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Tesla Fender Fix

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Desmo999, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Desmo999

    Desmo999 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    I took delivery of my Model S this week, and unfortunately one of the key problems I've seen on many other cars existed on my car... The dreaded 1/2" gap on the fender at the base of the A-pillar.

    The problem is that Tesla appears to use an epoxy to bond the top of the fender, and they're not doing a good job of positioning the fender while the epoxy cures during manufacturing and it's a very obvious issue on the body.

    So...given that this seemed to be a pretty accessible area, I decided to take a stab at fixing it myself:

    1) Clean Tesla's glob of epoxy and the fender area with alcohol and a Q-Tip
    2) Mix a blob of QuikSteel epoxy
    3) Pack the epoxy in with a chopstick
    4) Lean on the fender for 10min.
    5) Done!

    Yes...kind of lame to have to fix this on a $$$$$ automobile, but I'm assuming if my fix comes loose, I'll see if the service center has a better solution. So far, so good!

    Here are photos of what I did: Tesla Fender Fix - a set on Flickr



    Before:

    344tfg3.jpg

    After:

    fn4b5j.jpg
     
  2. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Timonium, Maryland
    Thanks for providing this solution. Love that red!
     
  3. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Now that's pretty damn impressive.
     
  4. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    Los Angeles
    Yes, that looks so much better. Did you fix any other areas?
     
  5. PureAmps

    PureAmps Model S P85 (#2817)

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    Oct 22, 2012
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    SF Bay Area
    Great improvement. I'm curious to see how it holds up over time. Can you post a followup in one month? :)

    I'm very tempted to try this on my own car...
     
  6. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Wow that's a big gap. I'd swear mine doesnt have this issue. I'll have to check in the morning. But given that I detailed her myself today, I think I would have noticed something like this. Glad you were able to fix it. Its clearly a significant improvement.
     
  7. Desmo999

    Desmo999 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    This was the only panel fit issue on my car. Tesla has come a LONG way since the earlier vehicles I've seen, but I've seen others have posted similar problems.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'll definitely keep an eye on it and post a follow up. The only issue with the QuikSteel is that it's a "hard" epoxy, and the one Tesla uses appears to be pliable. While the QuikSteel may help to reinforce the Tesla epoxy joint even it comes free, not having "flex" might make it break loose after a number of miles.

    If so, it might call for re-bonding it with QuickSteel again, and overcoating it with a longer curing flexible epoxy like the factory uses for a more flexible fix. 3M makes a variety of these "cold welding" compounds, and I'm sure there's a local body shop that may have some if the Tesla service centers don't fix these issues regularly.

    On the plus side, re-bonding without having to re-paint was a huge plus for me!
     

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