Best Interior Mods for your 3rd Gen Tacoma
Besides being known for durability and reliability, the 3rd Gen Tacoma is also known for having LOTS of modification options. It may not be on par with Jeep, but Tacoma owners have many options available to customize their rig. This article won't list EVERY mod on the market, but I'll run through the modifications that I have personally done to my 3G Tacoma.
Mod #1 - Vinyl/Leather Seat Covers by Clazzio
Clazzio is a seat cover company out of Utah and has been around since 2009. They make good quality seat covers for the Tacoma that look OEM. I have had many people look at the interior of my truck and ask, "How did you get leather in this model year?" Well, I didn't, they are covers!
In my truck I have the Leather set for all seats, in the color Dark Gray. The Leather set has a 3-year warranty, high grade vinyl body, and perforated leather insert. They fit VERY snug and look OEM. I am about 6 years in and they are holding up well. I will say that the driver side seat cover, given the heavy use it sees, has definitely shown wear with some discoloration, a few small cracks/tears, and a small hole where the lumbar adjustment wheel is. The great thing, however, is that Clazzio will sell you replacement parts, and I was able to order a seat cover only.
Pro Tip: Set your covers out in the sun before installation. It'll soften/loosen up the material and make it a lot easier to install.
Mod #2 - Tacoma Track Mount (TTM)
Expedition Essentials is a company out of Ferndale, WA that makes accessories for the Tacoma. My favorite of the bunch is their Tacoma Track Mount. This clever accessory installs above the stereo and provides you with a simple and functional mount that works with the RAM Mounts Tough Track. It it constructed from 1/8” 5052 Aluminum, powder coated black: features flush mount threaded inserts for easily mounting the RAM Tough Track. Installation was fairly easy and they have a YouTube Video that aids in the process. Overall I think this is one of the most durable ways to mount a cell phone, especially while off-roading.
Mod #3 - Vehicle OCD Console Organizer
Amazon sells a simple yet functional divider for the Tacoma center console. It's literally 3 pieces of plastic that interlock together to form a 6-section divider. This is a nice way to segment the "stuff" you put in your console, and keep it from becoming one big pile of junk.
Mod #4 - WeatherTech All-Weather Floor Mats
If you plan to get your truck dirty in any form, one of the first things you should do is remove the carpet mats and install a good all-weather option like WeatherTech. I had these in my 2nd Gen Tacoma for 10 years and they held up nicely, so I didn't hesitate to buy them again.
The mats are laser-cut for a perfect fit. They are also rigid so that if you have mud/dirt/rocks/water in the mat, the side walls and rigidity will allow you to take them out without all of the grime falling out into your truck. Other manufacturers that make floor liners for the Tacoma are: Toyota (OEM), Husky, Oedro, Wade Automotive, and Westin.
Mod #4 - VLED LED Bulbs
VLED's Inc is based out of Bellingham, WA and they make LED bulb replacements for your interior Tacoma lighting. It may not seem like a huge deal, but the LED light output is MUCH better than the stock halogen bulbs. I purchased a set that included the following: Map lights (2) , Dome light (1), Vanity lights (4). Installation was easy.
Mod #5 - Stereo
Although not terrible, the stock (non-JBL) sound system in the Tacoma is not great. After about 5 years or so of owning my 2017, I bit the bullet and upgraded my speakers/stereo. Although there are all-in-one options available (like OEM Audio), I opted to piecemeal my setup via Crutchfield & Amazon. Below are the components I used:
Stereo - Alpine iLX-407 shallow chassis 7-in multimedia receiver with Apple CarPlay
Amplifier - Alpine KTA-450 4-hannel power pack amp
Tweeters - Genuine Subaru tweeter kit by Kicker (100% plug-n-play and YES it fits the Tacoma!)
Front Door Speakers - Kicker 47KSC6504 6.5" 2-way
Rear Door Speakers - Kicker 47KSC6904 6"x9" 2-way
Mod #6 - Noico/NVX Sound Dampening
This mod can get out of hand quickly! If you search YouTube you will find videos of people sound dampening their entire vehicle...rear, floor, doors, ceiling. I knew I wouldn't have the patience for that, so I opted simply to sound dampen the doors to help improve the sound from the new speakers. There were two steps I took:
Noico 80 mil butyl and foil - This was installed inside the doors, on the outside (the walls of the outside door). You adhere the strips and then roll them flat.
NVX tri-layer sound dampening material made of: butyl rubber (bottom layer), aluminum (middle layer), acoustic foam (top layer). Tis was installed on the interior wall of the door. To install this I first made door templates using plastic sheathing. Once I had the plastic template I transferred that to cardboard. Finally, I used the cardboard to trace out onto the NVX.
Mod #7 - Matt Gecko LED Camper Shell Lighting
My truck has an ARE Z-Series shell, and I got tired of trying to find things in it at night...in complete darkness! On TacomaWorld I found a guy named Matt Gecko who sells pre-made lighting kits.
In my application I was planning to adhere the LED strips to the top frame of my shell windows. I has Matt make me a lighting set with 3 strips of LED lighting pre-connected with soldered wiring. I also had him include a quick-disconnect and push-button switch. The install was easy and I made the connections behind my rear passenger side taillight, running the main wire alongside the passenger side frame to my battery.
*TIP: Do not order the remote module. For some reason I had nothing but issues with it. Matt had to send my two replacements and I eventually ended up cutting out the 3rd one.