Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Installing the official Tesla model 3 roof rack

Accentcreate

Member
Dec 23, 2017
87
36
France and Australia
How do you know? I really need racks.
I 'know' nothing, just deducing from the lack of information and the few customers who have racks that this might be Tesla's strategy.
Of course they could just be totally incompetent, but that would be too easy.

I'm not only waiting for racks, but still waiting for my car!
Reserved on day one and configured when they first became available for Europe (December 2018). Now being told maybe mid to late May as 'the boats haven't left the US yet'.
It's a toss up whether I have the racks or the car first. Since I need both a bit of action from Tesla would be very welcome.
 

CDT

Member
Feb 11, 2014
77
33
Petaluma
I 'know' nothing, just deducing from the lack of information and the few customers who have racks that this might be Tesla's strategy.
Of course they could just be totally incompetent, but that would be too easy.

I'm not only waiting for racks, but still waiting for my car!
Reserved on day one and configured when they first became available for Europe (December 2018). Now being told maybe mid to late May as 'the boats haven't left the US yet'.
It's a toss up whether I have the racks or the car first. Since I need both a bit of action from Tesla would be very welcome.

I love my 3 for what it’s worth. Definitely a first world problem with the racks but for me it is a big one.
 

AlasCon

Member
Apr 22, 2019
62
57
Santa Rosa, CA
Just got mine! An oddity: in the Online Installation Manual, Tesla recommends tightening to 8 Nm +/- 1: see https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/downloads/model-3-roof-rack-owners-manual-en-us.pdf. But in the paper manual that arrived in the box today, they recommend 5-6 Nm, see attached picture. That's quite a difference! I guess I'll go with the lowest number to be safe...

IMG_5551.JPG
 

Mikon

New Member
Mar 29, 2019
2
2
Cypress, TX
We finally received our rack Monday 04/22. We ordered and paid for it on 02/07. The clips that we received are the silver clips with no gap in the center of the clip. I can also confirm the 5-6 Nm. tightening spec on the paper instructions included. The print is really small on the instructions so get out your magnifying app!!
 

kayaker

Member
Jul 24, 2018
58
31
HALIFAX
Just got mine! An oddity: in the Online Installation Manual, Tesla recommends tightening to 8 Nm +/- 1: see https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/downloads/model-3-roof-rack-owners-manual-en-us.pdf. But in the paper manual that arrived in the box today, they recommend 5-6 Nm, see attached picture. That's quite a difference! I guess I'll go with the lowest number to be safe...

View attachment 399657
thanks for that. my original rack came with the 8Nm instructions. 2 of the black clips broke. I got the new silver clips without any new instructions.
But as someone else pointed out, the new clips are so long that it is impossible with my hex torque wrench to get anywhere near 8 because the bolt displaces the hex wrench so much that it cannot grasp anything.
Still happy to be one of what seems like few to have received the roof rack. Mundane, maybe. For a kayaker, not so much.
 

AlasCon

Member
Apr 22, 2019
62
57
Santa Rosa, CA
thanks for that. my original rack came with the 8Nm instructions. 2 of the black clips broke. I got the new silver clips without any new instructions.
But as someone else pointed out, the new clips are so long that it is impossible with my hex torque wrench to get anywhere near 8 because the bolt displaces the hex wrench so much that it cannot grasp anything.
Still happy to be one of what seems like few to have received the roof rack. Mundane, maybe. For a kayaker, not so much.
Glad it helped, kayaker! I just bought a torque wrench and am about to start installation. My one and only purpose is to get my kayak on it too :)
 

sroh

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 10, 2017
689
2,437
San Jose, CA
8 Nm is overkill for the roof rack. So is 5-6 Nm for that matter. Hand tightening is sufficient. Perhaps a half turn with the allen wrench. Just enough to make sure the rack is secure. The lock will keep the wingnut from loosening.
 

AO River

Member
Feb 25, 2019
9
3
Princeton NJ
I ordered the rack on 4/17 and received it on 4/25 (ground shipping from CA to NJ). Everything arrived in good condition, and the parts included the new silver clips with no notch. Install was really easy. Based on everything I've read on this thread I was worried when I put the crossbars over the bolts and there was very little thread showing, but the wingnuts grabbed the first thread and then after multiple turns without much effort everything tightened down nicely. I hand tightened as much as I could then used the provided allen wrench for a final 1/4 to 1/2 turn to align with the marks and then locked each corner. It is on there solid.
 

AO River

Member
Feb 25, 2019
9
3
Princeton NJ
How far is too far forward for a roof box? The Tesla M3 cross bars sit really far forward and with the box clamps on my Yakima Rocketbox 11 as far forward as they can go (I even drilled custom holes for the rear clamps to move them further forward), there is still a lot of overhang over the front.

IMG-0195.JPG
 

pianoman8t8

Member
May 2, 2019
9
0
Maine
Siminoff,we have an XRF Analyzer here at work if you REALLY wanted to know what grade of steel it is ;) otherwise, may be irrelevant at this point in time...
 

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
608
739
MA
Does anybody have any experience with or recommendations for wheel on bike racks for use with the Tesla rack?
Are there Yakima ones that can use the T-slot in the bar instead of clamps?
Any issues with clearances to the roof glass?

Thanks in advance.
 

mulard

New Member
May 10, 2019
2
1
OR
North75 -
1up's roof rack is wheel-on with a t-slot direct mount option and I'd recommend it.

Absolutely no issues with clearance to the roof with the factory M3 rack.

I received and installed a pair of black 1up roof racks last night and used them this morning (bonus: they are fat bike compatible).

The installation is relatively straightforward. Most of the time was spent inserting the mounting points into the t-slot and aligning everything.

Tips:
* for inserting the t-slot mounts, a little isopropyl alcohol helped to lubricate things. The friction is otherwise kind've ridiculous.

* for alignment, I made sure that the front t-slot mounting points on each side of the car were equally inset from the edge of the roof rack. Likewise for the rear. Finally, I adjusted just the front insets so that the distance between the bike rack tips is identical front and back. I didn't find this mentioned anywhere online, but it seems to guarantee that the bike racks are straight forward despite the M3's curves. After doing all of this you cinch up the locnuts under each bike rack, screw them into the roof rack, and you're set.

One trip isn't enough for a real review of the rack, but it checked off all of the boxes for me and seems well reviewed online.
 
  • Like
Reactions: North75

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
608
739
MA
North75 -
1up's roof rack is wheel-on with a t-slot direct mount option and I'd recommend it.

Absolutely no issues with clearance to the roof with the factory M3 rack.

I received and installed a pair of black 1up roof racks last night and used them this morning (bonus: they are fat bike compatible).

The installation is relatively straightforward. Most of the time was spent inserting the mounting points into the t-slot and aligning everything.

Tips:
* for inserting the t-slot mounts, a little isopropyl alcohol helped to lubricate things. The friction is otherwise kind've ridiculous.

* for alignment, I made sure that the front t-slot mounting points on each side of the car were equally inset from the edge of the roof rack. Likewise for the rear. Finally, I adjusted just the front insets so that the distance between the bike rack tips is identical front and back. I didn't find this mentioned anywhere online, but it seems to guarantee that the bike racks are straight forward despite the M3's curves. After doing all of this you cinch up the locnuts under each bike rack, screw them into the roof rack, and you're set.

One trip isn't enough for a real review of the rack, but it checked off all of the boxes for me and seems well reviewed online.
Thanks for the advice. Which bolt size option did you go with when ordering the 1up rack?
Never mind, I guess you went flush mount, as that's the only one that uses the t-slots.
 

mulard

New Member
May 10, 2019
2
1
OR
I did the flush mount, which installs directly into the slot. Here are a couple of photos.

On their fitment > roof rack bolt sizing document you can see a drawing. It sits entirely above the rack.

IMG-2061.JPG
IMG-2062.JPG
 

ChrisP

Member
May 6, 2013
53
27
Gatineau, Canada
Order roof rack April 25th, probably received it 2 weeks later. The clips were the silver clips with no gap in the center of the clip. Just took the time to do the install today.

No issues, took my time and it took 45 minutes. Paper instructions in the box concerning tightening is now the same as the online version: 8 Nm +/- 1. Tighten to what I feel was adequate without applying to much force. Will probably buy a torque wrench to be on the safe side and will be useful each time I put the rack back on.

One thing to mention is the anti-abrasion tapes are completely covered by the pads. One of the first video of the install I saw, the tapes were way bigger than the pads so I guess they have now change that and after the install is finish you do not see the tapes at all, so looks great.

Did a quick consumption test on a 30 km total highway loop at 100 km/h and came with 3.9% increase. However, during the consumption test with the roof rack on, it was definitely windier and also had some very light rain on some portion so increase in consumption of about 2% that I have seen seems elsewhere seems about right.
 
  • Like
Reactions: untilcomplete

silentcorp

Member
Jul 20, 2018
514
671
Denver CO
Question for those with roof racks, I took mine off for the season and would love to take off the little 3M clear pads that came with it but am unsure on how to get/make more. Anyone know if there is a pattern out there in the wild or someone who could sell these?
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeBsZ

sroh

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 10, 2017
689
2,437
San Jose, CA
Question for those with roof racks, I took mine off for the season and would love to take off the little 3M clear pads that came with it but am unsure on how to get/make more. Anyone know if there is a pattern out there in the wild or someone who could sell these?

Before you remove the pads, purchase some PPF from Amazon. There are tons there. When you remove the pads, use those as templates to cut out PPF strips. I cut and labeled 5 sets as I expect to install and remove once per year.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: silentcorp

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