How to remove the Tacoma factory Rear Bumper?

A guide to removing Tacoma rear bumper

How to remove the Tacoma factory Rear Bumper?

Upgrading the aftermarket off-road rear bumper of your Tacoma can enhance its appearance, functionality, and off-road capabilities. Hooke Road will provide step-by-step instructions on how to remove the factory rear bumper in this guide, as well as answer common questions about rear bumper installation.

How to remove the factory rear bumper?

Before starting the removal process, remember to unplug the lights from both sides of the license plate, ensuring they turn down and pull out easily.

Tools needed:

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • 3/4-inch wrench and socket
  • 10mm socket
  • 11/16-inch socket
  • Gloves and a rubber mallet (optional but helpful)


Follow these steps to remove the factory rear bumper:

Use the flathead screwdriver to pop up the little squ ares from the inside, closest to the license plate. Lift them up by lifting the center round section of the pop-in piece to release them.

Underneath the cover, you'll find two additional small bolts. Use a 10mm socket to remove these bolts.

Locate the remaining four bolts (two on each side) using an 11/16-inch socket. Remove the two bolts closest to the bumper. Note that these bolts may have a black color, while the others are silver. This step applies to the Double Cab model with a hitch.

The brackets holding the rear bumper may differ for a non-Prerunner model. However, the removal pattern (removing the two closest bolts on each side) remains the same. Remove the two bolts closest to the bumper, noting that these bolts may not be black like the others.

With all the bolts removed, you will need at least two people to lift and remove the factory rear bumper from the truck. Exercise caution to avoid bending any tabs during the removal process.

Install Rear Bumper FAQS

How do I install the brackets with the existing tow hitch brackets in the way?

If the existing tow hitch brackets are obstructing the installation of the new brackets, you may need to temporarily remove or adjust them. Loosen the bolts securing the tow hitch brackets and move them out of the way to make room for the new brackets. Once the new brackets are installed, reattach or adjust the tow hitch brackets and tighten the bolts securely.

How do I wire the license plate light?

Typically, the license plate light wiring is pre-wired and ready for connection on the new bumper. Locate the wiring harness for the license plate light and connect it to the corresponding wiring harness or electrical connection on your vehicle. Ensure a secure and proper connection is made, following any provided instructions or matching wire colors.

How do I mount the license plate to the new bumper?

The new bumper should have a designated area or bracket for mounting the license plate. Attach the license plate to the designated area using the appropriate screws or fasteners. Ensure the license plate is securely mounted and properly aligned.

How do I run the wiring harness for the sensors?

Route the wiring harness for the sensors along the frame of the vehicle towards the sensor locations. Use wire clips or zip ties to secure the wiring harness and prevent it from interfering with other components or moving parts. Connect the wiring harness to the sensors according to the manufacturer's instructions, following any provided wiring diagrams or matching wire colors.

What do I do with the blind spot sensors & wiring?

If your vehicle is equipped with factory blind spot sensors, carefully remove them from the original bumper. Follow the instructions provided by the blind spot sensor manufacturer for installing and wiring them onto the new bumper. This may involve using adhesive or mounting brackets to secure the sensors and connecting the wiring harness to the appropriate connectors. 

Where do I wire the LED spotlights to?

To wire the LED spotlights, you have a few options. You can wire them directly to the vehicle's electrical system, by tapping into the existing wiring for the rear lights. Alternatively, you can use a separate switch and relay setup. Ensure the wiring is properly routed and secured, avoiding any areas where it may be pinched or damaged. Test the LED spotlights to ensure they are functioning correctly.

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