. Where
you hook up that green wire will determine under what circumstances your
lights will be able turn on. These options are:
1) Green wire to high beam wire: driving lights can only be used when the
high beams are active
2) Green wire to parking lamp wire: driving lights can be used anytime the
parking lamps are active
3) Green wire to low beam wire: fog lights can only be used when the low
beams are active
4) Green wire to auxiliary fuse box: driving lights can be used at anytime
1 applies to options 1 through 3 (above). Diagram
2 deals with option 4.
my Hella 500 driving light installation, I chose option 4 and thus, this
entire write up deals with wiring the lights and powering the relay up
to my auxiliary fuse box. Option 4 may not be legal in your area, so please
make sure you are in compliance with your city and state's ordinances.
Also, please take note the following: I do NOT know what color your high
beam, low beam or parking lamp wires are! They will depend on your vehicle
year, make and model. So please do not email me any questions about that
and if you do, I will respond to your question with a pic of a fat naked
lady. You've been warned!
Find the blue
wire from your kit and plug it into the empty male connector. Thread the
bare end through the 4 hole rubber grommet. You may need a nail to puncture
the hole. Next, thread one of the bare ends of the double black wire through
the grommet. Crimp on a female blade connector and connect it to the white
wire with the male connector. Repeat for the other light assembly. After
completing both, force each of the grommets into the back of the black housing
until you have a good seal. Place the black housings onto the lights and
then screw down and secure the lights.
Step 2: Preparing the Lights
Begin by removing the supplied cover off and then removing the single
philips head screw from the bottom of the black housing. Of note, this
screw has a very soft head, so turn with gentle force. After removing
the screws, remove the black housing, put the black housing aside, and
then flip the light onto a towel.
screw (S) and fold back black retainer piece
white wire (B) to black wire and male connector (G) to blue ground
wire. Screw (S) is shown
Step 3: Measuring the Light Positions
I took a measurement of part of the lower valence and divided by two to
get the true center. I marked the position and then used the level's plumb
to draw a straight line up the bumper. I then drew a line on the upper
part of the bumper. Using the tape measurer, I measured about 2 inches
forward and drew a "cross". This served as my midpoint on the
top of my bumper.
width of lower valence part (H) and divide by 2 to get center point.
Draw vertical line (V) using a level. Extend line up onto top part
instructions below to get an accurate distance from point to point.
lights themselves, I put them up on the bumper to visually get a rough
idea where I wanted to mount them. After figuring out approxmately where
I wanted to mount it, I took the bottom bracket, put it against the front
edge of the grill and then marked a "dot" on the front edge
of the bottom bracket. From there, I took the bracket, centered the bracket's
hole on the dot and then drew a cross. I then measured the distance from
my center point and to this new light position and then used the length
to triangulate the exact position of the other light. For reference, my
lights are centered 10.5 inches from center.
but it was very simple to readjust the position if you follow the process.
Step 4: Drilling and Mounting the Lights
It's definitely worth it to use or borrow a corded drill for this job.
Begin by center punching your light's location. This will allow your drill
bit not to wander when you first start drilling. Next, place some tapping
oil on the drill bit itself as well as a little on the hole position.
Drill at high speed until your first pilot hole goes through. Increase
the drill bit sizes and keep drilling until you drill a 10mm hole (13/32")
for each side. Clean the shavings off and if you live in a rust belt state,
make sure you protect the exposed holes with some type of sealant or paint.
pic of my new toy. Makita power tools rock! :)
is how large a 10mm (13/32") hole looks like
all the bolts, lock washers and nuts onto the lights and then tighten
them down to the point werhe its sorta tight but not loose. Place the
lights into the holes and then fasten them from the bottom with the supplied
lock washers and nuts. Run the dual black wire under your grill and into
the engine bay. Run the blue ground wires under your grill and leave them
hanging for now.
Step 5: Connecting the Relay
The relay has 4 male plugs that you need to connect wires to. Each of
the blade connectors has a tiny little number next to it. The supplied
Hella wires with female connectors attach to these relay connectors. Follow
the order below and wire up the other ends to their "final destinations":
End Connects to:
15 amp fused wire
black light wires
lights (white wire)
all the wires to the relay before mounting the relay itself to the firewall.
Next, drill a pilot hole and screw the relay onto the firewall with a
self-tapping metal screw. Run the wires neatly and cleanly as possible
since you have 4 wires running to it. I bundled the wires with electrical
tape in some places to keep it tidy.
all wires to the relay and then screw the relay down. Do not overtighten
the relay---it's plastic. Connect green wire (G) to auxiliary fuse
box. Don't put in a 15amp fuse until you're ready to fire it up.
6: Running the Wires
For the Red 15amp fused wire, run the bare end to the positive battery
terminal. Crimp on a yellow ring connector to it and attach it to your
positive battery post. Next, run both the the plugged yellow and green
wires through the firewall rubber boot and into the driver's side kick
panel area. Also, connect a female blade connector to the green wire and
then connect it to your auxiliary fuse box. Finally, take the blue wire,
crimp on a ring connector, and then ground it to the chassis.
red, 15amp power wire (P) to the positive battery terminal post
blue relay wire anywhere but make sure you ground it onto a paintless
make sure you sand off any paint before you ground any wires. Of all the
dozen or so threads about Hella 500 installation problems, the overwhelming
majority of problems was due to poorly grounded wires. I suspect many
people did not properly remove paint from their grounding spots. Thus,
use a dremel tool with a sanding drum and remove the paint before securing
your ground wires to the chassis!
Step 7: Grounding the Lights
Unlike other writeups, I decided to fuse both light's blue ground wires
together and then connect only a single ground. Begin by fusing (preferably
with solder) the wires to each other. Next, strip off the wire off the
longest wire and then connect a ring connector to it. Following the tip
above, sand down a little spot on the chassis and ground this combined
the light's blue ground wires (G) together with solder and electrical
the light's (now single) blue ground wire right in front of the battery
Step 8: Attaching the Switch
If you haven't already, buy and use Toyota's fog light switch. The Hella
switch will require you to drill a oval track-shaped hole into your vehicle
or a switch cut out.
First remove the lower panel, step plate and kick panel out of the way.
You can find directions in Step 2 of this
writeup. Next, retrieve the previously fed yellow and green wires
from the firewall grommet to your switch. Run the yellow "source"
wire to the middle prong. Run the green wire to the bottom prong. Finally,
attach a female connector to your blue ground wire (I recycled some that
I cut off from the blue ground relay wire) and a ring connector to the
other end. Connect the female connector to the top prong and then ground
the other end to your chassis.
made Hella switch molded and painted into a factory cut out.
switch wiring order from top to bottom: blue, yellow and green. The
Toyota switch's order is blue, green and yellow
the Toyota fog light switch wire positions are slightly different. The
connection order for the Toyota switch (from top to bottom) is blue, green
and then yellow.
Step 9: Testing and Adjusting the Lights
If you followed these steps, your lights should light right up. Mine did
the very first time and I was quite pleased. I kept switching them on
and off like a little kid. When you switch the lights off, you hear a
faint "click". That of course is the sound of the relay working.
If your lights don't work the first time, I would troubleshoot all the
grounds, then the order of the relay connections and finally, the order
of the switch connections.
on adjusting your lights: make sure they are centered on all planes. According
to the instructions, the top of the beam should be "4 inches below
the lamp center at 25 feet." In addition, "the lamp should be
centered lateral about a vertical line directly ahead of the lamp."
Lastly it also says "A higher visual aim may be desired, but the
top of the beam should not be higher than the lamp center level at 25
feet." About the only thing useful about the boxed Hella instructions
was the picture on how to center and adjust the lights. See below:
on the 5th day, Bob 98SR5 said "Let there be light!"
light adjustment instructions
lights are adjusted, tighten down all the nuts on the lights and you're
ready to go.
or feedback? Email me and I'll try to get back to you. If this article
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