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My TM3 Blacked out headliner, LCD rear view mirror, power center console & auto liftgate upgrades

ericscottf

Member
Jul 30, 2016
105
37
NY Metro area
Gallery at: My Tesla Model 3 Upgrades

Late 2018, I swapped my 2016 MS75d for an M3D. The 3 fits me much better all around, but I felt that it needed a few tweaks.

This all started when I decided that I needed to improve rear visibility. I looked at dozens of LCD rear view mirrors and picked the one that had the smallest bezel, largest screen, and decent reviews. It's also a front/rear dashcam, very nice to have a backup since Tesla's software sometimes trips out at the critical moments.

Since I needed to pull down the headliner to run the LCD wire to the trunk and for power (I didn't want to tap into the map lights due to other people maybe having issues with it), I decided now was the time to black out the headliner too. My plan was to try to dye it, and if that failed, pull the fabric and reupholster with Alcantara like the MS. The dye actually worked really well, it remains soft like the original fabric, so I saved a bunch of cost, time and hassle not having to redo it.

Dashcam power was taken off the cig lighter in the center console, since I figure that one is the most tolerant of any potential abuse. Even though I hard wired the power supply to the wiring of the power port (so it remains free for use), I'm essentially just plugging another device into the port.

I designed and 3-d printed a mount to allow the LCD mirror to clip into the original ball joint from the stock mirror.

I wired an extra cig port and 4 QC power ports off the cig lighter wiring and plugged a wireless charger into one of them.

I carved up the original phone dock plastic on my CNC and placed a high power wireless charger inside it. Easy enough to replace if I need to in the future, and it allows for the most amount of phone space since it's not one of the aftermarket units where a charging pad is bolted on top of the existing shelf.

I relocated one of the USB ports to a hidden panel in the car - easy to access to swap out the dashcam memory card, but impossible to find quickly for someone looking to take the card in a rush.

The liftgate unit I installed was the one that doesn't need CAN data (It's also less expensive than that one). I think it's pants-on-head-crazy to wire a foreign device to this car's CAN bus, and it's simply unnecessary. Between the trunk lock signal and trunk lights, the controller can get all the state data necessary to figure out when to open and close. The hardest part was getting the kick sensor wires installed in good places. The inside of the bumper has little ribs for rigidity. I drilled a few holes thru them and ziptied the wires to them rather than just rely on the sticky pads - those never last in environments like this.

While everything was apart, I took the time to wrap any noisy wires in felt tape to dampen them. The car was quiet before - now it's silent - not a click or creak anywhere.

All in all, I'm really happy with the way the upgrades went. The tech at my service center (minor window issue) asked me how I got one with a black interior and said he was waiting for just that before he bought one.

I'm really bad at documenting and taking pictures while working on projects like this, but if anyone needs any info on how it was done, let me know and I'm happy to contribute.
 
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ftlum

Member
Jul 31, 2010
119
91
Nice! How did you handle the wiring from the trunk to the outside dashcam? Can you post some pictures of that?

I bought a similar rear view mirror dashcam that I haven’t installed yet. I was going to drill an hole in the edge of the light by the trunk handle (I’d only need to go through the light’s plastic housing that way), but I’d Ike to know if there’s a better way to pass the camera wire to the outside ).
 

spoonf20c

Member
Apr 14, 2019
12
2
so. cali
love the dyed headliner! i actually just pulled one of my c-pillars and sprayed it with ritdye. it didnt look to great so i didnt continue with the rest of the roof. can you tell me more about your process? what dye did you use? i used liquid ritdye and a spray bottle.
 

ericscottf

Member
Jul 30, 2016
105
37
NY Metro area
Nice! How did you handle the wiring from the trunk to the outside dashcam? Can you post some pictures of that?

I bought a similar rear view mirror dashcam that I haven’t installed yet. I was going to drill an hole in the edge of the light by the trunk handle (I’d only need to go through the light’s plastic housing that way), but I’d Ike to know if there’s a better way to pass the camera wire to the outside ).

I was going to send the wire in thru the plain plastic part of the trunk handle, but I wanted to get the camera module (which is fairly large) as far back as I could to protect it from rain, and the wire enters the module through the back face, so I carefully figured out where it would need to go and.... drilled right through the steel into the trunk. Pros: Camera sits back as far as possible. Cons: Put a hole in the trunk. I deburred and rustproof coated the raw edge, then sealed everything with silicone. You can't see it at all from either side and I'm not concerned about intrusion, so I'm OK with my choice.
 

ericscottf

Member
Jul 30, 2016
105
37
NY Metro area
love the dyed headliner! i actually just pulled one of my c-pillars and sprayed it with ritdye. it didnt look to great so i didnt continue with the rest of the roof. can you tell me more about your process? what dye did you use? i used liquid ritdye and a spray bottle.

I used 7(!) cans of Dupli-Color HVP106 Flat Black High Performance Vinyl and Fabric Spray. I was NOT expecting it to work out. Pleasantly surprised that it did, b/c it was going to be a major learning experience to do actual reupholstery...
The sun visors were THIRSTY. Took nearly a can each to get the color to stay.
I used Krylon K09198000 COVERMAXX Spray Paint, Matte Black for the plastic, along with Rust-Oleum 327912 Spray Paint, 12 oz, Gray Primer to prime it. I tried the dupli-color plastic paint and it was like painting with milk. NG.

For the hand painted stuff (speaker grilles, coat hooks, seat belt plastic thing), I used Vallejo Black Model Color Paint - colors all match really well IMHO. I do need to put another coat on a few areas tho.

Specifically for the speaker grilles, I used a super tiny paintbrush and traced along the metal. The speakers are hot-glued in, and I didn't want to break them out for fear of damaging the edges of the headliner and having them never look right again once put back.

So far, nothing has peeled or rubbed off. We'll see what it looks like after a winter/summer cycle tho...
 
Last edited:

hydro 481

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
1,195
799
USA
Wow that is extremely impressive! Especially dyeing your interior black. Don’t think I’ve seen anyone attempt that before. Many of us here (myself included) are considering the alcantara upgrade from UP. Dyeing seems like a smart and cheaper alternative. Although I doubt I’m capable or willing to spend the amount of hours you did on completing the job. I definitely commend you on your hard work. It looks great and very OEM.
 

ericscottf

Member
Jul 30, 2016
105
37
NY Metro area
Wow that is extremely impressive! Especially dyeing your interior black. Don’t think I’ve seen anyone attempt that before. Many of us here (myself included) are considering the alcantara upgrade from UP. Dyeing seems like a smart and cheaper alternative. Although I doubt I’m capable or willing to spend the amount of hours you did on completing the job. I definitely commend you on your hard work. It looks great and very OEM.

I just strung the interior of my car up in the yard from trees, you know, like a normal person would, and carefully lightly painted it many many times over the course of a week, dragging it all inside whenever there was threat of bad weather. You know, like a normal person would totally do.

I was looking at the unplugged upgrade.... $2k seemed really steep, tho I'm sure it's very nice to have the actual material.
FWIW, removing and installing the parts was the worst of it, so unless you're going to take the car to have them do it (for even more $), it's no easier to buy the kit.

I usually don't like my own handiwork when it comes to the softer stuff... but I'm really happy with how this came out.
 
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hydro 481

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
1,195
799
USA
I just strung the interior of my car up in the yard from trees, you know, like a normal person would, and carefully lightly painted it many many times over the course of a week, dragging it all inside whenever there was threat of bad weather. You know, like a normal person would totally do.

I was looking at the unplugged upgrade.... $2k seemed really steep, tho I'm sure it's very nice to have the actual material.
FWIW, removing and installing the parts was the worst of it, so unless you're going to take the car to have them do it (for even more $), it's no easier to buy the kit.

I usually don't like my own handiwork when it comes to the softer stuff... but I'm really happy with how this came out.


Well I live fairly close to UP and actually got my coilovers installed there so they would be doing the work. But yea 2K is definitely steep. I’m currently trying to get a group buy together but UP says its difficult to get the parts needed for that many cars.

I think your main concern will be durability. I’m curious how it will hold up over time. The good thing is most of the painted parts get very little contact.

Also, what is up with all the negative comments at the bottom of your gallery page? It’s like they never seen the inside of a Model 3 before lol.
 

ericscottf

Member
Jul 30, 2016
105
37
NY Metro area
Well I live fairly close to UP and actually got my coilovers installed there so they would be doing the work. But yea 2K is definitely steep. I’m currently trying to get a group buy together but UP says its difficult to get the parts needed for that many cars.

I think your main concern will be durability. I’m curious how it will hold up over time. The good thing is most of the painted parts get very little contact.

Also, what is up with all the negative comments at the bottom of your gallery page? It’s like they never seen the inside of a Model 3 before lol.


I think it'll keep up well, but if it doesn't, I'll pull it out and reupholster as per the original plan. NBD.

Comments... it's the internet. anonymity breeds jerks.
 

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