After Rich Benoit released his latest video, I was really busy finishing an article on lemon laundering. Besides, I thought it would be a good idea to wait if the new video would not be taken down as a previous one. It wasn’t, so here is the report on its exciting content. Chris Salvo, one of Electrified Garage’s partners, decided to turn his Tesla Model 3 RWD into an AWD, and that went ok. This video shows how they got there.
If you have the impression that it is just a matter of putting the front motor under the frunk and get going, forget about it. It is way more complex than that. As “complex” implies, it is also not something affordable.
Before anything, the process needs someone skilled enough to make it all happen. Electrified Garage has that person: Chad Hrencecin, the shop’s service manager.
When it relates to components, they needed the front unit, new front struts, a dual-motor battery pack, and an Ingenext Stage 1 Performance module. Well, this last one was not necessary, but it was fun to have it.
We never thought a new battery pack would be necessary to sort out this upgrade. Considering it has the same capacity of the rear-wheel-drive pack, the only reason for it not to present the plug for the front motor is to make it more difficult to convert an RWD car into an AWD vehicle.
This challenge helped us learn more about the Model 3. Unlike the Model S, which had a much easier battery pack to remove – was that related to battery-swapping? – the Model 3’s can only be released from the inside of the car. That helps the Model 3 be a lot less subject to rats that like to ear harnesses, such as the ones that attacked Delores.
We also discovered that Electrified Garage works with Calimotive.com, from Yaro Shcherbanyuk. He was the first to warn us that Tesla was cutting supercharging and fast charging from salvaged Model S and Model X units.
The funny part of the whole thing was that Salvo installed sound-making devices to his Model 3 so that people could notice the EV around. And he chose a kit that makes it look like exhaust pipes with a mighty V8 engine roar. People will either love the irony or try to put another Rich Rebuilds video down solely for that.
Hrencecin had to be creative in creating new wiring to connect the front motor. The whole process must have taken weeks to complete. Salvo says a similar conversion would cost around $11,000 to $13,000.
The issue is that, unless you love your car, it is not worth it. A quick look at Edmunds.com shows you can get a 2018 LR RWD with no record of accidents starting at around $39,000. An LR AWD begins at about $43,000. And you can buy one with the 1120980 motor that allows Ingenext’s Stage 2 “The Ghost” Performance kit.
That said, it is really nice that someone can do this, but it is a pity it costs more than you would spend just getting rid of your RWD and buying an AWD.
Source: Rich Rebuilds