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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys, well I did a small DIY project over the weekend. I'm not sure if I'm in the same boat as a lot of you, but I never could quite stand the silver trim all over the inside of the truck; at least not as a "main feature" of the looks.
So I decided to finally take a deep breath and go ahead and color it. I figured since door scratches on the inside (and the like) reveal the original color of the plastic (removing the color when scratched), that it can't be too difficult to paint the truck pieces.
First step was to decide what color to go with. I'm telling you I was going back and forth between flat and gloss black for about 10 minutes... I just couldn't make up my mind easily. I liked the idea of gloss black to match the rest of the center console, but eventually two things convinced me to go with the flat black route.
The first was that the surface of the plastic wasn't perfectly smooth, and although I would sand it down with some fine-grit sand paper, I wasn't too confident that the end result would be something smooth since I wanted this to be relatively quick. The second issue was whether or not it would actually match the gloss black already in the truck. Needless to say that would be detrimental to a good build; never mind the fingerprints, etc. that would show.
So I went with a flat black paint and eventually left the store.
So the first step was to take apart the pieces from the truck. Doing the door handles would be easy as they are relatively small with little in the way. Well, the plastic clips make them fit tightly and the plastic itself isn't that strong, so be careful not to scratch or crack the plastic when you lift it off. Getting a hold of it from the back with a couple of fingers will allow you to pop it off. I used a flat-head screw driver to help pry it up a bit to get a hold of it.




Next, on each door handle, there are control switches for the windows and/or door locks. The two rear doors are simply window switches, while the driver's door obviously has everything. Passenger door is unique unto itself with door locking and window control.



Simply unplug the various switches from each of the doors... they only fit in one way, so you don't need to worry about getting them properly aligned again.
Once you have them out of the truck, you need to remove the actual switches from the handle. There are several things to look for. On the rear door handles, you'll see a couple of tabs front and back I think or on the sides that simply need to be pushed in and the switch will come out from the back. The driver's side has three screws... two on the bottom and one on top for its assembly so be sure to place the screws somewhere safe and secure.





The passenger side is a little tricky since both pop out like the rear doors, but the two switches are pretty close together and the tabs on the top of the bottom switch and the bottom of the top switch are pretty close together. Just make sure to pop out the opposite tabs first and that will make it easier to pop out the switches.
When you're done, you should have all four pieces laid out.


Next, is the gauge cluster and dash trim around the shifter. For the gauge cluster, it simply yanks right out with a good firm tug on both sides. It is better to pull the steering wheel out a bit and lower it as far as it will go to give you some clearance. Keep in mind that if you're like me and you have all these additional wires , that they may be "loose" behind the cluster, so keep track of where they were and don't let them get caught on anything.
Now, depending on the model of truck you have, there are going to be a variety of plugs to unplug. Mine consisted of 6 plugs I had to disconnect. Two on the left side, one on the lower left, and three on the right side. Additionally there is a wiring cluster that is fed through some cable-holds built in to the rear of the gauge cluster that you'll have to remove. There should be a small piece of colored tape around the wiring cluster that indicates that this point of the wiring cluster should meet up with the center cable-hold. The others are on the left and right of this and additionally there are two clips -- one on each side -- that clip on to two vertical flat pieces of the gauge cluster that hold the wiring in place. You need to free the wiring from these areas before removing the gauge cluster trim piece.
Similarly, the trim piece around the shifter on the console is more easily removed by putting the truck into neutral. Unscrew the shift knob first of course. You'll have to learn from my mistake and pull up the console lid first, remove the plastic trim that houses the two cup holders, dip cup, and map storage to reveal a screw that holds the console trim piece in place. Doing this will ensure that you don't break a plastic clip from the middle of the trim piece (like I did).
The cup-holder-console plastic thing just pulls out and then you can use a small Philips head screwdriver to remove the push-pin and casing on the console trim. It should pull out nice and easy once that is done.
Again, depending on your truck model, there will be one or more plugs to disconnect before pulling the piece completely out.
Once both the gauge cluster and console trim pieces are out, you need to do some prep work to get it ready for spraying. Like the door trim pieces, you'll need to remove all the switches including the blanks. Most pop out the back by, again, pushing in two or more push pins around the housing. One or two of these switches actually go out the front, so be careful to check and not "force" anything through that isn't supposed to go that way.
Now, the gauge cluster has silver trim pieces and I removed those from the gauge cluster by gently pulling the tabs away on the back side. Be very careful not to break these as they won't sit tight if you do when you replace them. They push out the front. It is easy to do just take your time.



The black plastic round gauge tubes are physically molded to the gauge cluster. Though I thought about removing them, it is much simpler to just do a little taping on the inside of them and around any areas you think are vulnerable. Use blue painter's tape as it is much easier to place and remove.
The trim piece on the shifter is also physically molded in to the piece itself and can not be removed without damaging the piece. So, again, simply tape around it and ensure that the tape is properly tucked into the slight grove between the trim piece and the actual plastic piece you will be painting.
When this is all done, begin sanding all the pieces. Use a fine grit. I used 320 grit, though obviously 400 or even 600 is preferable. Be sure to get as much of a smooth surface as you can and wipe up all the extra paint/plastic with a damp cloth. I used Windex and those blue shop towels (thick paper towels) because I like that Windex evaporates and doesn't leave much moisture behind.
When everything is dry and properly laid out, shake the paint can for over a minute and begin painting. Use quick strokes and watch that you get even distribution across the surface. Ensure that you're not spraying too much in small areas between the gauge cluster where the paint can run.
I added 3 coats of paint over the course of about 1 hour and let it dry over night.
Remove the tape and start piecing everything together in the opposite way you took them apart! Voila! You should have a much nicer interior when you're done!







 

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Great DIY!!! :tu: Nice pictures, description, and tips.

In terms of modding, I am not a fan of the flat black, if for nothing else than durability. Although it ain't the prettiest, at least the silver is a nice bridge between the gray and the black. :)
 

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Nice work there. Looks better in black I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great DIY!!! :tu: Nice pictures, description, and tips.

In terms of modding, I am not a fan of the flat black, if for nothing else than durability. Although it ain't the prettiest, at least the silver is a nice bridge between the gray and the black. :)
Well, I figured there would be a lot of people that probably wouldn't like this color setup, but to me it looks much better in person than it does in the pictures. The paint does about as well as the silver did in durability. It stays on there pretty good unless you get something metal to scratch it. I was pleasantly surprised with that aspect of it. Hopefully it will hold up for a long time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Please people dont rattle can your interior plastic
lol, dude, trust me on this... Toyota did a similar thing. If you don't believe me, take something even as dull as a metal spoon and drag it an inch anywhere on the plastic on your door panel... I guarantee you'll see what the real color of the plastic there is... it has no holding power at all...
 

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Ya think it will have the same effect on the faux wood finish?
 

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Nice Mods...

Put few coats of satin clear on top of the paint, it will prevent some minor scratches.
 

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REALLY NICE! It really makes a huge difference in appearance. I can attest to the sorriness of the factory silver painted plastic. ANYTHING that you apply over that crap is WAY BETTER and THICKER than the sh*t toyota used. Keep us posted on how well it holds up. IMO, the flat black was the better choice over gloss due to the added contrast the flat black gives toward the factory gloss painted plastic already in the truck. Good Job!
 

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...Raptor Slayer...
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lol, dude, trust me on this... Toyota did a similar thing. If you don't believe me, take something even as dull as a metal spoon and drag it an inch anywhere on the plastic on your door panel... I guarantee you'll see what the real color of the plastic there is... it has no holding power at all...
All mine was repainted by my body shop no more gray plastic in my truck and not rattle canned...dont get me wrong yours looks good but its hard work on painting all that stuff for it to just get scratched by a finger is what im talkin about
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice Mods...

Put few coats of satin clear on top of the paint, it will prevent some minor scratches.
Yeah, I thought about doing a clear coat on it, but was deterred by the possibility of it looking glossy. But we'll see what happens. So far it is actually much stronger than I thought.
 

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That looks awesome! at first I thought this was a SEMS leather dye thread. Yes I've done this plenty of cars, it really looks great. You can also look into wrapping those panel pieces with carbon material for added candy and protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All mine was repainted by my body shop no more gray plastic in my truck and not rattle canned...dont get me wrong his looks good but its hard work on painting all that stuff for it to just get scratched by a finger is what im talkin about
I hear ya! I just couldn't justify the cost of getting this done by a pro (nor the time without my truck)... all my remaining mod money has to go towards getting a super-charger! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How did you come by a leather wrapped steering wheel like that?
Got it online at eBay from LKQ... they'll come online every once in a while. After loosing out a few times, I picked one up for a good price.

That's the great thing about this forum... people don't miss a beat! Good eye!
 

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Mark it eight, Dude...
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Great write up and man it looks great. This isn't a project I would want to take on but the results are great!
 

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The M.F.I.C.
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lol, dude, trust me on this... Toyota did a similar thing. If you don't believe me, take something even as dull as a metal spoon and drag it an inch anywhere on the plastic on your door panel... I guarantee you'll see what the real color of the plastic there is... it has no holding power at all...
If you want to be really surprised... take a cloth with a little bit of paint thinner or Xylol and wipe the silver plastic.... the paint will rub right off. All of the interior plastic does that (except I didn't try it on the center-console plastic, which seems more durable.)
 
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