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Model 3 Front Wheel Well Liner Installation

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,182
2,351
Scotland
Installed some felt front wheel well liners today, mostly for aesthetic reasons, partly as I like to tinker and slightly because they may improve road noise from the front end.

These are the liners:

1622925986262.png


I dressed these with CarPro Cquartz Fabric Coat after a failed attempt on a test patch with a regular ceramic coating. The Cquartz should provide a semi-permanent hydrophobic coating, with any luck this'll help the liners to stay reasonably clean, or at least, easier to keep clean. This product is super strong so if you're going to attempt this, do it outside and wear gloves. I did neither and don't recommend it. Work in with a sponge/applicator leave for an hour then spray the product over the liners again and leave to settle for 24 hours.

With the trolley jack in place but not raised, I loosened the lug nuts, you'll need a 21mm socket for this. I didn't realise these were essentially nuts that screwed off of the shaft(?) so that threw me for a moment as I was expecting the entire lug nut to screw into the hub.

Removed the mudguards to start with, was reasonably happy with how little dirt they had collected in over 8k miles. When I originally installed, I lined the inside of the mudflaps with some window draught excluder to make sure they fitted tightly but softly against the paint work. The dirt that did get inside them was dry and relatively fine:

1622926530093.png


Degreased the wheel well with the usual culprits and dried. It's weird how the original liner is part smooth and part fabric like, really doubt the fabric parts do anything to prevent noise:

1622926635480.png


To install the liner you'll need a good pry tool and a tiny flat head screwdriver. Remove the push clips from the top and rear part of the wheel well, don't remove all of the clips at once as the original wheel liner will drop, you're not removing this, you're adding the liner on top of this. The liner is reasonably supple that you can bend it slightly to remove the lower clips with the top part installed. The liners came with longer replacement clips so don't worry too much if the original ones don't come out cleanly.

One of the holes in the liners doesn't have a corresponding hole in the wheel well so don't worry about plugging those. Also, on the near side only, I had to add a hole in the liner as there was a hole behind it that was missed from the design.

1622927054791.png


Before reinstalling mudflaps, the liner needs to fold under the car towards where the jack is positioned in the picture above. There's one push clip to remove and a 10mm bolt. Make sure to fold the new liner under the floor pan that the 10mm bolt attaches to then put the bolt through the floor pan then the liner then back into it's socket. Dressed the mudflaps with Autoglym bumper care which is great for restoring the faded black colours on plastic parts.



With the wheel off I cleaned the calliper with IPA (Gtechniq panel wipe) and then applied a ceramic coating (Gtechniq C5 wheel armour). Used the opportunity to give the inside of the alloy a good clean too.

End result:

1622927407652.png


Really important to remember to tighten the lug nuts with a torque wrench to 175Nm and always a good idea to go for a cautious short drive then see if any require further tightening.

I think it looks much neater now, will see how it holds up in the dirt. It's a fiddly job and probably took 4 hours in total to complete, probably half that time was preparing the various coatings, dressings and cleaning.

Liners were about £80, Cquartz Fabric around £17, had all the other products and tools so a nice little upgrade for under £100.

As for noise reduction, I can still hear noise from the front but it does seem duller. It didn't bother me before and generally at normal speeds the cabin is really quiet. I'll report back if there's any discernible difference after a longer motorway drive.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
4,666
3,552
Bath, UK
Not something I would’ve ever thought of doing myself. Just for my own clarity - you’ve installed these over the top of the ones that come with the car as standard?

I actually don’t like the felt liners on the car. Doesn’t the car have plastic liners at one end and felt at the other, for some reason? I find the felt ones trap all kinds of detritus and cleaning them (even with a sponge) isn’t very easy or effective.
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,182
2,351
Scotland
Not something I would’ve ever thought of doing myself. Just for my own clarity - you’ve installed these over the top of the ones that come with the car as standard?

I actually don’t like the felt liners on the car. Doesn’t the car have plastic liners at one end and felt at the other, for some reason? I find the felt ones trap all kinds of detritus and cleaning them (even with a sponge) isn’t very easy or effective.
Yes, they're installed over the existing ones so double the sound deadening (in theory).

The rears are already felt and the fronts are an odd hybrid of plastic and something that feels like a thin patch of felt has been stuck on (Edit - I think it's called 'flocking' which is a spray on adhesive that forms a rough pattern). To me, the front wheel wells always look dirtier than the rears, because you see the nice shiny plastic which is easy to wipe clean but then have bits of crud that remain in the felt patches.

I'm unsure what the impact of a long drive on cleanliness is for these yet, will post an update when I next have the opportunity. I'm hoping that the CQuartz stuff will help to keep these looking clean, we'll see...
 
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MrBadger

Badger out
Jun 17, 2019
9,323
6,916
Surrey, UK
I completely covered my rear end in DoDo mat, removed the boot liner and stuck it to every bit of metal i could get to, makes a big difference in sound reduction

Apart from wind whistle around the front door windows in certain driving conditions (doesn't have to be particularly fast) I don't find noise from the front to be particularly intrusive.

But its a completely different story in the back with a constant drone. I'm pretty sure is coming through the rear mechanics (probably road but could be part motor) then being made worse by the shape of the rear compartments. I would be interested in knowing more about this, in particularly how easy it is to remove and refit the rear trim.

If anyone had never ridden in the back of their Model 3, I suggest trying it even if just to see what you are inflicting on the rear seat passengers.
 
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Reactions: Adopado and M3noob

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,182
2,351
Scotland
Interested to know if it makes much difference to the road noise on rough tarmac once you've had a go! Instinct says the noise comes through the chassis and there isn't much to do about it, but there is a chance this may help!?
Took a drive up the M90 yesterday, good mix of rough and smooth tarmac. The road noise has definitely been 'dulled', it's not completely quiet at 70mph with no music playing but what car is? I think the noise levels now are comparable to my previous 5 series so I'm happy with my non-scientific sound test but more so delighted with the aesthetics.

On my 'quest for quiet' I've:
  1. Installed the rubber door seals
  2. Installed the front wheel well liners
  3. Tesla made a 'heavy' adjustment to the drivers window which has eradicated all wind noise from the window, unless travelling at significant speed.
  4. Replaced (for summer) the plastic all weather mats in exchanged for thicker carpeted mats.
Thinking about getting the felt lining for under the bonnet next, I'm sure the returns on investment are diminishing though.

The cabin from the drivers position is a really pleasant place to be now.
 

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