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Who supplies Tesla shocks/struts?

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
713
415
Fort Worth
Someone posted a message from Bilstein, implying but not clearly stating, that Bilstein was supplying shocks/struts for the Tesla (model Y, in this case.)

Does anyone know? Is there any way to determine this? Would there be identifying numbers/marks on the units?

Thanks.
 

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
713
415
Fort Worth
My experience with Bilsteins (street versions) on various VAG vehicles is that they always start out rock hard and then, over 2-3k miles, lose the initial hardness on compression, then function quite adequately for 100k + miles. I'm hoping that's the case here, as after 2400 miles on my Y, I'm no longer flinching when I see uneven expansion cracks.
Now, the bobble-head inducing gyrations over multiple road imperfections have NOT improved. I can't decide if it's a spring issue or a rebound issue in the shock/strut.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,151
6,651
Canyon Lake,CA
Most all suspensions need a significant break in period to resolve to their final comfort and ride height levels. In additon to the shocks, the springs tend to compress a bit and the bushings wear in.
 

WattsappMTL

Member
Nov 2, 2020
103
58
Montreal
The harsh ride was my biggest reservation about Model 3, that led me to delay delivery until MY was announced and I switched my order over. I was hoping for an improvement in an SUV/CUV class vehicle but no such luck. I test-drove a friend's Y at the end of the summer and decided I could live with the ride in exchange for all the other bonuses with this EV. I continue to tolerate the jolty ride but decided it is better with tires baselined at around 37 psi. I had them back at 42 for a while and the sharp impacts on bumps were really bothering me. I wish there wasn't so much body movement on rough surfaces; I just don't understand why that needs to happen. I also get a harmonic pitching on certain concrete roads that I will try to tame with differential front/rear tire pressures but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm also not averse to a complete swap-out of springs and dampers if it continues to annoy me but I'm probably going to hold off until the warranty is over. Anyway, this week I'm suddenly feeling like the harshness has subsided somewhat. I don't know if it's because the temperatures are a bit warmer, or if there has been some break-in after 4700 km.
 

52 16 57 39

BioDiesel & Electrons
Nov 20, 2020
196
161
Tacoma, WA
My experience with Bilsteins (street versions) on various VAG vehicles is that they always start out rock hard... ... I can't decide if it's a spring issue or a rebound issue in the shock/strut.

Similar background w VAG vehicles.
I’m thinking the dampers/struts are the issue as the springs basically hold the car up... and the dampers are what transmit those bumps into our cabin.

I’ll be researching dampers when my stock dampers show the smallest hint of wear.
 

Electric Dream

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Jul 21, 2016
1,612
2,680
UK
M3shock.jpg
 
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Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
713
415
Fort Worth
Electric Dream: Thank you for the photo.

As a matter of fact, Bilstein DOES produce shocks in Mexico. Several internet sources say this, iincluding a photo of a Bilstein B6 going into a 4Runner.

So...wonder if we can squeeze this info out of Tesla.
 

Electric Dream

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Jul 21, 2016
1,612
2,680
UK
Electric Dream: Thank you for the photo.

As a matter of fact, Bilstein DOES produce shocks in Mexico. Several internet sources say this, iincluding a photo of a Bilstein B6 going into a 4Runner.

So...wonder if we can squeeze this info out of Tesla.
Yeah, my original comment was a bit tongue in cheek.
Bilstein certainly was/is involved in Model S suspension, so it wouldn't surprise me completely if they were also involved in the Model 3/Y, except that the damping leaves a lot to be desired in the 3 so I really hope they weren't completely responsible for the design in that case.

I think I've seen the post you're referring to, but one distinction is the B6 had "Assembled in Mexico" on it rather than "Made in Mexico". That may or may not be significant. I don't think Tesla is likely to reveal anything about this and Bilstein certainly won't, they are notoriously tight lipped about OEM deals.

One thing to note though is that even Bilstein Mexico's Facebook page says "Bilstein shock absorbers, made in Germany, the world's largest technology used in gas shock absorbers. Ideal for high performance driving."
 
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Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
713
415
Fort Worth
Electric Dream:

Your disdain for the damping in the 3 is equaled by my disdain for the damping in the Y. It actually feels exactly like my aftermarket Bilstein damper experience with at least 4 different VAG applications. The first few miles were, "Oh SH!!T! I paid "x" $$ for THIS?" Then, after 1500-2000 miles, the initial edge was off, and I settled in for another 95k miles.

My interest, determining if Bilstein is OEM on the Y, is the hope that the QC of the dampers would be similar as before, so I can expect 75k miles of stable damper life. It makes me hesitate to replace them with ANY other after market damper, with an unproven lifespan.

(I still don't think these OEM dampers are ideally paired with the OEM springs!)
 

Electric Dream

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Jul 21, 2016
1,612
2,680
UK
Bilstein make very decent dampers, it's just that for whatever reason in some applications they don't quite get it right, but a mass-produced OEM damper is often just trying to be all things to all people. Also, the customer in one country may have different expectations to a customer in another, so a 'one size fits all' approach is going to cause some issues.

BMW suspension when they were only selling cars with runflats, was really awful on UK roads. Probably OK on the Autobahn with 4 people and a trunk full of luggage ferrying people to and from the airport, but terrible for a bit of spirited driving on your own around country lanes.

My last ICE car started off as a 3 series with runflats and that horrible factory suspension. I put proper tyres on it and got a set of Bilsteins fitted and the car was transformed. Now it's very likely the factory dampers on my car were Bilsteins, but the ones I swapped them for were very different as the damping curves and spring rates had been customised for my particular model and for use with non-runflats on UK roads.

So regardless of who makes Model Y dampers for Tesla, it's not all their fault you're not getting on with them. They are no doubt being made to a very low price point and with valving and springs which are supposed to work anywhere in the world, with any load, on any roads and with several different wheel/tyre configurations. This is why more and more Tesla owners seem to be turning to aftermarket coilovers for their cars and that is the only solution IMO.
 

Needsdecaf

Member
Dec 16, 2018
945
993
The Woodlands, TX
My experience with Bilsteins (street versions) on various VAG vehicles is that they always start out rock hard and then, over 2-3k miles, lose the initial hardness on compression, then function quite adequately for 100k + miles. I'm hoping that's the case here, as after 2400 miles on my Y, I'm no longer flinching when I see uneven expansion cracks.
Now, the bobble-head inducing gyrations over multiple road imperfections have NOT improved. I can't decide if it's a spring issue or a rebound issue in the shock/strut.

This is certainly not the case with my Model 3! Ride has not changed at all.

The problem is it's not in the dampers. The 3/Y have very short suspension travel, meaning much of your springing is done by the bump stops. That's generating the gyrations.

Good article here on the 3 but almost certainly pertains to Y.

Suspension Tech - Firmer But More Comfortable? How Can That Be? | Mountain Pass Performance
 

db93

Member
Mar 31, 2020
197
183
So Cal
This is certainly not the case with my Model 3! Ride has not changed at all.

The problem is it's not in the dampers. The 3/Y have very short suspension travel, meaning much of your springing is done by the bump stops. That's generating the gyrations.

Good article here on the 3 but almost certainly pertains to Y.

Suspension Tech - Firmer But More Comfortable? How Can That Be? | Mountain Pass Performance
Riding on the bump stops seems more of a performance model deal, with the included lowered ride height
I have yet to feel anything like that on the LR MY, but is quite noticeable on a friends M3P
That go kart handling on an M3P makes it quite fun to drive

About 3k miles on MY LR, the ride has settled in well, It does ride better the harder you push, that's a quality I appreciate in a car
 

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
713
415
Fort Worth
Riding on the bump stops seems more of a performance model deal, with the included lowered ride height
I have yet to feel anything like that on the LR MY, but is quite noticeable on a friends M3P
That go kart handling on an M3P makes it quite fun to drive

About 3k miles on MY LR, the ride has settled in well, It does ride better the harder you push, that's a quality I appreciate in a car

For me, highway damping is superb. It's the 25-35mph range, with uneven concrete, that becomes almost "bobble-head" laughable...although if I relax into it, it will save me from needing upper body massage or PT.
 

Electric Dream

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Jul 21, 2016
1,612
2,680
UK
This is certainly not the case with my Model 3! Ride has not changed at all.

The problem is it's not in the dampers. The 3/Y have very short suspension travel, meaning much of your springing is done by the bump stops. That's generating the gyrations.
There are two issues with the 3. One is it rides on the bumpstops very early, the other is the damping (particularly at the rear).
Depends on the road surface and type of driving you're doing whether you feel one of those problems, or both at the same time.
 

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
713
415
Fort Worth
Vivelemond: How many miles on the car? I was totally convinced I just HAD to do the coilovers. Now, after 2500 miles, I'll be putting the $3k+ into something else.
 

Vivelemond

Member
Aug 11, 2018
37
38
El Cerrito, CA
Vivelemond: How many miles on the car? I was totally convinced I just HAD to do the coilovers. Now, after 2500 miles, I'll be putting the $3k+ into something else.
We are over 10,000 miles on the car, there has been no change in the suspension dynamics that I can perceive. We changed the tires to quatrac pros and that made a minor difference as well.
Really hoping that the new suspension from MPP works as well as many of the reviewer’s here have reported.
 

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