Increasing suspension travel and/or lifting (was: Model 3 Offroaders!)

garsh

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These lifts are amazing! I love it. I hope someone throws on some meaty tires soon.
These lifted 3s do look a little more like a mini Model X.

Given that the Model Y is supposed to share 75% of parts with the 3, I bet it'll basically just have a similar lift. That may end up being another source for lift kits for the 3. We could have "swap" threads where a 3 owner wanting a lift can swap suspension parts with a Y owner wanting a lowering. :D
 

Dave EV

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Given that the Model Y is supposed to share 75% of parts with the 3, I bet it'll basically just have a similar lift. That may end up being another source for lift kits for the 3. We could have "swap" threads where a 3 owner wanting a lift can swap suspension parts with a Y owner wanting a lowering. :D
Heh, this reminds me of back when I had a WRX and people were swapping Impreza and Forester suspension parts... 😁 Not all that uncommon, but parts designed for the specific vehicle still tended to work better.
 

orekart

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Yes. I've got a deposit down for it in the next batch being machined. Great to see pictures and to hear your opinion on having the Model 3 with the lift installed.

So... are slightly bigger diameter Mud+Snow tires (+1in?) on Aero rims possible, or what else can be done?
 

MountainPass

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Yes. I've got a deposit down for it in the next batch being machined. Great to see pictures and to hear your opinion on having the Model 3 with the lift installed.

So... are slightly bigger diameter Mud+Snow tires (+1in?) on Aero rims possible, or what else can be done?
Our machinist had to make a huge order of suspension arms and brake brackets before he starts on the lift kits. Those previous orders will be ready next week, then the lift kits!
 

orekart

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Our machinist had to make a huge order of suspension arms and brake brackets before he starts on the lift kits. Those previous orders will be ready next week, then the lift kits!
It's been a hot minute. What's news, any update when to expect the next batch to ship?
 
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@orekart The rear wheels have plenty of space for a larger tire, but the front wheels are limited because if you look at the space between the top of the wheel and the control arm it is so small. I think you'd have to ask someone here on the forum about tire spacers, different wheels, etc. Then when you get going down that slope you're really diving off. I feel like a modest 1.5 inches overall clearance is the perfect thing for a Model 3, and that if you need anything more perhaps it is best to just wait until you can get something that will enable that better. Or, go all the way. Just rework the whole suspension and make it a monster.

Basically, I feel that with the MPP 1.5 inch lift, I haven't given up really any significant handling on the road (cornering, range, etc), and yet I have increased my rough road capability enormously.
 

MountainPass

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It's been a hot minute. What's news, any update when to expect the next batch to ship?
Got the schedule from the machine shop, they are making 100+ damper forks right now for our AWD coilover kits. The week of April 1st is when we are having 20 kits made, then give them another 1-2 weeks for anodizing.
 

c2c

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Basically, I feel that with the MPP 1.5 inch lift, I haven't given up really any significant handling on the road (cornering, range, etc), and yet I have increased my rough road capability enormously.
Every time I climb in or out of my three, I remember how glad I am the I have the MPP 1.5 inch lift kit. It is so much easier on my knees.
And the front bumper bottom lip clear every parking curb when I park front first. My paint protection film started growing whiskers where the curbs were roughing it up. Since the lift, no more rubbing.

What might be fun would be to look into using narrower tires/wheels to reduce air drag.
The big change drag wise is that the tires are more exposed, than before the lift. Narrower wheels/tires could reduce the drag coefficient. Also narrower front tires might provide front tire clearance from the steering knuckle.
So means new rims, and if I go that far, it would be nice to get rims that don't protrude to allow curb rash. Let the sidewall get scruffed.
I get more enjoyment from the lift kit than from EAP, which I use everyday.
 

MountainPass

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Every time I climb in or out of my three, I remember how glad I am the I have the MPP 1.5 inch lift kit. It is so much easier on my knees.
And the front bumper bottom lip clear every parking curb when I park front first. My paint protection film started growing whiskers where the curbs were roughing it up. Since the lift, no more rubbing.

What might be fun would be to look into using narrower tires/wheels to reduce air drag.
The big change drag wise is that the tires are more exposed, than before the lift. Narrower wheels/tires could reduce the drag coefficient. Also narrower front tires might provide front tire clearance from the steering knuckle.
So means new rims, and if I go that far, it would be nice to get rims that don't protrude to allow curb rash. Let the sidewall get scruffed.
I get more enjoyment from the lift kit than from EAP, which I use everyday.
Oh my goodness, thank you for the kind words, you've made my Friday.
 

Mad Hungarian

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Every time I climb in or out of my three, I remember how glad I am the I have the MPP 1.5 inch lift kit. It is so much easier on my knees.
And the front bumper bottom lip clear every parking curb when I park front first. My paint protection film started growing whiskers where the curbs were roughing it up. Since the lift, no more rubbing.

What might be fun would be to look into using narrower tires/wheels to reduce air drag.
The big change drag wise is that the tires are more exposed, than before the lift. Narrower wheels/tires could reduce the drag coefficient. Also narrower front tires might provide front tire clearance from the steering knuckle.
So means new rims, and if I go that far, it would be nice to get rims that don't protrude to allow curb rash. Let the sidewall get scruffed.
I get more enjoyment from the lift kit than from EAP, which I use everyday.
@c2c asked me to chime in here on the tire width reduction part of the discussion, happy to oblige.
Although the ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization) does list an interesting number of narrower 18" tires that would fit, the narrowest suitable sizes that are commonly available in North America would be 215/50R18 or 215/55R18.
Both have load indexes that fall within the OE range for Model 3, so that's not a concern.
The 215/50R18 is 0.2" taller than OE and the 215/55R18 is a full inch taller than OE, so these would increase ride height 0.1" and 0.5" respectively.
Of course you won't get the same handling or ultimate grip that the OE 235/45R18 offers, but I don't think it would be dangerously worse. Probably somewhere in the range of a really soft 235/45R18 winter tire on dry asphalt as far as transient capabilities are concerned, so still plenty safe and likely won't drive the ESC crazy.
Note that the use of either of these sizes would require going to narrower wheels, they both have a rated rim width range of 6.0" to 7.5". I'd also recommend that the new narrower wheels have an offset of around +30, this will position the outer shoulder of the narrower tire similarly to that of the OE 235/45R18 on the OE +40 wheel and help ensure airflow around the wheel opening is disturbed as little as possible.
 
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MountainPass

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@c2c asked me to chime in here on the tire width reduction part of the discussion, happy to oblige.
Although the ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization) does list an interesting number of narrower 18" tires that would fit, the narrowest suitable sizes that are commonly available in North America would be 215/50R18 or 215/55R18.
Both have load indexes that fall within the OE range for Model 3, so that's not a concern.
The 215/50R18 is 0.2" taller than OE and the 215/55R18 is a full inch taller than OE, so these would increase ride height 0.1" and 0.5" respectively.
Of course you won't get the same handling or ultimate grip that the OE 235/45R18 offers, but I don't think it would be dangerously worse. Probably somewhere in the range of a really soft 235/45R18 winter tire on dry asphalt as far as transient capabilities are concerned, so still plenty safe and likely won't drive the ESC crazy.
Note that the use of either of these sizes would require going to narrower wheels, they both have a rated rim width range of 6.0" to 7.5". I'd also recommend that the new narrower wheels have an offset of around +30, this will position the outer shoulder of the narrower tire similarly to that of the OE 235/45R18 on the OE +40 wheel and help ensure airflow around the wheel opening is disturbed as little as possible.
We would love to see someone do this with some aggressive looking tires and get the extra height/rally look.
 

orekart

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@c2c asked me to chime in here on the tire width reduction part of the discussion, happy to oblige.
Although the ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization) does list an interesting number of narrower 18" tires that would fit, the narrowest suitable sizes that are commonly available in North America would be 215/50R18 or 215/55R18.
Both have load indexes that fall within the OE range for Model 3, so that's not a concern.
The 215/50R18 is 0.2" taller than OE and the 215/55R18 is a full inch taller than OE, so these would increase ride height 0.1" and 0.5" respectively.
Of course you won't get the same handling or ultimate grip that the OE 235/45R18 offers, but I don't think it would be dangerously worse. Probably somewhere in the range of a really soft 235/45R18 winter tire on dry asphalt as far as transient capabilities are concerned, so still plenty safe and likely won't drive the ESC crazy.
Note that the use of either of these sizes would require going to narrower wheels, they both have a rated rim width range of 6.0" to 7.5". I'd also recommend that the new narrower wheels have an offset of around +30, this will position the outer shoulder of the narrower tire similarly to that of the OE 235/45R18 on the OE +40 wheel and help ensure airflow around the wheel opening is disturbed as little as possible.
We would love to see someone do this with some aggressive looking tires and get the extra height/rally look.
Willing to do so here. I'd like the most sidewall profile I can get with the assumption that it will perform better in ankle-deep mud, so 215/55R18? I care more about function and ease of getting replacements. I do not care what it looks like; i.e. the stock Aero covers look fine to me because they are functional.

Searching eBay yields only one 18x7.5" +30 offset rim with the 5X114.3 PCD:
18" Toyota Highlander 2017 2018 Factory OEM Rim Wheel 75214 Full Set
However the center bore is 60.1mm and TSportline lists Model 3 wheels as 64.1mm center bore.

Maybe Jeep Wrangler rims? Help? Make suggestions about wheels?
 

Mad Hungarian

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Willing to do so here. I'd like the most sidewall profile I can get with the assumption that it will perform better in ankle-deep mud, so 215/55R18? I care more about function and ease of getting replacements. I do not care what it looks like; i.e. the stock Aero covers look fine to me because they are functional.

Searching eBay yields only one 18x7.5" +30 offset rim with the 5X114.3 PCD:
18" Toyota Highlander 2017 2018 Factory OEM Rim Wheel 75214 Full Set
However the center bore is 60.1mm and TSportline lists Model 3 wheels as 64.1mm center bore.

Maybe Jeep Wrangler rims? Help? Make suggestions about wheels?
Shameless plug alert: We do have our Fast Wheels F226 Shadow in 18x7.5 +35 that would work, and if you want to make it optimal we have 5 mm spacers to go with.
 

orekart

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Lift Kit from MPP has shipped. Getting down to wheel options.

Offset calculator at https://www.1010tires.com/Tools/Wheel-Offset-Calculator comparable outside clearance to stock 8.5in +40mm of stock Aero wheel:
7.0in +21mm (+38mm inner clearance)
7.5in +27mm (+26mm inner clearance)
8.0in +34mm (+12mm inner clearance)

Is that how the "about 30 offset" wisdom is derived? Was 8.0in rim width ruled out for inner clearance on taller profile or because of available tires?

If going with 18x7.5 then...

Quantity four of the Fast Wheels F226 Shadow from the USA through WheelWiz Canada there's $560usd pp+tax on top of an $750 order; or 3/4 of the order cost is pp+tax. Ouch.

OEM Toyota 75214 Highlander rims might be closest to direct fit and then get the center bore machined locally to match the Model 3. Anyone care to comment on the sensibility of doing something like that?

Custom Braid rally rims for comparison:
https://teamilluminata.com/collections/wheels/products/fullrace-a-wheels-2019?variant=18656784777313 (Braid Fullrace A in 18x7.5 ~$2400 plus $300 pp+tax)
The ~20lbs weight Fullrace A is less than ~26lbs weight of the F226. There's also the Fullrace T for more cost and weight.

And what of stock Braid wheel sizes (17x8.0; 18x8.0) for more reasonable cost
https://braidusa.com/collections/wheels/products/fullrace-a-wheels-2019
...though I do recall this was said that any 17in rim was a bad idea or impossible due to brake clearances depending on the rim.

What is the story for 18x8.0?

215/55R18 is said to have a diameter of 27.3in and width of 8.5in suitable for rim widths 6.0in-7.5in (as helpfully mentioned before)
https://tiresize.com/tiresizes/215-55R18.htm

From some random table of data on the Internets...
Rim Min (Ideal) Max:
7.0in 195mm (205mm or 215mm) 225mm *not likely to work
7.5in 205mm (215mm or 225mm) 235mm *suggested
8.0in 215mm (225mm or 235mm) 245mm *what about this?
8.5in 225mm (235mm or 245mm) 255mm *stock

225/55R18 is said to have a diameter of 27.7in and width of 8.9in suitable for rim widths 6.0in-8.0in
https://tiresize.com/tiresizes/225-55R18.htm

Plenty of tire selection from TireRack for 225/55R18 on 18x8.0; Do the clearances just not work?

Also, although I feel (but do not actually know more than a wild guess) that a taller profile of rubber is better in mud, the extra clearances could also be possible with a 19in rim with rubber profile more comparable to the stock Aero rims... easier to reduce mass in a rim than it is to lighten a tire.
 

orekart

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So... a lift kit install and 6500mi road trip and dropping by BRAID USA show room along the way in Pontiac Michigan and some weeks later I have a set of BRAID Fullrace A rally wheels in 17x7+25...

orekart-braidfa1770-2019-06-11-jpg.26797


...to be mounted with Yokohama A/T G015 in 215/60R17. Yeah those are in the car (pictured above) full set of wheels and tires. Waiting on TPMS parts got some Schrader 33500 EZ-Sensor modules on the way and Schrader 34000 clamp-in style valves for those.

Hopefully the wheels fit. Don't actually know that yet. The decision making came down to 17x7 or 17x8 and 17x8 was too close to be sure about.

Oh hey I forgot to post this. For continuity I'll just post this now and the follow-up as an additional post.
 

orekart

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I tried Discount Tires and although they were bound by corporate policy to require XL load rated tires for mounting on Tesla Model 3 applications (yeah they have some bullshit computer data nothing to be done about it) - the technician graciously offered to program and install the Schrader 33500 TPMS modules I'd provided to the wheels; at his insistence that the Schrader 34000 clamp in kits were all defective for not having a threaded inset (!?) I figured let it go as he's offered to program TPMS sensors for no cost, works for me, so they were installed as pull-through style. True to the exacting corporate policy he had me sign for a zero dollar receipt of the TPMS programming work performed. Moving on...

I tried a few other shops to finally get an alignment done since I'd not yet done that after installing the MPP Lift Kit. What a bunch of nonsensical horseshit I heard from the corporate owned franchise shops that offered alignment services (Les Schwab Tires among others). Frustrating as hell. Everything from "fire hazard it will burn down our shop" to "too expensive to have in our shop" and "we don't work on modified suspensions" (while I'm looking right at a few extreme lift non-stock pickup trucks in the bays) It's just a car with normal suspension components but none of the big shops within a reasonable distance of home would take the risk to work on it.

Found a local wheel and tire shop in the industrial part of town with some down-to-earth technicians, and they took the car for alignment and all went super smoothly. What exactly is the malfunction for the big fancy pants corporate franchises? I am amazed.

More detail about how I got the alignment done in my post on the MPP Lift Kit Thread

img_20190612_174653840-jpg.26832


While the car was on the rack we mounted the 215/60R17 Yokohama A/T G015 tires on the new BRAID 17x7+25 wheels and installed.

So... this is the first Tesla in the world on 17's and All-Terrain tires?

Clearance details:

Rear wheel fore suspension link bolt head


Stock Aero 18x8.5's have this milled out bit between the lug positions, while aftermarket wheels do not.


When installing aftermarket wheels you will need to unbolt the smaller locating bolt (one per rotor at one of the holes between lug stud locations) which are a holdover from the manufacturing process.


View 1-of-3 from inside the rear wheel outward looking at the rear calipers and brake line banjo bolt.


View 2-of-3 from inside the rear wheel outward looking at the rear calipers and brake line banjo bolt.


View 3-of-3 from inside the rear wheel outward looking at the rear calipers and brake line banjo bolt.


The stick-on wheel weights for tire balancing would rub on the rear brake line banjo bolt. The weights would certainly not fit in line with the rear brake calipers so to clear those obstacles they need to be inline with the landing between the banjo bolt and where the brake calipers become largest in profile. The shop technician's comment was that there is no lip on the BRAID wheel to mount an alternative clip-on wheel weight.


Front wheel clearance to steering knuckle view 1-of-2


Front wheel clearance to steering knuckle view 2-of-2

I'm curious to learn if a 225/60R17 tire could be crammed on there but I don't think I'll be trying any time soon. As-is now with 215/60R17 that is as close to the steering knuckle as I care to get on a big flexible tire.

Driving differences are it feels fine in dry paved road, the road noise is noticeably increased over stock Aero 18's, nothing feels dangerously bad from the first impression on surface streets, 70mph highway pavement, gravel roads, and dirt roads. On level pavement the clearance is sitting at about 18cm (7in) ground to skateboard with the weight of a set of Aero 18's wheels and tires loaded in the vehicle. I liked the feel over rough gravel and dry dirt better than stock, it seems to smooth out those conditions especially with respect to the stiffer feeling suspension after having installed the MPP Lift Kit.

Mud and snow testing will have to wait.