TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Definitive S Refresh Front Plate Bracket Removal

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ZeroDarkSilver, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. ZeroDarkSilver

    ZeroDarkSilver HEPA cleaning your atmosphere, you're welcome

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northern California
    Lot of speculation/incorrect information floating around. I removed the front plate bracket today and it was fairly painless. Wanted to share what works and what doesn't.

    THESE DO NOT WORK, DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY...
    • Cutting a groove into screw head for a flat blade driver
      • See:
      • Ok, I guess this works, but bringing a rotary blade anywhere near your paint job, ARE YOU CRAZY?
    BUT, THE FOLLOWING DOES WORK, AND IT'S EASY!

    1. Buy yourself one of these: http://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-34233-7-Inch-90-Degree-Pliers/dp/B00YQ7RS1M
    2. Make sure you can see the screw. This is key to getting a good grip. My garage is dark so I taped a small mirror to the back of my iPhone and used the rear-facing flash to illuminate the screw. I rested the iPhone face down on the lower lip of the front fascia so I could see what I was doing in the mirror.
    3. These 90-degree bent pliers let you grip the penta-point screw head at 4 and 8 o'clock to turn the screw. I found they were not torqued at the factory very tightly, so it was easy to loosen them. I did a few turns with the pliers, and then could unscrew the rest of the way with my fingers.

    Attached are detailed pictures of how the pliers should grip the screw head.

    Good luck!

    IMG_0038.jpg IMG_0039.jpg IMG_0040.jpg IMG_0041.jpg


    IMG_0037.jpg
     
    • Like x 9
    • Informative x 5
    • Dislike x 1
  2. beantobe

    beantobe Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thank you for putting an end to this.
     
    • Funny x 1
  3. ZeroDarkSilver

    ZeroDarkSilver HEPA cleaning your atmosphere, you're welcome

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northern California
    For great justice
     
    • Like x 1
  4. SDRick

    SDRick Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    SD CA United States
    Great job putting this one to bed!
    (Do I get partial credit for being the first to call out the tool)?
     
  5. ZeroDarkSilver

    ZeroDarkSilver HEPA cleaning your atmosphere, you're welcome

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northern California
    I might have actually gotten the idea to order those pliers from your post, now that I think about it...

    Go hard!
     
  6. Manny13z

    Manny13z Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Earth
    I'm going to bring it with me on delivery, stop the DS from starting their presentation and tell her she can proceed once I remove the front license plate bracket. ;)
     
    • Like x 3
  7. beantobe

    beantobe Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    then have the detailers come back out and clean up the adhesive! genius.
     
  8. ZeroDarkSilver

    ZeroDarkSilver HEPA cleaning your atmosphere, you're welcome

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northern California
    Ha ha! Actually the adhesive comes off very cleanly. Just roll it up into little sticky balls and pluck off, no residue. You'll find though that there's no wax/polish under the bracket, so getting some detailing done right there would be nice.
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. valkeriefire

    valkeriefire Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #9 valkeriefire, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
    This project is actually kicking my butt. Removing the bracket was easy. Tesla let me use the Torx wrench and remove the screws in the parking lot. Unfortunately my residue is horribly sticky. I've used a hair dryer but it's a lot of work to remove. I'm using the ball roll method which is what works best, but so far I've gotten 2 blisters and and lost skin off my index finger due to the friction of rolling the goo back and forth. I build my own computers and rebuild jetskis for fun but I'm over an hour into this and it is not fun. I expected it to be much easier.

    Edit: wow. Took me about 2 hours to complete. The conceptual difficulty of this is like 1/10, the practical difficulty was 9/10. I've had easier times installing 5th wheel hitches.
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. zambono

    zambono Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    DC
    Goo gone, or alcohol might help there
     
  11. James Anders

    James Anders Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    746
    Location:
    Southampton, PA
  12. Wuggado?

    Wuggado? Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    East Bay Area, CA
    I got the bolts off using this method, but the glue has a death grip on the bumper. Normally I would use something to pry it, but am reluctant in this case for fear of scratching the paint. Has anyone else seen this?
     
  13. valkeriefire

    valkeriefire Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Use your hands, be gentle and forceful at the same time. Apply gradually increasing pressure until it gives. Don't yank on it, go slow and steady. I would under no circumstances use any sort of mechanical advantage as it may damage the bumper. Hands only. I even refused to wear gloves because I wanted to feel exactly where I was. I now have multiple blisters on my fingers to show my effort ; )

    My finding was that the glue was exceptionally strong. I'm a firefighter, we break doors and walls down for a living, I'm not at all afraid of work, but this was different because it required a lot of force with a gentle touch to protect the bumper. I used my hands to pry off the backplate, but it wasn't easy or comfortable. I now realize my bad luck came from the glue sticking to the bumper rather than the plate. Everyone who's had an easy removal had their glue stick to plate. Mine left a perfect square of glue on my bumper. Perhaps this was due to heating the plate with hairdryer. It may have caused the glue to loosing from the plate but not the bumper. Aesthetically it was worth the effort, but I have no doubt someone with less patience in my situation will damage their bumper and be seriously upset.
     
    • Informative x 2
    • Funny x 1
  14. ZeroDarkSilver

    ZeroDarkSilver HEPA cleaning your atmosphere, you're welcome

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northern California
    Here's what I did to make this easier:

    First, I pried the plate mount away from the bumper from the bottom. There seems to be a bit more space to wedge your fingers in from the bottom than the top.

    After pulling the mount away by about the thickness of my finger, I was able to get a plastic knife in there to start cutting at the stretched out adhesive. Going slow and being careful, I was able to cut through the adhesive from the bottom up until the mount finally gave way.

    About 70% of the adhesive stayed stuck to the mount for me, leaving only maybe 30% on the bumper to roll up and peel away. It was a little rough on my fingers but overall not too bad.

    I did not use any heat.
     
    • Like x 2
  15. SDRick

    SDRick Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    SD CA United States
    Zero,
    How long did it take you start to finish?
     
  16. ZeroDarkSilver

    ZeroDarkSilver HEPA cleaning your atmosphere, you're welcome

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northern California
    Rick, if I'm counting from my first failed attempt with the wrong tool, a week.

    But once I got the 90-degree bent pliers, it was a breeze. I blew about 5 minutes turning the screw the wrong way because it's oriented upside down. After smacking my forehead for that one, it took just a minute or two to unscrew the two screws.

    When it came time to pull the adhesive-attached plate mount, i spent about 5 minutes trying to just pull it straight off. I probably could have done it, but it was starting to warp the bumper more than I was comfortable with. So then I went upstairs to get a plastic knife. With the knife cutting through the stretched adhesive, it only took a few minutes to get the plate mount off. I spent another 5-10 minutes rolling off the left-over adhesive.

    If you know what you're doing up front, it's a 15 minute job.
     
    • Like x 2
  17. valkeriefire

    valkeriefire Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I pulled it from the top down. I wonder if that incouraged more glue to stay on the bumper. I'd recommend try his buttom up approach and not using heat. You don't want any more glue on the bumper than necessary. It's a pain.
     
  18. ZeroDarkSilver

    ZeroDarkSilver HEPA cleaning your atmosphere, you're welcome

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northern California
    So worth it though. She's got a beautiful face underneath all that plastic garbage...
     
    • Like x 1
  19. valkeriefire

    valkeriefire Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Las Vegas
  20. Chukarboy

    Chukarboy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Norco California
    Why couldn't you just use dental floss or fishing line to cut through the tape? The same way you would take badging off.
    I should be getting mine in the next few weeks, I don't like the idea of just pulling it off, I will try both.
     
    • Like x 2

Share This Page