Facelifting a nosecone 2012-2016 Tesla Model S


April, 2023

Tesla | DIY | Facelift

In 2016 Tesla came out with a refresh of the Tesla Model S which included a new front fascia. Many agree this made the S look more futuristic and modern and nosecone owners have been wanting to upgrade their car with this front.

Lo and behold this is actually a fairly simple DIY job that can be done 100% with original Tesla parts.

There have been aftermarket solutions to the front fascia from companies such as Tsportline and Unplugged Performance but these have been very expensive and has had some fitment and quality issues.

Things to know

Parking sensors:

The new bumper will have 6 parking sensor holes. If you have an AP1 car with 6 sensors the harness may be difficult to make fit since the holes are placed differently. It should be possible, but extending the wiring is not unlikely.

If you have a 4 sensor car you can run into the same issue and you may need to extend some wiring. Here you can also come up with something smart to block the holes on the side. Bodyshop can fill in before paint for example. You can also go the route of upgrading to 6 sensors, but this is a whole nother topic I won't cover in-depth here. It requires new sensors, harness and ECU.

If you don't have parking sensors at all you can fill in the holes before paint, or do a retrofit to parking sensors. 

The new bumper comes with retainers, but these might not fit your sensors. You may have to move these over from the old bumper.

Active aero louvres:

The old louvres besides the fog lights will not fit the new bumper unless you do some cutting. More info on the cutting can be found here

Because this old louvres often don't work anymore I just opted to get the MS2 part. Some money can be saved here if you reuse your old ones.

Sourcing parts:

You can absolutely buy the parts used. They do not have to be new through Tesla.

AP1 Radar Relocation

You can choose to keep the radar in the same location and use the old grille. In this case you will not need 1058022-00-B. 

However, if you want to a true facelift look you will need the AP1 radar bracket, Tesla Toolbox and a way to change config. Part number for the bracket is 1061953-00-E. You will need to drill 2 holes in your crash bar. Make sure you get a carbide drill bit and not a Titanium HSS one. Use picture below for reference. Doesn't have to be 100%.

You then add "radarposition 2" to gateway config and do a service-redeploy in cid-updater.

Then you adjust radar it vertically so it is level and then you run the radar calibration procedure under Driver Assist in Toolbox. Adjust radar horizontally and run procedure again until it is happy with calibration. Voila, AP1 should be working again. Existing harness is plenty long for this relocation.

Parts needed

Here is a compiled parts list of everything needed to facelift. I know that a lot of these screws/nuts/bolts aren't needed as you can reuse the old ones, but considering the price I just ordered to have extra and spares if something didn't fit or was missing. You can take this list to your service center of choice to get an updated price quote.

Facelift Parts Guide

Assembling the bumper

I got all the parts loaded in my Model S and was eager to tackle this project as soon as the snow cleared.

The Model S is a huge car.
Parts ready to go.

Now you can start disassembling your old front bumper and start attaching stuff to the new one. It should be fairly straight forward as it's more or less the same. You can actually reuse most of the bolts as well.

This is where the support bracket goes. There should be markings in the pastic for it.
This is with the new MS2 louvre and the old fog light. 
This is where the support bracket goes for the fog light.
You can use two small plastic rivets here to hold this duct piece to the bumper.
Better fitment than when the car came from factory.
Everything mounted to the new bumper.

Installation on car

Now it's time to fit the bumper on the car. Make sure you install the new ankle catcher which is the flat piece in the bottom of the first image below. Some modification was also needed for the V-bar bracket so it needs to be cut beforehand. Also make sure you replace the old fascia brackets with the new ones.

New ankle catcher and air duct. This is different if you have the radar here.
New bumper brackets installed. Foam piece also removed later to not interfere with parking sensors.
Modificed V-bar to not crash with custom radar and homelink as well as + point for jump starting.

I unbolted the + point for jump starting as it was interfering with the radar that I have installed. You may not run into this issue.

New bumper fitted to the car. Here we are installing the new aero cover.

I know this guide doesn't go in depth on how to remove bumper and where all the bolts and nuts go, but I figured it was kinda self explanatory. You can always use the Tesla EPC for reference pictures and instructions on what goes where. I'll let the final result speak for itself.

Copyright © Vegar Henriksen | Built using Google Sites | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy