Mar 28

Tesla Model 3 Tow Hook License Plate Mount

I knew from the beginning that for my next car I will not want a front license plate. But since I live in British Columbia and I believe that sometimes the police can have the last word (….pfff) I said fine, I will mount one. I generally dislike the plastic mounts and loving the front end of my Model 3 so much I decided to look into tow hook plate mounts.

I also considered mounts from STO-N-SHO and The Bandit, which mount in the lower grille and also some from DEWHEL, DC Sports, Etreme Online Store and Evannex. I will not say that all these don’t work since I haven’t tried them, but somehow I found the Cravenspeed Platypus (Amazon) the most appealing, likely because of the amount of details on their website and also previous reviews from other Model 3 owners.

Full disclosure: I am NOT getting anything in return from Cravenspeed for writing this up.

At the time I got this on Amazon, it was listed at $93 which is not a bargain, but at least I had the option to return it for free if there was something wrong with it. Before ordering I had to confirm that they include the extension bracket that helps the mount clear the Model 3 sensors. Customer service was very prompt and confirmed that the mount comes with the extension bracket included.

craven1

It came in a nice box with everything required for the installation.

For the install, I had to remove the tow hook receiver plastic cap. Quick warning for anybody installing a similar mount, when removing the plastic cap, do not pull too hard as there is a wire attached to the cap with a zip tie on it’s back side. I am not sure what the wire is used for, I’d appreciate someone posting a comment about that. After cutting the existing zip tie I put some electrical tape on both sides of the connector, just to keep it clean, considering that it’s exposed to the elements behind the bumper.

IMG_1683A

 

A brand new zip tie and the wire was loosely secured to the lower notch just behind the bumper

Next step was to attach the tow stud which, by the way, it’s left hand threaded, meaning lefty loosey now becomes lefty tighty. For this I needed a 3/4 wrench.

With the stud attached, it was time for the extension bracket. This is a special bracket that helps the plate clear the Model 3 sensors. Normally, I believe they don’t include this for most of the other cars. When installing this, it’s important to make sure that the threaded hole is used for the plate support, not for the stud mount. Initially I tried to use the threaded end with the stud but then consulted the manual (always a good thing) and noticed that I had it wrong. Should look something like this:

Next, it was the back-plate’s turn. The short screw is used for this one and it can be a bit tricky to tighten because of the leverage created by the extension arm. While trying to tighten the top screw, I was usually moving the bracket out of alignment, but with a bit of patience, all was good and tight.

Finally, plate installed. I had absolutely no false alerts from the sensors. So far I can say this fits the bill and proved to be an easy and pretty sturdy install.

 

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments and I will be happy to answer.

 

May 11

Tesla Model 3 wrapped in Stealth XPEL Paint Protection Film

Well, it finally happened. This was on the cards from the day I got the car. Being quite particular about paint defects, scratches, dents and chips, I wanted the peace of mind that comes with a good paint protection film. Since it’s not cheap I took my time to figure out which brand to use and also to find a good shop that can do the work.

It seemed that XPEL is not only the most recommended but comes with a good 7 year warranty. The shop was very helpful to give me enough information to make the final decision. In my case I wanted to go for the matte look which implied a bit more meticulous work as the film now needs to be wrapped around the edges as opposed to regular glossy PPF which is ok to end before the edge of a panel.

After a few days in the shop, the result looks stunning. There were still a few water bubbles under the film but they go away in a few days due to the film being porous and built with the water release in mind.

Here are the pictures

Now the question is, do I want these back?

As a quick note, the open port in the front bumper is the tow hook mounting point. That’s where my license plate goes but since I had planned a ceramic coating immediately after taking the pictures, I didn’t want to have to mount the plate and then take it off again.

Mar 31

Tesla Model 3 Carbon Fiber Center Console

I am one of the many Tesla customers that think the piano black finish was not the best idea for the center console finish. Not only it’s absolutely unforgiving to fingerprints, but it can also scratch quite easily.

One of the more popular solutions to this is sold by Abstract Ocean in the form of Center Console Vinyl Wrap with various finishes. Currently they sell it for $39.99 but of course, that’s subject to change.

Having a soft spot for carbon fiber, it was an easy choice for me. In terms of installation, Abstract Ocean ranks this as a moderate difficulty install. For me it was a “Easy” by far, but I can understand why they may advertise caution since you’re dealing with sticky stuff that you can’t easily replace if you’re not careful.

In this picture I had already detached the cup holder panel piece.

What helped me a lot was the transfer tape included with the cup holder panel piece. I ended up using that piece of tape for all three big panels, so my advice, after taking it off, don’t throw it away, stick it to the next piece.

Here is the first panel finished:

Watching Abstract Ocean’s tutorial video helped to see where the edges of the vinyl piece should be located since it’s usually a bit difficult to gauge the sizes and how much material to leave beyond the panel edge.

Top panel was next. Even though Abstract Ocean suggests to get your head behind the panel (not sure how that would work) for a better view, what worked for me was to lower the seat all the way down and look below the screen. You can easily get the full panel in view.

Notice in the lower part of the picture the piano black finish of the charger panel. Yes, it’s that bad…

And finally, the middle panel:

In the package, they will also include as a bonus, a small piece for the small plastic bit bellow the chargers.

Couldn’t leave that one unwrapped. For this one, I realized that it would be quite easy to start by aligning the vinyl on the back side of the plastic trim piece and then wrap around the edge. That worked like a charm.

And here is the final result. Well, almost final. I also had to add the cherry on top.

Also from Abstract Ocean I got the red Tesla Logo. I think it looks quite nice on the center console. This one also comes with transfer tape which is vital to keep the three lines properly aligned and spaced. Here’s how I aligned it perfectly within the panel. Painter’s tape to the rescue. I marked on the sides the height I wanted for the top line of the logo as measured from the bottom of the panel.

Then added a horizontal line of tape.

After measuring the center of the panel and offsetting the size of the red lines on the logo, came up with the perfect position. Using the transfer tape to position the logo, I placed it exactly between the two small marks and aligned with the green tape.

I always loved the red on carbon fiber.

 

Older posts «