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'98 to '96-97 front end swap

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Old 12-11-2011, 07:09 PM   #1
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'98 to '96-97 front end swap

I know I've seen a thread on here regarding switching the grille, headlight look of my '98 to a '96-97 but I can't seem to find it in a search.

I went through 6 pages of results and didn't see anything.

Can anyone help me out with a link or tell me what it entails.

Do I need a 96-97 hood? Do I need 96-97 fenders? Inner fenders?

etc.

Just wondering what I need to make this swap.

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:25 AM   #3
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So, in your opinion, I can keep my existing '98 hood and fenders, etc?
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madjik_Man View Post
So, in your opinion, I can keep my existing '98 hood and fenders, etc?
Fenders? Yes.
Hood? Probably. I looked at some pictures for comparison and they look identical so you're likely good to go in that department.
I'm the OP of that other thread and I listed the parts needed in there for the 01 to 96 swap. Here's what I think you need:

Grille
SAE square lights
Mounting/adjusting hardware for the headlights
The little trim pieces (optional...just for looks).

Then you can just follow my write-up and PM me with questions if you think I've omitted anything.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLharry View Post
Fenders? Yes.
Hood? Probably. I looked at some pictures for comparison and they look identical so you're likely good to go in that department.
I'm the OP of that other thread and I listed the parts needed in there for the 01 to 96 swap. Here's what I think you need:

Grille
SAE square lights
Mounting/adjusting hardware for the headlights
The little trim pieces (optional...just for looks).

Then you can just follow my write-up and PM me with questions if you think I've omitted anything.
Thank you so much.

If it's just a grille and new lights then I might go for it... and if you don't mind me asking what do you mean by "little trim pieces?"

I need new headlight assemblies and grilles are not that expensive, so if I can keep all the existing body parts and not have to buy and paint new ones, then this can be cost effective
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:35 AM   #6
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Sorry to be pestering but I'm still confused (chalk it up to being a knob... noob, whatever)

I found these two threads as well:

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...ll-switch.html

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...onversion.html

Neither pertain to going from a 98-00 to a 96-97 so I don't have definitive answers.

The reason I'm asking is because I have to get new headlight assemblies. I've read in the lighting forum that Hella makes awesome assemblies for the 96-97.

I've found, on rockauto.com, that a 96-97 grille is $30-ish. If I can (for the most part) get away with just the grille and new headlight assemblies, that I have to get anyway, I'd make the conversion to the 96-97 front end look.

However if I need to start getting the hood involved, then I will stay away.

Thanks for dealing with me
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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i would be very interested in this looking at it i would say you dont need the hood. go find two tacos and just look and measure up.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang123 View Post
i would be very interested in this looking at it i would say you dont need the hood. go find two tacos and just look and measure up.
Please refer to my previous self-portrait...

What exactly would I be measuring?

I'm sorry, I know you must be shaking your head while face palming.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:39 AM   #9
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No worries.

According to the list of changes that the Tacoma got from 95.5-04, the only change in the hood was going from 00 to 01. I deduced that the hood must have stayed the same before that, and when I compared numerous pictures of TW members' trucks, they looked the same. I would go ahead with the swap.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLharry View Post
No worries.

According to the list of changes that the Tacoma got from 95.5-04, the only change in the hood was going from 00 to 01. I deduced that the hood must have stayed the same before that, and when I compared numerous pictures of TW members' trucks, they looked the same. I would go ahead with the swap.

x2 beat me
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:20 AM   #11
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STLharry is going to neg rep me... like a nagging wife

So I did more research and found these threads elsewhere:

1st thread is saying I need a new radiator support. However this thread is talking about a 95-97 to 98-00 conversion. I am assuming doing a reverse conversion would still require a new radiator support? And wtf does the radiator support look like?

http://www.yotatech.com/f2/tacoma-fr.../#post50857533

2nd thread is a poster named Scuba who is clearly very mechanically inclined and built an unbelievable trail rig. He has a 95-97 and claims he just bolted on the 98-00 grille/headlights and it worked fine. Of course if you read his build thread, who knows what "bolted on" means to him

http://www.yotatech.com/f2/97-98-tac.../#post51457835

Posts 3 and 4 of this thread claim I need core support, grille, headlights, bumper, hood and "extra small things" and headlight fillers. I'm going by what STLharry has said about not needing a new hood, but I am curious as to what "extra small things" and headlight fillers are (I am assuming both are the same)

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum...ead.php?t=5437

Another thread saying I need a new core support

http://mobile.ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3072


Now granted all of these threads are for a 95-97 to a 98-00 conversion. I want to do the reverse. I'm assuming I need a new core support based on everything I've read.

Also, one guy says he hates the 95-97 headlights because they are "sealed beam" projectors. But I've read I can get a Hella H4 conversion. I have no idea what either of these are or their pros and cons.

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:54 PM   #12
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Ok (not gonna quote the big post there), so I'm not sure about the 'core support' there but I'll try to answer what you've said.

1. I did NOT need any sort of support mechanisms for my 01 to 96 conversion. I assume since those are even more different than the 98-00 trucks, than you don't either.

2. Therefore, I think I have to agree with what 'scuba' posted. It is mostly bolt-on. Any additional modification is outlined in my grille swap thread.

3. If you remove your grille and lights and take a picture and post it on here, I can better help you and compare it to the pictures I have of each of my trucks' front ends disassembled. We can compare sub frame structures.

4. Despite whatever else you read/find, I am sticking to my guns that you DO NOT need new corner lights or fenders. I didn't in my conversion, so you don't either.

5. You will need the entire headlight assembly. This includes the 'shell' that the headlight goes in, the aiming hardware (plastic plugs and screws basically), and the metal headlight surround that holds then entire lens into the assembly. I couldn't find it on rockauto, but then again I suck at searching on there so who knows.

6. You don't need to buy sealed beams. I have the IPF rectangular lenses and H4 bulbs. You can run that.

Hope it helps. I am only replying from my experience though too.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #13
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Thank you so much for the reply, again.

Your experience > my knowledge + searching

Before the time comes I'll take my grille and lights out and post a picture.

Thanks STLharry
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madjik_Man View Post

Also, one guy says he hates the 95-97 headlights because they are "sealed beam" projectors. But I've read I can get a Hella H4 conversion. I have no idea what either of these are or their pros and cons.

Thanks in advance
The stock sealed beams that the '95-'97 are designed for pretty much suck when compared to what you are used to. The good news is there are now several very good aftermarket options.

My buddy just puts some RoundEyes on his '97. They use a replaceable H4 halogen bulb and compare well to the '98-'00 headlights in how they cast the light.

http://www.roundeyes.com/Toyota_Head...Headlamps.html
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digiratus View Post
The stock sealed beams that the '95-'97 are designed for pretty much suck when compared to what you are used to. The good news is there are now several very good aftermarket options.

My buddy just puts some RoundEyes on his '97. They use a replaceable H4 halogen bulb and compare well to the '98-'00 headlights in how they cast the light.

http://www.roundeyes.com/Toyota_Head...Headlamps.html
Yeah I read that post of yours in the lighting forum, I bookmarked it. It is the catalyst to this whole cockamamie idea of swapping front ends
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Madjik_Man View Post
Yeah I read that post of yours in the lighting forum, I bookmarked it. It is the catalyst to this whole cockamamie idea of swapping front ends
no need to go so high end. I have Ebay headlights with shitty HID copy bulbs and the light output is GREAT compared to any tacoma stock headlight i have seen. only $14 too!!! with shipping. Although i am sure the round eyes are superior in quality.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:03 AM   #19
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So... yeah... ummm... digging this one up again.

Just went to magauto.com and they have grilles listed there for 95-00.

(if you navigate your way to the body hardware > grille https://www.magauto.com/Toyota-Parts.html)

I'll admit, I'm not a genius, but if they're selling grilles that fit 95-00, that should mean that a stock 95-97 grille should line up fine with my '98?

I know, I'm such a pesky bastid about this.
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