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Soft top cable broke

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by slcasner, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    The rear cable on my soft top broke at the point where it enters metal fitting that is part of the turnbuckle in the middle of the rear edge. Fortunately, this does not pose a risk for the top flying off because the two side members are held in place by their pins. It just means that the back edge does not fit tight, so there is more air noise and possible water leakage.

    Has anyone else had this problem?
     
  2. W.Petefish

    W.Petefish Active Member

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    Yep. Tesla will send a new one if you say something.
     
  3. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    I have had at least 5 to 7 of these cables break (I've lost count), in having it 26 months and 25,000 miles. I keep meaning to ask about it here, but figured others haven't had as much problem as me since I hadn't seen it here before. The Tesla Rangers said they haven't heard of others having a significant problem like me. I've shown them how I take the top off, store it in the trunk and put the top on and they saw no problem with how I did it. I do take the top off very often and sometimes it is hard to see if things are lined up perfectly (it's dark in my underground parking at home and often dark out when I go home at night and it's also hard to see what the cable is doing since the top is in the way).
    Tesla has continued to give me a new cable each time one breaks.
    Some of the cables have heat-shrink tubing over where they crimp (it looks like they are crimped) into the connectors on the ends, but it might help if that portion was longer and stiffer to keep the cable from bending at the connector. But I guess then there might be issues with the connector and tubing getting pinched in the slot that the cable goes into.

    Useful info:
    - As slcasner said having the rear cable broken isn't a significant issue. I've had that one broken/removed in significant rain with no leakage and there are no issues while driving. But having the front one broken is a problem when driving at highway speeds: the wind and/or interior pressure pushes the front edge up and it flaps very much.
    - When I've broken the front one I remove both and put the good one from the rear on the front, until I can get a replacement from Tesla.
     
  4. zack

    zack Member

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    Does it always break at the crimp? Does the cable snap off, or does it pull out?
     
  5. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    Mine have all broken at the crimp/connector and have all snapped off. I expect that it takes several instances of bending the cable at the connector to break through the cable. A few of the times, before the break happens, I've noticed that the cable is nearly broken through at the connector, i.e., I can see that another bend or two will break it. I've tried to be careful but it doesn't seem to help much.
     
  6. zack

    zack Member

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    I have a machinist who makes a lot of stuff for me, and he does a lot of crimping. I'll have him look at my soft top and tell me what he thinks could improve it.
     
  7. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Mine was covered by heat-shrink tubing, but broke right at the end of the crimp anyway.

    I had not considered that this cable might be fragile as I put the top on and took the top off. It doesn't seem like there should be sharp bending at the ends of the turnbuckle because the two sides roll towards the middle, so about 8-10 inches of the middle of top should stay approximately flat as it spans across (actually underneath) the two rolls, and the turnbuckle is in the middle of that span.
     
  8. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    All of my breaks have happened at the connectors that are screwed into the side hard parts of the top. Did yours break at the center where you can resize the cable? Most/all of your descriptions seem to indicate that but I wouldn't think that they could put heat-shrink tubing there without interfering with the ability to resize the cable.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Seems like Lotus would have this problem worked out.
     
  10. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear -- yes, mine broke in the middle where the cable enters a crimped fitting that then screws onto the turnbuckle. The heat-shrink tubing covers 1/2 inch of cable and 1/2 inch of the crimped area. It does not interfere with the threads or the locking nut.

    It makes more sense that breaks would occur at the ends as you have described. As I said earlier, it does not seem that the cable would be flexed much in the center.
     
  11. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Just out of curiosity: Would anybody be so kind to post a picture of this cable? Or perhaps the Roadster version vs. the Elise version?
    I understand that it is a mechanical cable, not an electric one, but further than that...
     
  12. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    You were clear: it was my fault for not knowing/remembering what a turnbuckle is and not looking it up.
     
  13. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    If nobody beats me to it, I'll take and post a picture or two in the next few days (I'm a little busy and it's rainy here).
     
  14. mgemmell

    mgemmell Scottish chap

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    Doesn't look like this photo got uploaded. I just got one today (thanks Simon in Telsa UK... awesome service as always).

    soft top cable.JPG

    Mark
     

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