Rave Off Road TRD Heritage Pro Grille Light Bar For 3rd Gen (2022+) Tundras: Add Stylish Lighting With A Factory Fit – Install & Review
I love modding out my own vehicles. So, I bought the 2023 SR5 4×4 model and began designing it to my tastes.
On the cosmetic end I really didn’t like the OEM grille, so I replaced it with the “heritage” or TRD grille design (seen throughout).
But one, big, obvious problem is a huge opening just under the Toyota branding. I now needed a 20″ light bar…
Why Add A Light Bar?
Aside from aesthetics, having a front light bar is crucial for trail illumination. Specifically, when over-landing or off-roading one often needs illumination thrown higher and wider than the factory headlight beam patterns. Trails aren’t neat, clean roads. Often you will need to see up, down, left, right, and side-to-side. Yet, since I wasn’t going with a roof rack just yet, the grille opening is a perfect place for tucking in a slim light bar.
Fortunately, I had installed a set of Heritage Marker Lights from Rave (orange lights over the grille branding two photos above), and was really impressed with them. They’re super bright and very stylish. I searched their website for more and found that they provide an entire aftermarket grille replacement kit with full lighting as well.
Rave Off Road’s light bar seems fairly priced and carefully crafted to fit right into the lines and angles of the grille opening. I had seen a lot of their work online, which looked excellent. So I ordered their TRD Grille Light Bar with brackets and switch.
Find It Online
- TRD Pro Grille Light Bar for 2022+ Tundra: Check Price
TRD Heritage Pro Grille Light Bar For 3G Tundra
Table of Contents
Installation + Unboxing
When I received the shipment, everything was ready to go out-of-the-box. In the box we get a fully housed and sealed 20″ light bar with a few wiring harnesses. I appreciated the sealed housing right away because it adds extra layers of weather protection. Also, the triangular tapering of the housing adds a nice flush fit that follows the curvature of the grille. And the logo-embossed, two-piece bracketry snaps right into place.
Lastly, the OEM-looking, TRD switch looks really cool. Some light bar assemblies come with clunky, generic-looking switches that look like something for an ATV or a boat. This one looks factory made for the Tundra. All these points show attention to detail in a quality product. All the components were well-packed and the install is pretty straightforward.
Step 1. Remove Grille
The first step is to remove the grille from your truck.
With a 10mm socket, remove the top four and bottom four bolts on the grille as shown above. Also remove the four bolts behind the grille, using a long extension – or two long extensions combined. Then, remove the bottom four bolts on each forward wheel well. Pry the fender guard off, and now your grille is loose. Lastly, disconnect three wiring harnesses on the top of the grille. You can now gently negotiate the grille forward and away from your truck. I suggest laying it flat on a large towel for the next step. I laid mine on bricks – don’t do it!
Step 2. Remove Grille Vents
Next, remove the vent assembly from the grille.
With that same trusty 10mm socket, remove six bolts as shown above and then disconnect the wiring harness. Your vent assembly should be lose now. Remove and set it aside.
Tip: Don’t grab it by the vents but by the frame bracketry.
Step 3. Assemble & Mount Light Bar
Next, pre-assemble and install the Rave Off Road TRD Light Bar.
Note, that I said you should pre-assemble the bracketry to the light bar before installing them onto the grille. The reason is that the nuts and bolts that mount the light bar to the brackets will be difficult to get to once everything is seated on the grille. Above you can see how everything fits onto the TRD grille.
Notice the alignment slots: three on the upper part of the grille and one on the lower. Get these lined up before fastening the four crosshead screws. Reinstall the vent and grille and then move onto the wiring.
Step 4. Wiring The Light Bar
Route the wiring harness to your truck’s battery and then through driver’s side firewall. I like to install relays into my wiring harnesses. That way I don’t have high amperage going into my dashboard and switches, which are usually rated at a mere 3A. You can get a simple relay setup from Amazon for less than $8.
Next, pop out the switch panel and push out the switch location of your choice. The wiring should follow typical patterns as shown above. If that’s confusing, the Red wire on the switch connects to the Red wire on the harness. The White wire on the switch connects to the Black wire on the harness. The Yellow wire on the switch connects to the dash light circuit. Be sure to test the light before paneling the dash back up.
Below are two shots taken from a DJI Mini 3 Pro drone on auto shutter at about 30 feet in the air. My apologies for the graininess, but I wanted to provide undoctored, raw images so that you can make an honest comparison between stock headlights and the new bar.
Stock Headlights + High Beams Output
Rave Off Road TRD Light Bar Output
This shot looks like the meeting of the Ents from the Lord Of The Rings. Anyway, Rave’s light bar throws a well-rounded, medium-lumen output.
In this shot, the light directly in front of the truck is hitting really tall hay. Normally, it is going in an upward pattern, as can be seen in the trees above.
You can see that the new bar doesn’t produce a spot beam as do the headlights and high beams, but it does throw light in a wider pattern, which is good for trail illumination.
Rave’s 20″ light bar doesn’t turn night into day as do some +40″ bars mounted on roof racks. However, Rave’s light bar does provide a good, usable illumination of everything forward, up, and side-to-side. I actually appreciate this more moderate lumen throw more than those exuberant options that can signal commercial aircraft.
Rave’s light bar gives me plenty of luminescence for driving while not signaling my approach to every animal and camper within a few miles vicinity. I can even leave it on while setting up camp and not run the risk of turning a quiet starry night into a blinding super nova apocalypse that destroys your night vision for the rest of the night.
Since installing everything, I’ve driven through hard rain and lots of dusty conditions, and the housing shows no sign of wear, scratches, or interior condensation. Those are usually the first signs of a bad design. Not with Rave’s products. I’m glad to finally have that gap in my aftermarket grille filled in with an OEM looking choice that’s also useful for me on the trails – and occasionally when trying to be stylish in the city. I’ll be checking out more of their products in the future.