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2021 Lower Dashboard Modification?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by mazman73, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. Dec 16, 2020 at 9:10 AM
    #1
    mazman73

    mazman73 [OP] Member

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    So I recently purchased a 2021 SR5 (upgrade from my 2010). Nice that they have the hookup for the electric brakes for my trailer. Unfortunately no convenient place to mount the controller. (Current location smacks my knee every time!) I'm wondering how difficult (or possible) it would be to move the Auto Headlight button to the upper area and modify the lower area to accept the electric brakes. Photo attached. Looking forward to some input.
    upload_2020-12-16_12-7-26.jpg
    An alternative mounting location would also be welcomed. Thanks.
     
  2. Dec 16, 2020 at 9:14 AM
    #2
    japjoe7

    japjoe7 Well-Known Member

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  3. Dec 16, 2020 at 10:42 AM
    #3
    s7726

    s7726 Well-Known Member

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    You're probably better off moving the traction control down to the lower part and the brake controller in the top part, there's just more room behind the top part.

    Custom Meso panel would be the ultra best option.

    That panel just pops out the front, so pop it out and see what things look like in there. The switch positions that are the same size you can just put the other switches in them. There are some keyways that might need a (very small) amount of trimming on the sides of the hole, but it's reasonably obvious once you get in there.
     
    caribe makaira likes this.
  4. Dec 16, 2020 at 12:24 PM
    #4
    NoVa TRD Sport

    NoVa TRD Sport Well-Known Member

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    I discovered that that's easier said than done. I've been struggling all afternoon (in the snowstorm, no less) trying to get it out without breaking it. (I need to install the bed light switch.) First I tried reaching behind the dash to push it out. No dice. There is just too much stuff back there blocking my reach. Then I tried prying around the edges with a thin spatula. I had to stop when it felt like something was about to break. What exactly do you guys do to get that panel out?
     
  5. Dec 16, 2020 at 12:28 PM
    #5
    dilbert

    dilbert Well-Known Member

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    I use these for all my trim/panel removal and they are great. There are lots of similar items that are probably just as good.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LNBLTK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Edit:
    This has some photos that show where the clips are.
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/how-to-remove-cubby-hole-to-the-left-of-steering-wheel.532917/
     
    ktbell444 likes this.
  6. Dec 16, 2020 at 12:30 PM
    #6
    s7726

    s7726 Well-Known Member

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    This... I've found the upper right corner is the best spot to start. Quick firm pops seem to work best for me.
     
  7. Dec 16, 2020 at 12:41 PM
    #7
    sandiegohasthebesttacos

    sandiegohasthebesttacos Well-Known Member

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    yeah then you gotta keep going

    it's held by plastic tabs not really meant to be taken on and off so it's not going to be a smooth process
     
  8. Dec 16, 2020 at 1:01 PM
    #8
    christsay

    christsay Well-Known Member

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    Are you open to buying a new trailer brake controller? The REDARC Tow-Pro Elite install is very clean on the 3rd gen:
    [​IMG]Untitled by chris tsay, on Flickr

    The brains are 3M double sided taped up underneath the dash.
    This is the switch blank I used (for the "tall" cutout): TPSI-007
    Plug and Play Harness: TPH-015
     
  9. Dec 16, 2020 at 1:06 PM
    #9
    s7726

    s7726 Well-Known Member

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    This is roughly what I did as well. I was able to find a hole to throw a bolt through under the dash and I used the smaller switch location plate though.

    Switch Pros still pending
    tjAAT4rubL57yd_1apM9nO0q29HxPZDWPaSPHvT1_a656b5b0e7aaeded77661eb543e969e882ab1c1a.jpg
     
    BountyOR_VF2 likes this.
  10. Dec 16, 2020 at 1:24 PM
    #10
    christsay

    christsay Well-Known Member

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    Nice, yeah I think the mounting plate for the smaller switch is TPSI-002.
     
  11. Dec 16, 2020 at 1:28 PM
    #11
    markgphoto

    markgphoto Well-Known Member

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    Another satisfied Redarc customer with the help of a Meso panel
    IMG_0434.jpg
     
  12. Dec 16, 2020 at 2:08 PM
    #12
    mazman73

    mazman73 [OP] Member

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    Thank you all for the great advice! The Meso Customs was pretty exciting, but then the Redarc controller is just $30 bucks more and soooo clean an install. I do believe I will go that route. Also going to order those pry off tools! Thanks to the community for all the options and pictures.
     
    Professor D likes this.
  13. Dec 16, 2020 at 2:30 PM
    #13
    christsay

    christsay Well-Known Member

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    FWIW I didn't need any pry tools to get the kick panel or lower dash out. I did use them to help pull the bedrail caps so if you don't have any they are great to have. There is nothing sadder than scratching the crap out of something because the towel wrapped screwdriver slipped.

    The toughest was probably the lower dash because there are so many clips (relatively). Just remember pull out and you should be ok...
     
  14. Dec 16, 2020 at 4:20 PM
    #14
    PasoSteve

    PasoSteve Well-Known Member

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    That meso panel hasn't been in stock in months. I've been on their notification list. Hopefully one day.
     
  15. Dec 16, 2020 at 7:07 PM
    #15
    MESO

    MESO Major Modder Vendor

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    Nice panels!
     
  16. Dec 16, 2020 at 7:34 PM
    #16
    Tacospike

    Tacospike Semi-Unknown Custodial Member

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    Yes it has. Like 3 times in the past 6 months. Open orders for 2 weeks at a time

    last one was a few weeks ago
     
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  17. Dec 16, 2020 at 10:04 PM
    #17
    s7726

    s7726 Well-Known Member

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    Check Cali raised...
    The 2020 version for my 19 just fine.
     
  18. Dec 16, 2020 at 10:43 PM
    #18
    dilbert

    dilbert Well-Known Member

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  19. Dec 17, 2020 at 7:06 AM
    #19
    Taco_mike73

    Taco_mike73 Well-Known Member

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    I was going mount a controller from my Jeep and had the same thing. Not a good spot with out knee hitting it or in the way of that air bag.

    I got the a RedArc TowPro Liberty and that was the easiest and best looking option. I considered a Meso customs plate but didn't know the cost or wait time since he makes some items in batches.
    The TowPro Liberty is less expensive version of the Pro. It can only control 2 axels and doesn't have all the programs for off road towing but I didn't need more than that.
    "Tow-Pro Liberty Electric Brake Controller – REDARC" https://redarcelectronics.com/products/tow-pro-liberty-electric-brake-controller

    Here is the thread about it https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/trailer-brake-controller.676184/page-2#post-24068729
     
  20. Dec 17, 2020 at 1:55 PM
    #20
    mazman73

    mazman73 [OP] Member

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    For a follow-up on the Redarc brake controller, how long is the cord from the rotary switch to the unit? It looks just like a regular RJ-45 Ethernet cable. If that's the case, I might move the switch to the center console area instead of the lower left.
     

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