The difficulty of installation varies greatly depending on what you’ve got to start with. Regardless of year or generation, the first few steps are the same. Start by removing the front tires. It’s not required, but it will make your whole day a lot easier. Next, remove both front plastic wheel liners. If so equipped, you should now be able to see the back side of the fog light assembly and bulb.
First generation Tacomas are definitely going to be the most difficult, as they were not equipped with fog lights from the factory. You’ll have to start by picking a set of self-contained LED pods and purchasing a wiring kit. Remember, no factory fog lights means no factory fog light switch, no factory fog light wiring, no factory fog light relay, etc. Next at hand is mounting location. Fog lights should be mounted as low to the ground as possible, and as far away from each other as possible.
Everyone will choose the mounting spot that looks best, but the recommended location will yield the best results. Now you’ve got to drill holes and mount the pods to the truck. Then select a location inside the cab, drill a hole, and install a switch. Finally, everyone’s favorite, the wiring! You’ll need to run wiring between the switch inside the cab, the pods themselves, a relay that you’ll need to mount under the hood, the battery, and a chassis ground.
There are several possibilities on the 2nd and 3rd generation trucks. If your truck wasn’t optioned with fog lights from the factory, you’ve got the same fate ahead of you as the 1st gen guys. The good news is, after cutting out the holes where the factory lights would be mounted, you can purchase an application-specific LED pod mounting kit that fits perfectly in the factory location.
Then, you can select any LED pod of the appropriate size, and bolt it right into the mounting bracket. This allows for many more options, as well as make it easy to swap between pods. You’re still going to have to do some wiring, but most kits can be ordered with a plug and play style harness.
If your second gen came with factory fog lights, you’ve got four different options. First is an application-specific LED pod mounting kit, and pods of the appropriate size, as described above. The difference here is that you can order a wiring harness for your LEDs that will connect right into the factory harness. No wiring!
Next is application-specific LED pods. You can buy a kit containing LED pods designed to fit directly into the factory location. They can also be accompanied by adapter harnesses to connect directly to the factory plug.
The third option would be replacement LED bulbs, with external ballasts. The bulb portion of this setup twists and locks into the factory bulb opening. You must then find a clean, dry spot to mount the ballast pack. Connect 1 plug between the bulb and the ballast, and plug the ballast into the factory harness.
Done! The last, and easiest option is self-contained ballast replacement LED bulbs. These look very similar to the factory bulb layout but have a much larger base to house the ballast, electronics, and cooling devices. Take the old bulb out, twist the new one in. Connect the factory harness to the new bulb, and you’ve got better fog lights!