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

How To: Front Bumper and Headlight Removal

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ucsbwsr, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. ucsbwsr

    ucsbwsr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    TMC,

    Here is a guide for removing the front bumper and headlights on a Tesla Model S. The process isn't very difficult but when you don't know where to start or what to expect it can be unnecessarily challenging so I hope this thread takes the uncertainty out of the process.

    Please understand this is a guide and intended to help but please take responsibility for your actions and use at your own risk. I recommend reading the entire guide before starting the process. Thanks to @SPXMike for lending his Model S and making this possible.

    Evan


    Tools:
    - 10mm nut driver or 10mm socket w/ driver
    - Interior trim tool or flathead screwdriver
    - T20 Torx bit w/ driver
    - Blanket, optional but recommended
    - Blue Locktite, optional but recommended
    - Painters Tape, optional but recommended
    - Microfiber towel and quick detailer, optional but recommended


    It is a good idea to wash the vehicle before the process as you will be contacting the bumper, fender, and hood.

    Clear car, blankets down, let's begin...
    [​IMG]

    Raise the suspension up to the highest setting
    [​IMG]

    With the suspension raised it will make access under the car and in the wheel well easier
    [​IMG]

    The chin spoiler is connected to the underbody panel with some pop rivets
    [​IMG]

    Using an interior trim tool or screwdriver lift and remove the rivets
    [​IMG]

    There are 10 rivets total, only 7 are circled in this photo the passenger side has 3 rivets (2 blue 1 yellow) in the same orientation
    [​IMG]

    There is some variation between the rivets, the picture below represents their location when installed
    [​IMG]

    Once all 10 rivets are removed you can move to the wheel wells, use your T20 Torx bit to remove the screws connecting the bumper to the fender, there is one per wheel well
    [​IMG]

    Next, pop the frunk and remove the trim panels. To remove pull up on the outer edge by the fender and then up and away from the frunk, I had success starting near the hood hinge.
    [​IMG]

    This is the back side of the passenger trim. Note the 3 guides (red), the hole for the rubber hood-rest (blue), and plastic rivet (green)
    [​IMG]

    After the larger frunk trims (FRUNKTRIMS! lol ...what the frunk?) are removed there will be 2 small trim pieces located by the hood latch. Removing these may not be necessary but it seemed like a good idea to get them out of the way
    [​IMG]

    Use a pry tool to help you release the rivets (white) located on the bottom
    [​IMG]

    Rivet detail
    [​IMG]

    Remove 10mm bolts by the front of each headlight (2 total)
    [​IMG]

    Looking forward towards the rear of the passenger side headlight you can see the electrical connector for the bumper (yellow) and the headlight (red)
    [​IMG]

    The connector for the bumper has 3 clips which hold it in place. Disconnect the bumper connector and release the 3 clips guiding the cable. On Mike's car the cable was already removed from a previous mechanic and 2 clips were missing but you get the idea.
    [​IMG]

    The electrical connector for the bumper can be hard to reach and release so if you are having trouble there is another way to go about it. Make sure the 3 cable guides are released and before removing the bumper, set the air suspension to "low." When the bumper is removed (and cable still connected) if the car is lowered there should be enough slack in the cable to allow the bumper to rest on the ground and give enough room to access the headlights, Disconnecting the cable and completely removing the bumper is recommended. Here is a picture of the bumper off but cable still connected.
    [​IMG]

    The R and L corners of the bumper are held in place with a bumper bracket, the bracket has some hooks, the bumper can be removed by gently working the bumper away from the bracket starting at the rear and then lift the edges of the bumper up and away from the brackets.
    [​IMG]

    Once the bumper is free from the brackets the entire unit can be removed, this is best done with 2 people but can be done solo if you are careful. The bumper has a fair amount of heft to it with the fog lights and active cooling and wants to rotate backwards when free (top of bumper rotates towards car and chin spoiler away from car) so keep this in mind and protect both the bumper and fenders from unwanted contact. Bumper removed.
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative x 5
  2. ucsbwsr

    ucsbwsr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Now is a great time to take a towel and quick detailer to clean the edges of the bumper and headlights
    [​IMG]

    The headlight is held in place by 4 screws, 2 here...
    [​IMG]

    ...and 2 here
    [​IMG]

    Remove the 4 bolts, the odd one goes on the top of the headlight
    [​IMG]

    After the bolts are removed and electrical connection separated the headlights are ready to come out. This part takes a little bit of finesse as it is a tight fit between the subframe and the tip of the fender. When removing the headlights you will want to keep the tip of the fender in the bottom of the "crease" or "rut" the runs along the top of the headlight THIS IS THE ONLY WAY to get the headlights out unless you feel like removing the fenders. Keep the tip of the fender in the bottom of the V while slowly and gently pulling the headlight out. As the unit comes out you will need to tilt it slightly backwards. Be very patient and gentle with this process.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a pictorial guide for the movement needed while removing the headlight:
    1
    [​IMG]

    2
    [​IMG]

    3
    [​IMG]

    Lights Out
    [​IMG]

    Congrats
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative x 12
    • Like x 5
    • Helpful x 2
    • Funny x 1
  3. WestCoastP85D

    WestCoastP85D Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    This is a great thread. Thank you.
     
  4. mobe

    mobe Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    Joplin, Missouri
    Excellent how to. Thank you!
     
  5. whitecotton

    whitecotton Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Does that give direct access to the radiators?
     
  6. ucsbwsr

    ucsbwsr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Thank you
    Thank you too
    Essentially, once the bumper is off there are some shrouds/ducts which would need to be removed before gaining access to the radiators but it looks like there are only a couple screws that need to be removed.

    Evan

    Pic of radiator shrouds
    [​IMG]

    Also, this is how I would recommend applying painter's tape during bumper install, it would be a good idea to put some on the ends of the bumper as well.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Messages:
    765
    Location:
    Mass
    painted healight housings? very cool.

    did you bake them then separate them?
     
  8. ucsbwsr

    ucsbwsr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Yes sir
     
  9. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
    Awesome post. Thanks so much!
     
  10. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,496
    Location:
    Northern California
    Kinda off-topic, but I did this today to swap out headlights and I was amazed by the amount of compacted crap accumulated in front of the three radiators, especially the smaller left and right ones. If you do this, I suggest taking a few minutes to grab the shop vac and clean up up the areas in front of the radiators.
     
  11. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Messages:
    482
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yes, and be sure to order the correct tools from China, in order to avoid any unnecessary damnification...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,337
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
  13. loganss

    loganss Spaceman

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    486
    Location:
    Maryland
    Awesome guide. You beat me to it.

    Where did you buy the blanket?
     
  14. ucsbwsr

    ucsbwsr Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    You are welcome.
    Great tip, gotta keep the car cool and happy.
    There is a wide array of trim tools available, some are to soft where they don't offer enough rigidity to work properly some are too brittle and can still markup surfaces so it can be a little bit of a crap shoot finding some but thankfully they are not expensive.
    Thank you.
    It was a moving blanket purchased from Amazon; came in a pack of 10 and was the cheapest offering on Amazon IIRC. They are awesome for garage projects; durable, padded, and semi hydrophobic.

    Evan
     
  15. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    California
    Thanks very much for this clear guide.
    Why?
    What do you have planned?
     
  16. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,337
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Have you seen the facelift kit offered by Karstyle ... $3,400 plus labor.

    Facelift

    Facelift Karstyle kit.png Facelift kit.PNG
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,791
    Location:
    California
  18. BaileyDog12

    BaileyDog12 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    So Cal
    Wow that's a lot of money for a front bumper. I doubt the bumper costs more than a couple hundred dollars to produce, if that. Capitalism at its finest! Looks nice though.

     
  19. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,337
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Probably about the same price as a new bumper from Tesla ... have you checked OEM parts prices lately?
    That said, I would consider the Facelift kit if I needed some minor repairs from a fender bender :cool:
     
    • Like x 1
  20. Pando

    Pando Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2016
    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Sandy Ego
    To produce, perhaps, but if you sold them for a few hundred, how would you recoup your upfront investment - such as tooling and development costs?
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1

Share This Page