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Raising model 3 performance to model 3 AWD height?

sveurkin

Member
Oct 7, 2018
32
8
Sacramento CA
I'm loving my new 3p, except it's too low. I was visiting a park and heard a sickening thump as I went over a speed bump at 2 mph or so. Seems like the extra 10-15 mm would really help clearing curbs when parking, handling speed bumps, and handling steep up/down for driveways and the like.

Anyone know exactly what parts differ between the model 3P and the model 3 AWD that accounts for the height difference?

I'm aware of the MPP 1.75" suspension lift kit, but I wasn't looking for that much lift. I think even 10-15 mm would handle most normal road conditions.
 

SubSolar

Member
Oct 11, 2015
79
37
Irvine, CA
Interesting, I've never scraped in mine, I don't think it's too low. Unlike my old Model S 85D which would bottom out on some speed bumps even while driving slow when I had 5 people in it.
 

67King

Member
Feb 2, 2018
309
191
Knoxville, TN
I'm in the opposite boat, I think it sits too high. Higher than my stock 535i does, at least the front. The 3 is higher than many curbs that would have ripped the front bumper cover off of the BMW (or did a couple of times when 67Queen drove it!)
 
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Ubersoph

Member
Mar 1, 2019
38
12
Minnesota
Its probably just springs and shocks - have you tried calling the parts department at your local tesla dealer?

I'd be willing to swap if the logistics would work out.
 

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
870
578
Alaska
I would bet it would be easy as just a spacer on the springs. The P could have a different spacer then the AWD but the springs may be different as well so just swapping out or adding the OEM AWD spacer may or may not be the fix. I would be shocked if calling anyone at Tesla would get you anywhere and wouldn’t waste my time there. Have you contacted MPP? That’s where I would start, Seems like they have put the most time in to understand the Tesla suspensions.

I’m going to lift our LR AWD at some point I’m thinking 1 to 1.5”
 

sveurkin

Member
Oct 7, 2018
32
8
Sacramento CA
I'm in the opposite boat, I think it sits too high. Higher than my stock 535i does, at least the front. The 3 is higher than many curbs that would have ripped the front bumper cover off of the BMW (or did a couple of times when 67Queen drove it!)

The 535i is lower than the model 3? Or 3 performance? Google claims the 535i is 5.6", the model 3 is 5.5", and the model 3P is 10-15mm lower than that.
 

sveurkin

Member
Oct 7, 2018
32
8
Sacramento CA
Its probably just springs and shocks - have you tried calling the parts department at your local tesla dealer?

I'd be willing to swap if the logistics would work out.

I'll visit them soonish. I'm willing to swap any related parts to get the stock Model 3 ride height. I'm likely going to have to sell the 3P wheels, I'd consider a trade but the stock 18" wheels don't fit the 3P unfortunately.
 

raptor5244

Member
May 10, 2019
978
731
Florida
I'm loving my new 3p, except it's too low. I was visiting a park and heard a sickening thump as I went over a speed bump at 2 mph or so. Seems like the extra 10-15 mm would really help clearing curbs when parking, handling speed bumps, and handling steep up/down for driveways and the like.

Anyone know exactly what parts differ between the model 3P and the model 3 AWD that accounts for the height difference?

I'm aware of the MPP 1.75" suspension lift kit, but I wasn't looking for that much lift. I think even 10-15 mm would handle most normal road conditions.

I own a M3P and SR+ and can't tell a difference in ride height. We are talking 1cm right? Like less than half and inch. They probably just have different springs cut a hair shorter for the M3P. Probably just a spring swap is all you need if you really really wanted it.

I wish it was a little lower actually. This is the Performance Model. It should have a front splitter, maybe some more side skirts, sport seats with more bolstering, adaptive suspension with thicker sway bars, drive modes and a Heads Up Display for track use.
 

sveurkin

Member
Oct 7, 2018
32
8
Sacramento CA
I own a M3P and SR+ and can't tell a difference in ride height. We are talking 1cm right? Like less than half and inch. They probably just have different springs cut a hair shorter for the M3P. Probably just a spring swap is all you need if you really really wanted it.

I wish it was a little lower actually. This is the Performance Model. It should have a front splitter, maybe some more side skirts, sport seats with more bolstering, adaptive suspension with thicker sway bars, drive modes and a Heads Up Display for track use.

Spring swap sounds good, when I'm hearing my car grinding on the road I'll take any advantage I can get. Everyone else in the car was wincing. I'll inquire with the parts department, I'm worried that the shocks might be different and over extended if I put in AWD springs in a model 3p.
 

67King

Member
Feb 2, 2018
309
191
Knoxville, TN
The 535i is lower than the model 3? Or 3 performance? Google claims the 535i is 5.6", the model 3 is 5.5", and the model 3P is 10-15mm lower than that.

Ground to front bumper cover (not flexible rubber thing) is a out 4.25" on my 2010 M-Sport 535i, and 6.5" on my 3P. Hard to show with tape measure, and rubber air dam thing is further inboard on th BMW, but the 3 sits much higher.
20190711_140821.jpg
20190711_140532.jpg
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
2,959
5,006
FL
I'm loving my new 3p, except it's too low. I was visiting a park and heard a sickening thump as I went over a speed bump at 2 mph or so. Seems like the extra 10-15 mm would really help clearing curbs when parking, handling speed bumps, and handling steep up/down for driveways and the like.

Anyone know exactly what parts differ between the model 3P and the model 3 AWD that accounts for the height difference?

I'm aware of the MPP 1.75" suspension lift kit, but I wasn't looking for that much lift. I think even 10-15 mm would handle most normal road conditions.

I think you're going to spend an enormous amount of time money and energy to fix a liability that modest alteration of your driving habits would fix, and if you raise the suspension you're going to alter the alignment, introduce more undesirable positive camber, and a potentially create host of other issues. In other words, you're going to make bigger problems than you're going to solve. We find the stock ride height on the model 3 Performance version more than high enough to clear almost everything. If you're looking for super Road clearance, you probably bought the wrong car.

If anything most of the guys on the Forum think the car rides too high. I bought the MPP coilover kit and dropped it about an inch and a quarter, and of course that means I have to be careful with driveways, parking barriers, Etc, but you're probably in the very small minority that want their car to ride higher. If you're really really really motivated and you want to do a boatload of work to solve this minor problem, you could swap out suspension bits with an all-wheel drive owner would be probably more than happy to get their car son of meat or lower. But that's a boatload of work for a minimal benefit. And most all wheel drive folks who want their car lower are going to buy one of the coilover kits anyway because one centimeter of drop is not enough for them.
 
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sveurkin

Member
Oct 7, 2018
32
8
Sacramento CA
I think you're going to spend an enormous amount of time money and energy to fix a liability that modest alteration of your driving habits would fix, and if you raise the suspension you're going to alter the alignment, introduce more undesirable positive camber, and a potentially create host of other issues. In other words, you're going to make bigger problems than you're going to solve. We find the stock ride height on the model 3 Performance version more than high enough to clear almost everything. If you're looking for super Road clearance, you probably bought the wrong car.

If anything most of the guys on the Forum think the car rides too high. I bought the MPP coilover kit and dropped it about an inch and a quarter, and of course that means I have to be careful with driveways, parking barriers, Etc, but you're probably in the very small minority that want their car to ride higher. If you're really really really motivated and you want to do a boatload of work to solve this minor problem, you could swap out suspension bits with an all-wheel drive owner would be probably more than happy to get their car son of meat or lower. But that's a boatload of work for a minimal benefit. And most all wheel drive folks who want their car lower are going to buy one of the coilover kits anyway because one centimeter of drop is not enough for them.

Shouldn't the model 3 AWD and performance share the same ideal camber? If I replace the parts (sounds likely to be springs and maybe shocks) from the AWD, shouldn't my 3P have same ideal camber? I'm not talking about some weird aftermarket lift kit, just using model 3 AWD parts on my P. Much like a model P3D-, which I would have ordered if I knew it was an option. I heard the P3D- mentioned on the forums, but thought that was only available before Tesla rolled in the extra $ performance parts into the base performance package.

So far I've has 2 rather disappointing grinding events. Both in Truckee California. The first was in a city park (Truckee River Regional Park), the lot was partially filled, half SUVs, and half random honda, toyota, and similar sedans. Paved lot, nothing unusual, but even with my wife and 14 year old in the kid we ground pretty good on a speed bump at 2mph, sure I could have really crawled... but should that really be necessary? The next weekend we visited again and after a hike we stopped at Siam Cuisine for Thai. We parked out back in the paved lot to park the car in the shade. There's a bit of a dip right at the end of the spaces, right before the cement wheel stop/parking chocks, rubbed pretty good there as well.

Seems like even 10mm would have avoided, or at least greatly minimized both of those events. I'm not talking about off roading, driving on gravel, or even potholed riddled poorly maintained roads. Ideally I could travel and visit random cities and parking lots without having to keep an eagle eye out for every speed bump or change in height. I'm also hoping to change my tires slightly to have a few extra mm of sidewall, which will gain me a tiny bit of height as well.

I love my 3Ps performance, and did test drive an AWD as well. Full throttle brings a smile to my face every time and I look forward to every on ramp. I was happy to pay for the premium for the 3p, but I'm not going to take it on the track. Seems for even spirited driving on the road that a few extra mm of ride height isn't going to have any particularly large negative consequences. After all I never plan to come anywhere near the the top speed of the standard range plus (140 Mph) on public roads.

I hope to visit the Tesla parts department in the next few days and I'll report back.
 

67King

Member
Feb 2, 2018
309
191
Knoxville, TN
10mm. 3/8". Half the diameter of a dime. That is in the weeds, and is less than what a bag of dog food in the trunk does. As stated, most of us want the car lowered by 4 times that amount.

Cars gain negative camber with compression. But still, the alignment will be ser fro mb the factory. Rausing the height will do the opposite, add positive camber. Horrblible for handling. If only some, an alignment may do the trick, but if you make it an SUV, you'll have several degrees of positive camber and hate the handling.

I am honeslty really having a hard time figuring out how one can possibly have problems with the car scraping. It flat out sits too high for a performance car. Dont compare it to Camrys and SUV's. Compare it to M3's and Caymans. It is much higher than them.

Even still, I just cant believe one of these cars is scraping. FWIW, take bumps at an angle, one wheel a time, and you won't have a problem.
 

sveurkin

Member
Oct 7, 2018
32
8
Sacramento CA
10mm. 3/8". Half the diameter of a dime. That is in the weeds, and is less than what a bag of dog food in the trunk does. As stated, most of us want the car lowered by 4 times that amount.

I get that the 3P attracts enthusiasts that are willing to put up with many compromises, like a harsh suspension (bmw m3), no back seat (cayman), loud engine noises, minimal storage space, expensive maintenance schedules, tires usable only in summer, etc. If I had a 3P only for fun weekend drives I'd wouldn't worry about how practical the 3P is. However I'm hoping the 3P can be a practical daily driver for most needs for a family of 3.

Given that I've had 2 issues in my first 1000 miles I'm hoping that even the paltry 10mm rise helps. Given that few cars (by volume) are this low, I suspect the 3P is lower than 99% of cars. I'm guessing even the 10mm rise puts the LR or AWD lower than 95% of autos. Sure a bag of dog food might make more difference, but I do sometimes actually travel with things in the trunk. Maybe my problem was more that it was 3 people, a 50 pound dog, and enough gear for a day of hiking (we did summit lake and back). If I'd been solo in the car those same two spots might have been problem free.

Cars gain negative camber with compression. But still, the alignment will be set from the factory. Raising the height will do the opposite, add positive camber. Horrible for handling. If only some, an alignment may do the trick, but if you make it an SUV, you'll have several degrees of positive camber and hate the handling.

I'd worry about camber if I was using non-tesla parts to arbitrarily raise or lower the ride height. Is it really an issue if I'm using Tesla parts?

If I swap my 3P springs/shocks with AWD springs/shocks, that will invalidate some factory alignment that can't be redone by a decent garage? I'm hoping to preserve as much of the way it drives stock as possible.

I am honestly really having a hard time figuring out how one can possibly have problems with the car scraping. It flat out sits too high for a performance car. Don't compare it to Camrys and SUV's. Compare it to M3's and Caymans. It is much higher than them.

Even still, I just cant believe one of these cars is scraping. FWIW, take bumps at an angle, one wheel a time, and you won't have a problem.

I suspect my problem is that I'm not treating my 3P as a performance car. It looks nearly identical to the base m3. Sure I have different size rims (but same width tires), a tiny subtle spoiler, and red brakes. But I'm actually have the gall to go to Costco, take a family of 3 with a dog out hiking, and take everyone out to a restaurant.

So instead of driving around a parking lot looking for parking maybe I should offload the family (to gain a few mm of height) and have the redirect traffic while I slowly crawl over speed bumps one wheel at a time? Sure I'm exaggerating, but I do feel that a modest increase in height to stock will make the 3P a much more practical car at a minimum decrease in performance.

Do people only go shopping during off hours so they can take speed bumps diagonally? When things are busy it's not like there's much space to hit speed bumps at an angle.

If you follow Teslanomics on youtube, I guess I side more with Jenny (who made fun of Ben with his problems with his lowered 3) than Ben. Her number one request when the 3 became her daily car instead of his, was that it get raised back to stock and now she's pretty passionate about the 3.

I do wonder how much the BMW M3 and Caymen owners miss out on because of lack of clearance. A friend with 911 with a faster 0-60 (by spec anyways) than my 3P doesn't go up in the Sierra's with it. It's a real shame some really nice roads in the Sierras. Although I did get a double flat hugging the inside of a corner around Tahoe, but that wasn't an issue lack of ground clearance that was an issue with low profile tires/tiny sidewalls.
 

raptor5244

Member
May 10, 2019
978
731
Florida
I get that the 3P attracts enthusiasts that are willing to put up with many compromises, like a harsh suspension (bmw m3), no back seat (cayman), loud engine noises, minimal storage space, expensive maintenance schedules, tires usable only in summer, etc. If I had a 3P only for fun weekend drives I'd wouldn't worry about how practical the 3P is. However I'm hoping the 3P can be a practical daily driver for most needs for a family of 3.

Given that I've had 2 issues in my first 1000 miles I'm hoping that even the paltry 10mm rise helps. Given that few cars (by volume) are this low, I suspect the 3P is lower than 99% of cars. I'm guessing even the 10mm rise puts the LR or AWD lower than 95% of autos. Sure a bag of dog food might make more difference, but I do sometimes actually travel with things in the trunk. Maybe my problem was more that it was 3 people, a 50 pound dog, and enough gear for a day of hiking (we did summit lake and back). If I'd been solo in the car those same two spots might have been problem free.



I'd worry about camber if I was using non-tesla parts to arbitrarily raise or lower the ride height. Is it really an issue if I'm using Tesla parts?

If I swap my 3P springs/shocks with AWD springs/shocks, that will invalidate some factory alignment that can't be redone by a decent garage? I'm hoping to preserve as much of the way it drives stock as possible.



I suspect my problem is that I'm not treating my 3P as a performance car. It looks nearly identical to the base m3. Sure I have different size rims (but same width tires), a tiny subtle spoiler, and red brakes. But I'm actually have the gall to go to Costco, take a family of 3 with a dog out hiking, and take everyone out to a restaurant.

So instead of driving around a parking lot looking for parking maybe I should offload the family (to gain a few mm of height) and have the redirect traffic while I slowly crawl over speed bumps one wheel at a time? Sure I'm exaggerating, but I do feel that a modest increase in height to stock will make the 3P a much more practical car at a minimum decrease in performance.

Do people only go shopping during off hours so they can take speed bumps diagonally? When things are busy it's not like there's much space to hit speed bumps at an angle.

If you follow Teslanomics on youtube, I guess I side more with Jenny (who made fun of Ben with his problems with his lowered 3) than Ben. Her number one request when the 3 became her daily car instead of his, was that it get raised back to stock and now she's pretty passionate about the 3.

I do wonder how much the BMW M3 and Caymen owners miss out on because of lack of clearance. A friend with 911 with a faster 0-60 (by spec anyways) than my 3P doesn't go up in the Sierra's with it. It's a real shame some really nice roads in the Sierras. Although I did get a double flat hugging the inside of a corner around Tahoe, but that wasn't an issue lack of ground clearance that was an issue with low profile tires/tiny sidewalls.

What did you drive before for M3P? If you are going from a curb hopping SUV, pickup or Jeep Wrangler then a sports sedan will take a little getting used to as you have to be more cautious in general.

FWIW, I own both an SR+ and 3P and there is so little difference in ride height between them that it would be the biggest waste of time and money to risk service swapping out some springs. I would agree with you if the 3P was slammed to the ground or something but as others have mentioned it sits higher than many BMW and Audi sports sedans.
 

sveurkin

Member
Oct 7, 2018
32
8
Sacramento CA
What did you drive before for M3P? If you are going from a curb hopping SUV, pickup or Jeep Wrangler then a sports sedan will take a little getting used to as you have to be more cautious in general.

FWIW, I own both an SR+ and 3P and there is so little difference in ride height between them that it would be the biggest waste of time and money to risk service swapping out some springs. I would agree with you if the 3P was slammed to the ground or something but as others have mentioned it sits higher than many BMW and Audi sports sedans.

I grew up driving my parents Saabs, but after that I had an 1998 Acura GSR, 2004 Subaru WRX, and a 2006 Forester XT. I'm not talking about curb hopping, I'm talking about parking in normal paved parking lot and driving across speed bumps slowly. Never had any problems with clearance on the Acura (5.9") or WRX (6.1"), nor any other rented/borrowed cars over the years. I don't doubt that BMW and Audi sell lower cars, but their practical cars (which I'd argue even the 3P is) lists 157mm(6.1") for the BMW 3 series and 165mm (6.5") for the Audi A3. Bother are quite a bit higher than 129mm (5.1") in the model 3P.

Sure the 3P murders both of those cars on acceleration, but because of such a low center of gravity the model 3 doesn't need to stiffen the suspension overly much to get good cornering. As a result the 3P rides as comfortably as the BMW 3 series while providing similar handling to the BMW M3 on the track, at least according to some reviews. I've not had any track time since I took my Acura GSR to Thunder hill for a weekend event. Who knew a FWD could be fun and easy to do 4 wheel slides at 110 mph?
 

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