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Rear air suspension not responsive

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
Installed the beautiful new rear control arms, however, it did not fix the issue with my rear suspension being at max height and absolutely zero compression/rebound control. FML. Outta money and no way to get it fixed in time for my sisters wedding in the Midwest (the reason I got new tires and tried to fix the camber issue).
My advice? Don’t mod your high mileage car, ESPECIALLY an early VIN Model S.
 

Doanster1

Member
Feb 14, 2018
877
463
Oregon
Installed the beautiful new rear control arms, however, it did not fix the issue with my rear suspension being at max height and absolutely zero compression/rebound control. FML. Outta money and no way to get it fixed in time for my sisters wedding in the Midwest (the reason I got new tires and tried to fix the camber issue).
My advice? Don’t mod your high mileage car, ESPECIALLY an early VIN Model S.
:(
EVFixMe??? :)
 

pabla

Member
Oct 17, 2016
197
105
Vancouver
Installed the beautiful new rear control arms, however, it did not fix the issue with my rear suspension being at max height and absolutely zero compression/rebound control. FML. Outta money and no way to get it fixed in time for my sisters wedding in the Midwest (the reason I got new tires and tried to fix the camber issue).
My advice? Don’t mod your high mileage car, ESPECIALLY an early VIN Model S.
Oh no!! Was hoping the new camber arms would sort the issue out. Have you tried getting new height sensors? Have you also confirmed that the new camber arms have the same ball position as the stock ones for the lowering link? My bet is on the height sensor being faulty
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
For those interested:
N2itive makes great products. Its hard to complain but every product has its ugly head. I have one gripe: adjusting camber, which will be done by an alignment tech, is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT on the left side. It’s only difficult on the right side.
 

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BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
Oh no!! Was hoping the new camber arms would sort the issue out. Have you tried getting new height sensors? Have you also confirmed that the new camber arms have the same ball position as the stock ones for the lowering link? My bet is on the height sensor being faulty
I’m considering buying each sensor on eBay as it would cost just $100 and one hour diagnosis at Tesla is $200. If they aren’t the problem I could sell them.
they tried to force level my car when it was in service and it wouldn’t do it. I’m curious if they left some setting to leave it where it’s at and assumed they’d come back to it but never did.
there’s so many unknowns with these cars and being out of warranty you’re a secondary focus, despite paying a premium. So yeah, sensors next if I can.
 

pabla

Member
Oct 17, 2016
197
105
Vancouver
I’m considering buying each sensor on eBay as it would cost just $100 and one hour diagnosis at Tesla is $200. If they aren’t the problem I could sell them.
they tried to force level my car when it was in service and it wouldn’t do it. I’m curious if they left some setting to leave it where it’s at and assumed they’d come back to it but never did.
there’s so many unknowns with these cars and being out of warranty you’re a secondary focus, despite paying a premium. So yeah, sensors next if I can.
I mean you could save $200 and DIY it, doesn't seem too difficult of a job. Its just a little weird that both sensors went at once
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
I mean you could save $200 and DIY it, doesn't seem too difficult of a job. Its just a little weird that both sensors went at once
I meant that it’s cheaper to buy and install sensors than to pay them to tell me it needs more diagnostic time, with no guarantee of progress. They did that to me last time. I sincerely got the vibe from the mechanic to take my car elsewhere :/

I have a bad feeling swapping sensors won’t change a thing.
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
It’s fixed! It was the camber arms after all. I rebooted the computers and powered off, but that didn’t fix. Then I rebooted a second time, after power off, and it was magically level front and rear. N2itive arms to the rescue.
 

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Doanster1

Member
Feb 14, 2018
877
463
Oregon
It’s fixed! It was the camber arms after all. I rebooted the computers and powered off, but that didn’t fix. Then I rebooted a second time, after power off, and it was magically level front and rear. N2itive arms to the rescue.
Yesssss! Congrats and safe travels to your sis’s wedding!

Looking at the side by side pic of the two arms, the camber king one isn’t even close in terms of lateral position of the link ball joint because of the thick tubular design.
Maybe your car was just extra finicky because the seller told me a Model X owner recently installed them and had zero issues.
 
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BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
I took the car to a second alignment place, 714 Tires in Westminster, and this time around they were at least able to align the car. My biggest pet peeve ever, though, is getting an alignment and finding my steering wheel off center. This one is quite off center in order for me to go straight. The toe was maxed outward at .22 and .23 when they hit -1.5 and -1.3 respectively. The goal OF N2itive was -1.0 camber and .20 toe, but that’s just to sell $800 toe arms LOL.
I’m $1900 in on the rear camber adjustment endeavor, and it’s been like 3 weeks where I’ve been stranded. $1900 is two additional sets of tires. At 200,000 miles I stand by my previous statement. Don’t mod your high mileage car. I’ll have over 250,000 miles before I break even, but it may be worse than that. At -1.5 in standard height, I’m only saving so much inner tire wear. Color me disappointed in my own decisions.
 

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N2itive

Member
Jan 3, 2020
10
7
Pasadena, CA
BostonBurley, I'm not sure where this is coming from but the goal of N2itive in this situation is to make sure you don't have inner tire wear, not to sell you parts you don't need. At -1.5 camber you're still going to get inner tire wear although I'm sure it will be much better than what it was before. We recommend -1.0 rear camber and 0.15-0.20 for rear toe because then your tires will wear evenly and you'll maintain a good contact patch on cornering all while being within Tesla's spec. Some owners can reach this or come close to it with just adjustable camber arms. Others will need the adjustable toe arms as well. Definitely if the vehicle is lowered or if the vehicle has aged bushings on other components which can change the geometry of the suspension. You mentioned that you wouldn't recommend modding a high mileage Tesla but I don't know what option you would have had. I've been in your exact situation with inner tire wear and needing new rear tires every 5,000 miles is just not practical.
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
BostonBurley, I'm not sure where this is coming from but the goal of N2itive in this situation is to make sure you don't have inner tire wear, not to sell you parts you don't need. At -1.5 camber you're still going to get inner tire wear although I'm sure it will be much better than what it was before. We recommend -1.0 rear camber and 0.15-0.20 for rear toe because then your tires will wear evenly and you'll maintain a good contact patch on cornering all while being within Tesla's spec. Some owners can reach this or come close to it with just adjustable camber arms. Others will need the adjustable toe arms as well. Definitely if the vehicle is lowered or if the vehicle has aged bushings on other components which can change the geometry of the suspension. You mentioned that you wouldn't recommend modding a high mileage Tesla but I don't know what option you would have had. I've been in your exact situation with inner tire wear and needing new rear tires every 5,000 miles is just not practical.
I ordered some affordable rear toe arms in hopes of getting what I wanted and need. If I had known adjustable rear control arms alone would only reduce camber by .7-.9, it would’ve given me a more realistic view of what $1,000 minimum would afford me: slightly less camber with a fresh alignment. My situation with paying Tesla for hours of diagnostic help with the camber king arms almost doubled that price, but I don’t take that out on anyone but myself.
To now get my car aligned again after the toe arms are installed Ill be forced to drive to Westminster bc there’s not a place that can or will attempt the rear camber arm adjustment except 714 tires. It’s frustrating to pay a premium only to isolate myself in the very practical necessity of all future alignments. I don’t see that changing. The UP design allows for much easier adjustment from my experience. Not that the product I bought isn’t top quality. It’s just not ideal for regular users like me.
 

N2itive

Member
Jan 3, 2020
10
7
Pasadena, CA
I'm sorry you ran into problems with the camber arms from Ebay. I know it's a lot of wasted money to throw out the window. So I feel for you. In regards to the difficulty of working with our arms, the installers that I've talked to who have installed dozens of our products prefer adjusting our arms since we don't use a jam nut design requiring them to fit two wrenches in such a tight area at the same time to lock it down. Perhaps if you're comparing installing the arms backwards where you would have more room to work but then this creates another problem where the ride height sensor link is out of position when you adjust the length of the arm which changes the height of the car. With our toe arm it's no problem you can install it backwards to have easier access to adjustment. But anyway you don't have to drive all the way to 714 tires. There are plenty of shops in LA that will do it. You're not stuck by any stretch! You just can't take it to the big corporate alignment shops. The smaller custom shops have no issues dealing with adjustable aftermarket control arms. They work with them all the time. I recommend 714 because they have a lot of experience with our parts and I've seen them dial in spot on perfect alignments. Something else to consider though is safety and the strength of the arms. We're the only manufacture that keeps the threaded rod on center with the bushings. This eliminates the most important stress riser for this design. In our FEA testing while developing this camber arm we saw an increase in strength by over 40% by keeping the bushings on center. This is important for me because I know I've done the best I could do with this design and none of my customers will ever suffer a catastrophic failure using our parts. Honestly the ebay arms are flat our scary to me. If I can be of any assistance let me know.
 
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BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
I'm sorry you ran into problems with the camber arms from Ebay. I know it's a lot of wasted money to throw out the window. So I feel for you. In regards to the difficulty of working with our arms, the installers that I've talked to who have installed dozens of our products prefer adjusting our arms since we don't use a jam nut design requiring them to fit two wrenches in such a tight area at the same time to lock it down. Perhaps if you're comparing installing the arms backwards where you would have more room to work but then this creates another problem where the ride height sensor link is out of position when you adjust the length of the arm which changes the height of the car. With our toe arm it's no problem you can install it backwards to have easier access to adjustment. But anyway you don't have to drive all the way to 714 tires. There are plenty of shops in LA that will do it. You're not stuck by any stretch! You just can't take it to the big corporate alignment shops. The smaller custom shops have no issues dealing with adjustable aftermarket control arms. They work with them all the time. I recommend 714 because they have a lot of experience with our parts and I've seen them dial in spot on perfect alignments. Something else to consider though is safety and the strength of the arms. We're the only manufacture that keeps the threaded rod on center with the bushings. This eliminates the most important stress riser for this design. In our FEA testing while developing this camber arm we saw an increase in strength by over 40% by keeping the bushings on center. This is important for me because I know I've done the best I could do with this design and none of my customers will ever suffer a catastrophic failure using our parts. Honestly the ebay arms are flat our scary to me. If I can be of any assistance let me know.
Just for the record I did take the car to Just Tires, a race tuning shop in Alhambra with Supra’s and NSX parked in the lot, highly recommended on Yelp. They have done the UP arms on other cars and they thought THATS what I had, until they were under there working on it. After 30 minutes of trying to loosen torx bolts they told me they couldn’t do it bc they would need a special tool.
After that, I called at least a dozen places that were tuner shops or tuner friendly, even west end alignment, and I text a few pics of the installed arms posted in this thread... had one $350+ offer, and finally called 714 Tires.
I’m not exaggerating the issue. Maybe a list of preferred installers in SoCal would go a long way bc my list took hours to compile and they’re all a “sorry, no”.
Design wise I think the arms are robust, and centered in line with the bushings... it’s just adjustment I take issue with.
FYI the evtuning toe arms I’m awaiting are not offset, adjustment is made in the center of the arm, although they do use jam bolts. The UP camber arms jam nut adjustment is JUST aft of the leveling ball joint, putting it just within reach for adjustments. The Just Tires guy said they were a typical design that’s easy to adjust.

One silver lining here is AP Guys are sending me replacement rear links since my other ones didn’t survive my clumsy removal.
With camber and toe adjustment at the next alignment, I’ll be able to go in lowered and leave with proper alignment for tire wear. I already own the links so I’m gonna give it a try.
 

N2itive

Member
Jan 3, 2020
10
7
Pasadena, CA
Again sorry you had problems and we are working on compiling a list of shops that can install and align our control arms. But in fairness I did give you the name of a shop that could complete it but you chose not to go to them till the end. And to be fair Just Tires is not a race tuning shop like you mentioned. They are a chain tire outlet with multiple locations all over. They do tire, alignments and oil changes, wiper blades and that sort of thing but are not alignment specialists. I specifically mentioned that the big tire/alignment chain shops would not be good place to go. I'm not surprised that they had issues with Torx bolts. You didn't mention the names of what other places you called so I can't comment on that. At the end of the day the alignment on our products is not as difficult as you think. But I'm not sure why you want to throw my small company under a bus by letting people know that even a "race tuning shop" could not align these camber arms. It is an exaggeration and it's not right. I'm sorry this entire project has been an ordeal for you but what you're doing is not fair at all. There is a reason why shops like EVfixMe only carry N2itive arms after having a lot of experience of installing every other brand. They've worked with them all side by side and they know at any price you're not going to find a better engineered/quality product. And if they were that challenging to align they wouldn't sell our stuff.

when I was talking about offset designs I was referring to the camber arm. Rear Tesla toe arms are a straight design anyways so there is no issue with offset there. We intentionally chose not to put the threaded adjustment rod in the center because the threaded rod is always the weakest point of control arm design. Our adjustment is towards the end of the arm. It's just smart engineering. Putting it in the center is not ideal because you have the most leverage at that point which essentially creates a stress riser making the arm far more prone to failure. Our toe arms can be put on with the rod end adjustment side of the arm on the subframe side giving the alignment tech more room to work with just like any other brand. That's no issue at all. What I was referring to was with the camber arm. We are on the only manufacturer that keeps the camber arm threaded rod directly on center with the bushings. It was much more challenging to engineer it that way but I'm not interested in taking shortcuts and creating a product that over time could bend or break like the original OEM camber arms. I would have a difficult time knowing that someone was injured or killed because my product suffered from a catastrophic failure. Which brings me to another point. 3D printed links. I would highly encourage you to not ever use 3D printed links! 3D printing is great for prototyping but in it's current state has no place in production! When they break which as you can see now they will what will the result be? I'm not even suggesting our own lowering links which are more expensive but please at least get yourself some from Blox. I think it's only about $100. For an extra $60 at least you will have something that won't break. Sometimes saving money up front can cost you more later. Anyhow that's all I've got. Best to you.
 
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BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
I’m not interested in giving ad space, especially if you’re not a supporting member. My feedback is for the community. The guys at 714 didn’t have great things to say about how easy they are to adjust. For real. Thanks for checking in.
 

BostonBurley

Member
Jan 13, 2021
33
12
South Pasadena
ANYWAY, I’ll continue to update this post as it regards to camber arms/ rear suspension issues. I think it’s good to know to avoid camber king, but all of the other brands do the same thing, with slight drawbacks in design for each brand.
My crooked alignment and crooked steering wheel make the car rather unenjoyable. Until I have adjustable toe arms installed and get a quality alignment I don’t want to comment further about the most expensive possible camber arms out there being the third best ones.
 

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