Corrected: Model 3 Body is Not All Aluminum

4

4701

Guest
#3
I though that body and body panels are two different things.
For me it's fine if all hatches are aluminum (frunk, trunk, 4x doors) and also front fenders.
But what about door sills and below those?
 
4

4701

Guest
#5
To be honest, in case of Aluminum, it will be a nightmare.
AsFarAsICanEstimate there are no Alum. body vehicles that are easy/cheap to fix.
Nor there are any Al vehicles with cheap/normal insurance payment.
Replacing a removable part (door, hood, bumper) - that's fine.

Rear wheel arch damage (even smaller than on this picture)

with repair bill of 10 000$ can be called extremely and unreasonably expensive.
Now if we have the same damage on Alum. Model3, repair price will still be the same. But there will be no
10 000$ repair on a vehicle that costs less than half the price of Model S.

PS: Same bad news haunt BMW i3.
 

Badback

Valued Community Member
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
1,111
Location
Prior Lake, MN
Tesla Owner
Reservation
Country
Country
#6
Our own @TrevP took a magnet to Fremont and touched all of the body panels. Just as MotorTrend did with the silver alpha car last year. And he got the same result - they're all aluminum. Any steel that Tesla is using in the 3 is in the chassis, not the body.

Real question is if any steel parts are exposed to the elements and what kind of anti corrosion treatment they have.
 

garsh

Dis Member
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
11,286
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#7
To be honest, in case of Aluminum, it will be a nightmare.
AsFarAsICanEstimate there are no Alum. body vehicles that are easy/cheap to fix.
Ford updated the F150 pickup truck to have an aluminum body a few years back. That truck remains the best selling vehicle in the USA. That should result in more body shops being able to work with aluminum, and prices coming down (I haven't tried to verify that though). So I'm not too concerned.

https://www.fenderbender.com/articles/5772-the-aluminum-effect
 
Last edited:

Randy

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
45
Location
St-Thomas, Ontario
#10
from this RC pix, I'd guess at least the rocker panels are steel
(my logic being if alumn, it would have torn instead of dented like that)
Melinda;
I am an aluminum welder, It has been my experience that while lighter gauges of aluminum will tear like tin foil. Any material that would be used in a structural / strength position (re; door sill of a uni-body car) would be of sufficient thickness as to dent the way that shows in the picture you referenced. That door sill could be very well be made of aluminum. I personally hope it is aluminum as in the rust belt where I reside, the door sill is one of the places very susceptible to early corrosion .
 
4

4701

Guest
#11
Like I was predicting, not aluminum.
Though still lots of aluminium in the back.
In addition to that, there is also Ultra High Strength Steel.
Repairing M3 will still be a complex procedure in case of medium accident.

PS: Looking on structure pictures, M3 should earn very good rating in small-overlap crash test.
UHSS steel that pushes vehicle away from deformable barrier should be a good idea.
 

John

Tech Founder
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
1,672
Location
California
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#12
Melinda was right about this.
Also: looks like Trevor didn't touch the rear quarter panel with his magnet at the delivery event...