Kempter Kustoms Brings High-Quality Badges That Are Durable Enough To Withstand Abuse On The Trails
Customizing your 4Runner is commonplace for nearly every owner. The modification options are seemingly endless! One usually starts with wheels and tires, then maybe a suspension upgrade, lighting, etc. The list truly goes on and can be quite the rabbit hole. Badges, however, are budget-friendly mods that can often get overlooked.
Countless 4Runners have blacked out emblems, either OEM or aftermarket. Don’t get me wrong, they do look good, but what about custom badges? These simple changes can really add a personal touch to your rig, and Kempter Kustoms is here to help! Plus, they are unique, easy to install, and low-cost.
Let’s take a look at a custom badge from Kempter Kustoms.
Find it online:
- Kempter Kustoms Vintage SR5 Badge: Check Price
Who Is Kempter Kustoms?
Kempter Kustoms is a family-owned and operated business based out of Alabama. They make all sorts of sweet gear including badges, hitch covers, license plates, knives, and even roof racks. They’ll even do custom orders on a few products. Their badges are designed, fabricated, and shipped out of their shop in Alabama.
With plenty of generic aftermarket brands to choose from, I was drawn to Kempter Kustoms for their quality. Their badges are made of 16 gauge stainless steel and powder coated. All badges come with 3M double-sided tape pre-applied on the back, so they’re ready to install right out of the box.
Kempter Kustoms make a wide variety of Toyota badge designs including “Trail”, “TRD”, vintage logo, etc. I went with their vintage “SR5” logo for my 2018 SR5 Premium.
Tools and Materials:
- Heat Gun (or a hairdryer)
- Painters or Masking Tape
- Car Trim Removal Tool (or something thin like an old gift card)
- Paint Safe Automotive Solvent
- Measuring Tape
Step 1. Heat Up Existing Badges
First, you’ll want to heat up your existing badges to soften the adhesive. Be careful not to heat it up too much, as you do not want to damage the paint. I ended up using a hairdryer as I did not have my heat gun on me at the time. It still got the job done, just took a little longer.
Start by heating up the badge in a circular motion, not resting too much in the same spot. Continue the process until the badge starts to move with a gentle push of your plastic tool. A good rule of thumb was that once the body around the badge starts getting pretty warm, you are just about ready for removal.
Step 2. Remove Existing Badges
Now that the original badge adhesive has been thoroughly softened, quickly (but carefully) start to pry the badge away from the body. If done correctly, you’ll start to see adhesive coming off with the badge as you slowly remove it. On my first attempt, I had not heated the badge up enough and left a good bit of adhesive on the paint.
The only issue with leaving additional adhesive on the paint is a little extra work to remove it all completely. To do this, use a small amount of automotive solvent and a rag to remove. On the first badge, I had to re-heat the existing adhesive and use a wide plastic pry tool to gently scrape off the excess. Then, I followed up with solvent to remove what was left.
Step 3. Install New Badges
Once you’ve completely removed all of the original adhesive, you’re ready to install your new badges. The selected location is entirely up to you. I wanted it relatively centered along the window to give it a more symmetrical appearance.
Grab a tape measure to help spot your desired location. I roughly measured to center the new badge both horizontally and vertically. With a level, run a piece of masking tape along the line you are wanting to install.
Once marked, peel off the 3M adhesive backing on the new badge and firmly hold it in place for a few seconds.
Peel off the masking tape, and you’re done!
I couldn’t be more pleased with how simple and clean the installation turned out. The custom badges feel solid and seem like they should have no problem taking the abuse on the trail. Not only do they feel super durable, but the Kempter Kustoms’ powder coat and paint are exceptional.
Are these the cheapest badges out there? No. But what you get is quality that stands out amongst a sea of cheap imitations.