One of the first things that Tacoma owners love to do is remove the emblems from their trucks. This is also referred to as debadging.
I personally debadged my truck and replaced the emblems with Tacoma vinyl decals. This gave my truck a more sleek looks, especially since i went with a matte black decal.
If you're reading this, you likely want to debadge your Tacoma and don't exactly know where to start. Obviously there are more than one ways to remove emblems, here's the process I've gone through each time I've gone down this path.
Softening The Adhesive
Use A Hair Dryer or Heat Gun To Warm Up The Adhesive
The most popular method of softening the glue holding your emblem to the vehicle is by using a hair dryer or heat gun. If you have a 2016+ Tacoma, you can plug it right into the bed of your truck and go to work :), if not, an extension cord is in your future!
Put the hair dryer on the hottest setting and wave it back and forth over the badge for a few minutes, taking care not to leave it in one spot for too long. Once it's warmed up, you can work on the removal process.
Use Hot Water To Soften The Adhesive
Another method that has worked for others is to microwave a bowl of water and pour it diretly onto the body of the car right above the emblem. Take care not to make the water hot enough to burn yourself. If you do this a few times, it should soften things up enough to start the removal process.
Removing The Emblems
Cut The Adhesive With Dental Floss or Fishing Line
Cut a length of floss that is about 8-10 inches long. Wrap each end around your index fingers and push the line behind the first letter of the emblem. Once behind, pull the line to the left and right in a sawing motion until you've reached the end of the emblem.
Use A Plastic Wedge To Pry The Emblem Off
Take a thin plastic wedge and place it agains the body of the vehicle to the side of the emblem. Slide it beneath the badge ensuring that you don't scratch the paint. Slowly push the wedge further into the emblem so you can loosen it enough to pull on it and pop it off. Note that if you pry too hard, the emblem may break. This isn't an issue if you plan on throwing them away. If not, you should consider another method.
Use a Credit Card To Remove The Emblem
Very similar to a plastic wedge, you can use a credit card to remove your emblems. If you choose to go this route, make sure to face the credit card outwards so the numbers don't scratch the paint.
Removing Left Over Adhesive
Once your badges are removed, use an adhesive remover like Desolvit to remove the left over adhesive. Make sure not to leave it on the paint for too long or it could hurt your clear coat. Leave it on for 30-60 seconds and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Repeat as many times as you need to complete the job.
Wash & Wax The Area
Once all of the adhesive is off the truck, you'll want to wash it up with soap and water and once dry, give it a small coat of wax. This will make your truck look like it never had emblems to begin with.
If you're thinking about pulling your Tacoma emblems off and replacing them with vinyl decals, one of the easiest ways to ensure you put the vinyl in the same place is to take some masking tape and carefully place it around the emblem before you remove it.
Once the emblem is off you'll be able to see exactly where to lay the decal down.
You should note that you don't want to wax the area as mentioned in the above step as the decals won't stick to a waxed surface.
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When using the floss method, it is possible to cut into your clear coat. If you go this route, make sure to take it extremely slow and continue to pull toward yourself so it doesn't touch the clear coat. It's much easier to remove left over residue than fix your clear coat.