Home » First Tesla Cybertruck Teardown Shows Incorrectly Installed Door Hinge, Brown Coating, Clever Packaging

First Tesla Cybertruck Teardown Shows Incorrectly Installed Door Hinge, Brown Coating, Clever Packaging

Cybertruck Teardown Ts1
ADVERTISEMENT

The Tesla Cybertruck has generated a great deal of interest thanks to its oddball design, both inside and out. It’s not just a pointy weird triangle, it’s also one that relies on unique materials and engineering solutions. Finally, we’re starting to see teardowns reveal more of the truck’s secrets that are hidden under its skin.

YouTube channel Autoline Network headed down for an interview with Caresoft president, Terry Woychowski. If you haven’t heard of Caresoft, they’re a company that specializes in automotive benchmarking and cost consulting.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

What does that mean? It means they’re experts in teardowns and analyzing vehicles from an engineering perspective. Right now, everyone’s interested in the Cybertruck, and they’re in the middle of tearing one down. There’s already plenty to see inside the body of the beast.

As the video shows, Caresoft has two Cybertrucks on hoists right now. One’s still intact and is being used for a variety of testing purposes, but the other has been pulled apart to a great degree. With the doors off and the battery out, one shocking thing stands out. There’s no floor!

ADVERTISEMENT

As it turns out, the battery of the Cybertruck is the floor. “With the integration activities that were really kind of a paradigm that was broken by Tesla on the Model Y, is that the body-in-white has no floor,” says Woychowski. “It simply takes the top of the battery, and then when they install the battery pack it becomes the floor of the vehicle.” All the carpets and trim sit on top of the battery inside the vehicle.

In fact, the battery sits in the Caresoft workshop, it still has the front seat mounts sitting right on it. They’re cast parts, according to Woychowski. The rear seat support is a casting too, albeit attached to the bulkhead, not the battery.

Image152
You can stand inside the body with the battery out because there’s no floor.

Image6622

Image200

Interestingly, most of the cast parts on the vehicle, including the large gigacast sections, are painted with some kind of vaguely brown-yellow coating. Woychowski speculates that this is for corrosion protection reasons. This is notable as cast aluminum parts don’t usually require any coating. Aluminum forms a tough oxide layer that protects it from further degradation. Many cars have aluminum oil pans or transmission housings that have no coating whatsoever. For some reason, though, Tesla considers it important to coat these parts. It’s also worth noting gigacast parts in the front end appear to have a black coating for aesthetic reasons.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another key focus for the Caresoft team is learning about the 48V electrical system used in the Cybertruck. Making that job easier is the fact that wiring harnesses are clearly marked in the vehicle. High-voltage lines are bright orange, as is typical in the EV world. Meanwhile, harnesses for the 48-volt system have blue connectors and blue wraps at various points. Notably, though, Woychowski notes that there are still some traditional 12-volt circuits on the car, without being specific as to which.

Image6658

“We have to go deep into every electrical system, because it’s not all 48 volts,” he says. “Some of it remained at 12 volts.” The team’s goal is to inventory the truck to identify exactly which systems use 12 volts and how that voltage is converted down within the vehicle.

Steer-by-wire is also a notable inclusion on the Cybertruck. There is no steering shaft connecting the steering wheel to the steering rack. The teardown shows the sizable motor under the dash that’s used to provide feedback to the driver through the steering wheel. This feedback is important for feel. Without it, the driver can’t intuitively understand which way the wheels are pointing or what they’re doing. Typical steering feedback includes a degree of self-centering torque to bring the wheels back to pointing straight ahead and a level of resistance to driver input. This mimics what happens with a traditional mechanical steering system.

Image320

ADVERTISEMENT

Image272

Image284

Image296

Meanwhile, on the steering rack itself, there are a pair of motors to translate input from the steering wheel into motion of the front wheels. “You really have to design a system like this to say, it can’t fail, it can’t have a single point failure,” says Woychowski. Hence the two motors, for redundancy. We learned about this previously when Sandy Munro interviewed Tesla’s engineers about the steer-by-wire system back in December. Each motor is sized to provide roughly 50-60% of the peak torque required in low-speed parking situations. If one fails, you’ve still got one more that can handle regular steering duties well enough to get you off the road.

The 48-volt system comes in handy here, as it makes it easier to supply plenty of juice to the feedback motor and the steering motors alike. At the rear, a similar rack is used to steer the back wheels. However, it only has one motor as redundancy is not so important in this case.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image6682

Image236

Image224

With the intact Cybertruck, the Caresoft staff demonstrate the low-speed steering mode where the rear wheels steer opposite to the front wheels. This cuts the vehicle’s turning circle in parking situations and the like. At road speeds, the rear wheels instead turn the same way as the fronts to allow for smooth lane changes and better stability.

Interestingly, Woychowski notes that the Cybertruck initially wouldn’t steer on the hoist. The vehicle was able to detect it was being jacked up, and wouldn’t steer. Caresoft technicians were able to find an unspecified way to put the truck into a special mode such that the steering would operate on the hoist.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image176
Note how the door seal doesn’t appear perfectly seated.
Image6634
This shows the rear hinge on the Cybertruck, correctly fitted. As a rear hinge part, it has a divot cut out of it to allow the door to open wider. Front hinges have a design that only lets them open to a narrower angle. The team reported finding one of these front hinges incorrectly fitted to a rear door on one side of the truck.

There were a few build errors found in the truck, too. Woychowski first points out the driver’s side door seal, which is puckered in one section and not perfectly seated. He also notes that one of the rear doors was incorrectly fitted with a hinge intended for use on the front doors. This prevented it from opening as far as the properly-built rear door assembly on the other side.

Curiously, owners have been reporting door issues:

There’s still plenty to learn about the Cybertruck. Cost analysis by Caresoft will tell us whether the 48-volt changeover makes sense, and how many systems are still lagging back on 12 volts. In time, we’ll also likely learn more about the value of gigacast sections and whether or not steer by wire is as reliable as we’d like it to be.

For now though, this is already a great look inside the Cybertruck. It shows us just how different EVs can be from the ICE-powered vehicles of old. How times change.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: Autoline Network via YouTube Screenshot

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
132 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric Davis
Eric Davis
27 days ago

I’m cracking up at the need to use DUCT TAPE to hold in the door catch on a brand new very expensive vehicle, not to mention how casually the dude in the Twitter video just accepts this.

132
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x