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Toyota Camry
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182 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After 15 years and a mere 125k miles my gen 3.5 is still running like a top. Unfortunately it's age does show in certain parts of the car. I'm trying to make an effort to make my car seem more modern. Recently I did the first actual mod and put a headunit in that plays...get this..CD'S! For some reason my XLE did not have a cd player. Anyways, after that I made an iPhone dock in the little pocket where the e-brake is on the 4 bangers. Now I'm trying to come up with ways to just make my car more modern. I also want to put on some basic features the car should have come with to begin with.

One thing I will never is understand is why I don't have a map light. I mean the light between the sunvisors, not in the middle of the headliner. Is it because I have a non-sunroof model? Either way, is there a chance my car is prewired for it so I can just pick one up at the scrap yard and put it in?

In addition to that little thing I'm looking for suggestions on things I can do. An example would be an LED light conversion on the interior which i'm currently researching (any helpful links would be greatly appreciated). I want the end product to look as stock as possible.
 

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Lighting Specialist!
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1,889 Posts
There are plenty plenty of things you can do to make your car modern. I love the idea of LED conversion. You'll have to wire your own map light if you want it, no Camry came with it prewired. The only LED conversion for inside the car would be the dash, A/C console, shifter, and the dome bulb. LED conversion for the taillights can be done.. and the front turn signals and parking lights. Headlights I don't recommend using LED.

Another way to "modernize" it is to simply give it a good clean to make it look fresh! Also, maybe a fresh tint, and new speakers. OH, and clean the car.. as a bunch of Camry's that old tend to look realll dirty.
 

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1994 Camry V6 XLE
94 Toyota Camry XLE
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260 Posts
If I was you I would put in new speakers, maybe some subs if your into that music and def give the interior a good scrub
 

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How hard can it be?
1996 Camry LE
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1,782 Posts
Clean it out. Freshen it up. Get as much as you possibly can back to like new condition. That will give you a great place to start mod(erniz)ing. Since it seems like you're starting with the interior, the mods you have done, and want to do, are nice mods.

You could also do gauge faces with chrome trim rings...




Shift knob...




and my personal favorite among interior mods...

 

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10 Posts
I wouldn't be able to get those Black Glow Gauges for a 93 Camry right? .. It seems there's only white available?

I really like the look of the black ones.
 

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TN's Mad Chemist
95 Camry
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3,127 Posts
That looks like a batman shifter!!:thumbsup: My car has sunroof and has a map light, you won't be able to put a map light in, at least not the OEM one, if you don't have a sunroof. The sunroof lowers the interior head space by a considerable amount, the place where they put the map light/sunroof controls has some hollow space above it, which non-sunroof's don't have...
 

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92 Camry 5S-FE
92 Camry 5S-FE
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485 Posts
Interior-wise I would either change the gauge faces or just change the bulb color. I did mine blue, it looks pretty good. That's the cheapest change that makes the biggest difference. One thing I've been wanting to do is get the arm rests with the tweeters built in. Exterior-wise the best cosmetic upgrade would be larger wheels with thinner tires and paint the calipers.
 

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Toyota Camry
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182 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for all the posts guys! I was getting bummed out yesterday when I saw my thread had zero responses for the longest time.

Speakers-I think this is an awesome place to start. Mine does sound pretty nice right now but I know they are the cheapo stock paper ones so I'm sure it could sound even better.

Steering wheel-AWESOME mod! I think that looks really nice. Only things that would sketch me out are the slight chance of not knowing if the airbag would deploy god forbid anything bad happens. I remember looking into this a lot when I wanted to get a corolla/celica wheel for my Mr2. I don't think any amount of convincing could get me to do this mod as much as I like it.

Shift knob- If I found the right one with an OD switch I'd be so down for it. I remember searching for this before and saw I'd be paying around $100 for one and possibly hacking up my shifter itself. I think if it were much shorter it'd look funky even if it's "sporty". I'm still willing to do this though as long as it looks stock in the end. Even in my own eyes I think this is kinda ricer but I think it'd look neat to get a shorter knob that looks like it could be stock and then put on a black shiftboot despite it being an auto. Part of me thinks it would look cool and the other part of me is telling me I'm being a ricer by doing that.

Gauge faces-The one mod I would never do. It looks tasteless to me. No need to take any offense at all. As you can see I'm very picky about a car being modded to look like it came from the factory that way.


As far as cleaning my car goes it's damn near spotless. Even my wheels are usually at least a 7/10 on cleanliness. Every time someone gets in I get compliments on how clean I keep it despite it being an "older" car... Guess that means it shouldn't be cared for? Idiots :)


OOOOH by the way I picked up a map light from the junkyard today before reading the posts on here. Call me crazy but I'm determined to make it work. Even if it might be useless. I think there is enough space for it. I just wish I had gotten the wiring for it from the junkyard too because I was thinking with my car being an XLE it might be pre-wired for it.

I would REALLY like to get a set of SE wheels and does anyone know if the black center tail light panel from the SE fits the gen 3.5?
 

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How hard can it be?
1996 Camry LE
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1,782 Posts

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92 Camry 5S-FE
92 Camry 5S-FE
Joined
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485 Posts
Instead of replacing the gauge faces, why not put different color bulbs in the dash lights? I switched mine from green to blue and it made a huge difference. It changes the whole feel of the car at night. The mediocre green was too generic for me.
 

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Doohicky Specialist
2001 Camry XLE
Joined
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41 Posts
After 15 years and a mere 125k miles my gen 3.5 is still running like a top. Unfortunately it's age does show in certain parts of the car. I'm trying to make an effort to make my car seem more modern. Recently I did the first actual mod and put a headunit in that plays...get this..CD'S! For some reason my XLE did not have a cd player. Anyways, after that I made an iPhone dock in the little pocket where the e-brake is on the 4 bangers. Now I'm trying to come up with ways to just make my car more modern. I also want to put on some basic features the car should have come with to begin with.

One thing I will never is understand is why I don't have a map light. I mean the light between the sunvisors, not in the middle of the headliner. Is it because I have a non-sunroof model? Either way, is there a chance my car is prewired for it so I can just pick one up at the scrap yard and put it in?

In addition to that little thing I'm looking for suggestions on things I can do. An example would be an LED light conversion on the interior which i'm currently researching (any helpful links would be greatly appreciated). I want the end product to look as stock as possible.
Changing the stock interior lighting is a great way to get started. That was my first mod. If you can find black gauges, go for it. Mine came black - bought mine used - and just changing the lighting made a huge difference. Looks like a different car at night.
Before:


Pretty standard. After some pretty stupid mistakes, which you won't make (like installing a NEOm LED with a metal screwdriver) because you're smarter than me, it now looks like this:



Still a little bit to do there. But, definitely less fuddy-duddy. My dome light is that color too. The shift knob is a pretty easy change, and it pretty much defines the interior, imo. I'm waiting on this one - should be here next week:


And I painted my factory rims. Gunmetal metallic - I used Duplicolor engine enamel with ceramic, for durability. Looks great, and it's dark enough that they don't outshine the body, with it's older sun-beaten pearl paint:


And someone said keep it clean. They are so right. That's a full 2/3 of it, really. If your car doesn't look like a show car, that's fine. But if it looks like it's been squatted in for a month or so, that's when the age shows. Shampoo the seats; I'm doing that before I put the covers on. I use Meguire's anything for the interior. I don't let Armorall anywhere near my car.

The LEDs can be go at superbrightleds.com
I ordered the shift knob at carbeyondstore.com
And I got some faux leather black and blue seat covers on Ebay. They'll be here next week. Now, I'm a little crazy. But, for the sake of ideas, I ordered a new molded carpet piece for my camry from stockinteriors.com
They have some pretty awesome colors.
sonicelectronix.com for sound
Crutchfield.com is pretty good too.

On the main thread page of the 3rd/4th gen forum, there's a huge DIY thread. Very helpful. There are a bunch of vendor sites listed on the TN main page. Scroll to the bottom and you'll see them. I hope you find something you like, and I hope you have as much fun realizing whatever vision you have for the car as I am (even if you want to tear out your hair sometimes - that's half the fun!)

:chug:
 

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Registered
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2,005 Posts
Still, the absolute best exterior freshen-up, (maybe complimented with a bigger, fatter set of wheels) is a set of clear DEPO headlights, with matching front corner lights included.:thumbsup: Going from old fashioned, rippled, light dispersion lenses on the car, to a clear lense set-up, takes years in dated styling and feature cues off the car and really makes it stand out in a parking lot. It might still not look like a really new car, but it peels back enough of the old stuff that it kind of reminds me seeing a really clean, almost classic, car from my younger years, that looks even better than I remembered it.:cool:

Oh ya, a good clean and powerbuff doesn't hurt either.;)
 
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