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Motor Replacement for $9k - Opinions?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Ben W, Feb 9, 2017.

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  1. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

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    My 2008 Roadster with 39k miles has been developing some pretty severe creaks and rattles, so I took it in to the Torrance shop to be looked at. Their consensus was that the vibration is probably due to a misalignment in the motor, which would need to be replaced, to the tune of $9000. Ouch.

    Does this sound reasonable? What would you do? The car is still driveable, but I wouldn't want to risk a catastrophic failure on the freeway. Do any of you know of any 1.5 Roadsters that have been totaled but might still have a perfectly good motor? Any advice?

    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  2. BartJ

    BartJ Member

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    9k seems more then acceptable to me for a new motor on a car that cost 100k+
     
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  3. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    I wouldn't spend a dime unless they guarantee it will fix the problem. There a lot of other things (axles,gearbox,etc) that can cause a vibration problem. The motor just has two bearings that wear and can be replaced.

    Check with spaceballs if you need a motor, he had one.
     
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  4. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

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    Thanks MLAUTO. I sent a note to spaceballs, will see if he still has it. The Torrance SC specifically promised they wouldn't charge me anything if the new motor doesn't fix the problem (they would just put the old one back in), but they seem to be pretty sure that's the cause. I will also ask them about the bearings; I had a Mitsubishi 3000GT several years ago that started making similar noises due to bad wheel bearings, so that's certainly plausible. Will keep you updated. Thanks again!
     
  5. spaceballs

    spaceballs Member

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    I've messaged back Ben W.

    If I was feeling this vibration, I would put the car up in the air, turn car on, and spin the tires (also swap on a second set), might give you a better idea on whats going on.
     
  6. scapescape

    scapescape Member

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    Ben. I have a rebuilt motor from my 1.5. Tesla Palo Alto replaced it last year with a new one and I had the old core rebuilt in Seattle. Let me know if you're interested
     
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  7. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #7 wiztecy, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    Might be nice finding an outside source to do the rebuild of these motors if they catastrophically fail. A vibration could be as MAUTO and spaceballs said, derived some other drive-train part out of balance including a bearing in the gearbox, out of balance driveline, etc..

    I know that if you have a bent and out of balanced rim on the rear of your Roadster, that the vibration can work its way to the motor and begin to damage the bearings. A friend had that occur with his Roadster and he had vibrations coming from the rear of the car..

    You may want to see if you can find a qualified 3rd party to diagnostics on the motor, and if its just the bearings causing the motor to spin out of balance, to replace those and do a nice cleaning while they're in there. That type of service shouldn't cost much, only a small fraction compared to the $9k Tesla quote.

    Here's some pics of a tear-down of Model S motor which is a good reference to the Roadster's....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Reference:

    http://www.coppermotor.com/2014/11/benchmarking-the-tesla-model-s-a-tour-of-ricardo-engineerings-teardown-laboratory/
     
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  8. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

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    Awesome, thanks for letting me know! If I may ask, how much did Tesla charge you for the replacement core? (DM me if you like.) I ask because there was initially some confusion whether their $9k quoted price included the core exchange, but eventually they decided that it did.

    My current plan is to ship the car itself up to Seattle to have it looked at at an independent shop (perhaps the same one), and we'll take it from there. Spaceballs seemed to think the problem might be with the transmission rather than the motor itself.
     
  9. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

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    The car was in for its annual service in December, and they didn't find anything wrong with the rims or they would have presumably mentioned it. So I don't think that's the problem per se. But yes, sending to a 3rd-party shop is the current plan. I think Tesla may go a bit overboard on their service procedures so that they can offer a 1-year warranty on the repair, but for an 8-year-old car I don't think it's worth 20% the price of the car for that little added bit of insurance.
     
  10. scapescape

    scapescape Member

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    Unfortunately yes ... 9k is approx what I paid for a new motor. I was having some sort of internal short in the motor wiring that a few owners experienced. Out of warranty of course. I got to keep the old core, so I sent it to a fellow in Seattle to have it restrung. I didn't ask tesla if they would install the rebuild - already new the answer
     
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  11. scapescape

    scapescape Member

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    'Knew' that is. So the rebuild is sitting in Seattle now
     
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