Spring install instructions

  • If you haven't taken delivery yet or plan on ordering you can still get the 6 months of FREE Supercharging only until December 31st all Model 3s now qualify! Call or email your Tesla delivery advisor and give them our code
  • Winter is here and the forum is starting to get flooded with cold weather threads and posts. Please heed the suggested threads and posts before you post something related to cold weather. This is a great place to start: https://model3ownersclub.com/threads/teslas-in-cold-weather.5271

quadmasta

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
151
Location
Atlanta, GA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
The instructions that UP provides leaves out a lot of stuff and does things out of order if you're not doing it on a lift.

In the frunk
After you remove the cowl cover that covers the washer bottle (it just pulls straight out), there's a part for the fresh air intake you need to remove. It's on the passenger's side of the car and is held in with 4 white friction pins. that has to come out *before* you can remove the tub.
Remove the frunk latch cover and unplug the emergency switch.
Remove frunk bolts: these are all 10mm and they're identical to one another
Remove the 2 bolts at the latch
Remove the rest of bolts holding the tub in
There are 2 under the mat, 2 under the grocery bag hooks, and one that bolts to the windshield washer fill tube. They're all identical so no problem mixing these up
There are 3 friction clips on either side of the frunk tub where it meets the fender; you need to unclip these before pulling the tub out. It's easiest if you start at the top near the hood struts and work down. Don't He-man these.
Pull the tub out

TAKE A PICTURE. Chances are you'll forget where these next things go and their proper orientation.

There are two rubber liners (at least there were on my car) that are held in with 3 2-piece plastic rivets on each side. They go right up against the hood struts and connect to the inner fender and the plastic cowl where the wipers are bolted on. All of the clips are the same.

Don't do what they say to do and remove the bolts at the top; it's a trap.

In the fender
I recommend putting blue painters tape around the edge of your fender opening so that you cover all of your paint so you minimize the possibility of accidentally scratching it.

MVIMG_20181012_175607.jpg


Next you're going to want to take the wheel off and jack the front of your car up what seems like it's too high. This will remove the pressure on the sway bar so you can get the sway bar end link out. You'll need an 18mm open end or box wrench (pro-tip, if you have a gear wrench this size USE IT) and a T-40 torx bit. Put the wrench on the bolt and put the torx bit in the end of the fastener. Hold the torx bit still and loosen the nut. It's a nylock nut so it'll put up a hell of a fight until the nylon's off of the threads. If the end of the end link is coming out exactly perpendicular to the face of the place you just removed the nut from, put the nut back on until the nylock touches the end of the "bolt" and hit it a few times with a hammer. If it's not, see if raising or lowering your jack helps the angle. Barring that, move to the next step and come back after that

The bolt that holds the strut on is a 21mm, same as the wheel nuts. You'll also need a 21mm wrench to hold the nut still. BRRAP it with an impact gun a few times and it should spin off. If you cannot easily press the bolt out of the lower control arm, don't force it. The angle has to be just right and the pressure will be gone. Check the end link again if you didn't already get it out.

Wheel speed sensor:
There's a cable that goes to the wheel speed sensor in the hub that needs to come off. There's a grey cable holder, a metal cable holder with a rubber bushing, and two black plastic cable holders on the upper control arms. Grip these with some pliers without applying too much pressure to the wiring itself and lever them out of whatever they're jammed into. The one in the metal one just comes out without tools.

The pinch bolt at the top of the upright is a T-50 torx and the nut is a 15mm. Hold one still and impact the other; whatever you can do works. The upper ball joint has a groove in it that the smooth part of this bolt goes through to hold it in place so you can loosen the nut until the end of the bolt is even with the end of the nut. Whack it with a hammer to loosen it. Take another jack and put it between the nuts on the underside of the upright. If you put it on either nut, it'll force the upright on direction or another and you'll just piss yourself off. Jack it up *slowly* checking whether or not you can move the bolt as you go. When you find the sweet spot it'll just slide out. The upper control arm should be in a position where it won't spring up when the bolt is removed. Slowly let pressure off of the jack and the ball joint should come out and the upright will be noticeably lower than before. Do not let the upper end of the upright lean outward out of the fender well. It will put a whole load of tension on the brake line.

If you didn't get the end link out do it now.

NOW you can go back and remove the bolts holding the whole assembly in the car. There are 2 13mm and 2 15mm. Two of them are under the edges of the wiper cowl and the other two are out in the open. While doing this you'll also be slowly lowering the entire assembly out.

Get that beast out of the car being careful not to snag the brake line or the wheel speed sensor line.

On your workbench:
Get something that won't just wipe off of parts to mark with. I used an oil-based paint pen I picked up at the hardware store. Mark the rubber on top of the top hat pointing toward the rear of the assembly. You'll have to mark the actual top hat in a minute but it's impossible at this point. Mark the rear of the assembly in the same direction and make a mark on the strut body in the same direction. This stuff must line up EXACTLY like this or it won't go back in the car. Take the 3 13mm nuts off of the strut tophat and you can remove it from the assembly. Mark the top hat where you marked the rubber part and pull the rubber part off.

The spring compressors that most auto parts stores won't work to put the new springs on but you can take the old ones off with them. Disassemble the spring compressor and put the ends on as far apart as you can get them while still being able to put the bolt back through. It's easier to angle them in while the bolt is out. Apply some 3-in-1 oil or lithium grease to the threads of the bolt and the washers up by the nut. Compress the spring and then remove the nut at the top of the strut. Ideally you want to use a special wrench that's got a socket with a hole through the middle so you can stick a torx bit through to hold the strut rod from spinning. The nut is a 17mm and I'm not sure what size the torx is. I think it's the same as the one on the sway bar end link.

After you get the nut off the top hat will come off and the spring will be loose. You have to "unscrew" it to get the bottom part around the lower dust boot flange. You'll have to do this with the aftermarket springs in reverse to get them on. Take the bump stop out of the dust boot and cut it in half. A hacksaw works well for this.

Take the strut and the new spring to a shop and have them put the new spring on. Make sure the narrow end of the spring is facing down and that the end of the spring sits against the "stop" on the bottom. You'll have to "thread" it past the lower dust boot flange.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

The rears are dead simple and the UP instructions were great for those.

Thanks to the guys at UP for putting up with my dumb questions about orientation! I hope this helps someone out.
 
Last edited:

quadmasta

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
151
Location
Atlanta, GA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#3
That would've required the foresight to take them in the first place :) I'll take some when my spacers come and I have the wheels off again. I'll also figure out the proper torx bit sizes and update those.