TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Do I need to reset rear wheel camber with these lowering links?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by artsci, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,678
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    #1 artsci, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
    I'm thinking ordering these adjustable lowering links pictured below but before I do I'm concerned about impact of lowering the car on rear wheel camber and tire wear. I have adjustable camber links which are set to -1. What I need more clarity on (even though I have reviewed all of the relevant threads) is how the rear camber varies with the air suspension settings. I normally drive on the low setting and only raise the car for obstacles and the like. I'm assuming if a use a lowering link to lower the car I'll have to reset the rear camber (and maybe the front).

    I'm thinking of lower the car about .75 inches. If I lower the car my plan is to use the standard setting for driving and the low setting for parking. So should I have the rear camber set to -1 for the standard air suspension setting?

    Anyone? Lolachampcar?

    $_57.JPG
     
  2. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    369
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Those are pretty cool looking links. Hope they work out for you.

    Speaking from experience (I've used links on air ride cars before, even though my Tesla doesn't have links but was lowered via an alternate method for coil springs)-- yes, you will need to have the car aligned after you change the suspension with those links. If you lower it 0.75-inches with the links, that means the height will be 0,75-inch lower for EACH level. So whatever your ground clearance was at LOW, is not 0,75 less.. whatever it was as Normal is also now 0,75 less

    Here is the other thing you may want to consider-- see if your local service center (or whoever you chose to do alignment) can do the alignment when the car is in the LOW setting, if this is how you drive your car 99% of the time. I've been thinking my next Tesla I'll probably do the same thing as you (links, air suspension, always set to LOW at all times except for obstacles, winter mode, etc). Based on that, the ideal conditions would be to have your alignment performed whilst in the LOW setting.

    The ONLY downside to that approach would be that you'd be adding in BAD camber when you raise the car up. Hence if yo had to drive the car in Normal mode for any length of time the car might handle a bit less than hospitable compared to what you're use to. But I don't think it would cause any harm (as long as you just take that into consideration and go safely)
     
  3. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,451
    Location:
    WPB Florida
    #3 lolachampcar, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
    artsci,

    Neat find on the links......

    WRT your question, it is a matter of degrees (literally). Download one of the free IPhone apps and use a straight piece of something or other to repeatably pick up the OD of your rear rims. You can then use your IPhone's g sensor to measure the change in rear camber going from one ride height to another (as you obviously have air suspension). This will tell you an approximate change in rear negative camber. I say approximate because I've found the actual change depends on where you are in the arc of the upright. The change you will see from low to normal now will likely be slightly different from low - 0.75 to normal - 0.75". The key is that you will at least have some information to work from.

    As far as evaluating how much negative camber the car needs, do keep in mind that the coil versions of the car are perfectly safe (even with their higher C of G) using -1 degree of negative camber :)

    Please keep us updated.... Also, how is the price? I saw one vendor asking $500 for links which I thought was crazy. I bought links from a TM member (I think) that consisted of threaded rod, two lock nuts and two ball end sockets of the type you see on old Porsche/Webber throttle cables. I paid $100 for the set of four. They are nowhere near as pretty as yours but then, if someone's looking at the, I've likely run them over and their head is stuck in my wheel well thus the aesthetic quality of my lowering links is not important.

    Lastly, I posted this in another thread. Its logged data from a lowering module I did for MB and VAG applications. Nerd Candy...
    New Page 1

    Oh, and here is mine lowered.
    2015 P85D

    Quick search on McMaster for Ball Sockets
    McMaster-Carr Click on Gas Spring End fittings and brackets
    Add threaded rod and two nuts to two of the above and you are there. The nylon ones would be a home run as there is near zero load on these links (the potentiometers swing very freely). Had I seen this before I bought my links, I would have gone Nylon.
     
  4. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,678
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    Thanks for the speedy replies lolachampcar and arijaycoment. Much appreciated.

    The price of these links is $199. I favor them from the several types available (almost all on eBay) not for the cosmetics (they are pretty) but for the fact that they seem very well made with great attention to detail (always a good sign of quality). Based on your responses I'm going to go ahead and order them.

    I can do this installation DYI, which is great fun for me, but I have less and less time for this kind of thing. So I'll use a local shop for the installation (Wise Automotive). Jeff Wise owns the business and he's a car nut and incredibly knowledgeable. Plus his wife's business provides accounting services to Tesla and she spends a lot of time in California. Jeff's shop looks like a disaster, but he's incredibly meticulous and won't settle for anything but perfection in his work. He got my all of my alignment settings spot (spent about an hour to get it all right) on when he installed the adjustable rear camber links so I have high confidence that he'll do a great job with the lowering links.

    How much did you lower your car lolocampcar? I like the level and look. Do you drive it at that level and if so what's been your experience? If driving at that level is ok I might plan for that rather than just the lowest level for parking only.
     
  5. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,451
    Location:
    WPB Florida
    If memory serves me, I went down about 1 1/4" from Tesla's current Low (which is higher than the original Low used when the fires occurred). My goal was to have a 1/2 finger of distance between the tire and the wheel arch such that the tire properly filled the arch.

    My previous P+ was a bit lower and would rub on speed bumps (bottom) if I was not careful. My current amount of lowering combined with the tires I picked have eliminated the rubbing problem.
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,678
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    Thanks. I think I'm going to do a one or two finger distance/gap.
     
  7. Niclas

    Niclas Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    NY
    Would these lowering links also fit on a P85D?
     
  8. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,451
    Location:
    WPB Florida
    Yep.... Same suspension (when it comes to how the air works) :)
     
  9. NSX1992

    NSX1992 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks,CA
    I lowered my P85D 3/4" for $125 myself. The hardest part was removing the existing links but it helps to remove the wheels. Then I made a mistake trying to force the new socket on the ball and bending the safety clip. Once I realized you have to remove the clip first it was easy. Also the rear links are much easier as they are in plain sight once the wheels are removed. The 3/4" lowering is about right as the ground clearance is 3 3/4" in low and 5 1/4" in very high. I have not reset the camber as I will monitor the tire wear. I like the red links as they would look nice (if you could see them) with my red P85D.
     
  10. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,451
    Location:
    WPB Florida
    You know, if we were smart people we would use the links coming off the car to make slightly longer metal tube sections and a staking tool. Then we could modify existing links to lowering links for the price of the thin walled metal tube sections and eight staking operations.........
     
  11. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,678
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    The links arrived over the weekend. These are Airmatic links and they're incredibly well made. They come with rubber grommets to protect the ball studs from the elements. There are different lengths for the front and rear. Each 5mm increase in link length lowers the car about 28mm (1.1"). I want to drop my car .75" which will require the link length to be increased by 3.3mm.

    They'll be installed in about a week.

    DSC_5808.JPG
     
  12. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,451
    Location:
    WPB Florida
    Those are nice and seem like good value.
     
  13. AGT Tactical

    AGT Tactical Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    www.AGTtactical.com
    Sorry, not following you on this. I thought the rear camber could not be adjusted? I'd like to run my car in low all the time too, but won't I be riding on the inside of the tire all the time? The negative camber angle will increases as the car is lowered, and I can't change that. Thanks for the help.
     
  14. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Messages:
    822
    Location:
    Boston
    Rear camber having little/no adjustability, is not the same thing as what happens when a wheel goes up and down.
     
  15. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,678
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    The rear camber can be adjusted but within limits. If you lower the car you will push beyond those limits and increase rear tire wear at the lowest setting. Solution? Drive at the standard height and only lower the car when parked or at low speeds.
     
  16. AGT Tactical

    AGT Tactical Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    www.AGTtactical.com
    Not what I was talking about...was going off this statement "see if your local service center can do the alignment when the car is in the LOW setting, if this is how you drive your car 99% of the time. I've been thinking my next Tesla I'll probably do the same thing as you (links, air suspension, always set to LOW at all times except for obstacles, winter mode, etc). Based on that, the ideal conditions would be to have your alignment performed whilst in the LOW setting."

    An alignment in the low setting won't help with rear wheel camber when you can't adjust it...perhaps he was talking about toe in IRT the rear.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Ok...thanks! My service center said it could not be adjusted at all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    How is the rear adjustment done, i.e. what component is adjusted?
     
  17. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,716
    Location:
    So Cal
    I don't believe that. Service noted excessive tire wear during my annual service visit, especially the inner rear tires. When I got the car back, I got down on my hands and knees and looked at the alignment. The rears have pronounced negative camber, particularly my left rear tire. It has definitely not been this way all along. I got 25,000 miles out of my first set of 21 inch Contis. I'm just not sure why they didn't fix the alignment during annual service.
     
  18. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,451
    Location:
    WPB Florida
    There is no rear camber adjustability built into MS. Tesla did come out with some necked down bolts which allowed you to bias the upper link for less camber by tightening the bolts with the "slop" pushed to one side. I have heard that the Service Centers no longer have access to these bolts.

    To be clear, camber gain is when negative camber increases as the wheel moves up into the wheel well (car goes lower). Coil spring cars sit higher thus have less negative camber in the rear. When an air suspension car is run in low, you have the most amount of negative camber for a stock configuration. If you use lowering links to fool the car into a lower ride height, you will see even more negative camber.

    I hope the above is helpful and does not cloud the issue.
     
  19. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,716
    Location:
    So Cal
    Not sure I understand. Looking at the rear of my MS, the left rear tire has significantly more negative camber than the right. I know for a fact it did not used to be this way. Obviously somehow it got adjusted. This is in standard ride height, FWIW.
     
  20. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,678
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    This is why some of us have installed adjustable rear links. They help but even with those the camber is not sufficiently adjustable to achieve settings at lower heights that ameliorate excessive tire wear.
     

Share This Page