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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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IMG_3402_1.jpeg
 

SteelClouds

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I made a reference to having to push the front plate into the car ( up) to get two bolts to go through the hole so I could catch a few threads.. Here is a screen shot from the vendor. I have the two bolts pointed out with red arrows. Doing this push from the ground on your back would be a challenge.. I guess you could use a floor jack or hydraulic jack with some wooden dunnage to push it up. Just be warned if you want to do this yourself. They lined up perfectly.. the panel was just too far away from them until the push :)
 

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SteelClouds

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Is the main point of the skid plate to reduce noise inside the cabin?

I would think the metal would transfer a lot of vibrations inside the cabin.
Not really.. the main point as I explained in the upcoming podcast ( #4) is this.. the OEM covers are this cardboard/felt thing.. very weak. Anything that hits it is pretty assured of going through that cover and hitting something important. Things like coolant lines, motors etc..

So the metal plate is more of a shield that gives more protection than the cardboard. As far noise goes, my plates came with a closed cell foam on the inside surface. It actually reduced the low frequency sounds on the freeway by 3dB according to my meter.
 
Not really.. the main point as I explained in the upcoming podcast ( #4) is this.. the OEM covers are this cardboard/felt thing.. very weak. Anything that hits it is pretty assured of going through that cover and hitting something important. Things like coolant lines, motors etc..

So the metal plate is more of a shield that gives more protection than the cardboard. As far noise goes, my plates came with a closed cell foam on the inside surface. It actually reduced the low frequency sounds on the freeway by 3dB according to my meter.
I am manley interested in this product from a noise reduction standpoint. Do you recommend it for the noise reduction aspect? I found one on amazon that seems to be priced well. I just wouldn't want to buy it if it doesn't make that much of a difference.
 

SteelClouds

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Update:

1,500 miles road trip through AZ and back to CA. The rear bar is a MUST have for anyone considering such a use case. Not for "handling" but for comfort and drivability. What do I mean? Many of the roads I was were two lanes where the trucks are on the right and the cars on the left. This is where details matter :) I have a M3 Standard + which means at 80% I have about 190 miles of range. On flat level roads.. not these. I normally took the time to charge to 85% to 100% if I could get it just to have a buffer. THe other "trick" I had to do is this.. the traffic wants to do 80+ with speed limits seemly to be a suggestion :D Normally I would enjoy this but 80 mph puts a real dent into my range. So I would find a slow(er) truck or RV and tuck in behind with the enhanced speed enabled. Great.. average speed was 65-70 plus a bit of drafting.. so why the rear bar ? because that side of the road is typically beat to crap from the trucks. Without the bar, the M3 would dance going over sharp bumps like this.. like a teeter totter almost.. with the bar, that has stopped by and large. Still bangs you around but not too badly.

The new skid plate paid for itself the first day on the road just crossing into the AZ side on 10. Something dark was in the road and I didnt see it all until I heard a "BANG" from under the front of the car. Whatever it was ( tire debris?) Left a dark solid mark on the front plate. No dent. I dont think the OEM cardboard or fiber or whatever it is would have held up quite as well.
 
Without the bar, the M3 would dance going over sharp bumps like this.. like a teeter totter almost.. with the bar, that has stopped by and large.
Gotta come check out your car! I know you've said this before in an earlier post too. Not doubting your experience, it just doesn't quite match my experience with installing multiple rear sway bars in different cars over the years. Sounds like if the rear of the car feels more tied down and composed over one sided bumps with a rear bar installed (which makes the suspension less independent and less able to deal with uneven bumps), then it might have something to do with worn out dampers, and thus the rear sway bar transferring some of the bump load from 1 side's damper to the other side and absorbed.

On other cars I've installed thicker sway bars on, they have less body roll and feel a bit more stable in corners, but the trade off is always more overall lateral motion when one side of the car hits a bump (your head tend to tilt side to side more going over a manhole cover that's sunken into the ground for example)

Anyway, I'm very intrigued to feel the difference, some lift off oversteer in the corners would be great fun!
 
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SteelClouds

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This car is different than past hot rods I've added bars too... Not the same dynamics. My first thought when I got the rear bar was how thin it was given the Tesla's design/weight etc.. the front bar was beefy as expected but not as much as I thought it would be which makes sense since I'm nose light ( RWD) with just one motor
 

David.85D

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VKRP Enterprises Safety 3 ton Jack Stand Jackstand Jack Automatic Lift​


I think this is a knock off. It’s not for sale anymore so may have infringed.

I believe this is the original version.
 
I think this is a knock off. It’s not for sale anymore so may have infringed.

I believe this is the original version.
That's too bad. They work fine. Last review for them on Amazon was in January 2020.
 
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 :)

If you do the front bar, and have a chance, can you post the part numbers. Although I'm not sure the wife will let me "play" with her new toy, I had a MB C230 sport coupe that I put the bars and end links from under a C55 AMG in (all bolt in) and the results were amazing. It might be on the list for an eventual project. :)
 
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SteelClouds

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If you do the front bar, and have a chance, can you post the part numbers. Although I'm not sure the wife will let me "play" with her new toy, I had a MB C230 sport coupe that I put the bars and end links from under a C55 AMG in (all bolt in) and the results were amazing. It might be on the list for an eventual project.

TESLA MODEL 3 FR STABAR ASSY 28MM X 5.0MM 1144387-00-A
TESLA MODEL 3 RWD FRONT STABAR ASSY 29MM X 5.0MM 1144381-00-B

ANTI ROLL STABILIZER 1144381-00-B

I have a RWD M3 Plus with the 2019 OEM front bar and the AWD/Performance rear bar. Since my plus didnt have a rear bar at all, anything is an improvement ;) This combo works very well and I'm not sure if I am going put out the effort to make the front bar swap. The bars have a 1mm difference in diameter. There is not a lot of clear info as to which car the front bars belong to and if it even makes much of difference. I guess the early parts catalogs had a lot of details but the news do not and use the part numbers interchangeably. It could be a performance mod or just a change made in the build process. And in my mind, 1MM of diameter in rubber bushings could be just rubber compression/slop. If they were Delrin or other poly, then it might be worth it.

There seems to be the same story for the rear bar. Slightly different PNs but it seems to be the same bar. 1044485-00-A and 20MM

Good thread here with all kinds of details

 
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TESLA MODEL 3 FR STABAR ASSY 28MM X 5.0MM 1144387-00-A

TESLA MODEL 3 RWD FRONT STABAR ASSY 29MM X 5.0MM 1144381-00-B

ANTI ROLL STABILIZER 1144381-00-B

I have a RWD M3 Plus with the 2019 OEM front bar and the AWD/Performance rear bar. Since my plus didnt have a rear bar at all, anything is an improvement ;) This combo works very well and I'm not sure if I am going put out the effort to make the front bar swap. The bars have a 1mm difference in diameter. There is not a lot of clear info as to which car the front bars belong to and if it even makes much of difference. I guess the early parts catalogs had a lot of details but the news do not and use the part numbers interchangeably. It could be a performance mod or just a change made in the build process. And in my mind, 1MM of diameter in rubber bushings could be just rubber compression/slop. If they were Delrin or other poly, then it might be worth it.

There seems to be the same story for the rear bar. Slightly different PNs but it seems to be the same bar. 1044485-00-A and 20MM

Good thread here with all kinds of details

We've got a 2019 SR+ as well...and now that I know there is nothing back there, I've got the itch. But.... :) It will be a while! Thanks!!
 

SteelClouds

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I'm told nothing is there IF its the partial premium package.. if not, you need the bar, end links, bushings and clamps. Plus 4 bolts. You can generally get the bar and bushings as a package on eBay or here from upgrades. The end links are hit and miss. I got mine from someone here upgrading the whole package. I bought the bolts off eBay. With a lift and 1/2 impact, it took me about 15 mins to install.
 
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I'm told nothing is there IF its the partial premium package.. if not, you need the bar, end links, bushings and clamps. Plus 4 bolts. You can generally get the bar and bushings as a package on eBay or here from upgrades. The end links are hit and miss. I got mine from someone here upgrading the whole package. I bought the bolts off eBay. With a lift and 1/2 impact, it took me about 15 mins to install.
So…much like the C230 I will have to stockpile all the parts and wait for the wife to be out of town for a weekend. Of course she always knows I “played” with her car when she gets back…but just grins and doesn’t mention it.
 
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