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    Top 20 Mods & Accessories Under $200 For 2nd Gen Tacomas

    Top 20 Mods & Accessories Under $200 For 2nd Gen Tacomas

    If you own a 2nd gen Tacoma, chances are you’ve done something to modify it to make it truly unique. This could be something free, or it could have cost you thousands or dollars.

    After scouring the Internet and the Tacoma forums, I’ve put together a list of the top twenty mods under $200 for your second generation Toyota Tacoma build out.

    TRD Pro Grille ($139)

    One of the quickest and best looking mods for a 2nd gen Tacoma is a TRD Pro grille. These full inserts can be easily swapped out with no modifications to your truck in about twenty minutes. Add raptor lights and you'll be off roading in style. You can buy them right here on our site by clicking on of the links below.

    Hood Struts ($130)

    While it may seem like a no brainer, many manufacturers these days don’t make their cars or trucks with hood struts. Perhaps it’s to save money, or perhaps ensure longevity, but let’s face it: hood struts are cool. They assist in opening your hood, and give you more room when you need to work with that prop not being a thing of the past. You can get them cheaper, but this is a good kit from Redline Tuning that many people are happy with.

    Blacked-Out and LED Tail Lights ($180)

    A great way to give your truck a mean look is to black out the taillights. While you could use a spray can, going the extra mile with a replacement kit is the best way. Incandescent bulbs might not shine as well through the tint, so why not bring your truck up to modern specs with LED lights while you’re at it? This will be to taste, but the kit here is a nice aggressive look, and will give you a good starting point.

    LED Interior Package ($25)

    Incandescent bulbs are classic, but LED bulbs are much brighter. For cheap, you can replace your map, dome, vanity, license plate, and reverse lights in this one kit. This is one of the best 2nd gen interior mods available.

    Tint

    While tint may be a little more expensive, it has two functions: it looks good, and keeps your truck cool on those hot summer days. Look around for a place by you that does it. It’s best to find a place that offers some type of warranty on their work in the event the tint starts to bubble. Check your local laws to see how dark your tint can legally be.

    Painting or “Dipping” Chrome Parts (About $15)

    Chrome looks good, but when you want that blacked out look, you can get expensive replacement parts, or you could get a couple cans of black spray paint, or Plasti Dip. This route may not be the most durable, but it will give you quick custom results that you can touch up any time. The benefit to using Plasti Dip is that you can peel it off if you ever get bored with it, or want to sell your truck. (But, why would you ever sell your truck?)

    12V Plug in the Bed (About $15)

    This one does involve some tools, skill, and elbow grease, but if you want some extra power to your bed, then adding a 12V plug might be a great option. While the 110V plug is great, many things we get for our vehicles come with 12V plugs. This guide will show you the cheapest way to add the socket to your bed, should you need it.

    Bed Extender ($50)

    For a fraction of the cost of a new pre-made one, you can extend your bed with some wood, paint, screws, and a couple extra pieces. You can make a really good looking and effective piece of hardware. I would not suggest leaving it on 24-7 if you don’t need to. Even if you get treated wood, it may warp during extreme weather over time.

    LED Bed Lights ($60)

    Lighting is probably one of the most noticeable, effective, and cheapest modifications you can do to any vehicle, as I’ve shown on a few mods already. Your bed is no exception. While this may be more expensive than putting fog or driving lights in the side pockets by the cab, this method looks great, is very bright, and will give your trucks a very nice custom and unique look. 

    Projector Headlights ($160)

    You can’t leave your headlight stock after getting those smoked LED taillights. Projector headlights are what you find on high-end cars and trucks. Smoked ones will give you that mean look, but with the power of the light behind them, you won’t have to worry about visibility issues. This is just one of the options out there.

    Tailgate Backup Camera ($102)

    Back-up cameras are almost becoming standard on newer vehicles. While you can get aftermarket ones that mount on your license plate, those look cheap and might not give you the best view. This kit emulates the camera on the new Tacos, but at a fraction of the cost. It’s something to look into to give you the feel of a newer truck, and to assist with seeing what’s behind you. You will need to get a display of some sort.

    Bed Mat ($110)

    If you want to keep your stuff from sliding around, you need a bed mat. It’s also a great way to protect your bed, which would cost much more to replace if it gets damaged. OEM is the way to go!

    Securing Your Bet Mat (Pretty Much Free)

    Your bed mat won’t move much when it’s installed, but if you want a little peace of mind, three parts you probably have lying around will secure it to your bed.

    All-Weather Floor Mats ($150)

    Good floor mats are a wise investment. All-weather ones are perfect if you intend on using your truck like a truck. You can find cheaper versions, but they generally don’t last.

    Brush Guard ($178)

    These are a great way to add style and protection to your truck. The aggressive look says, “Get out of my way.” If you are into off-roading, it’s a great way to protect parts like your bumper, grill, and radiator from getting too damaged. There are a few options. This is just one. 

    Lift Kit/Lift Block ($154)

    I go into pretty extreme detail in a previous post about lifting your Tacoma. Some options are effective, yet pretty inexpensive. Lift blocks, spacers, and leveling kits can be found for under $200. As long as you are not doing any serious off-roading, they look great, and are effective for some extra ground clearance.

    Heated Mirrors (About $35)

    This involves a bit of elbow grease, but for a few bucks and some of your time, you can create something usually only found on luxury vehicles. It’s a helpful and unique feature that will have people asking about how you did it.

    Painting or Plasti Dipping Your Wheels (About $15)

    Wheels are a great way to express your style, but they can get rather expensive. Painting them is a cheap way to get the look you want, with only spending a few bucks and a little bit of your time. Just remember to take your time. If you rush, it can turn out looking quite bad. You can always touch them up if they chip, and best part about Plasti Dip is that if you don’t like it, just peel it off!

    Custom Lug Nuts (About $30)

    I don’t have a link for this one because there are so many options, even though most people tend to overlook this. For generally around thirty bucks, you can get chrome ones, black chrome ones, matte black, different styles, and so on. Like the ideas for the grill and wheels, you can also paint or Plasti Dip your stock ones. Just keep in mind that if you do that, it’s chipping the instant an impact wrench hits it.

    Blinking Side Markers (About $5)

    With a couple bucks and little splicing, you can add a unique feature and turn your side markers into turn signals even when they are off. Not only is it different, but it’s a great safety feature too.

    Center Console Light (About $10)

    Again, lighting is super simple and effective. Adding lights to your center console gives a touch of luxury to your truck.

    Not all mods and aftermarket performance parts have to be expensive. Many of these are super cheap, and just take a little bit of your time. Take a look at your truck, and think about what you can do. While money may be the limit sometimes, it mostly just comes down to your imagination and creativity, so I hope this post has given you some good ideas. Now, get out there and mod your Tacoma!

    * Please note the following:

    These mods should fit the following models: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2015. Please verify with the seller that this is the case before ordering.

    Prices fluctuate daily on Amazon/eBay and the prices represented above are accurate as the day of this posting.

     Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    The Ultimate Guide To Deleting your Tundra’s Exterior Chrome

    The Ultimate Guide To Deleting your Tundra’s Exterior Chrome

    Chrome can be nice sometimes, but let’s face it… Chrome is pretty much the worst. We've already covered how to black out your Toyota Tundra, but you’ve still got a lot of chrome on the exterior with the bumper caps, grille, etc.. If you want to learn how to get rid of the chrome on your Toyota Tundra, you’ve come to the right place.

    Let’s take a look at two options: buying everything new and potentially ready to go, or painting everything yourself.

    BUYING THE REPLACEMENT PARTS

    Buying the parts already color matched, or at least ready to paint, is a good option if you have the extra money. One, “plug and play” is always easier. The part comes to you, and you put it on. You don’t have to worry about your truck being in pieces while parts are being painted.

    On top of that, if you plan on selling your truck (I know… who would do that?), you might be able to get some more out of it if you give the new owner the ability to return the vehicle to stock.

    Bumper Caps/Ends

    Getting these color matched to your truck will knock out two BIG chucks of chrome that sit at the front and rear of your truck. Unfortunately, Toyota does not offer a color match option when you order them. This means that you will have to take them to your local body shop, or paint them yourself. I recommend using paint from Automotive Touchup for some great results!

    When ordering these end caps, make sure you get the right ones! Here are the OEM Toyota parts that you will need. Make note of the sensors!

    Front Bumper Caps ($115)

    Rear Bumper Caps ($133 - $140)

    TRD Pro Grille with Included Surround

    Like most trucks, the Tundra comes with a large grille. For us, it’s a large chrome grille. Through Toyota, you can get a color matched TRD Pro grille and surround. Unfortunately, you do have to order the grille and surround together. If you find that Toyota does not have the color that you are looking for, you will probably have to go the body shop or DIY route.

    2019+ TRD Pro Grill ($315)

    If you're looking for just the TRD Pro Grille without the surround, you can buy it here on our site.

    Hood Bulge

    If you’re going for a custom grille, you can’t forget about the hood bulge. I mean, that would look silly. Thankfully this part is painted from the factory, but they offer quite a few different paint code options (12, to be specific.) The cost on this is $200

    Mirror Caps 

    If you want to add a little extra flair to your ride, mirror caps are a great option. Having them color match your Tundra is easy since you can get them factory color matched directly from Toyota. You can find them here: All Color Options for Tundra Mirror Caps. The cost on these is $83.

    Door Handles 

    If you have chrome door handles, you know they stand out. Not only that, but your fingerprints and grime REALLY show up well. Toyota also allows you to get these painted from the factory, so no more worries! You can find them here: All Color Options for Tundra Door Handles. The cost on these is between $115 and $233.

    PAINTING THE PARTS YOURSELF

    Painting the parts yourself cuts down on the cost of buying yet another part to add onto your truck, and I’m sure that will please your significant other. However, your truck has to be in pieces, which is not attractive. The cost of getting parts painted can be more than the parts, unless you are getting them painted all together.

    If you decide to tackle the actual painting yourself, there is some stuff you need to know.

    Disclaimer: Painting parts and having them look good takes a lot of skill and some good equipment. I would personally suggest having this type of work done by your local body shop, this is what I did with mine and it cost about $600. There is no way I am going to make you a professional painter in a couple of paragraphs. The following steps are literally the bare basics of a skill that take a lot to master.

    First off, you need some supplies…

    • Sandpaper ($11) - You’re going to use this to scuff up the surface of what you’re intending to paint.
    • Automotive Masking Tape ($5) - This is to mask off the parts of your vehicle you don’t want painted, IF you choose to leave the part on your truck.
    • Masking Paper - With this tape, this will cover the parts of your truck you don’t want painted. Personally, I just use the newspaper/flyers that show up in my mailbox all the time.
    • Primer ($10) - This goes on before your paint.
    • Color Matched Paint ($23) - This is pretty self explanatory.
    • Clear Coat ($10) - This goes over the color base coat.
    • Time (Cost can vary…)

    Now for the real quick and dirty to painting:

    1. Start by either removing the part you want to paint, or masking off the rest of the nearby truck if you intend on leaving the part on.
    2. Sand the entire surface of the part you want to paint. Start with the roughest sandpaper first, then work to the smoothest ones.
    3. Clean the area well to remove any leftover paint or dust from the sanding
    4. Spray the area in an even coat of primer (follow the directions on the can for best results)
    5. Sand any problems areas again with a high grit sandpaper to get a smooth surface to paint on
    6. Clean the area again from all dust and debris
    7. Start spraying the base color coat on the surface (follow the directions on the can for best results). You will probably want to spray a few light coats.
    8. After you have painted the number of coats you want and the paint is ready (consult the directions on your can for that information), follow the same procedure with a number of clear coats
    9. After the paint has cured, reinstall the part, and/or remove any masking

    Pro Tip: Take your time and keep it clean. Prep work is extremely important to a good paint job. If you rush the sanding, cleaning, or drying times, it will show in the final product. If it doesn’t show right away, it will over time as the paint ages and is exposed to the elements. 

    Whichever route you decide to go, deleting the chrome on your Tundra and lead to a very impressive looking truck. Of course, what you do and how you do it depends on your style and budget. Regardless, go make your truck yours!

    Image Credits

    Bumper Caps - Courtesy of ADV Fiberglass

    TRD Pro Grille - Courtesy of Clavey’s Corner

    Hood Bulge - Courtesy of Tundras.com user turkeycreek29010

    Mirror Caps and Door Handles - Courtesy of Tundras.com user chadh1972

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

    The Ultimate Toyota Tundra Wheel & Tire Guide

    The Ultimate Toyota Tundra Wheel & Tire Guide

    One of the best ways to customize any vehicle is to swap out the wheels for something unique. With the Toyota Tundra, there are quite a few aftermarket options to make your truck either the best off-road machine or the best ride in the parking lot. There are some things that you should know if you plan on changing out your stock wheels, so let’s get into it.

    Stock Tundra Wheel Sizes

    From 2000 to now, Tundra has come out with a few different sizes of wheels depending on the year and trim level of your Tundra. While different sized tires can fit on stock wheels, it’s best to check your manual to see what size you should have. I’ll get into why that’s important in a second.

    Tundra Lug Patters

    Your lug pattern is important to know when considering wheels. Thankfully the Tundra is a bit easier to know which you have compared to the smaller Tacoma. If your Tundra is a first-generation (2000 - 2006), then you have a 6 lug 5.5 inch or 139.7mm Medium Offset. If you have a second or third-generation (2007 - present), you have a 5 lug 150mm High Positive Offset

    Lug Torque

    While I may be getting ahead of myself, these are some good numbers to know.

    PROBLEMS WITH BIGGER TIRES

    Let’s face it: bigger tires on a truck just look better. Thankfully, Toyota leaves us some room to expand from the wimpy factory rubber, but just how much is too much?

    Speedometer Calibration

    The speed and mileage of your vehicle are calculated by the number of rotations your tire makes. All of this is based upon factory specs. If you intend on going larger, your speedometer and odometer will no longer be accurate.

    Let’s have an example. Your 2014 Tundra has stock tires that are 255/70R18, but you put 285/60R20s on instead. Your speedometer will read 50 MPH, but you’re actually going 52.2 MPH. While that may not seem like such a big issue, that will add up over time if you drive your truck quite a bit. Let’s not forget that some police officers may be looking for just that little bit over! You can solve all this by getting your Tundra reprogrammed for the new tire size.

    Power Loss

    A more noticeable issue with larger tires is a loss of power. When you increase the diameter of your wheel, you effectively decrease your rear axle ratio. This will cause a reduction of torque upon acceleration.

    Lift Kits and Spacers: How High can you go?

    While higher may be better, unfortunately, the sky is not the limit in this case. Everything on our Tundras is made to fit well from the factory. Eventually, you will have to lift, change wheels, or trim away parts of your truck to get things fitting. 

    If you lift your truck, you can get away with bigger tires. Here is a list that covers the maximum tire size that you can get away with based on your generation of truck, wheel size, and the amount of lift you have.

    Legal Note: If your wheels and tires are wide enough to where they extend beyond the body of your truck, you may have to buy fender flares to cover the excess protrusion. Some states in the US require wheels to be covered. Check with your state laws to be on the safe side.

    * At this point, you might have to look into trimming your truck in some places to get the best fit.

    POPULAR TUNDRA TIRE OPTIONS

    There are an insane amount of options to choose from when it comes to wheels and tires. Tires are a bit more “need focused.” Choosing a tire comes down to some factors such as cost, use, and availability. Let’s go over some popular options that Tundra users like.

    Nitto Grappler Series

    This isn’t one tire exactly, but the family of Nitto Grappler tires is very popular with the Tundra community. They have eight different tread patterns designed to meet any terrain you can think of. Their Terra Grappler and Terra Grappler G2 tires are the popular all-terrain options that they offer. They are around $200 per tire, but they give great results.

    Cooper Discoverer AT3

    While around $220 per tire, these tires are designed tough terrain.  Due to that, some have complained that they didn’t last as long as they would have liked on the highway, but keep in mind that tires should be purchased for their intended purpose. That aside, they are still a very popular option.

    Toyo Open Country A/T III (AT3)

    For around $213, these are some good all-terrain options for your truck. If you want to do some mild off-roading, go to the grocery store, and not break the bank all in one day, then this could be the option for you.

    BFGoodrich KO2

    This is sort of a staple for trucks, especially on 16-inch wheels. These are an all-around good tire that can handle almost anything, and they are long-lasting. They are extremely popular options, and you can find them for around $200 per tire.

    There are tons of options. It all depends on budget and taste. If you can lift your truck, you have more options. If you can get new wheels, you have more options. As long as you keep in mind the speedometer and odometer changes, as well as potential rubbing issues if you go too big, then you'll be fine.

    Wheel Offset

    This has been mentioned a couple of times, and it has probably come up in your research. So, what is it?  Wheel offset is the distance from the wheels hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. There are three types, and they are measured in millimeters.

    1. Zero Offset: The mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel
    1. Positive Offset: The mounting surface is located in the front half of the wheel closer to the wheel face. 
    1. Negative Offset: The mounting surface is located in the back half of the wheel closer to the back lip flange.

    POPULAR TUNDRA WHEEL OPTIONS

    Now that we have all the boring terminology out of the way, let’s talk about wheel options! This is definitely going to come down to personal taste. What looks good to you, might look terrible to the next person. However, here are some popular options that many Tundra owners like.

    TRD Pro Wheels

    Wheels are not cheap, and these definitely are not. However, they will give your truck a beefier look without the big price difference of the TRD trim. You can get these Tundra TRD Pro Wheels on Amazon for about $650 per wheel, and these will fit the 2007 and up models. These are the 2019+ style. You can find the previous generation wheels for about $280 each.

    Fuel Anza

    While Fuel makes a few popular Tundra wheels, the Anza seems to be liked a lot by many. It is a sleek, five-spoke design that has an aggressively subtle look. They can be found for around $250 each, and you can select different color options. Let’s be real: black looks great.

    Ballistic Jester

    If you want something a bit more flashy, but also something that won’t break the bank, the Ballistic Jester wheels might be the best for you. You have a few different color options with these, and you can find them for around $150 each.

    Moto Metal

    Like the Jesters, if you want flash for not a lot of cash, the Moto Metal is a good pick. With different styles, you can find something that gives your truck the look you want. At around $150-$180 each, it’s also a good buy.

    In closing, there are a ton of options out there for you and your truck. Now that you have the knowledge, get out there and find what works for you and your budget! 

    Image Credits:

    Nitto Grappler - Courtesy of Tundras user chphilo

    Cooper Discoverer - Courtesy of Tundras user tat2ude39

    Toyo AT2 - Courtesy of Tundras user vierra4

    BFG KO2 - Courtesy of Tundras user chuggy35

    TRD Pro - Coutresy of SaltWire

    Fuel Anza - Courtesy of Tundras user FunkinTundra

    Ballistic Jester - Courtesy of Tundras.com

    Moto Metal - Courtesy of Caliwheels

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

    The Ultimate Guide To Blacking Out Your Toyota Tundra

    The Ultimate Guide To Blacking Out Your Toyota Tundra

    The Toyota Tundra is a big and mean truck. With plenty of options from the factory and aftermarket, there is almost nothing you can’t do to make it your own. After a while, you may get tired of the flashy paint and bright chrome. What do you do when you want something a little bolder? One of the best changes would be “blacking it out” or doing a "chrome delete" as some people refer to it.

    Blacking something out means you take a part or parts of the truck that are painted or chrome, and make them black: matte, gloss, or semi. Black. The best part is that it can be something so large and eye catching like the front grille, or something as subtle or subconsciously unique like a door badge. Let’s get into some options! 

    EXTERIOR BLACKOUT OPTIONS

    Blackout "Limo" Window Tint

    One of the first things many people choose to do it blackout their windows. It’s cheap, and it can be done at a local shop near you. If you’re feeling crafty enough, you can also do it yourself. Tint comes with some great benefits: it really dresses up your ride, it protects you from the sun and keeps the interior of your truck lower, and it blocks people from easily seeing who is driving the best truck in town! Of course, make sure you abide by all local and federal laws regarding the level of tint you are allowed to have. Failure to do so can result in tickets and having to have the tint you paid to install be removed!

    Smoked Headlights, Taillights, and Third Brake Light

    While Toyota did a good job at the design of the headlights and taillights for the Tacoma, they might take away from the look that you are trying to achieve. When talking about blacking out your lights, it is generally referred to as them being “smoked.” Smoking your lights will give you that tinted look to compliment your style.

    With the blessing of interchangeable parts, you can easily swap out your factory lights with aftermarket ones that come smoked out of the box! Taillights are anywhere from $180-$370 for a complete set, and headlights are around $300-$500.

    You can go for a much cheaper approach, but be aware that it may look cheaper, not last as long, and could cost you a lot in tickets if you do it the wrong way (I’ll get to that in a second.) There is film/vinyl available for around $60 that simply sticks over the plastic, spray coatings for around $20, and tinted plastic covers for around $40-$80 that go over the factory lens.

    While this video doesn’t give any real explanation about what to do, it does show you that you can tint one of your taillights with a spray can in five minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaXJEtWcoCA

    While I generally encourage people to try something new and take a risk, I would suggest a complete swap of pre-tinted/smoked lights. A big reason is time. A good set of smoked lights will last the length of the truck. Film and spray coatings will shrink and become brittle with age. UV rays and incandescent bulbs will expedite the problem. When it gets that dry, it’s not the easiest or most fun thing to get off. 

    Remember the ticket thing I mentioned? Headlights and taillights are designed to help you see what’s around you, and for other drivers to be able to see you. The US Department of Transportation (or your country’s equivalent) takes that very seriously, and they regulate what is and what is not allowed. Local police will enforce that. If you tint something yourself, you could run the risk of doing too much, and you could have to pay for it. If you get a kit out of the box, they are generally (DOT) approved and safe for use. Of course, please check before buying.

    Door Emblems

    One of the easiest parts of your truck to blackout would be the chrome TUNDRA emblem on your doors. They look alright from the factory, but when they are a matte black, they really add a very unique touch to your ride regardless of the paint color. You can get a blackout replacement emblem kit for your Tundra off Amazon for just under $40, or you can get a $6 can of Plasti Dip and spray them down. Plasti Dip will last much longer on emblems compared to lights. It will be a little harder to peel off after being on for years, but you can always reapply another coat!

    Tailgate TUNDRA

    Like on the side of the doors, Toyota wants all of those less fortunate behind you to know that the monster in front of them is a Tundra. While it is common practice for manufacturers to make the logo recessed into the metal of the tailgate and painted like normal, you can really make it stick out with a set of Tundra tailgate vinyl decal inserts for $15 or these raised Tundra letters for $39.99. It’s an inexpensive and long-lasting touch that will set your truck apart from the rest. 

    Wheels

    This is where things can get a little pricey. However, it is one of the first things people see when looking at your truck. They stand out! It could be worth some investment, but let’s talk about some options.

    Some of the less expensive options would be “dipping” or “wrapping.” When you “dip” your wheels, you’re referring to spraying them with something such as Plasti Dip. Matte black Plasti Dip is very popular on wheels, and there are lots of pictures and videos online of people doing it. You’ll need more than one can, but you’ll also want to have some backups for when they chip and peel over time. It’s easy to reapply! 

    “Wrapping” refers to covering the wheels in vinyl. While more usually better looking than dipping, it’s not as easy to repair if you get curb rash or other dings. There are kits out there for about $50.

    Whatever you do, avoid spray paint at all costs. You will hate your wheels. 

    While it is your most expensive option, it will be your longest lasting and best-looking option: new wheels. This can get very expensive. For example, you can get a set of Tundra TRD Pro wheels off Amazon, but it will set you back $2,560! If you have the cash, they are fantastic options. Used wheels are a great option and can be far cheaper, but make sure you inspect them first.

    Grille

    With a big truck comes a big grille. If you’re not into chrome, then you might hate the front of your truck. Thankfully, there are a few options that you have. Plasti Dip and vinyl wrap can once again be an inexpensive friend for you! Depending on which grille you have, I would suggest vinyl first. Dipping a surface that large can start to look “cheap.” Vinyl will also be more durable to something that will be getting plenty of rock chips. The catch 22 is that a dipped surface is easier to touch up. Choose wisely…

    Too many variables? You can find some blackout replacement grilles! Those will be around $220 and up, but it will set your ride apart! A good example would be this Tundra TRD Pro grille that you can order on our site.

    Bumpers

    The chrome bumpers can be a bit much. As with the grille and wheels, dipping and wrapping can have some nice results. Keep in mind the rock-chips! If you don’t want to DIY it, you can get these Tundra bumper caps from ecoologic for $135-$200.

    INTERIOR BLACKOUT OPTIONS

    While the outside is great for showing off (and looking over your shoulder with admiration when you park), the interior is what you see the most of. Might as well make it what you want, right?

    A/C Vent Rings and Climate Control Rings

    If you live in a hot area, you’re using your A/C a lot. Why dress up those flashy chrome vent rings with a Tundra A/C vent ring black out kit from AJT Design. For $32, you can really make your interior subtly unique. For another $41, you can change the control knobs to a very aggressive blacked-out style with some different color options. You can find that kit here.

    Door Handles

    Black door handles are the way to go. Any colored ones look nice, but this is something you’re touching all of the time. They will get dirty and grimy fast. Your most durable option would be to get new ones. For about $25 each, you can get black factory units.

    Plasti Dip, vinyl, and paint are all options as well, but keep in mind how much everything is being touched. Paint will chip and peel, and Plasti Dip and vinyl will break down over time. While it could be a faster and cheaper solution initially, it could be a pain in the but later.

    Cup Holder/Shifter Trim

    The center console trim really stands out from the factory. While that may be great for some, if you’re reading this, you want something different. ATJ Design also makes a kit for this as well! For $40, you’ll transform the interior of your truck.

    Steering Wheel Logo

    While you could attack this with Plasti Dip or paint, a fast way would be this Tundra steering wheel emblem overlay once again for ATJ Design. No-fuss, no chips, no hassle. Just $20! 

    Start Button

    Last but not least is the start button. This overlay from AJT Design not only changes the look of one of the first and last things you touch, but it’s hard to beat at $20!

    CONCLUSION

    The blacked-out look is popular and looks good. The best part is that there are so many different cost options to get the look you want. Just make sure to follow all of your local and federal laws, and have at it!

    Image Credits

    Bumper Wrapped: Courtesy of Tundras user SgtSausage1978

    Exterior: Courtesy of Traction Life

    Tailgate: Courtesy of Tundras user Buse

    Interior: Empyre Off Road Interior Upgrade Post

    Steering Wheel Blackout: AJT Design

    * 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 assume that you own a 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021 Toyota Tacoma and are hoping to upgrade your stock grille either right now or in the near future. Although the stock grilles are progressively getting better looking, I think I can speak for most Tacoma owners by saying that the grille should be one of the very first things upgraded to give your Tacoma a new, fresh look!

    When creating this post, I wanted to build something to help all Tacoma owners find the right grille that fits their style. Even though we sell several grilles here at Empyre Off-Road, it was important to me to provide several different options and look at the pros and cons of each grille. At the end of the day, there are certain people who will buy from me and those that will not. This is life and business... although, I really do hope you buy from me :)

    To start out the post, I'm going to feature the three grilles that we sell here at Empyre Off-Road. For the grilles not sold here, I've made sure to highlight the brand and one of their grille models that I think is pretty cool. Keep in mind that 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, let's jump in!

    Empyre Off-Road

    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 that this grille is made out of aluminum. Two huge benefits to aluminum are that the material is extremely lightweight (the entire unit weighs just under 7 pounds) and that it doesn't rust. Even if the powder coating gets scratched or chipped, with a little touch-up paint, it will look good as new.

    Customers also love that this grille includes a removable stainless steel backer that makes the "TACOMA" text pop and stand out on the road. Many customers even paint this plate to color match their truck, which makes it even more personalized than other options on the market.

    Model: Tacoma Grille Insert 

  • 2016 - 2017 Tacoma Grille
  • 2018 - 2020 TSS Tacoma Grille
  • 2018 - 2020 TSS Toyota Emblem Grille
  •  

    Non-TSS Price: $235

    TSS Price: $250

    Pros: Solid construction, will not rust, 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

    Faux TRD Pro Grille

    The Faux TRD Pro Grille, which we sell here at Empyre Off-Road is another great option for Tacoma enthusiasts. The manufacturer 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. You can customize it with colored letters and different color raptor lights (amber, white, smoked amber, smoked white).

    Price: $129 - $200 (depending on options)

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

    Cons: None

    Tacoma Raptor Style Grille

    The Tacoma Raptor Style Grille, which we sell here at Empyre Off-Road, might be one of the coolest looking grilles on the market. This grille takes the mesh raptor grille that you can find on eBay and other websites and gives it a facelift by adding in paint matched lettering.

    Price: $400

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

    Cons: It's a little on the expensive side for a plastic grille. 

    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 grille 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.