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Car flex and losing a roof rack with bikes?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by luvacoustic, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Leewx

    Leewx Member

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    Be careful with an aftermarket hitch for the MS. I believe there are posts in this form of Tesla voiding warranties when a tow hitch is installed even when just used for racks and not actual towing. Also there has been at least one post about severe corrosion of Tesla’s aluminum frame from the mounting contact points of the dissimilar metal of the hitch receiver. I think is was the Eco hitch. Supposedly Eco was going to address that corrosion issue with their hitch receiver. I would inspect it often to make sure there is no corrosion forming.
     
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  2. murphyS90D

    murphyS90D Member

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    It is against federal law for a company to void the whole warranty because of user modifications. The modifications are not covered by the warranty. Look up "Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, passed by Congress in 1975".
     
  3. ucmndd

    ucmndd Active Member

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    Of course, but something like an aftermarket hitch on a car the manufacturer doesn’t support towing with could be reasonably blamed for a pretty wide range of drivetrain, suspension, and body issues.

    “Sorry your drive unit is bad Mr Jones. Unfortunately we noticed you’ve installed a trailer hitch - the Model S drive unit isn’t designed to handle towing so we can’t cover this under the factory warranty.”
     
  4. Togg

    Togg Member

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    Good point. Also there is possible head and side wind loading to consider in addition to standard loading values. I'm always very nervous with stuff on the roof, especially with bumpy roads and/or wind. Might be helpful to have a feature to remind the driver when stuff is on the roof. Also one thing I often do, is from time to time pull over and check the tie downs.
     
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  5. Cheburashka

    Cheburashka Active Member

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    That's not how it works.
     
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  6. ucmndd

    ucmndd Active Member

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    Please, enlighten me.
     
  7. DCEV

    DCEV Member

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    If possible, look into folding bikes. They are just as fun to ride and fold into impossible small dimensions.

    Tern is a great folding bike manufacturer. I personally would only take folding bikes in the car but I can see the challenge if you need 4 bikes...

    So sorry this happened to you :( Just glad no one was hurt.
     
  8. luvacoustic

    luvacoustic Member

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    The body shop sent back a few pictures of the mounts on the car. They think they rusted and then the threads gave out. It’s hard to tell, but be careful if you use a roof rack. This is from an April 2017 MS. 65DED8E4-F828-4E98-91A5-E30BD0BA359D.jpeg 5322B175-8AB8-4ED2-AFC0-EF2B8EB93E0A.jpeg
     
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  9. ucmndd

    ucmndd Active Member

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    Wow! Yep, that would do it... Little bit of body flex could certainly be enough to pop loose those rusted threads, then the wind and weight took care of the rest of it.
     
  10. Ludalicious

    Ludalicious Member

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    No stainless steel hardware and looks like the bolts could of been allot deeper. I also see no loctite on the threads. Small details that make a big difference.

    Are those the factory mounting holes?

    Quote:
    Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242 is designed for the locking and sealing of threaded fasteners which require normal disassembly with standard hand tools. The product cures when confined in the absence of air between close fitting metal surfaces. It protects threads from rust and corrosion and prevents loosening from shock and vibration. Loctite® Threadlocker Blue 242 is particularly suited for applications on less active substrates such as stainless steel and plated surfaces, where disassembly is required for servicing.
     
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  11. luvacoustic

    luvacoustic Member

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    Those are the factory mounting holes and the original hardware that came with the sunroof option. They’re hidden under little flaps at each corner of the roof. It’s scary to see that much rust in two years. For what it’s worth, the bolts from the Whispbar Rack are stainless steel and look new. The factory mounting holes stripped, not the bolts.
     
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  12. Dave EV

    Dave EV Active Member

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    I agree here - it looks like the bolts only managed to grab the top 2-3 threads and didn't thread all the way through. Combine that with some corrosion and no wonder it failed.

    I would definitely bring this to Tesla's attention and would highly recommend anyone using the roof rack to regularly inspect their anchor points.
     
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  13. murphyS90D

    murphyS90D Member

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    Wow! My car is 3 years old and all 4 mounts are rusty. There is even surface rust on some of the mounts. I soaked a bolt in penetrating oil and used it to clean the threads. The two on the passenger side were easy. The one above the driver's door was difficult. The other one on the driver's side was easier but not as easy as the passenger side. When that was done I filled the bolt holes with heavy grease. I don't remember the origin of the grease but I think it is wheel bearing grease.

    I didn't measure but those bolts go in about 1/2 inch before they bottom out. They need to be tight against the bottom so vibration doesn't cause them to turn and back out.
     
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  14. LCR1

    LCR1 Active Member

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    In no world is that accurate, engineers don't rate something for X just so people will will use 75% of that. The numbers engineers and manufacturers rate something for are exactly what you can use them for. Ford doesn't put a 35,000lbs tow rating on their pickup trucks just for someone to go around towing 26,000. Just like a manufacturer doesn't rate a roof rack for 165lbs and only expect people to use 120lbs of the capacity at 25mph. The rated capacity is the rated capacity.
     
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  15. LCR1

    LCR1 Active Member

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    @Ludalicious feel free to show me engineering drawings or manufacturer statements that show you should only use something to 75% of it's rated capacity, otherwise you disagreeing just comes across as you whining.
     
  16. Ludalicious

    Ludalicious Member

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    I actually own a fleet of company vehicles with roof racks and also tow regularly too. Have not had any issues over the years with any of my vehicles or trailers.

    It's called a rule of thumb due to unknown factors that are usually not added. I have a boat that's rated for 4800 lbs. With trailer and gear it's over 6000 lbs on the scale. Now just because the sticker on the boat says 4800 lbs the odd person will try and tow it with a vehicle that's only rated for 5000 lbs.

    Feel free to load up those trailers and roof racks to the max. Because let's be honest not too many people scale their loads or weigh their bikes before loading them on. There are allot of scenarios that are usually not factored in, so it's better to be on the cautious side instead of the over the limit side. No where did I say it was the maximum it could handle. Please point out where I mentioned that?

    Theres allot of variables that usually add up. Like heavier handle bars, different grips and wheels. Manufacturers usually list a bare no option product too make it look more appealing.
     
  17. LCR1

    LCR1 Active Member

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    Well if the boat is 4800lbs then yes the vehicle rated for 5000 lbs will tow it. In your example however the boat doesn't weight 4800, it weighs 6000, so no they shouldn't tow with a vehicle rated for 5000. See how that works, you change the numbers the senario changes. But saying you should load 165lbs on a 165lb carrier is asinine, the correct thing to do is weigh your stuff not just arbitrarily cut ratings 25% and call it good to go.
     
  18. Ludalicious

    Ludalicious Member

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    You really think someone's going to weight everything prior to hooking up or putting it in the boat. What if theres no scale available. Do you expect them to weight the fuel too?
     
  19. LCR1

    LCR1 Active Member

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    Whether they way anything or not doesn't change the fact that things are designed to operate at their rated weight, not some arbitrary 75% rule of thumb.
     
  20. docbrown

    docbrown Member

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    Sounds like the 75% thing may be someone’s personal preference, and not a general rule.

    Wow, I’m very surprised the mounts rusted like that. Does anyone have a suggestion on what to treat the mounts with, that will prevent rust, but still allow the mounts to be used on occasion? I’m concerned that if I treat them with grease, then when I use my racks, the bolts will tend to loosen. Will loctite work if the mounts are pre greased?
     

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