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front upper ball joints

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by scottm, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    It's ball joint time, starting to feel some movement... mechanic estimates 10 - 20 mil movement of upper ball joint.

    I have been feeling increased "wander" or "rut following" behavior on the highways... car has 100,000 km on it.

    Are there any improved (stronger / heavy duty) or aftermarket suspension parts for our S's yet?

    My mechanic noticed the front upper ball joints are riveted onto the upper control arm.. and theorized it might be possible to drill them off and replace with some other ball joint. Like maybe something for a 3/4 ton truck ? Anybody gotten adventurous with suspension mods yet... I'm off warranty so what the heck. Not afraid to do stuff in a machine shop.
     
  2. LoL Rick

    LoL Rick Like Buttah

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    Can't wait to see if you find a solution other than taking it back to Tesla for an overpriced OEM replacement.
     
  3. supratachophobia

    supratachophobia Active Member

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    What is the deal with this? Is there a bad design issue that causes this? I would think ball joints would last a lot longer than 50k miles.
     
  4. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    #4 scottm, Jul 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
    ... it's a heavy car. Real heavy. That's why.

    I believe the OE parts may be a tad under-spec'd.

    Hence, I'm looking to up-spec it myself.

    Something in a half- to three-quarter ton truck or big SUV is probably just the ticket for ball joints on this car.

    They way I usually do this... to keep the car driveable every day is pay the piper for OE replacement parts, keep the removed parts, and work on them to do the conversion. So the next time the part wears out... or sooner... do the swap.
     
  5. Lukez

    Lukez Member

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    I've had to replace front right upper, left and right aft lower and now I hear that my left upper is rattling pretty good. All within 5k km of eachother and at 110k kms.
    I don't think they used good enough ball joints for this heavy of a car.
     
  6. Zapped

    Zapped Model S - PURE EV

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    I understand that the P85+ had heavier suspension that was later incorporated in all Model S builds. I don't recall what year that was but I would have thought that your 2014 model would have that.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    It's not *that* heavy, its in the same ballpark as a BMW 7-series or an S-Class

    S ranges from 4078lbs for an S40 to 5180 for a P100D, while a 7-series goes from 3869 to 4971lbs. S-Class goes from 4629 to 5269.

    This isn't to say that the Tesla's suspension is undersized, just that its weight is not out of bed with other cars in its class.
     
  8. RAM_Eh

    RAM_Eh Member

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    What kind of rattling do you hear. I hear some noise on mine and I have 130K on it.
     
  9. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    I'd say if you hear rattles go to a good/trusted alignment shop and ask for a suspension check... they're quick and turns up sloppy links you don't want to let go unattended. If they find slop a good shop will not do an alignment.. until the new parts are in.
     
  10. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Ericthecarguy welding non-OEM ball joints on a car (welding starts at 12:00):

     

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