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My hidden Cobra 75WXST CB install utilizing TC Bed Stiffeners!

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by liquidhazelnuts, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. Sep 1, 2017 at 5:32 PM
    #1
    liquidhazelnuts

    liquidhazelnuts [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Alright so to start, this is the first CB I have ever set up and my goal was to have a clean install without all the hassles of ripping open the center console, drilling extra holes, or having to extend power lines and all that jazz. After playing around with different spots, calculating some line lengths, searching for good ground points, and drinking a few beers...this is what I ended up with, and how I did it.

    What I bought:

    Antenna - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HMC6PO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    CB - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005N5WW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    COAX - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JT0CGI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Spring - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00042LC9M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Stud - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002HRBSU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    SWR Meter - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HMDQ4RQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Un-Holey dash mount - http://www.hondogarage.com/index.php/product/landing/un-holey-dash-mount-tacoma-2016
    Mic Hanger - http://www.hondogarage.com/index.php/product/landing/cb-mic-hanger

    I already had the Total Chaos bed stiffeners and if you don't have them I would highly recommend them! They serve so many purposes and made for a perfect antenna mount!
    Bed Stiffeners - http://chaosfab.com/2016-2017-Tacoma-Rear-Channel-Bed-Stiffeners-48676

    To start, I sanded away the paint from 3 different locations on the bed stiffener, On top of the antenna hole, underneath the antenna hole, and around the hole that has the bolt going into the frame which served perfectly for my ground!

    IMG_8202.jpg
    IMG_8201.jpg

    Hooked everything up in the rear and it was time to start running the coax. As you can see I ran it through the initial attachment point on the bed stiffener and down between the tailgate and the corner of the bed.

    IMG_8186.jpg

    Here is a shot with the tailgate up showing the line coming down from the truck bed and squeezing in between the corner of the rear bumper.

    IMG_8188.jpg

    Once under the rear bumper, the line takes a hard left towards the drivers side and simply piggybacks off of the tail light lines that are already in place.

    IMG_8189.jpg

    Once it hits the driver side corner of the rear bumper, you simply take a right and continue to follow those tail light lines along the inside of the frame.

    IMG_8190.jpg

    I had to use a wire coat hangar to shove the line through some of the thicker stuff along the frame just where the photo cuts out on the left, but once it's through you can continue to follow the tail light lines towards the driver seat remembering to zip tie the coax to the tail light lines the entire way. Once your coax cable reaches just below the driver seat, there is a smaller grommet that is easily pushed up in order for you to get your cable into the cab.
    EDIT: You are going to want to cut a small sliver into the grommet to keep the cable away from getting sliced on the metal. Silicone around the grommet to keep everything waterproof and slice-free.

    IMG_8191.jpg

    The cable will pop up just under the driver seat so remove the plastic trim that covers all your other cables next to your seat and if you reach your hand under the carpet you will feel your cable! Pull it through and pop that grommet back into its hole!

    IMG_8192.jpg

    Again continue to follow/zip tie your coax along those OEM lines until you finally reach your box!

    IMG_8193.jpg

    Now, the 18' coax cable proved to be the PERFECT length which is exactly what I was going for. After playing around with where/how I should mount the box for the CB, I noticed some space just to the left of the foot rest below the OEM wires where it might fit. AND FIT IT DID!

    IMG_8194.jpg
    IMG_8195.jpg

    Locating the box here not only fit the coax cable perfectly (down to the very last inch), but also gave me the proximity to the battery I needed in order for the power cables that come with the CB to reach without having to extend them. Simply push them through the same grommet that all of the other wires leading into the engine bay are going...

    IMG_8197.jpg

    Pull them through from the engine bay and route them to your battery. Red positive. Black negative (ran mine to the ground). ZIP TIE.

    IMG_8199.jpg
    IMG_8200.jpg

    From this point you are going to want to hook up the handset and make sure everything turns on and works! ALSO, before you clip all of the panels back into place to conceal your wiring and your box, you need to use your SWR meter to test your levels and make sure your antenna is grounded properly. This was extra nerve racking for me considering I didn't know if the TC bed stiffener was going to provide enough ground for the antenna just from that one bolt that goes into the frame. To my surprise, the jumper cable that came with the SWR meter had a pl259 connector WITHOUT ANY THREADS. I just ran my entire CB setup but was unable to check the SWR readings. Had to order a new one and wait an extra week...

    IMG_8203.jpg

    That week went by so slow and was very frustrating, HOWEVER, once the new jumper cable arrived with connectors that both had threads on them, I was able to drive out to an open area on base and check my SWR readings. To my pleasant surprise, I was able to tune my firestik to 1.5 SWR on channel 1, and 1.6 SWR on channel 40. Now I know these aren't the GREATEST SWR levels in the world but they should work no problem and I'm able to hit radio checks 3-4 miles out which is all I need.

    IMG_8185.jpg

    After I dialed in my SWR, I was ready to panel everything back up inside the cab and prepare to mount my handset.

    IMG_8198.jpg

    The cable for the handset simply plugs into the box and runs right over the top of the inner panel next to your foot rest. For mounting the handset, I decided to go with the un-holey dash mount w/ mic hangar from the awesome guys over at Hondo Garage!

    IMG_8220.jpg

    Mounted right on to the left driver side AC vent and is super sturdy! Places the handset perfectly to where you can access it easily, hear it no problem, and does not get in the way of your turn signals. Yes, you do sort of lose your vent on the left side considering it is covered up by the handset but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Air still gets past it and I have the one on the right side which cools me down just fine.

    IMG_8221.jpg

    If you have any excess cord hanging down that you don't wan't dangling, simply tuck it into the panel so it's tight against the front console and you're golden!

    IMG_8222.jpg

    Again, setting up your CB this way may not appeal to everyone. However, I am super happy with the end results and think it makes for a simplistic install, efficient setup, and clean look. If you have any questions/comments/concerns please feel free to ask! Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  2. Sep 1, 2017 at 6:05 PM
    #2
    bradshawnh

    bradshawnh ...to the rescue!

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    Interesting spot for the CB. I kinda like it. I have the same one, mounted under the center console. Put it in the back cup holder.

    Antenna is a 3’ mounted on a custom welded ditch bracket extension.

    Side note, looking where you put your coax through that grommet, that WILL rub through and be cut/shorted in no time pinched against metal like that. Definitely should fix that.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2017 at 7:17 PM
    #3
    ChrisK7UND

    ChrisK7UND Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree not to mention water can get in. Take a razor and cut a slit in the grimes and then seal with a black silicone. NOT rtv but silicone.
     
    Littletacotruck likes this.
  4. Sep 1, 2017 at 7:26 PM
    #4
    Kolunatic

    Kolunatic Broke ass

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    Nice write up Op:thumbsup:
     
    ancient11 likes this.
  5. Sep 1, 2017 at 8:26 PM
    #5
    liquidhazelnuts

    liquidhazelnuts [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ahhhh yes didn't think about that! I was planning on throwing some E6000 around the grommet just for water proofing purposes but I will cut a slit in it now to keep it away from the metal. Thanks for the pro tip!

    EDIT: Leaving for a trip tomorrow so I just went out with my headlamp and cut/siliconed the grommet! Should be good! Already was starting to slice through wrapping!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
    Littletacotruck likes this.
  6. Sep 2, 2017 at 8:46 AM
    #6
    Jeff1795

    Jeff1795 Well-Known Member

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    Where can I find the part number and price for those grommets?
     
  7. Sep 2, 2017 at 11:44 AM
    #7
    cascadetaco

    cascadetaco Toyota Addict

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    May want to add an inline fuse close to the battery.
     
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  8. Sep 4, 2017 at 10:54 PM
    #8
    liquidhazelnuts

    liquidhazelnuts [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Your local Toyota dealership? :notsure:
     
  9. Sep 4, 2017 at 10:55 PM
    #9
    liquidhazelnuts

    liquidhazelnuts [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Can you elaborate??
     
  10. Sep 4, 2017 at 11:06 PM
    #10
    MTNHABITOVERLAND

    MTNHABITOVERLAND Well-Known Member

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    Great writeup hazelnuts!!!:cheers:
     
  11. Sep 5, 2017 at 1:46 PM
    #11
    cascadetaco

    cascadetaco Toyota Addict

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    Sure...if the wiring shorts anywhere you want a fuse as close to the battery as you can get it to keep stuff from catching on fire.
    Just something like this. https://www.amazon.com/Ketofa-ATC-Water-resistant-Fuse-Holder/dp/B0002KR88A fused for the power draw of your radio (prolly 5 amps?)
     
    ancient11 and Littletacotruck like this.
  12. Sep 5, 2017 at 2:51 PM
    #12
    liquidhazelnuts

    liquidhazelnuts [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ahhhh I see! Awesome thanks!
     
  13. Sep 5, 2017 at 7:11 PM
    #13
    bradshawnh

    bradshawnh ...to the rescue!

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    Mine came with a fuse already installed in-line. So if you didn’t cut off the white dongle thing that came with the CB, you’re good!
     
  14. Sep 5, 2017 at 7:23 PM
    #14
    TheReal_amocaT

    TheReal_amocaT Well-Known Member

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    Looks good!
     
  15. Sep 5, 2017 at 7:41 PM
    #15
    TACOVRD

    TACOVRD I Identify As A Prius

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    Workin' on it....
    Awesome write up
     
  16. Nov 1, 2017 at 7:45 PM
    #16
    riz_atx

    riz_atx #TexasToyotaCoalition

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    Great write up! I was just contemplating how to install the same stuff and this really helped.
     
  17. Oct 14, 2018 at 2:03 PM
    #17
    Littletacotruck

    Littletacotruck Member

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    Revisiting this. Much appreciated detailed build!
     
    liquidhazelnuts [OP] likes this.
  18. Jan 8, 2019 at 8:37 PM
    #18
    mynameismudflap

    mynameismudflap www.bvrn.co

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    This write up gave me the confidence to attempt the same sort of install. Hope you got that fuse installed! I’m thinking of dropping an AUX fuse box in to avoid a future birdnest of in-line fuses.
     
  19. Mar 7, 2019 at 6:23 AM
    #19
    littlefish

    littlefish Buzz, your girlfriend...

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    Great writeup! For anyone that installed theirs this way, does the control box get mounted down, or is it just held in place by the place plastic kick panel?
     
  20. Aug 14, 2019 at 1:06 PM
    #20
    VangaSTL

    VangaSTL Well-Known Member

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    Can someone with this radio do me a favor? I swapped the male/female plugs between the silver box and the handset. I'm showing continuity with my multi-meter between pins 3 & 4 on the handset side. Can someone with a multi-meter check to see if yours is the same?
     
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