DIY Zero Turn Headlight Installation Guide


Hello everybody. Long time no post (my bad 😛 )

I haven’t been doing a lot of welding lately, but I did just finish up a project of putting front and rear lights on my zero turn. I did it without drilling a single hole anywhere on the mower. My zero turn is a 54″ John Deere Z425, but it should work on your MTD, Cub Cadet, Hustler, Scat, Ariens, or other mower just the same.

We recently moved to a house that has about an acre and sometimes after work and dinner it is already getting dark out. I have been caught multiple times this month mowing in the dark and not being able to tell where I was going. I finally got annoyed enough to get on Amazon and do something about it.

I ordered these three parts to do this project:


A 21″ light bar, two 4″ round LED lights and a wiring harness with water resistant switch.

Other tools you might need to do this installation yourself:

 

 

When these parts came in, I was actually pretty impressed with the quality. I had looked at the lights at Northern Tool, but they were just too expensive to put on a lawn mower. These turned out to be great quality, pretty bright, and CHEAP. I will touch on it later, but the wiring harness actually turned out to be nicest wiring harness kit I have EVER dealt with. Unbelievable how easy the harness made these lights to install.

Before you order, make sure you measure your mower to see what will fit. In my case the 21″ light bar fits perfectly between the front caster wheels, and the 6″ round lights work nicely to light up the rear without being too large. I don’t have a roll bar, so if you would rather mount the lights to your roll bar then you will need to take that into consideration.

WARNING: Remember that roll bars are ENGINEERED to protect you in a rollover, DO NOT drill or weld on any roll over protective system!!!! You instantly decertify the ROPS and put yourself at risk of injury if it fails. If you want to put lights on the roll over bar, consider some kind of clamp that does NOT require drilling or welding, or try to find an existing bolt hole that can be used.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Unpacking the wiring harness. REALLY impressed with the quality, especially considering how cheap it was. This is a huge time saver.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Laying out the light bar. I just took out the two existing bolts that hold the front of the deck and bolted the brackets on with them.

I specifically chose this light bar because the mounting points are in a channel that can be moved back and forth. This is very important in my case because the bolt holes I wanted to use are offset due to the way the deck is set up (as seen in above picture).

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

21″ light bar bolted on. Not centered yet. I didn’t realize until later that the caster wheels in the front are not symmetrical.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Bolting on the rear 4″ LED’s using existing bolt holes. I simply took out the existing bolts and J-clips then used the bolts that came with the lights to install.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Lights bolted on and ready to wire up.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

The wiring harness came with really nice pigtails with waterproof deutsch connectors. The only thing I had to do was crimp the wires from the lights onto the pigtails.

TIP: I like to use heat shrink butt connectors. Once you strip the wires and crimp them inside the connector, you then take a lighter and use heat to shrink the ends. These are available as a kit on Amazon and are totally worth it. I won’t even buy the non-heat shrink connectors anymore.


DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Once I had them connected and heat shrank, I wrapped them up in electrical tape and plugged the pigtail into the harness.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Closeup of the Deutsch connectors.

The harness kit came with 2 leads. Instead of using one lead for each light, I used one lead for the front light bar and one lead for the two rear lights.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

I am going to put the switch in the blank plate in the top right of this picture. To get under this panel I just needed to take out one bolt at the rear of the panel.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Ran the wire up to the panel. I gave it one loop around the other wires so it would stay out of the way of the tire. (Take a sharpie and mark the wires in relation to the switch before taking the switch off, so you can put it back on correctly)

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Next up was to take the blank plate out and drill it with a step bit to the size of the switch.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Once it is the right size, insert the switch. I put a couple of dabs of super glue on it just to make sure it stays in place.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Very nice switch that came with the wiring harness.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Laying out the wiring harness. You can see I bolted the relay onto a pre-existing hole in the inner fender on the left hand side. I did have to drill out the tab on the relay to fit a slightly larger bolt.

While running the wiring harness, take extra care to be sure it doesn’t get close to any heat sources or moving parts. Every mower will be different.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Wiring harness installed. You can see I used zip ties to clean up and consolidate any extra wiring.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

We have light!!

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Front and rear.

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Lighted switch.

So easy a 2 year old can figure it out!

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

Doesn’t interfere with foot placement:

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

DIY Zero Turn Mower Headlight Installation Guide

There you go! Hopefully this helps you in your endeavor to add lights to your mower.

Now YOU go outside and build something!

Questions? Comments? Have a success story? Leave a comment below!!

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