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1:18 Scale Roadster Teardown

Hello fans!

I was browsing the internet and noticed nobody had made a post on a 1:18th scale Tesla Roadster teardown! I figured I would do my colleagues justice and see what's inside a $250 wife-said-i-should-be-more-responsible-with-my-money toy. I will post a guide on how to tear this apart, but please be forewarned; you will snap welded parts! Do not fear, you can easily put it back together with super glue, magnets or even screws if you're handy. The photos are after I tore it down and I did my best to keep my hands from shaking while holding a cellphone camera.

First thing's first, you will need a pry tool made of plastic, some painter's tape (to prevent scratches), a small laser pointer flashlight or phone flashlight, and LOTS of patience! This took me 2 days to tear apart. The plastic is very resilient and if you hear cracking, it's probably the super glue. Again, I don't take responsibility if you manage to snap your pieces in half.

1. Grab your pry tool and fit it into the gap of the front "rock guard" until you pop the 4 glues tabs out or break them. Locations pictured below (you can see I broke the top and bottom right, the grille is connected):
ZTnTyu8.jpg


2. Pry apart the rear diffuser. The flaps that curl around the bumper are fragile and will pop out easily with a little bit of force. I was concerned about breaking these multiple times, but the plastic is pretty flexible (left and right arms in pic). The hardest part was pulling/breaking the parts closest to the wheels and back of the car- they took a lot of back and forth prying to get open and took about 5 hours of brainstorming. Again, this is me figuring out where the welded spots were. I broke the posts on the top left (I pried mostly from the center out instead of the back in- I didn't want to damage the rear of the piece):
SOfFgp9.jpg


3. Next were the wheels. I unscrewed the front and rear boxes holding the wheels and pried them loose (they were also glued down). Dismantling the rear axle required me to twist the wheels in opposite directions and lightly pull them apart:
R5O7HDo.jpg

azYMX64.jpg


4. Next was the hard part, pulling the front wheels out just enough to not break the hub. Pulling them downwards just enough to get one post out and then swinging them around gave me enough space to take the steering axle out as well. I noticed on the forums that people complained about the poor steering. They put a piece in it to restrict it, but the reinforcement for the interior is actually blocking the steering from turning all the way to the left. This was designed to not turn sharply. The wheels simply unscrew.
Em1EKJ0.jpg

S8Ggdiq.jpg


5. Finally, we unscrew the cockpit with the 4 retaining screws. You will need to open the doors to gently push the cockpit out. This was by far the easiest part of the teardown:
3mjJOf1.jpg

EvWjeh0.jpg


6. You've done it! You've taken your own roadster apart and are ready to add your own customizations! I have not gotten started with any of this since I've been very busy with work, but this shouldn't keep you from adding your own personal touches! Look up youtuber "diorama111" if you're interested in adding things like working headlights. Here's a couple pictures of the full teardown and my imgur folder. Don't mind the username, it's an old account.
yBLRAmV.jpg

xOvjQcV.jpg

1:18 Scale diecast Tesla Roadster teardown

One last recommendation: I be wary of the struts holding the trunk onto the frame. The screws are incredibly small and it's very easy to lose them. They're the size of a pocket watch screw and unless you've got stead hands or repaired watches, I wouldn't recommend unscrewing them.

Thanks for having me post here, hope to one day own a tesla model S
 

byeLT4

Member
Feb 16, 2017
915
1,093
Texas
I like it! I did something similar with a 40 dollar model of a C7. If I had any motivation I would have customized it and thought people would probably pay a pretty penny to get one *exactly* like their car (I think the model only came in one not so popular color). I got the paint code for my car and went to local paint shop and had it made, aaand that's as far as I ever got.....

Good luck on getting a Model S! I wanted one since 2015 and finally bit the bullet May of last year!!!
 
I'm looking into some pretty serious mods on this car and will post updates when I finish. I didn't take pictures as I went because I fully expected the pieces to eventually snap (I got lucky). If I get a good reception on the final product, I'll look into modding the model S diecast. I get my resin printer in a week and I plan to replace a lot of parts. The quality in the roadster is there, but I feel like it needs a lot more. I was very surprised there's no frunk in the real life roadster as well. I doubt Elon would let me climb around the roadster and pull out the panels.

One thing I didn't mention is the seats are plastic welded. They do have screw mounts that may have served a purpose in another model, so I will look into possibly altering the seats. Again, this is touch and go and like all of you, I don't want to destroy a $250 model lol.
 
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