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Model 3 mods

I have a Model 3 Performance on order. It will be daily driven, no track use. I want to feel connected to the road, in the same way you feel when driving a 911 - sharp handling and feeling like the car does exactly what it’s instructed to do (I understand I can’t mimic that due to the laws of physics, but want to get as close to that as I can).

Once the car is setup correctly, I don’t think I’ll need the ability to adjust. I’d like to run one set of wheels rather than having to switch. My climate has winter temps ranging between 3C and 11C.

In order of priority:
Handling/road feel/responsiveness
Comfort/quiet ride
Looks
Efficiency

I’ve read and re-read the countless threads on here, there is so much info to get my head around I don’t know where to start. There are some incredibly knowledgable folk in here who I’m hoping can point me generally in the right direction and save me from making (expensive) mistakes.

Rims/Tyres
I’m thinking either 19x10 +35 with 275/35 rubber like MPP run on their car, or 18x9.5 +22 with 265/40 rubber per below images. Rims will be Advan RG3 or GT.
Tyres I’m thinking will either be Pilot Sport 4S, or A052, or RE71R.
Flush fitment preferred for looks if possible, but performance more important.

Suspension
I’m thinking of going the MPP sports coilovers to get the ride height and damping where I want it.

Questions:
  1. Pros and cons of each wheel size?
  2. Pros and cons of each of the three listed tyres?
  3. MPP have a heap of other suspension arms and items available, all listed below. Which are recommended, and which are absolutely must have?
  4. Is there anything else I should consider, or have missed?
Front upper control arm
Rear spring arm with sport springs
Sway bars
Compression rod bearing (caster adjustable)
Rear camber arm
Solid front lower control arm bearing
Rear toe arm
Rear trailing arm
Rear traction arm

Thanks
 

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tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,556
1,203
USA
@Bennny Here's two writeups of mods I've done that you might find useful, in case you didn't come across them already. (Both are kind of buried in long threads.)

Bridgestone Potenza Sport tires on 18" wheels:
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/posts/6586661/

If you want to keep responsiveness with taller tire sidewalls on 18s I highly recommend these Potenza Sport tires. If I had to guess, based on past tire experience, they probably have stiffer more responsive sidewalls than the PS4S (but not necessarily more actual grip...either will surely give you excellent grip for street use).

RE-71 seem like overkill for just street use...I really wouldn't bother in your case, I think their tradeoffs just don't make any sense if you're not doing any track days or autocross. RE-11 were very street friendly but those are long discontinued sadly. For pure street use I really suggest sticking with 300-ish TW tires. (I could see choosing RE-11 back in its day just for aggressive street use but I don't think there's any tires quite like it on the market right now.)

Redwood Performance Sport coilovers:
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/posts/6669911/

Honestly for only street use I'd advise skipping the pillowball top hats that I got (even though I'm liking them), but if you really want spherical bearings in all your control arms, maybe you're someone who would appreciate the pillowballs too. (For most people I would say don't bother for street use only.)

I haven't gone full control arm replacement yet, can't give advice there, though I will vouch for the MPP FLCA bearings feeling worthwhile!

Upgraded sway bars I haven't done yet, and I suggest trying out whatever damper+spring setup you go with first before ordering stiffer sways. You might find that you don't feel any need for them. I wrote some thoughts on them in that thread I linked to, but basically I feel like the car has little enough lean now that adding stiffer sways might be detrimental to its overall handling and ride on the roads I drive on. Now if your roads are smoother than mine, that could change the equation!

Edit: Speaking of poorly maintained roads, if you like to shred up twisty back roads with nasty uneven pavement, I'd be very hesitant to lower this car. Even stock it has less suspension travel and ground clearance than I was used to, and if you lower you must reduce travel further, else you'll have elevated risk of battery contact with the ground under compression. I know lots of people love to lower because it looks cool, or because racecar, and if your roads are nice and even it's probably fine. But for where I drive it seems detrimental. For my roads I think lower would force a choice between either hitting the bump stops more, or an extra stiff setup to avoid that, which would probably be too stiff for ideal handling on such roads. (Again this is highly dependent on the state of your local twisty fun roads...)

You are on the right track to go with coilovers though. The stock dampers are junk for really hard driving on twisty back roads, they lose control of the car before it runs out of grip (even on the stock tires). If you want better handling out of this car then better dampers are a must.
 
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Since you are not tracking the car, I don't know that you need to go with huge sticky tires. You seem to want the car to feel better not just have tons of absolute grip, and bigger/heavier tires and wheels can make the feel worse sometimes.

You could go with lighter wheels in the same size and put some 255s on them as a compromise. The stock width is plenty for 255s.

Probably the lower control arm bushings and compression rod inserts from MPP along with some sport coilovers would probably be the top things to get along with upper control arms so you can add some camber up front.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,556
1,203
USA
I agree with @jackmott that wide 9.5" - 10" wheels and 265mm+ "extreme performance" category tires really aren't needed for street fun. Those are tires for track or at least autox use. For pure street use such tires will be noisy and wear quickly, and may even grip worse than a good 300TW "max performance" tire until warmed up (depending on the specific tire).

I was not quite happy with the stock PZ4 tires grip, but now with 245mm Potenza Sport I'm satisfied for street use, personally I don't need more on the street. Your preferences may vary of course! If you do want more grip than 245mm Potenza Sport or PS4S give you, then I would agree with going wider, but NOT with going to "extreme performance" category tires...I really don't think any current "extreme performance" tires on the market make sense for anyone just doing street driving. Stick to 300TW for best street-only performance.

Your preferences may vary of course! Going wider will sacrifice range/efficiency, I can't predict how much, whether that matters is also up to you and the driving you do.
 
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Is cost no object? Running A052's or RE71R's on the street would indicate that. You're gonna need to replace those every 4K or so miles if you want them to maintain grip beyond the MPS4S. I've run heat cycled RE71's that are way worse than a MPS4S. The Pilot Sport 5s' are coming, as well as Continental Sport Contact 7's. These are all phenomenal street tires with way more stable performance than any of the "200TW" competition tires.

If you're doing anything, it should be coilovers first, camber arms second, front control arm bushings third. I can't imagine you'd want more than this for a street car. You don't want sway bars- this platform doesn't need them with good coilovers, unless you care about "feeling connected" to the road instead of actually being connected.
 
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For street use I would avoid any 200TW tires. They are very loud and very inefficient. The Michelin PS4S is hard to beat in terms of a well-rounded Summer tire. I agree with the above that 255's are probably ideal for what you are looking to do with the car.

Coilovers are definitely the best mod you can do on this platform. I wouldn't worry about sway bars.

The MPP FLCA Bushings and Compression Rod Inserts will definitely help get you good front end feel. I'm not sure I would recommend Camber arms for solely street use. You should get decent camber for the street just from lowering it.

I have the MPP Rear Spring Arms and Super Sport Springs and have been pleasantly surprised by how nice it still manages to ride. Perhaps that's something to consider.

I've grown to prefer 19" Wheels. Better tire selection for our cars and just looks right, no worrying about brake caliper fitment. A 19x9.5 ET35 or so should get you great fitment and looks.

I mean, if cost is no object there's also no harm in just throwing every suspension arm in the car lol, but it's certainly not necessary to improve over the stock suspension drastically.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,556
1,203
USA
Sounded to me like the OP wanted all the control arms for the bushing upgrades, not necessarily for the additional alignment adjustability.

From my limited experience I'd be wary of filling up my suspension with spherical bearings down low on a road car that sees lots of street miles. I totally get the appeal though...there's a level of handling sharpness that you'll never get with too much soft rubber bushings and mounts.

For me I figured I'd risk the FLCA spherical bearings because 1) they seem very popular for several years now, *without* widespread reports of them wearing out quickly, and 2) At worst I'm out $155 and just have one pair of bushings/arms to replace. Would suck if I spent $thousands replacing all my control arms just for all those bearings to get noisy after a year or two of hard street miles, winter nastiness, etc.

I also risked spherical bearing (pillowball) top hats because, well, you only live once and I just wanted to try them for myself. Plus they're way up high away from most road grime, and I'm not really doing any snow / freezing weather driving these days (no salted roads or such). I'm sure they'll wear out eventually before the car's life is over. (But hey, it's not like rubber mounts and bushings last forever either!)

All that said...I totally get the appeal of bushing upgrades, @Bennny don't let us talk you out of going full racecar if you know what you're getting into and have budget for it. :) All those aftermarket control arms add up quick!
 
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For street use I would avoid any 200TW tires. They are very loud and very inefficient. The Michelin PS4S is hard to beat in terms of a well-rounded Summer tire. I agree with the above that 255's are probably ideal for what you are looking to do with the car.

Coilovers are definitely the best mod you can do on this platform. I wouldn't worry about sway bars.

The MPP FLCA Bushings and Compression Rod Inserts will definitely help get you good front end feel. I'm not sure I would recommend Camber arms for solely street use. You should get decent camber for the street just from lowering it.

I have the MPP Rear Spring Arms and Super Sport Springs and have been pleasantly surprised by how nice it still manages to ride. Perhaps that's something to consider.

I've grown to prefer 19" Wheels. Better tire selection for our cars and just looks right, no worrying about brake caliper fitment. A 19x9.5 ET35 or so should get you great fitment and looks.

I mean, if cost is no object there's also no harm in just throwing every suspension arm in the car lol, but it's certainly not necessary to improve over the stock suspension drastically.
PS4S in 255/35 or 255/40?
 

dfwatt

Best Car Ever
Sep 24, 2018
3,507
5,681
FL
I have a Model 3 Performance on order. It will be daily driven, no track use. I want to feel connected to the road, in the same way you feel when driving a 911 - sharp handling and feeling like the car does exactly what it’s instructed to do (I understand I can’t mimic that due to the laws of physics, but want to get as close to that as I can).

Once the car is setup correctly, I don’t think I’ll need the ability to adjust. I’d like to run one set of wheels rather than having to switch. My climate has winter temps ranging between 3C and 11C.

In order of priority:
Handling/road feel/responsiveness
Comfort/quiet ride
Looks
Efficiency

I’ve read and re-read the countless threads on here, there is so much info to get my head around I don’t know where to start. There are some incredibly knowledgable folk in here who I’m hoping can point me generally in the right direction and save me from making (expensive) mistakes.

Rims/Tyres
I’m thinking either 19x10 +35 with 275/35 rubber like MPP run on their car, or 18x9.5 +22 with 265/40 rubber per below images. Rims will be Advan RG3 or GT.
Tyres I’m thinking will either be Pilot Sport 4S, or A052, or RE71R.
Flush fitment preferred for looks if possible, but performance more important.

Suspension
I’m thinking of going the MPP sports coilovers to get the ride height and damping where I want it.

Questions:
  1. Pros and cons of each wheel size?
  2. Pros and cons of each of the three listed tyres?
  3. MPP have a heap of other suspension arms and items available, all listed below. Which are recommended, and which are absolutely must have?
  4. Is there anything else I should consider, or have missed?
Front upper control arm
Rear spring arm with sport springs
Sway bars
Compression rod bearing (caster adjustable)
Rear camber arm
Solid front lower control arm bearing
Rear toe arm
Rear trailing arm
Rear traction arm

Thanks
Looks very similar to what I have on my performance model 3– looks like an excellent setup. But I would skip the sway bars if you're not going to track the car. In terms of wheel size do you like Aesthetics or do you like lighter weight? I would agree with the other poster who's very knowledgeable that the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is the best available Street Tire right now
 
Looks very similar to what I have on my performance model 3– looks like an excellent setup. But I would skip the sway bars if you're not going to track the car. In terms of wheel size do you like Aesthetics or do you like lighter weight? I would agree with the other poster who's very knowledgeable that the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is the best available Street Tire right now
I’ve decided on PS4S for rubber, given it won’t see the track. Will skip the sways. MPP have advised against using the Compression rod bearing for a daily, and using the inserts instead.

Just haven’t decided on rims, or size. Obviously I want it to look good. Would there be much a difference between a 265/35/19 and 265/40/18 in terms of handling/feel/ride?

Rim choices I’m now thinking:
Forgestar CF10
Titan T-R10
TE37 (6061/dura if I can get them)
Advan RG3
 
There is a noticeable difference with 18's and 19's. The 19's will feel more sharp in turn in with the shorter sidewalls, and this seems to be a goal of yours. This doesn't mean they actually grip better, just they are a bit more immediate as you turn the wheel. You're already going down from a 20 to a 19. 19's are a bit heavier generally. 18's have to be carefully chosen on a P3D in order to fit over the brakes, not all 18" wheels will. 18's are cheaper with more choices in tires, but that doesn't seem to be a primary concern.
 
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There is a noticeable difference with 18's and 19's. The 19's will feel more sharp in turn in with the shorter sidewalls, and this seems to be a goal of yours. This doesn't mean they actually grip better, just they are a bit more immediate as you turn the wheel. You're already going down from a 20 to a 19. 19's are a bit heavier generally. 18's have to be carefully chosen on a P3D in order to fit over the brakes, not all 18" wheels will. 18's are cheaper with more choices in tires, but that doesn't seem to be a primary concern.
I think given all of that, 19’s would be a better choice? Debating whether to get a BBK to fill out the wheel, and get rid of red calipers.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,556
1,203
USA
I think given all of that, 19’s would be a better choice? Debating whether to get a BBK to fill out the wheel, and get rid of red calipers.
A few thoughts on 18s vs 19s:

Either is totally fine, no wrong choice between them for most uses/people (unless you go BBK and physically need 19s to fit it of course).

Aesthetically I do think 19s look better on this car, and I say that as someone who chose 18s.

18s will smooth out the ride more, and the tires are cheaper, and as gearchruncher mentioned you won't lose any grip. From a pure functional + practical perspective 18s are better, that's why I went 18s, but 19s are still fine no need to avoid them if you prefer the look. (Now 20s are a much bigger tradeoff on this car, both in terms of cost, and ride + risk of flats and rim damage, if you drive on badly maintained roads like I do.)

If you go down to 18s with taller sidewalls that will really bring out sidewall stiffness vs mushyness in your tires. E.g. if you're running 235/35R20 any performance tire should feel pretty sharp, but if you're running 245/45R18 like me then it's important to pick one known for very sturdy sidewalls and extra quick turn-in (assuming you care about this which it sounds like you do). That will greatly minimize any responsiveness difference from the extra sidewall.

One thing I personally don't like is having big wheels with thin open spoke designs if the brakes don't fill them up well. I think 19s aren't too big over the M3P brakes in that regard, but 20s with skinny spokes on the M3P sometimes look that way to me. (Not the stock Uberturbines of course since they're so enclosed.) Now if you get a BBK obviously that changes the equation.

I'd really recommend against a BBK on an EV unless you really need it for heavy track use. Even if the cost isn't an issue, the problem is aftermarket brakes can have issues with very slight drag against the pads. On a track rat car, especially an ICE one, no big deal, not like you're aiming for perfect efficiency anyways. But if this is a street focused EV any hit on range from a BBK doesn't seem worthwhile. I'm no expert on this at all though, it's just something I've heard of and something to look into. But for sure Tesla optimizes their brakes to avoid any efficiency-harming drag! Probably there are aftermarket BBK setups that can avoid this issue, it's just something to be very deliberate and careful about.
 

dfwatt

Best Car Ever
Sep 24, 2018
3,507
5,681
FL
I’ve decided on PS4S for rubber, given it won’t see the track. Will skip the sways. MPP have advised against using the Compression rod bearing for a daily, and using the inserts instead.

Just haven’t decided on rims, or size. Obviously I want it to look good. Would there be much a difference between a 265/35/19 and 265/40/18 in terms of handling/feel/ride?

Rim choices I’m now thinking:
Forgestar CF10
Titan T-R10
TE37 (6061/dura if I can get them)
Advan RG3
Best bang for your buck in terms of handling feel is that front lower control arm bushing. It complements nicely the effects of the MPP sport coilover kit with much crisper turn in. In terms of Wheels get the lightest forged wheels you can afford.
 
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In terms of Wheels get the lightest forged wheels you can afford.
But only after you have done everything else you want. Weight savings in wheels is probably one of the lowest bang/buck things you can do on a 4K lb car. It's interesting how when you actually go to the track how rare really expensive wheels are, most people would rather spend on tires that make a way bigger difference.

Reminds me of ceramic brakes- many actual track rats take them off since they are too expensive and don't really do much. Their primary use per Porsche is minimizing brake dust, which nobody that actually goes fast cares about, but you do care if you are spending $10K a year in brakes.
 
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But only after you have done everything else you want. Weight savings in wheels is probably one of the lowest bang/buck things you can do on a 4K lb car. It's interesting how when you actually go to the track how rare really expensive wheels are, most people would rather spend on tires that make a way bigger difference.

That and the wheels take a beating on track. Between brake dust, curbs, etc - they become a wear item.
 
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But only after you have done everything else you want. Weight savings in wheels is probably one of the lowest bang/buck things you can do on a 4K lb car. It's interesting how when you actually go to the track how rare really expensive wheels are, most people would rather spend on tires that make a way bigger difference.

Reminds me of ceramic brakes- many actual track rats take them off since they are too expensive and don't really do much. Their primary use per Porsche is minimizing brake dust, which nobody that actually goes fast cares about, but you do care if you are spending $10K a year in brakes.

Yeah light wheels being a performance advantage due to inertia and unsprung weight is one of those true things that is often vastly overstated. Don't get literal boat anchors but don't spend a ton for a couple pounds of savings either.
 

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