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Signature P85+ Retrofit

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by dennis, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    SignatureP85_zps870bf4e5.jpg

    I'm happy to report that the Fremont Service Center successfully upgraded my Signature P85 with the Performance Plus suspension and I picked up the car today. I'm totally amazed at the transformation in the handling. All of my previous complaints about "floaty" freeway lane changes, understeer on freeway on-ramps, pitching and bucking on hard acceleration/deceleration, etc. are gone. They are replaced with a car that goes where you point it, is extremely predictable and forgiving and has more grip than you think is possible in a 4600 lb. large sedan. The sacrifice in ride quality is minimal - the only place I notice it is when driving on uneven pavement or over freeway lane divider dots.

    I've been petitioning Tesla for at least 4 months to get this upgrade. They have been hampered by very limited availability of the P+ suspension parts. They are starting to do a few "learning" retrofits as the parts begin to be available, and I was fortunate that they picked me for one of the very limited slots. I chose to get a full upgrade (same parts as in a new P+) for two reasons:

    1) The early VINs require the subframe bushings to be replaced, so I was already needing much of the labor required to do a full upgrade
    2) Tesla does not have any partial retrofit (bushings and wheels/tires only, no swaybar or damper upgrades) cars available for test drives. So I was unsure if I would be happy with the partial retrofit, but I knew after 2 test drives that I would be delighted with the full P+

    Tesla has asked me to not disclose the cost of the upgrade because it is not yet an announced product. They do plan to make P+ upgrades generally available as soon as they can. What I can say is that I am very happy, and the cost of the upgrade was definitely less than it would have cost me to sell my Signature P85 and buy a new P85+.

    Last point. With my 2006 BMW M5, I used to routinely take my favorite freeway off ramp at 45 mph, with a personal best of 47mph. In my first attempt with the P+, I nailed it at 45 mph with no tire squeal or sliding, so I know there is more speed to be had. I can safely say that the P+ handles as well or better than a BMW M5. :biggrin:
     
  2. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Great news! Thanks for all the info, and I am glad you are happy with it.

    The early VINs needing to replace bushings is news to me...has that been discussed on the forums, or did Tesla just recently tell you that?

    (My sig isn't a Perf. But I wonder if I could get the + upgrade...)
     
  3. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    At some point during the production cycle, Tesla opted to put stiffer bushings in the rear subframe. I learned this when I was discussing the P+ upgrade with Tesla. There is no campaign to replace these in earlier VINs, but if you want the P+ handling benefits then the subframe bushings need to be upgraded along with the bushings in all of the rear suspension components.
     
  4. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Just the fact that Tesla was willing to do the modification is very impressive. Cool.

    Congratulations. You are probably the only Signature P+ in existence. That will probably change as soon as Tesla posts the upgrade price though.
     
  5. Reed

    Reed Member

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    Congrats! Glad you got the handling you were looking for. Very interested to find out the retro fit cost.

    Tesla continues to impress me with their dedication to customer experience and satisfaction.

    Enjoy your "new" ride!
     
  6. DaveT

    DaveT Searcher of green pastures

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    That's awesome to hear. And it's great to hear you got your full P+ upgrade as well.
     
  7. nikwest

    nikwest Member

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    Well, that is not entirely true. I have a P85+ Signature. I even have parking sensors and the cold weather package ;-)

    If you say the only P85+ Sig in North America then it is probably true. Besides Elon's maybe.
     
  8. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Dennis,

    Awesome to hear the happy words!
     
  9. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Nothing like a P+ :wink:
     
  10. Fonzie

    Fonzie Member

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    Awesome. Congrats and enjoy! I wonder how many service centers are going to get hammered with phone calls today..
     
  11. JerryNycom

    JerryNycom Member

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    Did you keep your old rear rims and tires?
     
  12. pimp-boy

    pimp-boy Member

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    Hi Dennis,

    1. how long did it take them to retrofit your car? Was it a day or multiple day job?
    2. Did they provide you with a list of parts they swapped out?
    3. Did they also change your air suspension or is it considered a "retrofit" that is 80% of the full P85+?

    Thanks!
     
  13. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    #13 dennis, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
    Tesla kept all of the takeoff parts.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It was a multi day job. They also did quite a few campaigns to retrofit production changes they have made for issues like wind noise and pano roof creaking. The parts list was included on the repair order. The P+ package changes the dampers and air springs as a unit. This is true for both the production P+ and the full retrofit. The partial retrofit does not include the upgraded dampers and sway bars, just the bushings/wheels/tires.
     
  14. Smop

    Smop Banned

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    The complete air spring modules should have been changed. There is no easy way that I am aware of to just change the dampers on the air springs. Tesla does not stock just the dampers- the P+ air suspension module is a completely different part number.

    The installation of the rear stabar requires pulling the subframe so it makes sense that they will not offer this on the partial retrofit. I wonder why they do not include the upgraded dampers though as it is as simple as pulling the air spring module and putting a new one in.
     
  15. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    You are correct. I checked the parts list and it says "Air Spring Module". I had been told that there was revised valving in the Bilstein dampers, so I assumed there was no change to the air springs themselves. I edited my post above with the correction.

    I was also told that in the partial retrofit the upgraded dampers will not be included because of parts cost, and the stabars will not be included because of labor cost. Supposedly the partial retrofit provides 80% of the improvements, but since I wasn't able to test drive a car with that configuration I had no way of knowing whether that 80% would address the handling deficiencies that I perceived in my P85.
     
  16. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    Regardless of the final cost, it is great to hear that Tesla is committed to pleasing early customers, especially the Signature owners. This will go real far for building loyalty and confidence for all customers. Great move Tesla!
     
  17. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Please don't be shy about your cost when they release you from your obligation -- even if it's less than the rest of us would pay. Thanks!
     
  18. Elwood

    Elwood Member

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    Am I correct in the assumption that a P+ package consist of:

    -different bushings
    -different airspring-modules
    -different stabars (is that the same as a swaybar or stabilisator? sorry, bloody foreignor)
    -21" with wider rims at the back and sportier tires?

    Or are there also changes to the body for more rigidity, changes to the hardware or software surrounding the engine or b-pack, or whatever..
     
  19. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Production P+
    Dampers are different with the same air spring (delivered as an assembled unit)
    Larger front and rear sway bars (stabars in more civilized countries)

    Production P+ and Field Retrofit
    Replacement rear lower a-arms and upper links (and maybe rear toe links and torque links) with stiffer bushings.
    Larger rear rims (1/2) and tires (20mm)

    Tesla made a change in rear subframe bushings so complete retrofits of early serial number cars (before my first MS which was 4288) are also getting a new subframe.

    Note: It is a bit of a shame that we have to buy all the suspension bits as opposed to just the bushings. The bushings are easily press out (with the proper tooling) and new ones pressed in :( Simply providing bushings would dramatically lower the cost of upgrades.
     
  20. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Yah, I'm kind of curious about this.

    Suppose you said...

    "Tesla, you have the full retrofit for Y and the partial retrofit for X. Both of them require bushing/subframe changes. How much for just those changes and neither X nor Y?"
     

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