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Initial impressions: Nitron 46mm NTR Race 1-way shocks

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by asgard, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. asgard

    asgard Member

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    Following closely after wiztecys install, I had these shocks installed by Dietsch Werks today:

    Lotus Elise S2 (K-Series) (02-05) NTR Race 1-Way 46mm

    I am impressed. Tesla should have put these on as standard equipment.

    Looks: Yeah, I know - who cares about how shocks look. But the Nitrons are a work of art. The titanium finish is not only corrosion resistant, it looks awesome. It indicates build quality. The stock Bilsteins look skinny and inadequate in comparison.

    The install: I was hanging out in the shop for the last hour. John dialed in the camber at 2.1-2.4 on the rears and he did a thorough job, and with care. They treat the car with kid gloves and it shows. These guy know what they are doing.

    After they were done, John test drove it and a heard a metallic clunking from the back. Rob (the owner) drove it and heard it too. It baffled everyone. They checked every bolt... It turned out to be the spare toolkit in the trunk bumping around!! Whew.

    I drove it on Zanker road, over railroad tracks and some of the worst potholes in San Jose. The shocks are amazing. Stiffness without the bone shattering, frame distorting harshness of the stock Bilsteins.

    I drove it back home on the highway and let it rip into the curves. The tail end now handles bumps in curves with confidence. It does not slip away and the fishy, sloppy rear end is gone.
    You want to drive the car into the curve with a touch of additional power instead of gingerly backing off, as the stock shocks often forced me to.

    The wobbly front end is gone too. You point the front and the car sticks to the direction. The stock shocks were so stiff that the steering would bounce around with the bumps. The Nitrons have good damping but not too much and you can play with it. My car had a mild shimmy with less than 6000 miles on it. The shimmy is gone. Maybe it was the wheel balancing.

    Now the cons: the damper is reacting too quickly to wavy roads. Sections of Hwy 85 around here in Silicon Valley are particularly wavy. It feels like riding a rodeo horse. I might need to play with the damping adjustment to dial this out and slow down the damping velocity. I will probably get this tuned when I go back to Dietsch to have my rear view camera and Carbotechs installed.

    Overall: IMO aside from the Carbotechs, this is probably the single most valuable upgrade to invest in. Most other upgrades are cosmetic/appearance/convenience. I can live without those. The Nitron shocks are functional and improve handling quality and safety, especially rear end stability. I can't go back to the Bilsteins.

    Time will tell how well the Nitrons hold up. They come with a service record and service is recommended every 12-18K miles for street driving.

    Will update this thread with a longer term report.

    P.S. Rob still has one kit left at the group buy price :)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jbadger

    jbadger Roadster #506

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    After reading about how happy both you and wiztecy are, I've scheduled an appointment Monday to discuss with Rob.

    I'm also going to upgrade my break pads to the Carbotechs. asgard, did you buy the pads through Rob or should I buy them and just take it to him to install?
     
  3. asgard

    asgard Member

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    He is cool either way. I am going to order them online.
     
  4. jbadger

    jbadger Roadster #506

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    I spoke with Rob today and put a deposit down on the nitrons. I'm excited to get it done, just waiting for the carbotechs to come in :)
     
  5. asgard

    asgard Member

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    I did the Nitrons anyway and will get the carbotechs done later. I was too impatient to wait :)
     
  6. mg012

    mg012 Member

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    I'm in Texas, so I'll have to get this done somewhere else, but what was the approx cost for the shocks with install? Which model roadster is this? Does it have the adjustable suspension?

    thanks
    michael
     
  7. jbadger

    jbadger Roadster #506

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    The parts alone are usually $4500 from Rob at Dietsch Works, not including labor to my understanding. I'm having mine installed tomorrow, but the labor will be lumped with new brake pads and the installation of my HID bulbs. I've got a 2010 Roadster and do not have Telsa's adjustable suspension.
     
  8. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Last I heard its $4200 for a group buy on the shocks, the rear upper control arm bushings, installation, and alignment. $4500 if you're buying it as one install.

    Verify with Rob to see if anything changed. Also you can buy the shocks and bushings from Rob and he'll ship them as well as communicate to the shop on how to set them up. Lastly Rob is working with Nitron to provide an ABS mount/shock bracket for the passenger side. Currently he's tig welding the old with the new which works great. So you'll have to get that done unless you can find out the ETA for the new Nitron bracket. Either way I'd call Rob. Here's the link where I started the experiment with the Nitron shocks:

    Alignment knocked out of whack...
     
  9. jbadger

    jbadger Roadster #506

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    I heard $4100 for the group buy, but it will require a group of 10. Glad I got in on the deal in time, who knows when there will be enough people to get the group buy price.
     
  10. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Thanks jbadger. Would like to know the difference once you had some time on the new setup. Make sure to communicate to Rob how you'd like them dialed, meaning for the type of driving and roads you primarily do and level of aggressiveness. I told Rob I wanted mine dialed in for HWY 17 which is aggressive and twisty. The car responds to it well. If you do more highway driving you may want it softer. The key communicating how you want it to be. Sure you'll be pleased.
     
  11. bjorntore

    bjorntore New Member

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    Just want to inform others who might read this thread in search for Nitrons on the Tesla Roadster.
    "Lotus Elise S2 (K-Series) (02-05) NTR Race 1-Way 46mm" as mentioned above is for the Rover based Lotus (K-Series). The Tesla Roadster is based on the Toyota version of the lotus made from 2004+.
    The difference of the Rover and the Toyota version of the shocks is that the Rover (K-series) are 6cm (2,36 inches) shorter than the Toyota ones, which are used on the Roadster.

    I learned this the hard way, just want to inform so others don't make the same mistake :)

    /Bjorn Tore.
     
  12. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    I'm taking the plunge next week. Nitrons + Carbotechs + new poly bushings.

    Passed on a reduced-ratio steering rack. Seemed like the extra parking effort might be a pain. Anybody get it?
     
  13. Roadrunner13

    Roadrunner13 Member

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    Quick Ratio Steering Rack
     
  14. mg012

    mg012 Member

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    So, is there a model of Nitron Shocks that easily replace the stock shocks on the Roadster, without welding or modifications?

    thanks
    michael
     
  15. bart513

    bart513 Member

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    How do the Nitron's compare to the adjustable sports suspension upgrade on the Roadster?
     
  16. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Driver's ABS shock (Tesla) bracket needs to be cut and properly mounted (tig welded) to the supplied Nitron shock mount. Both the Nitron and the old shock mount should have a mirror or similar look after the modification but only the difference of the Tesla ABS mount is attached. Meaning the geometry preserved.

    I haven't driven the Tesla/Bilstien adjustable setup, I know people running them are happy and haven't really heard of any complaints. I can say that the Nitrons have met and exceeded my performance expectations by far. Many Lotus Elise/Exige owners run this same setup on their track cars. My setup was adjusted for pure performance and handling, so you have must know you sacrifice some comfort with that. The Nitrons can be set softer or harder depending on what you want. I commute daily on a very curvy, hilly, twisty two-lane one direction Road where people drive like the Zombie Apocalypse has struck, predictable handling and braking is key. Many turns are designed very wrong being off camber at a high entry / exit speed (where people brake for no reason) and the Roadster holds strong how its currently dialed.
     

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