I'm rust proofing my Model 3

Mike

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#1
Hi everyone, I'm going to use this thread to capture my lessons learned as I figure out how I will rust proof my Model 3.

I spent three hours today with my car on my hoist and have some pictures to start a show and tell (which I will post after supper tonight).

Right off the bat: one needs a floor jack that is thin enough (less than 3 and 3/8 inches) to allow jack point pads to be used and remove each wheel to completely remove the wheel well trim. So I have to shop for a thin profile floor jack.

Second: 99% of the carriage bolts used to tie down all the chassis aerodynamic trim parts are 10mm. There are two bolts that are 15mm. There are a plethora of the typical industry standard push-pin trim fasteners. Finally, each wheel well trim piece is held in place with unique (plastic) speed nuts.

The supper bell rang, later.......:)
 

Mike

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#2
I'm back from supper, here we go.

Big picture: When the time comes for me to do the whole car, I'll first put the car on the hoist to remove all the under chassis trim. Then, drive off the hoist and into another bay to do each wheel well individually. Then back onto the hoist for all the under chasis stuff. Finally, things like the trunk and frunk can be done afterwards.....

First thing I did was put the car on the hoist for the first time. I had my wife watch for the approach angle (no issue) and the chassis when the front tires were on the hoist but the rear tires were at the base of the ramps.

Less than one inch clearance of the chassis prior to the rear wheels climbing the ramps....but it is clear.

The ground clearance is smaller on this car than any car I have owned in the past, so heads up anyone using a ramp lift like this.

dsc08534-jpg.10189


Here is a look under the front bumper. Note the push pin type fasteners used to hold the (black) aerodynamic chassis trim to the body colored bumper. To remove this style of pin, one must pry the (center round) head (with a very small flat head screwdriver) up to release the locking characteristics of this fastener. If you try to just pry the fastener while the head is retracted (as seen in the photo), all you will do is wreck the fastener as well as the trim part being held:

dsc08535-jpg.10190


The aft end of this (black plastic trim in top right corner of the next blurry picture) piece is held in place with 10mm carriage screws (that also hold the next piece of trim to the chassis):

dsc08536-jpg.10191


I did not remove these parts (under the frunk) as they are held in place in a very straight forward manner.

When I do remove these front end parts, I'll also be removing the frunk trim (another lesson for another day) from the top side to completely expose the front end chassis and steering/suspension systems when I do my rust spray.

I disassembled the rear passenger side wheel well liner (black felt trim). It is typical of all four wheels. At the base of the liner (both forward and aft of the wheel) are push pin fasteners:

Front of rear passenger wheel well liner (two push pin fasteners at the base):

dsc08543-jpg.10192


Rear of same wheel well liner (three at the base, third hidden behind wheel):

dsc08547-jpg.10193


If I was able to remove the wheel, I could have shown where the all other push pin fasteners are, but that will have to wait as they are located behind the wheel itself. I was able to capture this one:

dsc08544-jpg.10194


Once all those push pin fasteners were removed, I found "about" eight of these plastic speed nuts on body colored steel studs. One simply unscrews them off the studs. Some of the studs are captured in these shots:

dsc08544-jpg.10195


dsc08545-jpg.10196


dsc08546-jpg.10197


Because I could not remove my wheel, I could only separate the liner from the chassis, but I could not english it out of the wheel well with the wheel in the way:

dsc08572-jpg.10198


Some shots of whats under the liner in my next post as I am limited to 10 files per post......
 

Mike

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#3
This is aft of the rear wheel axle line. A magnet does NOT stick to anything that is body colored aft of the center of the axle line:

dsc08576-jpg.10199


Forward of the rear axle line. In this shot, a magnet will attach itself only to the body colored metal BELOW the white (3M) body mastic line (that seals two pieces of sheet metal together):

dsc08575-jpg.10200


Near the front base of the rear wheel well. A magnet will not stick to the two top metal pieces:

dsc08573-jpg.10201


My plan of attack for all four wheel wells will be to use a gelled rust spray and just shoot the hidden areas once for the lifetime of the car. The very small (exposed at all times, even with liner in position) metal (finished) edge of the wheel well will be shot once a season.

Rocker trim, running between the front and rear wheel wells. Major PITA to remove. Lesson learned from my end, when removing this part, lift it away from the chassis from an inboard position (i.e. where it runs along the battery pack edge).

To remove the rocker trim, the push pin fasteners at each end (at the respective base of the respective wheel well liners) must be removed first:

dsc08537-jpg.10202


Then, using a trim removal tool or flat edge screw driver, pop open four carriage bolt hole caps (built into the large plastic trim piece about to be removed):

dsc08542-jpg.10203


Note that the four carriage bolts for this trim piece are not the standard black found everywhere else, but silver in appearance):

dsc08568-jpg.10204


Once the push pin and carriage bolt fasteners are removed, one pulls the trim from the chassis. Anyone experienced with working on cars will understand the english required to pull it off without distorting it or wrecking anything (worst case scenario, you buy a new trim part to re-install). The best way is to pry the part with your hands, but pry from the inboard chassis side.

The removed trim part:

dsc08569-jpg.10205


The clips that hold it to the chassis:

dsc08570-jpg.10206


The holes in the chassis where those clips go into (tan color is assembly adhesive):

dsc08571-jpg.10207


Since this part was a major PITA, I sprayed it now and the chassis area exposed in these shots is now covered with gelled rust spray, for the life of the vehicle:

dsc08579-jpg.10208


next post as i am up to ten pictures again.....
 

Mike

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#4
For today, I ended with the trim under the rear axle and under the aft end of the trunk. Unless otherwise noted, all the carriage bolts are the exact same (black 10mm).

Removing the aerodynamic trim aft of the battery pack (note: a magnet does NOT stick to the battery pack exterior superstructure) and below the electric motor (note the lower "A" arms also have aerodynamic trim attached to them seen in this same shot):

dsc08548-jpg.10210


dsc08549-jpg.10211


The actual part removed from the car:

dsc08557-jpg.10212


There are two rivets seen in this shot. They hold two metal parts to this trim piece as shown on the reverse side:

dsc08556-jpg.10213


Next, I wanted to remove the trim part under the rear trunk, but its attachment to the rear bumper is so convoluted that I only loosened it up to be able to see where a magnet would stick to. To loosen the part, first open up and then undo the carriage bolts under the rear bumper as shown:

dsc08552-jpg.10214


dsc08551-jpg.10215


Remove all the carriage bolts that you find. These four 10mm bolts (shown) have non standard heads and are found at the base of the body colored bumper where it meets the bottom of the rear wheel wheels:

dsc08559-jpg.10217


Once those bolts are pulled and the push pin clips are pulled, one can lower the front end of the large aerodynamic trim piece that covers the bottom of the rear trunk. In this shot, there is a telescoping magnet attached to a steel (body colored) chassis member (7 o'clock position of edge of large silver bolt/bushing). Everything body colored aft of this point a magnet does NOT stick to:

dsc08567-jpg.10218


A magnet does not stick to any of the body colored metal seen here (bottom of rear trunk):

dsc08561-jpg.10219


Status until next time:

I have permanently treated one of the two areas that run between the front and rear wheel wells.

I cannot permanently treat the four wheel wells until I am able to jack the car up and remove the wheels (one at a time).

The area aft of the rear wheel axle line is all aluminum, but I will still coat once and seal it up for life.

Until next time.......
 

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Triangles

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#5
Thanks for posting this. I plan on doing this too! However I use a good home brew rust proofing that seems to work as well as any other product I've seen. I use this spray gun from Eastwood to apply the rust proofing. My home brew mix consists of 1Gallon of mineral spirits, 1Qt Chainsaw bar oil, 1 pound paraffin wax. The scary part is heating the mineral spirits enough to melt the wax without igniting it. I highly advise doing this outdoors where you don't have a risk of burning your house down. The mineral spirits is just the carrier and eventually evaporates away. The Bar oil and wax get into an seal up all the nooks and crannies. I started doing this with my new 2014 car and even up here in the northern Ohio rust belt it still has little to no rust.
 

Mike

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#6
Thanks for posting this. I plan on doing this too! However I use a good home brew rust proofing that seems to work as well as any other product I've seen. I use this spray gun from Eastwood to apply the rust proofing. My home brew mix consists of 1Gallon of mineral spirits, 1Qt Chainsaw bar oil, 1 pound paraffin wax. The scary part is heating the mineral spirits enough to melt the wax without igniting it. I highly advise doing this outdoors where you don't have a risk of burning your house down. The mineral spirits is just the carrier and eventually evaporates away. The Bar oil and wax get into an seal up all the nooks and crannies. I started doing this with my new 2014 car and even up here in the northern Ohio rust belt it still has little to no rust.
Cheers.

Wow, and I thought I was hard core! ;)

I think I'll keep my life simple and use off the shelf products that I am accustomed to....
 

Triangles

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#7
Ordinarily I would stick to off the shelf products but for less than $30 I can make equivalent to what would be like $300 of off the shelf product that does about 2 cars. I'm just to cheap to spend hundreds of dollars a year on rust proofing. For less than $100 one time purchase of hotplate, pot, and spray applicator I can reapply to two cars annually for about the cost of a decent dinner. Plus I can go crazy and use extra product and not worry about it since the cost is so low.
 

Mike

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#9
Some more detailed looks at the car.

This time, some minor issues around the trunk area that I will address as time goes on.

I put them in this thread because if I did not live in a rust prone area, these items shown in the photos (below) would simply be stuff I would deal with without fanfare.

Photos are in pairs, first of the pair is "the big picture" to situate where the second of the pair, the "close-up", shows the detail.

Aft end of "C" pillar, drivers side:

dsc08580-jpg.10654


Missing body mastic:

dsc08581-jpg.10655


For comparison sake, the passenger side, same area, has correct body mastic in place:

dsc08582-jpg.10656


dsc08583-jpg.10657


If anyone wants to check theirs out and finds any missing mastic, please let me know.

Second area, inside of trunk lid, both sides, mastic is cracked due to post production stress on the seam(s).

The drivers side:

dsc08584-jpg.10658


dsc08585-jpg.10659


The passenger side:

dsc08586-jpg.10660


dsc08587-jpg.10661


None of these items is earth shattering, nor do they require me taking it into Tesla when I can deal with these areas myself.

I'll take photos of that afternoon project when the time comes later this summer.....
 

Mike

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#11
Thanks @Mike . How does one fix each of these issues?
Cheers @garsh,

I will tackle these points before any rust spray is involved.

This is one reason why PPF/Opti-Coat was number one on my critical path regarding paint protection.

Once any rust spray is applied to all the tight spaces, attempting to add anything to the paint/body after the fact is a huge PITA.

For the missing body mastic (and there is also a tiny missing segment near one of the tail lights next to the license plate zone), I'm still contemplating using actual 3M seam sealer:

https://www.3mcanada.ca/3M/en_CA/co...7-ml-/?N=5002385+3293628034+3294529206&rt=rud

If I go this route, then I may also "make pretty" the seams at the base of all four doors.......depends on how much effort I want this car to look like a show car.

I may also go with white silicone caulking.

Both products will serve the same purpose.

Regardless of which way I go, on the drivers side C pillar zone, I'll use masking tape to ensure a clean edge.

I've used Frog tape in the past for jobs like this on automobiles and have had the same success as the more expensive 3M automotive masking tape:

https://www.frogtape.com/products/delicate-surface-painters-tape-yellow-188-in-x-60-yd

Either way, when I cross this bridge, I'll post pictures of before, during and after.

On a side note, Canadian Tire had rattle cans of "Rust Check" on sale this week.

I picked up four cans of the jellied stuff for each wheel well and other surfaces that will only get shot once.

I also picked up eight cans of normal viscosity stuff to use on areas that will get shot once a year, such as where door hinges tie to the door and the body.

I have my car jack spacer pad issues all sorted out, so the only thing holding me back from doing this job now is nice driving weather......;)

I'm waiting until early fall to do this job.....unless I'm bored
 

Mesprit87

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#12
Thanks for the info Mike,

The rocker panels are definitely a spot I will watch more than once. Look at the grime accumulated after a month, these plastic rocker trims will fill up from what I see and keep everything wet. Also, the steel clips directly in the steel slots are a recipe for rust even if there sems to be some kind of seal around them.
I like that they used a lot of plastic push pins, when removed properly these last a long time and won't induce rust.
As a side note, I wouldn't forget all the aluminum parts, even a light coat could prevent water or humidity to enter joints.
Talking about joints, I mentioned before that I had to blast and repaint the ones on my TT hood. Well it seem Audi, like Tesla (thinking of the door panels) don't seal aluminum joints. It doesn't mean it's not a good idea...

Also keep an eye on dissimilar material joints, it looks by your pictures that they did seal those.
I'm going to end up in the anal category but I thought I could fit small rubber caps (glued maybe) to the studs in the wheel wells once I'm done with reassembly.
Keep up the good work
 

Mike

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#13
As a side note, I wouldn't forget all the aluminum parts, even a light coat could prevent water or humidity to enter joints.
Agreed. Everything that I saw that was not magnetic will still get a once a lifetime spray with the jellied stuff.
I'm going to end up in the anal category but I thought I could fit small rubber caps (glued maybe) to the studs in the wheel wells once I'm done with reassembly.
Good idea! I'll have to source some sort of rubber caps.
Also keep an eye on dissimilar material joints, it looks by your pictures that they did seal those.
These are the areas of most concern for me. Things like the hinges where they attach to the aluminum doors or frunk lid, these spots for sure.

Anecdotally, five year old Model S's in the rust belt are showing "issues" where the channel that runs between the battery pack and the lower door sills is susceptible to corrosion.

Those two areas, along with the (always) exposed areas on both rear inner fenders will require a good dose every fall and spring.
 

Mike

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#14
I have tackled my trunk "missing body mastic" issues.

Today was caulking with white "siliconized" acrylic.

01-13jul2018-jpg.11467
02-13jul2018-jpg.11468
03-13jul2018-jpg.11469
04-13jul2018-jpg.11470




After 24 hours, I'll be using the fine tipped paint brush (with fresh masking) and the "Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Gloss White".

That shade of white is a perfect match for the base white that shows on the door rockers, base of doors, around the trunk rubber seal, hidden zones like that.

Since I have a long distance trip set-up to New Mexico starting 13 Oct, I'll plan to have my car rust proofed before 01 Oct.
 

Mike

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#15
Prior to my mini paint job to complete what I started in my previous post, I figured I'd check under the drivers side rear tail lamp as indicated in this post/thread:

https://teslaownersonline.com/threa...to-4-years-80-000-kms.5483/page-7#post-122843

I have not unscrewed the black trim covering the actual post, but........

dsc08595-jpg.11500
dsc08594-jpg.11501
dsc08593-jpg.11502


Before I post this sort of stuff on something like Reddit, I'd ask folks following this thread to try and see if they can identify rust staining emanating from under the black plastic trim that covers the stud that is under the plastic screw head in the shots above.

I have, using the thin straw that comes with the can, applied "Rust Check" spray under this trim area (both driver and passenger sides).

I figure I'm going to strip my trunk trim later this week and see what I can spray in the zone, from the interior of the trunk.

"Gut feeling": water is being trapped under the plastic trim that screws onto the stud shown by @FredRoy in post 131 of https://teslaownersonline.com/threa...to-4-years-80-000-kms.5483/page-7#post-122843

I did not see any rust staining on the passenger side of this stud/trim zone.
 

Mike

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#16
I went ahead and did the inside of the trunk, as well as dealing with the trunk lid, rust-spraying wise.

I removed the top "garnish" via two push-pins (at either end) and pressure only clips built into the back of that trim piece.

Pin on drivers side end, passenger side end typical.
:

dsc08597-jpg.11529


That top garnish trim is also (lightly) held in situ via the large rubber gasket that surrounds the whole opening:

dsc08596-jpg.11530


That large gasket comes out with little fan fare. There is some contact cement that is a little tacky, but nothing much to worry about. The seam (of that) gasket (when replacing it later) goes at the 12 o-clock position within the trunk opening.

That gasket also holds the side trim pieces in place, as well as more push pins:

dsc08599-jpg.11531


The gasket coming off to aid in removing the trunk trim:

dsc08600-jpg.11532


The bottom trunk opening trim garnish is held in place via the rubber gasket and its own built in pressure only clips. Once that piece is out, there are more push pins to deal with:

dsc08601-jpg.11533


I wanted to completely remove the floor of the trunk carpet, so I removed the back seat cushion:

dsc08603-jpg.11534


I removed the four small twist on clips (same style as found in the wheel wells) holding the front of the carpet in place under the rear seats, but it became apparent that one must remove the rear seat backs if the trunk carpet is to come out:

dsc08602-jpg.11535


I settled for accessing the interior sheet metal for the trunk while simply moving the side and bottom carpet out of the way as I worked the magnet (to confirm metal type) and the rust spray can.

This is what I pulled out:

dsc08604-jpg.11536


See next post.....
 

Mike

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#17
Almost all exposed body colored material seen in these shots is NOT attracted to a magnet.

dsc08605-jpg.11537


The above is the drivers side. The pax side is typical, except for the stereo sub woofer assembly:

dsc08617-jpg.11544


I loosened the assembly enough to allow me to fit my spray bomb behind it and soak everything. The limiting factor? I could not figure out how to disconnect the rear taillight wire loom. If I could have figured that out, the whole sub assembly is easily removable with only four nuts/bolts (10mm) and the actual sub wire connector (which was straightforward).

Only the "rivet zones" are magnetic, the rest of the material is NOT magnetic:

dsc08612-jpg.11538


dsc08613-jpg.11539


dsc08611-jpg.11541


Me pointing to areas that were sprayed because of magnetic attraction:

dsc08618-jpg.11545
dsc08621-jpg.11546
dsc08620-jpg.11547
dsc08619-jpg.11548


In the end, I almost emptied a single can into the areas shown here, as well as removing the trunk bump stops and spraying into the trunk lid itself, as well as the hinges for the trunk.

Now to let things drain for a night, followed by a warm water and dish soap (yep, only thing that will take this stuff off) detail clean around the trunk.

Of course, this product will drip and ooze out of the areas I sprayed for the life of the car.........
 

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JWardell

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#18
I'm curious what product you're all using, and why you would use something forever liquid and runny and not something that would adhere permanently like bed liner coating spray?
 

Mike

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#19
I'm curious what product you're all using, and why you would use something forever liquid and runny and not something that would adhere permanently like bed liner coating spray?
I'm using two versions of the same product.

https://goo.gl/images/qNELqz

One is runny and one is jellied.

The jellied version is being applied to the areas behind the four wheel well liners.

The "runny" version is being used in tight areas that I will only spray once and will never access again.

The runny property is required because it will, via capillary action over the course of many weeks, continue to flow into very tight spaces.

I also use the runny stuff for the door and frunk and trunk hinges and latches.

Since I detail clean all the door/frunk/trunk/connector jambs with every single wash, a jellied product is impractical.

However, the runny stuff will remain in the space where the steel door hinge attaches to the aluminum door....and the steel chassis.

Today was day two of my three day rustproofing event.

I removed each wheel (one at a time), removed the applicable wheel well liner and emptied one can of the jellied product on all visible areas.

As for the steel push pin studs, I hit them with another shot of the runny version once everything was buttoned up.

These wheel well liners will not be removed again, but I will shoot the edge/lip of the wheel well and the steel push pin studs every year.

Rear wheel wells:

dsc08622-jpg.11592
dsc08623-jpg.11593
dsc08624-jpg.11594
dsc08625-jpg.11595
dsc08626-jpg.11596
dsc08627-jpg.11597
dsc08628-jpg.11598
dsc08629-jpg.11599


See next post.
 

Mike

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#20
Continuing with rear wheel wells:
dsc08630-jpg.11600
dsc08631-jpg.11601
dsc08632-jpg.11602
dsc08633-jpg.11603


In the last picture of the set above, any body colored part that is rear of where that magnet is sticking, is non magnetic. Rear of car is to the right side of that photo.

When replacing the rear liners, note how the split at the 12 c-clock position fits back together (look at the other rear wheel well prior to its dis-assembly) as it is a bit of a Chinese puzzle.

Front wheel wells:

The front liners are much more rigid and and have only two of the steel post type connectors.

However, there are push pin connectors hidden at the aft end of the liner that become seen only when removing one of the 10mm screws holding the chassis aerodynamic trim in place (see photos).

Everything body colored up front will attract a magnet except for the parts holding the energy absorption bar for the front bumper:

dsc08634-jpg.11604


Sorry, I don't know why, but this photo keeps coming back 90 degrees out of phase:

dsc08635-jpg.11607


dsc08636-jpg.11606


Go to next post for frunk details.