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Day 3 of the Tesla Model Y Blog: Installing a $ 320 Towbar



This is a regular blog of my Model Y buying experience. Days 1 and 2.

One of the reasons I wasn’t worried about model Y panel gaps was that I was preparing the entire rear end to install a third-party towbar. Sure, I’d rather Tesla do that, but their towing hooks weren’t available when I delivered my car. However, they can already be ordered.

What do I rush? This weekend we were going to Vermont and wanted to bring our bikes …

I drove a popular third-country tractor from Torklift, which cost $ 322, which is about a quarter of the price of a Tesla. The Tesla towing kit has a standard NA 7-pin connector for light bulbs and takes advantage of its Tow Mode software, so not all apples have to compare apples. It is also installed, which is a big plus. But so far I only use bicycles, so the Tesla packaging is probably too big.

Installing the Torklift Y-type towing hook

The Torklift EcoHitch ™ was shipped with FedEx primer in about a week and arrived a few days before my Model Y. It̵

7;s heavy – about 35 pounds. and the pickup shows exactly why Tesla didn’t make it a normal feature. This is a very large extra weight in the car for something that only some people find valuable.

The process of removing the rear end of the car, including the bumper, was very awful, especially since it was a new car. Torklift Instructions was a poor Xeroxed 14-page instruction manual that left a lot to be desired. Their accelerated YouTube video also didn’t get much help.

Fortunately, there were already a couple of good YouTube videos (1, 2) that helped connect the dots.

I directed my inner rich rebuildings and went to work yesterday afternoon. My dad’s tools were mostly suitable for the job, but I recommend getting a 5/8 ″ or 15mm deep socket for removing heavy bolts from the inner bumper. I ran to the hardware store last night and grabbed it along with a longer, stronger socket wrench for $ 30.

You can also put a Y model in the slots. I didn’t do that, but it would have been nice to have some more space after removing the bottom bolts.

It took me about 4 hours, but if I had to do it again from what I had learned, I could probably do it in 1.5-2 hours. I didn’t make the video because you can just watch the ones already on YouTube and not see my stupid mistakes. But here are some carnage:

Y model towing hook observations

After digging in the car, I see why it’s so hard to nail the gaps in the shield. Most of it is plastic attached to steel, and any bending or cracking of the plastic removes the entire look. I finished everything back at least as well as it was before, but needed a little adjustment. There were some examples of excess glue and insulation, as well as some bent parts that I hope I can fix. I didn’t have the cross-thread bolt that both other YouTube participants had.

All in all, I’m happy to have done it myself with $ 900 savings, but I’m sure I would have just put Tesla into my own if it was available last week. I gained a much better understanding of the inner workings of Model Y, which can be useful later.

One thing I would like to do in the future is to attach more sound-insulating insulation to the rear of the car to help reduce road and suspension noise.

I have a Thule bike carrier with a 2-inch receiver and it fits well. Unfortunately, after all that work, I realized that my new children’s bikes were not properly mounted so I could hook up the platform.

The EcoHitch supports the same 350 pounds, 3,500 pounds of towing as the Tesla, so there should be no problem lifting the bikes. I could probably even throw a motorcycle in there. This is very solid in my limited testing. It doesn’t feel at all.

Y model range with bicycles?

Now my biggest concern is how many results my range will go with the bikes. I’m also concerned that the Y model will turn off the rear alarms because I don’t have an official Tesla “tow mode” option. I will be able to try and document that this weekend on the way to Vermont, which is about 180 miles away.

Until then, I enjoyed some shots of my work.

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