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Std Coil Spring Lowering Options

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by mrserf33, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. mrserf33

    mrserf33 Member

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    Is anyone aware of any lowering options for the Model S with standard coil springs? I'd love to drop mine down about 1" or so. Right now it's not looking as sleek as I'd like on 21" wheels. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. DingDingDao

    DingDingDao Member

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    I'm interested in this, too, but my biggest concern with changing the springs alone is that the stock camber is already aggressive and gives accelerated inner tire wear on the rears (especially on the 21s) and is going to be that much worse with lowering springs. Perhaps a coilover setup is what we need...
     
  3. mrserf33

    mrserf33 Member

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    I agree on the aggressive camber, coilovers would be optimal. But, at this point I'll take what I can get. I may also call a couple of local shops that specialize in heavy customization of euro's and exotics depending on how much info this post generates. I'll share whatever info I can gather.
     
  4. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    You might find some answers in this thread:

    [lolachampcar] Performance Upgrade Efforts

    Somewhere near the middle of the thread there are some pictures and explanation of creating adjustable height mounts for the coil springs.
     
  5. mrserf33

    mrserf33 Member

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    Thanks dennis, I wish there was an easier way than what's described in that thread. :)

     
  6. mandfunk

    mandfunk Member

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    Great info guys. Thanks. Is this rear camber issue worse on the air ride suspensions? I would imagine yes, given the ability to go lower. You guys prefer the coils over air?
     
  7. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Bilstein uses grooves cut in the OD of the shock body and c-clips in these grooves to locate the lower spring perch. Do a quick google search on Bilstein truck shocks with adjustable ride height and you will see what I'm referring to.

    MS uses this system. You can remove your dampers, disassemble the springs from the dampers and any competent machine shop can add a few more grooves allowing you to change your ride height. I did this albeit using the P+ air dampers.

    I do have a new set of P85 coil dampers (I used the springs and perches on my P+) should anyone want them for a lower project. I did offer them to someone that PM'd me for $100 each dropped off at my machine shop. If that person does not take them they are available to anyone that wants to have a separate set of lowering dampers so they can keep their originals. It also reduces down time as your shop simply needs to swap out the dampers without the delay of having them machined while the car sits on a lift.

    I did consider the down side of simply moving the perches down. The MS suspension is designed so that there is sufficient travel at gross weight. Lowering the perches places the gross weight ride height much lower in the damper stroke which can cause problems. The correct way to lower a car is to have custom springs wound with a slightly higher spring rate to better control the car at gross weight. I have no intentions of running my car at gross weight and thus could live with the concession. I also did not want to go through the engineering exercise of winding and testing several different springs/spring rates.
     
  8. Niclas

    Niclas Member

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    I just had my car lowered using lolachampcar´s method. New grooves were machined 30 mm below the original ones. The result came out perfect IMO. It was a struggle though for the mechanic to get the rear dampers out and back in...
    The improvement in handling is fenomenal. Better than I expected.
     
  9. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    The set of stock (new) S85 coil dampers is still available if anyone needs a spare set for lowering.

    Actually, I'll toss in the adjustable lower spring perches and springs I bought to try out as well :) I ended up just using the stock springs.
     
  10. mrserf33

    mrserf33 Member

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    Anyone know of an installer in the San Francisco Bay Area that could handle a job like this?
     
  11. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Just sent this response to someone asking about the process---

    "
    Bilstein uses grooving on the bodies of their dampers to set ride height.
    Tesla will spec a certain ride height by setting the location of a single
    groove and that is how the dampers are built (complete with a Tesla part
    number). The shock tube body is thick enough to allow this groove to be
    placed anywhere within a normal lower spring perch location range. For
    aftermarket shocks, Bilstein will provide multiple grooves to allow the
    buyer to set ride height themselves.

    Fast forward to MS and you simply remove the damper units (Tesla only
    sells complete assembled damper assemblies which is why I have the spare
    dampers themselves), disassemble them and then take the dampers themselves
    to your local machine shop. They can then put them in a lathe and use a
    c-clip grooving tool to place one or more new grooves at distances away
    from the original groove. You specify where you want the new grooves so
    that you can achieve the desired ride height.

    My dampers can be dropped off at my machine shop. You can then arrange
    with them to cut one or more new grooves and then ship them to you. I
    would suggest picking the desired ride height and then two additional
    grooves, one 1/4" above what you think will work and one 1/4" below. When
    you get the dampers, you can swap them out in well under a day provided
    you have a good spring compressor to remove and install your springs. All
    the other parts of the assembly slide off the original dampers and onto
    the grooved ones.

    Alternatively, you can pull your stock dampers off and simply have them
    grooved at the local machine shop.

    One word of caution would be that the lower ride height makes the car more
    susceptible to bottoming over things like speed bumps. Mine is about 1/4"
    lower than Air Low so I must be careful.
    "
     
  12. Niclas

    Niclas Member

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    lola, what height do you have from ground to middle of upper wheel arch? I have 72 cm now after lowering, which I think is perfect. The new grooves were machined 3 cm below the original on both front and back dampers. The original height with std coil suspension is 75 cm i believe.
    If my calculations are correct, my height at 72 cm is 0.5 cm above air suspension at low.
     
  13. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #15 linkster, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
    Chris1howell's of openEVSE .210" long ULs might mitigate some of your concerns for both stock or lowered ride-height configurations. jus' my $.02
     
  14. Niclas

    Niclas Member

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    It´s coming, just need to get my 21"s on first...
     
  15. Niclas

    Niclas Member

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    IMG_3417.JPG IMG_3638.JPG nn

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pic on the left with 19"s: standard coil suspension
    Pic on right with 21"s: std coil lowered 30 mm front and back
     
  16. Niclas

    Niclas Member

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    That´s true. I think that 30 mm lower groove makes a bigger difference in the front compared to the rear. In standard coil height, the front actually is a bit higher than the rear which can be seen in the first photo. Using new grooves 30 mm lower, the front look just a tad lower than the rear, which can be seen in the second photo.

    - - - Updated - - -

    IMG_3634.JPG
    This is a pic with 19" on and lowered.
     

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