Meso Customs Overhead Nightmare

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I regret purchasing the Meso Customs 4-Port Overhead Panel for my 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma. I knew that it required heavy modification to the overhead unit. What I didn’t know is that unlike the 2-port and 3-port versions, the 4-PORT VERSION DOES NOT HAVE ANY WAY TO MOUNT IT! That’s right—no mounting tabs, no mounting clips, no mounting holes. Nothing. Even worse, I only realized this after I had already modified my overhead unit past the point of no return.

Fortunately, I managed to hack together my own mount to this incomplete product and get it installed. Watch my YouTube video for a review and full installation, or skip below for a quick pictorial on the install.

Step-by-Step Installation

What was Meso Customs thinking when they decided to sell their customers a 4-port overhead panel that has absolutely no way to mount it? Shame on you, Meso Customs!

I have not been able to find any review or installation of the 4-port version, so I decided to create these installation instructions for all the poor Meso Customs customers who got screwed by buying a 4-port (and possibly the 6-port) overhead panel.

Tools Required

Required:

  1. Trim remove tool (or flathead screwdriver)
  2. Blue painters tape
  3. Hacksaw (“compact” or “close quarter” version with the blade sticking partially out of one end)

Optional:

  1. Dremel
  2. Pliers
  3. Metal file

Prep the Overhead Unit

  1. First, remove your factory panel. here are clips on the top and tabs on the bottom. Insert your trim removal tool or flathead screwdriver into the top to release the clips, then tilt it forward to remove the panel.

    If you have any buttons that prevent tilting, you can remove the buttons through the back. There is a clip on the top and bottom of the button. Inserting a screwdriver through the back of the overhead unit to release the clips, then push the button through the front.
  1. Apply blue painters’ tape to the edge of top and bottom edge of the opening to prevent scratching the overhead unit.
  2. Using a compact hacksaw or Dremel (hacksaw is recommended for better control), do the following:
    1. Cut the bridge located in the middle of the factory opening.
    2. Trim the lip on the left side of the opening.
    3. Cut the wall on the right side of the factory opening.
    4. Cut out the panel on the far right, or use pliers to pry out the panel.
  1. Cut the large opening in the back. Note that you will need to cut around the large cross that was under the panel on the opposite side.
  2. Finally, drill the slots for the zip tie. Use a small drill bit to drill 3 holes side-by-side, then tilt the drill remove the material between the holes. To find the proper location for the slots, insert the 4-port from the front, then drill into the overhead unit about half an inch from the edge along the line between the middle two button holes.

Create a Shelf

  1. Cut off the right side of the factory panel with the small L-shaped lip. Also remove the panel’s clip and optionally the tab.

    This lip fits perfectly against the edge of the 4-port. Great reuse of the factory panel that is no longer usable in your chopped up overhead unit.

  1. Insert the shelf on the right with the smooth surface against the overhead unit and the small lip facing toward the 4-port, then insert the 4-port and position the shelf so the 4-port lines evenly with the face of the overhead unit.

  2. Remove the 4-port and glue the shelf in position using cyanoacrylate (a.k.a, “superglue”).

Create Bridge for Zip Tie

  1. Again, cut a plastic piece from the factory panel. This should fit snuggly between the middle two buttons of the 4-port. I also trimmed the length slightly so it didn’t protrude beyond the button holders.
  2. Glue the bridge in place using cyanoacrylate. I went overboard and used 6 drops.

Install Zip Tie

  1. Install the 4-port with a zip tie.
    1. Insert the zip tie tail down through the top slot you created on the back of the overhead unit.
    2. Insert the tail through the top of the bridge on the 4-port.
    3. Insert the tail up through the bottom slot.
    4. Insert the tail through the head of the zip tie.

Install into Your Vehicle

Reinstall your factory wiring. Install your buttons. Now you’re finally ready to install your overhead unit back into your vehicle. Woohoo! The nightmare is finally over!

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2 Responses

  1. Hey there Bennet,

    Just wanted to let you know that your article here was a huge help for me installing my Meso Customs overhead switch panel. I ordered the 4 switch sun roof model and just like you got right into to irreversible cutting before I realized that this was a very poorly designed switch panel with no way to secure it. Pretty disappointed with Meso Customs because I have not received any feedback to address the issue and the advertising for the panel says minor trimming to the back housing. Lets just say I became a Dremel expert over the last 4-5 hours of the install. My install was slightly different then yours because the left hand side of my panel had a bit of a lip already and the sunroof button housing had a lip as well. This allowed me to set the panel (with major trimming to the Meso Panel and light sanding to the sunroof button housing to clear the right side lip and fit without bending) but there was still nothing to hold it in place. I used your sip tie method which worked out great. I’m not much of a computer guy, so I thought maybe you’d be willing to incorporate some pictures into your post for others to view and see what modifications I had to do for my model. If that seems like something you’d be willing to do I’d be happy to send over some pictures with step by step instructions. Hopefully we can work together to help anyone else who ran into this huge headache.

    Cheers!

  2. Hi, Nicholi! I am glad my article helped! I wrote this because I want people to have information about the panel. Currently, there is nothing else available online about the 4-port versions. I definitely would have purchased the 3-port instead if I had known how horrible the 4-port install is.

    I would love to include your photos and procedures. Email me your photos (my email is at the bottom of every page) with brief description if necessary, and I’ll get them incorporated in the article to help other unfortunate people who purchased the 4-port.

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