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How to: 95.5-97 Grille swap onto 01-04

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas' started by STLharry, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. STLharry

    STLharry [OP] Lube: It's the key to penetration.

    Joined:
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    Harry
    VT
    Vehicle:
    01 5VZ-FE TRD 5spd
    '95-'97 style Grille/Hood/Taillights/Tailgate decals, ARB bull bar, Rock sliders, Custom rear tube bumper, King Coilovers with Icon neoprene spring condoms, OME Rear Suspension: CS046R leafs with N85 shocks, NWOR greasable shackles/spring pins and OME hardware; IPF H4 lenses and bulbs, IPF 968 DCG 100W fog lights, CB radio, Aussie-spec FJ60 inclinometer, ARB CKMA12 compressor; ARB-mounted 4' Hi-Lift, Deckplate mod, Grey Wire mod, Dif Breather Extension, Dif Drop Kit, Sway bar removed, Duratrac tires, Sockmonkey bedside decals, Boat cupholder
    Ok, so, I bought an 01 V6 TRD Taco to replace the old rusting out '96 that I originally had, but I was averse to the billet grille on the new truck and I really like the original Taco face, so I did a grille swap.

    Started with 2 trucks:
    [​IMG]

    Removed the hoods, lights, bumpers, and grilles from both trucks:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Swapped the hoods and put ARB mounts on the new truck:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Then moved the truck to a garage and started on the old-style headlight mounts on the new truck. This involved drilling holes in the body panels for the mount/aiming screws and squaring them out with a file. One went behind an existing hole on top of the light, and the other had to be marked and drilled afterward to ensure correct placement.
    Filing:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Once the square plastic screw mounts fit, I put them in the holes and added epoxy to make sure they stayed put. Left them to set for the night and day and finished the next evening...

    The grille clips are all the same for both styles, so the only modification needed was a little filing on the left side of the main grille part to make it fit in front of a cooling system hose. Then it just slid right on. I also used zip-ties to hold the grille in place because the OEM clips suck and always break after 1 use. It's much easier to use zip ties and just cut them off each time.

    ARB mount process, with lights and grille all in place:
    [​IMG]


    There you have it! All finished. Now I have a truly unique truck, not to mention I rid myself of that billet grille.
    [​IMG]

    Not sure if anyone cares or even wants to copy it, but there's what I did. If somebody else would like to follow suit and has questions, feel free to PM me anytime.

    Parts swapped:
    Hood
    Hood latch (the 01-04 hood latch is too tall)
    Bumper - I used an ARB bull bar
    SAE rectangular headlights and corresponding mounting/adjustment hardware - I used IPF H4 conversion lenses
    Grille
    Metal trim pieces that attach to grille in bottom corners (purely cosmetic) - I lost the right one while driving in March 2014

    The parking lights and fenders do not change.
    UPDATE 1/21/14: I did end up changing the parking lights to the older style because while the overall shape is identical, 95.5-97 lights used 2 screws and plastic plugs to mount into the fender and 01-04 lights used a plastic tab. Fortunately, the square holes for mounting the plugs remains unchanged for all 1st gen fenders, so no modification was needed. I simply removed the newer mount, put in the plugs, and screwed in some old-style corner lights from Rockauto. If you want pictures of the process PM me.

    Lastly, the 95.5-97 grille will not fit on the 01-04 trucks with a stock bumper that has the color-matched trim piece on the top of it. I did not care because I installed an ARB bar as well but that must otherwise be removed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  2. HomerTaco

    HomerTaco Farts are the screams of trapped poop... Vendor

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    Craig
    Bucks County Pa.
    Vehicle:
    Dedicated Toy...
    Core-Hurst short throw shifter & T-handle / Carbon Fiber Interior / custom console light / De-badged / leather interior / Heated Front seats / Red Line Hood Struts / Painted speaker grills /one-off TRD Satoshi Grill/ Pioneer AVIC-X920BT HU / Scangauge II / Black LED Tails / Dash Mount for iPad / Safari Snorkel / Illuminated 4x4 switch / Leer 100XQ Cap / 4x Innovations sliders / Rear Diff Breather Mod / front windows tinted to 35% / Brute Force Fab Hybrid Front Bumper / BAMF Rear Diff Skid / Budbuilt Skids / CBI Trail Master 2.0 rear hybrid bumper / Fox rr coils/ TC UCA's/ TC spindle gussets/ TC Cam Tab gussets / Dakar leafs / Defined Engineering shackles / All pro U bolt flip / Timbren Rear Bumpstops / BAMF LCA skids / Exhaust Dump / Fog Light anytime Mod / LowRange Off Road extended rear brake lines / ATO Shackle Flip / sectioned Bushwhacker flares / re-geared to 4.56 / ARB Front & Rear Locking Diff / ARB CKMA12 compressor / PrInSu full rack system / 1" body lift
    That's creative... Time consuming, but creative...:)
    +1 for you sir.
     
  3. STLharry

    STLharry [OP] Lube: It's the key to penetration.

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    Harry
    VT
    Vehicle:
    01 5VZ-FE TRD 5spd
    '95-'97 style Grille/Hood/Taillights/Tailgate decals, ARB bull bar, Rock sliders, Custom rear tube bumper, King Coilovers with Icon neoprene spring condoms, OME Rear Suspension: CS046R leafs with N85 shocks, NWOR greasable shackles/spring pins and OME hardware; IPF H4 lenses and bulbs, IPF 968 DCG 100W fog lights, CB radio, Aussie-spec FJ60 inclinometer, ARB CKMA12 compressor; ARB-mounted 4' Hi-Lift, Deckplate mod, Grey Wire mod, Dif Breather Extension, Dif Drop Kit, Sway bar removed, Duratrac tires, Sockmonkey bedside decals, Boat cupholder
    Eh... not that much time. Maybe 2 hours tops, and the ARB was the hardest part and took the longest.
     
  4. trd7

    trd7 4wd tacoma

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    Tyler
    Columbia, SC
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    95.5 Tacoma 4x4 4cyl auto
    AEM air intake
    good job ;)
     
  5. Unknown

    Unknown He who angers you conquers you

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    Nice, i want to do that but an 01-04 in my 95
     
  6. SRQ TACO

    SRQ TACO "You've Got Red on You"

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    Sarasota, Florida
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    00 RegularCab 5lug
    16'' 5zigen Streetfighters w/ 245/55R16 General Altimax HP's, K&N Filter w/ deckplate mod, Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler with turndown before the axle, 01-04 Tail lights tinted, Dual BMW M3 horns, JVC Headunit, JVC 6.5'' door Speakers, Pioneer Shallow Mount 1000W 12'' Sub, 1000W Amp, Monroe Gasmatics front and rear, 1.5'' Daystar Coil Spacer, JDM Smoked Headlights/Corners,2001 Bench Seat, Led swapped gauge cluster and AC controls, Ignition Light mod with blue led, OEM All weather Floor Mats, LED Dome Light, 6000K DDM Tuning HID's, Street Scene Grille and Valance inserts, Clear bumper lights with the fog light mod and JDM Yellow led's, Window Tint: 25% sides and 5% back, TRD Blue Oil Cap.
    I want to do a 95 4wd front end on my 00. It should only take the headlights, corner lights, grille, bumper fillers, and front bumper to do on a 00.
     
  7. STLharry

    STLharry [OP] Lube: It's the key to penetration.

    Joined:
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    VT
    Vehicle:
    01 5VZ-FE TRD 5spd
    '95-'97 style Grille/Hood/Taillights/Tailgate decals, ARB bull bar, Rock sliders, Custom rear tube bumper, King Coilovers with Icon neoprene spring condoms, OME Rear Suspension: CS046R leafs with N85 shocks, NWOR greasable shackles/spring pins and OME hardware; IPF H4 lenses and bulbs, IPF 968 DCG 100W fog lights, CB radio, Aussie-spec FJ60 inclinometer, ARB CKMA12 compressor; ARB-mounted 4' Hi-Lift, Deckplate mod, Grey Wire mod, Dif Breather Extension, Dif Drop Kit, Sway bar removed, Duratrac tires, Sockmonkey bedside decals, Boat cupholder
    You shouldn't need corner lights...the shape is the same for all 1st gens. The only difference is the older ones (like my 96) were held by screws while the newer ones clipped in.
    As for the bumper, if there is a little color-matched plastic trim piece on top of the chrome part then you will have to either remove that or get a different bumper. The older bumpers did not have that so the 95.5-97 grilles won't fit if it's there. It can probably be easily pulled off though.
    You can use any old SAE rectangular headlights. I went for the IPF ones because a friend had the round ones and he liked them quite a bit.

    So you really only need grille, little metal trim pieces that go in between grille and bumper (bumper fillers?), modified bumper, and headlights.

    EDIT:I make note of the bumper trim piece in the write-up too.
     
  8. ilove_taco_ma

    ilove_taco_ma Well-Known Member

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    fresno, california
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    95 tacoma 4wd LX
    nothing, all stock expect got a OE replacement air filter K&N.
    very nice.
     
  9. Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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    BFG KM2 33x12.5 tires, Wheelers Type B rims, Allpro 1.5'' Wheel spacers w/extended thread lug nuts 2 Alpine 10'' Type Xs 2 Kicker 6X9s 4 Sony 5 1/4s Pioneer 4100 HU Sway bar removed 4 Hella 500 HIDs Frankenstein Leaf packs 1'' lift shackles Eibach coils 5100s front 10'' 5150s rear BAMF BPV bracket Deckplate mod Elite Front bumper Magnaflow 14'' muffler Elite Off Road Rear bumper with Tire gate with jerry can and fold down table, BAMF sliders, Custom Homemade Bed, rack/roof rack, CVT Mt. Shasta Roof Top Tent, 20lb CO2 tank, BAMF diff skid custom front skid, GM CS144 140 amp alternator Blitzpro 21s HAWK side LEDs Blitzpro Custom made side mirror lights, LightForce 240 Blitz llights, Piaa 510 ION fogs, XRC8 Winch w/in cab controls,
    this is a win!

    us 95-96 tacos look da best :p haha
     
  10. Mikescollins

    Mikescollins Member

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    Michael
    Marshall, TX
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    95 Tacoma 4x4
    I had to swap my radiator support and the 97 model was way cheaper than the 95 but didn't have the headlight mount holes, you saved me a lot of money and time thank a lot man.
     
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