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156 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been getting questions about how to get the leveling motors working. So, I decided to compile a guide here. Our cars in the US and Canada markets do not have any pigtails for operating the motors, since the stock headlights are adjusted by screwdriver. The headlights from other markets, however, have electrical motors for leveling both the low beams and high beams. If you are doing either of the following projects, this project is for you:
It is likely that this will work for other Toyota models, assuming they have the 3-prong connection compatible with the parts mentioned below.

Official Parts Required (I ordered through
1x - Switch 8415252080
1x - Switch wiring harness 9098011950
2x - Motor connectors 9008098028
4x - Terminal wires for switch 8299812690
6x - Terminal wires for motors 8299812130

Other parts and tools
Soldering equipment
Red, Blue, and Black wires. (20 AWG is sufficient)
Marine grade heat shrink
Zip ties
Stiff and thin wire for piercing firewall grommet (lawn marker flags work great)
Wire cutters/strippers
Tape measure
2-prong disconnect
Dremel tool with grinder head
One pair of Euro, Aussie, or Japan market headlights with working signal pigtails
Metric Allen wrench set

- Measure out a planned route in your hood for the cables. Cut cables to dimensions appropriate for your vehicle according to the schematic. View attachment Leveling_motor_graphical.pdf
- Stick the terminal wires into the motor plugs, oriented as - - -, NOT | | |. The motor plugs should include numbering which corresponds to the schematic. Solder together the pigtail on the hood side of the firewall. Protect the connections with heat shrink and conduit.
*Optionally, you may use a 2-prong disconnect (like a 9005 extension) to make a power connection with the signal pigtail. You can source power elsewhere, but make sure it is not always hot.
- Use a silicone sealant to protect where the wires run out of the motor plugs. There has to be a rubber plug that can fit here, but I have no idea what it is.
- Use the thin and rigid wire to pierce the firewall from the drivers side foot well. It helps to have a friend around to spot the wire. Use duct tape to wrap the ends of the red and blue wires to the rigid wire. Pull them through the firewall.
- First check for length, then solder the wires to the harness as illustrated in the schematic.
- Pop one of the blank switch panels on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel. If you need help accessing the electrics under the dash, refer to the fog light guide for removing the trim panels.
Note - if you installed aftermarket fog lights and used a panel switch, you can disconnect the illumination wire from the rheostat and connect it to the red line. Your switch will light up much more effectively.
- Use dremel tool to widen hole in spots where the switch appears to get stuck.
- Run wire harness through switch hole, connect to switch, and set the switch in place.
- Assuming your Rav4 is unladen, set switch to 1 or 0.
- Turn on power to headlights. Even if your lights were previously leveled, your motors will have to be adjusted again now that they are powered. Follow guide Projectors: Headlight Aiming Guide - DIY Installation Guides. Aim for a 2.5 inch drop over 25 feet.
- Once system is confirmed to be working, use zip ties to secure the pigtail in place. Replace all removed panels in interior.

Other Stuff
- A big thanks to Trusa. His posts to the JDM headlight thread got me the information needed to start the project.
- This post includes instructions for the manual leveling switch, not the automatic one included on actual JDM Rav4s. Someone posted the part numbers for that awhile ago. That is a much more expensive project that I know nothing about, but would gladly link it here if someone figures it out.
*Make sure your fixtures include motors. If they don't, you will have to find replacements online. I can add the part number here if anyone finds it.

Super Moderator
11,049 Posts
Why is this even necessary?

156 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If you are just using the RAV4 for commuting, then it is absolutely not necessary. In that case, however, a RAV4 is overkill to begin with.

Being able to adjust the lights on the fly is more useful for towing and hauling when you have projector lights.
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Reactions: Veliksam

299 Posts
I'm in the middle of orderhing a set of JDM HID through Buyee and I am contemplating adding the leveling motors. I live in the city and don't do any hauling at all. Do you think I should get it?...I did the exact same JDM conversion in my other car that was totaled and didn't get a chance to install the leveling motors as this was early on in the project. I saw the graphic diagram file you posted and wanted to ask if there is any relays or special connections needed. In other words, is it just basically splicing and combining 2-3 connections between the harnesses? Does order matter or can I just solder at the 2 and 3 connection point per your diagram? Thanks
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