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Found out what’s causing undercarriage composite to break apart

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by Redrick00, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    I always wash my model 3 on my back yard and noticed that every time I back out after washing there’s a long trail of water about 50’ long right on middle of driveway. This is even after the car sitting there for hours. I looked under car and saw it dripping from rear undercarriage. I started searching online and found photos of other model 3’s with rear bumpers falling off and composite material breaking apart. I then opened my trunk and poured water around weatherstripping seal and water runs off to the sides and down but most of the water runs behind rear tail lights and and ends up inside on the rear bumper. The rear bumper has edges which act as a wall holding a lot of water. Once it fills or during driving water shoots forward drenching the composite material. This will be a big problem for many during winter when all that water on bumper freezes adding weight and stress to rear bumper.

    I then drilled a small 5/16” drain hole (hole #1) on center of bumper and poured more water but a single hole was not enough and water still drained off to the composite material. I added two more holes (holes 2&3) close to the first one but no water drained from there so I ended up drilling 2 more (holes 4&5) closer to where bumper meets composite material. One of these last holes (hole #5) ended up being where it drains the best. I did kind of crappy job drilling as drill motor didn’t fit under car so I drilled at an angle. I don’t know it having those holes will hurt the aerodynamic functionality of car but at least I won’t have a bumper full of water.
     
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  2. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    There are 3 bolts that hold bottom of bumper and the center one is missing.


    CF7E130A-486B-4056-9DED-5FEE41661F00.jpeg D2391C22-4971-487D-B407-1CC4CDBC518E.jpeg
     
    • Informative x 4
  3. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    This video shows how water enters behind tails lights down to bumper and composite material.
     
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  4. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    First hole drilled was not enough and water still ended overflowing so I drilled 2 more but nothing came out of these.
     
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  5. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    After drilling final 2 holes no more water drained from composite material. Holes 1 & 5 seems to be the best spot for draining.
     
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  6. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    I am both disturbed and unsure if you should be drilling holes.....
     
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  7. reheat

    reheat Member

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    I have big concerns about this when I noticed a gap between my trunk weather seal and the bumper (Trunk weather seal gap), thanks for demonstrating how this defect can damage your car.

    I don't think the water is supposed to get inside the bumper like that, but according to the service center I talked to this is normal as all the cars they showed me had this gap. Tesla needs to address this defect by doing better sealing.
     
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  8. outdoors

    outdoors Member

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    tin can see ^
    Friend just took delivery 20 min ago. Bolt in middle is not there. Went and verified on 3 others in Cleveland.
     
  9. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    30368BF4-5CA5-4506-8C26-F90F88D972C6.jpeg 3E6E05A4-A9F8-4334-ABD9-E866AB0DB17C.jpeg
    I watched many YouTube model 3 videos including tear downs and bumper removal before drilling. Also found pictures of bumpers removed so I had an idea of what’s under.
     
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  10. brandonee916

    brandonee916 Member

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    It's the same with the missing nuts in the wheel well liners... I have a feeling Tesla deemed them all unnecessary to speed up production?
     
  11. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    I think Tesla must be aware of problem and they’re removing middle bolt in hopes it’ll drain but as you can see from my first video nothing drains out of there.
     
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  12. gambit48

    gambit48 Member

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    Thanks! This explains the weird dirt streaks I get and why I have a LARGE pool of water under the car after I park the car after a wash.

    I haven't washed the car in a while, but it's supposed to rain in the next day or so so I'll get a chance to see what rain does.
     
  13. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    DE1EA2D5-4820-4B4B-8BDB-F376B1F6B3E6.jpeg Here I’m using screwdriver to show how much clearance there is where I drilled.
     
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  14. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    I had the same gap on mine and was told the same but I still had them replace my weatherstripping. This water test was done after new weatherstripping and no visible gaps but water still enters car. Weatherstripping is not the problem, water enters from behind taillights.
     
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  15. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    I think this will be a bigger problem for people living in cold weather when water on bumper freezes adding weight to bumper and composite material.
     
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  16. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    Great photos and videos. Hole 5 is definitely the low point in the bumper cover. Smart detective work. Also think those that have been told they drove into water filled holes in road and damaged the under carriage fabric will have a better understanding of what is going on.

    Somewhere along the line there must have been a design change of parts because there were Model 3s driving thru rain, snow and icy conditions during early production and we never saw these type of issues arise.
     
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  17. Redrick00

    Redrick00 Member

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    Yes hole #5 is the right spot just with a bigger hole, unfortunately I started on #1 and it did start draining so I did holes 2 & 3 to help out but no water drained from there.
     
  18. Fusion

    Fusion Member

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    Tweet Elon!
     
  19. N54TT

    N54TT Member

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    FEBEC991-7FCB-4AA1-9A77-4548985BBC5C.jpeg Was watching the video where the rear bumper is taken off...paying attention to where the dirt has collected....these are the areas that would probably be the most effective in having drain holes.

    The middle area I circled is where OP has #5 Drilled
     
  20. xilex

    xilex Model P3D

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    So over time your car slowly accumulates more weight o_O
     

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