While most owners are happy with one of the Tesla wood or carbon fiber trim options, it is possible to replace the stock trim with a custom creation on the S, X or 3. Some use a vinyl overlay, but you can even change to a different wood veneer.
This is far from easy, and very few have done this, but we’ll provide some of the background and sources to help make it possible. Note that the substrate parts talked about from Tesla may not be available. Should you make the trim parts, the Tesla factory and service centers will NOT install them. You’ll have to do the work yourself or hire someone! Also, keep in mind that the dash trim parts are different between the left and right-hand drive versions.
Threads you should read:
- Modifications – making alternative trim
- What’s up with the wood trim options – thread has some further details on making trims
Video of Lexus making the wood steering wheel (very useful to see how wood veneers are turned into trim)
To replace the trim, it required pulling apart portions of the dash and center pedestal. These links are for other projects but describe how to get to the trim parts.
- Amp installation (describes how to pull apart lower-left padded panel, so you can remove the two left-side trims)
- PARZ cup holder installation (describes how to pull the top off the center pedestal to access the trim)
Dborn was kind enough to explain a bit more about his creation of custom wood trim and let us include pictures of his work. Note that his parts are for his Australian RHD car. Here is his story…
There is a little more to this than meets the eye. I was told, unofficially from Tesla, that there was a tiny “lip” on the inner edge of the trim where it surrounds the touch screen, which needed to be milled away to make it fit. Not sure why that was molded in the first place! I have since ground that bit away on a belt sander, and can only hope that my hand was true and my eye straight!!
I may well not use the console pieces with (cup holder) as they have not turned out as I would like and may, therefore, stick with the carbon fiber I have chosen in that spot. They were inordinately difficult because the front and rear edges have a double curve, and that area stuffed up, and there was some glue spillover. The areas are widely separated so probably will not be noticeable. It is possible I may use these parts for something else like a center storage console but will have to wait until I get my car.
The timber is Tasmanian Blackheart Sassafras, which is usually a little grayer but I used a primer with a yellow base, which did alter the appearance slightly. If I had my time over, I would have used a clear primer, but I was going for maximum UV resistance.