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"Classic" S (2012/13) suspension upgrades?

Hank42

Legacy Supporter
Sep 30, 2012
583
410
United States - NY
Apparently, all of the rear bushings on my 2012 S85 are shot. Tesla's estimate is expensive - I give them credit that they labor hours and rates are accurate, but the replacement parts are costly- mainly because like most companies, they want to replace the entire assembly instead at $300 a pop instead of the $3.00 rubber bushing - probably because it's less labor intensive.

For the 4 digit cost of repair, I was wondering if anyone knows of any other options or performance enhancements I can do to get better handling - the thinking is, I want to get something for that kind of money, and not just return it to "normal" as of 2012. I've read lots about adjustable bushings, and new links etc, anyone have experiencing "upgrading" 2012/13 suspension components to the "new" style, and what gain that will have?
 
Apparently, all of the rear bushings on my 2012 S85 are shot. Tesla's estimate is expensive - I give them credit that they labor hours and rates are accurate, but the replacement parts are costly- mainly because like most companies, they want to replace the entire assembly instead at $300 a pop instead of the $3.00 rubber bushing - probably because it's less labor intensive.

For the 4 digit cost of repair, I was wondering if anyone knows of any other options or performance enhancements I can do to get better handling - the thinking is, I want to get something for that kind of money, and not just return it to "normal" as of 2012. I've read lots about adjustable bushings, and new links etc, anyone have experiencing "upgrading" 2012/13 suspension components to the "new" style, and what gain that will have?

I also have the same problem and I researched another Tesla Forum and apparently Tesla was replacing all of the suspension system on these Classic cars of these years. Some owners had the whole suspension replaced about a year after they had the car and were very happy with the change. They never sent out a recall notice, but did send out a suggestion service letter. I bought my Classic S used, and took it into 2 different Service centers since there was one issue since the car was unused for a long period of time. I was happy with the service, they did a good job, but they never talked about the suspension. I had the same problem, they offered to replace one arm under warranty, Now I am worried about the rest of the suspension. Nikki on TE mentioned the suspension of the early Model S, so this is something known. You can't have a large heavy car with inadequate parts.
Did anyone talk with you about the supension?
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,431
4,162
Phoenix, AZ
I also have the same problem and I researched another Tesla Forum and apparently Tesla was replacing all of the suspension system on these Classic cars of these years. Some owners had the whole suspension replaced about a year after they had the car and were very happy with the change. They never sent out a recall notice, but did send out a suggestion service letter. I bought my Classic S used, and took it into 2 different Service centers since there was one issue since the car was unused for a long period of time. I was happy with the service, they did a good job, but they never talked about the suspension. I had the same problem, they offered to replace one arm under warranty, Now I am worried about the rest of the suspension. Nikki on TE mentioned the suspension of the early Model S, so this is something known. You can't have a large heavy car with inadequate parts.
Did anyone talk with you about the supension?
I asked service, they said this is not true. There is no "suspension replacement" or retrofit. They have several service bulletins that get applied to vehicles under warranty, as needed, and all have been applied to my 2013 car. Can you be more specific as to what was replaced on your vehicle?
 
I asked service, they said this is not true. There is no "suspension replacement" or retrofit. They have several service bulletins that get applied to vehicles under warranty, as needed, and all have been applied to my 2013 car. Can you be more specific as to what was replaced on your vehicle?

Don't know about most of that, but I do know that for a while Tesla installed eccentric bolts in the rear upper suspension links to respond to complaints about exessive camber. Some of us also fabricated our own upper suspension links .21" longer than stock, which cured the camber problem. The OPs post, tho, addressed broader concerns. For bushings I used a Hyundai item off the shelf for only a few dollars each. Those bushings have lasted us over four years so far. Bear in mind, tho, that those bushings were fitted to the longer fabricated links. I don't know if they would fit the stock bushing holes without modification.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,431
4,162
Phoenix, AZ
Don't know about most of that, but I do know that for a while Tesla installed eccentric bolts in the rear upper suspension links to respond to complaints about exessive camber. Some of us also fabricated our own upper suspension links .21" longer than stock, which cured the camber problem. The OPs post, tho, addressed broader concerns. For bushings I used a Hyundai item off the shelf for only a few dollars each. Those bushings have lasted us over four years so far. Bear in mind, tho, that those bushings were fitted to the longer fabricated links. I don't know if they would fit the stock bushing holes without modification.
I think you are referring to the "camber bolts" that Tesla was installing in vehicles back in 2013/2014. Tesla stopped doing that because those camber bolts tended to loosen up and shift. I believe I had them installed as well, but have not had any shifting problems with them.

Would you mind sharing the symptoms you were experiencing that led you to diagnose the bushing problem?
 
I think you are referring to the "camber bolts" that Tesla was installing in vehicles back in 2013/2014. Tesla stopped doing that because those camber bolts tended to loosen up and shift. I believe I had them installed as well, but have not had any shifting problems with them.

Would you mind sharing the symptoms you were experiencing that led you to diagnose the bushing problem?

Yes, it was the same bolts you have. Like you, ours have not shifted and our alignment holds quite well.

We didn't have any bushing problems but when we installed the modified upper links to address the camber issue we needed bushings for those, and in case the fabricated links didn't work, we didn't want to press out and reuse the old, OEM bushings when we might need to reinstall the original links later.
 
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