That lifted, off-road capable Tesla Model 3 that you’ve been dreaming about for years has finally been pieced together! Ok, you’ve probably never given a single thought to a Model 3 sedan with beefy tires and a 12,000-pound winch hanging off the front of its rather boring front end, and no, we’re not talking about the Model Y, Tesla’s similarly sized SUV model. Instead, this is a wholly original creation from the crafty minds of YouTube creators Grind Hard Plumbing and Tesla savior Rich Rebuilds and Electrified Garage.

The YouTube Connection

If you haven’t followed its YouTube channel, Grind Hard Plumbing has nothing at all to do with walking you through clogged drains or custom bidets. What it offers instead is an interesting look at some off-the-wall creations from an E36 BMW converted into a rally truck, a dirt bike-powered Power Wheels Barbie car, and even a Toyota-2JZ-swapped lawn mower.

Rich Rebuilds made his way to YouTube about five years ago doing the unthinkable – trying to repair his own Tesla. He documented the process of picking apart various parts of the car and coming up with fixes and has since moved on to much more, including various custom projects and, most recently, this cross-channel collaboration with Grind Hard Plumbing.

The guys at Grind Hard set out to build an off-road capable Tesla, or at least attempt to do so, and there aren’t many people with as much knowledge and experience with tearing  down and rebuilding Teslas as Rich Rebuilds and his crew at Electrified Garage. Rich actually sourced a crashed, non-running model 3, brought it to Electrified and was able to get it up and running in no time.

Rugged Facelift

Rather than replacing the donor 3’s badly damaged front end, Grind Hard bent and welded in a set of crash bars in place of the original bumper beam and plastic cover, and moved the radiators up to the upper core support section, laying them on their backs, like a reverse V-mount set up. And instead of purchasing replacement headlights, they chose to mount a trio of incredibly bright LED lights, one of which incorporates a turn signal and shuts down the LED light blast so that the blinker is visible while in use.

As you might imagine, the parts shelves aren’t overflowing with Tesla off-road suspension bits—certainly not for the brand’s cars—so the group opted to use custom spacers that fit atop each strut to add a few inches of lift, while maintaining the factory spring travel. Due to the close proximity of Tesla’s upper control arms to the inside of the factory wheel and tire combo, Grind Hard stacked a trio of half-inch wheels spacers (something you should never do) in order to get an additional 2.5 inches of clearance.

New wheels wrapped in Falken’s Wildpeak all-terrain tires were then brought in, granting a taller, more aggressive appearance and adequate clearance in and out of the wheel wells. Later, the stacked spacers were thankfully ditched for a billet, single-piece version.

A Breadth of Fresh Electric Air

Finally, to get some additional airflow to the radiators and add a sneer to the Model 3’s front end, a portion of the hood’s outer skin was cut out, revealing the hexagonal structure underneath, and a splash of flat black was added for effect. Needless to say, nothing this hardcore exists in Tesla’s lineup today; soon, the Cybertruck might offer up some toughness, but it’s been delayed until next year.

Back on the ground, the Tesla looked the part and the group decided to put it to an initial test. Instead of the expected YouTuber “full send” attitude, the builders took a fairly calculated approach to some rugged terrain to make sure the car was up to the challenge. Unlike an off-road prepped truck or Jeep, the entry angle is quite a bit different, and the factory Tesla suspension isn’t optimal for dramatically uneven surfaces, but the crew found some success. Enough, in fact, to add a “Nice Jeep…peasants” sticker to the rear window as a shout to both Jeep and Tesla owners who sometimes seem to carry an air of cockiness in their respective communities; this creation just happens to stir them up into one pot.

If you like way out custom builds and getting a look at people having a blast creating something totally unique, both channels are worth a watch to get their take on this Tesla project that has plenty more in store.

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