The Frontier has a set of plastic blockoff plates that take the place of the factory driving / fog lights. Since only about 10% of all Frontiers actually CAME with such lights, these covers are pretty easy to come by. I’d recommend grabbing a spare set at a junkyard, just in case you screw up your stock ones.
The covers are held in place by three tiny tabs on the back side, and they twist off easily. Measuring the Squadron light units, I decided the best option would be to remove the center section of the cover and use the remaining “ring” to conceal the edges of the opening and give it a “finished” look.
Here’s a pic of Project Frontier, and a view of the aforementioned covers… (oh hai there, 240Z reflection!)
There’s a faint line at the “break” on the back side of the plastic cover – This indicates where the angled part meets the flat part. In order to remove the center section from the ring, you’ll want to cut along that line. I used a Dremel tool with a thin cutoff wheel (see below):
Next, let’s route the wiring. The harness that BajaDesigns sells is beautifully-constructed, and connecting it was WAY easier than I expected. I normally prefer fabrication and restoration to wiring, but this setup was so simple, it became fun! BajaDesigns also makes an on/off switch that plugs into the harness, in case you want to run the driving lights independently of the regular vehicle lights. However, I opted to have them come on with the high beams, which made the installation even simpler. The supplied relay can be mounted next to the windshield washer bottle, and the weatherproof connectors provided are top-quality pieces (see pics below):
There’s plenty of length to the harness in order to run the wires in a protected location – I chose the channel behind the bumper, and zip-tied the pigtails up above where I intended to mount the lights (to keep dirt and debris off them). Finally, I mounted the lights – Fortunately, Nissan includes a nice pre-drilled mounting location for the OEM lights, which aligns perfectly with the Squadron LED units. While BajaDesigns provides really nice stainless steel mounting hardware, I utilized different hardware than what was included. As you can see in the below pictures, I added a small spacer in order to center the light perfectly in the opening.
I wanted to ensure everything would fit perfectly before tightening the mounts, so that I could get a rough adjustment done. Couldn’t resist turning them on for a quick peek before I finished up the job:
Notice the headlights? They’re pretty much the brightest, cleanest bulbs (original wattage) you can buy (Sylvania Silverstar Ultras). The Squadrons simply blow them away.
OK, time to get a rough idea of where to aim these laser beams and wrap up the job – As you can see, the modified OEM light “blank” makes a perfect trim ring for the Squadrons. There’s a small sliver of opening around the light housing (because the aluminum housing is a rounded square and the opening is round), but it’s virtually indistinguishable.
Here’s an up-close view of the installation with the “trim ring” in place. Clean, modern, and aggressive, without being obnoxious!
After “eyeballing” the aiming of the lights, here’s some different views of how they look on the truck – I think Becky is going to LOVE these!
OK, so they look cool and all, but how do they work? Well, fortunately, NICOclub Headquarters is pretty close to the edge of town… I took a little drive to get some pictures for you guys. NOTE: Night photography isn’t my thing, so it’s really difficult to get the full effect from simple photographs – but here’s some “before and after” images that should illustrate the difference the BajaDesigns Squadron lights made (click each for full-size views).
Obviously, I still have some fine-tuning of the aiming to do – This will need to take place in a dark, flat parking lot, preferably one with a huge wall and plenty of room… “Why yes, Officer, I AM trying to burn a hole in the wall of the Home Depot…”
Here’s a quick video of me driving, switching between regular lights and the Squadron LED’s… The digital camera has a hard time adjusting to additional light, and doesn’t represent the “throw” of the light very well due to the brightness up-close. NOTE: On this night, there’s no moon, no streetlights, and no ambient lighting.
And, one last picture (click for full-size)… What an improvement!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and when you decide to ditch those overpriced, weak so-called “driving lights”, I hope you’ll touch base with the awesome folks at BajaDesigns and let them recommend a LED lighting solution for your specific needs.
Questions or comments on the BajaDesigns LED lighting installation? <-- Click here for a discussion!
Until next time, have fun, be well, and enjoy your Nissan!