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DIY HW3 Upgrade Possible?

Vol16

Member
Jan 21, 2018
88
128
Cincinnati
Hi - I was wondering if anyone could help me understand if a DIY HW2.5 to HW3.0 retrofit is possible? I am almost out of my factory warranty and found on eBay that a FSD computer (HW3.0) can be purchased for ~$1,200. Is it a plug and play upgrade from HW2.5? I only have base AP but would like to have HW3 as I feel there will be more feature disparity between HW2.5 and HW3.0 in the coming years.
 
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Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,581
4,962
Kaneohe, HI
I HIGHLY discourage you from trying to do this yourself.

First you didn't say anything about FSD. If you have not paid for FSD installing AP3.0 is a waste of time. You'll get nothing for your $1200 spent.

Second, if you purchase FSD, it does not matter if you are under warranty or not, when its your turn, they will install the HW3.0 for AP3.0 for you.

Third, one of the most skilled Tesla owner/hackers has DIY'd his. He recently wrote us of the effort. (Your time if perfect for learning about this.) Even if you don't need 75% of what he has done, reading his work will enlighten you to what you will need to do to do it yourself. I retrofit MCU2, IC2, Tuner2, and FSD Computer into my HW2.0 Car

Good luck. Come back and tell us your progress.
 

Vol16

Member
Jan 21, 2018
88
128
Cincinnati
I HIGHLY discourage you from trying to do this yourself.

First you didn't say anything about FSD. If you have not paid for FSD installing AP3.0 is a waste of time. You'll get nothing for your $1200 spent.

Second, if you purchase FSD, it does not matter if you are under warranty or not, when its your turn, they will install the HW3.0 for AP3.0 for you.

Third, one of the most skilled Tesla owner/hackers has DIY'd his. He recently wrote us of the effort. (Your time if perfect for learning about this.) Even if you don't need 75% of what he has done, reading his work will enlighten you to what you will need to do to do it yourself. I retrofit MCU2, IC2, Tuner2, and FSD Computer into my HW2.0 Car

Good luck. Come back and tell us your progress.

You are correct I have not paid for FSD. I would disagree that I would get nothing, the AP 2.5 cars only just received cone visualization a few days ago and still have no other visualizations. Additionally, I have read reports of improved autopilot in the HW3 upgrade thread. Sure, it may be anecdotal but I would expect further disparity in the future. Base AP is still improved with updates, so if HW3 furthers that improvement and makes it safer in the coming years I would consider it worth it for me. To sum it up, I’m not interested in paying for FSD, I am interested in having the latest computer so the Autopilot software I do have is the best it can be and will continue to be in the years ahead.

As for the link you sent, that is for a Model S including MCU2 and IC2 and his write up explains the easiest part was the autopilot computer swap. I am mainly searching for information pertaining to software requirements - if software root access is needed to DIY upgrade the autopilot computer I would most likely not attempt this. If I can drop in the computer and simply restart the car I will definitely attempt this.

If an attempt is made, I will write a full report :)
 

user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
875
US
I am mainly searching for information pertaining to software requirements - if software root access is needed to DIY upgrade the autopilot computer I would most likely not attempt this.

In theory they could require it, but most likely it is auto-detected by the software.

I only would dispute the value of this upgrade - $1,200 plus your time. That's a good way towards the $7k FSD upgrade package, and you sure sound like the kind of enthusiast who would want it.

If you change your mind or fail the upgrade, that is money down the drain.

I feel there will be more feature disparity between HW2.5 and HW3.0 in the coming years.

This is true, but autopilot is a "driver assistance" feature that requires you to pay attention. I don't feel safe letting autopilot handle difficult situations, though I do test the limits for curiosity.

Most of their "improvements" are toward the FSD package and really are going to be N/A for those who don't have it.

I don't have FSD btw. For 7k, I will change lanes, for now.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,087
Delaware
The hardware is likely designed to be plug and play. But then you need to get all the computers to accept each other. That needs either Tesla authentications and passwords, or a lot of expert knowledge from one of the Tesla hacker Gurus.
 

brur

Member
Nov 17, 2018
404
275
Prescott AZ
Remove glovebox, airbag, trim, harness connections (wire connectors are all slightly different pull locks, some seem incapable of being deciphered) frunk area trim at firewall, drain coolant, Then remove another fifteen wire connections, all inscrutable. while cramped in the dark. Now reverse the process, wondering which wire goes where, burp the coolant. Wait for tesla to ask you why it doesn't recognize your comp. Oh I forgot, worry you have stretched a wire while you needed three hands in a one-hand space..
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,787
3,998
Sparks Nevada
Hi - I was wondering if anyone could help me understand if a DIY HW2.5 to HW3.0 retrofit is possible? I am almost out of my factory warranty and found on eBay that a FSD computer (HW3.0) can be purchased for ~$1,200. Is it a plug and play upgrade from HW2.5? I only have base AP but would like to have HW3 as I feel there will be more feature disparity between HW2.5 and HW3.0 in the coming years.
Hmmmm, I think I would rather buy a surgical kit on eBay and do my own heart surgery :D Does that help answer your question :)
 
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Atari2600

Active Member
Oct 4, 2017
1,086
999
Cincinnati
Hi - I was wondering if anyone could help me understand if a DIY HW2.5 to HW3.0 retrofit is possible? I am almost out of my factory warranty and found on eBay that a FSD computer (HW3.0) can be purchased for ~$1,200. Is it a plug and play upgrade from HW2.5? I only have base AP but would like to have HW3 as I feel there will be more feature disparity between HW2.5 and HW3.0 in the coming years.
You should do it! Be sure to document the entire process on YouTube. I'm sure you will get a lot of hits.
 
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I'm guessing you will need Tesla to update their server so your car gets pushed the correct software... unless they are pushing "bundles" to everyone that has both the 2.5 and the 3.0 firmware in it. My guess even if you swapped it and hooked everything up perfectly, you'd have a brick.

Also some of the older cars require a re-wire due to wiring harness change...
 

Garlan Garner

Banned
Mar 31, 2016
11,351
7,528
Chicagoland
Hi - I was wondering if anyone could help me understand if a DIY HW2.5 to HW3.0 retrofit is possible? I am almost out of my factory warranty and found on eBay that a FSD computer (HW3.0) can be purchased for ~$1,200. Is it a plug and play upgrade from HW2.5? I only have base AP but would like to have HW3 as I feel there will be more feature disparity between HW2.5 and HW3.0 in the coming years.

Do you have the equipment to copy over all of your data?

mileage ( odometer )
features
charging AC kwh
charging DC kwh
will you get software updates? I don't think Tesla sends out updates to salvaged vehicles anymore. Did that HW3 computer come from a salvaged model 3.
Is the motor configuration on your car the same as the car the HW3 unit came from?

Do you have the correct coolant to put back into the computer?

Sure...you could probably physically swap it out....but there is no way you can probably get it working as Tesla would.
 

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