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Lowered standard Suspension Model S review

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ParkLifE, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    Ok, so I know there are many out there who bought a model S with standard suspension not knowing how high it was going to sit. I felt like my car looked like a Honda crosstour ugh. So I finally bit the bullet and dropped her! I know as of right now there are very few options for us to lower the car. I decided to go with the T Sportline lowering springs. I recently saw a review on the T Sportline springs by another Tesla owner who gave the springs a decent rating, the only wish he had was that the springs lowered the car more than they did. After looking at his pics I had to agree with him on wishing that they lowered the car more. So thats what I did. I reached out to the guys that lowered this other owners car because i wanted to go with someone that has experience with the model S suspension. That shop is located in Santa Ana CA and they are known as FD Garage (Fender Defender). Ok let me start by giving a review on my experience with these guys. James at FD was amazing, we sat together and talked for about 30 minutes before deciding what we were going to do. He took the extra time to measure out everything to see how much clearance we would have and we decided that we were going to cut a few coils off of the T Sportline springs to give it a more aggressive stance. The hard part was deciding on how many to cut. So i dropped my car off and I left to go to the Formula D race in long beach. While I was there I was constantly being updated by James via text messages and pics. Once he completed the job, he sent me a text with pics that had us both a little disappointed. So we decided to go with cutting 1 coil in the front and 1 and a half in the back. The front came out beautiful !!!! (No gap at all between fender and tire, slightly tucked) but the rear..... ugh...... it was still about a 2 and a half finger space gap between the tire and fender. Then James texted me "We do it right or we don't do it at all here at FD" So James took both of the rear struts out again and re did them. He ended up cutting a total of 3 coils in the rear which ended up being exactly where I wanted it! Now the rear gap is about half a finger. When I got back to FD garage, I wanted show my appreciation for taking the extra time to make the car look right so I tried to tip James, but he adamantly refused. He said that he and his staff don't this for the money, they are passionate about working on cars and do it for the satisfaction of them doing an amazing job and making sure the customer leaves happy. So those of you out there that want to lower your model S, look no further. FD Garage is the place to take it in Southern CA. And I almost forgot the most important part. As far as the ride goes, it feels no different than stock riding on the t sport line springs with the cut coils. The only real difference that i feel is at full throttle, the nose of the car doesn't lift as much anymore. Hope this helps out anyone that has been wanting to lower their coil suspension Model S. no plate.jpg no plate.jpg IMG_0453.JPG IMG_0438.JPG IMG_0467.JPG Tesla 2.jpg
     
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  2. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Looks fantastic. Well done. Is there any rubbing from the front wheels on full lock? How does the car stand with a full complement of passengers?
     
  3. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    No rubbing at all so far, even when backing out of my driveway with some suspension articulation. I have yet to hit a bump during a u turn so I can't say for sure. But looking inside the front wheel well, there is plenty of space. The only think that slightly scrapes on a steep driveway is the small 2 to 3 inch mud flaps in front of the front tires. As far as a full load of people, I have yet to try. But clearance looks good as of now. With a full load I don't see any issues . But then again, I've always drove slammed cars still this drop is not very challenging lol
     
  4. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Great review!
    I am interested in lowering my Model S and have yet to find a trusted Tesla shop in the Bay Area. A few questions:
    • Did you consider just cutting the stock springs for the desired ride height?
    • What is the new ride height measured to the bottom of the battery pack?
    • Did you have an alignment performed after the suspension was lowered?

     
  5. Lawtq

    Lawtq Member

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    How does it feel driving on those beautiful wheels with coil suspension?

    Congratulations on a beautiful result
     
  6. Kristoffer Helle

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    What will happen in two months when the springs have ben used?
     
  7. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Looks beautiful. I have air and do wish that the low setting was a lot lower. I have to be on very high at my work garage. So unfortunately the most common sight of my car is when it looks like it is on stilts.:(
     
  8. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    FYI - You can purchase aftermarket lowering links for your air suspension. No affiliation

    TESLA MODEL S FULLY ADJUSTABLE LOWERING LINKS FREE SHIPPING

    2013-2016 TESLA MODEL S ADJUSTABLE LOWERING LINKS SUSPENSION KIT

    TESLA MODEL S EVOLUTION LOWERING KIT / LINKS / MODULE

    upload_2016-4-17_13-17-27.png
     
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  9. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    • Like x 1
  10. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    Honestly no I didn't consider cutting the stocks for the sole purpose of resale. I figured "Most" people would not want to drive this car this low lol.

    Ill have to get back to you on a measurement for the ride height.

    And no I did not have alignment done after the drop, nor did it throw my alignment off. Hope that helps !
     
  11. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    Thank you very much! Love the car so much more now lol!
     
  12. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    Not sure what your question is? Are you referring to the springs settling? if so in a few months it "should" be slightly lower that what is looks like now, which would make me even happier lol. Please understand every car Ive owned, I've lowered them pretty aggressively, this was actually a conservative drop mainly because we have a giant explosive battery underneath our cars hahaha! Hope that answers your question!
     
  13. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    HAHAHA Oh man, before this drop my car was an eye sore because of how high it sat. Caused me a lot of stress lol. Life is much better now!
     
  14. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    My concern for you as someone that's owned two speed shops and sold probably tens of thousands of lowering springs is 3 or 4 weeks from now when these springs have settled. Hopefully they don't settle too much but from experience, we see spring settle as much as an inch over the range of weeks and that's considered perfectly normal.

    My other concern on a traditional coil suspension would be how much you've just changed the geometry of your suspension. You've reduced suspension travel by a lot which no doubt will result in a rougher ride (which perhaps doesn't bother you). Not only that but we almost never swap springs without also swapping for firmer struts mostly because of premature strut failure with stiffer springs.

    Were these progressive or linear springs? If progressive, what part of the coil did they cut from? I'm really not trying to be Buzz Killington here and I hope you experience no issues. Maybe the shop addressed all these issues with you and you just left them out for the sake of brevity.

    Lastly, and this one isn't necessarily specific to your choice in springs, but make sure you're getting an alignment to correct camber.
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. MrJones390

    MrJones390 Space Boat

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    I dropped mine around 45mm with air suspension lowering links and have had no problems so far... It's VERY low, feels like you're only a few inches over the road when driving :cool:

    I've also noticed a vast improvement in handling. The car feels tighter overall and doesn't rock like a boat around turns anymore.
     
  16. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

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    You'd better check your rear camber. You're chewing up tires.
     
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  17. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    Chewing up tires and negative camber is a way of life for lowered cars. A lot of people complain about this issue, but if you don't like it, you really shouldn't lower your car. Yea, they have camber kits and can make the adjustments but it will still never be stock. I already know I'm only going to be using about 3 to 4 inches of tire and the rest will go to waste lol.
     
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  18. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

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    #18 Edmond, Apr 24, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
    [​IMG]

    Well for those who do care, you can buy an adjustable upper link for both rear sides from BBC Speed & Machine . (Newer cars have a ball on one end instead of both bushings) If you must get a fixed upper link, make it 0.21" longer. One way or t'other set that rear camber to -1.00 and rear toe to 0.15 -- and get 25k-30k out of normal tires, not to mention using 10%-20% less W/mile. (Front: -0.70 Camber, 3.55 Caster, -0.04 Toe) (Acknowledgement to lolachampcar)
    [​IMG]

    All
    Teslas come with way too much rear camber as it is, at least -1.50, and sometimes as high as -2.60 degrees, which accounts for the tire longevity problems. And an alignment from the SC is completely hit and miss, like they don't know what they're doing. And they won't align it with a lowering kit or an adjustable link anyway, so find an independent shop with an experienced hand on a laser aligner, give him these numbers, and pay their fee. It'll be like riding on rails thereafter.

    Just because you haven't known what to do about it before, doesn't mean you should continue to blow it off. Senseless. And you kids get off my lawn!
     
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  19. ParkLifE

    ParkLifE Member

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    LOL! Its not that extreme! hahahaha I hate stance cars! Thanks for the write up! Did u purchase these adjustable links? Or was this from someone else's post? And if you know, how much are they charging?
     
  20. bryanle1

    bryanle1 Member

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    Awesome write-up. I too have been looking to lower my car on standard suspension, but know the ramifications to the tire life if I did. I don't think I would cut any additional coils, but worried about getting it aligned correctly. Would these links be all that I need to get the rear properly aligned if I lowered it on the Tsportline springs? I'm also running 21s.
     

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