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Considering upgrade to adjustable suspension - need your input

Discussion in 'Roadster: Performance' started by sethr, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. sethr

    sethr CPO Roadster #1089

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    Hi all; I am considering upgrading to the adjustable suspension on my Roadster, which I want for its softest setting because the roads are really poor in my area. But - one person at Tesla said someone else told him that I might find my Roadster scraping the road (where it barely missed before). I do have an awful lot of speed humps and potholes in my area, plus steep entry points into many places I go. So far I have been OK as long as I go very slowly where it is steep. I'd like to have a smoother and more comfortable ride, but not at the expense of messing up my Roadster! So - any experience on this? Thanks!
     
  2. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    I'm having mine installed in two weeks time, I'll let you know if there's any change in clearance. I also have some steep entrances and speed bumps on my daily drive.

    Check with Tesla to see if the adjustable suspensions are still in stock - last I heard they were sold out.
     
  3. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    I have the adjustable suspension (2.5 Sport) and had Service switch it to the softest / comfort setting during the annual maintenance a month or two back. I'm new enough to Roadsters that I can't really compare it to the standard suspension, but I can say ....
    - I haven't scraped bottom on any speed bumps or steep driveways, and I've driven over some that I had a hard time figuring out how I didn't bottom out :)

    I go as sideways as possible over steep driveways and other of those 'iffy' spots, I go quite slowly over speed bumps, and I've had no trouble. Am I cutting things closer due to the soft setting on the adjustable suspension? That I don't know.

    I might also be one of the very few people willing to say that roads around where I live seem pretty decent. I can find potholes, but the roads are mostly pretty good, and the curb cuts are mostly not sharp. I do have a few driveways to go in and out of that I worry about, but I haven't heard or felt the car scrape bottom even once. So I guess the car has better clearance than it looks :D
     
  4. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Last I heard, which was over a month ago you can't buy the adjustable suspension as an upgraded package. You have to buy each piece separately which is big $$.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I really don't think bottoming out is an issue with it dialed to soft unless you drive excessively fast over large speed bumps. Most people slow down for them...
     
  6. bart513

    bart513 Member

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    I called the local Tesla Service Center in Queens a few weeks back asking if I could just purchase the shocks (My vernacular may not be accurate) and I was told that they only sell the whole package. I didn't want to spend the 6K but thought that it would ease the bumps a bit!
     
  7. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I don't see them denying you buying just the shocks since that is a warranty item they need to stock and supply. So they're saying if you have a sport suspension already and your shock seals are beat, Tesla wants you to buy a whole new $6k package? I'd argue it and can't see how they legally can't sell you a replacement part.
     
  8. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    +1. I have the adjustable suspension and REALLY GLAD I ordered it. I don't think there's any difference in height between softest and stiffest settings but you might have to slow down a little. We also have really bad roads. Originally I softened mine up just for winter when we have frost heaves but now I keep it soft all year. It's also nice to be able to dial out the understeer which makes for more pleasant driving and better handling. Get it if you can.
     
  9. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I really wish I had the adjustable suspension, its the one thing that the Roadster really needs. The stock one is too reboundy in the rear end and I find it floating up and down around turns, and to me that's dangerous since you just lost traction holding you into the turn. I've also hit bumps while braking where the front suspension is bouncing like a basketball.... and what sucks about that is that now the brakes are out since the ABS is kicking in due to the tires being up in the air. And that scenerio is bad when your coming to a stop or need to really decelerate coming into a turn. You can take that slop out as well with an adjustable suspension. An adjustable suspension is a must have for any sports car. Wish it was still an upgradable package.
     
  10. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Roadster 1305

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    Soft

    I keep mine in the softest setting all year round, and the only time I ever bottomed out (despite driving on dirt roads every day) was trying to navigate my own driveway after those storms a few weeks ago damaged it. I don't drive like a maniac, so I think driving in soft is unlikely to bottom you out unless you drive the car hard.
     
  11. sethr

    sethr CPO Roadster #1089

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    #11 sethr, Aug 3, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
    Pardon my ignorance; how do you dial out understeer? I pretty much know what understeer is, but would like to know how you do that so I can have it set right when they install the suspension a week from now. I read elsewhere on this forum that someone had theirs set to #1 in front, #2 in the rear and the rear sway bar set to "sport" (whichever hole that is, and they didn't say how the front bar was set). If someone could be more specific I'd really appreciate it. I'm not going racing or anything remotely like that, just want a smooth ride and good handling in case I need to make a sudden avoidance maneuver. (I don't know how experienced anyone may be at the service center with regard to the best settings...). Thanks!
    P.S. - For those interested: I am also getting the HID headlight upgrade; apparently there are some left despite the fact that the website says not. I just happened to ask....
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Normally, if you lossen the sway bar that will increase grip on that end of the car. So you loosen the front to reduce understeer.

    Right now my rear is at the middle position. I was thinking of trying tightening it up because the car still pushes. But of course there is more risk of power oversteer and snap oversteer with the Roadster, so you might not want it to be too twitchy on the street.
     
  13. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    I had the adjustable suspension installed yesterday. The improvement in handling was immediately noticeable and the first highway on-ramp put an ear to ear grin on my face.

    The car feels more planted in the turns, and steering is lighter and more compliant - I feel like I'm no longer fighting the car in corners. The ride is smoother and I haven't noticed any difference in ground clearance. Definitely a worthwhile upgrade.
     
  14. bart513

    bart513 Member

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    How much did it cost you? Was it 6K?
     
  15. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    Actually I haven't paid for it yet, I'm going back for a few more things on Monday that are on the same work order. $6K sounds about right, plus the Canada premium!
     
  16. sethr

    sethr CPO Roadster #1089

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    Please tell us (all four) settings for the sway bars and shocks you have. I am getting mine put in next week and would really appreciate some input on this. Thanks!
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    FWIW, I'm at:

    Shocks - 7 front, 8 rear
    Sway bars - loose front, middle rear
     
  18. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    Same settings as Doug, I copied his from the previous suspension thread.
     
  19. frequencydip

    frequencydip Sig 100 - #52

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    I decided to go with a fully custom built suspension, I had my Porsche mechanic here in Los Angeles build a suspension based on Lotus racing suspensions. The car is still in the shop I hope to pick it up this weekend. Went with stiffer springs than stock and dropped about 9lb of unsprung weight by swapping out the steel uprights for aluminum.
     
  20. bart513

    bart513 Member

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    Wow! How much is it costing and does it impact the warranty?
     

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