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Upgrades that actually worked :)

So I rented a bay with a lift and installed two new M3 metal skid plates and a new OEM rear sway bar/end links off a Performance model. I have a M3 Standard + to set the ground here.

The plates were bought off an infamous auction site from a place in Texas. Decent price price with a 3 day Fed Ex delivery included in the price. Yes, they were about 120 dollars cheaper than some of the other Tesla accessory dealers. Surprise number 1 was they were equipment with sound deadening out of the box. Reasonable thickness of aluminum but not hardened.. in other words, if you work at it, you can bend it. More on that in a bit. I got the set.. front and back.

I put the front on first and was pleasantly surprised when every single hole lined up without issue. Doing this on the driveway would have been a challenge because while they lined up, the two 15mm bolts were about 3/8 inch too low to engage the threads. I had to muscle the center of the plate UP and then grab a few threads. My impact wrench made short work of spinning the nut the rest of the way and pulling the plate with it. The 2nd nut was a bit easier but still had to be persuaded into place.

A side bar here.. I would not consider doing any of this without a battery 3/8 ratchet or the like. And for the sway bar, you want a 1/2 inch drive.

The rear plate was just as easy to put in place after I did the sway bar install. I put the center 10mm bolt in place to hang it and then worked around the edges. The sway bar was a brain dead simple upgrade with 4 bolts for the bar and four more for the endlinks. Again, it would be very tight to try and do this on your back in the driveway.. I'm amazed at just how low these cars really are. I rented a lift but some high ramps would work if you trusted them. I didnt trust mine.. Not with 5K pounds on them.

The rental place had not had a tesla before so their lift was too high. We had to put four low ramps in place, drive up them then put the pucks in place and lift the car. A bit more work that way but not impossible.

The results were excellent.. low frequency road noise is reduced from 68db to 64db on the freeway at 65mph. The switch twitch the back had is gone. Rock solid in the turns now. Honestly speaking, I think 95% of the population would not have even noticed the twitchiness but I come from BMW/Audis and like to play in my corners.. So I noticed :). Much happier with the car now from a driving point of view.

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SteelClouds

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My M3STD+ didnt come with a rear bar :eek:. Stupid cost cutting move really. So the threaded mounts were there.. plus the locktight in the threads and each knuckle had the hole drilled for the end link. .Just no bar.

So the bar I put on is the standard OEM from a Performance M3.. I have the front too but I didnt. have time to measure and swap it today. I'll look and decide if I need to swap the front or not. I've seen conflicting info on the net as to the OEM front bar thickness between models. So I will get out my mic and check it
 
I found this short review of a LR rear sway bar in the SR+ Worth installing OEM rear sway bar on my SR+?

"We installed the stock LR RWD bar on our SR+ and the car became incredibly loose on entry with the stock tires, but quite balanced with 200TW tires. It was our track setup, so we went from the 235 width 19" Contis to 275 width RE71R. The lack of a rear sway bar from factory definitely wasn't to save money, the SR is the most rear-heavy variant of the Model 3. That being said, the bar remains on the car now! Oh yes, much sliding! When combined with Partybox it was a recipe for the track marshal shouting at me to stop drifting."

Personally speaking, after reading that, coupled with my experience driving my car, I wouldn't put a rear sway bar on a SR+ without also getting a party box. Having more oversteer/inside rear wheel lifting will surely cause the non-defeatable stability control to cut in even more often.

I've pushed my SR+ quite hard on the Angeles Crest many times (I used to own a BMW E46 M3 and currently have a Boxster S), I think the inherent balance near the limit is pretty good with a touch of understeer most of the time. There is a small bit of rotation when engaging the physical brakes while loaded up mid corner or accelerating hard while the car's already loaded up in a bend, but the traction control quickly cuts power on any hint of wheelspin while powering out.

As it is in stock form, the stability control very rarely ever kicks in, it's mostly traction control that limits power leaving corners that's a bit annoying, and having a rear sway bar definitely wouldn't fix that. Maybe having more turn in/mid corner rotation would be fun, or maybe it'd cross the line and cause stability control to start clamping down the outside front brakes? That would ruin the fun.
 
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SteelClouds

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I dont agree with the loose on stock tires.. I have 19 inch sports.. conti from the factory and they stick fairly well for what they are. I had Quatrac Pros from Vredestein on my Audi and the Conti tires are reasonable close to those. I will say this.. with the rear bar, the back of the car which used to "twitch" going over expansion joints and bump steer in hard corners is much more civilized now. I do agree its ass heavy because of the single motor but the battery overcomes a lot of that in sheer mass.

Now, my car is NOT a track car and I dont intend for it to be a track car. So my idea of "pushing" is not the same as it would be on the track. My car is a daily driver and for spirited driving here and there. The understeer is definitely there.. not so much in diving wide turns but when you tighten it up hard, it's there plain.

With the rear bar, even my wife noticed a slightly better ride on the rough freeways here. The tail end is not bouncing around so much.
 
I agree, my 2019 SR+ had absolutely terminal understeer until I added the rears. Even on MPP's Sport suspension, which helped somewhat.

One underappreciated aspect is that the car feels more comfortable with a rear sway bar. With fronts only, minor high spots in the road would roll the car drastically as a single high front wheel could completely overpower the rear springs. Now, the roll is cut in half since the rear sway bar resists it, and two half rolls are better than one full as the rear tire goes over. It makes it feel like a 4-legged table instead of a seesaw, if that makes sense.

I've tried the OEM soft fronts alone, the OEM soft fronts with the OEM performance rears, and the 2-piece Unplugged kit at various settings. The 'mismatched' OEM setup is the best overall imo, it feels really well balanced in terms of over/understeer while being completely quiet and comfortable. It does allow a fair amount of roll though, so I run UP for the track.

I'll mention the power reduction on turn exit in the SR+ is NOT due to oversteer- it's a simple power cutout coming from the _steering wheel_ angle sensor, nothing to do with actual traction. If you get Ingenext's Boost module, this is disabled and you can feel Tesla's real traction control, which is far less restrictive. You can try using Slip Start for a little less intervention as well, or go full MPP Party Box on the track.
 

SteelClouds

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One underappreciated aspect is that the car feels more comfortable with a rear sway bar. With fronts only, minor high spots in the road would roll the car drastically as a single high front wheel could completely overpower the rear springs. Now, the roll is cut in half since the rear sway bar resists it, and two half rolls are better than one full as the rear tire goes over. It makes it feel like a 4-legged table instead of a seesaw, if that makes sense
Yep.. you said it better than I did :) I was kinda of surprised actually.

Interesting comments on the mismatch bar set up. Thats what I have right now and frankly, I'm pretty happy with it even though I do have the front performance bar to put on if I choose to.
 

SteelClouds

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Pics please, especially of the plates. Did you happen to take any during install?
No.. I was on a very tight timeline to get the work done so no pics. But there are plenty of them via google. I found one company that had great pics for the installing the sway bars.. good close ups.. and of course, how to get the covers off :)

 
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SteelClouds

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You can use the "bridge" type of jack stand to get the M3 safely up in the air. They sell them on Amazon. I'm not a fan of ramps.
Not sure what you mean by "bridge".. but the ramps is what we had at hand. Not a real fan either of them but they got the job done. I would advise a large dose of caution when using any ramp. More so like this
 
Looks good. How important is the rear plate? I know the front plate is important due to the battery cooling nipple which might get broken and protecting the front drivetrain. It seems like the front is more likely to get hit by an object than the back, but that is just a guess. Is the back plate on the 2019 made of the same fiber material as the front?
 

SteelClouds

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Yeah.. both covers are made from the same felt/cardboard stuff. Given this is a RWD model, that back cover is the only thing protecting the one motor the car has. And the motor is pretty low in the chassis so something going through that cover has a good chance of hitting the motor or something else of importance there. The sway bar won't protect anything.. it's mounted in front of the motor but high up in the chassis. What it really did was reduce some of the motor whine.. and both panels reduced the "rumble" road noise on the freeway/roads. My average was 68dB at 65 MPH on the freeway.. it's now 63-64dB on the same roads, same speeds. You can actually talk to the person next to you :D
 

SteelClouds

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For those in LA or OC California.. here is where you can rent a lift and tools.. but I would suggest you bring your own tools.. When I was there, there were two others working so getting the 1/2 impact would have been a challenge..

The OC shop has two lifts.. one inside, one outside.. the outside lift is older but in good working order.

The pay as you is 40 USD an hour. If you plan on doing a lot of work, they have several different memberships with cheaper rates.

Edit: Do NOT forget to bring some rubber pucks. They have some "pads" cut from old tires.. They work I guess but the pucks wont slide out place by accident when you are raising the car. Odds of that? low.. but the pucks are cheap insurance.

 
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