Walker T's Build
Here she is stock;
I'm the proud owner of a 2013 Tacoma. LOVE it! But we pulled money from savings to pay-off the wife's Jeep, and to make a downpayment on the truck...so my mods are going to have to start out very modestly.
The wife was very uncomfortable in the truck because the headrest is angled so severely, it pushed her head forward and down. So I removed the headrests, and placed one leg (wrapped in a small towel) into a vice, locked it down tightly, and bent the chrome leg into a more upright position. I then placed the other leg into the vice and bent it to match. She is MUCH more comfortable now.
Below is a pic before I bent the driver's side headrest to match. The left headrest is factory, the right headrest has been bent to her comfort.
After that, I de-badged the truck. I used waxed string to cut the badges free. I then used the adhesive remover Goo-Gone and a microfiber towel to to remove the remaining adhesive tape. Now the truck looks nice and clean.
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As practice for the black head-light and tail-light mods, I attacked the 3rd tail light. I removed the 3rd tail light lense wit ha T10 star bit.
I used a word processing program to print-out "TACO" in a large font that I liked. I think the letters ended up being 130 point in size, but fonts vary, so play around with the font of your choice and see what it looks like by holding it in the lense itself.
I then placed two pieces of frog tape lightly down onto a plywood cutting board (I used two strips to make it tall enough to fit the lettering but still be small enough to fit inside the lense, they overlapped slightly).
Next, I placed the paper with the printed-out "TACO" face down on top of the frog tape and taped it down so it would not shift. Then using an x-acto knife I cut the outlines of the letters. I then removed the paper.
I placed a third piece of frog tape over the letters so that I could gently peel-up the two original pieces, and also hold the letters in place.
I then positioned this home-made stencil into the inside of the lense. Once positioned, I pressed down firmly on the letters. I then removed the two pieces of tape carefully leaving the cut-out letters behind, stuck to the inside of the lense like this;
I then masked-off the outside of the lense completely to protect it from overspray. I then used Rust-oleum painter's touch flat black for plastic. Pic below;
I put down three light flat-black coats, allowing it to dry between each coat. It's fast drying, and on a sunny day it took maybe 10 minutes tops between coats. It will end-up looking like this;
After the final coat had dried, I took the lense inside and gently lifted-up the edges of the letters with my x-acto knife and removed the letters by hand;
So here is the finished 3rd tail light;
Here it is mounted in the daytime. You can slightly see the word when you are close to the truck during the day, but if you are 25 feet or more away from the truck, all you see is black. Just squint at the picture below and you will see what I mean...the red and black just blend together;
And of course the obligatory night-time shot. (The wife was kind enough to come outside and step on the brake pedal so I could take this shot.);
Black Tail Light Mod;
Following the guides posted here I blacked-out my 2013 tails. I used a Dremel tool with a thin cutting head to remove the lenses. Here is a photo of the lenses removed;
I masked-off the areas I didn't want blacked-out. I only masked the upper reflector on the sides and painted over the other. I used black silicone to seal them back up. Here they are sealed, you can see the edge where the dremel leaves it's marks.
I then masked-off the lense itself to leave a 1/4" edge to paint to hide the dremel marks. I painted 2 coats of flat black, and then 2 coats of gloss coat. Here they are installed;
During installation I remembered reading the thread about members having their tail lights stolen. Here's a quick/cheap deterrent. On the back of the light housing there is a plastic hood attached to the rear of each light-plug area. Drill a hole through the lowest hood (Not into the light, just through the hood attached to the rear) Slide a 175lb tensile strength zip tie through that hole, and then loop the tie through the 2 holes in the truck frame behind the tail lights, leaving the long tail poking into one of the frame holes. Install the light normally, then get under the truck, reach-up and pull the tail of that zip-tie TIGHT. If a criminal removes the bolts...he can pull on that light all day...it's going nowhere unless he gets under the truck, reaches up behind the light and cuts the zip tie. Use a black zip tie and he will never see it in the dark without a flashlight.
I like the headrest thing man! My sweet beaver felt hat always bumps that sucker when I wear it in the truck, might have to do some bending so I don't have to constantly lean forward a bit to avoid the rim hitting the headrest.
Also I did the BHLM but didnt think of doing the "BTLM", looks real good!
This weekend I sprayed my roof black with 2 cans of Plasti-Dip. I just masked-off between the 2 black plastic rails, and masked over the 3rd brake light, then sprayed several light coats. I took the pictures this evening, so they are a little dark, but you can see the results;
Installed Redline Tuning's hood struts today that I obtained from the group buy here on Tacoma World. I purchased the 1995-2004 Pro Series, and had to modify the installation slightly to accomodate the 2013's new hood frame.
RT's instuctions are to mount the bottom bracket 1 3/4" forward from the hood's crush pin, but on the 2013 that pin sits much further back behind the hood seal, so I found an indentation in the frame roughly 9 1/2" forward of the crush pin. The indentation allows the bracket to sit flush on the frame because it allows room for the small knob that protrudes from the back of the bracket to sit in. I centered the bottom brackets on those frame indentations and installed them per RT's instructions. Here is a pic of the lower bracket holes drilled centered on that indentation;
And a pic of the bracket installed;
I located the upper brackets centered 1" back from the center of a finger-like lump on the inner rail of the hood. I chose the inner rail because the larger outer rail had too large a radius on the edge, that did not allow the bracket to sit flush. The inner rail has a tighter radius that allowed the bracket to sit much better. I drilled a 5/16" hole centered 1" back from the center of the finger-like projection to allow room for the small knob that protrudes from the back of the bracket to sit in. After drilling the 5/16" hole and test-fitting the upper bracket, I marked the hole locations for the rivets.
Here is a pic of the holes drilled for the upper bracket;
I then followed RT's instructions for the upper bracket's installation, using the supplied rivets. I then popped-on the lifters and they work great! Once you pull the hood release, then lift the release lever located behind the grill, the hood rises on it's own, hands-free.
Here they are installed;
After I had the hood holding itself up, I removed the now unneccesary hood prop. I also took the time to remove the secondary air filter today.
Thanks for sharing those pics of the hood struts being installed on your '13 and nice work on the truck so far. My buddy just bought a new Taco and i wanted to make sure they will work fine on it before i order through the GB.
I'll probably leave the hood prop in tho, just in case. ;)
The third tail light is awesome, i am liking the blacked out tail lights also. Nice job, its nice to see some unique cheap mods
looks great!! i cant wait to start modding my 2013. i have only gotten to drive it 3 days in the month i have owned it, i have been away from home the rest of the time.
keep up the good work, it looks GREAT!!
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