I got tired of the ashtray on my 03 constantly opening. Whether it was quick acceleration, or speed bumps, that ashtray always slid open. I tried the tape technique and didn't like it. Decided to try to find an alternative thats simple, and free!
EXCLAIMER: I am not liable for any undesired breaking of parts. PLEASE USE CAUTION! There isn't much going on, but nobody likes a part snapping or anything. That'll just make more work to do!
What you need:
20 minutes of time (less if you know the first steps)
1 Phillips screwdriver
1 Flathead screwdriver
Okay to start...
This is the work area:
Remove the ashtray and pull all the knobs off the climate control. You'll need the flathead screw driver to pull the faceplate for the climate control area. BE VERY CAREFUL! Mine has chipped in the past and the screw driver tab doesn't really work anymore. I use my finger to pop it out.
Now you have 2 screws to undo. You'll need the phillips screwdriver now. They are the circled ones. I prefer a magnetic one for the screw on the left. I've dropped it too many times.
Pull the shrouding off (a few tabs) and tilt it forward. You'll see 3 connectors attached to it.
Disconnect those 3. The light for the ash tray needed a gentle wiggle and tug. Don't pull too hard or else you might pull the wire from the socket.
Gently turn the shroud and lift up around the shifter. On the bottom you'll find the following...
Undo the 2 phillips screws and the metal part slides out. Once you have it out you'll have this.
Now those plastic parts slide out. What you need to do is find the tab holding each one on, and GENTLY push down on it. I used the flathead screwdriver.
The plastic part will slide out towards the front of the metal assembly. Again, be gentle. The plastic parts can be brittle. Once you get the part slid out, you'll find this on the back.
If your ashtray is ridiculously loose like mine, the metal spring will fall right out. Make sure to catch it with you hand. Simply squeeze the spring gently to give it more bend.
Place it back in the plastic and reverse all the steps! Go out and test drive your Taco to see if it slides out. I have no problems with mine whatsoever now!