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    Which Grille Is Right For Your Toyota Tundra?

    Which Grille Is Right For Your Toyota Tundra?

    For years I have been in the aftermarket industry for Toyota Tacomas, but recently I have branched out into the market for the Tacoma’s bigger brother: the Tundra. While I ramp up on products for your Tundras, we need to talk about one of the most important aftermarket parts for your Tundra. 

    The grille is one of the first things people see on your truck. It shows your personality and style. Like the Tacoma, the Tundra has plenty of options to fit your style and budget. How do you find the right one? Let’s take a look at some possible options from some well-respected companies to see if I can help. 

    TRD Pro Front Grille ($343)

    The TRD package is a great addition to your Tundra, but if you don’t want to spend the extra money, or you just want to add a little extra styling to your truck, Toyota offers the grille separately. You can’t go wrong with higher end OEM style upgrade.

    Rigid Industries Light Grille ($840)

    This more expensive option offers style and function with a built-in area for a light bar. They offer different lighting options, so I covered everything you need to know about light bars in a previous post to help you make the right choice. This grille is made out of high-quality material but does require modification to your grille shell.

    300 Industries Grilles ($400 - $900)

    If you want something specific to your style, 300 Industries offers many options from the US flag, skulls, to plenty of light up options. All grilles are sleek, but add that extra style you are looking for. 

    Enve Grilles ($350 - $1000)

    Like 300, these guys offer a wide selection of custom grilles from a mid to high budget. With loads of LED, Toyota and Tundra logo, and Enve logo options, you are sure to find something that fits your needs. They are not shy about putting their logo front and center. 

     

    T-Rex Grilles ($200 - $1000)

    Every price range is covered here, and so is every part. Not only do they offer aftermarket grilles, but you can find tons of lighting options, bumper overlays, and more. The styles range from conservative to aggressive, as do the lighting options. The grilles also come with LED lights, so no need to look elsewhere. It could be your one-stop shop.

    There are so many things that you can do to your Tundra to make it yours. The aftermarket and even OEM options are nearly limitless for these trucks. Do some looking around and find out what works best for the style you want, and the budget that you have in mind. I hope I was able to open your eyes to some new options. Stay tuned, because I am coming out with one as well, and if you like to the grilles we have for Tacomas, wait until you see the ones for the Tundras.

    Image Credits 

    TRD Grille - Collingwood Toyota

    Rigid LED Grille - Motoroso

    300 Industries Collection - 300 Industries

    Enve 40” LED Style 2 - Enve Grilles

    T-Rex Grille Collection - T-Rex Grilles

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    Which Grille Is Right For Your 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma?

    Which Grille Is Right For Your 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma?

    If you’re reading this, I can only assume that you own a 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020 Toyota Tacoma. I can also assume that you hate the stock grille that came with your truck and you want to give your rig a bit of a facelift. If that's true, read on.

    Whenever I create posts that feature direct competitors, I'm always asked... why? I believe we live in a world of abundance and there's plenty of business to go around. Also, at the end of the day, I talk with and sell my product to a different set of people than the folks who sell custom, high end grilles. That's just the way business goes and it makes me sad when people/competitors/haters/etc. get nasty.

    In this post, I highlight the brand and one of their grilles that I think is pretty cool. Most of these companies sell several different models, so don't get scared off by the high price tags just yet. So if you're looking for a Toyota Tacoma aftermarket grille, read on.

    Empyre Off Road

    Guess I'll start with our grille first. The Empyre Off Road grille is a minimalist option if you're looking to keep the cost low and quality high. Our customers really love the removable stainless steel backer that makes the "TACOMA" or “TOYOTA” text pop and stand out on the road. 

    Another selling point is that there are two different materials to choose from, cold rolled steel and aluminum. The great thing about aluminum is that it's lightweight and won't rust if the powder coating scratches or chips from rocks. Aluminum is definitely a customer favorite.

    Make: Empyre Off Road

    Model: Tacoma Grille Insert 

  • 2016 - 2017 Tacoma Grille
  • 2018 - 2019 TSS Tacoma Grille
  •  

    Non-TSS Price: $325 - Aluminum / $250 - Steel

    TSS Price: $350.00 - Aluminum / $280.00 - Steel

    Pros: Solid construction, two text options (Tacoma and Toyota), TSS option, inexpensive. We offer a 60-day money back guarantee. If you don't love it, you can return it for a full refund.

    Cons: One design

    Cali Raised Faux TRD Pro Grille

    The Cali Raised Faux TRD Pro Grille, which we sell here at Empyre Off Road is another great option for Tacoma enthusiasts. Cali Raised has spent a ton of time perfecting this grille and is a step above any of the Chinese knock-offs you can find on eBay. This grille gives you the look of an expensive TRD Pro Tacoma without having to spend the big bucks.

    Make: Cali Raised

    Price: $279.99

    Pros: Made out of high-quality ABS plastic and works with the TSS sensor

    Cons: No customization

    300 Industries

    300 Industries covers the gambit of selection and price range. You have forty-nine options to choose from, and prices that range from $400 to $1,050. The level of customization drops as the price goes down, but with that amount to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like, but at a price.

    Make: 300 Industries

    Model: X-Lite

    Price: $1,050

    Pros: Highly Unique, lights up

    Cons: Expensive, no customization

     

    Custom Car Grills

    The guys at Custom Car Grills also have a few options to choose from, but some of their more popular models would be their mesh grill, and their mesh grill with letters. Both are pretty plain, but in a stylish way. If you decide to go with the “TACOMA” or “TOYOTA” lettering, you'll get a nice subtle black finish layered on with aggressive lettering.

    Make: Custom Car Grills

    Model: Mesh

    Price: $279

    Pros: Subtle look, inexpensive

    Cons: Few options

    Grillcraft

    Grillcraft makes one of the most minimalist grilles on the market, which isn't a bad thing at all. If you are looking for something subtle and different, the MX model could be the one. It is a simple black mesh. No Toyota or Tacoma logo of any kind.

    The MX is a nice, clean way to dress up your truck.

    Make: Grillcraft

    Model: MX

    Price: $287

    Pros: Subtle look, inexpensive, lifetime warranty

    Cons: No options, company branded

    Bullet Proof Fabricating

    BPF is one of few grille manufacturers who provide an aluminum option. This grille is a nice lightweight option, and the design is a great improvement over what comes stock on 3rd gens. I would say it's a marriage of a bezel, mesh, and logo that go well together.

    The one thing that I don't love about this grille is that you have to pay extra to remove their company logo in lieu of the Toyota logo.

    Make: Bullet Proof Fabricating

    Model: BPF

    Price: $370

    Pros: Good triple look design, lightweight, free shipping

    Cons: Extra cost for “TOYOTA”, brand name too prevalent

    Bay Area Metal Fabrication

    Last but not least is a company called Bay Area Metal Fabrication. The folks at BAMF offer two different types of grilles, the Eco Insert ($284) and the hugely popular Recessed grille ($600). 

    I absolutely love the recessed grille as it gives the Tacoma an extremely aggressive look. Both options also allow you to order a color matched backplate that slides behind the “TOYOTA” or “TACOMA” logo.

     

    Make: Bay Area Metal Fabrication

    Model: Recessed

    Price: $600

    Pros: Good design, customizable

    Cons: High priced

    So, there you have it. I hope that this post has been helpful and has given you a few other options to consider when looking to replace your stock grille. Please let us know if you have any questions.

    What's The Difference Between Rock Sliders & Steps / Nerf Bars For Your Tacoma?

    What's The Difference Between Rock Sliders & Steps / Nerf Bars For Your Tacoma?

    A common upgrade that Tacoma owners absolutely love to put on their trucks are rock sliders or side steps. Because of this, many Tacoma owners have the question... what’s the difference? The difference is HUGE, and which one you decide to go with really depends on your needs.

    In short, steps generally bolt to your body of the truck and provide easier access to getting into your truck. Sliders generally bolt to your frame and offer protection to the body panels of your truck when doing some serious off-roading. Let's dive in a bit deeper.

    STEPS

    Steps are just that: steps. If you've added a decent lift to your Tacoma and need a little extra help getting in, these give you that extra bump you need. There are plenty of options to choose from depending on your budget and needs. Here are some of those options:

    Single Hoop and Nerf Bars

    Hoop steps and Nerf bars may come as a single, or a double set attached to a tube. Single steps can be an affordable option (around $50), but you may have to drill to get the to fit properly. 

    A set that will fit for sure would be an OEM Predator Tube step.  I'm seeing a lot of dealerships installing these before selling the truck to the public. These are about $548 on Amazon. A cheaper aftermarket Nerf bar can also be had for around $180.

    Running Boards

    Running board are usually one long step that run from your front door to the back of your rear door. Running boards can have hoop steps like nerf bars. Some companies interchange the names, but there are different styles. An average price would be like these iBoard Tacoma running boards for around $220.

    Retractable

    Retractable running boards or side steps are very expensive, but add a very luxurious feel and style to your truck. These stay tucked flush against or under your truck until you’re ready to get in, then they will lower electronically. AMP Research makes a set for around $1500, and that is a typical price.

    ROCK SLIDERS

    As mentioned before, rock sliders bolt to your frame and are designed for protection. If you do some rock crawling or extreme off roading, you run the risk of the rock slamming into the bottom of your truck near the edges. If that happens, you can seriously damage your side panels, and it could even lead to your doors being misaligned. If you play hard, you need to have protection. 

    Note: Some rock sliders have steps, but if they do, they resemble running boards. Hoop and Nerf type steps would snag on rocks and potentially get you stuck.

    The average cost for rock sliders is going to be around $250 to $550 depending on brand and material. Remember that while they may look good, the are supposed to be able to take a beating so you don’t need to get body work done later. Here are a few that you might consider as you're doing your research:

    First, let's start with the Cali Raised rock sliders that we carry here at Empyre Offroad. These things are amazing. They are build extremely well and look so good installed on your Tacoma. The cost on these is $500 without any customization such as powder coating, the ability to bolt them on vs welding etc.

    Bay Area Metal Fabrication (BAMF) makes a set of sliders for around $450. A lot of people talk about these on the forums, so they must be really solid and do their job well.

    Another popular choice is from SOS Off Road Concepts. These are a little on the higher end at around $580, but people are happy with them. Both these and the ones from BAMF offer running board-style steps. 

    4x Innovations makes a cheaper solution at $245, but you do have to get them welded on. So unless you have a welder laying around your garage or a neighbor who welds, it could end up costing you a bit more. 

    As you can see, there are plenty of options out there, and this guide should help point you in the correct direction to help you understand the difference between sliders and steps, and what to get for your truck.

    Image Credits

    Single/Nerf “Predator” Step - Tacoma World user HardCase

    Running Boards - Aries Automotive

    Retractable - Truck Access Plus

    BAMF Sliders - Bay Area Metal Fab

    SOS Off Road Concepts Sliders - SOS Off Road

    4x Industries - TTORA user Scuba

    Cali Rasied Slider - Cali Raised

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    Top 20 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tundras

    Top 20 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tundras

    For the last few years we've devoted all of our love to Tacomas here at Emypre Off Road, mostly, because that's what I currently own. However, I've had countless people reach out on forums, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms asking me to start writing about and selling Tundra products.

    Well, 2019 is the year for us to get into that market, so here's the first post of many to come. As you well know, Toyota Tundra trucks are just as popular as Tacomas and like their little brother, Tundra owners love to mod out their trucks. Here is a great list of Toyota Tundra modifications and accessories you can buy and install to give you truck a little flair and personalization. Most of these mods and ideas come from the pros on forums and Facebook groups, some of which are my dear friends. If your Tundra is a 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019, this post is for you!

    So, let's dive right in...

    Grille (Under $300)

    It’s the first thing everyone sees, so why have a factory one like everyone else? I don’t make ones for Tundras yet, but there are dozens of options out there. Find one that fits your style. A quick search on CARiD show some of the many to choose from.

    Cali Raised LED Side Projection Ditch Lights (About $115)

    Ditch lights are a great way to help you turn day into night for that serious off roading, or just driving down the driveway of your ranch at night. There are multiple options you can select, but a basic kit is around $115.

    Cali Raised Replacement LED Fog Light Pods ($120) 

    The factory fog lights are garbage compared to the substantially brighter, more durable, and longer lasting LED options that Cali offers. More subtle than ditch lights, these LEDs will make certain you see what’s in front of you.

    Cali Raised Lower Bumper LED Light ($270) 

    If you simply need more light, this stealthy bar is perfect. It gives a sleek factory look when you don’t need it, and light-up-the-night performance when you do with a choice of spot or combo beam options.

    Vinyl Tailgate Inserts ($15)

    For very little, you can make your Tundra pop by adding some colored vinyl inserts to the letters on your tailgate. I offer a lifetime warranty on mine. 

    Pop & Lock Power Tailgate Lock ($94)

    Forget about remembering to use your key to lock your tailgate. Match this with a tonneau cover, and your cargo is safe or accessible with just the press of a button.

    Spidertrax Wheel Spacers ($130)

    When size matters on a budget, these spacers give an excellent and cost effective way to widen your ride. The extra width gives an impressive stance over the factory setup, but you get to keep your factory wheels.

    OEM Bed Mat ($100) 

    Bed mats are an easy way to keep your stuff from rolling around. There are plenty of options, but you can’t go wrong with OEM for something like this.

    Gator Tri Fold Tonneau ($219)

    I have covered all the basics about different types of covers for your trucks, and here is one that I recommend. It’s inexpensive, effective, and looks good. What more could you want?

    Husky Floor Liners ($179)

    Keep your feet planted and the mess off your carpet with quality mats. Husky offers multiple options depending on your budget and style.

    Deck Rail System ($208)

    These are a lifesaver if you use your bed frequently for different utilities. It’s the perfect companion for storage assistance and accessory mounting.

    Black-Out Badges ($140)

    If you don’t want decals, these solid emblems will replace your factory ones with a set of sleek black ones. If you like dark, these are for you.

    Rear Sway Bar ($233) 

    Visual stuff is great, but performance is better. Enhance your factory handling characteristics with an easy to install sway bar to help beef things up.

    Escort Passport 8500X50 ($129)

    Trucks a great off road, but a top speed of around 110 mils per hour can get you into trouble. This is a highly reviewed average detector. It may give you some false readings, but it's better than breaking the bank. Be safe.

    Door Sill Protectors ($34)

    You want to protect your truck inside and out, and these help prevent scuffs and scraps that happen daily. Of course, you’ll remember what you’re driving, because “TUNDRA” is molded into each one!

    Door Sill Protector Decals ($11)

    If you find the letters in your door sills are hard to read, these will give it an extra pop. Match your paint, or get a color that compliments your exterior.

    Center Console Organizer ($29)

    I don’t remember how half the stuff in my console got there, but with one of these, I’ll at least be able to keep it all organized. You’ll be shocked at the world of difference this simple tray makes.

    Under Seat Storage ($225)

    If your console isn’t enough, make use of the storage room under your seat with these compartments. It’s a great place to hide what you don’t want wandering eyes to see.

    Tyger Nerf Bars ($289)

    Jump into your Tundra in style with these textured side step rails that not only give you a leg up on your friend’s trucks, but they help protect the underside when you’re rock crawling. 

    Pioneer Stereo Upgrade With Apple Car Play ($290)

    In a previous post, I covered all types of stereo options. A good one for your Tundra is this Pioneer unit with almost every app and option you can think of, including Apple CarPlay.

    Your truck, your style. There are tons of inexpensive options to make your truck stand out from purely cosmetic, to function and performance as well. You don’t need to break the bank to stand apart, and these are some great ways for you to get started.

    Please keep in mind that prices fluctuate daily on Amazon/eBay and the prices represented above are accurate as the day of this posting.

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tacomas

    Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tacomas

    If you own a Tacoma, you already know that you're part of a cult... A cult who loves to dump hundreds, even thousands of dollars into cool mods and accessories for their trucks. For many, our mods have to be planned out and budgeted financially, so I polled TacomaWorld.com, TacomaForum.com, and several Facebook groups and pulled together this list of mods for those on a budget.

    These mods work with all 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 models.

    Pop & Lock Power Tailgate Lock ($97)

    This tailgate lock not only prevents thieves from stealing your tailgate, but when coupled with a tonneau cover, will protect your valuables as well. Originally designed for the Tundra, this pop & lock will work on your Tacoma and make it easy to lock with a push of button.

    TRD Pro Style Aftermarket Grille ($300)

    I've never met a Tacoma owner who doesn't want an aftermarket grille insert for their Tacoma. This is definitely one of the most popular mods we see, so rip out that old grille and mount up an aluminum, black powder-coated grille and give your Tacoma the facelift it deserves.

    Anytime Front Camera (Under $200)

    When you drive a truck, it's really hard to see what's in front of you on the ground. Adding a front camera helps when pulling into parking spaces or pulling into your garage to make sure you going in straight and not running anything over.

    Buy camera here - Buy interface cables here.

    Center Console Organizer Tray ($13.99)

    If you're like most Tacoma owners, you feel like your center console is a catch all for the crap you have laying around your truck. This tray allows the bottom of your console to be the catch all for your crap, while having a nice organized section for the things you use most.

    Gator Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover ($259)

    As mentioned in the pop & lock section, if you don't have a tonneau cover, you're missing out. A tonneau will allow you to protect what's in your bed from the harshest weather conditions and when coupled with the tailgate lock, secure them as well.

    Cali Raised LED Side Projection Ditch Lights ($135.99)

    Ditch lights are something I've never really heard of or seen before, but they help off roaders get more light coverage, up to 120 degrees on each side of the vehicle.

    Scotchgard Fabric Protector Spray ($20.44)

    Scotchgard is a no brainer for anyone who has a car, truck, couches, or other fabric based furniture. Spray on 2-3 coats and watch the juice and soda roll right off your seats to your rubber floor mats.

    Vinyl Decal Tailgate Inserts ($14.99)

    One quick way to give your truck a facelift is by installing tailgate inserts into the embossed Tacoma logo on the bottom of your tailgate. There are so many different kinds, but I like the ones cut out of vinyl. They are cheap and easy to put on and can be swapped out for different colors in the blink of an eye.

    Redline Hood Struts/Lifts ($99.95)

    Why most cars and trucks don't come with automatic, gas spring based hood lifts is beyond me. I mean, it's 2018 people! These hood struts make it easy to prop open the hood of your Tacoma when you need to clean or work on your engine.

    Cali Raised Replacement LED Fog Light Pods ($139.9)

    If you hate your round, non LED fog lights, Cali Raised has the most affordable solution for you. Their LED fog light pods make it quick and easy to install a brighter, more powerful light at half the price of their competitors.

    Scosche Magnetic Phone Mount ($14.82)

    One of the best phone mounts I've come across is the Scosche mount. It's good looking and mounts just about anywhere to keep your phone front and center while you're out on a drive.

    KB Voodoo Anytime Backup Camera ($65)

    Tacoma owners who tow a lot love the KB Voodoo anytime backup camera. With a little wiring, you can activate your backup camera at anytime to check out your trailer, boat, or whatever you might be hauling.

    Tint

    One of the basic mods you can make to any car or truck is adding tint. Tint not only helps keep your Tacoma cool in the summer, but helps keep the inside of your truck private to outside viewers.

    Matt Gecko Under Bed Rail LED Lights ($85 - $90)

    If you run any sort of a bed cover, you know it's very dark in the bed of your truck, day or night. These sweet bed rail lights provided by Matt Gecko give you the light you need to see anything and everything while your cover is down.

    AC Drain Mod (Less than $15 and ten minutes of your time)

    A lot of Tacoma owners don't realize that where their AC condensation drips out under the truck, hits the frame and causes rust. This handy little mod brought to you by the folks at Tacoma World needs to done this coming spring before you start using your AC again. Better safe than sorry.

    Floor Mat Anti-Slip Fastener Clips ($4.98)

    Who else hates that the passenger side and second cab mats slide all around? One easy fix is to superglue heavy duty velcro to them, which works some of the time. A better solution is installing these anti-slip fastener clips. They will hold your mats in place for as long as you own your truck.

    AJT Design Injection Fob ($34.99)

    A simple, but cool mod offered by AJT design is a replacement key fob. It's very easy to take apart your current, black fob and put the guts into one of their color matched, more rugged fobs.

    Hood Bulge Glare Blocker Sticker ($29.99)

    Many Tacoma owners complain that the bulge on their Sport model casts a wicked glare and makes it hard to see on a sunny day. The solution to this is the hood bulge glare blocker decal. It deadens the rays from the sun and makes it not reflective anymore.

    Cali Raised Behind Grille LED Light Bar ($269.99)

    Light bars are all the rage with serious off roaders. Even a lot of mall crawlers put light bars on their rigs. The Cali Raised behind grille light bar mounts right below your Tacoma grille and with a little wizardry, can be wired right to a push button to light it up... but please do so responsibly. You don't want to be one of those douches who blinds people on city roads.

    Tacoma Pros Raptor Light Kit ($79.99)

    Not sure why Tacoma owners want to make their trucks look like the Ford Raptor, but they do. On the top of the grille, the Raptor has three amber lights. This mod makes any Tacoma grille look like a Raptor when the sun goes down.

    OEM Bed Mat Short Bed / Long Bed ($115.43 - $121.40)

    A bed mat is pretty self explanitory, but for those who want to keep their stuff from rolling and sliding all around the bed of their truck, the OEM bed mat is the perfect solution. It's thick and kinda grippy and does the job right.

    KB Voodoo Remote Start Kit ($149)

    If you love your Tacoma to always be warm when you jump into it, installing a remote start kit is vital to your comfort. The KB Voodoo kit is cheap and incredibly easy to install.

    Spidertrax Wheel Spacers ($91.91)

    For those who want their Tacoma's to have a wider, more aggressive stance, but can't afford new wheels, wheel spacers are for you. They allow you to keep your stock wheels, but give you a more beefed up look.

    LED Interior Lights ($14.99)

    These days, most of the world is powered by LEDs, so why Toyota didn't equip Tacomas with LEDs all the way around is beyond me. This mod is very easy to complete and gives you more of a daylight look to your lights.

    Premium Audio Upgrade - Tweeters / Front Speakers / Rear Speakers (Less than $250)

    Many Tacoma owners complain about their sound system and how their music just sounds awful. I don't necessarily agree, but for those who want an inexpensive way to upgrade your system, this upgrade is for you. Here's the install video

    Please keep in mind that prices fluctuate daily on Amazon/eBay and the prices represented above are accurate as the day of this posting.

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.