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Installation: to do or not to do

All of the Lightharmonic components fit exact the same spaces as the Tesla OEM parts and use the same connectors. True plug and play, so installation could not be easier: or not?
The guys from Lightharmonic have posted the entire process on Youtube and if you watch these you have a pretty good idea how much work it is and whether it is something you can do on a spare weekend day.
So as a distributor I believed I had to try this myself an I would like to share my personal experience with you. But to give you an idea, back in the 90s I used to install my own amps, equalizers, cross-overs, speakers, cabling through the not so new and expensive cars so I knew what to expect today -more or less. Which was definitely less, because everything fits and ready to connect. But surprisingly few things have changed in the way car interiors are put together so my experience was put to good use.
Some things I have to point out, you need some special tools:
a set of removal tools (available here)
a ratchet wrench with ±20cm extension, 10mm, Torx 20 and 30
some pliers, small screwdriver
So if you have these, you are ready to go. Or if you don’t mind, buy these tools. Than again, if you don't already have a ratchet wrench, reconsider your installation plans frown
Best to start with the amplifier. The movie is quite clear, BUT it takes a bit more work and I find these instructions on the TMC forum quite good. The location of the amp is a real pain in the a..! After installation of the amp, be careful with putting the panels back. The big knee-panel from the touchscreen to the door is complicated to put back right, because the clips are in different angles. Not so with most other panels, you can push entire panels back in place easily, but this one is highly visible and curved.
Replacing the fuse is not too hard. One would think fuses are easy to locate and replace. No such thing here... If your hands are not to big, I found out you don’t have to remove the air duct. Try before you do. If you have to remove this anyway, be careful not to drop one of the 10mm bolts. They will disappear in the cave and you would have to turn the car upside down to retrieve it (not gonna happen I guess)
Door panels are relatively easy to remove if you follow the movie. You have to use a lot of force to make the clips go “pop” and using a large screwdriver (with some protection between door and panel!) makes sense as nylon/plastic tools do not allow you to use the force necessary. I was too lazy to remove all the cables and by just removing the electronic cable to the door handle, I was able to turn the door panel vertical and let it stand against the door with enough space to do the speaker replacement. Best to use a tightener belt to make the panel stay put.
Subwoofer is relatively easy after removing a ton of carpet. Again, putting it back need some careful handling and folding the carpet parts.
If you have some mechanical experience and the tools (I have to point out you really need the removal tools to prevent damage and scratches) it can be done in about 5 hours.
Tearing apart your own € 100.000 car is not something for everyone. In the process you can, like me, bow a few clips or loose a screw. And you learn something about how a car interior is put together for sure. So you may decide, DIY installing the Lightharmonic set is not for you.
Good thing is, at Rainbow Road we are preparing local installers all over Europe to do the installation for a reasonable fixed rate. They should be able to do the installation well within one day, so in most cases you will be able to pick up your dear Tesla by the end of the day. A VIP service is also available. We advise you to have the installation done at a professional installer's shop. While they are doing it, they might be able to install items like better lighting inside the trunk, a dashcam or have some damping materials in the doors.

  Ernst     18-05-2016 23:47     Comments ( 0 )
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