Model 3 Auto Trunk installation

Model 3 Auto Trunk installation

I finally received all the parts (struts, springs, washers) for the trunk mod on my Model 3 (LR-RWD). The installation video and parts list are on a Youtube video by i1Tesla. Once I figured out how to release the sockets on the struts, the install was easy. It does require a hard head or an assistant to support the trunk lid while the struts are off the car.

The mod works perfectly! The trunk pops open fast (probably the spring's push), but slows down as it approaches the open position.

My main concern was that, somehow, the release could be triggered while the car is moving. I tested it, and there is no way to actuate the lid unless the car is in park. I also tried to open the trunk with the FOB while the car was moving. The FOB won't do it either.

Way to go i1tesla !!

globalMan | 1 février 2019

syclone, good to know it works so well.

Could you share on the source of purchase and prices you paid for the struts and the springs?

VC | 1 février 2019

@syclone where did you get the parts? I tried Amazon recommended by i1Tesla but out of stock :(

sumya | 1 février 2019

same here. waiting for parts to be back in stock.
OP did u get a chance to open the trunk when its raining?

syclone | 2 février 2019

@sumya: I'm in FL - it doesn't rain that often - I'll let you know.

I originally ordered struts from Amazon, but then someone said they were availble from Wallmart for quite a bit less. They were in stock, so I ordered them. I ordered the springs from the Chinese company. That was about 3 weeks. I just checked - I can't find the struts on the Wallmart site. I will dig thru my receipts and come up with the Mfg email address. Maybe that will help.

It probably would save a lot of time and agravation if one of the Tesla resellers came up with a kit, even at twice the price.

ODWms | 2 février 2019

As I posted on the site before. I already had the trunk done awhile back. I got the struts for the rear trunk in within 2 days of ordering from Amazon, more than 2 weeks ago. Just got the springs in this afternoon from a Chinese seller, so I went ahead and installed everything. Not even 10 minutes for both sides.

dkabq | 2 février 2019

I also received my springs today and installed in less than ten minutes. Ordered the struts from Walmart because they had sold out on Amazon, they are sold out on Walmart also, but they actually came from Lift supports depot.

Lift supports is saying they will ship by 3/8/19 (almost a month backlog) but the spring will almost take that long.
the spring came from UXCELL as listed on the i1tesla youtube took almost three weeks. the 3/8" washers I got at Lowes but instead of the stainless steel I used the 3/8 Hillman hardened washers(found in the stainless cabinet), they fit the springs better(a little bigger and thicker) I actually bought the stainless also but I worried about them holding up. The whole assembly works great.

diegoPasadena | 2 février 2019

Does it make closing the trunk noticeably harder?

dkabq | 2 février 2019

On mine, it seems like it is slightly harder to close specifically right when it closes, I have to use a little more force, but not much. The trunk does not go as high, so that could make it easier or not depending how tall you are. As the video points out it may not be for everyone.

ODWms | 2 février 2019

I have noticed some folks complain that the stock trunklid opening is too high. With this setup, the height is slightly lower. That might be good for some owners.

As noted above, there does seem to be slightly more resistance with these struts on the trunk. It makes no difference to me, as it really doesn’t change anything with the closing process. The Frunk operation feels exactly the same as before.

As I mentioned this is very convenient. It’s one of the best, most useful mods I’ve done on my car.

syung61 | 2 février 2019

I ordered the same parts and installed as per instruction but my trunk doesn't open automatically as per video. The only difference is that I have a carbon fiber spoiler and the Model 3 Tailgate Closing Handle from RPM. I am surprised these extra weights would make a difference,

ODWms | 2 février 2019

That’s interesting. Do you know about how much the spoiler weighs?

syung61 | 2 février 2019

I would say they both weigh about 3 or 4 lbs.

ODWms | 2 février 2019

Yeah, if they’re that heavy, I can see it making enough of a difference to cause what you described. I don’t know which struts would be adequate compensation for the extra weight. But if you can figure it out it’s still possible to have the auto open functionality.

syung61 | 2 février 2019

Thanks! I just want to share these concerns with other Tesla M3 owners.

ODWms | 2 février 2019

No. Thank you.

I have the PD3+, and, like some others have been waiting for the Tesla spoiler to arrive, along with the badge.

If the added weight is going to be an issue, I’m going to need to know what accommodations I’d have to make myself. I love this mod, and definitely want to keep it.

syclone | 2 février 2019

I also noticed that the final couple of inches are noticeably harder to close than the standard struts. I got down with my nose almost into the trunk and saw that this is the point where the spring are being compress

Walmarts part description is "Strongarm 4129 universal. Lift support depot's is the same. Looks like the Walmart price is a little better than Lift Support Depot.

This is the nicest, most practical mod I've done on my Tesla - Thanks again i1Tesla.

I had forgotten to do a safety check on the trunk release using the iPhone. When the release button is pressed while Drive is engaged, the app asks if you are sure - when you say yes - absolutely nothing happens -perfect

VC | 2 février 2019

@dkabq Thanks for the link!

Tesla2018 | 3 février 2019

I tried opening my trunk when I pulled into my garage and left a few inches between the garage door and the trunk.
I have hurricane braces on my garage door and noticed that when the trunk is opened, it swings at at angle so the. bottom part of the trunklid protrudes out further as it swings up. If I didnt do anything it would have hit against the garage door.. Granted most people open the trunk when they are standing directly behing it so there would be room, but I needed to get out something out and didnt want to move the car up or open the garage door so I opened it while standing on the side of the car.

ODWms | 3 février 2019

Interesting. I back into my garage. So the lid can pretty much go up as high as it wants and it wouldn’t matter because it would clear the door anyway. But the ceiling where the trunk lid opens is actually lower than the opened garage door height, even with my hurricane bracing, and it’s still nowhere close to touching.

Now this mod does make the opened trunk lid height lower by a few inches, but it still doesn’t appear that it would come anywhere near it, even if it were several inches higher.

Ericzlot | 4 mars 2019

anyone have a link to the washers needed from lowes or home depot? are these them? are these the right 5/16 washers?

jamespompi | 4 mars 2019

Does this alter the alignment in any way? I did the front struts and hate how it lifts the hood out of form. I need to take them off.

terminator9 | 4 mars 2019

My front hood was lower than the body from factory. You are right that it lifts the frunk and it made mine perfectly flush. I would imagine if yours is flush already, it would make the hood higher than the side body.

syclone | 4 mars 2019

It's been one month since I installed the auto-trunk mod. It still works perfectly. This was a, really, practical mod.

Washers: Either a 3/4" or 7/8" washer with a 5/16" hole (stainless steel) works great. Right off the shelf at Lowes or Home Depot.

lefty10is | 30 mars 2019

Do u know anyone in the Bay Area that could do this for me. I’m afraid to do it myself

spuzzz123 | 30 mars 2019

@lefty sorry not near Bay Area. But if you find someone, see if you can try it out before you install this on yours. It definitely works well to open, but it does make closing more difficult. You have to pull it down with some force, and then push down from the outside. The original solution allows you to simply pull down from the inside handle without touching. A shorter person may hate this solution too.

sroh | 30 mars 2019

Thanks, that's good to know.

I ordered the parts and expect to install next month. However, I like being able to pull down from the inside hard enough to close it without having to push down from the outside (I'm a bit OCD about fingerprints/handprints). In any case, it can't hurt to try it.

jefjes | 30 mars 2019

@sroh- I installed this last week and my wife is 5' tall. It actually lowered the height the trunk lid opens enough to make it easier for her to reach the inside handles. The original struts have always required us to pull the lid down low and then push it closed from the outside and that was usually done with 2 hands anyway so this mode just makes that a necessity where before you could lower the lid with one hand then use that same hand to push it closed from the outside as it would stay down while removing your hand from the inside then push it closed. Not a big deal for us as I had the same shop that put my PPF on the front etc. also put a strip across the top edge where a spoiler would go to eliminate scratches from rings etc. while pushing the trunk closed from there.

Carl Thompson | 30 mars 2019


From what I've read you can adjust the alignment of the frunk. I don't remember where the adjusting screws / controls are though.

styvwerx | 30 mars 2019

I did both the frunk, and, after a wait for parts, the trunk. I think Brian thought these up
Then I started trying to figure out how to do a switch, like the Ford econobox that you stick your toe under the rear bumper, and the trunk opens while your hands are full.
I found an article on how to use the iPhone apps "Model S" and "Automate" to have Siri actuate these. With hands full, and my iPhone in my shirt pocket, I can now ask Siri to open either Frunk or Trunk, and they both go full open with no fuss, as long as I'm close enough for the app to work the bluetooth connection that the Tesla app uses to open the car for me. This is truly the iPhone of cars. I'm sure that these apps work for Android as well.

sroh | 30 mars 2019

Thanks jefjes. Ya, I know this lowers the height of the trunk when open. My wife is 5' 1" tall and 'vertically challenged' like your wife. I think she's going to love it. But she always has me try stuff on my car before she approves it for hers. So it's going to go on mine first.

Good call on the PPF. I wish I did the trunk and the top of the rear bumper when I had my front end PPF installed. I've learned the right amount of force to pull down from the inside that will latch the trunk lid. I'll see whether not being able to close this way offsets the benefit of automatic opening.

eelsm | 30 mars 2019

@lefty10is did you get all the parts yet? If you post your contact info, maybe I can help.

Ngm98 | 30 mars 2019

Got all the parts just like in video but found that the strut being a bit more forceful aside from popping the trunk open, due to the hood being a little lower it jerks and snaps back the hood thus decided it wasn’t for me.

I returned the struts but have the red springs and the stainless washer if anybody would like to purchase them, PM me

windfall2 | 31 mars 2019

Will these work if you push the exterior trunk button rather than the app or touchscreen?

syclone | 31 mars 2019

@windfall2: All the controls for the trunk work exactly as they did before.

syclone | 31 mars 2019

@windfall2: All the controls for the trunk work exactly as they did before.

JCTSLAM3 | 31 mars 2019

This looks good but I’m afraid that installing on the frunk undermines a design long left behind by auto manufacturers. Front end hoods used to pop up and open by themselves (in the 60’s and 70’s). However, upon front end impacts, when autos could still be maneuvered the popped hood got in the way of driving. Therefore, new hoods were equipped with hooks, didn’t open by themselves or opened backwards.

The function that would be more useful is for the frunk hood and trunk would be pulled down and secured automatically without requiring us to push down on them. Opening them is not such a big deal....

kcheng | 31 mars 2019

"lefty10is | March 30, 2019
Do u know anyone in the Bay Area that could do this for me. I’m afraid to do it myself"

It's really just about the easiest mod you could do on your Model 3.

ODWms | 1 avril 2019

I did notice the trunk lid makes it marginally harder to close. Either way, I still close with one hand. I put my hand in the license plate, and push the lid down all the way, firmly, til it closes, never touching any paint.

One thing you can try, once the lid is about a foot from closing: hesitate for about a second or two before pisjing reat of the way. This seems to make that last foot of travel easier.

ODWms | 1 avril 2019

*... the trunk lid MOD makes it marginally harder...*

spuzzz123 | 1 avril 2019

Yeah the force to close the trunk isn't bad with this mod, except, since I must push on the outside of the trunk, I get handprints on me that is the only downside.

lilbean | 1 avril 2019

Handprints now, scratches next.

eelsm | 1 avril 2019

"@spuzzz123 | April 1, 2019
Yeah the force to close the trunk isn't bad with this mod, except, since I must push on the outside of the trunk, I get handprints on me that is the only downside."

I do this to avoid hand prints....after lowering the trunk with the handle , I push hard on the license plate to close it.

ODWms | 2 avril 2019

The license plate push is the way to go. I’ve seen aftermarket handles and all manner of workarounds. The license plate is already on the car, and is very easy to use.

tbd2001_01 | 2 avril 2019

I use one of the (2) hand holds on the inner side rear trunk to close the Trunk. One must be quick not to get your hand trapped when using force...

PatrickReilly44 | 7 avril 2019

Has anybody gotten this working with a spoiler? I'd like to do it but I'm having Tesla install our P3 spoiler on Tuesday.

tarasbaca | 8 avril 2019

PatrickReilly44 | April 7, 2019
I emailed Evannex (that according to i1Tesla sells identical struts) the question whether the trunk lift will work with a carbon fiber spoiler mounted on the trunk. First, they responed "One part has nothing to do with the other.". After me explaining that spoiler adds additional weight to the trunk, they still confirmed in the separate email that "Yes. The Trunk Lifts will work with the Carbon Fiber Spoiler on the vehicle." They are currently sold out.

ODWms | 8 avril 2019

I actually think they're right. I'll have my spoiler installed on Saturday 4/13, so I'll see for myself, and report back. I'm thinking those who complain of the trunk lid being heavy to close will be helped (minimally) by the added weight. But I also don't think that added weight is enough to hinder the opening, which I think the struts/springs are a little more than is absolutely needed.

As far as where to place hands on the low to close, try the license plate. It's an easy, one handed method that works every time.

hpn | 8 avril 2019

Worked great for me..
My new toy.....

spuzzz123 | 9 avril 2019

Good idea on the license plate. I’ll try it tonite.

ODWms | 9 avril 2019

Front trunk/rear trunk: