Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Model S Front Upper Control Arm DIY

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,618
1,391
USA
I purchased the upper control arms (and fore links) from the service center and am getting ready to replace them, except I immediately ran into two hiccups. There is a bracket blocking me from removing the rear bolt on the UCA on the right side (where it attaches to the strut tower). I would like this mostly to be a DIY, and will post the steps if I can get past this, but interested to hear if anyone else has done this and how you got around 1) the bracket.

The front bolt also seems to hit the air spring but that is covered in the service manual (I have a copy of the service manual posted online) as you may have to remove the air spring module, but then that leads you to depressurizing the air spring using Toolbox, which I don't have. So, that was challenge #2 - Is it really neccesary to depressurize and remove the air spring module?

The car I'm working on is a 2014 P85D.

Here is the general process:

1) Position car, put it into jack mode but don't lift yet.
2) From inside Trunk, remove the underhood apron and lift up the rubber shock tower cover
3) Remove (disconnect?) the 12V auxillary battery
4) Lift the vehicle and safely support it (jack stands for me)
5) Remove the wheel and wheel arch liner
6) Disconnect the ride height sensor (air suspension) - two 10mm wrenches needed
7) Remove the air spring module if needed for access (really? hope not)
8) Remove the locknut and bolt that hold the upper control arm to the knuckle and seperate the arm- 15 mm wrench and torx T50 to counter-hold. Torque 60 N-m
9) Remove the rear bolt - 15 mm wrench - very confined space - I used a crowsfoot wrench on a breaker bar to get it started then a gearwrench ratcheting box end wrench. (bracket is in the way?)
10) Remove the front nut 15mm and 7mm wrench to counter-hold the bolt. The bolt went most of the way through, then hits the air spring...
11) Release the Upper Control Arm and remove it... I hope...

IMG_9473.jpg
 
  • Love
  • Informative
Reactions: AMPd and outdoors
I purchased the upper control arms (and fore links) from the service center and am getting ready to replace them, except I immediately ran into two hiccups. There is a bracket blocking me from removing the rear bolt on the UCA on the right side (where it attaches to the strut tower). I would like this mostly to be a DIY, and will post the steps if I can get past this, but interested to hear if anyone else has done this and how you got around 1) the bracket.

The front bolt also seems to hit the air spring but that is covered in the service manual (I have a copy of the service manual posted online) as you may have to remove the air spring module, but then that leads you to depressurizing the air spring using Toolbox, which I don't have. So, that was challenge #2 - Is it really neccesary to depressurize and remove the air spring module?

The car I'm working on is a 2014 P85D.

Here is the general process:

1) Position car, put it into jack mode but don't lift yet.
2) From inside Trunk, remove the underhood apron and lift up the rubber shock tower cover
3) Remove (disconnect?) the 12V auxillary battery
4) Lift the vehicle and safely support it (jack stands for me)
5) Remove the wheel and wheel arch liner
6) Disconnect the ride height sensor (air suspension) - two 10mm wrenches needed
7) Remove the air spring module if needed for access (really? hope not)
8) Remove the locknut and bolt that hold the upper control arm to the knuckle and seperate the arm- 15 mm wrench and torx T50 to counter-hold. Torque 60 N-m
9) Remove the rear bolt - 15 mm wrench - very confined space - I used a crowsfoot wrench on a breaker bar to get it started then a gearwrench ratcheting box end wrench. (bracket is in the way?)
10) Remove the front nut 15mm and 7mm wrench to counter-hold the bolt. The bolt went most of the way through, then hits the air spring...
11) Release the Upper Control Arm and remove it... I hope...

View attachment 751287

I never remove the air struts for upper control arms. You have less space then with coil struts but it is certainly doable.

Getting the right rear bolt out is easy, just use a extension and a hammer to get it out, not much force is needed.

Back is a little trickier, normally I put the bolt in a few mm's and use a long screwdriver to push it further and manipulate the control arm a little but if you can't you can also put the bolt in from the other side I think but I never do that.

About the left rear bolt with the bracket, Can't you just unscrew the bracket? :)

Don't forget to torq the control arm in ride height.

Good luck
 
I've not looked under mine to see if there is space. but what about doing the method that N2itive gives for the rear toe arm? Basically the bolt is too long to take out the way its installed without dropping the whole subframe, and you just cut it out and when you reassemble you put the bolt in the opposite side where there is more room and torque it down as per the instructions.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top