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Jebinc’s Plaid Vibration Experiment Results!!!

jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
First, please refer to the thread below for detail information about this affliction, as that will not be discussed in this thread.


Second, I’m not recommending any action on your part or any products, nor am I making any pronouncements, representations or providing a definitive conclusion – Just sharing my experience; yours may be different (or it may not)…

tl;dr
- As you may recall, I recently installed new 19” Signature SV104’s wheels (all stock sizes and offsets), new “road force balanced” Pirelli PZero To Elect tires (stock), Titanium lugs, and N2itive RXS-2 Plaid adjustable lowering links and my vibrating Plaid is nearly vibration free, after three days of testing!!! 😍😆😯
Note: My Plaid is/was the poster child for vibration in the yoke, pedal, floor and console.


The Details

Prior to the first drive, using the adjustable lowering links (purchased for this experiment as a Tesla provided solution doesn’t appear on the horizon any time soon), I dropped the car a tad more than ½” all around and detailed it for good luck and karma….

After a day of driving, I noticed no vibration and decided to really look to replicate it, post mod. Ambient outdoor testing temperatures over the past three days of testing as ranged from 38 – 43 degrees, so my new summer tires were fairly “hard”.

Yesterday (Day 2), I drove it several times trying to get it to vibrate on the low setting (1/2” drop from stock low setting) and on a few occasions (only in the mid 40’s MPH range) I thought I heard/felt the slightest vibration – so I raised the suspension to medium (which results in a height slightly lower than stock low) and was able to feel it slightly more on occasions – but still way way less than prior to all of these changes.

I used to get the vibration at various speeds, including highway speeds. So far, not even a slight vibration at highway speeds. Note: Most of my testing was not on the highway, so more testing needed.


My current thinking (subject to change with more testing):

1. Some claim not to have the vibration and others do. I’m thinking those who may launched their cars numerous times on settings other than low, might have done more damage to the half shafts/CV joints than those that always launched on low and/or with Cheetah stance enabled. In Cheetah mode, the front really drops down, reducing half shaft-CV joint angles…

2. Something is not right/damaged on my car, so it might not be possible at this point to eliminate the slightest vibration 100%, 100% of the time.


A Mechanical Engineering Perspective (See my attached diagram/aid):

I think the following are facts:


1. Basic front DU placement/design is vintage ~2013 – a front DU was added to the Model S later, whereas in the subsequent models (3/Y) a front DU was “designed in” from the start…

2. Model S front half shafts are different lengths (Asymmetric design), due to DU not being “centered” and high

3. The shorter shaft (Left/Driver’s side, I think) angles are sharper than the right, resulting in more stress and binding at the CV joints and the other front shaft.

4. Lowering the car reduces these angles, and results in reduced CV joint and shaft stress.

What we don’t know is if lowing the car “X” amount will prevent or permanently eliminate this issue. Ideally, Tesla would redesign the front DU mount to it is lower, more like the rear DU placement, resulting in less binding and damage from hard acceleration.


So, what might Tesla do if this is real, save for not redesign the front chassis and DU placement?

1. Via firmware update, change the air suspension heights so the car is lower
2. Limit power, if suspension setting is anything other than Low
3. Limit dead stop launch power if not in Cheetah mode

This story is not finished, more to come!!!

Next Steps: I plan to drop the front of the car to .7” (Setting 5 on the links) and retest in the coming days. Will then return it to stock height upon conclusion of the experiement.

Your thoughts?

IMG_5458.png


@WilliamG @EndlessPlaid @lbowroom @N2itive @SignatureSales @GroovaEV @uthatcher
 
Last edited:

jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
Did you get new half shafts before starting this experiment? Or started with the vibration and then eliminated it?

I'm still running with the vibrating shafts that were replaced in November, 2021. I would love to get new shaft's again, but Tesla will no longer work on the car as they now consider this vibration "normal, no repairs recommended at this time".
 

jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
I can confirm that I never launched the car in anything but low mode.

@lbowroom This is great information!

I didn't do any driving until everything was installed and replaced, so there are several variables at play, sure. If I were a betting man (which I'm not), I would place a bet on the drop. Why? Because Tesla tested my car with different wheels and tires and found no change. Can I say that for certain, no.
 
It's strange that if it's a CV binding issue that you realized no change when Tesla replaced the front driveshafts. Is there any chance the rear is initiating the vibration? It's seems difficult to tell since you are feeling it in the yoke as well as the seat.

I have to say I really cannot find a vibration in my car. I'd love for you to drive it someday just to see if you feel it since you are so in tune with the vibration. But I did run the hell out of my cart when I first got it, and still do. Straight to the drags and to Laguna Seca. I also used low ridehight for many thousands of miles. But, to your point, I did not do a ton of hole shots in the low setting.

Did you do an alignment after all of this work? How were your tires wearing prior to this setup? Could the alignment have been off and creating some kind of odd tire scrubbing induced vibration? My best friend has an alignment shop in Hollywood and he can tell endless stories of odd characteristics of bad alignment, so I can't help but question that aspect.
 
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jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
It's strange that if it's a CV binding issue that you realized no change when Tesla replaced the front driveshafts. Is there any chance the rear is initiating the vibration? It's seems difficult to tell since you are feeling it in the yoke as well as the seat.

I have to say I really cannot find a vibration in my car. I'd love for you to drive it someday just to see if you feel it since you are so in tune with the vibration. But I did run the hell out of my cart when I first got it, and still do. Straight to the drags and to Laguna Seca. I also used low ridehight for many thousands of miles. But, to your point, I did not do a ton of hole shots in the low setting.

Did you do an alignment after all of this work? How were your tires wearing prior to this setup? Could the alignment have been off and creating some kind of odd tire scrubbing induced vibration? My best friend has an alignment shop in Hollywood and he can tell endless stories of odd characteristics of bad alignment, so I can't help but question that aspect.

First, when Tesla replaced the half shafts, I had four days, vibration free - but, I did some launches and spirited driving to see if the vibration would return, which it it. Never used cheetah mode and I think my ride hieght was defaulted to the medium setting. So, that may have damaged my shafts. If all of your hard driving was at the low setting, or cheetah mode, that could explain why you are still vibration free?

Tesla did all sorts of balance and alignments a couple months back, but not since I started this experiment. There were no tire wear issues prior, and none yet, obviously - given the short amount of driving lowered.
 
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First, when Tesla replaced the half shafts, I had four days, vibration free - but, I did some launches and spirited driving to see if the vibration would return, which it it. Never used cheetah mode and I think my ride hieght was defaulted to the medium setting. So, that may have damaged my shafts. If all of your hard driving was at the low setting, or cheetah mode, that could explain why you are still vibration free?

Tesla did all sorts of balance and alignments a couple months back, but not since I started this experiment. There were no tire wear issues prior, and none yet, obviously - given the short amount of driving lowered.
Hmmm, yeah that's interesting. It really does seem like an driveshaft issue if it was gone and then came back. For sure not all of my hard driving was in Cheetah Mode. I've launched at the track in Cheetah but also just regular old medium setting probably more times because I don't think Cheetah has any benefit on a prepped surface.

Yeah if there's no weird tire wear then I don't think it would be an alignment issue. It would be interesting to swap the wheels/tires out with the old ones just to see if there's any change.
 
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jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
Hmmm, yeah that's interesting. It really does seem like an driveshaft issue if it was gone and then came back. For sure not all of my hard driving was in Cheetah Mode. I've launched at the track in Cheetah but also just regular old medium setting probably more times because I don't think Cheetah has any benefit on a prepped surface.

Yeah if there's no weird tire wear then I don't think it would be an alignment issue. It would be interesting to swap the wheels/tires out with the old ones just to see if there's any change.
Tesla did the wheel and tire swap as part of their troubleshooting. No change.
In fact, that was the first thing they tried.
 

jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
I'm pretty amazed that just lowering the car fixed the vibration, even with worn half shafts.
And, not sure it has - never made that claim. There are many variables, as mentioned above. Lowering factually reduces half shaft angle, especially so on the short one!
Also, @Muzzman1 runs his car in low at all times - no vibration. So that's another data point. 10k miles, as I recall.

But the issue is it's NOT comfortable to run in low all the time, so we need a better solution than not being able to use the suspension as intended...(if indeed this is the problem).
I think the key is not launching from a dead stop in any other setting but low. Ideally, cheetah mode, but who has the patience for that!
 

WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
5,968
9,703
Seattle, WA
And, not sure it has - never made that claim. There are many variables, as mentioned above. Lowering factually reduces half shaft angle, especially so on the short one!

I think the key is not launching from a dead stop in any other setting but low. Ideally, cheetah mode, but who has the patience for that!
But cheetah raises that rear end, so geometry gets skewed. Who knows if that's a contributing factor or not?
 

jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
Update:

After some more testing this afternoon....

I still had a very very slight vibration on low (occasionally), and a bit higher intensity on the med setting. Basically, the same as yesterday, even though I changed my front links from setting 4.4 to 5.

So, found a long steady uphill grade and was able to hold at 43 while cycling the suspension from low to med and back twice on the same hill. Did this many times and in every case the vibration increased when dialing the height up and decreased when dialing it down. This is the only way to test - constant speed and grade while cycling the suspension pumps! When I returned home, I measured and the front height was still 28” on low (same as yesterday) even though I increased the front links by .6mm - so that’s consistent with the vibration from yesterday and today, on the low setting. ✅ What’s weird is the rear was a little higher today (1/4"), even though I didn’t change the rear link settings at all. This leads me to think there is height variability inherent in the air suspension design. This might also explain why some feel a vibration some of the time and not at other times (ride height changes on it's own by a 1/4" +/-) from drive to drive.


@WilliamG @EndlessPlaid @lbowroom @N2itive @SignatureSales @GroovaEV @uthatcher
 
Last edited:
FYI I've used nothing but low suspension in my car (3777 miles) and have never launched it outside of low that I know of. I have it defaulted to low and the only time it sees higher is when it happens automatically for comfort on bad roads. I have the vibration and I'm currently on the 2nd set of half shafts which immediately caused worse vibration than the first set. The car is back at Tesla (been there 3 weeks) waiting on a HVAC part and they are supposed to be checking the vibration issue again. I'm not holding my breath lol
 
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Reactions: WilliamG
FYI I've used nothing but low suspension in my car (3777 miles) and have never launched it outside of low that I know of. I have it defaulted to low and the only time it sees higher is when it happens automatically for comfort on bad roads. I have the vibration and I'm currently on the 2nd set of half shafts which immediately caused worse vibration than the first set. The car is back at Tesla (been there 3 weeks) waiting on a HVAC part and they are supposed to be checking the vibration issue again. I'm not holding my breath lol
I also run my car in low 100% of the time, never launched except from low/cheetah. Have 20" wheels that are the same weight at the 19's. (not sure this matters)
Never felt the vibration as of yet. 10k on the clock.

I'd like to say Im VERY in touch with nvh. This is my 3rd MS and my 85D had its half shafts replaced 3 times to no avail. for the shudder (unrelated I know), and also my wife's '16 MX has the shudder as well.

In my case I did notice a slight wheel imbalance at high speeds (over 80) after rotating my squared wheels. Other than that, I've never felt the vibration.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: WilliamG
Good information. It would be amazing, if verified, that such a small change in ride height reduced or eliminated this vibration.
If true, Tesla might possibly be able to drop the motor down a fraction of an inch, 1/2" or so but the steering and cross frame are already close. I must say after watching the Munro Live teardown of the front suspension that I do not like how Tesla suspended the motor and differential. One driver's side mount and two passenger side mounts all elevated above the centerline of the differential unit outputs. To me these mounts should be much closer to the centerline of the output to arrest the counter torque of the driveshafts. It is tricky trying not transmit noise to the frame, yet retain everything in alignment while pumping massive torque to the wheels!!
 

jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,963
15,227
Seattle area
First, please refer to the thread below for detail information about this affliction, as that will not be discussed in this thread.


Second, I’m not recommending any action on your part or any products, nor am I making any pronouncements, representations or providing a definitive conclusion – Just sharing my experience; yours may be different (or it may not)…

tl;dr
- As you may recall, I recently installed new 19” Signature SV104’s wheels (all stock sizes and offsets), new “road force balanced” Pirelli PZero To Elect tires (stock), Titanium lugs, and N2itive RXS-2 Plaid adjustable lowering links and my vibrating Plaid is nearly vibration free, after three days of testing!!! 😍😆😯
Note: My Plaid is/was the poster child for vibration in the yoke, pedal, floor and console.


The Details

Prior to the first drive, using the adjustable lowering links (purchased for this experiment as a Tesla provided solution doesn’t appear on the horizon any time soon), I dropped the car a tad more than ½” all around and detailed it for good luck and karma….

After a day of driving, I noticed no vibration and decided to really look to replicate it, post mod. Ambient outdoor testing temperatures over the past three days of testing as ranged from 38 – 43 degrees, so my new summer tires were fairly “hard”.

Yesterday (Day 2), I drove it several times trying to get it to vibrate on the low setting (1/2” drop from stock low setting) and on a few occasions (only in the mid 40’s MPH range) I thought I heard/felt the slightest vibration – so I raised the suspension to medium (which results in a height slightly lower than stock low) and was able to feel it slightly more on occasions – but still way way less than prior to all of these changes.

I used to get the vibration at various speeds, including highway speeds. So far, not even a slight vibration at highway speeds. Note: Most of my testing was not on the highway, so more testing needed.


My current thinking (subject to change with more testing):

1. Some claim not to have the vibration and others do. I’m thinking those who may launched their cars numerous times on settings other than low, might have done more damage to the half shafts/CV joints than those that always launched on low and/or with Cheetah stance enabled. In Cheetah mode, the front really drops down, reducing half shaft-CV joint angles…

2. Something is not right/damaged on my car, so it might not be possible at this point to eliminate the slightest vibration 100%, 100% of the time.


A Mechanical Engineering Perspective (See my attached diagram/aid):

I think the following are facts:


1. Basic front DU placement/design is vintage ~2013 – a front DU was added to the Model S later, whereas in the subsequent models (3/Y) a front DU was “designed in” from the start…

2. Model S front half shafts are different lengths (Asymmetric design), due to DU not being “centered” and high

3. The shorter shaft (Left/Driver’s side, I think) angles are sharper than the right, resulting in more stress and binding at the CV joints and the other front shaft.

4. Lowering the car reduces these angles, and results in reduced CV joint and shaft stress.

What we don’t know is if lowing the car “X” amount will prevent or permanently eliminate this issue. Ideally, Tesla would redesign the front DU mount to it is lower, more like the rear DU placement, resulting in less binding and damage from hard acceleration.


So, what might Tesla do if this is real, save for not redesign the front chassis and DU placement?

1. Via firmware update, change the air suspension heights so the car is lower
2. Limit power, if suspension setting is anything other than Low
3. Limit dead stop launch power if not in Cheetah mode

This story is not finished, more to come!!!

Next Steps: I plan to drop the front of the car to .7” (Setting 5 on the links) and retest in the coming days. Will then return it to stock height upon conclusion of the experiement.

Your thoughts?

View attachment 772110

@WilliamG @EndlessPlaid @lbowroom @N2itive @SignatureSales @GroovaEV @uthatcher

Any more thoughts or feedback on this?
 

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