Spare wheel, edit: more pics & conclusions

Neoparts helped to solve my spare (or lack of it) problem.

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Specs for the Tesla Model S wheel, @ http://jantes-e-pneus.com/

I bought a new wheel/tire as a spare. The Tesla original nuts do not work in this one, new ones are needed. All in all:

  1. Dino & parts: 100
  2. New wheel nuts: 20
  3. Wheel/tire: 300
  4. Total: 420 €

I am not counting in the final cost the time I invested in trying a spare from a BMW X3, that did not work (the journey time and the driven km in fetching and returning this X3 spare wheel), and a second hand used wheel from a BMW 7 that didn’t work either. The bm 7 used wheel would have cost me the same as I spent for this brand new one. Nice.

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Finally, a spare

The new nuts have to be 19 instead of 22 (original ones) to fit the spare. They stand up to 300 Nm, the car spec is 175 Nm (168 + 7 in the dino tool).

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New nuts on the left, originals on the right

One thing you have to be cautious about: how much grip do you have in the screws/nuts when applying the new wheel? It has to do with the geometry of the wheel and nuts. The main reason the X3 spare wheel did not work for me: not enough screw “space” to have it bolted properly and be safe. With this new wheel there is no such problem and I measured it.

Screenshot_20160624-163935
Original nut left: 11 turns; new nut: 9 turns; the original nuts do bolt a bit more, but the difference is negligible

For the original nuts there were 11 full turns to bolt. The new nuts did it with 9 full turns. Comparing the amount of the screws used in both cases, one clearly sees that the difference is negligible and safety is preserved. [Measuring the turns for each nut was done with proper installation of the original and new wheel(s), using identifiable references, or it would not work – the image shows the nuts with the turns applied to see the amount of screw portion each used, and compare it for safety reasons]

The car looks pretty amazing with the spare.

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The new spare in the front
Screenshot_20160624-075701
The spare tested in the back axle

Tested the spare, front and back axles: everything OK, no problems, nothing is shaking going up to 100 km/h. But while using a non tpms wheel, even if the other three wheels are originals and have tpms sensors installed, you get zero info on pressure for all the wheels. Otherwise, the car is drivable and there are no warnings, except that the other three wheels pressure info is not displayed.

Screenshot_20160624-075147
No pressure info if one of the wheels doesn’t have tpms

Overall experience:

  1. trying to arrange for a compact spare was a failure: the option for the BMW X3 compact spare (from my friend Carmo, thanks!) others have reported, did not work in my Model S 85 D, either it was touching the brakes or, if spacers were used, there would not be enough bolt/screw to fix the wheel to the car
  2. my best shot was to get the same wheel size (tire included)
  3. testing is mandatory: before installing the tire, test the wheel in both axles since distance to suspension “details” (brakes, suspension parts, …) are different and it may compromise wheel mobility
  4. expect to feel every muscle in your body after changing 4 times in a row the wheels in the car, 2 for initial tests – front/rear, 2 for final road tests with the tire installed and drive tests
  5. jack yourself the car, do not use the traditional in store car elevators unless you are positive it will not damage the battery: the Model S has very little space where the jack is to be applied
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Front distance from the suspension to the wheel: the same for the original and for the spare (seen here), and this part is one of the critical parts, to ensure free motion for the wheel

Arranging a spare was not easy but it now gives me peace of mind for any long driving needed: imagine driving in the middle of nowhere and having a flat! Charging might still be a problem, no need to add to it the “flat variable”, hopefully solved in this case, nock on the hood.

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2 thoughts on “Spare wheel, edit: more pics & conclusions

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