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Model 3's Ride Quality

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by BobRoberts, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. ChuckieDude

    ChuckieDude New Member

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    I had different combinations of very low profile z-rated summer and all-season non-runflats 18’s and 19’s on the bmw and mb both with sports package suspension. The quiet ride with minimal road noise and firm yet still smooth suspensions are the primary reason I buy these cars over a Honda Accord.

    Hopefully the model 3 is quieter than an ICE 3 series or C class. I think the extra floor and wheel well insulation on German lux cars is a difference maker.

    Hopefully someone with similar experience can give some more definitive advice before time for me to configure my car.
     
    • Like x 1
  2. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

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    I wonder if the magazine measurements that were numerically lower were with your suspension, wheel and tire combos?
     
  3. cab

    cab Member

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    Now THIS (in bold above) is interesting news. Some folks may not realize the Model S also had various dampers over its life cycle as Tesla "tweaked" the suspension settings. Part of the difference with Tesla is they don't tend to "announce" this stuff or tie it to a model year change..they just quietly do it. As a comparison, BMW changed the suspension tune on the 3 series a year or two back and Mazda just did the same for the CX-5 (the latter to smooth out the ride on their "sporty" CUV...and I think BMW was also attempting to smooth out the 3 series a bit).
     
  4. cab

    cab Member

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    #224 cab, Jan 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    Forgot to add, if David Z and others are so inclined, when Tesla makes a running change they often change the part number. On the air shocks there is a big barcode sticker on the shock itself that you can generally see either through the wheel or (in the front) by turning the wheel. I just stick my hand in there with my phone and start snapping pics.

    In theory, DavidZ's part number could be different than the one other owners have on their cars. In addition, it may be just the front or rear units that are actually different.

    Here is an example of a Model S strut barcode:
    strut barcode - 06-51.jpg
     
  5. davedavedave

    davedavedave Member

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    Thanks so much for posting this followup - it makes me feel a lot better about what to expect when I get mine, as well as Tesla's awesome service!
     
  6. jmsurpri

    jmsurpri Member

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    When I owned my S, I took it to the service center 3 times in the 15 months I owned it to try to diagnose harsh ride. They were never able to reproduce it, one problem being the newly paved smooth roads around the service center. I asked them point blank to replace the suspension to see if it would help and they wouldn't budge. While it is encouraging to see that someone was able to get their harsh 3 fixed, I'm still hesitant to purchase sight-unseen in case the service center doesn't see an issue.
     
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  7. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    #227 3mp_kwh, Jan 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    Yes, this is when the TMC community helps itself. Instead of listening to "air is softer than coil", as absolute, it is more important to accept that air units (spring and damp), springs, dampers (struts), 18-21" wheels, joints, sway bars and tires (and pressures) ALL have an effect on ride/handling.

    For instance, the most stiff P85Ds were air suspended, not the coil P85Ds. Plenty of TMC'rs liked those early cars. Plenty found those distinctly different part numbered air struts, and fatter sway bars, to be too stiff. The point is, the answers aren't easy but these "tells" from Tesla can say a lot. If David Z could obtain his receipt, and provide both part numbers (OE and replacement), It could help many. Palo Alto's gesture may not become Tesla policy, but as we're seeing, enough preferences are out there for some folks to at least begin trading.

    The good news is Model 3 will come in the volumes that, no matter what part numbers people end up with, companies like Bilstein will likely offer custom after-market solutions as they do for many cars. I've swapped Sachs to Bilstein, on more German cars than I can count, going for both harder and softer. Tesla started with them on its coil Model S cars, and has since gone to lesser known suspension venders (Firestone for air, and the tag says Mexico for coil Model 3). FWIW, most auto-makers, including Porsche, aren't always reaching for top-shelf venders when they do a suspension. At 35k, these odds go down, no matter what you buy.

    Wheels: Model 3 wheel choices are only 1" apart (not 21" vs. 19", as on MS). I'd agree those looking for softer should lower pressures, but also consider different tires. I used to use Hankook V12 for the street, on a car that otherwise had Michelin Pilots for the track. Same diameter. What a difference! It's akin to the difference a Model S owner got, when long ago they ticked a box for Michelin Primacy versus the stock Goodyear. To a lot of people, it's worth it.

    "Jiggly": The jury in my own head is still out on this. I definitely feel it in Model S, I'd say more when the car is warming up. Chris Harris offered similar comments, in his YouTube review of the P100D. I tend to go back to thinking this is a minor issue. Porsche recently released a mock-up (because that's about all they do), showing Mission E. It's naked skate-board is remarkably similar to Tesla, but the strut towers are much lower than they are on Model S. I've also always felt both air and coil Model S go forward and backward a bit too much when you stop less than perfectly (I'm hopeful they tamed this in the "3". Anyone?). Lately, I'm thinking that, for as minor an issue as all this is, these things may be related.
     
  8. cab

    cab Member

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    I too am hopeful with regard to the item I highlighted in red above. My "go to" replacement has become Koni vs. Bilstein, but no one makes anything for low volume cars (or they end up being coil overs which are almost always more firm and sometimes of questionable quality). Certainly the "Model S with coils" market is generally too small for most aftermarket companies to bother with.

    I suspect Koni will offer their FSD dampers and maybe even the Sport yellows (I've had both, but on different cars)...but probably not for another year or two.
     
    • Disagree x 1
  9. DavidZ

    DavidZ Member

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    Here are the part numbers mentioned in the receipt. I'm assuming these are the new parts, but could be wrong.

    Code:
    RR DAMPER ASSY - COIL RWD (1044461-02-C)
    RR LWR FORE LINK ASSY (1044444-00-A)
    RR SPRING, COIL 74.7-7250 E3 RWD, E3 DM (1044472-01-D)
    DAMPER ASSY FR LH RWD, COIL E3 (1044364-01-E)
    DAMPER ASSY FR LH RWD, COIL E3 (1044369-01-E)
    Given the amount of attention on this issue, my guess is they've switched suppliers and/or parts as they work through the early units. I'd be curious to see if anyone with a later VIN (4xxx+) is still experiencing a rough ride. I have no complaint about the ride in my 3 after the repair. Love this car.
     
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  10. cab

    cab Member

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    Thanks David. Now we just need an existing owner to poke their head and cell phone into a wheel well and snap some pics. If I see one in the wild maybe I'll try to snap some!
     
  11. cab

    cab Member

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    Saw a Model 3 at the local Tesla gallery today, but no way to get access to the wheel well for a pic...
     
  12. jeffb

    jeffb Member

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    well....I just went out to look at the part number on my cars shocks....VIN 19XX.....

    1044461-02-B

    1044364-01-D

    interesting result, is the letter at the end just a batch number/production date designation or is it an actual change?....I guess that is the quesion. Will be interesting to see what the later VINs have and what the consensus on the ride quality is.




    For the record in my opinion the car is firm but not harsh, 19" rims, my previous cars include a number of BMWs and Audis so that is my expectation and experience, and I currently own a 2016 models S.
     
  13. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Well-Known Member

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    The letter normally indicates the revision for that part number. So that would mean you have parts one revision older than what DavidZ just got installed.
     
  14. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    Since there is a line for a coil spring,
    "RR SPRING, COIL 74.7-7250 E3 RWD, E3 DM (1044472-01-D)"
    ..this may be about more than dampers. I doubt front and rear springs would match. So, just one line seems a little odd unless there was one bad spring? Hopefully, it's just dampers (shocks). Generally, people get away with leaving springs alone, and finding bliss when they get the right damper (shock).

    Next thing, is if someone can post #'s from an early VIN, that feels "too stiff".
     
  15. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

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    Thanks for clarifying this. I honestly didn't know what they were talking about when referring to dampers. I was imagining some kind of shim or something. They've always been "shocks" to me. I've even replaced a few. I feel pretty stupid now.
     
  16. DR61

    DR61 Member

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    What non-technical Americans call 'shock absorbers' are really dampers. Coil springs are the actual shock absorbers but they are not called that. The British get it right...
     
    • Informative x 1
  17. Tummy

    Tummy Member

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    Can you let me know where to look? We have vin 35XX.
     
  18. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    At 35XX, you probably have the later part numbers (offered above). I was able to see a sticker on the shocks of an M3 sitting at a service center, by poking my head down and looking between the top of the tire and the wheel well. Simply sticking your phone in there, and aiming it at the spring, may get you an image(s) without having to establish a line of sight.

    With Model S, these changes were carried out by a vender (Bilstein, Continental, Firestone). So, it was probably more certain the part numbers would change, if the parts themselves changed. Since Model 3's shocks have Tesla's logo, and seem to be proprietary, it is possible parts inside them could vary without receiving a new part number. IOW, they might replace dampers by build date, or VIN, instead of being tipped off by a part number. Some sleuthing by owners might clear things up.
     
  19. canyondrive

    canyondrive Member

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    I'm reporting back my experience here at 5XXX (for brief moment we had it in our garage) the ride is firm but I'd say less firm than BMW with sport or M packages. Those are much more punishing on SF 101.
    It passed spouse and baby in the back seat test, although she said it's bumpy at rough roads, but definitely tolerable due to large interior and glass roof distracting the focus. If this was cavey rear, that's a different story.

    Over inflated tire pressure at the delivery, but changing back to 45 didn't seem to do much. It's not at the point need to take it in because the ride is too hard. I've had much rougher German cars.

    It's actually as bumpy as our honda insight, but in model 3, bumpy is only thing you feel/hear, so it does seem to be put on the spot. So this might be unfair comparison to ICE.

    Air suspension would be nice to convince my spouse why I need to spend extra 6k on D and Air, but I wouldn't wait on them just to have them.

    On the contrary, non-air was a deal killer on 2015 model S. Our test drive gave Tesla extra $2500.
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    Not positive on Tesla's part number scheme, but in my experience the letter at the end would mean part revision. So for example "-B" could be second or third revision depending on how the numbering starts (either starting at "-A" or "-NR" for no revision or if it's left blank).
     

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