Step-By Step Installation


Step-By Step Installation

Most of the interior lights in the 300-series are quite effective. The exception is in the load area, where the factory lighting could best be described as 'inadequate'.

Richards Auto have come to the rescue with a bright and very effective LED light mounted to the tailgate, delivering massive illumination to the load area and also the area behind the car.

The video and step-by-step guide will show how to install the Richards Auto tailgate light kit into a LandCruiser 300.

Affiliate link notice: This page contains eBay affiliate links, for which I may receive a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase of any item on eBay. The price you pay is unaffected. 


One of the most frustrating things with wagons is a lack of lighting in the load area. Having to muck around with torches or phone lights to find something in the back of the car.

The 300's load area lighting is pretty hopeless. One light above the rear seats which is shadowed by anything tall in the back, and one dim little light in the back corner down low, which does almost nothing.

Cue Richards' Auto, who have produced a complete kit which adds a super bright LED light to the tailgate, complete with a wiring loom and isolation switch. You could easily mistake this for a factory installation.

The tailgate light transforms lighting at the rear of the vehicle, not only illuminating the load area, but also the ground behind the vehicle and the towbar. Making it great for connecting a trailer in the dark by simply opening the tailgate.

The light comes on automatically with the factory lighting when you open the tailgate, and can be isolated by using the factory-look switch that comes as part of the kit, and is installed in a supplied replacement handle in the tailgate.

I first used a Richard's Auto product when I bought one of their Torque Converter lockup kits for my 200-series. The quality of their products has always been excellent, and the tailgate light is no exception. I plan on adding a few more of their products to the 300 as the build progresses.

The installation of the tailgate light is relatively simple, but involves removing some trim panels and some basic wire crimping.

See the video above for a complete step-by-step installation guide. You'll also find a written step-by-step guide below, in addition to the comprehensive instructions that are supplied with the kit.



The "Installation" section should not be taken as instructions. It is simply a documenting of the procedure I followed for my own installation. No warranty is provided as to the accuracy of the information, and/or whether it applies in your situation or to your vehicle. If you're not qualified and/or don't have the correct equipment, have the light fitted professionally.

  • There is the potential for vehicle damage if the light is not installed correctly;
  • There are potential injuries if appropriate safety procedures are not followed.

If you undertake your own installation, you do so entirely at your own risk.


Links below are eBay affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may be compensated by eBay. The price you pay is unaffected.

  • A cable tie
  • A can of WD-40


There's not much to say here. The picture to the right does most of the talking!

The tailgate light is a huge improvement to the car, delivering great lighting to the load area, tower and the area behind the car.

The installation is relatively simple, and can be complete in under an hour.

The tailgate light is highly recommended and works with VX, Sahara, GR Sport and Sahara ZX. Unfortunately it's not suitable for GX or GXL because they don't have the factory light to pickup the signal from.

Grab the light kit direct from Richards Auto Electrical.

LandCruiser 300 Tailgate Light Installation

Step 1: Preparation

  • Have the tools listed above ready
  • Open the rear tailgate
  • Remove the battery cover, and disconnect the negative battery terminal

Step 2: Remove the OE load area light

  • Open the jack compartment inside the rear left load area;
  • Reach into the compartment and move your hand upwards until you feel the back of the factory load area light;
  • Remove the light by pushing outwards from behind the lens, applying outwards pressure at the front end of the light.

Step 3: Connect and run the Richards loom

  • Disconnect the factory light;
  • Connect the socket on the Richards loom to the OEM loom plug;
  • Connect the plug on the Richards loom to the OEM light;
  • Take hold of the rear for seal, just below the level of the OEM light and pull it away from the car, working your way up the side and across the top to a point just past the centreline of the car;
  • NOTE: Watch out for grease on the back of the seal
  • Attach a long cable tie to the end end of the Richards loom, then feed it in through the OEM light hole, and towards the back of the car so it emerges between the metal and the plastic trim;
  • Leave a small amount of slack and run the loom between the metal and the trim up the side of the car and across the top until around the middle of the car;
  • Reinstall the OEM light back into the slot.

Step 4: Run the cable into the tailgate

  • Using a trim tool or flat blade screwdriver, carefully pry up the wiring gland in the roof of the car very slightly (just a few mm). Then push in at the end and side to release the plastic retaining tabs in the gland. You can then lift the grommet all the way out;
  • Using your hands, pull the grommet on the other end of the gland out of the tailgate;
  • Feed the loom between the roof lining and metal, and up out the gland hole alongside the factory wiring;
  • Spray some WD40 or similar into each end of the cable gland;
  • Using the cable tie for assistance, push the loom into the cable gland and pull it all the way through;
  • Refit the door seal to the metal by pushing it back into place. Make sure you wash any rubber grease off your hands before continuing, as it will stain the roof lining.

Step 5: Remove tailgate trims

  • Remove the top trim from the tailgate and let it rest on the top of the car/door seal. It helps to begin in one corner using a trim tool, then the rest of the trim can be pulled off by hand. Pull it away from the tailgate and by pulling straight down (towards the bottom of the tailgate). The trim is held in place by five plastic clips. If any of them remain on the tailgate, remove them and clip them back in to the trim piece.
  • Remove the side trims one at a time, using the same method as for the top trim. Pull them towards the centre of the vehicle. They are also clipped to the lower trim, and this also unclips by hand.
  • Apply some tape above the two grab handles at the bottom of the tailgate, then use a trim tool to carefully pry them out of the trim along the top edge of each handle. There are three plastic tabs holding each handle. If you have a Sahara or GR, you'll also need to unclip the switch wires on the right side handle;
  • Finally, remove the large lower trim panel. Start at the top corner on one side, pulling the trim straight off the door. Work your way around the outside of the panel. Then support it in the middle as you pull the rest of the panel off. Once the panel is unclipped, it slides out from under the small trim around the lock mechanism.

Step 6: Run the loom through the tailgate

  • Pass the cable tie/Richards loom into the tailgate through the grommet hole alongside the factory loom, and pull it all the way through;
  • Remove the cable tie from the end of the loom;
  • Run the Richards loom down the side of the tailgate and across to the centre of the tailgate along with the factory loom, cable-tieing it to the factory loom about every 20cm;

Step 7: Connect the switch and light

  • First connect the switch to the loom. Connect the white/black and the green wires on the loom to the corresponding wires on the supplied switch, and crimp them together;
  • Next, connect the light to the loom. Connect the black wire on the light to the black wire on the loom, and then connect the red wire on the light to the red/blue wires on the loom;
  • Once you’ve crimped all the wires together, use a heat gun or lighter to seal the heat shrink on the connectors. I also taped over these sections of the loom with some electrical tape just to offer some additional protection from any potential rubbing;
  • Run the switch wire through the tailgate and out the handle hole to the left of the lock mechanism;
  • Bundle up any excess loom into a bundle and cable tie it to the factory loom near the centre of the tailgate.

Step 8: Install the light and refit the trims

  • Move to the large lower tailgate trim, and push out the small cutout from the inside of the trim. You can discard the piece or keep it in case you ever remove the light;
  • Lift the trim piece up to the tailgate, and as you're supporting it, feed the light through the cutout hole;
  • Slide the bottom of the lower trim up ways under the small trim around the lock mechanism, then start clipping it back into position by pressing all over the trim panel;
  • Clip the light into the cutout hole;
  • Connect switch in the new supplied handle to the cable in the left side handle hole, then clip the handle into the hole by inserting the bottom and hinging it upwards until it click into place;
  • Install the original handle into the right side handle hole in the same way. If you have a Sahara/GR, reconnect the original switch wires first;
  • Refit the two side trims one at a time. Press them into place until the clips engage. Then engage the clips into the lower trim;
  • Refit the top trim panel by pressing it in to place to engage the plastic clips. Ensure the ends of the trim engage into the two side pieces.

Step 9: Completion

  • Refit both ends of the the cable gland;
  • Reconnect the battery and replace the battery trim cover.

Promotional and advertising content declaration

Undeclared promotion is rife in the 4WD "influencer" industry. Project300 is different. In the interests of full transparency, every page on Project300 will contain disclosure of what -if any- benefits were received in the process of choosing and installing the listed product(s).

I plan on owning and driving the Project300 LandCruiser for at least a decade. I'll only ever choose and install products which I believe to be of the highest quality, and which will serve me reliably throughout the life of the vehicle.

Disclosure for this article:

  • Richards Auto Electrical supplied the complete tailgate light kit at no charge to me, after I chose this product;
  • No monetary payment was or will be received from Richards or any other company to use or recommend their product;
  • I have no obligation to only make positive comments, and am free to say or write whatever I choose about the products, now and in the future;
  • This page contains affiliate links to eBay and/or Amazon. If you click on a link and then purchase any product at eBay/Amazon within a 24hour period, then I will receive a small commission on the total sale amount. The price you pay is not affected;
  • This page contains advertisements from Google Ads, for which I receive a small payment. I do not control the content of the advertisements and do not necessarily endorse the products being advertised.

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