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The Laughing Member
2007 FJ Cruiser, 2021 4Runner, 2002 Lexus SC420
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9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Well, here's the write-up for the post-mounted spotlight installation. Before I even get into it, I need to throw in some very important warnings and disclaimers.


PLEASE READ:

This installation is not a simple "plug 'n play" modification. And, possible irreversible damage to your FJ may occur if not done correctly and/or any deviation from the instructions takes place.

Please refer to the spotlight manufacturer's instructions as your primary source of information when performing this installation, and only use my write-up as an example of how I happened to accomplish it.

(Here are Unity's generic installation instructions from their web site: Unity Installation)

Also, even though my actual installation will be a dual spotlight installation (driver and passenger side), the manufacturer of the spotlight (Unity) states that possible dashboard airbag interference may occur (under certain circumstances) if a spotlight is installed on the passenger side of the FJ. So, proceed at your own risk if you plan a set-up similar to mine. (I'll be posting up pics of the passenger side installation upon completion.)

This write-up will only chronicle the installation of the driver's side spotlight. (The passenger side's installation procedure is identical.)

And lastly, if you’re the least bit uncertain about your skills for a project like this, I highly recommend that you have your spotlight(s) installed by a professional shop that specializes in Unity spotlight installation. ("Bubba's Lube & Tranny Shop" probably won't be that particular place. :scared: )


Purchase:

I ordered the dedicated mounting/installation kit(s) directly from UNITY HAS THE RIGHT LIGHT



The driver side installation kit part number is #11RH. (The mirror-image passenger side installation kit would be #11LH).
$31.94 each.

Unity Manufacturing Co. - Detail

Unity Manufacturing Co. - Detail


NOTE: Even though the driver side installation kit is designated as "RH" (right hand), this particular mount is also used for a number of other vehicle applications, and Unity has determined that the RH mount is to be used specifically for the FJ Cruiser driver's (left hand) side. (This can be verified by checking Unity's vehicle application guide on their web site: Application Search)




I purchased the Model 330CL spotlights (that are specific to the FJ Cruiser) from Unity Spotlight 330CL (245,000 Candlepower)--Vehicle Lighting Solutions, Inc.
$113.95 each.




NOTE: It is important that you order and use the correct spotlight model number (330CL) for the FJ Cruiser. Unity makes and sells dozens of dfferent spotlight models with a variety of different shaft lengths that are specific to certain vehilces. (The exposed shaft length of the 330CL is 10".)


The 330 series 6" spotlight housings are available in either chrome or black. (A 5" version is available in chrome only, and is only 100,000 candle-power.)




I bought the black ones, and painted both the chrome mounting bracket and the swivel base of the spotlight itself gloss black for a totally "blacked out" look from the exterior.

As far as obtaining the spotlights and and installation kits locally, check Unity's web site for dealer locations. Or, check your phone book for stores/shops that specialize in automobile safety equipment.

Also, most major cities will have shops that cater to equipping commercial trucks, school buses, tow trucks, etc. and they typically have access to Unity's products. And, many of these same shops specialize in Unity spotlight installation.


Tools Required:

High-torque electric drill
Long-shaft 1/2" drill bit
1/8" & 5/16" drill bits
Dremel tool
Socket wrenches
Screwdrivers
Allen wrenches
Misc. electrical connectors, cable ties, etc.
Masking tape
Touch-up paint
Patience and courage


Preparation:

Remove the control handle from the spotlight shaft.






If you will be painting the chrome spotlight swivel base and mounting bracket, mask as necessary, sand the parts, prime, and three coats of gloss black paint. (The spotlight head is easily removed from the swivel base by opening the beam housing and unbolting the retaining bolt.)




For safety precaution, disconnect your battery's Negative (-) terminal prior to actual installation.




Cut the included mount bracket template to precise size.




If your Unity #11RH installation kit does not include the template for the FJ Cruiser, it is template #8329. Here's the PDF of it: View attachment 8329TEMPLATE.pdf


And, tape it exactly three inches from the base of the external A-pillar cover where it meets the cowling by the windshield.




This same template can be used for the passenger side, however, the template must be reversed (turned over).


(Also, you might want to use masking tape in the general area of where the mounting bracket holes are to be drilled in the event of drill bit or tool slippage.)

Use a pencil or center punch to mark the exact location of the 1/8" mounting bracket screws. (Remove the template after the marks have been made.)




Remove the driver's side grab handle. (A non-metalic pry tool will lessen the possibility of scratching of the handle's filler plugs.)






Remove the interior A-pillar cover by pulling out and down from the top. (The cover will snap off will a little bit of pulling.)






Remove the grab handle mounting bracket and the side curtain airbag tether strap (if you have one).






Tuck the tether strap up out of the way.





Take a deep breath. The scary stuff is about to begin. :worried: :worried:


(Continued in the next post . . . . )
 

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The Laughing Member
2007 FJ Cruiser, 2021 4Runner, 2002 Lexus SC420
Joined
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9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Installation:


Drill two 1/8" holes into the external A-pillar cover where you previously made your marks with the template. (De-burr as necessary.)



Lay the spotlight mounting bracket gasket in position.




Place the mounting bracket over the gasket and attach it with the included self-tapping metal screws.

REMINDER: If you're doing a dual spotlight install, be absolutely certain that you use the correct mounting bracket for the respective side of the FJ.

11RH goes on the driver side.
11LH goes on the passenger side.






NOTE: It's very possible that the included 1/8" screws may not be long enough and thick enough for a good "bite" into the A-pillar. I encountered this problem and realized that the mounting bracket had a very slight amount of play to it. So, I ended up using inch-long #10 screws instead.




It's absolutely imperative that the spotlight mounting bracket is attached to the A-pillar as solidly as possible. Not just for the sake of a secure mounting, but the mounting bracket itself will also serve as a drill alignment guide for your 1/2" hole once it comes time to drill it.

You do not want that mounting bracket off-axis, even in the slightest for this reason alone. If it is, your 1/2" hole may end up someplace inside your FJ where you didn't want it!! :eek:


Slide the included drill alignment guide sleeve into the mounting bracket and secure it with the flat-head side tensioning screw.




Using the drill alignment sleeve as a guide, begin drilling your 1/2" hole as straight in as possible. Periodically stop and check your progress, as well as allowing the drill bit cool down. Also, re-check the tightness of the mounting bracket screws to ensure they haven't backed out during drilling.






Eventually, your drill bit will appear precisely at this location on the inside of the A-pillar. (Due to the angle of the drilling, yes, the inside hole will be somewhat oblong in its shape.)




The inside hole will be somewhat jagged, so it will probably be necessary to de-burr and file the edges of the hole. Use a coat of touch-up paint to cover the exposed edges of the hole.


Temporarily replace the plastic interior A-pillar cover, and run the 1/2" drill bit through the hole from the outside by hand (bit removed from the drill). Nudge the bit up against the back side of the plastic cover until a dimple appears from the outside. This will be your "mark" for cutting a hole in the plastic for the spotlight shaft to protrude through.




Again, remove the plastic interior A-pillar cover and use a combination of smaller drill bits and a Dremel tool to shape a clean hole that will accommodate the spotlight's handle shaft.




You may have to repeatedly replace the plastic cover to determine exactly where the shaft will be coming through as you're shaping the hole.





Remove the drill bit and alignment sleeve, and insert the spotlight shaft from the outside of the truck all the way until the swivel base meets the mounting bracket. Then secure the spotlight within the mounting bracket with the side tensioning screw.






This is what the spotlight shaft will look like in the interior once the spotlight is inserted.




Replace the side curtain airbag tether strap and the grab handle mounting bracket. (The airbag tether strap will be on the inboard side of the spotlight shaft.)




Slide the interior A-pillar cover over the spotlight handle shaft and reposition the cover into position and snap back into place.




Slide the angled rubber filler bushing onto the handle shaft all the way to the interior A-pillar cover. Then slip the retaining collar into position and secure with an Allen wrench.






Replace the grab handle.




Re-install the control handle by gently sliding it onto the handle shaft and rotating it until you feel the shaft's notch line up with the inside of the control handle.






Once installed, the control handle should be at the same angle as the head of the spotlight itself.





Now you can relax . . . . the hard part is over. :D


(Continued in the next post . . . . )
 

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The Laughing Member
2007 FJ Cruiser, 2021 4Runner, 2002 Lexus SC420
Joined
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9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Wrap-up:

Drill a 5/16" hole into the plastic interior A-pillar cover next to the spotlight shaft that will accommodate the supplied rubber grommet, and feed the spotlight's power cable through. (Depending upon your dexterity and luck, you may have to temporarily pull back / remove the interior A-pillar cover to feed the cable down through the top of the dash right below the plastic cover.)

Use the supplied retaining clip to secure the power lead to the shaft.




The single power lead should appear up under the dash by the driver side kick panel where it can eventually be connected to a fuse terminal inside of the interior fuse box. A 20 amp fuse is recommended.

I happened to use an Add-A-Circuit for my connection. However, since there are a dozen different ways to provide power to auxiliary add-ons on the FJ, I'll leave that up to you.


Positioning of the spotlight head is set by loosening the side tensioning screw on the exterior A-pillar mount and rotating the entire spotlight assembly until there's about a 90 degree free-travel movement of the head.




For reference, the "parked" (down) position of the head should sit about an inch from the windshield, making sure that operating windshield wipers do not contact it in it's lowest position.






Once positioned, tighten the tensioning screw.




Adjustment of the free-travel friction / dampening is made with an Allen wrench at this location.




Adjustment of the spotlight head rotation friction /dampening is made with an Allen wrench at this location.




Now, replace any previously removed panel parts, remove the masking tape; re-connect the Negative (-) terminal on your battery; and use a large towel to wipe off the sweat that you're drenched in.

And, guess what . . . . . ??










. . . . you're done!!!! :blueblob: :redblob:




















 

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WOW ... NICE. And if you listen closely you can hear the sound of many FJ owner/modification addicts having "happy endings" while reading your post!

:)
 

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Excellent work! Thanks for taking the time to show us how you did it. Right after the snorkle, this is my next mod.
:)
 

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Banned
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Steve again a fine job!!!!

But....being the homedad I am...I must ask a Q.....

In this photo there is an unused jack just under the grab bar mount.....
Whould it not be easer to punch the wire hole and grommet at this point and run the wire to that jack?????

Someone correct me if i'm wrong ...but that is the factory roof light jack....and it would save a few steps and it's prewired for high current......



You did say do the wiring yourself......just a thought....
 

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The Laughing Member
2007 FJ Cruiser, 2021 4Runner, 2002 Lexus SC420
Joined
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9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Steve again a fine job!!!!
Thanks, Kurt!! :)


In this photo there is an unused jack just under the grab bar mount.....
Would it not be easer to punch the wire hole and grommet at this point and run the wire to that jack?????

Someone correct me if i'm wrong ...but that is the factory roof light jack....and it would save a few steps and it's prewired for high current......

You did say do the wiring yourself......just a thought....
Actually, I didn't even think about that jack as being a source for power. Great idea!! Anybody know where the fuse connection/source is for that jack??
 

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I'm going by the place that puts our County cars together to get an install quote as soon as I can! NICE write up, Steve!!
 

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excellent write up, Steve!
 

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Excellent write up with clear and concise pix!

Rep points for sure!

Steve maybe you could put a plug on the power cord before it goes into the grommet to make it easier for removal of the light in the event that the windshield ever needs to be replaced?


Mike

_________________________

Freedom isn't free!
 

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Great write up Steve, very cool! I for one appreceiate your very complete write ups on the mods you do. well done!!
 

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The Laughing Member
2007 FJ Cruiser, 2021 4Runner, 2002 Lexus SC420
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9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That looks awesome! Great write-up and install!~
:rocker: Awesome write up and install! Tempted big time. :eyemouth:
I'm going by the place that puts our County cars together to get an install quote as soon as I can! NICE write up, Steve!!
excellent write up, Steve!
Great write up Steve, very cool! I for one appreceiate your very complete write ups on the mods you do. well done!!
Thanks, guys. Much appreciated!! :) :)
 

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Thank you for an excellent and detailed set of instructions complete with part numbers and great photos! This will certainly make it a much easier undertaking for those of us who choose to follow your lead.
 
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