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Planning to lower early Model S with Air - Settings?

Hi there,

I have a late 2012 S and am contemplating adding lowering links. In planning it, I'm wondering if I should target my desired low ride height to occur on Medium/Normal or on Low.

Low seems to be a bit bouncier, more taught in general, so my inclination would be to target Normal for better ride quality and then if I want to show off when parked somewhere I could lower it even more. However, I don't know if Normal has more travel and is therefore more dangerous in terms of scraping bottom when lowered.

Can anyone give some feedback? Is Normal safe to lower to my max setting or should I target max lowering on Low?

Thanks.
 
The ride hight determines the feel, no link or setting is going to change that, meaning if the suspension is set in such a manner that there is a 1inch fender gap it will feel like that always, even if you put on lowering links and your normal setting now has the same ride hight as your low used to have before the lowering links. You just trick the sensor to “think” it is on a different hight than it really is. I hope that makes sense. For me I always drive on low with the links set to what I think looks best, no reason to go any lower. Main reason is that the ride hight on the higher settings get progressively less high the lower you set the links. I sometimes bottom out when Im too lazy to put the car higher and think that the car barely can get high enough on the very high setting for some of the insane speed bumps we have over here and Im really not that low:
BA420121-8648-4152-A63A-DDF19BE5A9CD.jpeg

Front: -0.6, 20mm spacers
Rear: -0.5, 20mm spacers
 
@Dannietjoh Thank you for the info - I read your message a couple times and I think I am clear now. This really helps as I forgot I won't be able to get as much height out of it if I lower it to my lowest desired position at normal and I'll need every bit of clearance on high settings after lowering.

Your photo really helps too. I'm staggered currently, but also have an extra set of fronts and am considering going that way so i can rotate tires front to rear, which could be very necessary with more rear camber from lowering.

Would 20mm look good in your view if I go back to a square setup or should I go bigger in the rear? Also, as for the -0.6 and -0.5, is that inches of lowering? I assume you must have used infinitely adjustable links?

Thanks again!
 
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If you get adjustable links you can always change it later, I use the n2itive links and -0.5/-0.6 are the settings on them, they are expensive but really easy to adjust even on the car (may need to remove wheels when adjusting rear ones).

As for the looks, it should be the exact same as the ET value is the same (assuming both rims are original) for square and staggered, meaning they “protrude” the same amount outward, its the inner side that changes.

Please note that for me with 20mm the right front wheel rubs a little bit at certain angles when reversing. This gives a pretty loud “rrrrrr” sound because of the air flow fins. I have a facelift which has different wheel well linings I believe so yours may be fine or worse. I’m going to try use a heatgun to make it clear the wheel.
 
If you get adjustable links you can always change it later, I use the n2itive links and -0.5/-0.6 are the settings on them, they are expensive but really easy to adjust even on the car (may need to remove wheels when adjusting rear ones).
OK, on those I believe its mm of adjustment. And if you look at the info on this page for the Blox brand links it says each mm of adjustment lowers the car 5.6mm. So based on this, you've lowered 33.6mm/1.3 inches in the front and 28mm/1.1 inches in the rear.

As for the looks, it should be the exact same as the ET value is the same (assuming both rims are original) for square and staggered, meaning they “protrude” the same amount outward, its the inner side that changes.
On the wheels, I believe the specs are
  • Front: 21x8.5" +40.
  • Rear: 21x9" +40
So same offset, just different width. So since the rear wheels are .5" wider, the staggered rears should protrude an extra .25 inches (half of .5) or 6.35mm. So if I wanted to match yours I guess I would get a 26mm (probably 25mm) rear spacer set and 20mm in the front.

Do you ever get any rubbing in the rear? I plan to do some aggressive mountain canyon driving soon, so want to make sure there are no problems.

What spacers did you buy? Any problems? Thanks again.
 
OK, on those I believe its mm of adjustment. And if you look at the info on this page for the Blox brand links it says each mm of adjustment lowers the car 5.6mm. So based on this, you've lowered 33.6mm/1.3 inches in the front and 28mm/1.1 inches in the rear.
Never measured but sounds about what it looks like. I wanted the top half of the fender curve to match with the wheel curve so the space is even, not that the top half disappears if that makes sense.
On the wheels, I believe the specs are
  • Front: 21x8.5" +40.
  • Rear: 21x9" +40
So same offset, just different width. So since the rear wheels are .5" wider, the staggered rears should protrude an extra .25 inches (half of .5) or 6.35mm. So if I wanted to match yours I guess I would get a 26mm (probably 25mm) rear spacer set and 20mm in the front.

Do you ever get any rubbing in the rear? I plan to do some aggressive mountain canyon driving soon, so want to make sure there are no problems.

What spacers did you buy? Any problems? Thanks again.
No rubbing in the rear ever, they are from Bonoss AL7075 hub centric, no problems with them, not sure they have 25mm.

Before:
17B6B0E4-503C-47E2-BBA5-26BCA8D38545.jpeg


After:
E093F9B5-1DDE-4E3C-B1E6-9E6D9DDAC91A.jpeg
 
@Dannietjoh Yes, I found them too and also have been in touch by email. Only thing is I worry about putting a Chinese part on the car in such a critical area. There are spacers made by a guy in California not too far from me and I’m going to contact him next. In

Below is a photo shot of my car tonight in Low. On mine the front has more of a gap than the rear. Comments welcomed.
 

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Front always sits higher from factory, thats why I have 0.6 front and 0.5 rear settings, they also sit deeper. I can’t comment on your local guys product but the quality of the Bonoss ones, both visually and fitment wise, are extremely high.

Edit: I mixed front and back settings in my previous posts, sorry; front is slightly lowered more than rear due to what you mention.
 
Front always sits higher from factory, thats why I have 0.6 front and 0.5 rear settings, they also sit deeper. I can’t comment on your local guys product but the quality of the Bonoss ones, both visually and fitment wise, are extremely high.

Edit: I mixed front and back settings in my previous posts, sorry; front is slightly lowered more than rear due to what you mention.
Ok, that makes more sense -- I thought maybe my car needed suspension calibration since it looked like you lowered yours more in the rear.
 
Hey @Dannietjoh - Did you have to install camber arms in the rear to avoid wearing the inside of your tires too quickly? I discovered the inside of my tires were on the cords as I have been running in low mode. Can't see you getting away with such extra lowering on the stock camber arms, but let me know. Thanks!
Yes I have camber and toe arms because alignment was way off, but not the time to install yet. I don’t drive a lot so I’m waiting until it is time to put the winters on in a month or 2.
F0970109-9ADF-4D33-B1CC-8773C81E04F9.jpeg
 
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Yes I have camber and toe arms because alignment was way off, but not the time to install yet. I don’t drive a lot so I’m waiting until it is time to put the winters on in a month or 2.
View attachment 853868

Thanks! Darn, I wish you had installed them already. I’m really worried about the harshness added since these have solid bushings. They’re more affordable, but the only ones that don’t have rubber bushings. I’m going to contact hardrace Europe in NL and see if they can order them from the mfg with rubber instead.

I’m also wondering about ease of alignment. Looks like it could be tricky and result in an expensive alignment service cost.
 
Indeed specs say pillow ball. Will check back once they are installed, hopefully in a month or so. I would not mind a little more harshness if it also gives better feel of placement on the road. Car feels a bit too boaty for my liking. Personally I don't like the lower rear, looks sagging and off to me. I prefer a bit more cheetah stance.
 
OK, I've ordered both camber and toe arms for my car so I can lower it. Parts will be shipping from NL and hopefully i don't get assessed a bunch of duties - we will see. I only plan to lower it .75-1 inch, but I don't want to chance any alignment problems or have to do the job twice. If it doesn't cost too much extra, perhaps I will have the shop install only the camber arms first and see if they can get the toe readings correct.
 
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