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Thoughts on Interior Mirror Upgrades / Backup Cameras for Gen 1 Tacomas?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by RJP869, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Apr 2, 2019 at 8:24 AM
    #1
    RJP869

    RJP869 [OP] Owner of Bob's Automotive Mirrors & More LLC

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    I don't have a Tacoma, but lots of mirrors!
    Hey all,

    So I've been offering interior mirrors & backup cameras for the Gen 2 trucks and mirrors for the Gen 3 trucks for quite a few years now & got to thinking that I should also offer similar upgrades for the Gen 1 trucks.

    I know these are a different ballgame entirely, due to the trucks not having these things ever offered from the factory, plus the fact that they have the roof-mounted mirrors, but even so, after removing the mirror from the overhead maplight assembly (ok...on the Tacoma I've not actually tried it, but I've dealt with a few vehicles with similar roof-mounted & maplight-mounted mirrors that allowed for removal...it does result in a gaping hole in the overhead light assembly though), you could then install an upgraded mirror onto the windshield once you glue a standard "wedge" mount bracket onto the glass. So while it would involve a little more work, it's still possible to upgrade the factory mirrors and even add a backup camera to the Gen 1's.

    Anyhow...so the purpose of this thread is to get some feedback from Gen 1 owners as to what you all would like to see available for your trucks in terms of mirrors. There's a huge variety - most with auto dimming glass, and you can get them with things like compass or compass & temp display, maplights, Homelink, backup camera display, and so on. And would there be any interest in a tailgate mounted backup camera (the camera display could either be in the rear view mirror or an aftermarket display radio)?

    So let me know what you'd like to see offered for the Gen 1 trucks and I'll get to work! If you have any questions or concerns, please include them in your reply, that way I can be sure to cover all the bases & then be able to put some offerings together for these trucks.

    Thank you & have a blessed day!!
    Bob Prim
    Bob's Automotive Mirrors & More LLC
    www.bobsmirrors.com <---website is in the works! Please sign up on our site & we can let you know of new stuff, specials, clearances and so on. We will not sell your info or spam you - ever!!
    http://stores.ebay.com/BobsAutomotiveMirrorsAndMore (you can see what we have available in our ebay store, but don't purchase there...instead, email me directly...much better pricing that way!!) <---Like us!
    twitter.com/Bobs_Mirrors <---Follow us!
     
  2. Apr 2, 2019 at 9:20 AM
    #2
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    Was Golden State, now Poland EU
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    1995 4x4 LX Ext Cab, I4 2.7, MT, 335K miles
    DD Deck+backup camera, LED DRL, All LED except H4 Hella
    Not all 1st gen have map lights or overhead consoles. My truck just just mirror with no wires under the headliner. So there is no one solution for all. The other thing with backup camera in mirror is that the picture is quite small (2-3 inches across). With added glare to the mirror and to the camera quite often it is simple useless.

    Other option is to replace a head unit from vintage looking OEM CD and/or cassette and/or radio player to something with LCD screen where the backup camera image can be displayed. I know DD unit looks awkward in vintage looking dash, but the biggest advantage is 6-7 inch screen. And in my opinion there are some units that looks good in 1-st gen dash (I like mine :thumbsup:)

    Before the swap with OEM cassette/radio player

    upload_2019-4-2_9-11-7.jpg

    After the swap (showing backup camera):

    upload_2019-4-2_9-11-45.jpg

    And showing one of the ugliest panels: radio station

    upload_2019-4-2_9-12-21.jpg


    By the way this is Planet Audio P9640B - budget unit, with relatively small screen (only 6.2 inches) but provides real buttons you can press and real volume knob (I am not a big fan of touch screen in a "driving environment"). And I think these buttons make that unit looks like it belongs there.
     
  3. Apr 2, 2019 at 9:40 AM
    #3
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    While a mirror-mounted backup screen is small, it's less likely to get glare from the sun, at least. I know with my 4Runner and the wife's Corolla, they both have the dash mounted screens, and at certain times of the day, you can barely see them. With a mirror/screen on the ceiling (or close to the ceiling), the sun would have to be shining directly in the back window at a pretty low angle.

    I also use my rear view mirror and the camera simultaneously when backing up, so the screen taking up have the mirror is not advantageous to me. This, plus the 2 way mirror glare and the small size make it not something I'd want to add to my vehicle.

    I can see something like homelink or auto dim being good features to have.

    @RJP869 as for the tailgate mounted camera, how do you envision that being mounted?
     
  4. Apr 2, 2019 at 9:47 AM
    #4
    RJP869

    RJP869 [OP] Owner of Bob's Automotive Mirrors & More LLC

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    I don't have a Tacoma, but lots of mirrors!
    Thank you for the info & yes, you are correct - there isn't one solution for all, so that's why I figured it would be good to start a thread to see the various scenarios & then come up with some workable solutions.

    Though some of the mirrors with backup camera display do have small displays (like the 09-11 Tacoma factory backup camera mirrors with the 2.5" display), there are mirrors with 3.5" displays, 3.3" widescreen displays and some of the aftermarket ones offer a 4.3" widescreen display and even a super wide 7.3" display. So for those who prefer the mirror-based displays, there are multiple options, and of course, like yours, the radio-based display is another option (seems like for our other customers, it's about split down the middle as to their preference where to have the display).
     
  5. Apr 2, 2019 at 9:53 AM
    #5
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    DD Deck+backup camera, LED DRL, All LED except H4 Hella
    Most new cars with factory screens have units high up on the dash (above heat control panel) so you don't take eyes of the roa), but the big disadvantage is that glare. 1-st gen radio is below the heat control panel so it's tucked down by knees level. Bot good for looking at the screen while driving (this is why navigation units are useless or dangerous to use in 1-st gen Tacoma), but saves from the sun glare.

    When backing up the rear view mirror (the one inside) is useless in my truck - I can only see through my rear camper window, so nothing useful while backing up. I learned to use mostly side mirrors for clearance and backup camera to see what is directly behind:

    What I see in a camera:

    upload_2019-4-2_9-52-10.jpg

    What it is in real world:

    upload_2019-4-2_9-52-56.jpg
     
  6. Apr 2, 2019 at 9:56 AM
    #6
    RJP869

    RJP869 [OP] Owner of Bob's Automotive Mirrors & More LLC

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    I don't have a Tacoma, but lots of mirrors!
    I completely understand the issues with both the mirror-based and radio-based displays; neither is perfect, and various lighting conditions affect each differently.

    And offering the backup camera display is just one option...auto dim mirrors, Homelink mirrors, compass temp mirrors, etc., are definitely doable and if you either already have a backup camera display setup or don't desire one, it would not be a requirement of course.

    Speaking of the backup camera, one of our suppliers will have one available for the 1995-2004 trucks - it installs below the existing handle (soon as I have some pix I'll post them). So it will make for a nice clean look & not something that looks tacked on.
     
  7. Apr 2, 2019 at 10:02 AM
    #7
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    DD Deck+backup camera, LED DRL, All LED except H4 Hella
    Looking forward to see any solution for placing a camera that would show both corners on the bumper level. Right now these are my huge blind spots, and my camera is mounted in a heavy duty steel hitch plug (protecting it from crashing)

    upload_2019-4-2_10-2-43.jpg
     
  8. Apr 2, 2019 at 10:08 AM
    #8
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    Yeah, I guess I'm just kind of old school, but I'm not "old" I swear! I drive an older truck because I like not having all those fancy wizbangs new trucks have (like my '17 4Runner, lol). It's like driving around in a 57 T-bird with sat-nav and blue tooth. It's just. not. right... lol

    A tailgate mounted camera is a great idea, and if done cleanly, I'd definitely be interested. I really hate the license plate ones since they don't give you a very good "bird's eye" perspective.
     
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  9. Apr 2, 2019 at 10:30 AM
    #9
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    Yeah, the other advantage of the 1st double DIN location is that the screen is vertical (more or less). The screens in my newer cars are angled, which makes them more likely to get sun glare, too.

    For navigation in my 1st gen, I just mounted a cell phone holder in the spare switch location next to the air vent/ emergency flashed button. I actually prefer my phone over the car nav system. It might be a smaller screen, but I find the interface with google maps is easier to search and locate various things.


    The one time I couldn't use my phone was in 2017 when we drove up to OR for the total solar eclipse. We were camping way outside cell service and we needed to find an area farther north to see the total eclipse (we camped where it was like 98% totality). I booted up the 4Runner's nav system and poked around until I found a green spot (presumeably a park of some kind).

    totally unrelated and off topic shot of the eclipse "because I can"...

    EDIT: OMG sorry, didn't think it was such a large image, lol...
     
  10. Apr 3, 2019 at 4:40 AM
    #10
    All Rice

    All Rice Well-Known Member

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    I'm in for a tailgate mounted camera. I'm in the process of trying to mod one myself, but since you're the expert, I'll wait to see what you come up with!
     
  11. Apr 3, 2019 at 5:30 AM
    #11
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    1995 4x4 LX Ext Cab, I4 2.7, MT, 335K miles
    DD Deck+backup camera, LED DRL, All LED except H4 Hella
  12. Apr 23, 2019 at 5:42 PM
    #12
    RJP869

    RJP869 [OP] Owner of Bob's Automotive Mirrors & More LLC

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    I don't have a Tacoma, but lots of mirrors!
    So here's the latest on the tailgate-handle-mounted-camera...we were not able to work things out with the supplier to be able to start offering these. However, anyone can purchase them directly from TailgateCamera.com - here's a link to the camera they have for the 95-04 trucks: https://tailgatecamera.com/products/1995-2004-toyota-tacoma-backup-camera-bezel (Ok...here's the legal mumbo jumbo...we're not affiliated with this company nor endorse their products...so I can't speak for them or the quality of their products). However, after countless hours of searching the 'net, this was about the only company we could find that had anything for the older Tacoma's, so kudos to them for offering them...most manufacturers seemingly ignore the older trucks - this applies to more than just the Tacoma - so it's nice to see that there are companies offering stuff for the older trucks. So for anyone who wants a mirror to go with one of these cameras, you know where to find me! :)
     
    All Rice likes this.
  13. Apr 24, 2019 at 8:19 PM
    #13
    All Rice

    All Rice Well-Known Member

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    Very cool! I appreciate the link.
     
    Thebubble likes this.

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