Many Toyota trucks have separate turn signal and parking light
assemblies. The parking light is mounted in the front edge of the
fender and the turn signal is recessed in the front bumper. While this
setup works fine with the factory bumper, it causes problems with many
Here's an example of how the stock turn signals mount on a typical
aftermarket dual tube front bumper. The turn signal mounts on the back
of the bumper, between the two tubes. A long screw passes through a
triangular bracket and the lens to hold it in place. This setup can
cause trouble in the winter, as snow can pack in front of the turn
signals, getting trapped between the bumper tubes and the mounting
bracket. Unless the snow is periodically cleared, it will mask the
front turn signals. Also the wiring is exposed behind the bumper,
directly in front of the wheel well.
My other vehicle has a fender-mounted turn signal/parking light
assembly that utilizes one socket holding a #1157 dual-filament bulb.
This seemed like a better solution, so I set about designing a retrofit
for the Toyota parking light assembly. I went to the local auto parts
store and found a universal dual-contact lamp socket (Calterm
#08547) for an #1157 dual-filament bulb. Note that this is the
same bulb that is used in the rear parking/brake light socket. The
socket is about 3/4" in diameter and includes a separate metal
mounting plate. The #1157 bulb is about 1" in diameter, so this
determined the size of the hole in the back of the reflector.
Take out the stock lamp socket and enlarge the hole to the diameter of
the bulb with a small grinder. Then, use epoxy putty to build up the
back of the reflector to provide a flat surface for the mounting plate.
This accomplishes two important functionsL
Drill two pilot holes for the mounting screws used to attach the socket
to the back to the reflector. To duplicate the sealed socket used by
Toyota, run a bead of silicone around the base of the socket and let it
cure, forming a gasket to seal the back of the reflector.
Now its time to wire up the new socket. First, cut the turn signal and
parking light sockets off, retaining the stock connectors. Its a good
idea to label the two connectors because they are identical. Then, run
the turn signal wires up inside each fender. Determine the ground wires
for each circuit and attach them to the new lamp base. Finally, connect
the remaining turn and park wires to the proper filaments:
- Bright filament = Turn signal
- Dim filament = Parking light
Since the new socket protrudes farther from the reflector than the
stock one, you may have to notch out a bit of sheet metal behind the
reflector to allow the deeper bulb holder fit. A shot of rust-resistant
primer on the freshly cut metal will keep it from rusting.
Here's the finished assembly. In the above-left picture, note the epoxy
putty around the lamp hole, the silicone around the socket base, the
two screw holes for attaching the socket and the new socket and bulb.
In the above-right picture, note the upper screw has the ground
connection tied to it as this socket relies on the base for ground.
The new turn signal location is much more visible than the stock
signal, especially to the side. The larger reflector and bulb also make
the signal a lot brighter. With the lens up higher, it stays much
cleaner. The wires are tucked up inside the fender out of harms way.
Finally, there's only one bulb to keep track of instead of two (and its
the same bulb used in the tail light). This project should take 1-2
hours to complete.
Here is how the combined turn signal/parking light works. In this case,
I have the pareking (side marker) lights on plus have activated the
turn signal. And you can see that the side marker light stays on (the
low wattage filament in the 1157 bulb) and the brighter turn signal
filament blinks on and off. So one light, two functions! Note the the
lens illumination is much more uniform than captured by the camera,
which only shows a pin-point of light. This is also why I chose to use
a filament bulb instead of the popular LED retrofit, as the filament
bulb throws light more uniformly around the surface of the lens.
2 Universal light sockets $8
2 1157 parking/turn bulbs 2
1 Epoxy putty 5
Here is a slightly different version of this modification on a 2nd gen
If you would rather modify the existing side marker light housing for a
different bulb, here's another way to accomplish a very similar mod and
this one even works in conjuction with the stock turn signals (it is
for a VW, but the concept is similar for any vehicle):
[Last updated: 14.April.2012]