Updated: Nov 25, 2019
If you plan on modifying your 200 Series Landcruiser (VDJ200) you may need to remove the front grille to get access to the area behind it. Examples of when you may need to do this are when installing aftermarket accessories like a dual battery system, or perhaps you just want to customize the front end by wrapping or painting the chrome trims that run through the headlights. In this article we show you how to remove all the panels using a few simple tools.
Removing the trims/ plastics from the front of the 200 Series Landcruiser can be a little tricky. Below we share a few tips on how to preserve the clips and tabs from all the plastic parts, and hopefully save you some time and avoid any unnecessary frustration since it is quite straight forward and simple.
The first step is to remove the cover at the front of the engine bay. In the video below you'll see the clips that hold the plastic cowling (covering) in place. The way to remove these is to simply press the centre down and you'll hear a click - it is then free to lift up. In the first few seconds of the video you'll see how to re-install them making sure they only click once, are flush with the surround and are firmly locked in position.
Below this large plastic cowling you'll find three 10mm bolts/ screws which mount the top of the grille to the body/ chassis of the vehicle. The spanner is reference for size and we'd suggest a socket to remove them quickly.
Probably the most delicate part of removing the grille is finding a way of removing the chrome plastic covers that run through the middle of the headlights. You'll need a plastic prying tool like the one pictured below - it needs a bit of meat to be able to twist and pry the clips open.
Here we are working on the passenger side of the vehicle. Starting at the bottom inside part of the trim - position the prying tool as close to the bottom as you can so the force is applied to the clip and not just bending the trim. Firmly pry the trim and you'll hear it click open.
Once the bottom clip is unlocked you can move the prying tool towards the top of the trim. In the image below you'll see how to position the tool and where you need to pry open the next clip.
Once those two are released you should be able to carefully unlock the other three clips just by using your hands. In the images below you'll see where the clips are positioned, two across the top (one about half way along and another at the end), and the other on the inside section. Repeat for driver side.
Once the chrome covers are removed you can move to the next step which is working across the bottom of the grille where there are a number of tabs to be released. In the image below you'll see that they just need a slight press upwards (from underneath) and a pull from the front to release them one at a time. At the centre of the grille (still across the bottom) you'll see a much wider tab that is slightly different and needs to be pressed downwards to release.
Once the bottom tabs are all released the front grille should be just about free to remove. Note there is just one final clip on each side that can be unlocked/ released by simply pulling forward. Passenger side pictured.
The final steps are to remove the 2 wiring clips (harnesses) from the front camera/ radar system. The top clip is quite simple and can be removed by hand, the bottom a little more tricky and may need a small screwdriver to help unclip. NOTE!! Make sure the ignition is all switched off before unplugging any of the wiring.
And that's it! Your front grille is now ready for removal and should look something like the image below. In this project we are installing a dual battery system and you'll note the fabricated bracket which mounts into the factory holes and houses the Redarc BCDC1225D 3 stage battery charger.