Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • The final cut of the 8th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Balazs Biro, of the prominent Hungarian EV channel Villanyautósok, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Installing the official Tesla model 3 roof rack

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,640
15,114
San Diego
I’m not a mechanical engineer of metallurgist but I don’t think the notch is the problem. Metal should be really strong! For example the lowest rated 6mm bolt has an ultimate tensile strength of 1800lbs (Metric Bolts - Minimum Ultimate Tensile and Proof Loads). The metal in that clip isn’t all that thin. Maybe they made it out of pot metal :eek:

Notch probably not the problem; it should not fail with the notch, but the notch could be correlated to a batch of pot metal. Correlation does not mean causation, but could still be useful info. Maybe they accidentally shipped their "prototype" extended bolts, made out of the finest chinesium, as you say.
 
Just had a look at my bolts from my install video, Roof Rack! at roughly 6:40. No notch....



@Lunares

Edit: for clarity; I received my rack Dec 28/18. No issues thus far, I've been checking it every few days since I became aware of it last week. I did hear a 'pop' on driver's side when tightening initially. Tightened to 4 Nm when I reinstalled my rack on Jan 1/19 after conducting my consumption test.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Blue in NC
Good catch on the notch. From what I remember from Fracture Mechanics (which is very little) that notch will introduce a stress concentration which could propogate a crack from fatigue. Looks like they inadvertently introduced the notch without revisiting the effect on the design and fatigue strength of the new geometry.
 
Good catch on the notch. From what I remember from Fracture Mechanics (which is very little) that notch will introduce a stress concentration which could propogate a crack from fatigue. Looks like they inadvertently introduced the notch without revisiting the effect on the design and fatigue strength of the new geometry.
That's true but it doesn't sound like these are fatigue failures. They're breaking during installation.
 
That's true but it doesn't sound like these are fatigue failures. They're breaking during installation.

@Daniel in SD,

Not sure I particularly agree....a lot of these users are hearing a loud ‘pop’ noise when they’re driving (some with skyboxes on some not) and then pulling over to inspect and finding the break. But who knows.

Ski
 
I've had two racks, shipped on 12/21 and around 1/20. Both have J-hooks without notches. I've only installed the first rack, and only had it on for a week or two, but the J-hooks did not crack. Tightened to 8Nm, heard uncomfortable noises as I went, but all appeared well. I recently asked Tesla about this issue and they replied that my rack was safe to be installed and used. Does not necessarily imply others are not, but take from it what you will.
 
Has anyone received any update from Tesla regarding their investigation on the J-bolts?

I was chatting with Tesla and they suggested me to have the Tesla service center or their mobile tech to install it for me and go from there. I've been waiting for them to contact me to schedule the appointment. They mentioned they are aware of the j-bolts issue and are investigating it for a resolution.
 
Good question. Especially those who mentioned the concern over the cracking sound! Please check those clips.

Sorry to chime in late...
I did buy a torque wrench specifically to install these.
For three of them it reached 8nm without cracking and I stopped there.
For one of them I heard a bit of cracking before 8nm and stopped there.

I've done about 50 miles of driving with the SkyBox 21 on top, but since then based on this thread I've been a little scare to load the bars for now and haven't put anything on top.

I'm not sure if I should try retightening in case the j-clips have adjusted since.
 
I’m not a mechanical engineer of metallurgist but I don’t think the notch is the problem. Metal should be really strong! For example the lowest rated 6mm bolt has an ultimate tensile strength of 1800lbs. The metal in that clip isn’t all that thin. Maybe they made it out of pot metal :eek:
I'm not a metallurgist either, but I am a mechanical engineer and it is my opinion that the sheet metal, threaded fastener, and weld should be more than strong enough for this application. The cracking is not caused by the notch. From what i can see, based on the grain structure and shape of the cracks shown in the photos, the issue is improper heat treating of the hook assembly. It's also possible that they weren't heat treated (or more specifically, annealed) after welding.

I received my roof rack a few weeks ago, but haven't put it on the car it yet. I think I wait to see how this plays out before installing it.
-Mark
 
Thanks for the great post. I installed mine a few weeks ago. So far so good, but I have (a few) question(s).
Let's say I remove the rack at the end of the (surf, ski, etc.) season, where can I get another set of the 3m vinyl(?, polyurethane ?) paint protection stickers for next season. Does anyone have any information on this? (e.g. Is it vinyl or polyurethane? how many mils is it?) I assume I can just buy a (8.5" x 11") sheet of some low-tack plastic stuff and cut out my own. Any help is appreciated.
 
Just to give everyone an update, I was told via email with the online orders department that I was in line for a replacement rack after reporting that it broke on install and sending pictures of the broken clip.

They stated they do not have an ETA for when the replacement would be available, but that they would be in contact with me once it was.

I asked if I could just receive new clips and was told no. They needed the entire rack back.
 

sroh

Member
Supporting Member
Sep 10, 2017
951
4,352
Bay Area, CA
Thanks for the great post. I installed mine a few weeks ago. So far so good, but I have (a few) question(s).
Let's say I remove the rack at the end of the (surf, ski, etc.) season, where can I get another set of the 3m vinyl(?, polyurethane ?) paint protection stickers for next season. Does anyone have any information on this? (e.g. Is it vinyl or polyurethane? how many mils is it?) I assume I can just buy a (8.5" x 11") sheet of some low-tack plastic stuff and cut out my own. Any help is appreciated.

I also plan to remove the roof rack at the end of ski season. Not knowing what kind of adhesive was on the protection stickers (how easy or difficult it would be to remove), I cut my own from 3M PPF material I bought from Amazon. I bought a good size roll for HOV stickers, this application, etc. I'm planning to remove the PPF when I remove the ski rack and apply new cut-out ones next season.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MP3Mike

outdoors

.
Supporting Member
Aug 10, 2014
1,811
3,216
North Pole
I just receive shipping notification from Yakima regarding the Tesla Model 3 roof rack. I never contacted Tesla regarding any of this so I'm assuming it's a proactive move to fix the j bolts.
20190301_191917.jpg
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top