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Corrected: Model 3 Body is Not All Aluminum

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by garsh, Jul 29, 2017.

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  1. garsh

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    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.

     
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    • SoFlaModel3

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      Gotta love the sleuthing!
       
    • arnis

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      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?
       
    • garsh

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      Good question. We'll need someone to go over those with a magnet as well.
       
    • arnis

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      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)
      [​IMG]
      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

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

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        #7 garsh, Jul 30, 2017
        Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
        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
         
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        • MelindaV

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          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)
          [​IMG]
           
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          • eye.surgeon

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            be careful what you wish for when it comes to an all aluminum car...I have a model S and my insurance premiums reflect the all-aluminum construction as do the limited number of repair shops that can work on it.
             
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            • Randy

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              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 .
               
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              • arnis

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                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

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                Melinda was right about this.
                Also: looks like Trevor didn't touch the rear quarter panel with his magnet at the delivery event...
                 
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                #13 Badback, Aug 24, 2017
                Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
                I am actually disappointed in the amount of steel in the Model 3.
                 
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