TRD Pro Grille With LED Toyota Letters For 3rd Gen Tacoma – Install & Review

TRD Pro Grille With Amber Illuminated Letters - Install & Review

KOK Auto Parts TRD Pro Grille With LED Light Up (Backlit) Toyota Emblem – Not Your Typical Aftermarket Grille: Full Installation & Review

Do you want to stand out in a sea of TRD Pro style grilles? Look no further than the KOK Auto Parts TRD Pro Grille with illuminated letters. This comprehensive installation and review will cover this unique grille to see if it should be your next mod.

The TRD Pro grille is by far the most popular first mod for a Tacoma owner. It is also one of the most affordable. As cool as the standard Pro grille is, we all strive for some uniqueness and “wow” factor in our builds. KOK Auto Parts has done just that by offering optional grille lettering that lights up. These affordable and customizable letters offer just the right amount of cool factor to your truck! KOK also offers multiple colors and styles to help match the theme of your build.

Overall, the installation process is very straightforward and quick with the right tools and patience. Total installation time took around 1 hour.

Let’s get started!

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Installation

3rd Gen Tacoma TRD Pro Grille

Tools Required:

  • 10mm and 12mm socket
  • Flathead screwdriver or trim removal tool
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers (optional)

TRD Pro Grille With LED Toyota Emblem

With a fragile product like a plastic grille, quality packaging helps make sure nothing is broken in transit, especially the clips! Upon arrival, everything looked great and was packaged well with no broken parts. Just like all mods, take the time to get familiar with all of the parts to make the installation go smoother.

Included in one box are the grille, letters, wiring harness, screws, and an add-a-fuse.

Step 1. Removing Stock Grille

Removing 3rd Gen Tacoma Grille

Two 10mm bolts hold the support braces to the engine bay. Remove those and set them aside.

TRD Pro Grille Install

Each edge has one push clip that can be removed and also set aside.

Removing 3rd Gen Tacoma TSS Sensor

The final part that needs to be removed is the sensor clip for the TSS. If you don’t have this feature on your truck then you can skip this step. Do this by separating the clips from each other. This will be the last step before removing the grille from the truck.

Remove 3rd Gen Tacoma Grille 3

The grille is now free and can be removed from the truck. If you’ve never removed your grille before then this step can be a little scary.

While holding the top of the grille area, pull upward and outward away from the truck. There will be some popping and separation noises, but with a little finesse, the grille should separate from the truck without any damage.

This part can be skipped if you don’t have a TSS sensor on your truck. There’s a total of two Phillips head/10mm bolt combos and one Phillips head bolt that hold the sensor module to the grille.

Remove all bolts/screws and set them aside since they’ll be reused on the new grille. There will also be two slotted silver nut combos that hold the sensor to the actual grille and these will be transferred over to the new grille.

Step 2. Remove Grille Insert From Trim

Remove Grille Insert For Toyota Tacoma

There are about a dozen clips all around the grille frame from the grille itself that hold those two pieces together. While elevating the grille off the ground, go one by one pushing these clips through the grille frame. Work all the way around until the grille separates from the frame.

At this point in time, your stock grille should be separate from the grille frame and ready to prep for the new grille to go on.

Step 3. Prepare The New Grille

KOK Auto Parts TRD Pro Grille For 3rd Gen Tacoma

There are multiple types of TRD Pro grilles but the KOK one specifically comes with the letters separate from the grille. KOK also offers the option to buy the illuminated letters separately if your current TRD Pro grille can accommodate detachable lettering.

Furthermore, the TSS garnish can either be left as it came in the box (not installed) or installed with the new one for the TSS sensor if you have that option on your truck.

3rd Gen Tacoma Non-TSS vs. TSS Sensor Cover

Pictured above: Stock, non-TSS garnish vs. New TSS garnish.

Toyota Tacoma TSS Sensor Bracket

I have a 2019 Tacoma with TSS so I went ahead and replaced the stock garnish. The process is as simple as pushing through the two bottom clips and the two top studs as well.

Replacing with the new garnish is the reverse of the removal. Make sure you install the two provided metal stud clips as well.

Step 4. Install TSS Sensor

Install TSS Sensor On Grille For 3rd Gen Tacoma

Reinstall those two metal nut combos to their designated slots on each end, this is what the sensor module attaches to.

Mounting TSS Sensor On TRD Pro Grille

Using the two 10mm bolts and one Phillips head screw, snugly tighten down the sensor onto the grille.

Step 5. Install LED Letters

Wire Custom Backlit TRD Pro Grille Lettering

The repeated letters like the T’s and O’s have their own specific cutouts to accommodate for the cross members on the grille. This will be obvious since each letter is essentially keyed and won’t fit in an incorrect spot. Each letter has a wire lead coming out of the back of it and 3M adhesive tape to help secure them to the grille. The letters also have screw holes on the rear of the grille for securing them with the provided screws.

Feed the wire through the grille, press down on the double-sided tape, and install the screws on the rear of each letter.

Custom Backlit TRD Pro Grille Lettering

Here is what the grille with completed letters and TSS garnish looks like. The grille should now be ready to get reinstalled onto the truck.

The installation of the new grille onto the trim is as simple as lining it up and then adding some light pressure to get the clips to snap into place. Flip it over to ensure all the clips have been installed properly.

This process to remount the grille is the reverse of taking it off of the truck. Angle the top of the grille away from the truck and get the bottom portion set onto the truck before pushing the top portion back in. Lift the two braces onto their designated spots on the engine bay.

Reinstall the two 10mm bolts on the two push clips. Remember to install the harness if your truck is equipped with it.

Step 6. Wire The Lights

How To Wire Custom Backlit TRD Pro Grille Lettering

Wiring up the illuminated grille lights is all plug-and-play!

Start by attaching one of the six male ends of the wiring harness to the female end that’s routed out of the back of the letter. The pin connectors can only go on one way, but be sure to snug down on the grommet to seal the connection. Repeat this process on all six letters.

Route the positive and negative leads to the battery or switch panel as best as you can, zip-tying them to existing wire bundles.

KOK recommends that if you decide to wire directly to the battery, use an add-a-fuse to tap into the headlight fuse. This will allow the lights to turn on whenever the headlights are on. I installed it on my Auxbeam switch panel.

Review

3rd Gen Tacoma TRD Pro Grille With Custom Backlit TRD Pro Grille Lettering

To preface, an aftermarket grille is solely for aesthetic purposes, with no performance gains in any way.

The KOK Auto Parts TRD Pro Grille with illuminated letters is one of the coolest affordable mods you can do to your truck to stand out. I’ve personally had other Pro grilles and have been underwhelmed and disappointed with their quality. They shake, fade, creak, and just feel cheap.

The quality of the KOK grille is better compared to anything I’ve seen or had. As for the letters, they’re high quality and painted very well with no streaks or runs. Since my truck is Super White, I opted to paint match the letters and they’re spot on with the color code of the truck.

The illuminated letters are the highlight of this grille, and they’re awesome! I was initially skeptical about them being over the top, ugly, and having poor output/quality but none of that is the case. The amber shade, minimal amperage draw, and easy installation make this grille pretty rad.

All in all, the grille has been great and I have no complaints!

Final Thoughts

Toyota Tacoma With TRD Pro Grille With Backlit Lettering

I love lights and the little details that make a build unique and this product does just that. The shade of amber is similar to that of the Morimoto and AlphaRex DRLs so if you have those headlights, they’d pair wonderfully with the illuminated KOK letters!!

The KOK Auto Parts grille is a super unique and more affordable product that adds that touch of uniqueness we all strive for. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your grille or looking for some extra spice, look no further than KOK Auto Parts!

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RobinC
RobinC
14 days ago

They need to check with state laws. Much of this trendy lighting is not legal (i.e. North Carolina). Regulations are safety focused. Grow up and stop with the “look at me” mentality.

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