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Toyota Tundra Auto Dimming Mirror

Toyota Tundra Auto Dimming MirrorHave you seen this line item on a Toyota Tundra sticker?

  • Auto-dimming mirror — MSRP $280

That’s a lot of money for an accessory you can install yourself. Thanks to “Billy Bob” of Lancaster, NY, (a TundraSolutions forum member) we’ve got the low down on the best place to buy the mirror, and some tips for installation.

Aftermarket = Savings

First — where to buy. Your local dealer will charge anywhere from $400 to $600 for these parts, but you can get the exact same Toyota parts from dnd-enterprises on eBay. One tip: Make sure to ask for the long wire cover.

Here’s the link: 2007 OEM Tundra Auto Dim Mirror w/ Homelink and Compass

Price: $229 + Shipping. You can also look at the USA-made Gentex universal mirrors. Skip the compass feature, and you can get the Gentex K2 for about $100. If you want the compass, the Gentex K5 runs about $165. Neither Gentex mirror comes with HomeLink.

Installation

Depending upon your truck, install could be either easy, or very easy. Here’s how:

  • Remove the overhead console. Should be four (4) torx-head screws.
  • There should be two plugs tucked away behind the console.
  • Check to see if the power plug provided with your mirror will fit into one of these plugs. If your truck has the right plug, you can skip the next 3 steps.
  • If not, you’ll need to figure out which wires to tap into. Don’t worry, the tap connectors are provided. First, locate the plug with three input wires (it should be clipped into a holder).
  • Using a test light or multi-tester, find the ground wire, the constant power wire, and the ignition switch power wire.
  • Using the provided in-line snap connectors, attach the provided harness to the factory wiring.
  • Remove your current rear view mirror and attach the new one. Run the wires into the liner and attach them to the kit harness.
  • Test, then make sure to cover the wires between the base of the mirror and the headliner with the wire cover.

Next, to calibrate the compass, drive around the block once or twice. The compass should self-orient.

That’s it! You’re money ahead ($50 – $130) and you have the satisfaction of knowing you improved your truck. Don’t worry about “messing something up” either — this is a common dealer installed accessory. No problems with warranty, etc. provided you buy the OEM kit.

Thanks again Bob for posting this info on TundraSolutions, and allowing us to paraphrase.

Toyota Tundra Truck Bed Liner Options

If you’re like most new Tundra owners, you’re seriously considering bed protection. Fortunately you have options — lots of them. Here are the highlights:

1) No Bed Liner. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it could work out just fine. But while you may not ever intend to haul anything that would damage your truck’s bed, you never know when a situation will arise and you will be forced to put something back their that damages the paint job. If you’ve got scratches in your bed, your options for adding a bed liner later get more expensive. That’s because before you add any sort of removable liner you’ll need to re-protect the bed (i.e. re-paint) so that any moisture that gets caught between your bed and your liner won’t cause your bed to rust. If you’re leasing your truck, this might be your only option.

2) Rubber Bed Mat. It’s old-school but it certainly deserves consideration. There’s no disputing thatProtecta Truck Bed Mat a heavy piece of rubber will protect the bottom of your truck bed from gouges and scratcheswhile at the same time providing a surface that has more friction than the factory bed. If you’re considering adding a rubber mat, make sure you purchase one that is fairly thick. Thin rubber mats (anything less than 1/4″) tend to “roll-up” when you’re loading the bed, making them sort of hazardous. You should also make sure that the mat you buy has a knobby bottom surface so that moisture doesn’t get trapped under the mat and lead to premature bed rust. Finally, we like mats that are pre-cut to fit your truck. Those mats you have to trim yourself never fit right and they tend to be cheap anyways. The best feature of a nice rubber mat is that it will only cost you $75-$100.

3) Plastic Bed Liner. Plastic bed liners (or “drop-ins”) fit OK, install quickly and easily, and do a nice job of protecting the bed from most kinds of damage. Plastic bed liners are especially nice if you need to slide items in and out of your truck. Plastic also won’t scratch anything you put in your bed (like furniture), and it washes out quickly and easily. The biggest disadvantage to plastic drop-in liners is that whatever you have resting in your bed can slide around at any time. Plastic is slippery, especially when wet, and we’ve seen big loads shift (even when they were properly tied down). Also, it seems like a lot of moisture and gunk accumulates under the plastic liner, requiring you to remove it and clean the bed periodically. Plastic drop-in bed liners can cost as little as $250 or as much as $400.

Herculiner Bed Liner Install Kit4) Plastic Coatings. We’ve all seen the ads — send in $49.99 and they’ll send you a gallon of special “truck bed paint” just like the pros use. Get out your roller and paint brush and you can install your own “spray-in” like bed surface on a Saturday afternoon. Bulls#&t. Unless you have experience applying this stuff, you’re probably going to screw something up. Worse, it doesn’t always bond properly to the bed, meaning big hunks will flake off at the least helpful times. While we don’t want to condemn all of these products, we haven’t ever seen it work. Proceed at your own risk.

5) Spray-In. This is by far the most popular option, and for good reason. It’s the best looking and most durable bed liner there is. The bed is sprayed with a special polyurethane “paint” that protects the bed from scratches and chemicals. The coating is permanent, the texture is rough (which keeps things from sliding), and the material is nearly indestructible. In fact, unlike every other option listed here, a spray-in liner will last forever.

Line X or RhinoLots of companies offer spray-in bed liners, but the top two are Line-X and Rhino. While you may hear lots of differing opinions about the two products, it’s fair to say that they’re basically the same stuff. However, the installers are not the same. In fact, any stories you hear about a bad Rhino or Line-X liner have more to do with the person that installed the liner than the product itself. The best way you can make sure you get a good spray-in liner is to find out how long the installer has been in business. If you have any doubts about them, get references and check them out. Your local Toyota dealer is also an excellent place to get a recommendation for a good installer. You should be able to get a quality spray-in liner with a lifetime warranty installed for $300-$400 (under rail). Over the rail should add about $50. There are other names out their in spray-ins, and we’re sure that some of them are just fine, but they’re not usually any cheaper than Line-X or Rhino so we don’t recommend them.

6) Carpet Liner. The carpet liner is usually a strong outdoor carpet with a thick rubber or vinyl backing. They’re surprisingly strong and they have the benefit of being soft. They’re especially popular with people that are going to add a camper shell to their truck. The biggest advantage to them, in addition to being plush, is that they’re removable. If you like the idea of being able to see your factory finish whenever you want to, this might be a good option for you. Cost is about the same as a good plastic bed-liner, about $350. The only thing we don’t like about these is that they don’t seem to stay attached, but that probably has to do with the way they’re installed.

You can also add plywood to your truck bed, and there are some cool commercial roll-up systems that literally unload your truck for you (like Load Handler).

Have an opinion about Tundra bed liner options? Share it!

ToyTec 3″ Tundra Lift Kit Review Update

Once ToyTec had a chance to reflect on our review, they made a couple of adjustments to their kit.

First, they’ve added some machined skid-plate spacers so that the skid plate does not touch the front differential after the diff has been dropped 1″ (the front diff is dropped to preserve the factory axle and ball joint angles).

Toyota Tundra Lift Kit Review: Toytec 3″ Lift Kit

Toytec Lifts produces lift kits, leveling kits, and other suspension accessories exclusively for Toyota trucks and SUVs. Based just outside of Denver, Colorado, ToyTec tests all of their products on Toyota vehicles that travel rugged trails in the Colorado Rockies. We found Toytec’s website and decided to review their 3″ Toyota Tundra lift kit. Our review includes a Tundra lift kit installation guide and video.

When the new Tundra was introduced, after market product manufacturers like ToyTec had very little time to design and manufacture a kit that would work with the all-new suspension. ToyTec’s engineering team collaborated with dealerships in Colorado and North Carolina to measure, design, and test their 3″ lift kit design as soon as the Tundra came out. Once the measurements were made, parts were machined, and ToyTec’s newest kit was ready for the market. For the most part, ToyTec sells their lift kits to dealerships and four-wheel shops around the country, but the product is available to the general public.

ToyTec 3

2007 Tundra CrewMax Comparison: With and without ToyTec Lift Kit. The lifted truck is wearing ProComp 6066 wheels

ToyTec’s kit is designed to raise the front of the Tundra 3″ and the rear 1″, thus leveling the truck while also increasing the height about 1″. The end result is the lifted truck looks better, is level, and can accommodate a much larger set of wheels and tires.

ToyTec 3″ Lift Kit Installation Pictures and Video

Installing the ToyTec 3″ Lift Kit on a local Toyota Tundra was auto technician Jerrod Jewell of Mountain States Toyota. Jerrod, an auto technician for almost a decade, worked quickly and efficiently to install this kit while still taking the time to answer questions and allowing us to take pictures.

Thank you!

In order, here are the steps for installing the 3″ lift kit from ToyTec on a 2007+ Tundra.