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Lower Wh/M, 25k-30k on Tires, -and- Better Handling? Impossible.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Edmond, Apr 25, 2016.

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  1. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

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    I'm reposting this here as the thread I originally posted it in would only be seen by the young sprogs present.

    And, much gratitude to lolachampcar for his research and development of this modification.

    [​IMG]

    This is called 'excessive camber'. Every Tesla made has excessive rear camber, of course not to this extreme, but almost always between -1.5 to -2.8 degrees. This is the reason for the excessive tire wear we see on good quality tires no matter how much we keep air and rotate.

    And an alignment from the SC is completely hit and miss, as if they don't know what they're doing.

    Rear camber is non-adjustable, so the upper link must be replaced with one that is adjustable. You need that link to be .21" longer so it will push the top of the tire out, to make it more square with the ground. (Specifically 1 degree in, which is optimal)
    [​IMG]
    BBC Speed & Machine (Note that newer cars have a ball-joint on one end, rather than both bushings)

    lolachampcar has extensive racing experience and has dialled in the very best alignment settings for our cars. (see threads in Dynamics) Tesla will not align it with a lowering kit or this upper link, so find an independent shop with an experienced hand on a laser aligner, give him these numbers, and pay their fee. Your tires will wear like they are supposed to, your Wh/mile will be lower by 10%-20%, and it'll be like riding on rails thereafter.

    Front:
    -0.70 Camber
    3.55 Caster
    -0.04 Toe

    Rear:
    -1.00 Camber
    0.15 Toe
     
    • Informative x 3
  2. scaesare

    scaesare Well-Known Member

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    How well do these work with air suspension, which seems to cause the camber to vary with height?

    Also, price?
     
  3. demundus

    demundus Member

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    +1 for air suspension. I don't notice much wear or camber issues, but I'm all for interesting improvements where Tesla engineers may have fallen short :)
     
  4. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

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    #4 Edmond, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    I have air. Camber changes with the ride height, although it really shouldn't with modern suspensions.

    The lower you go, the more negative it gets, and it's already way too negative at normal height. Align at the height you drive at most often, and have him set it to -1.00 there. There's only so much you can do.

    Taking liberties with these settings will have all kinds of negative effects, like tracking every little crease in the road, drifting one way or the other, crabbing, and so on. lolachampcar has refined the settings to perfection for this car.

    BBC machines these out of hard billet aluminum alloy, specifically for our car, and puts the Tesla bushings in them. This is why it's expensive, and why they want your core. For a pair it's $1,000+core, unless you have the spherical bushings on -both- ends, in which case it's $800. Comes with the sensor attachment point.

    How much do you spend on a set of tires?
     
  5. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    Arguably, how much improvement is there in tire wear with these versus without - it's not just how much you spend on tires alone. If you're only saying $10 per set, then it's going to have a long payback period. Of course, there may be other considerations beyond just money.
     
  6. White

    White Member

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    Is BBC Speed out of business? Anywhere to get adjustable rear upper control arms these days? Anyone have adjustable or longer fixed length uppers for sale?
     
  7. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    I ordered a set a few months ago, they were still in business then.
     
  8. harry

    harry Member

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    If you have an early S with air there is a LOT of improvement in tire wear. We've gotten over twice the miles per set after I fabricated and installed longer control arms. BTW, I can get these made for about $650 per set, with aftermarket bushings and with no core involved. We've been running ours for a few years and the bushings are holding up great.

    BTW, unlike the BBC version, these look identical to the OEM arms, so Tesla has never said a word about them. However, an advantage of the BBC version is that they are adjustable.
     
  9. Brian-MS90D

    Brian-MS90D Member

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    Is the only regarding the P models? Do the non-performance MS have less of an issue due to less sporty tires and less camber?

    I have 21,000 miles on my MS and Tesla SC has rotated the tires 3 times per the maintenance schedule. Tires visually appear to have even wear and still ride as good as new.
     
  10. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    I put a set of BBC ones on my 2012 P85. We'll see how the tires fare this round.

    I'm still debating on if I want to put a set on my P85D and P90DL... it seems Toe is more of an issue than camber for tire wear, though, so adjusting the toe is possible without having to change anything out.
     
  11. rudngo

    rudngo Member

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    Toe is absolutely more critical for tire wear than camber as long as you aren't doing burnouts at every stoplight. The combination of the two will affect how evenly the tires wear and one variable can have a significant effect on the impact of the other. For years I drove a car optimized for autocross on the street daily with -3.8 deg. of camber on the front and 0 toe and -2.5 deg. in the rear with just a touch of toe-in for higher speed stability. The tire wear pattern on my street tires was not significantly affected.

    That said - camber (and to a large degree tire construction and shoulder profile) will affect handling. The toe-out spec'd in the other thread will make the rear more lively on turn-in but it's really very minor.

    This discussion reminds me of the complaints on the original Acura NSX. The early cars would go through tires in less than 5000 miles until Acura released new alignment specs that only reduced rear toe. It was so bad there was a class action lawsuit.

    As Naonak said, toe adjustment only costs as much as an alignment. I'd definitely go that route before spending $1300 on adjustable control arms.
     

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