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    Debadging - How To Remove Your Tacoma Emblems Fast & Easy

    Debadging - How To Remove Your Tacoma Emblems Fast & Easy

    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.

        Pro Tips

        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.

        - - - - -

        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.

        2nd Gen (2005-2011) Grille Installation Instructions


        Here are the instructions for installing your new grille insert.

        Tools Needed

        • Dremel Tool with cutoff wheel  (or some other form of cutting instrument)
        • Flat head screw driver
        • Short phillips screw driver
        • Ratchet
        • 7/16 inch socket
        • Needle nose pliers
        • Small pair of pliers or 7/16 crescent wrench
        • Soft blanket

        Step 1

        Remove the entire grille and outer surround from the truck by removing the two bolts with a phillips tip screw driver, the two push pins with a flat head screw driver and two clips about half way down on each side of the grille with needle nose pliers. With the two push pins, just pry up the little round tab and pull it out.

        Grab the top of the grille and start gently wiggling. Once it starts to break free, grab the front and pull straight out.

        Step 2 (Optional)

        Remove the surround (front piece) from the grille. The insert was designed to slide right into place with the surround on, but if you don't want to risk scratching off some paint, you can remove it.

        Step 3

        Cut out the center piece in each of the market areas with some form of a cutting tool. I used a Dremel Tool with a cutoff wheel.

        Step 4

        Bolt mounting hardware to the insert using a 7/16 socket wrench and a pair of pliers or crescent wrench. If you knick any of the powder coating, you'll want to touch that up before you mount to the grille.

        Please note that you won't want to tighten them all the way down. You need them to have the freedom to swivel and move up and down so you can get them in the right position when mounting to the grille.

        Step 5

        Lay the insert on the cut out grille area, make sure that everything lines up and flip it over. 

        Making sure that the grille didn't move, put your hand underneath, push up and mark the middle top and bottom holes with a sharpie.

        Drill out the two holes and use the screws to mount the grille with a short phillips tip screw driver.

        Step 6

        Once screwed in, go from corner to corner, putting your hand underneath and pushing the corners into place. While holding each corner in place, mark the corner bracket and surrounding brackets with a sharpie marker.

        Remove the two screws, drill the rest of the holes and screw in all of the brackets.

        Step 7

        Attach the brushed stainless steel back plate to the grille using four of the included locking nuts. You may need to pull the laser paper if yours came with it. That will be the side you want facing out.

        Step 8

        Reinstall grille and surround to truck.

        Please note, powder coat will chip like paint. This grille is made out of steel and will rust if the powder coating is chipped or scratched. If you notice any chips or scratches, please make sure to touch it up with touch up paint as soon as possible.

        How To Install Your 2016 - 2019 Toyota Tacoma Vinyl Decal Inserts

        Installing your Tacoma decals isn't extremely difficult, you just need to have a bit of time and some patience.

        Here's a video and a write up below to walk you through installing your decals.


        For this write up, I'm showing the door sills, but the same principle applies for all applications.

        Plan on spending between 20-30 minutes for the door sills, 10-15 minutes for the tailgate, and 10-15 minutes for the glovebox and follow the steps below:

        Clean Area

        Take a second and make sure that the area where you will be installing the decals is clean. I like to use rubbing alcohol, a paper towel, and a Q-tip to make sure that there is no dirt, dust or other particles where I will be working. Make sure to let the area dry before installing the decals.

        Create A Soapy Water Solution

        In a small bowl, squirt a pump of hand or dish soap and mix with water. This will be used to apply the decals and make positioning easier.

        Apply Soapy Water Solution To Area

        Take your fingers and dip them in the soapy solution and rub all over the area where you will be installing the decals. Make sure it is good and wet.

        Remove Decals From Backing

        Take some tape, any type will work, but masking tape works the best and touch the corner of the decal and lift up. 


        Dip Decals In Soapy Water Solution

        Once the decal is removed, dip the entire thing in the soapy solution. Make sure you know which side is the sticky side.

        Position Decals

        Now that everything is super wet, you can put the decal in its place and position it exactly where you want it. Do not press firmly or the soapy solution will push out and it will stick.

        Push Out Soapy Water Solution

        Once positioned exactly where you want it, hold one area with your finger and take a paper towel and start wiping the area opposite of your finger. This will push the solution out and begin the curing process. Switch sides with your finger and push the solution out of the other side.

        Let Cure For 24-48 Hours

        Please note that you'll want to wait 24-48 hours before trying to touch them again. Yes, they will be sticky and probably won't move, but it's best to wait until they are completely dry.

        If you have any questions about the installation process, please contact us.



        3rd Gen Grille Install Pictures

        We’re always excited and grateful for customers who share install pics with us so others can see how awesome these grilles look. Here are a few of the pics we’ve received.

        Please note that any colored backplates are painted by the customer after they receive their grille. We do not do any color matching before shipping.

        Magnetic Gray Metallic

        Silver Sky Metallic



        Super White

        Blazing Blue Pearl


        Barcelona Red


        What To Do If Your Grille Chips?

        As we initially mentioned on the grille installation page, if you’re hit with a flying object while driving or off roading your powder coating will chip just like paint chips. So, the question is, what should you do if you start to see chips on your grille insert?

        The Touch Up Process

        1. The very first thing you should do is clean the grille thoroughly with warm soapy water.
        2. Next, if you spot any rusting, use a cotton swab dipped in CLR or equivalent to dissolve and remove the rust. Repeat the process until the swab is completely clean. Once clean, wipe with rubbing alcohol.
        3. Apply touch up material. Make sure to use enough to fully fill the divot.

        Touch Up Material Options

        Depending on the type of grille you purchased from us (Wrinkle Black or Smooth Black) there are several different types of material you can use to touch up your Tacoma grille.

        1. Touch up paint – You can stop by Walmart and buy regular black touch up paint. Or you can buy a touch up pen from Automotive Touchup.
        2. Plastidip – You can stop any hardware store, or Walmart and pick up a can of plastidip and use it to touch up your grille. What we’ve found to be the easiest is to spray it on a piece of paper and dip a cotton swab in it and cover the chip.
        3. Bed liner (for the textured grilles) – You can stop by any automotive store, or Walmart and pick up a can of spray on bed liner. Same process as above, spray it on a piece of paper and dip a cotton swab in it and cover the chip.