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Repairing a Flooded Tesla Model S : HOW-TO

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Btr_ftw, Jan 19, 2016.

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  1. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    UPDATE

    Into the darkness

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    RlrFKyu.jpg


    CSUMe4t.jpg



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  2. tom66

    tom66 Member

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    I'd be more worried about an arc flash from the battery than electrocution myself, FWIW... I'd pull that battery connector as soon as you can.
     
  3. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    How to lose your motivation, enthusiasm and confidence in 6 easy steps!!!

    1)
    Remove HVIL cover. ok, no biggie, I understand it has to be replaced anyway (actually with enough time and patience this can be salvaged, but not by me, someone with more time)

    3t07Pa0.jpg



    2) Wait!!!!! but before I get carried away, lets put on our safety hats and gloves, check voltages make sure the contactors are open and I won't die.


    3AaVtAA.jpg

    3) Scrape some corrosion a way to reveal the surprise of even higher voltage, contactors are stuck closed (my worst fear) 12V is removed and there is
    nothing that I can do to open them to remove the high voltage


    0ZZVUwb.jpg

    4)

    7EvN2Nj.jpg




    5)

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    6)


    a84xD5F.jpg
     
    • Funny x 2
  4. pgiralt

    pgiralt Supporting Member

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    Isn't your meter reading millivolts?
     
  5. Kalud

    Kalud Active Member

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    Yeah its mV, you can place your tongue in there without any worry. Contactors are opened and won't close anytime soon ;)
     
  6. politeperson

    politeperson Member

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    Isn't that .3 volts?

    Wouldn't worry me.
     
  7. GlmnAlyAirCar

    GlmnAlyAirCar Active Member

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    I realize OP isn't an engineer, but mis-reading mV vs. V on a meter is disconcerting. Please be careful and understand what you are attaching the probes to.
     
  8. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    SOB!! I didn't even see the little "M" I connected it up, saw it and shut it down to call it a night. I'm glad I took pics!
     
  9. Max*

    Max* Charging

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    Alright, I thought it's just me who didn't get why 300mv is a problem.
     
  10. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    Charger itself faired much better

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    Seats and carpet removed, this car is beautifully simple on the inside. Lots of sticks sitting in the car still, also standing water in the air vents.

    Before cleanup


    1AwNZX9.jpg



    after cleanup







    Ikp9fAN.jpg




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    next up, assess the condition of the airbag module (bottom) and air suspension module (top)


    rUVgeyv.jpg
     
  11. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    When you're emotional and expecting the worst, it's easy to overlook a little "m" to confirm those fears.

    Considering the state of the inverter, that isn't saying much. That PCB is in pretty dire condition. It's hard to tell with that photo resolution, but I think I see at least a few burned traces. Clearly a number of the surface-mount components are likely to be dead. It certainly looks better cosmetically, but I don't think it fared any better functionally.

    Fascinating stuff so far, thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    You hit the nail on the head. Last update my biggest fear was the contactors being closed, I dramatically tested the voltage and threw my hands up... not realizing it was in mV (this is why we take pictures people!!)

    Yes the PCB needs some TLC, however it will be replaced anyway. Hopefully someone can put it to good use and possibly bring it back to life.

    The charger did a little better only because its one of the only components that had a rubber seal/gasket insulating the top cover from the rest of the unit. However the junction box had nothing whatsoever. Just a metal cover.

    I will take more detailed photos once I remove the charger and junction box
     
  13. Quantum`

    Quantum` Member

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    The charger gasket wasn't tight, as it clearly leaked. The car wasn't deep, so it's not a question of pressure.

    The body panels aren't as bad as I'd thought they would be. You should replace all the wiring harnesses, although you still have a bad inverter/motor and pack.
     
  14. California Roll

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    That charger looks pristine in comparison. A very exciting project. Thanks for sharing pictures.
     
  15. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    The doors surprised me the most, they look brand new under the inner skin, opened up the drain holes under the doors and not a speck of water, just dust. I thought for sure I'd have to replace the door modules, but the water level didn't get that high. Speaker cone is bone dry and look great. The metal mesh cover will need some touch ups due to surface rust but are easily removed

    OC2duNa.jpg
     
  16. kennybobby

    kennybobby Member

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    There is no seal between the HVJB and the charger connectors, so any vapors could travel thru that path, hence the damage is toward the HVJB end of the charger and the opposite end looks okay.

    From the looks of that speaker the water level didn't get too high, so the 17" monitor and IC are probably okay. Btr can build a desktop simulator like the whizkid 057's.
     
  17. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    Well Dog my Cat....


    atmHsHR.jpg



    I'm headed to Tesla now to demand my coated controllers!!!!
     
  18. California Roll

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    Those "quality issues" were only "perceived", so no worries and no need to head to Tesla.
     
  19. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    Unfortunately Tesla did a great job sealing the top and bottom of the charger with nice hermetic seals, however the side of it where the connectors are for the HVJB are wide-open. Water pours in there and then has no drain, so if you pull the side cover off the charger, you will find standing water in the bottom all over the power electronics. Luckily, most of it is conformal coated and the power semiconductors are all encapsulated in wet silicone goo. You should remove the charger and flush it with lots of clean water ASAP and let it dry. (bake in oven at 175 degrees for at least 5 hours once clean) I have recovered flood damaged chargers, so it is possible.

    The biggest things I'm worried about are the drive unit and the pack. If the water got over the top of the DU, there is definitely water in the inverter as well as the gearbox. If the water wasn't deep, the pack could be dry inside, but the inverter is not sealed and needs attention ASAP, because like the charger, there is a way for water to get in, but no way for it to drain!

    Pull the DU ASAP if you want to have a shot at recovering it. I've recovered 2 DU's that were flooded and they both work perfectly now.

    Dropping it is easier than it looks. Here's how:
    1. Jack the back of the car up using the 2 rear jack points. Because I have access to a forklift, I used it on the rear frame rails with a sling, like this:

      forklift-lift.jpg
      This made everything a lot easier, but it can be done with jacks as long as you are careful and methodical.
    2. Pull the rear wheels, unbolt the large brake calipers and hang them from the wheel wells (so you don't have to disconnect/bleed the brakes). Disconnect the connector on the small caliper, but there is no need to pull it. It will be come apparent in the next step why you need to disconnect them.
    3. Pull the 2 large bolts holding the suspension strut to the hub assembly on each side. (A little tricky to get out, but a hammer and a drift pin work well. Be careful not to damage the parking brake caliper connector, pull the motor off if need be.)
    4. Pull the plastic aero tray off (only the one right under the DU, no need to do the rear). Drain the gylcol coolant from the DU by removing hoses. Try to drain into clean container if you want to save it. (not cheap!) Make sure both hoses are disconnected.
    5. Remove the 2 shear plates (silver triangle shaped braces near either corner of the batt pack).
    6. Disconnect the 4 connectors toward the rear of the DU subframe.
    7. Place a sturdy wheeled dolly of some kind and maybe some wood blocks under the drive unit subframe and lower the car down as low as you can onto these blocks. The lower the better, but leave enough room to still get under the car to remove the 4 large subframe bolts. I used 2 of the wheel dollies like this: Amazon.com: ATD Tools 7466 Heavy Duty Car Dolly Set: Automotive
    8. Once car is fully supported by the dollies, remove the 4 large bolts and slowly jack the car up, as even on both sides as you can. When you can get access, on the passenger side, remove the rectangular connector and orange cover on the drive unit and unscrew the 2 bolts underneath. Now the orange power cables will just pull out of the top. There is also a ground wire to the frame, don't forget this!
    9. Continue jacking until the drive unit is clear enough to wheel it out. Chock front wheels and be sure car is stable!
    10. Remove drive unit from cradle and open inverter cover to drain water. This will require removing the upper suspension links and pulling the CV joints. While you have the unit out, drain and refill the DU lubricant with fresh Dexron VI synthetic. Fill to upper plug.

    You'll probably have to pull out the inverter assembly, at the very least the main board.
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    Who's better than you?

    After I remove the chargers I'll get to that. There is just so much to do!! (MCU, DU, HV BATT etc. etc.) I'm pretty sure the DU is toast, This car was apparently sitting in not just regular saltwater but SUPER SALTWATER

    What are we looking at for weight of the DU? Can it be lifted onto a workbench?
     

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