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DIY RAM Track Dash Mount

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by gaterose, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Jan 5, 2020 at 11:09 AM
    #1
    gaterose

    gaterose [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Member:
    #36771
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    San Antone
    Vehicle:
    ‘17 TRD OR
    I got sick of my phone falling off and smacking my knee using magnetic mounts and wanted to get rid of the metal plate so I could use wireless charging so I made this dash mount for my truck over the holidays, thought I'd share. I think the actual mount ended up around $20. With the extra RAM pieces and phone mount I came out closer to $80, but $45 of that was the phone holder.

    I ordered most of my RAM pieces from GPSCity and they were great to work with (had to make some cancellations and returns as a lot more RAM pieces were purchased during this project) but for some reason they say these tracks won't be in stock until Feb. 2020. So I got the track from The Mount Depot.

    There are several RAM tracks that would work, including the popular one included in TTM. I chose this one because all hardware is hidden and it allows for placement along the entire length of the rail. The RAM track with screws along the edge, that is the lowest profile RAM track, WILL NOT fit due to being too wide (ask me how I know).


    Parts
    16" RAM Composite Tough Track
    Cheap cutting board
    3" L brackets
    8-32x1 Pan Head x4 (black)
    8-32x1.25 Pan Head x4 (black)

    Optional
    RAM Track Ball
    RAM Mount with Octagon Button and 1" Socket
    ProClip Adjustable Holder for iPhone 11 Pro Max with Rugged Case

    First step was laying some masking tape across the bezel and dash then marking some lines to help with lining up the support screws. Sorry I don't have photos, but I drew vertical lines approximately where I expected to find the radio mounting bolts (which are just outside edges of the radio). You can see these lines in the photos further down (the black lines). I then used a razor to cut the tape down the seam of bezel.

    Next I removed the bezel and cut the plastic spacer. (Forgive the messy work area, it's all cleaned up now).

    [​IMG]

    I painted the cutting board piece with some vinyl and plastic dye I had from a recent tweeter sail panel project, but it doesn't matter because it's not visible.

    Sorry I didn't get great pictures of this part but hoping the result picture will show my point. I held up the L brackets to the top two radio bolts and trimmed then drilled so they'd fit in the slot and match the height of the bottom of the bezel. Then I trimmed to approximate length the bezel would allow. I also marked the masking tape on the dash with the center line of the bracket (silver lines).

    Once I was able to snap the bezel on, I extended the lines from my dash tape to the bezel tape and drilled through the bezel until my drill bit hit and marked the L brackets. I then pulled everything back apart, and drilled and tapped mounting holes in the L brackets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After that I took the bezel back and matched it up with the RAM track and to drill mounting holes for the track and I had ream out the area where bolts mount to my support brackets as those didn't line up with mounting holes. You can see that I made a mistake on one end and had the track flipped upside down.

    [​IMG]

    Luckily the positions of the notches are pretty much covered by RAM balls in most mounting scenarios I foresee. If I had used sheet metal screws to mount the track to the bezel instead of machine screws I probably could've avoided these holes. But the holes were already drilled by the time it occurred to me.

    Final product -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I currently only have my phone mounted, I had purchased an iPad mount but my 10" iPad with case is realistically too heavy. For what it's worth, it was the RAM connectors which had to be added to put it at a reasonable viewing angle that added leverage and created vibration with the heavy tablet, the track was solid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
    JIMMEISTER and t0nyvalenzuela like this.
  2. Jan 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM
    #2
    RusD

    RusD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Member:
    #242167
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2017 QS DCSB OR Tacoma
    Great minds.... I've done the same thing in mine. It has worked and held up great for over a year now. I know there are some companies making similar, but I couldn't stomach the cost when that track was $15. Nice work and enjoy
     
    gaterose [OP] likes this.
  3. Jan 5, 2020 at 12:52 PM
    #3
    STrooper

    STrooper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2019
    Member:
    #280870
    Messages:
    1,141
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    DeJuan
    NC
    Vehicle:
    2018 TRD Sport QS
    Look great OP, thanks for the info!!!:thumbsup: I’m looking to make something like this as well, do you have more pictures of the diy?
     
    gaterose [OP] likes this.
  4. Jan 5, 2020 at 1:43 PM
    #4
    gaterose

    gaterose [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Member:
    #36771
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    San Antone
    Vehicle:
    ‘17 TRD OR
    Unfortunately this is all I got, if you have any questions I’d be glad to answer though.

    The biggest thing I’d do different is to use sheet metal screws to hold the track to the bezel. Then I could remove the track and bezel separately and wouldn’t have had to notch the top to get to the screws.
     
  5. Jan 5, 2020 at 1:44 PM
    #5
    gaterose

    gaterose [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Member:
    #36771
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    San Antone
    Vehicle:
    ‘17 TRD OR
    You may notice the spacer corner isn’t cut perfect to match that curve, that’s because the angle on the cutting board was almost perfect so I just had to lay it down, trace along the bottom with a sharpie then cut that straight line (i.e. no curved or intricate cuts were made)
     
  6. Jan 5, 2020 at 1:45 PM
    #6
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 EAF YO

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
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    #132884
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    38,054
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    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Ashburn, VA
    Vehicle:
    2010 TRD OR Access Cab
  7. Jan 5, 2020 at 1:48 PM
    #7
    gaterose

    gaterose [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Member:
    #36771
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    San Antone
    Vehicle:
    ‘17 TRD OR
    My thoughts exactly. I emailed expedition essentials about getting it without the track and it was still $65, I figured I could do that part in my own for dirt cheap. I actually already had the L brackets so technically it was even cheaper than I say.
     

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